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

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Legal action against B.C. specualtion tax a last resort

Group of Arizona home owners feel they’ve been swept up in an attack on land speculators

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Saanich speculates on exemption from real estate tax

Saanich will formally ask the provincial government to opt out of a… Continue reading

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

UPDATE: Saanich cracks down on owners of unsightly property

Council’s decision came despite public pleas from affected owners

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Public can weigh in on Cordova Bay Local Area Plan

The District of Saanich is in the process of updating the Cordova… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read