Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
The Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center hosted its first Doggy Days. The fair featured attractions for residents and their dogs to partake in such as grooming demonstrations, training seminars, costume contests and a stunt show.
The focus of the event, however, was on pet adoption. The fairgrounds collaborated with the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter to create opportunities for individuals to take in sheltered dogs.
For mother and son Shaltreece Herron and Julian Riddick, the event enabled them to search for an addition to their family.
“I just really want a dog,” said Riddick, a compassionate, 15 year-old dog lover. “When my mother is gone sometimes, it would be nice to have a dog to greet me when I get home.”
The family, which recently had to euthanize their dog after 15 years, expressed the significance of having a dog in their household. The two began training as volunteers at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter to be closer to pets.
“Now it is just me and him,” explained Herron. “We are looking for an adoptable dog, but it has to be right for us.”
The event not only appealed to pet seekers, but current owners as well. Many residents brought their dogs to participate in free training. Several instructors performed live demonstrations of their exercises for owners.
Michigan State University Zoology senior and dog owner Charissa Creller attended to discover new training opportunities.
“We have done training with other trainers, but every trainer is different,” stated Creller.
One of several pet service providers present, All Creatures Great and Small, attracted pet owners throughout the county. Owner and Behaviorist Laurie Griffith gave instructional lessons in command and response.
“I like that she has a background with wolves, and I like the knowledge she brings,” affirmed Creller.
Richard Pender, general manager of All Creatures Great and Small, discussed the significance of Griffith’s and his work.
“Our job is making a difference in dogs’ lives and educating owners.”
The fair also provided owners with grooming opportunities. Dogs were able to receive hair trimming, nail clipping, and teeth cleaning. Annabelle’s Pet Station showcased proper grooming procedures.
“It feels good to help dogs feel clean and happy,” stated groomer Samantha Waterbury.
Just in case the training and grooming did not excite residents, the event also featured The Perondi’s Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Show. The attraction boasted high-flying dogs and complex tricks for enthusiasts of all ages to have “Dog Gone Fun”.
Chris Perondi, executive producer, created his first stunt dog show in 1999 and continued touring, appearing on NFL halftime shows and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He expressed that his mission is to encourage people to adopt pets, being that all of his stunt dogs were adopted from shelters.
“The best part is seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces. It takes them to a happy place.”
The event encompassed an array of activities for Ingham County residents. Volunteer and special events liaison for Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter Ashley Hayes said events like these are important because it brings people together.
“We are about finding great homes for our dogs and helping families become responsible owners. That is what we tried to accomplish with Doggy Days.”
The Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center plans to host this event annually.