Brittni Jomha with Husky cross Halo, and Darinne Kraeker, with Australian Shepherd Mini, were among the early visitors as the the Vancouver Island Pet Expo re-opened its doors Sunday. It runs until 5 p.m. at Pearkes Recreation Centre. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Dachshund Dash dazzles Vancouver Island Pet Expo in Saanich

In the end, the biggest prize stayed in the family.

As the Vancouver Island Pet Expo wound down Sunday afternoon, Finn dashed ahead of several competitors to claim first prize during the 2018 Dashhund Dash.

This form of racing did not quite resemble the running of the bulls, but it had its own charms, as both rookies and seasoned veterans raced down a narrow track, some less certain of what the fuss was also about, others far more sure-footed, so to speak.

Finn fell into the latter category, winning his final heat with ease, a performance that earned him a congratulatory kiss from his owner Michelle Gaiger, as a crowd of several hundred spectators oohed and ahhed. With his victory, Finn now follows in the paws, small as they might be, of his brother Frank, who won the event last year.

The Dachshund Dash featured some fierce racing, with the odd entry snapping at the flanks of their nearest competitor as they scampered towards the finish line. But apart from a few false starts, the races all took place without incident.

If the Dachshund Dash reflected the fun element of the expo, its various exhibits emphasized its educational orientation.

“The biggest reason for coming is education,” said Virginia Ritchie, show producer of the Vancouver Island Pet Expo. “You are never going to see this pet expo be a petting zoo,” she said. “We don’t believe in that.”

The show instead featured a wide range of experts who could help pet owners answer a long list of questions about their animals. “Should I insure my dog, should I not? Could my dog be a guide dog, could it not? How do I have fun with my dog?” she said.

While many of the exhibits appeared to cater towards dog owners, lovers of all creatures great and small could find something to their liking.

For example, the show featured a reptile display. “They have been here for three to four years, and they are very well respected breeders,” said Ritchie. “I have a friend who has a son with allergies, and he can have that pet. Everybody deserves a heartbeat to take care of.”

The expo, not surprisingly, also doubled as a large dog park. “Ever since we started [allowing animals three years ago], it’s like a big pet party every weekend,” said Ritchie. “They can’t wait to come and talk to each other.”

This was evident in the long lineup that had formed outside the entrance doors well before 10 a.m. Sunday and on the floor show, where dogs and their owners readily mingled.

Brittni Jomha and Darinne Kraeker were among them. Their respective dogs, Halo, a Husky cross, and Mini, an Australian shepherd, quickly showed affinity for each other, bringing their owners together for a chat.

Ritchie knows this phenomenon of people bonding over their animals well.

“My sister-in-law has a little Pomeranian,” she said. “She met two new friends yesterday. They are now friends on Facebook. They joined a Pomeranian group. So it is about meeting people, and having fun with their dogs.”

 

Just Posted

Pedestrain struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Our Place celebrates Christmas in July

Afternoon barbecue serves up turkey burgers and Santa hats under the hot sun

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

Affordable housing idea dead for Central Park, idea shifts to Royal Athletic Park lot

Underground parking with housing units above to be considered for existing lot

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read