Join pet events at Rotary Canalfest

The seventh annual "Who Let the Dogs Out" will be held 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Bellamy Harbor Park in conjunction with Rome Rotary’s Canalfest. The event will include a book signing by Donna Mucks, whose children’s book documents the ups and downs of cancer through the eyes of her dog.

Mucks’ veterinarians diagnosed her dog, Tasha, with cancer. Mucks documented the treatment every step of the way and developed a children’s book, "Good Days Are For Walking," a way to honor Tasha’s memory while helping children better understand what cancer is and what getting through it entails.

Mucks’ father, Ted Eychner, an election custodian who worked with event organizer and City Clerk Louise S. Glasso, passed away Aug. 20, 2011. His memorial fund is helping to fund the addition of this book into Kids Cancer Care Packages.

Those attending Who Let the Dogs Out don’t need a pedigree — just willingness to have fun. Organizers will shower pets with praise along with free gifts, Glasso said.

Judged categories for the event are: Smallest, Biggest, Best Trick, K9 Karaoke and Do You Look Like Your Dog? New this year is Favorite Celebrity Couple.

The competition is open to the first 50 dogs registered. There is no registration fee but a donation of a pet food product for Freedom Guide Dogs is suggested. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office, Margo’s Mutts Cutts and Jervis Public Library. All dogs must be licensed and proof of rabies is required. The deadline for entry is Aug. 2.

A number of pet-related activities will be held during the competition. Also new this year will be Paw Readings by Madame B. Stop by to visit Dr. Heather’s House Calls, Freedom Guide Dogs, Margo’s Mutts Cutts and Central New York Kennel Club, Oneida County Dairy Princess, Cornell Extension Center’s Master Gardner, Pet Photos by the Photo Shoppe, Masonic Child ID Safety Program and Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network.

The sponsors are Ace Hardware of Rome, Berkshire Bank, Central New York Kennel Club and Rome Rotary.