I love my dog, but sometimes I hear about these fantastic dog-friendly events and it just makes me long for a friendly dog.
Not that Sensi is a horribly ferocious dog or anything. He’s a good boy, but he’s very fearful and gets overwhelmed easily by busy situations. His anxiety just puts these types of events out of reach for us.
But if you have a friendly dog, you might want to check out downtown Ferndale this Thursday night. The city’s Downtown Development Authority is hosting “Fido does Ferndale” and it sounds like an absolute riot.
This is the third time they’ve had the event, which is described as a “Dog-friendly shop and play occasion.”
In addition to the dog-friendly businesses, more than 30 dog-specific vendors will be on site and plenty of activities are planned throughout the evening. The event begins at 5 p.m. and runs to 9 p.m.
Here’s some highlights:
• The Pooch Parade will march down the sidewalks of W. 9 Mile Road at 6 p.m.
• A K-9 Treasure Hunt featuring dog goodies will lead canines and their humans through 20 downtown merchants from 7 to 9 p.m.
• Stop by AJ’s Cafe to share a reading about your pooch during “Open Mutt Mic” all evening.
• Musical performances, dog games, tricks and short informational sessions — including an “Ask the Trainer” session — will take place at Schiffer Park throughout the night.
• Pet photos, pet massages and even pet psychic readings will be available.
• Radio personality and animal-lover Lisa Lisa from 106.7 will make an appearance at Schiffer Park from 6 to 8 p.m.
The benefits of an event like this cannot be understated — and I’m not talking about benefits for you or for Ferndale’s businesses. Nope, I’m talking about your dog.
If Sensi was even slightly more even-keeled, I’d be bringing him down there for a good night of activity and socialization. Just the idea of having a bunch of dogs and owners in the same general area will bulk up your dog’s socialization bank. On top of that, you can practice good doggie etiquette inside businesses and in unfamiliar places.
And since this event requires all dogs to be leashed, it’s not like the dog park scenario where you have to worry that one off-kilter dog is going to have a disagreement with your pooch and all chaos breaks loose.
While we’re on the topic of leashes, I should clarify that at this event, you must have a NON-RETRACTABLE leash. Break out that old six-foot nylon leash and use that instead. In a situation where you have a lot of dogs and people around, it’s a good idea to leave the retractable leash at home anyhow. You’ll have much better control of your dog on the traditional six-foot lead and I commend Ferndale officials for realizing this and making it a rule.
Also, if you use a gentle leader or other anti-pull devices, this is a good situation to use them. Remember that harnesses enable pulling, so if you have a big strong dog, steer clear of the harness. It will only worsen the pulling situation. I highly recommend gentle leaders.
Lastly, this event has another great benefit — this time I’m talking about an animal shelter. Waggs & Wishes is Ferndale’s newest animal shelter and several fundraising activities will be available at the event to benefit the group. Waggs & Wishes will also have dogs currently up for adoption.
Go to this event and let me know how it went so I may live vicariously through you owners of friendly dogs!
For more information, check out fidodoesferndale.com.