I have been reading about all of these other blogger friends attending pet expos and pet blogging conferences and such with a bit of envy. Our region and state doesn’t seem to have much to offer in that regard. The pet blogging conferences seem to take place on the east coast. I looked for pet expos in my state and to my excitement I found out that there was going to be a Washington State Pet Expo for the first time in my state.
I waited in anticipation and ran down there on the first day of the expo this last weekend. Maybe it is because I had such high expectations but I was a bit disappointed. I had a good time but I was hoping for more.
Specifically, I was excited to meet a lot of pet product vendors and learn about emerging products on the market. There were a lot of vendors there but 95% of them were pet food companies or stores advertising dog food. Several of these booths even had the same dog foods on display. I am not complaining about all the free dog food samples I got but I am already pretty knowledgeable about the pet foods out there, have tried a lot and have pretty much settled on what works best for Chester and Gretel (we feed Avoderm which is good for itchy skin and dogs with allergies).
Besides the dog food, the pavilion did also have a petting farm with deer, pot-bellied pigs, goats and some kind of kangaroos (or something related to them). There were also several dogs and cats up for adoption. Just because I own dogs doesn’t mean I don’t like cats. I have one that lives with my grandparents and until I got Chester I considered myself very much a cat person. Seeing all the kittens, and knowing S really wants one, made me want to take one home right then and there.
The expo also featured Splash Dogs – a dock jumping competition, Fly Dogs agility and a cat pavilion where they were having a cat show (there wasn’t actually a pavilion where they were showing dogs).
In all fairness, I went to the expo on the morning of the first day (which was a work day for most people) and it was clear that they were just getting into the swing of things around there. This early in the weekend, the dock jumping competition features dogs that were just doing it for fun or warming up for the competition ahead. There were only a few cats being judged and one of the judges said that in the beginning of the show the only cats judged are the ones that are nearing champion status and just need a couple of more points to help bump them up (I gathered that these earlier judgings with fewer cats are worth less competition points). The lady at the information booth when I came in to the Expo said that at the last-minute they found out that there was a bid dog show in the state the same weekend so many of the vendors were there. She said they are going to change their date next year so there is no conflict.
I am glad that I went and it was a good learning experience. I will probably give it another chance next year but I will go on a Saturday or Sunday when the competitions and shows are in full swing. I will go in hopes that next year there will be more vendors on board and I will have the chance to look at more pet accessories.
Here are photos of some of the animals I found at the Expo (please forgive the poor quality as many of these were taken indoors under very low light conditions).