North Texas Daily

Dog Days of Denton celebrate 20th anniversary

Dog Days of Denton celebrate 20th anniversary

File photo by James Coreas

Dog Days of Denton celebrate 20th anniversary
June 04
17:10 2013

Renee Hansen / Senior Staff Writer

The announcer makes the final call over the loudspeaker, hushing the crowd as it waits for the judges to make their decision. The contestants, dressed in their finest, lick their lips nervously, their patience waning.

Then the winner is crowned, pictures are snapped and it’s all she can do to keep herself from drooling with excitement.

Solaris, an 11-month-old Great Pyrenees, nearly knocks off her newly-bestowed crown as she looks up to her beaming owner, Becky Petrusky, who proceeds to parade her canine partner around the stage in victory on Saturday at the Dog Days of Denton 2014 Spokesdog Pageant.

Described as a contest “like Miss America, with bad breath” according to Julie Glover, the original founder of the Dog Days of Denton Celebration, the pageant has become a staple at the city’s annual dog festival, which last weekend, celebrated its 20-year anniversary.

The event kicked off on Friday evening at Quakertown Park, and despite threats from ominous clouds, it seemed like everyone and their dog was there.

Photo by Renee Hansen

Over the span of the two-day event, Christine Gossett, co-director of the event, estimated a crowd of 6,000 people came out to enjoy the festivities.

Gossett said the festival added a few new things this year, including cool zone areas, an amenity geared for the four-legged guests that included shallow pools of water, great for resting and cooling off.

Other creative attractions included a “Glamfur shots” booth for the canines while owners were enticed by a nearby hot dog stand. Across the field, other dogs worked off calories at the agility course, complete with tunnels, hurdles and poles.

Making their debut appearance at Dog Days of Denton, Petco came out to sponsor the event as well as spread the word about its WholePets mission that focuses on the entire well-being of your pet.

Coryse Villarouel, tour manager for Petco, was impressed with the whole event.

“I already put in my report that we should definitely come back next year,” Villarouel said. “This is a great event to do.”

Jade Fox attended the event with her family and two dogs, Mia and Sadie, for the first time as well, and was also impressed, and said she’d never been to anything like it.

“I think it’s great that a community puts this together for dogs,” Fox said. “There is a variety of events to satisfy everybody.”

But possibly the most excited fan of the event was Petrusky, whose wide smile nearly shined brighter than Solaris’ crown as the pair walked off the Spokesdog stage on Saturday.

Petrusky joked that Solaris, a rescue from the Texas Great Pyrenees organization, was a princess in training because she is the second dog in the family to win the contest, following Sydnie Jolene, another Pyrenees owned by Becky and husband Al Petrusky, who took the Spokesdog title in 2011.

“I love working with the dogs and talking about rescue,” Petrusky said. “But never dreamt in a million years I would get to do it again.”

Solaris will join her owners as they venture around the city for different events in 2014, spreading the word about Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue, as well as the importance of canine dental healthcare.

Becky Petrusky and her dog Solaris on Saturday. Photo by Renee Hansen

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