PETS ON WHEELS is holding its annual Paws for a Cause this Sunday at Memorial Stadium, and you might be in for a surprise when that couch potato of a dog you own comes alive for the fun.
All pets can join in a race or a walk with their owners, or dress up for the fashion show. Test your dog's skill at agility in the Pedigree Pentathlon, in which dogs maneuver through a maze, climbs hills, go through tunnels, over hurdles and on elevated planks.
Local agility trainers such as Jo Kendig of Lutherville will assist and judge. Kendig, who is a Pets on Wheels board member, assistant trainer and agility chairperson for the Oriole Dog Training Club, will also have her own soft-coated Wheaten terrier on hand for an agility demonstration along with other Oriole club members and their agility-trained dogs.
For eight years, Kendig has been active in the Oriole club, which trains dogs in obedience. She is also a teacher in the Baltimore City schools. Her interest in agility training began almost four years ago when she had two Wheatons who were trained as rescue dogs but were very shy. ''I heard that agility training helped build confidence, and it does,'' she says.
Also on Sunday, a "select-a-dog" computer will offer a fun and not too serious way to find out whether you have the right dog, or what breed you might consider owning in the future. By answering 12 questions, the computer will select the ideal breed of dog for you. Like the pentathlon event, the computer exhibit is sponsored by Pedigree, manufacturers of dog and cat foods.
The two-mile race begins at 10 a.m. and requires a $10 entry fee. Walkers may begin the 5K (a little under three-miles) walk any time between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., going from the stadium, around Lake Montebello and returning to the stadium.
The doggie dress-up contest is at 11 a.m. and during the day there will be demonstrations with support dogs for the deaf and the blind, the K-9 Corps police dogs and agility. The Pedigree Pentathlon will go on all day from noon to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served and prizes will be awarded.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Pets on Wheels, a program of the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education in which pets and owners visit nursing home residents, bringing furry comfort to those who can no longer have a pet but long for their company. Information about the program will be available at the event and volunteers will be ready to sign up those owners who, with their pets, want to be a volunteers for Pets on Wheels.
For details of pledge sheets or other information about Paws for a Cause, call 366-7387.