Canines, companions take in Dogapalooza Saturday

May 12—GOSHEN — With some with two legs and some with four, many had a good time at the return of Dogapalooza Saturday at Ox Bow Park.

A collaborative effort between the Humane Society of Elkhart County and Elkhart County Parks, the event began with "Paws for a Cause," made up of a 5K run and a one-mile run in the morning.

Although it was a bit windy and chilly, Rob Laroy of the HSEC noted that the weather for this year's event was a bit nicer, and the vendors are a bit better organized than for last year's event.

"We had about 310 participants," he said of the two runs, with their numbers split evenly between the two. "It's a good event."

Krista Daniels, an interpretive naturalist with Elkhart County Parks, said that the event, now in its third year, was inspired by the community of dog walkers Ox Bow has seen over the years, along with local rescue and other dog friendly efforts.

"The weather's been amazing," she said. "We were a little apprehensive about the rain forecast, but it turned out to be beautiful."

Parking was a short walk away from the Dogapalooza site, directly under the Ox Bow Tower, with yellow paws spray painted on the grass to guide people in the right direction.

One of the vendors was Debbie Stanifer, owner of Goshen based "The Puzzled Pup," who has been in business now for a couple of months. She was on hand to display some of the slope eaters, puzzles, lick maps, chew toys and other items her business sells.

"It's been amazing," she said about time her business has been in operation. "I focus on dog enrichment, to keep them mentally stimulated."

Lindsay Heldreth, a trainer at Granger-based Canine Body and Mind, took part.

"You're a springy little guy," she said to Boone, a Cattle Dog/Aussie mix she fed chicken treats to, who was with Rylee Olmstead, Elkhart.

Goshen Brewing Company, Dogworx and other vendors were set up as well, and around 3 p.m. both the Goshen Police Department and the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office gave a K-9 demonstration, which seemed to draw just about everyone who was there.

Author Andie LaComb had copies of her book "Adventures with Karlie" on sale.

"Other than the wind it's been great today," she said as she held down items on her display table to keep them from blowing away.

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Steve Wilson is news editor for The Goshen News. You can reach him at