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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment April 30, 2016

8/6/2014 9:29:00 AM
Sisters will go to the dogs this month
By Sue Stafford

Saturday, August 16, Sisters will be going to the dogs with the biggest party of the year for pets and people, the Second Annual Sisters Doggie Dash and Stroll, from 9 a.m. to noon at Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD).

This year's event, to benefit the Friends of the Sisters Library (FOSL), partnering with Furry Friends Foundation and SPRD, will offer a pet talent show, pet product vendors, food for people and pets, and demonstrations of various dog events and skills.

Starting at 9 a.m. participants will begin the 5K walk/run, and a few minutes later the two-mile walkers will depart. You can take part with or without your canine friend, and the events are open to all ages. To beat the heat, the well-marked route, starting and ending at SPRD, winds through shaded trails on the surrounding U.S. Forest Service land. There will be 10 wading pools placed around the SPRD grounds for dogs to drink and dip.

For those who don't have a dog, you can participate without, or borrow one from the animal shelter that will have dogs available for loan. Perhaps you will discover your new best friend who can be adopted on the spot. Not into walking/running? Browse the booths of the vendors who will be showcasing a variety of products for your four-footed friends. Throughout the morning the SPRD sports fields will be full of dogs demonstrating a number of different fun activities.

Bend Agility Action Dogs (BAAD) will have a full morning of member dogs demonstrating blasting through tunnels and jumps, scaling A-frames, and weaving through poles. BAAD members will explain what is happening and how dogs are trained for these activities, starting with foundation work when they are eight weeks old. There will be dogs of all sizes and abilities that will be cued by their owners as they maneuver the course together.

Jane and Wayne Schultz, of Sisters, who moved from Alaska two years ago, have been participating in agility activities with their border collies for 12 years. Twelve-year-old Jake is now retired but there are two 14-month-old pups currently in training and a nine-year-old who Jane will be working on the course. She encourages people to come out and watch the dogs and owners go through their paces.

"The agility competitors are a great group of people who are genuinely thrilled for each other's successes. I love doing it because it is good exercise for both me and my dog, a fun way to play that builds a stronger relationship with my dog." Besides being physical, agility is a mental game because the handler has to figure out the best plan to get the dog around the course correctly and quickly. The course is never the same, and handlers have only eight minutes to walk and memorize the course and then plan a strategy for the quickest way over the obstacles. Jane hopes to have her two pups ready to compete next fall in what she describes as a team sport - dog and handler.

Flyball, in which a dog triggers a lever to release a ball and then runs and catches it, will also be demonstrated. The Lure is a running course set up for dogs that like to chase things, the way greyhounds chase a mechanical rabbit. The Mt. Bachelor Kennel Club will be running mini-obedience classes on the grass west of the high school. The first one, at 8:30 a.m., will show owners the proper way to handle their dogs as they run/walk the Dash course.

Inside the SPRD building, a veterinarian from Bend Spay and Neuter Project will be holding a clinic offering vaccinations against rabies and distemper/parvo as well as micro-chipping.

Normally microchips are $25, but they and the vaccinations will each cost a bargain $15. Every patient will receive a free basic exam prior to vaccination.

Chiro4Critters will be onsite demonstrating animal spinal wellness. BrightSide Animal Center will be bringing adoptable dogs for people to meet and hopefully take home. Lead and Love Dog Rescue will be exhibiting dogs trained in search and rescue.

A special event at the Doggie Dash this year is the first-ever Dog Talent Contest, emceed by Nugget editor Jim Cornelius at 10 a.m. in a tent in the SPRD parking lot.

Talents can be anything from singing for treats to rolling over to giving a high-five. Whatever your dog's talent, come show it off, or just stop by to watch. All entries will be judged with prizes awarded for first, second, and third places.

Pre-registration forms for the talent contest are available at The Nugget office or you can register the day of the contest. The entry fee of $10 will benefit Furry Friends Foundation, whose mission is to provide food and services to pets in need. Call Jodi at 707-337-5047 for more information.

People food from Hop N Bean will be available for purchase starting at 8:30 a.m. with muffins, cookies, coffee and tea, then pulled pork sandwiches for lunch. Sisters community radio station KZSO (94.9 FM) will be broadcasting live from the Dash. Doggie Dash T-shirts, with logo by Kathy Deggendorfer, will be available for purchase for $8.

Raffle tickets selling for $1 each or 6 for $5 will enter the holder in drawings for a number of prizes, including a hand-painted portrait of your dog, two nights boarding at Paws and Claws, assorted dog-related equipment, and a professional photo shoot for your pet.

Early registration for the Doggie Dash/Run is available through August 14 for $25/participant or $50 for up to three participants. Register online at and click on the Sisters Doggie Dash tab, pick up a registration form at the Sisters Library or at SPRD and drop the completed application off at SPRD, or register the morning of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. Same-day registration will cost an additional $5.

All registrants receive a 2014 free membership to Friends of the Library. The first 100 who register will receive a 12-ounce stainless steel, wide-mouthed, insulated Hydro Flask water bottle with the Doggie Dash logo and a doggie goody bag of treats and toys.

Every participant must provide proof of current rabies vaccination (tag on collar) at check-in on Saturday morning starting at 7:30 a.m. All dogs must be on-leash at all times (no longer than 6 feet for the dash/stroll) and under the control of their handlers. Dogs must be at least 6 months old.

The net proceeds from this year's Doggie Dash will go to the Friends of the Sisters Library to help fund purchases to add to the library's collection of books and audio books. A percentage of the Dash proceeds and all net proceeds from the talent show go to Furry Friends Foundation.

For more information about the Dash or to be a vendor, contact Leanne Smith at or call 541-977-8285, or Steve Auerbach at or call 541-719-0478. SPRD is located at 1750 McKinney Butte Rd., west of Sisters High School.

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