• Woofstock let the dogs out

    By: MANNY ALEXANDER, Sun Correspondent, North Port Sun


    North Port, Florida - NORTH PORT -- Canines and humans alike joined for the inaugural Woofstock event at the Canine Club Dog Park over the weekend.

    With various vendors and adoption centers present, North Port Parks and Recreation hoped "to reach out to our dog-loving community," Sarah Good said, an event staff member.

    Attendees could bring their own companions as well as meet new ones at the park.

    Throughout the day, North Port Police Department and Sarasota Search and Rescue gave live demonstrations with its K-9 units.

    The event also held a "groovies threads" costume contest reflecting the theme of Woofstock.

    With classic rock jamming in the background, visitors could purchase dog treats and accessories while getting a bite for themselves. Some came not knowing about the event.

    Anne Finch attended with her half-Australian shepherd half-border collie named Aussie.

    "I don’t think there is anything closer," Finch said about the relationship between people and their furry counterparts.

    Adoption centers such as the Suncoast Humane Society came out and aimed to expose visitors to dogs in need of adoption.

    "We like people to see our dogs in an environment that is not a kennel," said Joy Lundahl, a Suncoast Humane Society volunteer, as she walked Rose, a pitbull boxer-mix looking for a home.

    Lundahl said having them out in the fresh air gives the society an idea of what their personality is and how they are around children and men.

    Janet Diehl with "Adoptable Greyhounds" of Florida was also at Woofstock advertising for the greyhound breed. Her organization came out "so that people can meet, interact and get to know the demeanor of the breed."

    Local businesses also sold products at Woofstock.

    Ana Robles of Bully Sticks Organic sold her dog treats while also commenting on the bond with dogs.

    "It’s a healthy therapy, dogs can help you overcome anything," Robles said.

    Other groups there included Camp Bow Wow, Cats N Dogs of Port Charlotte and Lotsapaws Barkery & Boutique of Punta Gorda.

    "It’s an opportunity for dog lovers to get with other dog lovers," Stephanie Schweikhard, owner of Lotsapaws, said.

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