Every dog has its day

Dog-lovers in the Hudson Valley have several options this weekend to indulge their passion for their pets. For a taste of the competitive, the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) will host the Dog Agility Trials at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz (outside on the grass) on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., with the first dog on the line by 8 a.m.

The event, hosted by Play-Bow Dog Training, will allow dogs and their handlers to display agility in rounds of Chances, Regular, Jumpers, Touch ‘n’ Go, Tunnelers, Weavers and Hoopers.

On Saturday, there’ll be a retired dog class, to honor and recognize the dogs who are no longer able to display agility. The course for them will be a simple short loop of hoops or jumps with the bars on the ground.

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Sunday features the Halloween costume contest, with prizes to be awarded. The contest will take place before the Elite Tunnelers. Levels offered include Elite, Open and Novice. Categories include Skilled and Proficient. Placement ribbons will be awarded to at least fourth place in each jump height for each class, in every category except “Chances,” which is pass/fail. Food vendors will not be available to the public at this event. Admission to watch is free. For more information, visit www.northeastagility.com.

For canine competition of a more whimsical nature, the fourth annual Howl’oween Dog Costume Parade & Festivities will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Montgomery Row retail and restaurant venue in Rhinebeck.

Registration for the Dog Costume Parade begins at 11 a.m., with lineup at Pause Dog “boo-tique” at 12:30 p.m. to begin the parade. Over 150 dogs are expected, so preregistration is suggested, either in-store at Pause Dog Boutique or online at www.pausedogboutique.com. Costumed kids and adults are invited to join in.

Prizes based on originality and first impression will be awarded for Best Overall Canine Costume, Best Float (any decorated non-motorized device used to pull or push up to six costumed dogs or kids), Scariest Costume, Best Group (a minimum of one dog and one human who parade together without a float, maximum of five dogs allowed), Most Creative and Cutest Costume. Results will be announced and prizes awarded in front of Pause Dog Boutique at 1:30 p.m.

The festivities will include raffles, a live deejay, bobbing for apples (for dogs), a Howl’oween photo booth with pictures available later for free download on the Pause Dog Boutique Facebook page, a pet adoption and information fair, a dog-treat-stacking contest, a dog-themed Jack o’ lantern contest (bring a real or faux pumpkin already carved, with your name taped to the bottom of the pumpkin), paw-readings from Madame Crystal Bones and trick-or-treating for dog treats at 25 participating village merchants.

Participating dogs pay a $10 entry fee, with proceeds to benefit local families and pets in need. Natura Pet products will be purchased for distribution at area shelters, soup kitchens and rescue groups, so that families in need can keep their pets rather than having to give them up because of lack of funds to feed them. The Armadillo Bar & Grill in Kingston is coordinating the food distribution at local sites. The entry fee includes a goody bag, as well as the trick-or-treats from participating merchants. The rain date is Sunday, October 28.

Parking is available throughout the village or in the Municipal Lot on East Market Street. Dogs must remain leashed with a handler at all times (no retractable leads, and a four-foot lead is recommended for this event).

Observers can watch the fun for free by lining the sidewalks on the parade route. The parade will begin on Garden Street, turn left on Market Street, then cross and go left to the main intersection, where it will turn right to continue north on Route 9, cross at the crosswalk in front of Terrapin and continue down the driveway next to Joovay, where it’ll turn left onto Garden Street and conclude at Pause Dog Boutique. Other than crossing streets, the parade route will be on sidewalks.

For more information, e-mail info@montgomeryrow.com or call (845) 876-6753.

The North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) will host the Dog Agility Trials at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz (outside on the grass) on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with the first dog on the line by 8 a.m. Admission to watch is free. For more information, visit www.northeastagility.com.

The fourth annual Howl’oween Dog Costume Parade & Festivities will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Montgomery Row retail and restaurant venue in Rhinebeck. The rain date is Sunday, October 28. There is a $10 entry fee for dogs; observing is free. For more information, e-mail info@montgomeryrow.com, call (845) 876-6753 or visit www.pausedogboutique.com/halloween2012.htm.

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