a festive time for Fido

Had I not stumbled upon it, I would have missed a great daytime outing with Dexter and Comet. Being noon on a beautiful Saturday, our dog park outing I hoped to be a big social event, at least for Dexter. However, Mast Park was absolutely overflowing with parked cars. No chance on someone leaving as I was last in line pulling in the park. And I was not going to park 15 minutes’ walk from the dog park when there were many other places to take them today. Following a familiar side street, I ended up in Town Center Community Park, which was bustling with activity. It was more than just games at the Little League ballfields. But this was all new for the dogs and me, as I have not walked them along this part of the San Diego River park complex. A five-minute walk from my car, across a little bridge, we came upon dozens of people walking dogs toward rows of pop-up canopies and several food trucks.

That I did not initially realize it was Fido Fest 2022 was not the failure of the event planners. There has been a sign for several days at the junction of the highway exit ramp and the road that I take most days to and from home. Finding this in Santee this afternoon, with my dogs needing a social outlet after a week of cold and wet weather limited their walks to our neighborhood.

So what was Fido Fest all about? Dog adoption groups (503c charities), the Sheriff’s department K-9 handlers demonstrating their dogs’ training, and vendors with everything from holistic food products, CBD for dogs, toys, accessories (more than just leashes), and hundreds of dogs and their people. I hope the couple dozen dogs various groups were sponsoring for adoption, found their forever homes today. There were also a couple areas for dogs to play, including one “field” that must have held several hundred tennis balls. Unfortunately, while both of mine were very interactive with dogs coming and going today, neither has ever shown any interest in a tennis ball. But we visited several booths including one I have donated some money and follow on Facebook that rescues and adopts out Pitties.

I had long, informative conversations with folks from two booths, one representing a company that produces CBD products for dogs. I have only recently been supporting use of CBD (hemp), for dogs at least, since I started giving “Thunder Wunders” to calm Dexter when he had anxiety following fireworks last Independence Day. Now I give these to Comet who has an unrelenting, compulsive licking his paws and floor in the middle of the night. It has, to some degree given my wife and I, who have sleep disorder and allergies issues relief. Perhaps these might be an alternate resource. I should do a product review for other dog-people.

And the other booth I stopped to chat with the local representatives, was a not-for-profit group, PAWS for PURPLE HEARTS, which has programs helping veterans in different regions across the U.S. They train veterans to train dogs as therapy animals assisting other veterans with physical and emotional support (recovering from PTSD). I hope to connect with them to learn more in coming days and share that with readers on this and my veteran-focused, other blog.


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