It was a day for the dogs at in Dexter on Saturday. The first "Dog Days of Summer" event was held under trees and in grassy areas near the activities center at the metropark.
"We loved it," Nathan Hayes of Ann Arbor said. "We got to see all the dogs."
Hayes' dog Gretchen, who was rescued by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, won the "Best Smile" award, one of the doggie contest events of the day.
Milvi Mikkor of Ann Arbor said she hoped the event would become a yearly tradition.
"I would hope they have it every year," she said.
The event was developed as a way for the park to celebrate the many dog owners who faithfully walk their dogs at Hudson Mills on a daily basis.
"We wanted to put together a program which both dogs and their owners can have fun with and learn from," said Jennifer Hollendeck, park interpretor, who helped organize the Hudson Mills event.
She said that about 100 tickets were sold for the event, which was free to dogs who brought their owners.
"The feedback so far has been very positive," Hollendeck said.
Mickey Flores of Whitmore Lake agreed.
"This is cool. I'm glad they have something like this," she said.
The three-hour event included dog training through the Dog House, agility training, herding demonstrations, veterinarian clinics by Animal Regenerative Care Center, pet tricks and doggie contests. Demonstrations were provided by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, Therapaws, Pet Grooming by Melissa and Almost Home Dog Rescue of Ohio.
Jim Vincent and Gloria VanAlstine of Ann Arbor spent the day promoting Therapaws, a canine-assisted therapy program that is used in local schools throughout the county.
"The dogs don't do demonstrations other than kiss everyone who comes by. It's a tough job but someone has got to do it," Therapaws president Jerry Nordblom of Dexter said.
Becci Corsa of Ann Arbor brought her labradoodle Max to the event. She said the event was fun, despite temperatures in the mid-90s.
"Max is enjoying himself," she said.
Don Vroom of Dexter and his doberman Duke also enjoyed the day.
"It's nice, I'm glad they had it," he said. "Duke's a regular here. Every morning after breakfast, we head to Hudson Mills."