Local Pet Store Hosts Pet-Tober-Fest

By Ishika Samant, Photo Editor

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  • A great pyrenees at Pet-Tober-Fest stops for the camera. "[They are] one of the greatest breeds of dogs," its owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • A nine-week-old mutt up for adoption lays his paw on the cage. "I think this one is a poser," a worker said. "He is the only one that is staying for a photo."

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Five-year-old dachshund/spaniel Freddy poses. "He has his own Instagram, I was posting too many photos of him on my account," his owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Liala, a one-year-old mutt, dons an orange and black jester costume. "She is up for adoption and a great dog for an active family," a worker said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Ace, a six-month-old great dane sits in front of his owner. "Treats are Ace's language," his owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • A pet zoo worker holds Cactus Jack, a nine-month-old hedgehog. "He isn't as prickly as you think," the worker said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Mary Poopins, a six-month-old chicken, looks inquisitively at the camera. "She is part of our petting zoo, [but] she doesn't get much attention," a worker said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Cheese, a two-year-old bearded dragon rests on a worker's hands. "He is one of the most interesting pets in the zoo," his handler said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • A two-year-old corgi poses for the camera.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Chloe, a golden retriever, smiles. "I am not sure if she will look in the camera," her owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Abby, a chihuahua stays warm in a backpack while dressed as a pink bear. "[It's] too cold to be outside for her," her owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • A Pet-Tober-Fest costume contest participant dresses up as Captain America. "He is part great dane, part Poodle," his owner said. "People think he is an Irish wolfhound.

    Photo By Ishikia Samant

  • Dexter, a three-year-old standard poodle, displays his locks. "He is part of the Poodle Parade at Pet-Tober-Fest," his owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • A 10-month-old yorkshire terrier dresses up as a pumpkin. "She and her brother are German yorkies, [which are] even smaller than normal ones," their owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Calvin, a one-year-old domestic shorthair, shows off his unique eyes. "He loves walking on a leash, and he isn't bothered by dogs unless they come too close to him," his owner said.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

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After a highly successful 10 year run, the event coordinators of Dogtoberfest decided to take a hiatus from organizing the event, thus paving the way for local Austin pet store Phydeaux and Friends to not only keep the tradition going but to expand it to include other pets. This expansion led to the branding of a new Austin event, henceforth known as Pet-Tober-Fest. The inaugural episode of this event was held on Oct. 20, 2018 at The Domain in Northwest Austin.

“We are a standalone event; we were very sad to see Dogtoberfest go away,” Taylor Polk said, the coordinator of Pet-Tober-Fest. “We wanted to create an event along the same line, and put our Phydeaux and Friends twist on it.”

This event was organized to advocate for local animal rescues to convey the importance of adopting pets instead of buying them from breeders or pet stores. A handful of local animal rescue centers were invited to the event. The Austin Animal Center, the largest no-kill animal shelter in the United States, was represented during the event, along with smaller local rescue centers such as the Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue.

“Our mission is to educate and inform the community about dog rescue,” Stan and Julie, the previous event coordinators, said. “We have no paid staff and operate only through the volunteers that donate their time and talent to save the lives of the many wonderful dogs that need loving and permanent homes.”

Pet-Tober-Fest had big five events during the day, each one held every hour between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. They started off with a Poodle Parade, where poodle owners around Austin showed off the breed to the audience. Immediately following was a Dog Halloween Costume Contest, wherein people dressed their dogs up and competed in a costume contest. Winners were showered with prizes which included a mix of ZippyPaws dog toys. At 1 p.m., the Austin Police department held a K9 demonstration. Later in the afternoon, events such as Flyball Demos and dog races were held.

“We have been participating in Dogtoberfest for the past seven years. It’s sort of become a tradition for us,” Sergeant Christopher Gwaldo, an Austin Police Officer, said. “We do many public demonstrations throughout the year; this event isn’t the only one. They are all good opportunities for us to meet the public, explain our love of animals, and demonstrate the dog’s unique ability to help law enforcement.”

There were many booths that gave out free food samples to pet owners. Other local pet companies like Taurus Academy and DogBoy’s dog ranch came to the event as well. Pet-Tober-Fest also featured a petting zoo, where children and adults could interact with rabbits, chickens, and other interesting animals.

“We started Tiny Tails to You in January 2010 as a way to create safe and fun one-to-one connections with animals,” a Tiny Tails representative said. “Today, Tiny Tails to You is one of the highest rated event companies in Texas.”

A few thousand people attended Pet-Tober-Fest in 2018. Events like these are considered a great way to bring Austin’s large pet community together. This Austin tradition, name not withstanding, has been taking place annually for 11 years and is slated to continue for future years. It is a true testament to the pride and love that Austin pet owners express towards their beloved four-legged family members.