VIDEO: California HS cross country team practices with shelter dogs

This is everything that’s great about high school sports, all wrapped in one tight package.

The cross country team for St. Joseph’s High in Santa Maria, Cal. is just getting started with training for the fall semester. They thought the early training runs would provide a good opportunity to make some new friends, which is what inspired a trip to a local animal shelter. With a number of the shelter’s dogs desperate to get outside of their cages, the St. Joe’s team offered to take them for a training run.

Well, they all went for a training run except for Fred, an aging mutt (or so he looked) who, “had it” after the first mile or so.

It goes without saying that such a move is a foolproof way to foster goodwill. No, it’s not the most efficient training method — the Knights almost certainly would have benefitted more from pushing each other on a traditional training run or setting up a fartlek route. Of course, that wouldn’t have helped any of the puppies at the shelter who were in desperate need of a good jog (among other things) and, let’s face it: Those looked like some very good doggies.

Something tells us that the CIF isn’t greenlighting the use of dogs for non-visually impaired runners anytime soon, so the shelter dogs who took part in St. Joe’s recent training are unlikely to see competition this fall. Let’s hope they see plenty more training time regardless.

More Outside The Box