Sunday, May 3rd

The idea of creating a pet expo first entered my mind roughly a decade ago, but after the loss of Buddy I wanted to host such an event in his honor. Saturday, May 16th this dream will become reality and a pet expo will commence for the first time in Barre, Vermont. I have named it CAWS 4 PAWS with hopes of bringing attention to the many non-profit animal rescue groups in Vermont. And with the help of the airwaves on Froggy 100.9, I am working tirelessly getting the word out to as many ears as possible.

The CAWS 4 PAWS pet expo will take place from 10am until 5pm at the BOR ice arena. There won’t be an entrance fee for the general public, with hopes that spectators will make a donation to one or more of the non-profit groups attending. Potter’s Angels of Randolph will feature several dogs up for adoption along with their foster families. Vermont Search & Rescue will provide demonstrations along with the Vermont State Police Canine Association and various K-9 units. Vested Interest in K-9’s, Inc. of East Taunton MA, which manufactures and provides bullet and stab protective vests for dogs of Law Enforcement K-9 units throughout the country will have a strong presence. Canine cancer groups like Emma’s & Lacy’s Foundation will inform the public of their efforts to combat the leading cause of death for dogs. Dog and cat lovers alike will certainly enjoy 4 Legs & a Tail as well as several doggie day-care businesses and the wide realm of services they provide. Along with appearances from both Skip The Woodchuck, Speedbump The Moose and others, kids will enjoy the bouncy house from and families can enjoy the BBQ spread from Randy Henry & The Racing Chefs.

The goal from the start was to gather together as many pet lovers as possible under one roof and show them goods and services from a wide variety of the industry. From healthy nutrition to obedience and training, you’ll find it all plus much more. Dr. Susan Dyer of Bradford Veterinary Services will host an “ask the vet” feature where questions get answered from the crowd directly. Therapy Dogs Vermont will surely draw a crowd along with Vermont Volunteer Services for Animals, Veterinary Efforts in Giving to Animals, North Country Animal League, Green Mountain Animal Defenders and Green Mountain Dock Dogs just to name a few. Marley’s Doggie Bags is one table not to miss as well as Passion 4 Paws, Good Karma Rescue, Almost Home Dog Rescue & Rehab, Heidi’s Haven, Central Vermont Humane Society and even how various service animals affect the Vermont Center for Independent Living and Guiding Eyes For The Blind.

If you’ve enjoyed my column over the years, please make sure to stop by my BEYOND THE DOG table and pick up a card with a link to my new website featuring my columns from the Times Argus and Rutland Herald as well as other writings, learn more about Buddy, see photos and more about my book in the making, Beyond The Dog – Memoirs of a Man’s Best Friend. You’ll also learn about PAWS – Central Vermont’s only pet bereavement group that I started up two years ago with my partner Charilyn.

Although several dogs will attend along with their respective rescue group or organization, the public is asked NOT to bring their pets. CAWS 4 PAWS will feature guest speakers, demonstrations, educational talks on various topics as well as dogs currently looking for their “forever home”. This pet expo will give the public the opportunity to meet and greet their possible next best friend.

Considering the fact that pet ownership is a multi-billion dollar industry in America, the CAWS 4 PAWS will attempt to spotlight a vast array of experts from grooming to clothing and outfitting, adoption matching, behavior training and everything in between. If your pet-related business or non-profit organization would like to attend, please contact me directly at Space is filling up fast !

Save the date, Saturday May 16th and step inside the Barre City BOR for my 1st annual CAWS 4 PAWS pet expo. It’s sure to be a hit for animals lovers everywhere. You’ll leave inspired, learn something new, get a whole bunch of kisses and maybe even fall in love. Most of all, it’s my hope that in one way or another CAWS 4 PAWS will improve the life of your pet, and the relationship you cherish.

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