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Woofstock Unites Us in Peace, Love, Puppiness

Plus, Who Doesn't Enjoy a Good Dog/Owner Look-Alike Contest?

Did you know your neighboring Geauga Humane Society throws Woofstock right in your backyard?

And true to its namesake's grassroots form, the event seems to attract guests of every breed in the world, according to Gerard Mikus of Hambden Township.

“All these dogs are together, and only a few times did we see a skirmish at all,” he said. “Everybody accepts one another.”

Peace, dog.

Woofstock goes down at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland on Sunday, September 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine — and if you ask Gerard, a real highlight is the contests.

“Last year was our first year going, and I only wish I would have looked into it more in advance, because they had all these really cool doggy contests we missed,” said Gerard of himself, his wife, Georgette, and their two Anatolian Shepherds. “With our dogs, I would have bet Lauren would have won tallest dog. And this year we'll definitely enter Mingo into the hot dog toss; he's into catching things.”

Contests also promise prizes for shortest dog, longest/shortest tail, fastest dog (in large breed and small breed divisions), dog/owner look-alike, Frisbee catch, most creative name, cutest buns, most talented pooch, guess the breed, wet T-shirt, American Mutt singing and best kisser.

If you think your dog could win — or would just like to watch — visit for the party plus gratis entry into the beautiful Holden Arboretum, one of the largest arboretums and botanical gardens in the country.

Festivities also include a one-mile dog walk at 10 a.m., a row of tents and vendors, a pet agility course, live music, a Meowstock sideshow, a Rescue Village trainer area, and food and coffee available to buy all day from Mentor's Food for Thought and Java Express.

Click here for the complete schedule of events and here for the complete schedule of contests.

All this said, the focus remains to fundraise, so consider collecting some cash to contribute as well. All proceeds will provide Geauga County's homeless animals a clean shelter, medical care and food. By last night, online fundraising had accounted for $13,262 of the $39,017 already collected toward the $75,000 goal, so there was still a lot of work to be done by September 23.

Incentives to “put your paws to the pavement” — with rewards for top adult and youth fundraisers — include a $35 Woofstock T-shirt at the $35 level and above, followed by aluminum water bottles, leashes, long-sleeved shirts, baseball hats, duffle bags, umbrellas and, at the $1,000 level, a Kindle Fire, a PetPeople gift card, and a half day with a Rescue Village veterinarian or humane officer.

If you haven't heard about Woofstock through Holden Arboretum, it will be a good time, guaranteed, and so close to home.

“We'll donate this year,” said Gerard, “and we will absolutely be there.”

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