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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Whether on two legs or four, visitors to Pawsitively Pets Expo in Nashua had a blast

NASHUA – At just 4 months old, Willie roamed the area in Texas where he was born, with no particular place to call home.

But that ended happily on Saturday when the shy but gentle Labrador retriever mix with big black eyes learned he was being adopted by a local family. ...

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NASHUA – At just 4 months old, Willie roamed the area in Texas where he was born, with no particular place to call home.

But that ended happily on Saturday when the shy but gentle Labrador retriever mix with big black eyes learned he was being adopted by a local family.

Willie was one of many pets, big and small, laid-back and hyper, that led their owners to Daniel Webster College’s athletic fields for the fifth Pawsitively Pets Expo, a Telegraph event also sponsored by Chasing Our Tails natural pet foods and the Animal Hospital of Nashua.

The event benefits the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, for which donations are raised by volunteers carrying large containers and through raffle ticket sales. In turn, the agency brings along dogs, puppies, cats and kittens that are up for adoption, and some of them find homes each year.

Although most attendees are of the canine persuasion, Telegraph events manager Jon Nevins said organizers “welcome all things with four legs, fins, wings and whiskers” from as far away as they want to come.

Sightings of such unique pets as lizards, birds and one year, even a mercifully well-behaved skunk, have been reported.

More than two dozen vendors, featuring everything from food – both human and pet versions – and dog rescues to obedience training professionals to pet medical and grooming care lined the perimeter of the fields and a tent area set up in the center.

Josie Waldron, a veterinary technician with the Humane Society, said that despite the distance, societies and shelters in New England often take in abandoned and stray animals from the South.

“A lot of places (in the South) don’t have the leash laws and other regulations that we do,” Waldron said.

The result is a lot of abandonment that contributes to a growing stray problem.

She has found the Nashua area especially pet-friendly.

“We’re lucky we live in the community we do,” she said.

Scattered on the lawn in one section were different-size balls, Frisbees and similar “fetch” accessories for any pet that felt like dragging his or her owner over for a few tosses.

In contention for the tiniest dog this year was Angel, a 4-month-old long-haired Chihuahua who brought along her family.

They included 7-year-old Tatyana Solivan, who watched over Angel as other dogs and their owners stopped by to meet the bitty, impossibly cute pup.

Nearby, Humane Society Executive Director Doug Barry wore a big smile as he strolled the grounds with Taffy, a 5-pound Maltese with an impressive topknot, in his arms.

Like everyone who had put many hours into planning, and anticipating the Expo, Barry said he was quite pleased the early morning showers gave way to sunshine by setup time.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).