Columbia County's Amphitheater and Memorial Gardens went to the dogs Saturday.
Hundreds of dogs and their owners crowded the lawns behind the new library for the county's first Animania Pet Fair.
Rhiannon Burch, of Augusta, said Tucker, a 6-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, was so excited to be at the pet fair that she had to take him to the park and throw a flying disc for him to purge some of his extra energy.
"He is having a wonderful time," Burch said of Tucker after they led a Mutt Strut dog parade that kicked off the event. "He loves other dogs, loves people, loves getting in the car, anything. I found out about this about a month ago, and we marked it on the calendar. This is his vacation."
Tucker got to impress the other four-legged, fuzzy pet fair attendees with the Superman costume he strutted in for most of the afternoon.
Stacie Adkins, the county's community events manager, said 16 pet-related vendors and rescue/adoption groups, including Fetch Dog treats, Jae-Mar-S Academy of Dog Obedience, Quality K-9 Concepts, Pampered Pet, Happy Tails Animal Rescue, Wonderdog, Petco and PetsMart, set up booths at the fair to sell everything from leashes and collars to dog treats and obedience lessons.
"This is more than we expected," Adkins said of the few hundred pets and their owners who attended the event. "There are obviously a lot of dog owners in this county."
A dog obedience exhibition by Jae-Mar-S was one of many demonstrations throughout the pet fair, which also included a demonstration of controlled aggression by Quality K-9 Concepts.
Five-year-old Jay Yagnick was on a mission to pet lots of dogs at the fair with his sister, Anika, 1, and mother Sandy Yagnick. By 11 a.m., Jay had already found his favorite.
"I like the really big one who has the black face," he said of one of several large Great Danes that were taller than he was.
Michaela Shea, 2, of Martinez, also spent the day petting as many dogs as she could.
"She loves it," Michaela's father, Brian Shea, said as his daughter hugged Jack, a white Maltese owned by Shelby Dorsey, of Evans. "She loves dogs. It is like a petting zoo for her."
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