Wet-nosed pals want to go home with you


I ask you for one favor every year. This is it. Would you please go have fun with dogs, which will also save their lives? Thanks.

Today, the Animal Foundation is hosting a festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Animal Foundation’s Adoption Center, 655 N. Mojave Road, with a fair, carnival and giveaways — plus $50 off dogs older than 2, and $50 off cats older than 1.

Then at 1 p.m. Sunday, the Animal Foundation stages my favorite Vegas event of every year — “Best in Show” at Orleans Arena.

This 10th anniversary “Best in Show” showcases 52 handsome and pretty shelter dogs who are small, medium and big.

They prance and dance. And at the end, they get adopted. Every year, every dog at “Best in Show” gets adopted.

“We all work our butts off to make sure they get homes,” says the Animal Foundation’s Meghan Scheibe.

Most dogs have some training. Scheibe tells me one pooch has been getting “canine nose work classes” from a foster family.

Wait, what is “canine nose work?”

“(Dogs) need to be mentally and physically stimulated,” Scheibe says. “So nose work is: You use essential oils to hide things, and you teach the dogs to sniff out whatever you ask them to look for.”

Can I teach a dog to find my remote control?

“I guess if you wanted to cover it in essential oils, you could do that,” Scheibe says, laughing.

These 52 dogs run the gamut from Chihuahua to pug, Maltese, dachshund, terrier, miniature poodle, Italian greyhound, Shih Tzu, miniature pinscher, bichon frise, shepherd, Pomeranian, Newfoundland/border, Labrador, Lhasa Apso, Chinese Shar-Pei, American Eskimo, beagle, Jack Russell, boxer, Bluetick hound and on and on.

Some dogs were taken to the shelter by owners whose new landlords don’t allow pets.

Some dogs were abused and rescued.

Some dogs were lost but weren’t microchipped.

“You get people dropping off dogs or cats,” Scheibe says, “because they honestly, truly have fallen into hard times and can’t take care of the animals anymore. And they’re crying.

“And then you get the kind of person who’s like, ‘The dog ate my shoe. I don’t want it anymore.’ ”

But these “Best in Show” dogs are happy stories.

“They were lost, they were abandoned, or we found them tied to a pole,” Scheibe says.

“And they’re all gonna find homes on Sunday — every single one of them.”

Check out AnimalFoundation.com. To play with pups today, go to the adoption center or to the Henderson PetSmart at 286 W. Lake Mead Parkway.

Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.