It's almost my birthday! Since it's on a Monday this year, John and I are observing it this weekend with some fun activities. The first: Pawlooza, a dog festival with tons of activities and vendors for all things dog related. They have everything; an off leash play area with a pond, a lure course, agility demos and an agility course for guests to try, a bunch of open water and streams for dogs to play in and get a drink, and vendors with every pet related product you can think of. The festivities started at 10:30 and we tried to get there as close to the start as possible. But as soon as we parked, I realized that everyone else had the same idea. There were hundreds of people and their dogs there.
From the start we could tell that Pawlooza was exceptionally well run. Parking attendants guided us to our spot, others directed us to the main festival grounds, and everything ran on time per their schedule of events.
We started off with the lure course, since it already had a decent sized line and we wanted to get a chance for Bo to run before things got too busy. While in line, we ran into several other greyhounds. It amazes me how big they are! Bo is smaller than any greyhound we've met so far.
We also saw a greyhound run the lure course ahead of us (that's him below). He didn't seem to be running full out and he was still flying! I was nervous for Bo to run the lure course because I didn't want her to get hurt; I also thought she just might not get what she was supposed to do. Fortunately, she only spent a few seconds wandering around before she spotted the lure and she was on the move. And she was beautiful! I think it put her in a great mood for the rest of the day. She loved getting to run again like that.
Then we headed into the vendor area to explore.
We met up with our friends, Samantha and Adam, and their dog, Donna. We explored the festival together for the better part of the morning.
We saw little dogs.
[Sidenote: I was impressed with these chinese cresteds in their Seuss shirts, since they pretty much already look like characters out of a Dr. Seuss book.]
And we saw big dogs. I saw more great danes and bull mastiffs today than I have in my whole life.
And these big fluffy ones were really friendly while we were in the falafel line.
What with all the ponds and streams, Bo had plenty of opportunities to swim. She welcomed it in the hot weather. I still can't believe how she takes to water. She's like a fish in a dog costume!
Greyhounds only have about 15% body fat, and they're not natural swimmers. Maybe it was the heat, but Bo was all about the water. I'm all the more excited to taker her to the beach for the first time.
We took breaks from swimming time to walk around and look at all the booths.
We watched some dogs participate in the dock diving contest.
Some dogs balked at the end of the dock, but this german shepherd followed the ball all the way into the lake. The guy in the kayak was there to help dogs know where to go after jumping in, and to retrieve tennis balls that went unclaimed by the dogs.
Then Bo was back in the water, making friends.
And just splashing around.
We had such a nice time at this festival. Everything about it was so well organized - even the port-potties were cleaner than usual and came with actual sinks. The whole festival is run by volunteers and 100% of the entry fee ($10 per vehicle) goes to rescue charities. Pawlooza has events all around the U.S. and Canada, so they may have a festival near you! I know Bo will be happy to return next year.