Dog Days 2023
Hundreds of dog lovers visited the New Canaan Nature Center on Sunday for what has grown into one of the community’s favorite annual events.
Dog Days New Canaan, sponsored and organized by Pet Pantry Warehouse, was held on a clear, warm day on the grass field next to the Visitors Center.
“Absolutely fantastic today,” Ari Jacobson, vice president of Pet Pantry said as hundreds of dog owners leash-walked their four-legged companions through the activity-filled field. “Couldn’t have asked for a better day with the weather. New Canaan Nature Center is hosting us again. Another year with Adopt-a-Dog, all of our fantastic vendors. We got the lure coursing, we got the ‘Sniff-Ari,’ beer garden this year, ice cream ‘Pawlor,’ the bone bar. If you’re not here, I don’t know what you’re doing today, but it’s a gorgeous day. I really want to thank all of our vendors for their participation and everybody for coming out on this gorgeous day.”
A fundraiser for the Nature Center and Adopt-A-Dog, the free five-hour event saw dozens of vendor tents lining the perimeter of the field, giving away food and other dog-related products, or passing out information on veterinary services and rescue groups. Moved off of the asphalt parking lot this year to be located entirely on the grass, Dog Days saw dogs cooling off in shady areas or taking a dip in a “doggie pool” throughout the day.
Fred Canoro and his daughter Sofia, a fourth-grader at West School, arrived with their English springer spaniel, Jasper, and Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Vivian.
The family came last year and “it was just a lot of fun,” Fred Canoro said.
“They loved the race thing, all the treats,” he said. “It’s nicer today. Last year was really hot.”
Sofia Canoro said, “It’s really fun letting your dogs out to walk around. There are so many other dogs for them to see, which is nice for a change.”
Pet Pantry employee and “barktender” Jake Fixel said he and his colleagues were “giving out a lot of fun free samples” to attendees.
“It’s going excellent,” he said. “We have everything you’d want for your dog.”
New Canaan Police Department K-9 Apollo was on hand for the event, with handler K-9 Officer Sebastian Obando, and Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. Police reminded residents that licensing is renewable in June— “Every dog in the state of Connecticut must be licensed,” Halm said — and handed out information about coexisting with the area’s top wildlife predators (coyote, bobcat and bear), presenting passersby with sample devices for hazing and reminding residents about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.