Going to the (dog-friendly) Rockton World’s Fair is an annual tradition for my Cocker Spaniel-cross Victor and me – whether he wants to or not.
What Victor doesn’t want is to be left at home.
At the fair, apparently, what Victor wants is to sniff, sniff, and sniff … and occasionally sneak stray pieces of hot dog off the ground.
UPDATE: As of 2019, the Rockton World’s Fair is no longer dog-friendly. It’s open only to service dogs and dogs competing in the pet show, a hour before the show.
Rockton World’s Fair (yes, world) is an annual event since 1852. Today, it’s filled with midway rides, flea market-like vendors and farm animals – llamas, cows, goats, sheep and horses – in Rockton, Ontario near Hamilton in Canada.
No surprise: in addition to sniffing, we spent the most time watching equestrian jumping competition (see horsetrotting.net) while sitting in the shade protecting ourselves from those intense October rays.
Unseasonable warm temperatures graced the day … And so did a few dog finds:
Another dog coat?
It was too hot for Victor to wear his new doggie fleece, which reminded me of a saddle pad: cute pup print on one side and bright orange on the reversible side. The craft barn of local vendors is always my favourite.
Can you wash your dog with goat milk?
Further down the craft isle, we found handmade goat’s milk soap, yes goat. Our Natural Creations makes beauty products mostly for people, with one exception: Dirty Dawg soap with tea tree oil, oatmeal and coconut oil. Hopefully, it’ll help quell the itchies.
At home, I’ll lather Victor up and give it a try. He’s got that to look forward too…
What else did I find on the way to the fair?
A pottery sale at Pavlo Pottery in Rockton, Ontario.
Not just any pottery mugs: Dog mugs.
Well, not mugs for dogs, but mugs benefitting National Service Dogs, a Canadian organization.
Since training a service dog for a three-year-old child with autism in 1996, the National Service Dog (NSD) organization has become the international standard for Certified Service Dogs for children with autism. According to the website, NSD in Canada has graduated approximately 350 Certified Service Dog Teams.
Now, the organization is expanding to train Certified Service Dogs for PTSD, Canine Assisted Intervention and Companion Dog Services.
It’s the PTSD program that interests Pavlo Pottery, a Rockton-based potter who selects one charity each year to support through the sale of specially designed mugs. This year, though, it’s a two-year, ten thousand dollar project.
After meeting a man with a PTSD service dog at the Rockton Worlds Fair last year, Pavlo Pottery, owned by Pavlo Tsarynny and Oksana Pogorila, committed to raising $10,000 for the Cambridge, Ontario based NSD association. The man with the service dog claimed he’d be dead now if it wasn’t for his dog. This statement lingered in Tsarynny’s mind.
Now Pavlo Pottery is selling limited-edition pottery mugs for $30 each … and Saturday, October 10, 2017, I gleefully selected from the first round of NSD mugs fresh out of the kiln – mine’s number 11.
If you’re anywhere near Rockton, Ontario (about 1.5 hour drive west of Toronto or 30 minutes from Hamilton) or the St. Jacobs market near Kitchener, Ontario, you too can pick up a NSD logo, one-of-a-kind Pavlo Pottery mug.
Or plan to head to the Rockton World’s Fair next year – it always runs for four days during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Google it. It’s warmer than November, especially this year.