10 Years of Wet Tails Wagging
On Oct. 7, 167 dogs of all shapes and sizes joined 300 people for the annual Dog Days of Fall event that warms the heart before Mother Nature cools things down for a while.
Micki Napp is the creator and director of the event who says its inception was thanks to her position working for the Incline Village General Improvement District as an aqua fitness instructor.
“We just said it would be fun to do in Incline because we’re such a dog-friendly town and we have this gorgeous outdoor pool, which now closes at the end of September, so we thought maybe the powers that be might be open to Dog Days,” Napp said.
They approached the IVGID officials, got the go-ahead and welcomed 75 dogs to their first event 10 years ago.
“We were thrilled with 75 dogs! We thought, ‘this must be everyone in town,’” Napp recalled.
In these busy times, when it’s easy to be discouraged by work or life stressors, how refreshing for Napp and her team to offer a day completely dedicated to lighthearted fun.
Local nonprofit Pet Network participates in the annual event by helping to promote the event and even providing free toys for our furry companions.
“It’s really a fun day all about free time for dogs to play; we even have this wonderful playlist of all dog songs to listen to during the event and people are there for two hours of fun and splashing, and dogs and music, and it’s just a hoot,” Napp said.
Dog Days of Fall features competitions like the Musical Sit competition, which Napp says is a sight to behold.
“First we do a parade around the pool of people with their dogs, the dogs who compete in Musical Sit walk around the pool and have to sit when the music stops — and they actually do, it’s amazing. It’s just beautiful to see the discipline; some of them sit on command, some of them never do, it’s fun to see the owner-dog relationship,” she said.
One of the best parts is that the event is peaceful for all involved.
“Once they’re inside the fenced area around the pool, they’re off-leash and it is the most heart rendering, wonderful picture because there are no fights, they always play — they are such happy animals and it is just a joyous event,” Napp said.
Throughout the day, owners approached her to say it was the best event they’d attended in a long time; one dog owner was so appreciative and even said he thought it was “so much better than Christmas,” Napp said.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.
A special screening of the documentary “The Human Element” will be hosted Friday, Aug. 16, with an introduction by internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer James Balog.