Fun Dog Paw Prints Bring Kids & Rescue Pups Together At Annual Festival

When are dog paw prints fun? When they bring together puppies and kids! Rescue Ranch collaborator Karen Topping of Meghan’s House Rescue has a knack for finding creative ways to reach young minds. Thanks to her, on April 20, the Rescue Ranch booth at the “Annual Kids Day! Festival” in Weed was a hit. Young visitors had a blast and made a connection with shelter dogs in the process. Better still, many of their original art pieces were co-created with Rescue Ranch puppies!

55 Puppies literally lend their paws for the cause!

Festival rules required each participating vendor to provide a free hands-on activity for children. A dog-related craft tying in with rescue dogs? Karen had only to look out the window for inspiration. The Rescue Ranch puppy program provided her with dozens of willing canine volunteers. Karen recruited 55 puppies to help her create imprints on disks of air-drying clay. The idea was that the kids could then decorate the dog paw prints to create a unique souvenir to take home along with a photo of the pup who made it. Brilliant!

It was a huge success. The festival began at 10 am, and by the time I arrived less than two hours later, Karen was already fresh out of the clay dog paw prints. Fortunately, she had also brought a stack of small paper plates and quickly switched to drawing paws on them for visitors to decorate. The kids had fun deciding what kind of paw they wanted on their plate: Chihuahua, great Dane, black Lab… Some even drew their own. I enjoyed the deep concentration on their faces as they colored in their paper plate art.

Socializing pups & promoting the Youth Training Team Program

The sheer number of families and children that turned out for the annual festival was impressive. It was easy to see why supplies had run dry: Karen would have had to create hundreds of clay dog paw prints to ensure every child got one. The three Rescue Ranch puppies who were onsite for a little socialization, attracted plenty of interest. Nine-month-old Emmett and six-month-old Paddington were soon overwhelmed by the hubbub and preferred to rest in their crates. Sociable Jade, on the other hand, made friends readily and soaked up all the attention she could get.

Building on the success of her school presentations and last summer’s dog socialization training camp, Karen also took the opportunity to promote her lastest project: the Rescue Ranch Youth Training Team. The new program will train kids to work directly with shelter pups and generated a lot of interest among parents. Great news!