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Train, Treat and Bless Your Pet in Central Park This Weekend

By Shaye Weaver | September 28, 2015 2:16pm
 Bring your wagging tails to the Central Park Conservancy's My Dog Loves Central Park Fair on Saturday, where dogs can compete for treats, play and train up.
My Dog Loves Central Park Fair
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This weekend is going to the dogs.

The Central Park Conservancy is bringing all the pups to the yard on Saturday at the My Dog Loves Central Park Fair, where pooches will be able to play, compete for treats and learn new tricks.

Then, on Sunday, the Church of the Resurrection on East 74th Street is holding a blessing of the animals, where anywhere from 100 to 150 creatures ranging from dogs and birds to fish and horses will attend.

Hosted by Central Park Paws — a Conservancy program to encourage dog owners to be stewards of the park — the fair runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Naumburg Bandshell, which is located mid-park near 72nd Street.

The event begins with a dog-training workshop hosted Ian Phillips of See Spot Run, who will be doing workshops throughout the day.

At noon, 1 and 2 p.m., dog owners will be able to enter their canines into games like "Tricks for Treats," "Musical Mutts" and "Dancing with Your Dog."

Meanwhile, the fair will feature an obstacle course, a "Bark Boutique" for those who might want new doggy flare, and American Kennel Club behavior evaluations by A Fair Shake For Youth, a program for middle-school-aged kids that work with therapy dogs.

Dogs can also get microchipped by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and get new and renewed licenses from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

It is free to RSVP online.

The Church of the Resurrection's blessing of the animals will begin Sunday at 12:40 p.m. after Mass ends at the church at 119 E. 74th St., according to Father Sean Wallace, who is coordinating the blessing. Two priests in full vestments will bless each animal.

Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and other pets and their owners are all welcome to the blessing, which will take place outside the church.

Father Wallace said he is inviting carriage drivers and mounted police officers to bring their horses, as well.

"This is our gift to the community, and no contribution is required. We just want people to come and have their animals blessed," he said.

The event is the biggest of its kind on the East Side, he added.

"The blessing is pretty well known on this street," he said. "We've been doing this for 10 years now. People bring their sick dogs, but it's also a nice opportunity for people to come and meet others with pets."

The event is typically scheduled for the first Sunday in October each year, but this year the blessing happens to fall on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.