PHOTOS: Crowds Come Out Sunday for ‘New Canaan Dog Days’ at Pet Pantry

Alex and Liz Tuff of New Canaan entertained high hopes for their 2-year-old miniature Australian Labradoodle, Bear, as the family waited in line with daughter Eloise and son Oliver at the “Doggie Fun Zone” track on Sunday afternoon. A centerpiece of this year’s New Canaan Dog Days event at Pet Pantry on Grove Street, the Fun Zone included an obstacle-laden track that Bear Tuff’s parents expected him to demolish. “We’re thinking of taking him on the road,” Alex Tuff said on a cool, gray spring day. “We think he’s got game.”

Liz Tuff added: “We think he’s going to win a trophy.”

He did not. Attentive to his mom as she tried to lead him through the course, though seemingly uninterested in the white “rabbit” he was meant to chase, Bear Tuff like many before him appeared lost and confused in the Doggie Fun Zone, finishing well over the 25 seconds that his dad had predicted.

PHOTOS: Pets and Pet-Lovers Hit Dog Days New Canaan At Pet Pantry

Hundreds of leash-wielding New Canaan and area animal lovers descended on the parking lot at Pet Pantry on Grove Street on Sunday for a dog-friendly event that’s become a hugely popular spring tradition downtown. Less than halfway through the 7th Annual New Canaan Dog Days, an estimated 500-plus dog-lovers had visited the merchant tents, signed their four-legged family members up for contests, sampled free ice cream from Baskin Robbins and enjoyed the music of New Canaan School of Rock, one of its organizers said. As it did for Caffeine & Carburetors at Waveny in the morning, the weather held out for Dog Days, said Adam Jacobson, executive vice president of Pet Pantry New Canaan. The event is expected to raise “thousands upon thousands of dollars” for Adopt-A-Dog as well as Strays & Others, Jacobson said. “We have great support from our vendor partners,” including New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, he said.

Did You Hear … ?

Scores of New Canaanites joined students of architecture and fans of the Midcentury Modern style at The Glass House on Saturday for the annual Summer Party, a fundraiser for the National Trust for Historic Preservation site. Sipping Taittinger champagne and bringing picnic baskets prepared by Campagna and The Bedford Post Inn, attendees roamed the 49-acre property on a bright, sunny day, entering buildings that include not just the famous Glass House but also Da Monsta and Philip Johnson’s painting gallery and library. Others lounged by a pond down the back of the property or by the pool near the main house. See photos above. ***

A woman who hurt herself after falling on the sidewalk in front of Dunkin Donuts on Elm Street in January has filed a letter of intent to sue New Canaan, according to a notice filed with the town. It happened at about 2:30 p.m. on Jan 12 at what the woman’s New Canaan-based lawyer is calling “a dangerous and unsafe pedestrian sidewalk which was improperly repaired, maintained, cleared of snow, sleet and/or ice and/or improperly treated with salt, sand or the like.” The woman hurt her “right fingers, right hand, right wrist, right arm, right elbow, right shoulder, neck back and buttocks,” according to the Notice of Intention to Commence Action Against Municipality.

SLIDESHOW, VIDEO: New Canaan Dog Days 2014

[acx_slideshow name=”New Canaan Dog Days 2014″] [To pause the “New Canaan Dog Days 2014” slideshow above and get some information about the dogs pictured there, just move over it with your mouse.]

Adam and Molly Fewster recently moved into an in-town home in New Canaan from Charlotte, N.C. with their human daughter and Charlie, a 7-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever. Out for a stroll on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon, the family began seeing signs for the annual New Canaan Dog Days event and decided to check it out—they were glad they did, as it offered up a nice social space for the Lab to do what he likes best. “He likes laying around in the backyard, sunbathing and playing with his little sister here, that’s about it,” Adam Fewster said as dozens of dogs and people milled about a cordoned off section of Cherry Street for the popular gathering of area canines. “He likes to chill out, lay on the couch and go for walks downtown.”

Presented by Village Critter Outfitter, New Canaan’s independently owned pet shop, and co-chaired by Aetheria Relaxation Spa, New Canaan Dog Days saw Cherry cordoned off for three hours between Main and East Avenue while dog-people entered their four-legged family members in fun contests, collected giveaways such as tennis balls, received great information from local sponsors and participating businesses and all in the name of benefitting two area, animal-focused nonprofit organizations. “It’s going fantastic,” Village Critter Outfitter owner Shirleen Dubuque said during a brief break in the day.

Talking ‘New Canaan Dog Days’ with Village Critter Outfitter’s Shirleen Dubuque

The extremely popular New Canaan Dog Days will be held 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday on Cherry Street downtown, presented by locally owned business mainstays Village Critter Outfitter and Aetheria Relaxation Spa. Benefitting pet-focused nonprofits PAWS and STARelief, Dog Days is a grassroots effort that is supported largely by Village Critter Owner Shirleen Dubuque (also owner of some lovely rescue dogs and other pets). We had a chance to catch up with Dubuque and put some questions to her about her own business and its niche, how New Canaan Dog Days has evolved since its 2009 launch and what our four-legged pals can expect of the event. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: One of the things that’s special about New Canaan Dog Days is that it was created and continues to be driven by local, independent businesses such as yours, where the owner is on site and that special small-town, village center feel is alive.