Dogs lives on show

Sabine Tedesco of Story Dogs. Photos: Rob Maccoll

Margie Maccoll

The many facets of a dog’s life and the enthusiasm Noosa residents have for their best friends was highlighted last Saturday when pet expo, A Dog’s Life, descended on Gympie Terrace.

There were 55 stalls showcasing various dog services, retail items and dog activities on show.

Among them was Story Dogs, a program now running across 25 Sunshine Coast schools and four Noosa schools – Tewantin State, St Thomas More, Steiner and Sunshine Beach State schools.

Spokeswoman Sabine Tedesco said the program has seen amazing results.

“You try to have kids read to you and you seen them not wanting to read. With the program, kids rush to read with the dogs. You see their confidence increasing and their mood lift,“ she said.

Sabine said the dogs also love it.

When she puts on her Story Dogs vest, her dog knows it’s time for reading and can’t wait to get to school, she said.

At another stall was Hear No Evil, an organisation that has been caring for deaf and blind dogs since it began in 2014.

Spokeswoman Vicky Law said Hear No Evil had 18 dogs in care at present with the number of surrenders increasing as people don’t know how to deal with them.

The organisation has no base but teaches people to communicate with their dogs and has a number of foster carers who are trained to communicate with the dogs using hand and touch signals, depending on their ability.

“They’re no different to other dogs. It’s just the way you need to communicate with them,“ she said.

Active Paws Rehabilitation and Fitness showed off some of the physical abilities of dogs with an agility and tricks’ display.

Established by Sonia Petrack and based in Coolum, Active Paws helps to get dogs, of all ages from geriatrics to elite athletes, in shape, improve their behaviour and improve their overall health through classes and programs. With hydrotherapy and rehabilitation they also assist dogs with injuries or ailments.

A Dog’s Life pet expo was a fundraiser organised by Cartel Music and Events for PTSD Dogs Australia a local charity that rescues, rehabilitates and trains PTSD Assistance Dogs for Veterans and First Responders who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).