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It's a salute to canines at Lake Metroparks Farmpark's Working Dog Weekend

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Dogs are in the spotlight in Kirtland, Ohio at the Lake Metroparks Farmpark's Working Dog Weekend (on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8), a family-friendly educational event that celebrates the versatile canine and the many roles that they have played in our lives.

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Working Dog Weekend This fun-filled fest has a wide variety of activities highlighting the many contributions our working canine friends have made to the world. Visitors will be able to talk to service and rescue groups and therapy, companion and guide dog organizations.

There will be performances by the Buckeye Dock Dogs (demonstrating their aerial skills), Skyhoundz (frisbee demos), Police K-9 units, Ohio Search & Rescue, the Canine Freestyle Federation and the Great Dane Club of Cleveland.

Demonstrations include sheepherding, Dryland sled dog racing (by Trailbreakers Sled Dog Club), obedience & agility, service dogs and rescue groups. There will also be a Parade of Breeds and for the kids, pony rides will be offered for $4.

At the Kids Vs. K-9 exhibit kids will get to try their hand (or is it, paw?) at canine jobs where they can guide the blind, play doggie games like Flyball and Frisbee and help solve a mystery with Ranger Donaldson and his K-9 partner, Carly using only their nose. Real dogs will be on hand to show you how it is done.

Doctors from the Animal Clinic of Chardon will be at the Working Dog Weekend Pet Hospital to give information about a wellness exam on a real dog. Visitors will be able to see x-rays of puppies before they are born, hear a dog's heartbeat through a stethoscope, look at a flea through a microscope, discover how a microchip works and learn how to check a dog's eyes, ears and teeth.

Kids can also bring their favorite stuffed toy dog for a check-up, make a cone collar for their stuffed dog and even make a dog toy to take home.

An unique aspect of the Working Dogs Weekend is the Reading to Rover program being offered from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. both days at Exhibit Hall. With books provided by the Geauga West Library, children will be able to read to one of the trained, gentle therapy dogs in a fun, non-judgmental atmosphere that helps children improve their reading and social skills.

And don't miss the chance to take part in the Toy Dog Parade where kids can march with their favorite stuffed dogs in a toy dog parade of breeds.

Food will be available for purchase at the J & J Cafe during the event and don't forget to make a stop at the Farmpark Gift Shop where you can pick up something special for your favorite canine and for yourself.

Hours for the Working Dog Weekend will be 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $6 for ages 12-59, $5 for ages 60+ and $4 for children (2-11). Children younger than 2 are free.

For more information about the Working Dog Weekend or about Lake Metroparks Farmpark, call 440-256-2122 or get online at www.lakemetroparks.com.

Lake Metroparks Farmpark is located at 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio. Kirtland is 22 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 30 minute drive.

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