Saturday: A ‘day for the dogs’

Published 8:16 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Dog Days of summer are regarded as times of untold misery. However, when the Pike Animal Shelter designates a Day for Dogs in the fall, it’s a time for fun, frolic, fellowship and fundraising.

Saturday is the day of the Pike Animal Shelter Fur Fest, a family-oriented, pets-welcome, festival-style event that celebrates the efforts to build a modern animal shelter for the community.

Fur Fest will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Recreation Center on Enzor Road. The event is free and the public is invited.

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Donna Schubert, Founders Society chair, said a full day of activities has been planned including two Canine Academy Dog Obedience classes (10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.) the Blessing of the Animals (11 a.m.), a drug dog demonstration (11:15 a.m.), Retrievers Retrieving (11:45 a.m.), Beauties and Beasts, shelter animals, (noon) and a pet parade and contest (12:30 p.m.)

There will also be entertainment by SheBANG! (10:30 a.m.) and the Troy School of Dance and the Arts (1:30 p.m.).

Fur Fest will close at 2 p.m. with the recognition of top fundraisers.

Booths and ongoing events include professional pet photography, giant inflatables, microchipping, pawdicures and nail trims, face painting and temporary tattoos and paper and string art.

There will also be a bake sale and Bonnie Blue Barbecue will be on site with a lunch menu for the “humanoids.”

Those who would like to become members of the Pike Animal Shelter Founder’s Society may purchase memberships at Fur Fest.

Schubert said Fur Fest will be fun and informative from beginning to end. However, several events are worthy of special mention.

Professional photographer Ronnie Colvin will take high quality photos of pets and pets and their families, depending on the owners’ preferences. The photos will make great Christmas cards, calendars or framed prints for the home.

“The Canine Academy will feature two 45-minute dog obedience and training sessions with Doug Williams, a professional dog trainer,” Schubert said. “The classes are limited to 15 participants and there is a fee of $20.”

To reserve a spot at the Academy for your “best friend,” call 808-8898.

The grand prize for the Retrieving Retrievers event is a guided canoe day trip. Other prizes include one week boarding from Pike Animal Hospital, tee shirts, restaurant certificates and free coffee. Tickets are $1 each or six balls for for $5.

“Tickets purchased will buy participants tennis balls,” Schubert said. “Each ball will have a corresponding number on it. All the balls will be dumped into pile and a trained ‘retrieving retriever’ will select one of the balls and return it to his owner. The number on that ball will be the winner of the ‘barktastic’ prize.”

There’s no entrance fee for the Pet Parade and Contest at 12:15 p.m. The parade lineup includes the Rescue Parade, which is the honor parade of pet rescued from animal shelters.

The event will also include a costume parade, the best pet singing voice, the furriest, pet/owner look alike, the smallest pet, the largest pet and the pet with the longest tail.