2017-11-10 / Home & Garden

Garden Gone to the Dogs!

Stopping to smell the flowers
By Arlene Marturano

On Sunday, December 10 from 2–4 p.m. Columbia area dog lovers will celebrate the human-canine connection with Reindogs and Elves at the Carolina Children’s Garden, a garden gone to the dogs.

In the annual holiday costume contest, cleverly clad canines and children parade before a panel of local celebrity judges. Best costume categories include dogs under two years, dogs over two years, school dogs, child-dog duet, service/therapy dogs, and just showin’ off. At the sign-in table registrants receive a Wag Bag of doggie goodies donated by local merchants.

Dogs are rarely welcome in public gardens due to digging, deposits, and demolition behaviors. But in the children’s garden leashed dogs are permitted on lawns and paths when accompanied by their own- ers. Dog handlers are required to pick up after their dogs and dispose of waste in trash receptacles provided. The people-pet drinking fountain next to the stage is a popular place for panting pets and humans.


Dogs and elves may have their picture taken with Santa Paws. 
Photo by Julie Prickett Dogs and elves may have their picture taken with Santa Paws. Photo by Julie Prickett Visitors to Reindogs and Elves will meet dog trainers, veterinarians, doggie daycare owner s , groomers, dog authors, pet therapists, the K-9 corps, and dog adoption and advocacy groups plus a variety of vendors of pet products, books, and information.

Attend a pet waste and water quality education session. Fetch a treat for pooches and people at the Pup Tent. Your elves can make a doggie holiday ornament, tour a pet ambulance, and join in fun activities with a 4-H agent.

After the arrival of Santa Paws by special delivery, dogs and children can have their picture taken with him on the oversize Alice in Wonderland bench under the chinaberry trees.

No bones about it, as humans we delight in the sight of our best friends parading in holiday garb. On the other paw, dogs, whose sense of smell is millions of times stronger than ours and are rarely found barking up the wrong tree, will relish a “scent”sational parade.


Package your poodle for the parade. Package your poodle for the parade. Mark your calendars. You have one month to get your mongrel or purebred primped, fitted, and focused for the rip-roaring runway event and to hound your friends to join the parade too.

For entry fee, vendor and costume contest registration, and guidelines, visit www.carolinachildrensgarden.org/

Reindogs and Elves is a fundraising event hosted by Friends of the Children’s Garden. Proceeds support the Carolina Children’s Garden and participating animal adoption agencies. The garden is located at the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center at 900 Clemson Road.



Holiday jester at previous Reindogs and Elves 
Photo by Julie Prickett Holiday jester at previous Reindogs and Elves Photo by Julie Prickett

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