Pet lovers prevail at Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival

 

The second annual Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival was held over the weekend at the Libro Centre and included the return of the Ultimate Air Dogs show. Brian Anderson of Whitby and his dog Kenji were among the participants.

The second annual Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival was held over the weekend at the Libro Centre and included the return of the Ultimate Air Dogs show. Brian Anderson of Whitby and his dog Kenji were among the participants.

Cathy Payne walks her dog Morgan into the Libro Centre Saturday  afternoon. Morgan is the largest female dog in the world. Zeus, the largest dog in the world, was also at last  weekend’s Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival.

Cathy Payne walks her dog Morgan into the Libro Centre Saturday
afternoon. Morgan is the largest female dog in the world. Zeus, the largest dog in the world, was also at last
weekend’s Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival was a hit with pet owners once again this year.

The pets, mainly dogs, and their owners turned out in full force at the Libro Centre over the weekend for the second annual festival. The Ultimate Air Dogs returned, as did the Border City Barkers dog agility team with other features of this year’s festival being the return of Zeus, the world’s largest dog, with Morgan, the world’s largest female dog being added for this year. A lure coursing track was set up for dog owners to try as dogs were invited to chase an object through the course. Vendors, pony rides, demonstrations and other pet related activities also comprised this year’s festival.

Festival director Lorene Clayton said things ran smoother this year than last.

“We’ve got a better handle on things this year,” she said. “We have a larger volunteer force this year which is awesome.”

Last year’s success paid dividends, she believed, as it helped spread the word of the festival.

“I just think people want to have fun with a charitable twist,” said Clayton. “It’s just a lot of fun. They are really happy here. People are relaxed. They’ve got their best friend at their side. What more could you want?”

A multitude of breeds was seen at the festival and Clayton stated the festival attracts both young and old.

“It just crosses all demographics,” she said. “I think what draws people to the festival is not the new events but the chance to go out in public with their dogs.”

Clayton thanked the community for supporting the festival and the staff at the Libro Centre, which she said was “phenomenal.”

While Zeus was at the Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival last year, it was the first year for Morgan and her owners Dave and Cathy Payne of Mount Brydges.

“She’s our gentle giant,” said Dave. “We refer to her quite often as that because she really is.”

Cathy said their Great Dane is 38.6-inches at the shoulder, which makes her the world record holder. Morgan assumed the title Jan. 9, 2013.

Their six-year-old dog now tips the scales at 208 lbs., a size the Paynes didn’t expect when they first got her. Morgan’s mother was 110 lbs. and the couple noted Morgan passed her weight at six months when she weighed in at 120 lbs.

The Paynes travel a maximum of roughly two hours each way with Morgan, meaning they don’t come much farther south of Mount Brydges than Amherstburg. They also go as far as Toronto. Cathy said they do events for animal rescue groups as well as visiting nursing homes and schools. To travel with Morgan, they have to use a van with all the seats taken out in the back, she added.

Dan Inverarity of Colchester brought his dogs Ridge and Joey to the Ultimate Air Dogs event. He said they not only come to Woof-a-Roo, but they travel as far as London, Toronto and Ottawa for similar events.

“(Ridge) has fun and we have fun. You meet people. It’s something to do,” said  Inverarity. “He’s in the water all the time.”

Brian Anderson of Whitby and his dog Kenji also took part in Ultimate Air Dogs. Anderson noted Kenji’s best jump is 22-feet, 10-inches.

Kenji was a rescue dog, Anderson added, as he was found at three months old abandoned in an apartment.

Anderson added they travel almost every weekend in the summer.

“It’s fun,” he said.

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