Is Lake Arrowhead Going to the Dogs?

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The dog days of summer are almost upon us. And after our three-dog-night winter, we are ready for those dog day afternoons—paws up, back on the grass, soaking up the rays. Doggone it, does it get any better?

On September 9th, Lake Arrowhead Village will be going to the dogs! Well, at least from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. A Dog Festival at the Lake Arrowhead Village? This is year four for the festival, which began when the Three Dog Bakery store owner and operator Jessica Menell was approached by a friend with an idea to raise funds for a dog rescue group. One thing led to another, and things began to fall into place as groups, vendors, sponsors, entertainment, and the Lake Arrowhead Village got on board with the idea. Money raised from contests, event entries, donations from vendors and participating shops and restaurants all went to the designated rescue organization.

This year, The Little Red Dog (TLRD) rescue organization will be the beneficiary of the Lake Arrowhead Dog Festival. “We Are On A Mission From Dog” is TLRD’s motto—the group was founded in memory of a little red American Pit Bull Terrier who did not survive her abusive living conditions. She was a victim of a group that raised fighting dogs—the little red dog was not a fighter, and she lost her life. More than 50 other dogs were rescued from that tragic situation, most now rehabilitated and living in homes, with some serving as rehab and therapy dogs. TLRD is a hardworking group that fights for all dogs, has a goal of getting each dog to a loving home, and is very deserving of the benefits from this dog festival. They will be attending the festival this year, so be sure to stop by and speak with the group members.

So what does one do at a dog festival, you ask? The first thing you will see when you drive into Lake Arrowhead Village is a huge blue flatbed trailer with a long blue portable swimming pool attached. Yes, it’s Splash Dogs! You’ve probably seen them on TV or at local fairs—dogs running down the runway, jumping for a toy and landing in the water with a huge splash. You can sign your dog up to take a leap, and the Splash Dog’s trained staff will help you encourage your dog to jump. Practice usually begins around 9:00 am, with sign ups and words of wisdom. Nothing beats a nice warm day, standing next to a pool of water and watching a dog fly through the air and land with a splash. The dog grabs whatever their owner threw in the water, swims to the side, then goes back for more! Of course, there are always one or two that stop right at the edge, look down at the water, and then back at their owner, as if to say, “You want me to do what??”

If that weren’t entertainment enough, vendors are also scattered throughout Lake Arrowhead Village, displaying collars, booties, vests, leashes, toys, stuffed animals, photos, and just about anything else DOG you could possibly imagine. So come browse and let your little four-legged buddy take you to just the right booth to show you exactly what to get. There will be no excuse for picking out the wrong size or color this time! And even your mouth will be watering when you see the dog treats available at Three Dog Bakery. These dog treats look like gourmet human treats! Cookies, hot dogs, burgers, cake, and, of course, dog-shaped treats, too. I grab treats there for my brother’s dog, then dash next door for an ice cream cone to treat myself.

In addition to the vendors of everything dog, there are also information booths from various organizations that use dogs, including the police and sheriff K-9’s, K-9 Trainers, and Search and Rescue. There will be several K-9 demonstrations showing off the talents of bite dogs, drug detection dogs, and search dogs, as well as other K-9 traits. You might even see a disc dog or two.

Each year brings a new contest, too. Past festivals have seen contests like Best Costume and Dog/Owner Look Alike. This year’s contest will be Best Trick, which promises to be one of the entertainment highlights of the day. Don’t you just hate it when, no matter how much you’ve practiced at home, you go to show him off and he looks at you like he has no idea what you want him to do? Now that’s a photo op for sure, especially if someone can catch your exasperated expression!

Several of the Village shops and restaurants have historically contributed a percentage of the day’s sales to the festival’s beneficiary. Special items will be for sale and a silent auction held, with proceeds going to TLRD. It will be a day full of fun activities, all with one goal: helping TLRD save lives. It doesn’t get much better than spending the day with your four-legged friend, playing with other woofers, shopping, eating, watching demonstrations, learning from pros, and just hanging out for the day, all while knowing that you’re contributing to a very worthwhile organization.

September is usually one of the warmest months in the valley and desert, but at 5,000 feet on the lake, you can usually count on it being 20 degrees cooler. It’s the perfect time of year for Splash Dogs and a fun day out with your dog. Best of all, at the end of the day, the big payoff is that the Little Red Dog Rescue Organization will benefit from your participation. Should give you the same feeling as your buddy does … warm and fuzzy. So come on up for some air!

EVENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE, PLEASE CHECK WITH EVENT BEFORE GOING!  If you are a vendor or would like to be a sponsor or a donator for this event, there is room for you! Please contact Jessica Menell at 909-337-3157 or jkmenell@charter.net.

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