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.

L-R: Eloise, Oliver (holding Bear), Alex and Liz Tuff at New Canaan Dog Days—May 6, 2018 at Pet Pantry. Credit: Michael Dinan

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.

Bear Tuff followed his mom around this barrier instead of hopping through the hole in the center, as designed. From New Canaan Dog Days—May 6, 2018 at Pet Pantry. Credit: Michael Dinan

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.

Asked afterwards to gauge his disappointment on a scale of one to 10, Alex Tuff answered with a smile: “Very high, eight-and-a-half.”

“Performance anxiety,” he said. “We’ve lost two soccer games and now this. It’s been a really tough Sunday.”

The Tuffs joined scores of New Canaan and area dog families for the popular event, a “fun-raiser” that is designed to raise funds for New Canaan-based Strays & Others as well as Adopt-A-Dog, two rescue organizations.

Brian Gordiski, administrator with Adopt-A-Dog, said he was “very impressed with the turnout” at Dog Days, especially considering an overcast sky and competing events all day.

Adam Jacobson, Pet Pantry’s executive vice president, described New Canaanites as “amazing pet owners.”

Dogs in New Canaan are “well received, well taken care of,” he said.

“There are amazing facilities for dogs over at Waveny and we are just very proud and pleased to be part of the community and continuing on the tradition of the New Canaan Dog Days event,” he said.

In its ninth year, the free event featured a wide range of activities on the pedestrian-only parking lot outside of Pet Pantry, with classes, contests, exhibitors giveaways, Q&A with professional trainers available for behavioral questions, meet-and-greet with onsite veterinarians, family and pet portraits with Venture Photography, caricature drawings, art activities for kids including a “build your own birdhouse” sponsored by Weed & Duryea.

Among those enjoying the festivities was Casper Hutcheson, 11, a New Canaan Chow Chow.

“We came last year,” his mom said. “We think it’s a great event for the dogs and finding out about the new treats and dogs and the dogs love it.”

Presenting sponsors included Open Farm, New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, Weed & Duryea, and Gregg’s Garden Center and Landscaping. This year’s media sponsor was Serendipity magazine. Business sponsors include Cornell University Veterinary Specialist and Bankwell. Gold sponsors include Merrick, Petcurean, and Primal. Silver sponsors include Bravo, Earthborn, Health Extensions, Triumph, Ziwipeak, and Earth Animal.

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

  1. As awesome as last year! My dog, Spare Change, loved the doggie fun zone — we did it last year at the Westport dog festival, and were excited to see it at Dog Days 2018!

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