High-energy hounds run at MSH

Members of Viz Whizz gathered for a group picture with Santa.

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

As outdoor conditions become colder and the ground becomes icier, it becomes a little more difficult to take our fine furry family members for their daily walks. For members of Viz Whizz, it can be especially hard.

Viz Whizz USA is an organization that help provide education and support for owners of Vizslas, a breed of copper-colored dogs with the energy levels of a caffeinated toddler. Often, members of Viz Whizz’s Massachusetts chapter can be found walking around the Medfield State Hospital (MSH). On Sunday, December 22, members of Viz Whizz met at the popular walking spot to take a festive group stroll together with their dogs.

The group began their walk at the parking lot, taking a chance to check in with one another while the more than a dozen Vizslas got acquainted. It became apparent that the group would have to be careful as they watched their dogs slip and slide across the icy ground. All of the dogs seemed to enjoy running around their owners, never dashing off to an unseen area. “When I started walking here, I was really worried about her running off,” said one owner, referring to her dog, “but she just stays with group!”

The group of Vizslas and their owners made their way around the hospital, trying their best not to lose their traction. The dogs were happy to go ahead of their owners and spend time with their canine friends.

Many of the dogs took the time to get to know each other before dashing off for a run.

Many of the dogs took the time to get to know each other before dashing off for a run.

For the dogs, Viz Whizz is a great time. “They’re very social and very active,” explained one owner. “Once their energy is out, they become couch potatoes.” The off-leash time allows these dogs to get the energy out. And as a bonus, as the pups played, their owners were able to catch up with one another, discuss holiday plans, and help each other not slip on the icy path.

No holiday walk would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus. In the middle of the walk, jolly old Saint Nick himself joined in the walk, greeting all of the Vizslas and taking the time to talk to some kids in attendance.

The walk ended as the group arrived back at their starting point, but with a visit from Santa came the opportunity for some terrific holiday pictures. Owners lined up for snaps of their dogs sitting with Santa. One young Vizsla named Mango took his portrait with Santa very seriously, hopping right on Santa’s lap. “That’s a typical Vizsla,” laughed an onlooker.

For these dogs, the walk - and Viz Whizz USA, for that matter - represents a great way to play and run freely while staying close to their owners. For the owners, it’s a great way to meet and socialize with people who know and love the breed just as well as they do.

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