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Eugene Weekly : Cover Story : 8.26.2010

 

Eugene Celebration 2010

Stylish Pets Take the Stage Raise the woof, meow and bray at the Pet Stroll 

Local, National, International Film mania, plus zombies, at the EC Film Fest

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Ready to Raise Some Heck, I Mean Roofs? Eugene Celebration music round-up  

Village People Habitat volunteers to build a shed

Regress, Relax, Unwind Health and Wellness Celebration

Speedy Celebration For runners, the parade happens in the afterglow

Undeath Will Not Them Part The Celebration gets its first zombie wedding

 

Stylish Pets Take the Stage

Raise the woof, meow and bray at the Pet Stroll 

by Catherine Foss

Photo courtesy Jenette Kane

Footy pajamas, tutus, capes and Fourth of July bandannas — perfect for a fashionable pet. Whether dressing up a pet is an act of love or an act of humiliation, the Eugene Pet Stroll attracts animals of all sorts: In the past, the Celebration’s pet parade has seen guinea pigs, mice, donkeys, snakes and a coatimundi, in addition to the usual dogs and cats. This year, all the money the furry and scaly friends raise goes to a new charity, but the event bounds on.

Now in its 13th year, the Pet Stroll this year picked a theme of “Raise the Woof,” a play on Celebration theme “Raise the Roof.” Pet Stroll proceeds will all go to Habitat for Humanity. The parade starts at 11:30 am Sunday, Aug. 29, at Park and Oak, and spectators are welcome (bring cameras!).

In previous years, proceeds went to the Bearen Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helped pay vet bills when pet owners couldn’t afford the cost. Jenette Kane, one of the main organizers behind the event, estimates that the parade has helped pay more than $36,000 in vet bills during the last 10 years. But after the Bearen Foundation relocated to California, it was time to find a new organization to connect with. Habitat for Humanity stepped in on little cat feet.

Kane says that almost nobody registers for the fun beforehand, but she adds that on the day of the event, more than 200 people usually just show up. “They love it; it’s like a cult following,” Kane says.

 Even the pets seem to have a good time. “You would think they’d be humiliated, like, ‘Why did Mom dress me up in this silly tutu?’” Kane says. “But they seem pretty proud of their little costumes.” 

Whether it’s a group of pets outfitted in togas and pulling chariots or two dogs in bride and groom outfits, Kane has seen it all. Some owners show solidarity and don outfits  matching their pets. “This one guy had a tutu and he made several little tutus strung along the snake,” she says, laughing.  

Costumes are not required, so pets who refuse to dress in that brightly colored Hawaiian shirt can still strut their stuff. There are no restrictions on the age of owners, either. The only real recommendations are current vaccinations, licensing and good behavior. 

Kane isn’t sure what will happen with the event next year, but she is confident that people will participate regardless. “It will never die,” she says. “Whether it’s organized or not, people will show up.”

Humans are required to donate at least $5 per person, but furry or scaled friends are free.