Celebrate everything canine with us 3rd Annual Mutt Strut and Pet Fair
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By Mickey Zeldes  September 28, 2012 12:00 am


Join us for a celebration of everything canine at our third annual Mutt Strut and Pet Fair on Saturday, Sept.  29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Rohnert Park Community Center Plaza.  It’s going to be a fun event with something for everyone in the family – including the dog.

It’s amazing to watch a well-trained dog, and it can inspire you to do more with your own.  The fact dogs live in family (pack) units and want to please their leaders is what allows them to join our homes and want to work for us.  Never is this more true than watching assistance dogs do their stuff.  These dogs are trained with more than 100 commands of useful things like “open the fridge,” “turn off the lights,” “pick up my keys” and other things that can make a huge difference in the lives of the disabled.  Come watch these dogs show off when Bergin U does an assistance dog demo.  Of course, police K9’s are highly trained working dogs, and Cotati Officer Chris Kaupe will show off the skills of his partner, Koda, in both protection work and narcotic searches.  Nothing is more exciting than a well-trained protection dog “taking down” a bad guy.

Bully breeds often get a bad reputation for their strength and muscular physique.  Marvel at how much weight these dogs can pull in a demonstration put on by Dirty Dog Fitness Club.  Learn more about the positive side of these dogs at the Sonoma County Responsible About Pitbull (SCRAP) booth and meet some true ambassadors of the breed.

Think your dog has a handle on basic obedience?  Watch a few representatives from County-Wide Dog Training Club go through a rally run, and then try your dog’s paws out on the fun course.  Hmmm, time for a refresher class?  There will be several trainers promoting their classes so you can find one that fits your schedule.

Does your dog do a cute trick?  Enter our Best Trick contest and show off.  There will also be a Best Costume contest, so bring your pet’s cutest outfit.  Children who love their dog will want to enter the Kid’s Best Friend contest, where everyone is a winner.  There will be a face painter and a Kid’s Place activity area to keep little hands busy.

Was your dog adopted from the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter?  We love seeing our adoption alumni and will honor them (and you) during our alumni parade.  There is nothing we love more than seeing our former residents happy in their adopted homes and hearing the happy endings.  Speaking of which, a few of our new residents will be walking around hoping to catch the eye of someone who could add just one more to their family.

This is a five-hour event, so you’re sure to get hungry at some point.  There will be food vendors selling Mexican food, pizza, hot dogs (veggie options will be available) and more.  We made sure to have a kettle corn booth (my favorite) to keep with the fair theme. There will also be beer and wine available.  You can shop till you drop in our vendor village, where pet related crafts and supplies will be available. Many animal non-profits will have booths to get you acquainted with their organizations.

The raffle is huge this year, with lots of wonderful things to win – gift certificates to various restaurants, wine sets and tastings, pet-related items and more.  Be sure to check out the raffle area and buy tickets; there’s sure to be something there that you (or your dog) would like to win.

It’s not too late to enter the dog walk – just $15 to strut your mutt around the easy one-mile creek path loop.  For $50, you can get an event T-shirt and a goodie bag full of samples, small gifts and coupons.  This fundraiser benefits the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. 

It’s a full day of celebrating everything canine and we certainly hope you will join us.  It’s guaranteed to be fun for the whole family – including the dog.

Upcoming Events: 
Animal Talk – Adult-education workshops offered once a month on a variety of topics.  Does your dog think his name is “No, No, Bad Dog?”  Learn some tips on dealing with common dog problems on Wed, Oct. 10, from 6:30-8 p.m.  Registration is $10. Stop by the RP Animal Shelter to sign up.  For a full schedule go to: rpanimalshelter.org.

Bunny Day – The second Saturday of each month (next one is Oct. 13), 1-5:30 p.m. at the shelter.  Meet our adorable adoptable rabbits, have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable volunteers, bring your bunny for a free nail trim, and shop our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, fun toys and fabulous deals on supplies.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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