Dr. Burns, Natasha, Shea, and I spent yesterday morning at the R. Scott Detherage Kid’s Safety Day, sponsored by the Basha’s that anchors Vista del Oro, the shopping center the hospital is located in. The event had a great turnout despite gray skies early on; we were joined by local police and fire agencies, a talking schoolbus named Buster (who got into a barking match with Rana at one point!), and other local businesses with child safety messages to share. Together with Rana, Archie, Natasha’s dogs Cleo and Bubbas, and Shea’s pooches Dixie and Sunny, we talked to kids and parents about dog bite prevention and general pet topics. We had a great time, but all day I had this nagging feeling that I’d let you all down by not posting about the event in advance. In penance, I thought I’d write today about some upcoming events for pets and people here in the Valley.
OK, short notice on this one, but the Heart to Heart Pet-a-Rama, a 2-mile fun walk (with or without dogs) to raise awareness about canine heart disease, is scheduled to begin at 9 AM today. Started by the owner of a dog who underwent open-heart surgery at Colorado State University’s veterinary school (CSU, where most veterinary students from Arizona receive their veterinary training), this event is a fundraiser to benefit research and treatment of animal heart disease at CSU.
On March 1st, Gabriel’s Angels brings its fundraising Walk-A-Thon and beach party to Cosmo Dog Park in Gilbert. Gabriel’s Angels is a local organization whose “Pet Therapy Teams offer unconditional love, teach respect, empathy and trust to children who have been victims of abuse or are at risk of abuse” in Valley crisis nurseries and shelters. Participation in the walk requires registration, and walkers are also encouraged to participate in a pledge drive to help raise additional funds for this deserving charity.
Two weekends later (March 15th and 16th), Gabriel’s Angels will be among many participants at Pet Fest AZ at WestWorld in Scottsdale. This event promises “shopping, discovering new products, good food, entertainment and activities all in a pet-friendly atmosphere.” They have a number of great events lined up, including demonstrations by frisbee dogs, agility, Dachshund (“wiener dog”) races, flyball, Splash Dogs, and a reptile exhibit by Phoenix Herpetological Society. Exhibitors include many rescue groups, pet food and product manufacturers and retailers, and pet-related service groups and charities.
The city of Gilbert is holding its annual Kid’s Spring Fair & Expo at Freestone Park on Saturday, April 5th. 4,000 to 5,000 kids and their parents are expected to attend this event, packed with fun activities including a Pet Arena for entertainment, local animal rescue groups, inflatable activities and games for kids, a free craft zone, and a special appearance by Doggies of the Wild West. While we haven’t finalized our schedule, Priority Pet Hospital is considering taking our dog bite awareness message “on the road” for this event, which will allow us to meet many children and their folks. I won’t let you down this time; our readers will be among the first to know when any decision to attend is made!
I hope you’lll excuse me for not posting about the Kid’s Safety Day; sometimes it’s tough to be a doctor, a new business owner, a bookkeeper, a pet parent, a blogger, etc., etc., all at once! I will do my best to keep you up-to-date in the future. Please feel free to use our comments section to post any other local pet-related events taking place in the next few months; we’d love to hear what YOUR favorite group is up to!