A Day At Toronto’s WOOFSTOCK – A Canines Perspective!
When I first heard about WOOFSTOCK I was only a year old. It sounded like a lot of fun and I really wanted to go! Yet somehow year after year we did not attend. In 2011, Mom was on a business trip. In 2012 we were about to leave on a month long adventure, and two trips back-to-back were not financially possible. In 2013 the bipeds got sick… well … you get the idea. But all that changed this year! This year, 2014… we went! So here is a day at Toronto’s WOOFSTOCK – a canines perspective!
WOOFSTOCK, North America’s largest all about-dogs festival, was launched 11 years ago in the Distillery District. It outgrew that venue and moved to St. Lawrence. It soon outgrew that location as well, and this year it set up shop in Woodbine Park near The Beaches (May 24 and 25). It simply needed more space to accommodate the thousands of dog and human visitors and booths!
Although we avoided most of the show/entertainment activities; I do want to mention that if you like that kind of thing there was/were:
- high tea,
- fashion shows,
- best trick contest,
- shows of co-ordination and dexterity,
- two races: “The Running of the Pugs” and a “Doxie Dash”.
After getting really lucky with finding a great parking spot near the local farmers market, we went in to simply enjoy the vendors. The first section we came across was in a smaller side park that was hosting just the rescue groups. Already here there was an air of fun! There were all shapes and sizes of dogs. From XXL large breeds to XXS ones and everything in between. We had a good time talking to the very passionate rescue people, took my photo in the kissing booth and made friends with some other Chihuahua’s.
Then we went to the main section – where all the vendors were. WOA…. What a LOT of people and dogs! I knew it was big but I don’t think any of us really expected it to be the size that it was. There were 6 rows of about 15 booths each (give or take). We started on the far right (where there was an additional row of human food vendors) and zigzagged our way around. It was a little overwhelming to be honest!
After a while, Dad picked me up. I was getting a little flustered having to dodge all those paws and feet! Our first purchase of the day was a video cam. Yep! Now Mom and Dad can watch me (and speak to me!) on those rare occasions that I am left home alone!
As we walked around, we bumped into our friend and master mind behind PAWSH. A fantastic online magazine that has featured yours truly twice! Well I just HAD to have my photo taken with her!
At this point it was actually getting pretty hot. I found an outdoor shower system .. and gave that a pass. As you know Dear Reader, I am NOT a fan of water. And then I saw two dogs enjoying some doggy ice cream. That is more like it!
I then bumped into two dogs that had some really fun “bling” going on! (all safe, non-toxic, water soluble glue) … I really would have liked a fleur-de-lis on my right shoulder… but they didn’t have one small enough!
And of course there was the prerequisite Royal Poodle in full glory! And a total adorable fluff munchkin.
I also found a really great little product to make my very own custom tag. Super lightweight, and guaranteed for life. It has the advantage of being 100% customizable! And it comes in a small enough size for me. Mom plans on making one with my logo on it, and name/phone # on the back for when I go to daycare. It will remain on my daycare harness permanently. We got a 15% discount for paying for it at the festival!
I stopped often enough to drink water, had some yummy treats from different health conscious vendors and got some cuddles. And then we spotted the best discovery of the day! Must Luv Dogs cool coats! I have always needed a cooling vest but the ones we had found to date were either too bulky or too big for my tiny size. We also wanted one that did not require refrigeration, and that was washable. This one fits rather well and is very lightweight! It’s made of a chamois like fabric (looks like hard cardboard when dry). All you do is:
- Soak cooling vest in fresh water for a few minutes
- Gently squeeze out excess water before using
- Adjust velcro straps to comfortably fit your dog
- Re-soak in fresh water when coat is showing signs of drying out.
It worked right away! I went from feeling way too hot to cool in minutes! I am so glad they added a xxs size (size 8) to their repertoire! The only flaw … do D-ring for a leash. *sigh*
We walked by the designated “off-leash” area. Here you could sign up for a spot … I did not want to go, but we thought it was a great idea!
I then went up the little hill to get an aerial view of WOOFSTOCK and sit under a tree for a few moments in the shade. The bipeds chatted with some folks and I just relaxed. It is neat because there is a big stage and the hill made it feel like a Roman Amphitheatre!
Then, sadly it was time for us to leave. We had to head out to Kleinburg – about an hour away – for dinner with family! So we made our way back to the car and off we went!
In review: With over 5.2 million dog treats woofed down, WOOFSTOCK is North America’s largest festival for dogs and has become a household name amongst Canadians as the largest one-stop shopping extravaganza for their canine companions. Now in it’s second decade, WOOFSTOCK has hosted over 3,000 one-of-a-kind exhibitors from across the continent offering the latest trends in pooch products from couture clothing to health supplements. Everything needed to pamper our most loyal furry friends. Will you go next year?