By Scott Halasz
XENIA — Karson the K9, the popular Wilmington Police Department dog, will be among the featured guests at this year’s Doggie Dash ‘n Splash.
Karson, who was missing for two months last year and was the subject of a massive search in Southwest Ohio, will demonstrate his police dog skills and be available for a noon meet and greet with attendees.
The Dash ‘n Splash will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Fairgrounds Recreation Center, 210 Fairground Road.
“There truly is something for everyone at Doggie Dash ‘n Splash,” Greene County Parks & Trails spokesperson Gretchen Rives. “The canine splashground, demonstrations, vendors and contests all add up for a great day for both pets — and their people.”
Attractions this year include Lucky Dog Adventures with its mobile lure course. For $10, participants can take their dog on the action-filled course that allows a dog to chase a lure around the course.
A herding dog demonstration with Indian Runner ducks will feature the bond between canine and handler. And the splash ground will be open until 5 p.m. to allow more time to enjoy the canine water park.
Other featured activities include the annual canine costume contest 11 a.m.; silent auction; rescue organizations; vendors; herding dog demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and concessions.
“We’ve added several new highlights to year’s Doggie Dash’ n Splash Fest,” Rives said. “We’re excited to have the return of the herding dog demonstrations that will perform … as well as a Lucky Dog Adventures with their mobile lure course and Brush Strokes and Bar Stools, who will create artistic images from paw prints taken on-site from canine visitors. We even have Animal Communicator Kim Billings joining us this year.”
“The Bark” Singing Contest will be held 2 p.m. at the main stage. Loosely based on the TV show “The Voice,” it’s an opportunity for owners to get their pets to sing along, or howl, whine, and bark on command, according to Rives.
Admission to the dash is free with a $5 parking donation. All well-mannered dogs welcomed, but retractable leashes are prohibited, according to parks and trails officials. All funds from the event will be used to install the canine nature playscape at Scout Dog Park in Xenia.
The new canine nature playscape will be similar to the current GCP&T Lovely Nature PlayScape at Russ Nature Reserve in Beavercreek but designed for canine visitors. Natural and simulated nature playscape features will include log tunnels, boulders and log stumps that will be incorporated into the paddock area.
The new, third paddock at the rear of Pierce Park will house the new feature. The canine nature playscape is expected to be installed mid to late fall.
Exhibitors include: Bath Creations; Pet People; Pet Supplies Plus; Greene Memorial Hospital; and Greene County Animal Control.
For more information about Doggie Dash ‘n Splash or the new canine playscape, call 937.562.6440 or email [email protected].