Thursday, April 15, 2010

Showin' off at the Pet Expo

Last weekend Cory and I went to the Everything Pets Expo downtown at the convention center. We had never been before. Parking was a bit tight especially as there was a Reds game going on at the same time, but we eventually were able to find a spot, drag all our stuff through the parking garage and down the street, and made it on time. Cory was unfazed by the sights and the sounds of the city- except he thought it would be fun to chase the pigeons.

The Pet Expo goes on for three days and includes agility, flyball and dock dog demos, booths selling every kind of pet product imaginable, and lots of rescues with animals available for adoption. There were auditions to be on David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" and America's Top Dog Model. The dog below was one of my favorite sights of the weekend; his owner was participating in one of the "creative grooming" demos. Being a big Bengal fan, this one has to go in my keeper file!

He was not the only dog all dolled up for the event. The general public is not allowed to bring their pets, but between all the demos and the rescue booths there were LOTS of animals there. Between the Bengals dog and the poodle below, Cory was starting to feel underdressed!

One of the booths was manned by the CARE center of Cincinnati, one of the referral centers we use frequently. They offer 24/7 critical care abilities as well as specialists in a multitude of disciplines and we are very lucky to have them so readily available.

For those like Cory who came underdressed, no need to fear. You could fully outfit your dog in one of many appropriate outfits for the day. Cory decided on general principles that he would continue to appear "au natural".

The expo was aimed at ALL types of pets, not just dogs. Some people were a bit startled by the appearance of the critter below right next to them.

Looking at all the displays of cool collars always makes me so jealous of people who can put them on their dogs and actually SEE them. My dogs are so hairy that it's a waste of money. But that doesn't keep me from window shopping....

There were also booths selling all kinds of animal art and neat gifts. A new store called "Indigenous" in O'Bryanville is owned by the people who used to have "A Show of Hands" at Kenwood and is art done by local artists. They brought a terrific selection of their animal related items and I can see I am going to have to make a trip there soon.

One of the big exhibits is the Dock Dogs demo. It is a huge crowd favorite and lots of fun to watch. In addition to the experienced dogs, they allowed some of the other dogs who wanted to to participate. I think Cory might actually like this- he likes the water, unlike my two previous shelties. However, in the interest of keeping him looking good for his own demos we elected to pass this time.

I didn't want to use a flash, so my action shots are not the best, but I thought they were still kind of fun even if blurry.

It reminded me of the dolphin shows in Florida- if you stand too close to the pool you're going to get wet!

If you look closely at the picture below you can see a big open mouth going for the bumper in the middle of the splash!

Hamilton County SPCA had their van there with animals available for adoption.

A horse rescue had three week old foals on display.

The Cincinnati Police brought some of their mounted units in. They were corraled right next to the main demo ring and watched the agility with interest!

There were demos with frisbee dogs as well; my action shots of these were just no good with the slow shutter speed due to the low light.

The purpose of Cory and I attending was to participate in the demos put on by Queen City Dog Training Club. We did mostly agility demos throughout the weekend. It was a great chance for the dogs to get in a little practice with a high level of distraction, but without the pressure of a real trial.
Maryann and Edge below did a great job in the relay races.

Connie and her dobie helped to keep her team in the thick of it.

Mary Jo and Jamie were flying!

Cory and I both really enjoyed the agility relay races. We set up two identical, side by side courses consisting of jump-weave-jump-tunnel and back and had teams of four run each course simultaneously. The dogs had a BLAST- we typically don't run head to head in real trials, the courses were short with all the emphasis on speed, and Cory thought he had died and gone to doggy Disneyland. I was very happy with his weave pole entries which are still a work in progress, but he did fairly well hitting them at speed.

Sharon and Baylin enjoyed themselves as well- they are Cory's favorite tracking buddies.

Linda and Freya were zooming too!

We thoroughly enjoyed our Pet Expo experience. If you have a chance to go next year, come on down- especially if you have any interest in finding some fun activities to do with your own dog. All of the dogs demoing there are primarily pets; those of us who are addicted do pick our next dog with competition in mind, but these dogs are for the most part every day dogs who snooze on the couch all day and get to play at this one or two nights a week and on weekends. There is something fun for everyone, no matter where your interests lie. Your dog will love it!

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