Saturday, April 22nd 2006 was Picnic Day at UC Davis. This is a day when 70,000+ people visit the campus: prospective students and their families, incoming students, the local population and many more. As there is a veterinary school the activities include a Breed Showcase to which Rescue Groups are invited to have a booth as well as participating in a Breed Parade. This year the Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation participated. Jan Joers drove up from Southern California on Friday, I drove up from the Bay Area early yesterday morning (all the early show times I have had conditioned me for this 4 am rising and on the road by 6 am!) By 7:30 am I had picked Jan up at her hotel and we had made the trip to campus, located Dutton Field and began setting up. We took a tent, a table borrowed from my church, two chairs, two crates and my two dogs as well as an armload of the most recent newsletters, a “Meet The Kerry Blue Terrier” brochure and raffle tickets.
It was quite an event! There were Jack Russell Races and Dachshund Races. German Shepherd Rescue was there, as were the Giant Schnauzers. Canine Companions and Guide Dogs for the Blind had booths. There were Shelties and Spaniels of all kinds, Harriers (a breed as uncommon as our own) were represented. From small to tall they were there.
My kids, Trudy and Tristan did an admirable job of meet and greet – exhibiting that Kerry spirit that we know so well. The UC Davis mascot “AGS” stopped by and posed for a picture with Jan and the kids. A Wells Fargo wagon drawn by a team of draft horses made several stops by our set up to drop off passengers and Tristan was fascinated with the horses. Basset Hounds on long lines kept crawling under my chair looking for the treats I was feeding Tristan, we had to politely ask them to keep their distance.
Trudy really surprised me in the breed parade – this little girl who was a lack luster participant in the show ring put on her best face and tail and really
strutted her stuff! I think she knew how important it was. Irrepressible Tristan spent his time in the ring with his nose to ground following the trail
of all the breeds that been ahead of us. They both attracted a lot of attention.
I’m not sure how many people we spoke with but I know it was a lot. It was a great chance to educate the public about our breed, about puppy mills and their horrors and about adopting from rescue. We may have found a home for one of our babies and we hope that we made an impression. It was a long day, but well spent. By 4 pm Jan and I were both ready to head for home. The dogs were happy to get back in the car and collapse in to nap mode. This is definitely an event that we will be part of again next year. If you live in California and would like to join us next April just let me know.