“Too bad dog festivals aren’t more popular,” I say as I pay the $10 parking fee pulling into the huge field of cars at Dog Tales Animal Rescue.
“Ya, we’re a bit busy today,” says the teenage volunteer helping park hundreds, if not thousands of cars. This two-day annual event is all about raising funds for arguably the most stylish dog rescue and horse sanctuary ever. Dogs waiting for homes live in artfully appointed wallpapered rooms with upholstered furniture reminiscent of boutique hotels.
Fuchsia, scrolls of white, and gold accent is the colour palette of Dog Tales’ promotional cards, dog kennels and today, the festival. The beautiful grounds of this dog rescue and horse sanctuary are landscaped reminiscent of English Earls – except manicure rose gardens are replaced with fenced dog runs (with ponds) for about eighty happy hounds looking for forever homes.
The dogs come from all over the world – yes, world. The group running gleefully in the enclosure today are from Miami and Israel – yes, former street dogs immigrate here looking for a better life.
This isn’t your average shelter. Check out recent coverage on horsetrotting.net.
Horses are here too – many drafts because most horses living out their lives at Dog Tales were bought from auction, and auctions pay by the pound. It’s true, most of these amazing equine grazing these fields of King City would have ended up slaughtered if Dog Tales hadn’t intervened.
This is a big property, and it’s a long walk from the parking lot past corrals of beautiful horses, which I can’t stop photographing, and Victor, my 12-year-old black terrier and sidekick, can’t stop smelling.
Really can’t stop smelling. I actually have to carrying him half way (or we’d still be there).
Then we saw it: the arched trellis entrance tunnel covered with vibrant pink roses, and clear bubble-like balloons – it’s just past the rescue pigs and harpist playing people into the celebration.
At Dog Tales, wedding décor meets dog festival, and pups are encouraged to jump in the stream bubbling past urns of tumbling flowers. Even the carousel is covered with balloons – yes, there’s a Merry-go-round rented for the occasion.
White tents of vendors, both private companies and rescue organizations, promote, fundraise and sell merchandise.
Victor is incredibly excited when we get there, but has never learned to pace himself. He’s recently experienced a neck injury from over-exertion earlier in the week and pain killers are making him tired and cranky earlier than usual.
I’m not sure if I’m over anxious as a result, but there seems to be an above average number of dogs in Victor’s face today – people not paying attention and letting their dogs run straight at him despite me asking them to pull them back.
Victor’s understandably not impressed, and we call it a day a little sooner than usual.
But not before stopping by Ladybird Animal Rescue to let them know how Daisy, our new cat, is doing (more on that soon – stay tuned). We pick up dog-shaped cookie cutters from another booth because we’ve got some dog biscuit recipes in the works for this fall … again, stay tuned!
In the meantime, watch for Last Week of Summer Dog Adventure Blowout Part II in two days when we end up at a doggie fashion show in Stouffville, Ontario.