Penny Lane, meet Tiger. Tiger, meet Penny Lane.
As the nervous pug sniffed at the stocky black Labrador, their masters talked about the dogs and the importance of the 5th annual Stomp, Romp and Wag event held Wednesday.
“Penny Lane is really shy,” said Brianne Taylor, pre-vet student and Penny Lane’s owner. “So, it’s really important that she can get out and socialize.”
Doggie socializing was one goal of the event, along with informing people about the dangers pets face due to secondhand smoke, said Gwen Sieving, event organizer.
Taylor got her timid dog a year ago in her backyard in Arizona, where Penny Lane was found covered in ticks and hot spots.
“She was in really bad shape,” Taylor said. “But she’s much, much better now.”
Good enough, in fact, that she’ll bravely mingle with the big dogs.
“This event is great because it’s bringing people together in a positive way,” said pre-vet student and owner of Tiger, Caroline Davis.
Of course, it also brought canines together, and with over 250 dogs in attendance throughout the day, it was difficult for them not to socialize.
Porter, a muscular 5-year-old chocolate Lab, was so excited to meet and greet all of the other dogs that he started crying at the entrance, said Porter’s owner, Russ Thomason.
“Right now the dog ice cream is his favorite part, though,” Thomason said. “He’s very food oriented.”
This was Thomason’s first time attending the annual event. He came over on his lunch hour and said he was not disappointed with what he found.
“It’s really fun to bring your dog around other dogs,” he said.
Many of the dogs at the event had handkerchiefs tied around their necks that read “Think of your mutt, put out your butt,” which promoted the idea that people should stop smoking around their pets.
“If some people get the message about secondhand smoke and what it does to your dog, then the event is worth it,” Loretta Capla said, who is the owner of a black Labrador named Abby.
Some dog owners who attended the event were surprised at the numerous effects secondhand smoke has on their pets.
“I had no idea of all of these things that can happen because of secondhand smoke,” Taylor said. “It’s really surprising.”
News editor Jessi Stafford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.