MARYSVILLE — Hundreds of dogs and their human parents visited Strawberry Fields Athletic Park on Saturday, July 13, for the seventh annual Poochapalooza.
Hailed as being “like a county fair for dogs,” Poochapalooza offered a variety of vendors selling canine-related goods including healthy dog snacks, handmade leashes and collars, designer doggie outfits, brushes and more. Several shelters and rescue groups from across Washington brought adoptable dogs to the event in the hopes of finding them new homes.
Poochapalooza is hosted by the Marysville Dog Owners Group (M-DOG), which puts on the fashion and rescues runway show, a popular portion of the event which puts rescue dogs in canine styles from Chicken ‘n Noodles, Chloe & Bess Hand Crafted Collars and Accessories and Doxie s’WAG. The dogs were all adoptable on-site and traveled from the Northwest Organization for Animal Help, the Northwest Boxer Rescue, Camano Animal Shelter Association, Bulldog Haven NW, Old Dog Haven, Seattle Pug Rescue and Homeward Pet Adoption Center to find their forever homes by strutting their stuff on four paws in front of the crowd.
Dave Sumner of Arlington brought his two chihuahua mixes for the first time and said they were having a blast.
“It’s nice to be able to take them someplace where it’s all about them,” he said. “Usually you can’t take your dogs to a lot of festivals and fairs in the summer, so it’s fun for us to be outside, enjoying the weather and interacting with other dogs and their owners.”
Poochapalooza once again offered a Best in Show contest, with categories including Best Costume, Best Voice, Best Kisser, Highest Jumper, Wackiest Pet Trick, Biggest Dog, Smallest Dog and Cutest Ugly Dog, and the Pooch Pie Eating Contest hosted by the Dining Dog Cafe and Bakery in Edmonds.
Webster, an everything mix, enjoyed the event while wearing a stylish camouflage outfit and a pair of shades. Makena Welsh, Webster’s pet parent, heard about Poochapalooza in a newsletter on pet-friendly events and thought about visiting for the first time. As a rescue dog, Webster was able to show off his style in the fashion show and his speed in the Dachshund races.
“It’s not his first time showing. I actually do 4-H with him,” said Welsh, who noted that the family and Webster had just visited the Dining Dog Cafe and Bakery in Edmonds the day before Poochapalooza.
Makena’s mom, Shaela Welsh, said Webster was made for being a show dog. “He wears sunglasses and outfits, and he even goes on skateboards at home,” she said. “He can do anything you ask.”
The Running of the Wieners was a new addition to Poochapalooza this year, inviting any and all Dachshunds and mixes to race for the title of “Fastest Weiner Dog.”
Other speed and agility shows included a flying disc tournament and regular demonstrations of Flyball by Seattle FlyDogs, which drew spectators of both canine and human varieties for the agility course. Visiting dogs were encouraged to try passing the Canine Good Citizen Testing offered on-site.
Leo McKenna visited Poochapalooza for the first time with his son-in-law’s boxer Tiberius, and said he enjoyed the dog-friendly event.
“Tiberius is a little confused, I think,” he laughed. “But I’m enjoying it and I would definitely come back again.”
With a $5 donation, the first 400 Poochapalooza attendees received a goodie bag and proceeds from the donations went to M-DOG to support Marysville’s off-leash dog park, Strawberry Fields for Rover.
For more information on Poochapalooza, visit www.poochapalooza.org.