In the immortal, and catchy, words of the Bahamian music group Baha Men: 'Who let the dogs out?'
On Saturday, the answer was the Rochester Downtown Alliance, host of its annual Dogs Downtown on Rochester’s Peace Plaza. It's a day when downtown could easily change its name to "wooftown" and everyone puts their best paw forward.
Now in it's fifth year, the event featured food vendors for people and dogs as well as more than a dozen booths for people to pamper and spoil their pooches and even do some good for other canines. Zumbrota resident Sara Linker Nord and her 13-year-old mixed breed, Beebe, stopped at the Wagazine's booth to pose for a portrait.
"It's just such a friendly thing to be around the dogs, and my dog loves other dogs," Linker Nord said.
Even before the event officially started, dogs and their owners were out sniffing the days offerings.
Five-year-old Charley took the opportunity of his early arrival to check out each pool.
"I cannot keep him out of the water," the golden retriever's owner, Julie Chamberlin, said.
The pools were a hot attraction for many of the visitors. Taking a cool dip in one of the many small pools, nine-month-old Newfoundland, Dawn, seemed to be soaking up her family's pampering as 8-year-old Kayla Mingo and her dad, Ron Mingo, poured water over the sprawling dog.
"We have one of these pools at home and she loves it," Mingo said.
The family was in Rochester from Calgary, Alberta, and read about the event in a magazine.
For three-month-old Sofi, the excitement and attractions at times proved to be just too much. The blond Cockapoo puppy had walked only about three blocks, according to her owner, Kathy Fuqua, but that didn't stop Sofi from turning into a puppy pancake in apparent exhaustion with her four legs splayed out and her stomach flat on the sidewalk.
The fatigue was short-lived, though, as she perked up to greet passing dogs with a sniff or a jump.
Both Sofi and Fuqua's first-time at the event, Fuqua said she came to socialize the puppy.
"There is not a lot of dog stuff to come and do," she said.
Taking a break on the sidewalk, Ashley Olmstead sat with her 1-year-old daughter, Cecelia and 1 1/2-year-old great Dane, Winston. The trio drew a lot of attention from passersby as Winston stood taller than Olmstead's seated body. The attention didn't seem to phase Winston, who took the pets and stares with the calm and grace of a Hollywood celebrity.
"All we have to do is stand here and everybody comes to us," Olmstead said of the people and dog watching opportunities the day brought.