On Sunday, October 16th, I attended the first of
many events during Philadelphia’s National Dog Show month, the annual National Dog Show Charity Walk. Having never attended anything like it before, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived. However, quickly upon my arrival, crowds of happy owners and excited dogs on leashes began to pour in. I was attending the event as a volunteer, working to help out wherever needed, but it was hard to concentrate when so many friendly animals kept walking up to me. It was hard to resist petting each and every dog, and I just wanted to give them all love and attention.
After experiencing the event for the first time, I can say that I am so impressed and elated that something like this goes on in my own community, and I am so disappointed that I never knew about it before. The four hour event was all about celebrating the wonderful canines in our lives, and making sure that they know how much they are loved and appreciated. The morning was filled with a variety of fun activities from the walk, to an obstacle course, to doggie “voting” where they ate out of one of two bowls to vote for a certain presidential candidate, to a costume contest for Halloween. The fun-filled morning was all about giving back to local communities, with all proceeds benefitting the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House and canine related charities. There were even dogs at the event that were up for adoption, which was a brilliant way to help them find a forever home. I had to hold myself back from taking home a dog
of my own.
I was proud to see that something like this goes on to spread positivity and love for the animals that do so much in our lives. There were members of the Therapy Dog Ambassador team in attendance and tons of other service dogs. Aladdin, who is a service dog who was called down to Orlando after the nightclub shooting, was one of the many dogs who were thanked for their hard work. As a passionate animal lover, it was heartwarming to see that so many other people love and appreciate dogs the way that I do. A dog is so much more than a pet, it is truly man’s best friend.
Want to come out and show some love to the canines in our community? There are plenty more opportunities during the rest of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show Month. The next events coming up are the National Dog Show Press Preview on November 10 and a showing of the theatrical production The Perfect Dog on November 11. Finally, National Dog Show month will come to a close with the Gala on November 18 and, the main event, The National Dog Show on November 19-20. For more information regarding any of these events be sure to check out NationalDogShow.com.
Marina Del Conte, West Chester University