The event was open to both those who did and did not adopt a pet from Angels for Animals.
By SEAN BARRON
CANFIELD — This reunion may have been lacking a disc jockey, an elaborate buffet and attire, but it was nonetheless filled with remembrances — plus a variety of four-legged members for good measure.
Many people, such as Jackie and Darrin Blasiman of New Waterford, brought their pets to Sunday’s second annual Doggie Daze reunion at Angels for Animals Inc. on state Route 165. The Blasimans were accompanied by Teddie Bear, a boxer/Labrador retriever mix they adopted a few months ago from the organization.
“He’s like a big love bug,” Jackie Blasiman said of her pooch, adding that he was in a litter of seven that had been brought to the shelter.
The couple also has a 9-year-old Doberman pinscher they said has been instrumental in training their second dog. As a result, Teddy Bear learned to strike a wooden chime to indicate the need to go outside, Jackie Blasiman said.
It’s been a natural adjustment to add Betty to the family of Mercia Stevens of Poland, who adopted the easygoing boxer/Labrador last January. Stevens said she got the dog for her 12-year-old daughter, Mary Kate, who volunteers at Angels.
A main reason Stevens came to the reunion was to show her dog’s foster-care providers how the animal is doing now, she added.
That seemed to be the prime motivator for others to attend the reunion, which was set up for anyone who adopted a dog from Angels, as well as for other dog owners who wanted to learn more about the organization, started in 1990.
The event was also intended to let volunteers see how the adopted dogs are interacting with their companions, as well as to help the volunteers “see that they are making a difference,” said Don Johnson, Angels’ former canine manager.
The reunion doubled as a special occasion for Debbie Rolston’s dog, Bagel, a beagle/basset hound mix that turned 10 Sunday. She got Bagel seven or eight years ago from Angels, and the pet is good with Rolston’s children, including her 3-year-old son, Benji, she said.
“I told the dog I was bringing him to a birthday party,” she said with laughter. Her son was in tow.
Perhaps the oldest canine on hand was 17-year-old Maggie, a terrier mix brought home from Angels in 1990 by Laura Cossack of Boardman. Despite Maggie’s being hard of hearing, she still is “queen of the castle,” Cossack said.
Even though she didn’t adopt her 4-year-old boxer, Dino, from Angels, Lynn Eckles of Canfield felt no less compelled to come.
“I’ve had dogs since I was a baby in a car seat,” she added.
Eckles, who attended with her 14-year-old son, Taylor Ogden, said she feels drawn to stop by Angels every few months to see the puppies temporarily housed there. Coming to the reunion had the added benefit of allowing Dino to meet other dogs, she continued.
One of the activities featured as part of the four-hour Doggie Daze reunion was a musical chairs contest. Other events were a spoon/toy race and a treat-hiding contest, where a dog sniffs for as many treats as possible in a given time.
Winners received a brick that will be added to the facility’s walkway and on which their name can be inscribed.