San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Canine Festival Honors the Mixed Mutt

DOZENS and dozens of dogs, along with dog owners and admirers, met to enjoy the seventh annual canine festival sponsored by the National Association for the Protection of Animals (ANPA), held March 7 at RooseveltPlaza in the eastern suburb of San Pedro.

Dogs ranged from a miniature poodle pup that fit in the palm of a hand to a huge honey-colored English Mastiff named Pavarotti. Some dogs could trace their lineage; others were a little of this and a little of that. And they were all beautiful and the pride of their owners.

Activities began with a demonstration of training and obedience by the A Team, a group of dogs – all types – and owners who meet weekly for exercises. Veterinarian trainer Dr. Marí Carmen Marín gave the commands and put the dogs through their paces, explaining that even older dogs can learn new tricks, although it was obvious that one or two thought they were the class clowns.

IN another area, Don Fr ancisco and his black Labrador did acrobatics and tricks, and a fly ball competition showed who were the champions at running down a chute full of obstacles to retrieve tennis balls. Talent contests showed how dogs can count and bark up to 10 and do sideways somersaults. The dog-owner look-alike contest was mostly a fashion show with dogs and owners in matching outfits, although one women got down on her hands and knees and woofed with her dog.

They won.

The human crowd enjoyed booths with doggy duds, grooming products, dog furniture and houses and a grand cachi vachi with rummage for everyone. Aminiclinic offered vaccinations and many dogs lined up for a shot at them. A cafeteria run by volunteers included a vegetarian section for those who love animals too much to eat them.

The most popular activity of the day was the kennel with dogs from ANPA’s shelter and Casa de Adopciones. About 40 went to real homes and families. Some dogs had been abandoned and others had been at the shelter for years. Only genuine dog-loving and caring people were allowed to fill out the questionnaires and select a pet.

ANPA’S aim is to promote adoptions of mixed breeds, population control and respect for animals. It offers spaying clinics around Costa Rica and publishes Guaus y Miaus, a magazine with photos and articles on pets.

For more info on these services or volunteer programs call 255-3757.


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