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July 20, 2004 > Pooch Pow Wow: No Pedigree? No Problem!

Pooch Pow Wow: No Pedigree? No Problem!

by Susana Nuñez

After months of preparation and anticipation, the Niles Dog Show has finally arrived! The Pooch Pow Wow, hosted by the Niles Main Street Association, offers canines a chance to show off their best talents, assets, and even good looks. This fun family event is celebrating its 6th year anniversary, and with activities such as Agility and Flyball demonstrations, the event is not to be missed.

Mutts and purebreds alike will be judged in six fun classes: Best Costume, Prettiest Female, Handsomest Male, Most Unusual Mix, and Best Rescued. Competitors are sure to wow the audience and fellow contestants once more with their unique motifs. Previous year's costume winners have shown galactic power as the entire cast of Star Wars and biker skills as a motor biker with biker "chick." However, simple costume concepts have been just as effective as the elaborate, such as the beekeeper and his pug dressed as a bumblebee and a gold prospector and his "mule."

The competition not only emphasizes presentation, but the deeper connection between families and their loyal mascots. The emphasis on companionship and loyalty is best expressed in the "Best Rescued" competition, where owners tell the story of how their dog came into their lives. Whether rescued from abuse, or surviving accidents and surgery, these dogs and their stories are the real showstoppers. Surprising and endearing stories arise every year, which include past shows' heart-warming tales of faithful dogs rescuing their owners.

The Agility Course is back by popular demand. The display of agility equipment and demonstrations, organized by Robin Scearce, never fails to bring spectators to their feet as dogs jump over hurdles and speed through obstacles. The Fremont Fire Department Search and Rescue Team are also joining in the fun with their five-year-old black Labrador retriever, "Tammy." Tammy was donated to the Fremont Fire Department by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and will be presented by Sergio Morariu, Fremont Fire Department's Canine Search Specialist. The mission is urban search and rescue focusing on locating live people in collapsed buildings. Fremont's teams are certified Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advanced teams. The dogs are professionally trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Fremont Fire's Canine Search and Rescue Dogs, along with their handlers, were just two of the many teams that went to New York to help with the aftermath of the September 11th World Trade Center disaster.

Also featured will be the Gold Rush Flyball demonstration. Flyball is an exciting and unique dog sport invented for tennis ball addicted dogs. The trained dogs run and jump over hurdles, trigger a machine, catch tennis balls that come out of the machine, turn, and return to their owners over a series of jumps. The members of DiscDogg will also be performing the Frisbee inspired sport that has been growing in Northern California. The DiscDogg crew is known for organizing play days, competitions, and performing at community shows to help promote the human/canine bond and responsible pet ownership.

The judges of this year's competition are Dr. Ian Dunbar, Sandra A. Mannion, and Kelly Gorman, C.P.D.T. VIP award presenters will be, as in past years, local officeholders. 150 dogs of every description are expected at this year's show, so presenters will be shaking many paws and patting dozens of heads!

Aside from demonstrations, an Information Center, staffed with Ohlone Humane Society (OHS) volunteers with years of personal and professional canine experience. OHS and other rescue organizations will be offering dogs for adoption during the event. Retail booths offering pet supplies, unique gifts, canine art, and other items will be open to spectators. Food and drink vendors will also be present.

The Niles Main Street Association is proud and appreciative for the support of show partners OHS, Alameda County Water District, and East Bay Regional Parks. Sponsors include Alternative Mortgage Resources, All About Pets, Bogie's Discount Pet Food, Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic, The Animal Nanny, Curves-Niles District, The Florence Bar and Grill, Forever Young, and Jaws and Paws Pet Care. Veteran sponsor, Bogies Discount Pet Food, is sponsoring the show's awards for the sixth straight year. Twenty percent of this year's proceeds will support the OHS Spay/Neuter Program.

Show participants must register and pay an entry fee of $20 the day of the show, which includes a goodie bag and entry in one class. Additional classes are $5 each. Pre-registration is recommended, and pre-paid entries receive a $5 discount. Participants may register online at or call (510) 790-0306. So if you are planning on entering, register your pooch soon, because only the first 200 dogs will be admitted to the show.

The show will be held at the Niles Community Park at 3rd and H Street on Saturday, July 24th. The dogs for adoption will be on display and demonstrations will run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Registration for participants begins at 9:00 AM and the show begins at 10:00 AM. Spectator admission is free. There are classes for everyone at the show, so don't miss out on this lively and always surprising event!

Volunteers are still needed with setting up, registration, support and logistics, manning the root beer float booth and the water tubs. Call the OHS (510) 792-4587 for more information on how you can help make the Pooch Pow Wow a success.

Pooch Pow Wow
Saturday, July 24
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Niles Community Park
3rd & H Street, Fremont
(510) 790-0306

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