"Woofstock" on the Branford Green

Paul Morrone |

If you are not a dog owner you may think what I am writing about this week is a little weird. Actually it is a little a weird but “it is what it is”. A big part of my life over the last couple of years has been adjusting to having a dog as part of our family. That is not what is weird but what is weird to me is participating in dog friendly events and seeing what some people do with their dogs. It actually is a little bit more than weird and borders on bizarre. An example of such an event was “Woofstock” that was recently held on the Branford Town Green. Now what is Woofstock you may ask? Well, imaging 5,000-6,000 people, mostly with dogs and most of those dogs dressed in outfits with 1960’s type clothing. There were plenty of tie dyed outfits, peace signs and sunglasses. Yes the sunglasses were on the dogs. Weird!

According to the American Pet Products Association located in Greenwich, CT, pet owners spent close to $56 billion on their pets last year and that amount is estimated to exceed $60 billion in 2015. Granted, about one third of that amount is on food but that still leaves a very large dollar amount on a wide array of products and outfits. When we first got our dog Buddy, I was amazed the first time I went to a PETCO store. These pet stores are the equivalent of a Walmart for people. There is every type of grooming item imaginable, rain gear, outfits for all seasons and toys of every size and shape that squeak, rattle and roll. There are groomers, photographers and trainers all that cater to dogs. There are beds, pillows and houses for dogs and stairs to make it easier for dogs to get on the adults bed. When leaving one of those pet superstores, my head is usually spinning. Our credit card gets its fair share of use in that store.

Many adults love to exploit their dogs. Try scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook without seeing some picture of some dog doing some bizarre stunt or just a picture of someone saying “how cute is my dog?” I must admit that I am guilty of posting an occasional picture online of Buddy doing something. Cathy also loves to post pictures of Buddy online or send pictures of him to our kids. It is all clean fun and a little escape from reality. Dogs are usually so happy to see their owners. I was having a conversation with my friend Lou about dogs. He was laughing and said imagine locking your wife in the trunk of a car and your dog in the trunk of another car. After two hours, open both trunks and see who is going to be happy to see you, your wife or the dog?

It was a fun day at Woofstock for Buddy because he got to see so many dogs, way more than he would usually see. When we take him for a walk there is an occasional dog here and there but this was ridiculous. There were hundreds of dogs all sniffing away. There was live music and a prize for the best dressed dog. We did not dress up Buddy in Woofstock garb and if we did I certainly would include a picture for your viewing pleasure. All in all it was a fun day for Buddy and for us. I told you it was weird!

Until the Next Tom’s Take…