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Columns : The Pet Pages - Kim Aranha Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Bahamas Humane Society "Fun Day" Report
By Kim Aranha
May 7, 2008 - 11:19:04 AM

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Wow! The Bahamas Humane Society really pulled out the stops and put on a wonderful day with the dogs!

The event took place at the Botanic Gardens and kicked off at 11:00 in the morning. There were countless food stalls: Pizza & Patties, Jerk (delicious and spicy), conch Fritters (loaded with conch), hamburgers and hot dogs (cooked in the Rotary mobile Kitchen van) and an exotic stall manned by the Sheraton Hotel. The Bahamas Humane Society had a delicious bake and bring stall of donated goodies brought by various supporters and board members…Chocolate cup cakes, ginger bread puppies, brownies, muffins, cookies and more…..there was cotton candy & popcorn, candies could be found at Mortimer’s candy stall and at the German Candy stall….Calories galore!!!! Rotary manned a bar, fully loaded and of course there were all sorts of soft drinks.

It was fun; the few commercial booths that were NOT selling something for us to put into our stomachs were selling interesting items that tickled the fancy.

The smaller kids really enjoyed the pony rides in a quiet area under the trees; they looked so proud sitting atop their fabulous steeds, no doubt imagining themselves as knights in shinning armor off to commit a brave deed for King Arthur and his round table! Other kids bounced happily on the bouncy castle. The Hoopla stall was well attended with fun prizes for all.

There was a stall with clothing for your dog….yes, you read right! For YOUR DOG! (and you all thought that I was crazy having a birthday party for Buddy!), another stall sold homemade pet treats, yummy organic snacks packaged into the cutest little boxes with paw prints all over them. My friend Petra Johnson was there selling wonderful jewelery, copies of all the famous lines and I defy anybody to tell the difference from the read McCoy!!!!! There was a booth with wonderful items from Germany and other parts of Europe, water flasks and various other items… it was just good fun, and the humans had a good time…

Pedigree was the proud sponsor of this event and was handing out free dog bowls and prizes of 52 pound bags of dog food and gift certificates for some of the classes in the fun dog show. Franklyn Burrows of Lightbourne Trading is photographed with Alfie, the Best in Show dog. It was nice to see a local sponsor prepared to support the Bahamas Humane Society all the way and help the organizers put together such a successful event. Without a good sponsor a day like that just would not have been possible. Buddy eats Pedigree lamb and rice every day!

However the important thing is: Did the canines have a good time? Yes I think I can safely say that they had a ball. Buddy went with me (see the photo of him with his red ribbon…..goes with the collar doesn’t it?). He entered two categories, the waggiest tail (red ribbon - ergo 2nd place) and the handsomest dog (4th place). The Handsomest dog was a large class with plenty of dogs and lots of competition. Buddy lost his nerve a bit and had to be reassured. He was simply brilliant at the waggiest tail and put on a sterling performance, barking and dancing around!!!! Wag, wag, wag! He was very proud of himself indeed. He also made some new friends and touched noses with some of the other dogs.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force put on an impressive display with their Canine Unit. Many people stood around watching and admiring the precision and obedience of these dogs. Buddy got freaked; he didn’t know dogs could do that to humans!!!

Donna Kiraze ran the dog show section of the event and was tireless. She was on the go and on the microphone all day long, smiling, laughing and organizing. It was a real inspiration to see how much fun somebody can have at the same time as working non stop. I hope she had comfortable shoes on!   I cannot name all the categories in the show, but as well as handsomest dog and the waggiest tail, there was owner and dog look a like, best dog costumes, prettiest dog, Jr. Handlers ( two age categories), most tricks, most obedient, fastest fetch, best veteran dog (over 7 years old) and best in show. Buddy was very disappointed that there was not a least obedient or most free willed dog as he knows that he would have won that ribbon paws down.

Dog groomer Carla Wilson (Buddy’s personal “hairdresser”) was there grooming dogs, the birds will be happy because they love to take the fur that Carla has clipped off and line their nests with it. Many very smart and fancy dogs walked away from Carla’s booth with an extra bounce in their step because they knew how beautiful they looked. The Bahamas Humane Society staff was there to “dip” your dog if needed to.

Some of the Vets of New Providence came out to man the “Ask a Vet.” booth. It was so very nice of those who could avail themselves to give some time back to the community and answer questions and address concerns of the public. The kids enjoyed getting answers to so many of their thoughtful little questions.

Best in show was won by Chris Herrod’s dog, Alfie. Alfie is a big beautiful, soppy sweet dog who has a slow way and a cool expression. I didn’t realize that Buddy could have entered that category, because if he had….you know what Buddy thinks…he says, well, never mind!

Perhaps the most heartening thing about this Bahamas Humane Society Fun day was the amount of families who came out with their dogs just to have fun together, dogs, kids, parents and extended families were all there together, having fun, laughing and enjoying fellowship. For those of us who are involved in the charity business of promoting kindness to animals, you cannot imagine what a shot in the arm it is to us to see that kind of human / canine interaction: pretty little girls with puppies in their arms, little kids with big dogs, big men with little dogs and everything in between. This is the sort of “get together” that we need to see in the Bahamas more often, not just on the animal kindness side but overall, an inexpensive day of fun with the family all together, Fathers interacting with their kids, giving piggyback rides, kids laughing and stuffing their happy faces with cotton candy and popcorn… Happiness comes in all sizes and prices and I think that the Bahamas Humane Society found a way to market a day of happiness and laughter for everybody including the family dogs.

I personally had a great time even if I was running one of the stands all day. Buddy had a good time too; he was a bit freaky for the following two days but has settled right back into his home routine. It was a simply marvelous day. We will be looking out for it next year when it will no doubt be even bigger and better.

Hats off to the organizers of  FUN DAY!!!!

About the author: Kim Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!).  First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter.  She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two teenaged sons.  Kim has 4 dogs, 5 fish (1 Beta, 4 Goldfish), 10 turtles (6 babies, 4 adolescents), 1 Asian box turtle and 4 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the board of the Bahamas Humane Society. Kim can be contacted at kimvba@coralwave.com

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