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posted: 7/28/2014 9:36 AM

Dogs get their day at Cantigny Park on Aug. 2

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  • Cantigny Park is playing host to its sixth annual Dog Days festival Saturday, Aug. 2 -- including some highflying, disc-catching pooches.

      Cantigny Park is playing host to its sixth annual Dog Days festival Saturday, Aug. 2 -- including some highflying, disc-catching pooches.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Canines will be the guest of honor Aug. 2 during the Dog Days celebration at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

      Canines will be the guest of honor Aug. 2 during the Dog Days celebration at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
By Jeff Reiter
Cantigny Park

Cantigny Park will play host to its sixth annual Dog Days festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton.

It's the one day each year when guests and their pets are invited to enjoy the park together.

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First held in 2009, Dog Days is one of Cantigny's most popular summer events -- a celebration of everything canine. Attractions include the Bark Park, a spacious off-leash dog play area, plus shows and demonstrations by specially trained animals. Spectator favorites will include the highflying dogs of the Windy City K-9 Disc Club.

Other attractions and activities include:

• agility demonstrations;

• dog rescue organizations and animal shelters;

• on-site adoption services;

• "Stuff a Dog" craft for kids ($5);

• and more than 50 nonprofit organizations and commercial vendors.

This year's Dog Days will feature an honored guest, Cpl. Bill Wynne, a decorated World War II veteran and the owner and trainer of Smoky, one of the top five war dogs in U.S. history.

Smoky, a female Yorkshire terrier that lived from 1943 to 1957, served in World War II, accompanying her master on photo reconnaissance missions in the South Pacific. Nicknamed the "Yorkie Doodle Dandy," Smoky was a famous Army mascot and performed tricks to entertain the troops.

She later became the first therapy dog of record, bringing smiles to the faces of wounded soldiers -- including those recuperating in Chicago-area military hospitals around May 1946.

Pet owners are free to walk their leashed dogs throughout Cantigny's grounds during the event. Visiting dogs must have current vaccination tags and be social with others.

Admission to Dog Days is free with $5 parking. For more information, see www.cantigny.org.

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