On Saturday 30 July, dogs and their owners gathered at Exhibition Park for the annual Pooch Affair: Doggie Day Out.

A Pooch Affair is all about the friendship we share with our furry friends, as well as educating current and wannabe pet owners about responsible pet ownership. The event has quickly become one of the most adorable, delightful and amusing gatherings on Canberra’s social calendar. As an annual edition to my own personal calendar, I can safely say that this year was bigger and better than ever before.

The atmosphere was outrageously cheerful with countless fun, activities and more than 70 exhibitors handing out show bags, including everything from dog biscuits to grooming kits.

My Maltese cross Shih Tzu dog, flawlessly dressed pretty in pink, could not contain her excitement. Overwhelmed with happiness from the buzz of people and other pooches, we visited Breed Play Hour: Oodles of Oodles – a pen full of dogs with anything mixed with a poodle, to start our doggie day out (labradoodle, schnoodle, goldendoodle, moodle…all of the oodles!).

After perusing the stalls, performance stages and exhibits, including a cartoonist drawing dog portraits and a doppelgänger look-a-like competition, it was time to move on to the food.

To treat ourselves, myself and a number of four-legged friends and their owners took a seat at the High Tea with Dogs: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. As we walked through the rose archway into the high tea area, humans were offered a glass of bubbly champagne, while dogs were presented with a range of puppy delights and an extra special frothy puppuccino.

After filling our bellies, we tested out the Come and Try Agility presentation by RSPCA ACT. For a gold coin donation trainers demonstrated how to take your dog through the obstacle course. I was quite impressed with my 12-year-old dog’s ability to run over ladders, jump over hoops and dash through a tunnel.

For dog owners who love dressing their pooches in cute clothes (guilty as charged), the Puparazzi Parade stage saw pooches strut their stuff for an adoring audience of their peers. Even though there were a number of different colours and textures on display my favourite outfit would have to have been the Pikachu (Pokémon) costume that triggered many awws from the spectators – including myself.

After what was a fantastic experience I can safely say that A Pooch Affair is already on my 2017 to do list!