April 20, 2014 in City

Nosing out the goodies

Dog egg hunt brings pets together to socialize, find hidden treasures
By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Danielle Demick, 8, left, and her sister Clarity, 6, pose with their dog, Buddy, for an Easter Bunny snapshot by their mother, Janessa Courser, on Saturday at the Easter egg hunt for dogs at the SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge Park.
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There was a whole lot of sniffing going on Saturday at the SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge during its second annual Easter egg hunt for dogs. They came by the dozens, heads hanging out of car windows, ears flapping in the breeze.

Hundreds of plastic eggs were hidden in the Spokane dog park. Most were filled with dog treats, but a few included slips of paper entitling the finder to an extra prize. The prizes included Costco cherry pies, giant hambones, dog biscuits and other treats. Before the egg hunt began, some dogs frolicked together off their leashes while others still on leashes managed to get themselves tangled up while making introductions.

“Dogs like Easter, too,” said Shelley Sharp, SpokAnimal’s director of development.

Last year about 50 dogs turned out for the first egg hunt, a number that doubled this year.

“It was a lot of fun,” Sharp said. “There’s such a sense of community around dogs. It also brings people out to the dog park who haven’t been here.”

Proceeds from the egg hunt and other special events are used to run the park, she said. It costs between $5,000 and $6,000 per year to run the park.

Dogs and humans alike roamed the dog park looking for the hidden eggs. More than a few children were there as well, eagerly searching.

Brytany Vansant brought her black pit bull mix Zephyr and tan Labrador mix Starla wearing brightly colored tutus. “I made them for Easter,” Vansant said. “I make one for every holiday.”

She attended the first dog hunt last year. “It’s fun,” she said. “I think it’s cool to have something for the dogs.”

Tiny 6-pound Spencer, a mix of Dachshund and Yorkie, was hanging out with Guard, a 90-pound Labrador-husky mix. The two are regular walking buddies, and their owners brought them to the egg hunt for some extra fun.

“They have a lot of fun,” said Guard’s owner, Gail Caldwell, as she fed her massive dog yet another treat from a plastic egg. “I love it. This is great.”

It was their first egg hunt, and Spencer’s owner, Leilani Weaver, said she’d be back. “It’s fun,” she said. “Even the gathering beforehand. All the dogs were really well-behaved.”

Janessa Courser sorted through a grocery bag filled with plastic eggs with her two daughters, looking for an elusive prize slip. “I think we did pretty good,” she said. “Buddy is in dog treat heaven.” Last year Courser won a basket of dog treats and toys, but this year she was out of luck.

“I won a cherry pie,” shouted her friend, Kelly Garrett, as she also picked through a bag of eggs. Her golden retriever mix, Lenny, largely ignored the treats. He was focused on a tennis ball, whining for someone to throw it for him to chase.

“He just wants the ball,” Garrett said as she sorted. “Oh, we have another winner. Sweet.”

Her second win was a bag of dog treats for Lenny. Perhaps he would be in the mood for them after he chased the ball a few more times.

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