Pooch Parade set for Saturday in Glenwood | PostIndependent.com

Pooch Parade set for Saturday in Glenwood

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” In Trish Hittinger’s opinion, dogs are the closest things there are to little “humans in fur.”

Except their love is unconditional.

As you may have guessed, Hittinger is quite the dog person ” though she’s a bit more dedicated than most. As president of Heeling Partners of the Roaring Fork Valley, she oversees a bunch of humans and pups who visit patients at Valley View Hospital. In the Angels with Paws program, the animals spend time with local elementary school students, who in turn read to them. And just like any non-profit, Hittinger’s dedicated group of volunteers their do-gooding dogs need a bit of dough to keep this whole operation running.

Welcome to the Pooch Parade, the organization’s annual fundraiser.

“This is one the few times when dog owners do get together,” Hittinger said.

So they make sure to do it up right. On Saturday morning, they and their canines will fill Two Rivers Park and take a few easy laps around it. This time around, the parade will be led by Ira Karet, his little Jack Russel terrier (appropriately named “Jack,” to boot). Like years past, Hittinger imagines a lot of friendly chatting between the owners ” and friendly sniffing between their pets. The day is low-key, a fun canine carnival of sorts. For $15, each dog/owner pair not only gets the parade, but also a free raffle ticket, Starbucks coffee, a pet-and-owner portrait and tons of free goodies offered by local businesses. Additional raffle tickets, for prizes that top $2,300 in value, as well as a silent auction will also be available for the humans. For the dogs there will be everything from fitness evaluations to IQ tests and pedicures.

For Hittinger, one of the biggest draws has got to be the costumes, though.

She excitedly recalled seeing dogs in top hats and a little cowboy outfits. Once there was a saucy-looking bulldog in a tuxedo. She likes how they all kind of prance, looking so proud as they trot around the park.

“Oh, they were darling!” she exclaimed.

While some people wonder why these owners go to such lengths for their pups, Hittinger doesn’t ” not for a moment. Though she and her husband, Gerry, only have one dog to heap love on these days (Fina, a yellow lab and Heeling Partners pooch), they spent six years raising guide dog puppies. She was just born with a love for dogs, and she’s happy to be in a community where so many feel the same. This is the kind of valley where dogs are allowed in lots of businesses, where the dog parks are happening places, where folks treat their pooches almost like children.

“Dog people are just a special breed unto themselves,” she explained.

And this weekend, along with their canine counterparts, they get their day.

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111


Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

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