Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dog and Pony Show

By Brianne Harrison

Animals do so much for us—acting as faithful companions, providing seemingly limitless love and affection, and occasionally giving us a good laugh—that it’s nice when we can do a little something for them, or help those who are less fortunate. This weekend, there are opportunities to do both.

On August 28, Fido’s Festival USA kicks off its Tropical Pooch Paradise at the Salem County Fairgrounds in Woodstown. This all-inclusive dog festival will feature a parade, Frisbee contest, and a beach comber costume competition where the “best in show-off” will be crowned. If your dog’s in the mood for romance, he or she can check out the “scratch and sniff” matchmaking area—a precursor to a mass dog wedding, to be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. The festival’s organizers are attempting to set a new world record for most dog couples “married” simultaneously. Participating canine couples will receive a wedding treat, and their owners will be entered in drawings for prizes that include a vacation at the Canine Club Getaway in the Catskills and a dog photography package.

For the humans, the festival will also have agility and training, patrol dog, and sled dog demonstrations; presentations by animal experts; and vendor booths with plenty of shopping opportunities. If you want to make a weekend of it (the festival runs through August 30), there are three nearby hotels that are pet friendly, and the fairgrounds offer camping in RVs or tents.

For those looking for a night out, Gladstone Tavern is extending its popular Take Your Dog to Dinner event to this weekend. Kick back on the patio and treat your furry family members to a bowl of homemade beef stew while you dig into one of the Tavern's delicious, seasonal offerings. Money raised from the event will benefit the homeless animals at St. Hubert's Shelter. St. Hubert's, incidentally, has recently rescued more than 100 young dogs from puppy mills in the midwest and is looking for homes for them. If you or a friend are looking for a pet, you'd do well to give them a try.

Equine lovers should head to the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown on August 29 for ReRun’s 8th Annual Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show. ReRun is a non-profit organization that retrains Thoroughbred ex-racehorses and offers them for adoption. The show will both raise money for the charity and give the retrained horses an opportunity to showcase their new talents. Classes will be offered in Dressage, Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation, and Pleasure divisions. The day will end with a “Battle of the Breeds” division that will pit Thoroughbreds against Standardbreds (who have their own fundraising show at the Horse Park on August 30). The entry fees for the division will be donated to the organization of the winning breed.

For more information, visit fidosfestivalusa.com and rerun.org

No comments: