I love this quote: Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog. I’ve owned several over the years and my current furry heartthrob is Juneau, an 80-pound husky-malamute mix with bright blue eyes, the need for speed and undying dedication to his human pack.
Dog lovers like me will flock to Dog d’Alene on May 13 for a day devoted to all things canine. For the last nine years, this dog centered festival has occupied the corner park of Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene. It’s a riot of activity with over 30 vendors selling doggie treats, clothes, costumes, food, boarding and obedience lessons. But Dog d’Alene isn’t simply a retail event – you can expect an array of dog games, competition and demonstrations that are so much fun they’d put a smile on a cat lover’s face.
The Doxie Dash is a race — of sorts — that’s open to any small dog, not just dachshunds. (Sorry, Juneau.) There is a starting line, and a finish line, but the cheering crowd, all the dogs and the general air of chaos make it highly improbable to get from point A to point B with any sort of speed. Just imagine what’s running through the competitors’ minds. What is that smell?….Wow, that’s a cute Yorkie….My human was waving a treat at me, where is she now?…. I wanna say hi to that little boy…..I’m tired, I’m sitting down….
There’s more fun to be had when dogs and their humans compete in musical chairs, using hula hoops on the ground to claim their spot when the music stops. And the costume parade/fashion show is a huge hit. You’ll be amazed at the dogs’ insanely blingy, crazy outfits.
When the hero dogs and their handlers take center stage, it’s time for awe and admiration. The Idaho Disaster Dogs, based out of the Coeur d’Alene fire department, is a volunteer organization trained to support emergency personnel during search and rescue missions. These highly disciplined dogs are incredible to watch as they race into disaster areas with one thing in mind: find humans who may have fallen into a hole, are buried under a collapsed building or an avalanche of mud.
Backed by the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, Dog d’Alene is the brainchild of Mary Peak, a dog lover and owner of the Christmas on the Lake shop, as a way to educate, celebrate and promote dog ownership. One hundred percent of profits go to North Idaho pet rescue and aid organizations.
If you and your dog are coming from out of town for the event (or any other time), plan to spend the night at the pet-friendly Coeur d’Alene Resort. Rover will love a room with a view.