Arts and Entertainment

Wag ‘n’ Walk welcomes community out to the farm

Flash and Wizard are looking forward to Sunday
Flash and Wizard are looking forward to Sunday's Wag 'n' Walk festivities.
— image credit: Patricia Duff / The Record

God spelled backward does not spell cat.

Dog lovers everywhere might agree that there is a reason for that.

The good people of the Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation care for both species equally, but are particularly indulging dog lovers with their annual Wag ‘n’ Walk event, which welcomes everyone to join in the celebration of the dog.

Wag ‘n’ Walk ’09 takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 at Greenbank Farm.

The free event is hosted by WAIF in cooperation with OldDog Haven, an off-island network of homes that provide assisted living and hospice for dogs, as well as help with senior dog placement.

Greenbank Farm will fill up with two- and four-legged friends walking either the “old dog” route, or a longer walk for those with more energy. Along the way, participants will be encouraged to play the “dog walk poker” game.

In addition to the walk, Wag ‘n’ Walk will feature games, demonstrations and activities for dogs and their friends.

On hand at the event will be the Washington State Patrol Search Dog Demonstration team, K-9 Agility Demonstration Team and a variety of nonprofit and pet rescue groups.

Guests can also participate in the fun “friendraiser” game area during Wag ‘n’ Walk.

Adoptable dogs and cats will be available for ready and willing families to take home.

“So, if you don’t come with a dog, we can make sure you leave with one,” said Wag ‘n Walk organizer and WAIF volunteer Ron Kerrigan.

Founded in 1990, Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps pets and their people. WAIF manages animal shelters in Coupeville and Oak Harbor and operates a minimal-kill facility for healthy, adoptable pets until they are placed into permanent, suitable homes. No animals are euthanized because of shelter population. WAIF only euthanizes animals with aggressive behavioral problems and/or animals that are suffering.

In 1995, WAIF opened a thrift store in Freeland, and in 2000 another in Oak Harbor, and has a “cat cabin” in Freeland. You can find out more about WAIF; click here.

There will be a variety of vendors participating at Wag ‘n’ Walk, including shopping opportunities with the various merchants and WAIF thrift stores.

Food will be available at Whidbey Pies Café and the weekend farmers market will be in full swing.

Registration for a T-shirt and to participate in the games is at the event Web site.Click here.

Organizers are also holding a king and queen contest for those who have previously adopted dogs from WAIF.

Submit a short essay about how your new family member is doing and how he or she has touched your life. A number of entries will be displayed at Wag ‘n’ Walk, and the king and queen winners will be crowned in a special presentation.

E-mail your entry to with the subject “King and Queen Contest.” Include a photo of your dog with your family.

If you would prefer to send a paper entry, mail it to: WAIF King and Queen Contest,PO Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239.

“Basically, the event is to raise ‘friends’ for the animals and to educate the public about WAIF,” Kerrigan said.

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