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A chihuahua eats ice cream during Pet Night at Crossman Park last year. SPI file photo. (click for larger version)
June 20, 2012 - Ortonville- Go, dog, go!

The first annual Doggy Olympics to benefit North Oakland Animal Help (NOAH) will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 30, at Crossman Park in the village (located next to the township offices, 395 Mill St.).

"Originally we were going to have a charity dog show, but being an Olympic year, we thought, 'Let's do a canine Olympics,'" said Raena Kalfayan, founder of NOAH. "I'm excited, this is the first big stand-alone fundraiser for NOAH."

NOAH is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free pet food monthly to families struggling to care for their pets and in danger of having to give them up because of financial strain.

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Kalfayan and NOAH volunteer Suzanne Hock brainstormed events for the Doggy Olympics and came up with several for the canines to compete in, including doggy musical sit; high jump (with separate classes for small, medium and large dogs); limbo; best tail wagger; best mirror image (dog that looks most like their handler); most mysterious heritage (for dogs whose features cross many breed lines); terrific pet tricks; ice cream eating contest; agility course; best dog biscuit catcher; cutest puppy (ages 6 weeks to 6 months); best vocal performance; and weiner dog race.

The events will be staggered in times, so dogs will be able to participate in multiple events. Cost is $3 for each event or $5 for two events. All proceeds are donated to NOAH.

There will also be pet-related vendors, food for the humans and lots of fun for people and animals alike, including plaster paw print-making and professional agility demonstrations.

Medals will be given to the first, second and third place finishers in each event.

"Bring your pets out for a good time in support of keeping pets with their families," said Kalfayan. "There is nothing serious about this, it's all in good fun."

For details, or to secure a vendor spot, contact Raena at

rmkalfayan@yahoo.com or 248-894-6185.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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