Lifestyle

Poochapalooza returns to Strawberry Fields for Rover July 14

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Dog Owners Group is inviting fellow dog owners and their pooches to the sixth annual Marysville Poochapalooza outdoor dog event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, at the Strawberry Fields Athletic Park, located at 6100 152nd St. NE in Marysville, home of the Strawberry Fields for Rover Off-Leash Park. Poochapalooza aims to feature canines at their best and brightest, like a county fair for dogs.

A $5 suggested donation to enter provides "wag bags" to the first 400 visitors, with all proceeds supporting the off-leash park maintained by M-DOG.

"At Poochapalooza, it's all about the dogs," said Leslie Buell, M-DOG president and Poochapalooza founder, who was inspired to start the event by her own adopted pup, Lucky Puppy, a Patterdale Terrier whose life took a turn for the better when she brought him home from the Everett Animal Shelter after his young life of foraging dumpsters in the city's back alleys.

Poochapalooza this year will again go high fashion with the popular Fashions and Rescues Runway Show, mixing country charm with urban chic. The show will feature adoptable dogs modeling the latest eye-catching fashions live on the catwalk, rechristened the "dogwalk" for the occasion. Top Seattle models will escort dogs from six rescue groups. At last year's premier event, 16 dogs were adopted. The fashion show is free, but limited VIP tickets are available for $10 for special catwalk seating, which also includes a "swag bag," cupcakes, cake, refreshments and other treats.

But there's more to Poochapalooza than fashion. Plenty of competitions, activities and interactive demonstrations will be staged to enable dogs to try their paws at something new, including dancing, Flyball, wacky pet contests, doggy pie-eating contests, Canine Good Citizen Testing, nail clipping, scent demonstrations and even just taking in live music. Additionally, more than four dozen pet-related vendors will be on site so that attendees can snoop for bargains.

The crowd favorite Emerald City K-9 Freestyle Dancers and their talented dogs will return with their musical freestyle canine dancing, that blends obedience, costumed themes, music and dance in ways designed to be visually exciting, and to demonstrate handler and dog teamwork.

Seattle FlyDogs will exhibit their love of Flyball, an extreme sport that appeals to dogs that thrive on speed and action. FlyDogs members are certified teachers and trainers, who will provide demonstrations and free introductory evaluations to gauge whether dogs are Flyball naturals.

Dogs with hidden talents can enter "Best in Show" contests including Best Kisser, Best Voice, Wackiest Pet Trick and Pooch Pie-Eating Contests. The contest donation cost is $5 for one contest, or $10 for unlimited contests, excluding the Pooch Pie-Eating Contest, which is $10. Winning dogs will receive special ribbons and goodies. Visit the Poochapalooza website at http://poochapalooza.org for forms and the schedule.

Catering to their meat and dessert-loving cravings, Poochapalooza is looking for canines with hearty appetites to compete in pie-eating contests scheduled at 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., with separate divisions for big and small dogs. The pie-eating contests are sponsored and emceed by Dining Dog Café and Bakery of Edmonds and owner Dorothy Moore.

Among the day's other activities, Canine Good Citizens Testing will be offered to interested fair-goers and their pets, while K9 Nose Work and their dogs will be on site to provide scent demonstrations, showcasing their dogs' amazing sense of smell.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase from the Marysville Kiwanis Club and other vendors. Parking is free. Rare Birds and Rosemary will provide live music from 4-5 p.m.

Buell reiterated that money raised at Poochapalooza will go to support needs at the city's off-leash park, Strawberry Fields for Rover. The three-acre park draws averages of 12,000 visitors and 17,000 dogs a year.

"Too many visitors to the off-leash park don't realize that our nonprofit M-DOG is solely responsible for maintenance of the park, not the city's Parks and Recreation Department that cares for all the rest of the parks system," Buell said. "That’s why we depend on the support."

For more information about Poochapalooza, contact Buell at 360-651-0633, email labuell@frontier.com, visit the website at http://poochapalooza.org or "like" us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/poochapalooza.

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