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Event: Woof! The Rainbow Dog Show

Hundreds of dog-lovers are expected to pack out lower Western Park for the annual WOOF! – The Rainbow Dog Show on Sunday 21 March 2021. This year, the highly anticipated fun and furry rainbow event pays special homage to those four-legged beauties who became essential workers, helping us mere humans get through, in 2020.

Along with face masks, hand washing, Covid tracing and the possibility of a vaccine, petting your pooch during the pandemic is a recognised survival tactic. Man’s best friend delivered much needed company and benefits to our physical and mental health during the lockdown and they continue to do so as more of us choose to work from home.  In fact the SPCA reported a “huge surge” in adoption interest last year and adopted out over 1000 animals in the week prior to the first lockdown in March. 

Now in its ninth year, organiser and lifelong dog lover Steven Oates says it will be a year of firsts:
“Well, it’s the first one we have held during a worldwide pandemic of course, but this year’s judges will be “an All Stars” line up featuring personalities from previous years as Woof! has never had the same judge more than once.”

In another first, entrants can enter early by scanning a QR code and early bird entries go in the draw to win a prize from sponsor Nutrience Dog Food. 

Lockdown and the ongoing disruption of the pandemic has been hard on people’s mental health. It‘s known that the queer community have a higher incidence of depression and other mental health issues, including feelings of isolation and low self-esteem – but what many people don’t know is that having a dog offers a sense of comfort, support, and companionship, especially if you’re feeling isolated. 

“As we know, animals don’t judge – when you give them love and care, they will return it in leaps and bounds”, says Steven. 

“There will be plenty of that along with a few barks, when dogs of all shapes and sizes strut down the dogwalk, competing for Best Dressed, Dog & Owner Lookalike, Most Camp and Most Butch!.”
The paws hit the dogwalk at 2pm sharp with registrations on the day taking place between 1-1:30pm. Winners will be competing for certificates and prizes from Nutrience. 

“Woof! is created by the Auckland’s Rainbow Community but is for all Auckland’s dog lovers”, says Steven. 

“That warning about never working with animals or children? Well at Woof! we have solved it by creating one of the most popular categories ‘Wee Woofers’….. featuring the most adorable kids and their furry best friends.”

Woof! takes place in lower Western Park, near the tennis courts at the end of Beresford Street West. There are refreshments and ice cream for sale, so come along early and grab a spot in the shade (feel free to bring your own form of shade to help keep the furry ones cool) and enjoy all the cute K9 capers! 
Big thanks to the wonderful sponsors Nutrience Dog Food and Barkley Manor for helping making Woof! New Zealand’s biggest Rainbow Dog Show! 

You’d be barking mad not to come along……

Woof! – The Rainbow Dog Show happening on March 21st  in lower Western Park, Ponsonby. Registrations at 1pm, competition starts at 2pm. $5 cash per category, all proceeds go to the Auckland SPCA.

NOTE – copy for this article provided by Steven Oates.

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