Events

Lehigh Valley Pet Expo

Held at the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, PA, from Friday, Feb 2, through Sunday the 4th, this event had something for everyone who loves pets, from snakes to dogs to cats and more.

Written By: The Dog Journal 

It’s the kind of event that’s not specifically for dog breeders, or even dog people in general, and so I wasn’t sure if it’s worth my time to attend or not. 

I am glad I did! It was very interesting, I got to make some great contacts, and it got me out of the office for a bit. When I got to the Allentown Fairgrounds at around 10:30 on Saturday, February 3rd, the place was already hopping. Dogs everywhere, as this was a dog friendly event. Seemed like everyone that went said “Hey I’ll take Fido to see some of his buddies.” I suppose if you want to get your dog acclimated to a lot of noise and excitement, this would be the place to take it.

One of the first things I did was watched the Lehigh Valley Dream Weaver Agility Demonstration. Pat Wotring is the president at the Lehigh Valley Dream Weaver Agility Club, and I must say, their performance was impressive. Probably what I enjoy the most about watching agility is the way the dogs and their handlers are so focused, the dogs are so happy, and the way both dogs and handlers look like they’re having a blast! Pat actually wrote an article about Agility for us farther back in the Fun and Games section of this issue, so be sure to check it out. 

At 12:00 Gail Mirabella and the Dynamo Dogs had a performance, and as you can guess by reading some of her earlier articles in The Dog Journal, watching her performances never gets old. I continue to be amazed at how well she has taught her pack of dogs to do frisbee tricks. Catching frisbees in midair, jumping through hoops, dancing, and lots of other cool things happen in the ring when they occupy it. It was nice to finally get to meet Gail in person, after having talked and communicated with her so much in the past.

One thing that always makes me stop and watch for a while at these pet expos is the Lure Coursing. There’s this big empty ring with a cable all the way along the perimeter, about 6 inches off the ground. On the cable is a little white rag flag, and the cable is attached to a motor. When the motor runs, the cable goes around, and so the flag starts moving. For a small fee, you can let your dog into this ring, and hope that it gets into its head that it wants to catch that little white flag. Some dogs take to it right away and start tearing after it like their life depends on it, and others just can’t seem to figure out what they’re supposed to do. That’s something I would like to try with my dog sometime, I think she would love it!

 This expo was very family oriented, complete with a petting zoo, reptile show, pony rides, and you even had an option to get your picture taken on the back of a bucking bull. I didn’t actually see the reptile show in progress, but just seeing the snakes securely held in the glass displays was enough of a show for me. I do not like snakes, actually I detest snakes (sorry snake lovers) so watching a reptile show has never been very high up on my list of things to do. They are interesting to check out, though, and the turtle was huge! The bucking bull seemed like he was in a good mood, and no one got bucked off, which was a relief.

What probably intrigued me the most at this expo was the artist that was there. At one place, you could sit down with your dog in front of this artist, and he drew a cartoon style drawing of you and your pet, and his sign said he would do it in 5 minutes. Honestly, I never saw anyone draw this fast. It was phenomenal! He never started over, never stopped and studied, and never slowed down. He just started with an outline, kept filling in more details, and then switched to colored pens, and finished it out. I don’t know how long he’s been doing this, but it was super neat to watch!

Screenshot 2024-05-29 at 10.00.04 AM

I don’t know how many vendors were at the event, but I’d guess close to a hundred. Caramel popcorn, jewelry, pet shampoos, pet doors, toys and treats, and a host of other products were on display. Not everything that was there was for pets, but with that being said, there were an awfully lot of pet vendors there. My favorite non pet vendor was the Rum Cake stand. Yes, cake made with rum, and yes, chocolate cake made with rum. I didn’t know how the two would match, but thanks to their free samples, I figured out they match really well. If you ever have the chance to try Rum Cake, don’t pass it up. 

The most innovative vendor I saw was the one advertising dog kisses for $1.00 each. Now that’s innovative! To be able to take something like dog licking and turn it into a business is just simply genius in my opinion! I have to ask myself “Why don’t I think of all the good ideas like that?” 

Oh, and let us not forget the piggies! Called Piggy Villa, this was a demonstration done by potbellied pigs. Yes, I know, pretty different, but they did a lot of the same types of tricks you would expect a dog to do, but at a much slower pace. The pigs that were doing the tricks while I was watching didn’t seem like they’re having a super great day, and they weren’t easily persuaded to do the hard tricks, but it was still neat to watch. Apparently, forgive my ignorance here, pot bellied pigs are considered a house pet in some homes. I don’t think you’ll ever find one in my house, actually I know you won’t, but hey, each to his own.

I didn’t stay for longer than a few hours, and so I missed a lot of what happened throughout the time I wasn’t there, like the Neverland K9 Training Demonstration, Obedience and Trick Demonstrations, Canine Good Citizen Testing, and apparently a lot more. I did have plenty to do and see while I was there, though, and I don’t regret going. 

This event was hosted and run by Family Pet Shows, out of Long Island, New York. This is only one of the six annual shows that they run, spread throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. Karen and Dennis have been doing this for over 25 years, and they do a great job of bringing pets lovers of all ages together for a few days of fun and entertainment. More information and the specifics on each event can be found on their website www.familypetshows.com, so if you ever have a longing to attend  an event like this, make sure to check them out.

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SWOT Analysis Part 4 of 5: Finding Opportunities.​

And here we go, Part 4 of this amazing continued series of articles dedicated to explaining and helping you implement the SWOT Analysis in your business or kennel. Another great article, done by Chuck Holt, with New Now Services, and this one focuses on the O of the acronym: Opportunities.

 Use the blank paper to actually write down your Opportunities, and then keep this copy of The Dog Journal handy for the next parts of this. Get creative, think long and hard, and get anyone involved in your business to gather around and help you. 

By the time this series of articles is complete, hopefully you can emerge with a clearer picture of where you are going, and what it will take to get you there. In the meantime, if this looks like something you should do, but are stuck on the details, reach out to Chuck and schedule a session with him!

What to Expect From Your Puppy Customer

Knowing what your puppy customer
expects you to ask them is a good way to
know how you should respond when they ask,
“Do you have any questions for our family?”
Adopters expect the breeder to thoroughly
interview them! Some websites demand a
family to find a different breeder if they are
not asked personal questions about their
puppy’s future home. Asking a customer the
right questions can not only prove you are an
ethical breeder but show the customer you
care about your puppy’s long-term success
within an adoption.

SWOT Analysis Part 5 of 5: Recognizing Threats.

Not something we want to talk about, but something that needs to be addresses: Threats within our company. Whether it’s a grooming business, a daycare, or a professional breeding business, there are certain threats that could become reality if our Weaknesses are not addressed.

Part 5 of this amazing continued series of articles dedicated to explaining and helping you implement the SWOT Analysis in your business or kennel. Another great article, done by Chuck Holt, with New Now Services, and this one focuses on the T of the acronym: Threats.

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