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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer at Varner-Hogg

By Angela Pfeiffer, Curator at Varner-Hogg Plantation

Pets and people came out to Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site on July 31 to make the most of the summer sun during the site’s Dog Days of Summer celebration. Named for the days that Sirius, the Dog Star, was believed to be responsible for the hot summer weather, visitors and their furry friends were invited to spend the evening strolling several doggie walking trails while enjoying a variety of canine activities. 

The festivities began with the opening of the trails and a special dog park that included toys, watering stations, and plenty of running space for rambunctious pooches and their owners. After exploring the site, families took part in the Dog Days Doggie Dress-Up Contest where fashionable Fidos, and even one cat, strutted their stuff before a panel of judges. First prize for best costume was awarded to Bailey the Golden Retriever, who wore a stylish red dress and matching bows. 

The highlight of the evening, however, was the much-anticipated agility competition, where family members cheered on their favorite furry athletes as participants endured a grueling climb up a see-saw and a test of skill and speed through a line of weave poles. The course concluded with a gravity-defying high-jump hurdle, scaled by only the most determined racers. The competition was fierce, but in the end, the prize for top dog went to Copper for a record time of 13 seconds. 


After enjoying a refreshing water and snack break, animals and owners alike wrapped up the day’s events by wandering through an exhibit about the many pets that have called the plantation home over the years, such as Miss Ima’s dog Buttons, Napoleon the horse, and Governor Hogg’s goose Polly. All in all, the afternoon was very eventful as everyone made new memories and new friends, and went home with a doggie bag of tasty puppy treats and the determination to be top dog in 2012.

Special thanks to Petsmart for donating the great prizes for our dress-up and agility contests!

Varner-Hogg Plantation is located approximately 60 miles south of Houston and is part of the Texas Independence Trail Region.

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