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The original item was published from 4/18/2019 8:33:16 AM to 4/24/2019 1:51:22 PM.

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Leisure Services

Posted on: April 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Dogapalooza: Where dogs socialize and their humans swap stories

A mother and two daughters bring their dogs to Dogapalooza.

COOKEVILLE – Dogapalooza is known in Cookeville as an event “for dogs and the people who love them” at Dogwood Park.

But it’s also a place for swapping stories.

Take Rachel Hof for example. She took her dog, Tara, a Dachshund-Chihuahua-Jack Russel mix, to the first Dogapalooza in 2010 after adopting her as a puppy from A.A.R.F. (All About Rescue and Fixin’).

“She can tell when there’s something wrong or if I’m sick,” she said. “She’ll stay there with me all the way. I’m super lucky to have her. She’s my best friend.”

If you talk to Charlene Gregory, you’ll learn about Hershey, a Yorkie-Poo therapy dog.

“He loves his job of bringing comfort, smiles and happiness to patients and staff at Cookeville Regional Medical Center,” she said.

Tina Turner said her 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Angel Grace, has been with her through the good and bad.

“She helped me through cancer, and now I’m here to help her as she gets older,” Turner said. “I wouldn’t take anything for her.”

And then there’s Derek Woolbright, who is happy to tell stories about Sable, a 5-month-old German Shepard.

“In her spare time she volunteers to help her community at the Dodson Branch Fire Department,” he said.

So many dogs, so many stories – and there’s more to come during the 10th annual Dogapalooza on April 27 from 1-4 p.m.

Dogapalooza is a free event presented by Cookeville Leisure Services that features pet-related vendors, an off-leash play area, adoptable pet parade, Top Dog photo display and Dogtastic Kids’ Dog Show.

Lori Henry, former customer service clerk for Cookeville Leisure Services (who now works in the city’s Codes Department), was there from the start. In fact, she set the popular event in motion, having been inspired by a similar event, Bark in the Park, that took place in Algood during the fall.

“Lots of people were there with their dogs, and I thought, ‘There are so are many people in Cookeville who love dogs – why can’t we do one in the spring?’” she said.

Henry even came up with the catchy name: Dogapalooza.

Now, with the 10th Dogapalooza coming up, she’s proud that it continues to be so successful and strongly supported by the community.

“Everybody loves it,” she said. “It’s such a fun event.”

She’s been part of it every year as a volunteer with the A.A.R.F. booth.

“It’s one of the best events we do all year long to get our name out there,” she said. “I just love being there and seeing all the people and their dogs.”

Henry noted that in addition to all the fun and socializing, education regarding animal-friendly organizations like the Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Putnam County has always been an important part of the event.

Dogapalooza is now organized by Cathy Benich, Cookeville Leisure Services office manager, who is also pleased with its longevity.

“It’s great when an event is just as successful at year 10 as it was in year one,” she said. “Each year is a little different but always a great success.”

She encourages long-time attendees as well as newcomers to check it out.

“Come enjoy a great afternoon with other dog lovers, learn about local pet-related businesses or even adopt a new dog,” she said.

The Dogtastic Kids’ Dog Show, which will be held at 2:30 p.m., is open to ages 16 and under. Registration is open until 2:15 p.m., and participation is free. First, second and third place winners will be selected in these categories: Prettiest Dog, Most Obedient, Best Trick, Dog/Owner Look-Alike and Waggiest Tail. First place winners will go on to compete for Best of Show. Participants may enter two categories.

“The kids’ dog show is so much fun,” Benich said. “It’s neat to see kids who are so proud of their dogs.”

Dogapalooza vendors include Cookeville K9-n-Friends, Thunderhawk Canine, Copyright Pet Resort, Unity Church of the Cumberlands, Tennessee Dachshund Rescue, A.A.R.F., Humane Society of Putnam County, Pet Portraits, P&J Hempworld, Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter, Friends of the Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter, Putnam County Library, All Four the Paws, DART Team, Petco, ADS Security, Smith County Animal Rescue Organization, Safe Haven Puppy Sanctuary, PetSmart and Luv My Leash.

Event sponsors are First National Bank, First Realty Company and Local Sales Network.

“We are so thankful to our sponsors as well as our vendors who come out year after year,” Benich said. “They help make this event a huge success.”

For more information about Dogapalooza, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 931-520-4386.

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