I was recently invited by a friend on a doggy date at Yarralumla Dog Park and saw how much fun my two pooches had meeting new dogs (apart from the usual suspects in our local neighbourhood and local walking paths and parks). Like most humans, most dogs are very social animals that love making new friends.
I’m now keen to explore more dog play spaces around Canberra and am on the lookout for new opportunities to make new canine friends (and canine-friendly human friends). There are a few big annual events for dog owners to socialise around Canberra, such as those organised by the ACT RSPCA, but there is one coming up later this month organised by a couple of well-known Canberra institutions who don’t normally encourage you to bring your pets along!
On Saturday 21 January, the National Gallery of Australia and its close neighbour the National Portrait Gallery are hosting “Paws for Art” – a doggy day of activities for the whole family. There will be events from 9am until 3pm including photo booths, fancy dress competitions and live music, and everyone and their dog/s is invited!
The Popular Pet Show celebrates pets in unpretentious ways and includes portraits of famous and obscure Australians and their pets by contemporary artists. It’s listed below, among the many other activities planned for this Paws for Art celebration at both the NGA and NPG.
To ensure a smooth day please make sure your doggy is fully vaccinated, on a leash at all times and is socialised and generally non-aggressive to people or other dogs. Make sure you come prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and appropriate outdoor clothing and poo bags to collect ‘doggy deposits’.
National Gallery of Australia activities
Outdoor photo booth – Step into the hall of mirrors, dress your doggy as Louis XIV or Marie-Antoinette, pose on the golden throne and snap an amazing pic.
9:45am and 10:45am
Picnic curator talks – Hear tales on dogs and their status symbol at the Palace of Versailles.
Best dressed comp – Pimp your pooch in the best Versailles style to win prizes throughout the morning including pet accessories and food from MyPetWarehouse.
Kids, pets and art – Paw painting and other fun activities guaranteed to get tails wagging and kids smiling.
Join the parade – Follow the music from the Royal Court on a doggie walk adventure and let the K9’s take the lead.
Share your paw for art tails
Show us how you and your pooch rule the court #NGAPawsForArt
National Portrait Gallery activities
11am – 1pm
Draw a portrait of your pup while you listen to live music starting with Betty Alto, alternative pop band, followed by Don Carlo, guitar duo from 1 – 3pm.
Meet some young AFP canines between and learn about how they are trained.
Best Friends show bags for the first 100 visitors to the stall.
A variety of pet friendly stalls from local business owners including Dogs on the Run, Pups 4 Fun and many more!
Inside you can see The Popular Pet Show ($10 / $8) or partake in family activities. Pet minders will be available to look after your pooch while you’re indoors.
Our dogs are already quite excited, as are our kids.
We’d like to know, will you be taking your dogs to the Paws for Art festival?
Where: National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes. Directions here.
When: Saturday 21 January, starting at 9am.
Website: National Gallery of Australia
Elias Hallaj (aka CBRfoodie) is a part-time food blogger and full-time political staffer who has joined RiotACT as a regular contributor. All opinions are his own. If you have any tips or feedback you can find him on Twitter @CBRfoodie.