A Howl of a Time

Finalists parade their dogs for the crowd.

Finalists parade their dogs for the crowd.

The final Sunday of August saw Sandymount Green play catwalk to some of the prettiest paws of the canine world. With canine competitors coming from as far afield as Sutton and Clontarf, Sandymount Dog Show had a record attendance with over 100 entrants competing for the coveted Best in Show.

“Registration opened at 11am. It’s now after noon and there is still a queue,” Seán O’Leary, of Sandymount Tidy Towns, told NewsFour when we arrived on the scene. “Already we have gathered the details of those who would be willing to help out with our Tidy Towns initiatives. Adopt a Street, where a group of volunteers concentrate on a road, is proving very successful.”

Joe McCarthy, treasurer of Tidy Towns, told NewsFour that this was a free event, the objective of which was to enjoy the day and to encourage responsible dog ownership. “We have been supported very much by the local vet and Sandymount Pet Hospital, who have supplied many prizes including doggie bags containing treats and poo bags, which will again promote responsible dog walking. There are also arm bands available that dog owners can wear to display a responsible status.”

The first category, Puppy Bitch, paraded to the sound of Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog, as the judges posed a few canine queries to hopeful owners. Laia the Cockapoo nabbed first place, and her owner Carol Horan was delighted. “She is an 11-month cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. I can’t believe how calm she is as she’s usually really lively,” Horan said. “My sons thought I was crazy entering her. Now I can go home and say: ‘We have a winner in the family.”

Other winners on the day were Bran the Miniature Schnauzer, who topped the Puppy Dog category. “This is the first of many wins and my other dog Beckett will be next, in the Adult Dog category,” owner Caroline joked.

A poignant reminder of why animal awareness days are so important came in the form of Lughnasa, a Greyhound cross who had been rescued by Clodagh Nolan on the August bank holiday weekend. “She was found outside a shelter in Galway with eight pups,” Nolan revealed. “She must have been waiting for me. She is the most divine pet I have ever had. Everybody should rescue a dog if they can. They will be so happy at madra.ie when they hear of her win.” Lughnasa won the Adult Bitch category.

The event took place thanks to the efforts of Sandymount Tidy Towns, Dublin City Council and a collection of volunteers.

DCC came up with a new initiative last year called Vibrant Villages and Urban Communities, which presented localities with a menu of different ideas for projects and events that can be run within their villages. The Sandymount Dog Show was one of the new ideas, following on the tail of a very successful show that took place in Rathmines in June.

DCC was nearing the end of a full summer programme of events with five local events taking place that weekend alone. The Waste Management and Public Domain sections were on board too with DCC’s anti-dog fouling initiative to educate people in this area.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly