A Day for the Dogs

This past weekend, my local park turned into an all-out dog show when the radio station, 102.9 MGK put on their annual Debella Dog Walk. Hundreds of dogs were present, yet each one was unique. One brave pig even showed up, but I doubt there was a single cat nearby.

As the station’s Website explained, “The DeBella Dog Walk is a FREE, outdoor gathering for people and their dogs, those looking to adopt, and those seeking info about particular breeds. Its aim is to teach people how to be better pet owners and to educate the public about the work of non-profit rescue groups and shelters.”  

A number of breeds were represented by volunteers who manned tables of information about their organizations. I don’t know if any pups found a home that day, but I’m hoping that these loving animals are all soon matched with owners who need their companionship.

Radio host, John Debella, seemed to enjoy the dogs as much as anyone. There were dog trick contests, working dog demonstrations, and even a shortest tail contest. As it turned out, my good friend Patti won a nice bag of prizes when her French Bulldog, Augie, won the contest with his three-eighths-of-an-inch stub.

But most striking of all was the variety. Dogs that looked like their owners. Dogs who pulled their owners. Dogs with long hair. Dogs with no hair. Dogs who were well behaved and some that were overwhelmed by the whole thing. Of course, I fancied some breeds more than others. This is why, when adding a canine to your family, it’s important to find a breed that best matches your style.

I suspect the park maintenance crew had a few messes to contend with after it was over, but I saw most people cleaning up after their furry friends. After all, the point of the event was to teach people to be better pet owners and that includes doing the dirty work.

Besides the few shots I’ve posted here, you can find a ton more at the station’s Website, including one of Augie’s tail.

Medium Hairless named Kramer wasn’t too sure about being passed to my friend Michele (left)…

…but Kramer calmed down quickly.

It seemed as if the canines outnumbered the humans.

You can’t see his tail here, but Augie (right) took a break in the shade after the big win. A fan stopped by to congratulate him.

People and their dogs for as far as the eye could see.

I thought this was a puppy, but the owner told me the Miniature Collie is 13 years old.

It wasn’t a very hot day, but some dogs never miss a chance to cool off.

Boxers seemed to be very popular.

My departed old friend was part Greyhound, so my heart was drawn to this quiet breed.

A lot of dogs wore their favorite bandanas.

Like little kids, some wanted to play with the merchandise…

…while others walked obediently with their owners.

The decision to get a pet can be tough. Owning one is a serious responsibility. But I bet anyone who was at the dog walk this Sunday would be sure to tell you, the benefits outweigh the work. Adopting one can be a cure for loneliness — both yours and theirs.