They call it puppy love: Dogs rule at K-9 Karnival

Steel Lake Park went to the dogs Saturday during the K-9 Karnival event.

There were rat-sized dogs, people-sized dogs, dancing dogs, singing dogs, football catching dogs, swimming dogs and drug-sniffing dogs. One dog was dressed like a dinosaur.

The city-sponsored program, now in its sixth year, invites dog owners to take part in several contests and check out vendor booths.

Doggie attire and toy vendors came from throughout Federal Way and neighboring cities like Kent and Auburn. There were also local veterinarians and dog-training businesses.

For the competitive canines, the event included activities like bobbing for tennis balls, a radar race and a bone hunt.

Owners also got in on the competition with an ice cream eating contest, where owners and their dogs worked as a team to finish off ice cream before their fellow competitors. Owners ate ice cream in Dixie Cups while their furry friends scarfed down dog-friendly ice cream made of whey, provided by Three Dog Bakery in Seattle.

To be fair, the contest was split into heavyweight and lightweight divisions.

“She loves stuff like this,” said Carol Harger, who brought her 4-year-old Briard, Tango, from Snohomish for the event.

Tango apparently prefers human ice cream, Harger noted after the furry pup didn’t place in the contest.

Denny, a mixed breed his owner calls a “poodle surprise,” scarfed down the whey ice cream in a blur and won the contest by a long shot.

He’ll eat almost anything, said Cathy Tinney of Kent, who adopted Denny from the Humane Society nearly two years ago.

“He has food issues because he was homeless. He’ll eat anything,” Tinney said. “He was so skinny.”

The afternoon event concluded with a dog show where dogs competed in several categories, including best dressed, happiest wag, most talkative, best kiss, owner look-alike, best trick in 30 seconds and best of show.

The event has grown each year with more than 150 dogs turning out on Saturday.

Federal Way will host another K-9 Karnival in September 2008 at Steel Lake Park.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.

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