Who Let the Dogs Out?

Who Let the Dogs Out?

All of Playa Guiones came out today for the annual Dog Show to benefit the Nosara Animal Care Spay/Neuter Clinic. Held on a local tennis court, dozens and dozens of dogs came out with their owners to celebrate and raise money for responsible pet ownership. It was a slice of life in Guiones that turned out to be one of my Costa Rica highlights, for many reasons.

This was one of them: friends. It was so nice to go to an event and see so many people I knew. While I've been here 5 months, I feel like I'm just now getting to know the community--and it is great. So many wonderful people live and visit here and it's nice to feel like I belong. This is me, with April and Tricia, yoga and Spanish Institute friends!

Betty is probably the most famous dog in Guiones, because she hangs out at local hot spot Robin's (also the name of her owner) which is a great place for sandwiches, salads and homemade ice cream. I can't remember if she won a ribbon today, but she deserves one for Most Popular.

The Brownie Troop was there selling drinks and cookies. I was so happy to see they have an active Girl Scout program here.

My friend and yoga teacher Heidi bought some homemade dog treats from the scouts.

They not only made the treats but also the adorable bags they sold them in. Heidi set them on the ground and I watched all afternoon while dogs sidled their way to the bag and helped themselves. Not sure if Heidi's dog Lily even got any!

But no matter--she did win a ribbon for best trick--retrieving a beer from the cooler on command! Meaning Lily, not Heidi. Although I'm sure Heidi could do it, too, with a little training.

Some of the categories were set by the organizers - like Best Costume. This dog was 'dressed' as a zebra.

Tope tied for first in the Best Costume Category--that's Woody from Toy Story riding him.

And owner Beth gets props for coordinating her outfit!

The Dog/Owner Look-Alike category was very competitive.

Although this was the only Dog Yoga entry.

For an extra donation, you can invent your own category, thereby assuring your dog a blue ribbon. Christina's dog Rigo won for crab digging, which was documented on her sign. I have seen it first hand, and can attest he deserved that prize!

Toward the end of the day, the judges and volunteers performed a pretty hilarious dance to Who Let the Dogs Out. As I watched the antics of these joyful and committed people, I stood on the sidelines taking photos with tears streaming down my face. This community may not be perfect, but it is as good as it gets. I feel beholden to all the people here who have welcomed me and invited me into their little slice of paradise. I'm looking forward to settling in for my last month with joy and gratitude. Pura vida!

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