by Jessica Carreras
Cat lovers, beware. On July 26, Ferndale is going to the dogs. Literally.
There, with a host of events and various stores and vendors participating, the first ever Fido Does Ferndale will take over the city.
“We’re very glad to host this event in Ferndale,” said Ferndale Mayor and Midwest AIDS Prevention Project Executive Director Craig Covey. “The people of Ferndale are certainly pet lovers and while I happen to be a cat person, I will be making an appearance at the Charge of the Chihuahuas.”
More than just making an appearance, Covey will be one of the judges for the event, which takes place at AJ’s Cafe in downtown Ferndale at noon. There, Chihuahua owners will be able to show off their pint-sized pooches in costumes and compete in a variety of contests. Cat-fondness aside, Covey came up with the idea after seeing Birmingham’s beagle parade. “I wanted to do something similar,” he said. “Ferndale likes to do things a little bit on the edge. We support diversity and so we’re doing this with the Chihuahuas and it’s just one more thing fun thing that is casual and fun.”
No Taco Bell pups in your household? No worries. Dog owners of all types can participate in the Pooch Parade – a walk down the streets of Ferndale with four-legged friends. The parade will benefit Wonderful Animals Giving Support, a non-profit organization that helps people with HIV/AIDS care for and keep their pets. The parade begins at 9 a.m. at Fetch on Woodward Avenue. Registration begins a half hour prior, or can be done online. A fee of $25 includes a bandana, and $50 includes a bandana and a Fido Does Ferndale T-shirt.
Throughout the day, there will also be vendors offering everything from in-home dog training and dog beds to couture accessories and hand knit sweaters and scarves. Vendors include Doggy Deli, Bark Busters of Greater Detroit and Gertie Gear. Several stores in the area will also open their doors to pets, including pet accessory stores Naka and Fetch, as well as Huntington Bank and the Candlewick Shoppe.
Affirmations will also allow pets inside – but that’s nothing new for the canine-friendly LGBT community center. According to Special Events Coordinator Carrie Copeland, visitors and employees alike often bring their dogs in, so they welcome a day filled with barks and wagging tails. Affirmations CEO Leslie Thompson, who, along with Copeland and others, is helping to organize the day for dogs, even nicknamed hers Beau the Wonderdog. “I think that a lot of LGBT people really love their pets,” said Copeland, whose greyhound Twiggy took top prize at Motor City Pride’s Doggie Drag Show in June. “This is a great way to celebrate that relationship between humans and their companions.”
Dog adoption and a “pho-dog-raphy” will also be available, ensuring that everyone from the most serious pet lover to the casual canine cohort will have something to enjoy. “The people of Ferndale are welcome and visitors are welcome to come as well,” Covey said. “There’s a host of different events for people – and the members of their family that they consider their pets.”
For more information on Fido Does Ferndale, or to register your business or be a vendor, visit http://www.fidodoesferndale.com.
Fido Does Ferndale
9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 26