Westport Goes To The Dogs

Hundreds of bitches took over Winslow Park today.

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They — and many other male dogs, along with their owners, masters, mistresses and assorted kids — romped across Westport’s 32-acre dog park. The draw was the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored, 1st-ever Dog Festival.

Over 50 vendors hawked non-electric dog fences, gourmet pet food and holistic veterinary care. The Animal Control folks offered tips on hot weather.

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Selectmen Jim Marpe, Avi Kaner and Helen Garten, plus state legislators Jonathan Steinberg and Gail Lavielle, judged tail-wagging, best trick and dog-and-owner-lookalike contests.

The very competitive tag-wagging contest.

The very competitive tail-wagging contest.

The sun shined. Animals and their owners made new friends.

It was a great day to be a dog in Westport.

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21 responses to “Westport Goes To The Dogs

  1. Such a great idea. 🙂

  2. Bobbie Herman

    Looks like fun! I’m a cat lover but I wouldn’t attempt to try it with cats.

    • Sharon Paulsen

      LOL, Bobbie. Can you just imagine?!

      “Come on down to the ‘Kitty-Cat-Day’ at the park, and get your feline on!”

      … and go home with Cat Scratch Fever, and a few shredded capri’s.

      Note: Band-aides and Neosporin will be provided.

  3. Dick Lowenstein

    I’m five minutes too late in posting this on the Bridge Street bridge brouhaha, so here it goes (until it gets pulled). See you all on Wednesday night. 🙂

    Truck traffic using the swing bridge to avoid I-95 jams is a red herring. It won’t happen. Here’s why. Going westbound on Greens Farms Road or eastbound from Exit 17, there are 5 traffic lights in each direction, including Compo Road South. No trucker will tolerate 5 lights to avoid a jam, when it doesn’t buy time.

    Furthermore, those sections of state and town roads that access the bridge could be posted as “No Thru Trucking.” And with public demand, our local police would enforce it. (BTW, might not all of Greens Farms Road — which is solely a town road — be so posted, from the Southport line to Riverside Ave.? Are you listening , RTM District 1, 4, and 5 members?)

    As for the bridge itself, perhaps the best way to preserve it, is to move it where it’s needed, like connecting the Imperial Avenue parking lot with the Library/Levitt lot, something that is called for in the Downtown Plan. As a pedestrian bridge, it would provide a handicapped link between the lot and the Levitt. And as a one-way southbound vehicle bridge, it could make the Imperial lot a natural overflow when the Library/Levitt lot is filled.

    • Jerry MacDaid

      Let me add one other point. Robbie’s initial thought is correct. If CT DOT is going to spend a lot of money to repair or replace the bridge, whichever they do, they might as well raise it by 4 feet to make the river more usable without causing traffic disruptions from bridge openings. Even if they choose to leave the “erector set” in place, easing it 4 feet would improve its visibility so more people can “appreciate its beauty”.

    • Jack Whittle

      Dick, your effort to circumvent Dan’s moderation of a topic is a bit brash – why not just post as Arthur Achess?

      • I really don’t like being taken advantage of. Dick, you’re acting like a little kid who doesn’t get his way. Jerry, I wish you hadn’t continued this. I provide a forum for a pretty free-wheeling exchange of opinion. Occasionally — maybe this is the 3rd time ever — I invoke the “it’s my blog” rule and end discussion. As I said, after 100 comments there really wasn’t much more to say about the bridge. Believe it or not, it takes time to monitor comments (along with the rest of the blog). I ended the discussion, and now Dick tries to be cute and hijacks another story. Please have a little respect, Dick.

  4. Dan,
    Sounds as if the Dog Festival was a terrific
    event. Bow Wows to all involved. As a point of accuracy, The Family Center of Westport-Weston, a non-profit United Way agency back in the 80s and 90s, and the organization which spearheaded the construction of the Compo Beach playground, sponsored the very first Dog Festival at Winslow Park. There were vendors, games, competitive doggy activities and food for canines and humans. It was lots of fun but I don’t think as grand as today’s festival.
    Do any of your readers remember?

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    I’m lov’in these pics Dan!

    Got More?
    Can’t get enough of dogs and their humans.

    Who won the “look alike” contest? Inquiring minds (and out of town pet owners) want to know!

    (Had to put my beloved kitty down last week, and I’m still a wreck. I just love animals).

    Thanks for this post!

    (wondering why the Saugatuck bridge project and traffic/pedestrian issues are being brought up here, within this fun dog-day topic? Have to admit some good point made about it though. But, doesn’t belong here, or am I missing a subtlety?).


    • WestportNow got a good shot of the lookalike winners. Here’s the link: http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/lookalike_winner/

      As for the bridge comment on this story: No, you’re not missing anything. It does not belong here. Dick Lowenstein hijacked this story, because he was upset that I closed comments on the bridge thread. See my comment above to him.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      I hope you adopt another… losing a pet is very, very painful, indeed.

      • Sharon Paulsen

        Thanks Nancy. It’s so damn hard. (Heart on sleeve here).

        My kitty was a neighborhood stray, not quite feral (previous owners left her when they moved – longer story) and I brought her in before a brutal winter (2010-ish) would have snuffed her out.

        Hence, 6 to 7 years of health and happiness with me and hubby. But then old age kicked in. She was about 22 years old – a guess-timate from vet and other neighbors who had also fed her occasionally, before I moved here in Trumbull.

        A good run, to be sure.

        I miss her too much to get another adoption right now. Because … healing & grief.

        I’ve had dogs too. Always difficult to lose our pets.

        • Bobbie Herman

          Sharon — I offer my condolences and can understand how sad you feel. We had to put our beloved Tallulah to sleep in March because the vet couldn’t do any more for her and she was in agony. She was 17 1/2 and the sweetest, most lovable kitty you could imagine. They really become part of the family, don’t they? I’m still grieving.

          • Sharon Paulsen

            Yes, thank you Bobbie.

            And you should feel justified to grieve as along as you need to for your loss.
            I know I will for mine.
            My Kitty was remarkable in her humor, joy, and health, up until the very last weeks of her life.
            And it was a mutual, unconditional love that was simply … well, priceless.

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, and I hope I’m not offending folks with “macabre” on what should otherwise be a happy topic about the pups-in-the-park event. (Shoot, are we hijacking cat topics into this post?) >snark<

  6. Getting back to the Dog Festival … It was super fun and an inspired idea! Everyone looked so happy to be there and the dogs were loving all the attention and beautiful surroundings. And treats! It was a very well attended and well crafted event. Big thanks and congratulations to Matt Mandell for a fantastic new and unique event for Westport! You are a born promoter, my friend, and you did a fabulous job!

  7. The dog festival is a great and a fun way to bring the pleasure of dog ownership to the fore. If it continues, and I hope it does, it would be a good forum to reinforce messages about sanitation and disease (The need for dog owners to alwayspick up and dispose properly of waste) and safety (Owners must always be in control of their dogs. No human or canine should ever be charged by a dog, even the friendliest dog in the world.)