Pets, pet owners strut their stuff at Woofstock

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Pets, pet owners strut their stuff at Woofstock


There were more wagging tails at Macon Resources on Saturday than you could shake a stick at, and if you did shake one, somebody would want to play fetch.

Homeward Bound’s 7th annual Woofstock drew a large crowd of people and their dogs, with attractions ranging from the pet parade and human/dog look alike contest to vendors selling everything from treats to collars and bling for human and canine alike.

Beth Spitzer brought her Westies, Faith and Jaxon. Jaxon is a rescue. The two pups were riding in a stroller made just for dogs.

“Faith gets hot easily because she has really thick hair, and he just gets tired of walking,” Spitzer said.

Indeed, Faith was panting, even in the air-conditioning. Spitzer volunteers for Westie Rescue, where she found Jaxon, and likes to bring her own dogs to events like Woofstock to expose them to other people and dogs.

Homeward Bound relies solely on donations, adoption fees and fundraising events such as Woofstock, said Amy Taute, director of public relations. The organization receives no government funding. In addition to its rescue and animal shelter responsibilities, Homeward Bound provides job training for people with disabilities, and pays them for their work.

“We had seen (events like) this being done in other states and knew Decatur had never done anything like this, so we thought we’d try it, and it has been a success ever since,” Taute said.

Woofstock vendors brought everything a dog or dog person could want, from the three-foot Joy Sticks and Chix Sticks chews at the Garver Feeds booth to cat sacks, wind socks, bandanas and other goodies at the Creative Pet Supply booth.

Central Illinois sisters Julie Brown and Suzanne Valentine make their wares and live in El Paso. They can be found on Facebook. They started their business, Brown said, thanks to her vet.

“I made teddy bears,” Brown said. “One day I was at my vet’s and he said ‘You should stop making teddy bears and make things for dogs.’ ”

The cat sacks, made of brushed fleece in bright colors, came about when Valentine saw commercially-produced cat sacks made of nylon.

“No cat wants to lay on nylon,” she said.

Boston terriers are adaptable little dogs who can fit easily into family life, whether the family in question is active and outdoorsy or homebodies.

Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue brought two of them along to hang out at their booth. Like most rescues, this one is particular about placing dogs in a perfect and forever home, said Beth Alvis of Mahomet. They group has rescued 1,300 Bostons since 1998.

Wrigley and Castrol, two 11-week-old chocolate Lab pups, were sharing a two-dog harness and dragging their escort, Brandi Leihser, all over the building. They’re brothers and Leihser also owns their mother. She said she thought they needed to get out and meet other dogs, and they must have agreed.

The next obedience class at Decatur Obedience Training Club will begin July 2 and those who have mixed breeds, fear not: if your dog is talented and you want to compete in shows, there’s a category for him, too, said Sonnie Moore, who brought her German shepherd, Gunner to keep her company at the booth. And if all you want is for your pooch to learn good manners, they can help with that, too.

“We offer Canine Good Citizen training, which is an AKC program for any breed of dog,” she said. “We teach them to walk in public and meet people and be brushed and have their feet handled. Once they pass, they get a CGC certificate.”

For information on classes, call 672-3653.

Candy Zucksworth of Decatur was accompanied at Woofstock by her three Borzoi dogs — Russian wolfounds — who are also littermates. Gunner, Gwen and Gemma received their due of admiring looks and requests to pet them from passersby and even Gunner, who was abused before he was rescued, has learned to accept attention with grace.

“I love to get out and meet other dog people,” Zucksworth said.

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38 comments on “Pets, pet owners strut their stuff at Woofstock

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