Thursday, August 5, 2010

‘Dog Days’ at Adirondack Museum Saturday

Dogs will be welcome at the Adirondack Museum this Saturday, August 7th. The now legendary celebration of all things canine — “Dog Days of Summer” — will return for a fourth year. In 2009, 159 dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds participated in this event.

Visitors and their pets can explore all that the Adirondack Museum has to offer and enjoy a variety of dog demonstrations, programs, and activities. All dogs are welcome when accompanied by well-behaved owners.

The event will include a few simple rules and regulations for pups and their people: dogs must be leashed at all times; owners must clean up after their pets – special bags will be available; dogs will only be allowed on the grounds – not in the exhibit buildings; Doggie Day Care will be available throughout the day at no charge, with the understanding that dogs cannot be left for more than an hour; poorly behaved or aggressive dogs will be asked to leave the museum grounds with their owners.

Sheep herding demonstrations will return this year. Sarah Todd of Dog Days Farms will herd with a variety of breeds including a Belgian sheep dog, Bearded Collie, German Shepherd, an Old English sheep dog, and an Appenzeller. Visitors can watch these amazingly skilled animals work at 2:30 and 4:00 p.m.

“Dog Days” demonstrations will include “Dancing With Dogs” at 12:00 noon. An informal workshop for visitors and their own dogs will follow. Join members of the Adirondack High Peaks Training Club for fast-paced routines. The talented dancing dogs include German Shepherds, Corgis, Labs, Rotweiller, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd.

Watch a variety of skilled dogs and their handlers, the “JAZZ Agility Group,” go through their paces on an agility and obstacle course featuring hurdles, weave poles, and tunnels, at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

The annual “pooch” parade will include a costume contest this year. The parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. Gift certificates from Benson’s Pet Centers will be awarded category winners, and there will be participation prizes for all. Benson’s Pet Centers are located in Queensbury, Clifton Park, and Albany.

The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery will sponsor an “Ubu Look-Alike” contest as part of the festivities. Not that long ago, Lake Placid, N.Y. was home to Ubu, a legendary chocolate lab with a nose for great beer. Ubu’s story is still going strong, thanks to Ubu Ale, the brewery’s signature beer named in honor of the dog. Is your “best friend” an Ubu double? Chocolate labs can vie for the honor and a gift certificate for the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery.

Lake Placid Pub and Brewery will also offer samples of Ubu Ale and other craft beers at “Dog Days.” Participants must be twenty-one years of age.

Adirondack storyteller Bill Smith will tell “Tall Tails,” humorous stories about people and their dogs at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Chris Shaw will provide music at 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Special presentations will be held in the Mark W. Potter Education Center. At 11:00 a.m. Lois, Alea, and Andy Rockcastle will offer “From Sprint Mushing to the Iditarod: Tales of the Trails.” At 11:30 a.m. Lisa Godfrey and Elizabeth Folwell, contributors to the Shaggy Dog Press publication Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks, will talk about their favorite trails and experiences hiking with dogs.

In addition, Ralph Holzhauer will offer “Fur Under the Desk,” based on his book of the same title. The book tells the real-life story a teacher and dog lover who introduced dog therapy and dog-assisted special education at his school. Finally, Museum Curator Hallie Bond will discuss “Canine Tourists in the Adirondacks” at 3:00 p.m. Historic photographs from the collection of the Adirondack Museum of dogs on vacation over time will illustrate Bond’s presentation.

From 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. “Doggy Booths” featuring great regional working dogs and organizations will be open. Participants include: Champlain Valley K-9 Search and Rescue Dogs; the Schenectady Chapter, Therapy Dogs; Tri-Lakes Humane Society; North Country SPCA; and Canines Can Do. Dog owners and representatives will answer questions about the training, care, and work of special dogs.

“Dog Days of Summer” will also include an expanded agility course for visiting dogs, “Say Woof,” a photo opportunity for dogs and owners, and special story hours for puppies and kids at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Visitors are asked to bring a donation of food, toys, or cleaning supplies to the museum on “Dog Days.” A drop-off spot will be located in the Visitor Center. The museum will deliver donations to regional animal shelters.

This year’s “Dog Days of Summer” event was made possible by generous support from Nancy and Lawrence Master.

Photo: “Everybody Smiles Here,” The Antlers Hotel on Lake George ca. 1930. Photo by Alfred Santway; collection of the Adirondack Museum.

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