It's the Ben-Hur of dog events. In line with the Year of the Dog, The Big Dog Walk With Lots of Dogs is back for its third year.
What started out as a bit of a joke by stand-up comedian Alice Brine has now snowballed into an annual event and the country's largest dog walking celebration. As you may have figured from the name, the concept is simple: it's a mass dog walk with hundreds of other dogs. You don't have to own a dog to come along, you just have to really like dogs. Dog gawkers also welcome. It turns out lots of people really like dogs, with around 5000 participants taking part in Auckland last year.
For 2018, the event will take place in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Napier and Christchurch. The five events will be spread across April and May to tie in with the Chinese New Year celebrations of the Year of the Dog.
While the aim of the events is to simply to go on a fun walk surrounded by dogs, it's also for a good cause. The Big Dog Walk is now a charity called For Lots of Dogs. The fund goes towards distributing food for dogs in need.
There will also be plenty of offerings and activities for humans like food trucks, coffee and stalls from local pet industry brands and services. But most importantly, there will be dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.
After postponing the first event, the Auckland edition of The Big Dog Walk With Lots of Dogs Sponsored by Pet Connect will now take place in Waiatarua Reserve on 12 May.