By Ellen Zoe Golden Photos by:Tamarindo Family Photos
Last month, Tamarindo had a great big party. In and of itself, that’s not news, but at this fiesta, the participants were the dogs of the community and their loving owners. The ADI Dog Event, which took place at Loose Moose Garage, not only featured activities for the dogs who already had homes, but even found owners for 45 who didn’t have them.
The brainchild of Marylee Jones and Teresa Okecki, who both give their time to the Asociacion Deserallo de Integral de Tamarindo (ADI), the Dog Event was conceived in order to raise money and awareness of ADI, as well as to present a day of activities that families and individuals who love dogs can celebrate their canine friends. They approached Silvia Lopez Villanueva, the owner of Tuanis Vet, who introduced them to Dr. Gilberth Cavallini, another veterinarian. Doris Luby of Homeless and Helpless connected them with Shari Macdonald from Latigo K9 Dog Training.
“Tamarindo loves dogs and dogs love Tamarindo,” said Okecki. “There are no events for them and they are a very important part of our community. They gather people around them and that is what ADI intends to do as well, in order to grow as a united community.”
Added Jones: “The reaction was so great because it was fun stuff about dogs. I was surprised at the turnout. We have people now asking ‘when is the next one?’”
The ADI Dog Fair not only had the K9 training demonstration, free examinations by the vets, professional pet photography, children’s face painting, but also a series of competitions whereby dogs vied for Tallest, Smallest, Happiest, Grumpiest, Prettiest, Best Kiss, Most Obedient, Best Dressed, Fattest, Best Pure Breed, Looks Like Owner, Furriest, and Cutest.
Otis and Happy Walsh entered their dog Sammi into the Fattest Dog category and she won. Sammi was proudly walking around afterwards with her flower lei, designating her as a winner.
On a serious note: Luby of Homeless and Helpless (www.homelessandhelpless.com), a three-year-old organization based near Arenal that has rescued and placed about 2,700 animals, heard about the event. She already had a relationship with ADI because every three weeks she brings animals to adopt to the Tamarindo Feria, which is run by ADI as well. For the ADI Dog Event, Doris brought 45 dogs (and a couple of cats) and all were adopted within 3 hours. Prospective owners were pre-interviewed to learn why they wanted the dogs, where they were going to live, and if they could afford the dog including the attendant medical attention.
“It was a success for the animals because each found loving homes, with families who will vaccinate them and have the means to care for them,” Luby said. “We were trying to educate the public about the fact that castration would prevent unwanted puppies and kittens.”
Approximately $770 was raised by the ADI Dog Event, about enough for a month’s salary for one of the two Tamarindo Lifeguards. Sponsors included Dragonfly, El Coconut, La Pachanga, Longboards, Pangas, Pura Vida Hostel, Seasons, El Patio, Vulcano, Bamboo Sushi Club, Patagonia, La Bodega, Sweet Desires/Dulces Deseos, Alegria Soaps, Guana, Isabel’s Friends, Barcelo Langosta, Arenas Adventure, Los Altos de Eros Spa, Cosmic Sister Shop, Alkimia, Cala Luna, Papaya Con Leche, Capitan Suizo, Neptuno Surf Club, Massage by Elizabeth, Ser Om Shanti Yoga, Banana Surf Club, Mermaids & Sailors Yoga, Latigo K9, New Monkey Jungle, Marlin Del Rey, The Swell Dealer, Pura Aventura, Revive Wellness Center, and Blue Dolphin.