Dogs galore 

Annual parade, doggie events raise money for local shelter

Love, and a bit with a dog, that’s what they like.”

– Henslowe, in Shakespeare in Love


By Vivian Moreau

You know how your spaniel starts to howl every time you sing Feelings? You can share that unusual trick with the world and raise some money for Whistler’s animal shelter at the same time next weekend as part of Whistler’s 11 th annual dog festival, just one highlight in the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Two days of trick dogs, dancing dogs, and showing off dogs are just some of the events planned by canine-lover Kathleen Duffy, who has organized the event for the past five years.

“I love doing it,” Duffy said from Nova Scotia, where she is visiting her ailing mom. “Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m nuts about dogs.”

Including the always popular noon-time parade that starts at Town Plaza and has seen up to 200 dogs and owners in the past, the two days will include demonstrations from the 10-canine Vancouver-based Paws Ahead champion agility team as well as presentations from the Paws 2 Dance troupe. For locals there will be best dog trick and naughty dog contests.

Visitors and residents who stop by the events, that will run from noon to 4:30 Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, can donate funds to Whistler’s animal shelter at a nearby booth manned by Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) staff.

Whistler resident Christine Cuthbert will be walking with Teddy, a five-month old Shepherd/Husky cross she adopted a month ago from WAG. Cuthbert who grew up in Ontario and always had a dog in her family, has been dogless since she moved to Whistler five years ago. But now with a steady job at Nesters liquour store and just a short walk home the time is right to own a dog again. She’s already taught Teddy to sit, lie down, and walk off leash and his ability to shake a paw and high five might gain him a spot on the dog podium, which will feature prizes such as an $80 dog bed, pottery from Garlic Mountain potter and a feast of dog treats and toys. As long as no children walk by, that is.

“He just loves little kids and that’s the only time I have a hard time keeping him from being distracted,” Cuthbert said.

WAG’s $150,000 annual budget comes from community enrichment grants, donations, gifts in kind, adoption fees and other smaller fundraisers held throughout the year. Monies raised from the two-day event will go toward critical care emergency funds and general operating funds.


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