The dog days of spring are returning to Ahwatukee Foothills this weekend at the fourth annual Ahwatukee Dog Show.
Competitions in categories like cutest and best dressed dogs, canine games and trick demonstrations will be the features of the show, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon this Sunday, March 28, at Ahwatukee Park, 4700 E. Warner Road.
Around 80 dogs usually participate, although Susan Hyden, director of the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center and one of the event’s coordinators, hopes for more this year.
“It’s a nice day to have your dog be the star instead of just going to a dog park,” Hyden said. “It’s a relaxed environment, and it’s just a very enjoyable morning with your dog.”
Dogs can compete in nine different categories: best dressed, looks most like owner, cutest, smallest, tallest, best kisser/licker, longest ears, longest tail and best trick.
Best dressed is one popular category to watch, as is best trick, Hyden said. Tricks in the past have ranged from a soccer-playing dog to a dog that could pop balloons.
After judging is over, dogs and their owners can participate in games, including a canine version of musical chairs.
If you prefer to just sit and relax, plenty of canopies and pools will be available to keep cool. This year will also feature a Flyball demo, an event where dogs have to run over mini hurdles to grab a ball.
The show has a few new vendors this year, including one group that honors military canines. Local elementary school student and author Maren Bussey will also be on hand to sell her first self-published book, Forgotten Friends: Stories From an Animal Shelter.
The event is co-sponsered by the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center and Desert Dog Obedience of Ahwatukee. All proceeds will go to non-profit groups Valley Fever Project and Missing Mutts, Cats, Etc.
Pre-registration is $5 for the first category and $3 for additional categories, or you can register the day of starting at 8:30 a.m. for an extra $1 per category. Spectators get in for free.
For more information, call the Community Center at (480) 893-3431.