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Doggie Olympics to wag tails at Burgerfest

Get your furry friend in on the fun during the Doggy Olympics at Burgerfest on July 19.
HAMBURG — Think your pooch has talent? Doggie Olympics will be held during Burgerfest at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19 at the Hamburg United Methodist Church.

This event, in it’s first year, is being orchestrated by Lisa Rood. The Doggie Olympics will be a fundraiser for the R Gang Respite Program, which is held for free at the HUMC from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month.

“We take care of people with dementia, so their caregivers can get a break,” said Rood, who works for the Erie County Department of Senior Services.

“My work there with caregivers discovered this was a huge need,” she added, in regard to care for those with dementia. On her days off from the that job, she will work for the R Gang Respite Program.

She said she hopes that the Olympic festivities for dogs and their owners will help maintain the respite program. Proceeds from the entry fee will go toward that group’s efforts.

“I’m looking for pet owners and their dogs that want to have fun,” she said.

[photo2]The Doggie Olympics will open the same way as those for humans: An opening ceremony. It will start at the church at 10 a.m. and participants will walk briefly through the village and back, to start the games.

Attendees may choose to participate in three of the six games of the Olympics.

Mr. Ed’s Race will challenge pooches to see which dog can lick peanut butter off of a spoon faster.

“There’s a lot of talent there,” Rood said, with a laugh.

Dogs may compete to see who wins best-dressed, for the owner and pet that are decked out in the zaniest costume.

Another is a pooch/owner look-alike contest, which she explained recognizes the fact that “a lot of times, you’ll notice that dogs and their owners look alike.” This event will award the duo that look the most alike.

A play on the childhood game musical chairs, pups will compete to see who can sit best on command, when the music stops.

For the speedy ones, the Doggie Dash will test how quickly owners and their dogs can be; all dogs will be leashed for this event.

The final game will have dogs strut their cute stuff, to be judged from a panel to be voted “Cutest Pooch.”

“There’s a lot of chances to win things,” Rood said. A drawing will be provided by Amy Scime, who specializes in pet reiki, which is a form of animal healing.

Hamburg’s Clyde’s Feed & Animal Center will be a sponsor for the Doggie Olympics, providing gift card prizes for winners.

The Barking Lot of Western New York Inc., a new business in Hamburg, will be one of the sponsors for the event. That doggy daycare will be providing donations of daycare and grooming, also as prizes.

Ribbons for winners and goodie bags will be available, as well.

“I think it will be fun,” Rood said. “That’s what I like to do: fun.”

The Hamburg United Methodist Church is located at 116 Union St. in Hamburg.

For more information about the church, call 649-8080 or visit

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