By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
Some were big, and some were small. Some were bold, and some were shy. Some dressed up, some came as they were. But the dogs were all at Boardman Park for one reason — the Friends of Paws Town’s second annual canine carnival.
The event Saturday raised money for a dog park to be constructed near the Southern Boulevard entrance of the park.
Activities included a dog costume contest, puppy chow eating contest, training exhibitions, dog kissing booth, raffles and a basket auction.
Sherry and Mike Karis of Austintown and their Maltese dogs, Jade and Snowflake, dressed as bumblebees for the costume contest.
“We came last year, and it was really fun, so we came again this year,” Sherry Karis said. “And we’re big supporters of the dog park.”
Mike Karis said, “It’s a good event. I have a lot of fun out here.”
Maribeth Petrus and her daughter, Kayla Golden, 9, brought along their Lab/golden retriever mix, Divot, to the carnival.
“We’re here to support the community and hopefully raise enough funds to open up the dog park here,” said Petrus, of Boardman. “I think it’d be great for our community to have an area for all the pet lovers to come with their dogs.”
Her daughter agreed, saying it will be nice to spend time with her dog and the others in the park.
Kayla said she had fun at the carnival. The pair watched the training exhibition, bought auction tickets and entered the costume contest. Divot was dressed as a swimmer.
“If there’s a dog thing, I go to it, no matter if it snows or anything else,” Kayla said.
Humane societies, pet-adoption organizations and others offered information. More than 30 vendors sold dog treats, tags, jewelry and more.
Edee Seman, who operates Sinful Delights Candy in Niles, sold homemade dog treats made from all-natural ingredients.
“One of my dogs is very sensitive to the preservatives” in other treats, Seman said. “Whenever she eats it she gets rashes and gets sick. So I try and keep everything healthy so she doesn’t get sick.”
Seman owns three dogs.
The carnival is great, she said.
Friends of Paws Town received a $60,000 grant from the Marge Hartman Family Foundation to fund the park’s construction. Proceeds from the carnival will help pay for water and agility equipment in the park.