Kingston's Country Pet Shoppe celebrates PAW-Fest

Fenris, a combination of interesting breeds, is welcome at PAW-Fest. - Courtesy Photo
Fenris, a combination of interesting breeds, is welcome at PAW-Fest.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

KINGSTON — From the longest tongue to the floppiest ears to the waggliest tail, PAW-Fest wants to see Kingston’s favorite pooches.

July 26, the Country Pet Shoppe is putting on the first PAW-Fest to celebrate dogs and their people in Mike Wallace park at the Port of Kingston. They’re hoping the event will be an annual one.

“All the kids are real excited,” said Missi Hoyt, dog groomer for the shoppe. “There are costume contests so the kids can get involved too and a canine crooners contest where they get their dogs to howl.”

More than 40 booths are scheduled to set up in the park, including pet portraits, pet massage, nail trims, toothbrushing and pet sitters.

Demonstrations of agility, obedience, dog behavior and preventative bite work will also show throughout the day, said Stephanie Stebbing, PAW-Fest coordinator and Country Pet Shoppe president.

Contests include everything from a dog show to a canine crooner contest — the idea, Stebbing said, originated from an Alaskan malamute she had that would sit next to her and howl whenever Stebbing played the flute.

There will also be a best dressed contest for awesome costumed duos such as Dorothy and Toto or Batman and Robin.

Laura Daugereau, locally famous for racing in the Iditarod Race in Alaska, will also be there with one of her sled dogs.

Hoyt said she personally is looking forward to the dachshund races.

“That’s the fun of it — a bunch of stubby-legged, floppy-eared dogs running across the lawn,” she said.

The festivities are planned as a big anniversary of sorts, as the Pet Shoppe reaches its 10 years in business.

“We thought, why not make it a true party for the community?” Stebbing said. “I’ve been living and breathing this now for months and I’m just looking forward to seeing all the dogs and their people playing and having a good time together.”

Operating a local pet store for a decade definitely has its trials, she said.

“It’s a challenge, especially with increased pressure from the big box stores,” she said. “But during that same period I’ve seen the move from dogs just being Fido in the backyard to becoming a beloved member in the family.”

The word about PAW-Fest is spreading quickly, Stebbing said, adding she expects next year’s to be even bigger.

Contests are scheduled to start about noon. To participate call the Country Pet Shoppe at (360) 297-4165.

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