April showers have brought May flowers, as well as a special treat for Santa Cruz County dog-lovers. The Annual Spring Dog Festival presented by the Coastal Dog Owners Group was on Sunday May 18th from 9AM- 2PM at Soquel High School. It featured events such as Working-Dog Demonstrations, Adoptable Dogs, Fun & Games and Vendors for all your doggie shopping needs. For the affordable admittance of $10 per dog and $5 per person the event was a fun and education way to learn about Canine Good Citizenship and our dogs’ roles in the community. The festival also brought a little bit of international flavor to our county, as group president and founder Sandi Pensinger described before the event: “The festival theme is ‘A World of Dogs.’ World themed games will provide fun and challenge… Costumes for the parade should have an international flair…Festival décor will feature colorful flags from many nations and participants will receive passports to be stamped at game booths.”
The event raised funds for many dog charities like: “Read to the Dog” child reading programs, affordable veterinary care, shelter supplies, and humane care education. Visitors enjoyed games including Wimbledon Tennis Ball Fetch, Le Mans Mini Rally Course, Parisian Paw Print Painting, Frankfurt Weenie Bobbing, Kissing Booth, Monaco Wheel of Fortune, Treasure Island Sniff & Hunt, Costume Contest, Pat-An-Adoptable Dog, Hawaii Surf Dog Photo Booth and the Fountain of Woof.
The festival also included public lure-coursing opportunities, a sport for dogs that involves chasing an artificial lure. The dogs get the excitement and exercise of full out running, while onlookers enjoy the thrill of the sport. Generally a lure course is between 500-1000 yards long. This year’s festival was a great success, and if you are a dog lover in Santa Cruz, you should definitely this fantastic event next year. Next year’s festival is scheduled for May 17th 2015, rain or shine. For details and tickets for next year’s festival call 888-682-6972 or visit coastaldogs.com