North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Poochapalooza returns to Marysville July 9



From dancing dogs and disc-catching mutts to wacky pet contests, the Marysville Poochapalooza Outdoor Dog Event has showcased everyday pooches at their best and brightest since 2007, in a county fair-like atmosphere.

To celebrate its 5th anniversary, Poochapalooza is going high fashion, mixing Country Charm with urban glitz and glamour. Host Marysville Dog Owners Group (M-DOG) has added a Fashions and Rescues Runway Show featuring adoptable dogs modeling the latest eye-catching fashions live on the, dogwalk.

Poochapalooza takes over Strawberry Fields Athletic Fields from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The park, located at 6100-152nd St. NE in north Marysville, is home of Strawberry Fields for Rover Off-Leash Park. A $5 suggested donation to enter includes goodie bags to the first 400 visitors, with all proceeds supporting the off-leash park maintained by M-DOG. Food and refreshments will also be available for purchase.

"At Poochapalooza, it's all about the dogs," said Leslie Buell, M-DOG president and Poochapalooza founder, who was inspired to start the event by her own adopted pup, Lucky Puppy. Lucky Puppy is a Patterdale Terrier whose life took a turn for the better when Buell brought him home from the Everett Animal Shelter after a young life foraging dumpsters in the city's back alleys.

"We created Poochapalooza for dog lovers and their four-legged friends in the community and around the region, and for all those dogs dressed up with nowhere to go," she said.

Rescue dogs from Homeward Pet Adoption Center, Love a Mutt and NOAH (Northwest Organization for Animal Help) Animal Adoption Center will model pet fashions from Seattle-based high fashion doggie wear designers Dmarie's Doggie Boutique, Amore Grace and Hilary Lamon. The show will feature the newest lines of doggie tutus, wearable fashion and custom collars, according to Buell. The four-legged models will be adoptable on site, so get a front-row seat and see them strut.

But there's more to fun than fashion at Poochapalooza. Plenty of competitions, activities and demonstrations are open to enable dogs to try their paws at something new.

Dogs with a hidden talent can enter in fun "Best in Show" contests like Best Kisser, Best Voice, Fastest Hurdle Dog and Wackiest Pet Trick. Cost is $5 for one contest, or $10 for unlimited contests. Winning dogs will receive a special ribbon, goodies, and the adoration and applause from spectators who will judge the contests.

Dogs love pie. That's why this year Poochapalooza is catering to dogs' meat and dessert-loving cravings in our first-ever Pooch Pie Eating Contests. The contests, one panel for big dogs with hearty appetites and another for small, will start at 2:45 p.m. Cost to enter is $10.

The pie contests are sponsored and emceed by Dining Dog Café and Bakery of Edmonds and owner Dorothy Moore. In addition to ribbons for top finishers, each entrant will receive a gift certificate to the Dining Dog Café.

Exhibitions include the 2011 Hyperflite Skyhoundz Flying Disc Championship from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the tournament, athletic canines will be seen jumping for joy - literally. There is no entry fee for competitors and pre-registration is not required, but showing up a half hour early is advised. Novice and veteran competitors alike are invited to compete in Distance/Accuracy/Freestyle contests. Competitors will receive a free official Hyperflite K-10 Competition Standard flying disc; the top finishers will receive awards.

Crowd favorite Emerald City K-9 Freestyle Dancers and their talented dogs will return for a repeat engagement. The group has been performing in the Puget Sound region for nearly a decade, and has made Poochapalooza a regular stop. Musical freestyle canine dancing blends dog obedience, costumed themes, music and dance in a way that is visually exciting, and demonstrates handler and dog teamwork.

Seattle FlyDogs will share their love of Flyball with visitors. Flyball is an extreme sport that appeals to dogs that thrive on speed and action. Just watching the barking, jumping and anticipation as these dogs prepare to run gives a flavor of the excitement to come. FlyDogs members are certified Flyball teachers and trainers; they will provide demonstrations and free introductory evaluations to gauge whether your dog is a Flyball dog.

Free micro-chipping for the first 50 dogs will be provided courtesy of Dr. Priscilla Stockner and other volunteer veterinarians and technicians through the Snohomish County Animal Advisory Board, in cooperation with the County Auditor's Licensing and Animal Services Division. A license application is also required if the owner lives in an area for which the county's Animal Control is the licensing agency. Vets will remain at the event to answer questions about small animal disaster preparedness materials and no-cost programs for homeowners' associations.

With about four dozen vendors at the event, visitors will have plenty of opportunities to snoop around for bargains in pet wear and food, and to meet the faces behind many dog rescue organizations.

Buell noted that money raised at Poochapalooza will go to support needs at the city's only off-leash park, the 3-acre Strawberry Fields for Rover, which opened in December 2008.

"Many visitors to the off-leash park don't realize that our nonprofit M-DOG is solely responsible for maintenance of the park," Buell said. "That's why we depend so much on their support."

For more information about Poochapalooza, contact Leslie Buell at (360) 651-0633, email, or visit the website at "Like" the group on Facebook at


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