The Greenacres Neighborhood Association hosted its first Doggy Extravaganza June 15 for Greenacres dogs, dog owners and dog lovers. About 30 dogs and their owners gathered at George Field Park, where they were met with tents, water and treats — kibble for the dogs and doughnuts for the owners.
Post Road resident Barry Meiselman generated the idea for the event in an effort to get neighbors and families to come out and meet each other while also raising awareness for the GNA.
“If there’s one thing people love it’s their dogs,” said Meiselman.
After setting up the time and place, the GNA got the word out in every way they could. Fliers were posted, email blasts were sent, and member Sharleen Fleming posted a notice on “Next Door,” an app that reaches everyone within a five-mile radius.
“Some [dog owners] from White Plains asked if they could come,” said Fleming. Although the event was mostly for Greenacres residents and their best friends, Fleming said the event was open to everyone.
The event got off to a rocky start when a large dog that was off leash attacked a small dog. Owners and event coordinators were able to separate the dogs and an animal control officer noted information about the large dog. Owners of both dogs took their pets home, and the rest of the event went by without incident.
The animal control officer, Phil Santore, was at the event to help keep dogs in check, but also to spread awareness of what a person in Scarsdale needs to know about owning a dog, such as licensing, leash laws and village codes.
“They don’t know [the laws] and then what happens is they end up getting a summons or fined for things,” said Santore, who handed out pamphlets and papers highlighting some parts of the village code that people may not know about.
For example, dogs in Scarsdale can’t be in any public park, playground or school, unless there is an event that specifically says dogs are allowed. Violators may be fined up to $250 or imprisoned for two weeks if the village codes and laws are not followed.
“It makes it so much easier if there are any incidents involving the dogs, just to know that the dog is licensed and fully vaccinated,” Santore said.
The main event during the extravaganza was a competition with categories that included best trained/best trick, waggiest tail/friendliest dog, best name, dog that looks most like its owner, and best dressed. People could sign their dog up for any of the categories or they could simply watch the judging. The participants won treats or toys for their dogs, and the dogs won ribbons to wear proudly for the rest of the event.
Some pet owners didn’t want to participate in the competition but were happy to mingle.
“I’m glad we came,” said Mary-Pat Jones, the owner of a king cavalier spaniel named Kira. “We’re meeting new neighbors [whom] we didn’t know.” She went on to say she believes this should be a village event that extends beyond Greenacres.
Elizabeth Mozer said she went to a similar event in Westport, Connecticut, a few days ago, but the event was on a much larger scale.
“There were thousands of people there, at least 1,000 dogs, and I would estimate between 50 to 70 tents with vets, pet stores and local businesses,” said Mozer, “I wish they would have this encompassing all of Scarsdale ... It’s fun, it’s a way for neighbors to get to know each other and it’s a good community event.”
Meiselman and Fleming explained they wanted this first “paw party” to be small so they could work out the kinks of the event before opening it up to the entire town. They are not, however, opposed to trying something bigger next year or making it an annual event.
“I think [the event] was tremendous,” said Meiselman. “I consider it a success and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t think about maybe doing it next year... Dogs socialized, people talked and I think everyone had a good time today.”