Squaw Valley hosts Peaks and Paws for a weekend of hiking, swimming, and lots of doggie treats | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley hosts Peaks and Paws for a weekend of hiking, swimming, and lots of doggie treats

Madison, Sierra, Tiki and JoJo eagerly awaited their chance to leap from a platform after a squeaky toy during the "Splash Dogs" competition.
Courtesy of Sean Field |

Peaks and Paws hit Squaw Valley over the weekend, throwing a celebration for the guests of honor: mankind’s favorite four-legged friends.

Tall dogs and small dogs, it was great fun for all dogs.

There were brown dogs, lie down and lounge dogs, some with short legs and others with big heads.

There were splashing pool dogs and snorting drool dogs, the weekend was filled with plenty of scruffy, fluffy, cool dogs.

“Oh these are just the happiest dogs. Can’t you tell? She just can’t stand it, she’s ready to go back in the pool,” said Angela Haick, who was visiting from Calpine and hanging on to four beautiful golden retrievers competing in the splash contest in the village.

“This is our second year, we just love coming here,” Haick said. Three of the four pups belong to her, and all of them are heroes. Madison is a search and rescue dog, Sierra is a therapy dog, and Tiki is a retired therapy dog.

The festival was designed to be the dog-friendliest party weekend in North Lake Tahoe with all proceeds from the event benefitting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Strolling through the village were paws of all sizes, four of the largest paws belonged to the bold and beautiful mastiff breed, Tinkerbell.

Perfectly outfitted in her booties for paw protection, Tinkerbell’s dad, Lars Pierce, explained that she was on a mission to meet as many vendors as possible.

“It’s a great event, she really loves it — she works the booths for treats all day,” he said.

On the complete opposite side of the size spectrum are Mickey and Minnie, two Pomeranian-Chihuahuas or “Pomchis,” who were toted through the festival, perched atop a red pillow in their own stroller.

“Oh we’re having a nice time so far,” said owner Bill Begg of Rocklin. “It’s a little tough to keep them quiet, but the stroller is nice if it gets too hot out.”

The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe was a highlight of the event, bringing out dogs for the community and their pets to interact with, and even adopt on the spot.

“It’s been a really good couple of days for showcasing different kinds of dogs and how well behaved they are, so that’s really nice,” the Humane Society’s manager, Erin Ellis, said.

Ellis and her team excitedly reported that over the weekend they were able to find six dogs new homes.

Happy pets and their owners explored the event and interacted with new friends; Dawson Smith was visiting with his family and golden retriever Niko; he summed it up best saying, “This event is pretty cool; I mean, dogs are just fantastic in general. It’s nice to get all of these Truckee people out here, too.”

Vendors displayed booths with handmade dog collars and leashes, dog-themed apparel and treats.

Craft brew stations poured frothy refreshments for dog parents to enjoy after a day of hiking, as live bluegrass music rang through the village — it certainly was a great weekend to be a dog.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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