- Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:51
- Published on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:51
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Who let the dogs out? On Saturday, the parade field at the base at Dahlgren appeared to be a swarming sea of fur-bearing critters eager to showcase their athletic appeal. Labrador retrievers, poodles, pit bulls, bulldogs, great danes, and nearly every breed of dog along with their families came out to the first annual Morale Welfare & Recreation (MWR) Dog Gone Family Fun Day. From beginning to end, it was a festival of canine jubilation.
In an effort to spread the joy of canine education, numerous animal-friendly vendors were invited to the bark in the park extravaganza.
Thrilled with the huge turnout, MWR recreation director, Alice Stanton said, “We wanted to do something family-friendly for the families on the base. The event provided information for nutrition, canine health, police protection, and adoptions.”
After a brisk one-mile run through the neighborhoods of the base, dogs and their owners were given an opportunity to showcase their agility skills on the obstacle course. King George resident, and Fancy & Friends Therapy Dogs president Sue Coleman and her assistant, King George Elementary School student, Abigale Sites assisted each dog and family member through the course of barrels, tire jumps, walk-it boards, and puppy jumps. While some dogs quickly made their way through the course, others were a bit tentative.
Thrilled to have her dogs participate, Coleman said, “Among the many community activities that we participate in are visits to the hospitals, Reading Paw Program at Sealston and King George Elementary School, Heritage Hall, the King George Farmer’s Market Reading Program and the YMCA Healthy Kids Day.”
Coleman’s therapy dogs are all certified through Therapy Dogs Inc. Currently, there are 13 members in her organization. Sites, also a member of the King George 4-H Club said, “I like working with our dogs and I love the community service part of it.”
Other vendors who attended the event included the Charles County Humane Society, Veterinary Care with Dr. Monica Aukward DVM, Bully Paws, First Animal Rescue League, Balloons First, Safe Harbor, King George Veterinary Clinic with Dr. John Niznik, Dr. Pauline Knowles, DVM (Mobile Veterinarian), King George County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, Wounded Warriors, Music DJ and Paw Prints.
The event also featured face painting and kid-friendly dog interactive events such as taking a photo with your dog, and the beagle belly bounce.