Our current on Sonoma Patch is proof, if any were needed, that people love their pets. It's been the most popular story all week, generating a dozen contestants and an ever-rising number of comments and votes.
If you need further proof, just turn up on Saturday, July 28 for the first Bark in the Park event, put on by , the only animal shelter located in the Sonoma Valley.
"This one-of-a-kind event has been blessed by the City of Sonoma," said Nancy King, executive director of Pets Lifeline, "who are joining in Pets Lifeline’s 30th anniversary celebration."
The big deal starts at 9 a.m. in Depot Park, but if you want to enter your own dog, pre-register or show up at 7 and be ready to go walkies. The Pooch Promenade, from Depot Park and around the Plaza to the front of City Hall, starts promptly at 9.
This first-ever event then takes over the "horseshoe" area of the Plaza for a judged dog show in several categories -- human and dog look-alike contest, waggiest tail, shaggiest dog, best pooch smooch, best doggie do (hair styling of course) and the costume contest.
There will be several celebrity judges, including Ben Flajnik of ABC’s hit series, “The Bachelor,” winemaker and co-founder of . Presumably he knows his dogs.
Other celebrity judges are yet to be announced, but there will be more. "We have such amazing people in the community we don't have too far to go," said King.
"One of our missions is to bring people and animals together," she said," so that's reason enough for Bark in the Park."
Anticipating the possibility of summer weather, there will be pools, watering bowls, treats and misting stations along the promenade route if it’s a hot morning.
Other activities will include agility shows and scent demonstrations. This is the first Bark in the Park, so specific events remain to be finalized.
Pets Lifeline and Sonoma Patch hope to introduce the winning dog from this year's Cutest Dog Contest, who will be selected on July20.
After the contests, the "mutt strut" (dog lovers love their puns) will head back to Depot Park for a bounty of festivities. "Sonoma really loves to party," said King, "so why not party with your pet?"
Party the day away with music, wine, food and games for all ages. One can expect all kinds of fun activities for the family and their canine companions.
The Bark in the Park and Pooch Promenade is a celebration of people and their dogs, and Pets Lifeline wants everyone from the Bay Area to join in this special day. Make a weekend of it and enjoy Sonoma’s dog friendly hotels and restaurants.
Advance registration to the promenade is requested by going to www.petslifeline.org or by calling 707.996.4577 x103. There will be a pre-registration the day before the event at Pets Lifeline. The day of the event, registration starts at 7 a.m. at Depot Park parking lot.