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September 22, 2005



Somebody, probably "they," said that dogs are man's best friend. If your dog is your best friend, that's a little sad, but still, I can understand the attachment a person can feel with a pup.

When my roommate moved out recently and took her dog with her, I missed her, of course, but I really missed the dog. He wasn't my best buddy, but if you've ever befriended a dog you know that they can be better listeners and far less judgmental than most bipedal of Woofstock. Photo courtesy of Mary Greenwood

For instance, a dog won't shoot you dirty looks for leaving dirty dishes in the sink, or think you're a loser for staying home Saturday night, rockin' PJs and eating raw cookie dough. (What of it?)

In return, you drag yourself out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to stand in the rain and play fetch with his favorite kong (you know, those indestructible rubber chew toys), and turn the other cheek after finding a burrito wrapper strewn across the carpet in sticky shreds. Still, the canine-human relationship is more than mutual tolerance it's a reciprocated loyalty, love even, that doesn't get all mucked up with words, but sustains itself with a scratch behind the ears or a lick on the face. His ears, your face, ideally.

Right: Woofstock. Photo courtesy of Mary Greenwood

To celebrate this blissful state of devotion, the Sequoia Humane Society puts on Woofstock, an annual canine extravaganza where dogs and their humans can mingle, have a beer and listen to local bands in a two-day ear-scratching, face-kissing lovefest at Eureka's Halvorsen Park, near the Adorni Center, at the foot of L St., Eureka.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Kulica (groovy folk rock, 12:15-1:15 p.m.), Papa Bear (Grateful Dead-type jammers, 1:30-2:30 p.m.), Clint Warner Band (blues guys dubbed by our Bob Doran "the hardest working band" in HumCo, 2:45-3:15 p.m.), Checkered Demons (blues music, garage-band buddies who play publicly only a few times a year, so check them out 3:30-4:30 p.m.) and Vintage Soul (soul classics cover band, 4:45-5:45 p.m.) perform. Admission is free, food and brews will be available and vendors will sell doggy paraphernalia.

If your pooch doesn't like music, take her to the Mutt Strutt Sunday, Sept. 25, and raise some money for the Sequoia Humane Society while you're at it. Pledge sheets are available at the shelter in King Salmon or online at

Register from 11 a.m.-noon. Those who raise $100 or more win a Woofstock T-shirt; raise $50 or more and get a raffle ticket for prize drawings.

Join the doggy parade from Halvorsen Park to Old Town Gazebo and back at 12:15 p.m.. Dogs obviously have to be on a leash, which is the case for the entire Woofstock weekend. Oh, and pets also need to be well-behaved.

So waddathey gonna do about it if somebody's dog ain't nice? Fortunately, Sequoia Humane has never had to deal with misbehavers in the past, so it took a second for Judy Lewis, vice-president of Sequoia Humane, to answer. "Well, we'd have to ask them to leave, I guess," she said, adding that Gene Bass, the really big vice-president of Sequoia Humane who also owns a security business, will be there to help. "No one would mess with him."

Got that? Unless you want Gene Bass on your butt keep your dog's manners in check.

Superior dogs will have a chance to show off from 1-2:15 p.m. in a variety of dog contests ($5 to enter), including tiniest dog, largest dog, best costume, best trick, best tailwagger, best woof and owner/dog look-alike.

Speaking of which, or writing of which or whatever, I thought those radio ads for the owner/dog look-alike contest were pretty cruel. I mean, so what if you happen to look like your ugly owner? That probably hurt a lot of dogs' feelings, and maybe some ugly people's, too.

By the way, I might be a judge for the contests, being a media celebrity and all, and I don't want to see any Paris Hilton/Tinkerbell costumes, OK? We get five hours of that nonsense on TV every night, and that's all any of us should have to bear. Local television personality Dave Silverbrand is the MC of the event, and though I have not asked him about his feelings toward the shivery dog and its fame-craving blonde human, I bet he agrees that no one should emulate them.

Following the contest, there is a police canine demonstration at 2:30 p.m. and a doggy/people social hour at 3:15 p.m. The prize-drawing winners will be announced at 4:15 p.m.

Also, Sequoia Humane will be collecting donations money, that is to help animal survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The storm's aftermath has left an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 pets homeless.

And if you're dogless, like me (at least for the time being if things work out I will get a puppy of my own from Sequoia Humane this week!), it doesn't mean you shouldn't go to Woofstock. In fact, it is a perfect opportunity to check out adoptable dogs from one of Humboldt County's myriad animal rescue organizations, which will be out in full force this weekend.

So, you never know you might just walk away with a new best friend with ears that need scratching. Just don't dress her like Tinkerbell, please.



Bob Doran


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