Celebrate canine kisses at Slobberfest

As far as I know, no dog has ever mastered the classic silver screen kiss. Too much tongue. Too much slobber. But that’s a dog for you. I’m inclined to believe the more grateful the dog, the messier it gets.

On Saturday, May 30, we will be celebrating the slobber at Slobberfest.

The dedication to drool started in 2007 when Slobberfest made its debut in Kew Gardens. Hosted by the friendly, dog-loving team at Community Centre 55, the furry festival has become our neighbourhood’s kick-off to the dog days of summer.

This year, the event will be held right along Kew Beach at the Leuty Pavilion. The fun starts at 9 a.m., with the annual Pack Parade (headed by a bagpiper), followed by the highly anticipated crowning of this year’s Slobber King and Queen.

But that’s only the beginning. Vendors will sell their wares and contests will lure our dogs, including a canine hot dog eating competition. (Our beagles will want to enter that one.) The more refined, scholarly canines will no doubt opt for best trick, while the prima-dogga types will compete for esteemed titles like softest coat and tallest dog.

It’s all for a good cause, too. The money raised by CC55 goes toward its Share a Christmas Pet Lovers program to provide nutritious food and treats for under-privileged pets in our community.

Slobberfest also has a soft spot for supporting rescued animals. This year, our little beagle rescue will be joining four dynamic dog rescue groups pitching their tents and their causes at this special event on the boardwalk.


Speaking of Dogs Rescue has been attending Slobberfest from the beginning. The phenomenal all-breed rescue headed by Lorraine Houston always has an inspirational tale to tell. Daisy, the young beagle mix pictured here, is sure to give you plenty reason to drop by their booth and support their good work. Daisy was a stray taken in by a local shelter, but is in dire need of specialized care. It’s hard to believe from her picture that she was once so frightened by the world around her she could barely move. It didn’t take long in her foster home to learn how to smile. Now, all it will take for this little spring flower to stay in full bloom is a loving forever home – perhaps right here in the Beach.

Mikey and Mitzi
Mikey and Mitzi

Pint-sized Mikey and Mitzi are with Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport. If there was a kissing booth at Slobberfest, they would be running it. Their mission in life is to kiss as many people as caninely possible. When their previous owner was no longer able to look after them, they wound up in a shelter. Now in the care of this well-established rescue, these two smoochy poochies have an entire team working for them to find the perfect kiss-worthy adopters.

Cha Cha
Cha Cha

If there was a dance competition at Slobberfest, Cha Cha would win paws down, for her great name if nothing else. As you can see from this picture of the sleepy pitbull terrier taking an afternoon nap on the people bed, there’s no real indication Cha Cha has any cool dance moves up her furry sleeve. But her rescuers at Bullies In Need insist she’s a dancing queen with only one thing missing in her life – a permanent partner to do the Cha Cha with for the rest of her dancing days.

Her name is Lola … speaking of the Cha Cha. But she’s not a showgirl. She’s a 20 pound, three-years-young Boston Terrier looking for a love that will last forever.


If she had an online dating page, it would read: “I’m a good listener thanks to my adorable bat ears. I also have pretty eyes complete with a charming ‘pirate’s patch’ over one. My favourite treats are carrots, chicken and cheese – not necessarily in that order. I also LOVE to give kisses so Slobberfest makes the perfect venue for our first date. You’ll find me at the Boston Terrier Rescue Canada booth.”

Mickey Malarkey
Mickey Malarkey

Last but not least, I give you Mickey Malarkey – our latest rescue case here at Big on Beagles Rescue. He went from the cold concrete confines of an outdoor pen in February to the lap of luxury in May – quite literally, as proven in this picture of him enjoying the view at lap level courtesy of my doting step-daughter.

Each of these dogs has a bright future ahead thanks to the committed rescue groups that saved them. But remember – they couldn’t do all they do without you … and that’s no malarkey.

We’re excited to host our second Annual Beagle Wiggle Walkathon at Slobberfest this year, and we invite you to wiggle along with us in support of whichever animal rescue group paws at your heart. We’ll be starting our walk at 10 a.m. and plan to wiggle our way over to Global Pet Foods in the Beach, where our walkers will be treated with goody bags.

Speaking of goodies, local author Elizabeth Abbott just published her latest book, Dogs and Underdogs: Finding Happiness at Both Ends of the Leash. We’re honoured to have her join our booth at Slobberfest to sell copies with proceeds going to our homeless howlers.

American poet Sylvia Plath once wrote “Kiss me and you will see how important I am.”

She probably didn’t mean kissing a dog, but if anybody can prove how important they are with a kiss, it’s a dog that will never master the art of showing his gratitude without leaving a trace all over your face.

Kick off the summer at Slobberfest on Saturday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Leuty Pavilion on the boardwalk at the foot of Lee Avenue. And bring a towel – you might luck out on a slobbery kiss from a grateful rescue dog.

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Can’t wait till Saturday and Slobberfest! I’ll be at the Big on Beagles booth, meeting fellow dog lovers and selling/signing copies of DOGS AND UNDERDOGS: FINDING HAPPINESS AT BOTH ENDS OF THE LEASH (Penguin Canada), all proceeds going to Big On Beagles, An Assistance Agency for Beagles Experiencing Troubled Times!

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