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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Emily Daley, 7, helps Dallas, a 3-month-old husky-pitbull mix, open the treat-bearing eggs they collected Sunday at the ninth annual Easter Bone Hunt at Franke Park.

  • Rosie, a 9-year-old basset hound owned by Annie Lousway, wears bunny ears and a tutu for the hunt. Organizers filled plastic eggs with about 120 pounds of dog treats.

Monday, April 10, 2017 1:00 am

Easter Bone Hunt draws hundreds of dogs, owners

Pooch-pleasing pursuit

Biscuit search rewards pets, care programs

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Minutes after an Easter egg hunt ended Sunday at Franke Park, 7-year-old Emily Daley sat in the grass, briskly splitting open the plastic shells, their contents falling within reach of Dallas, a hungry husky-pitbull mix.

But it was OK that the 3-month-old canine gobbled the goods. They were, after all, dog treats – the Easter Bone Hunt's most prevalent loot.

“He's having the time of his life,” Emily's mother, Jenni Daley, said.

Her employer, Happy Dogs Daycare, organized the ninth annual event, which had a $15 entry fee. All proceeds benefited Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control's adoption and volunteer programs.

“The funding is huge for us,” adoption supervisor Lindsay Pease said as she worked the registration area inside the pavilion.

Daycare owner Jenn Pargeon said organizers planned for 200 to 300 dogs and divided about 120 pounds of dog biscuits into 8,000 to 12,000 Easter eggs that dotted the grassy field with spots of color – blue, green, pink, purple, yellow and orange.

Other activities, including photos with the Easter bunny and paw art, were offered.

Big dogs, small dogs, shaggy dogs, short-haired dogs, barking dogs, panting dogs and at least one dog wearing bunny ears lined the perimeter of the Easter egg hunting grounds. Some eggs were inches from the awaiting participants.

Columbia City resident Kayce Mallmann said her dog, an excited boxer named Lucy, could smell the treats from their waiting spot.

“Lucy likes the peanut butter biscuits they put in there,” Mallmann said.

Fort Wayne resident Lori Paul said this was her and her husband's second year bringing their Icelandic sheepdog, Oliver, to the event, which they skipped last year because their daughter was a newborn.

“He loves opening the eggs at the end,” Paul said, referring to Oliver.

The hunt – kicked off with a countdown from three – lasted mere minutes and seemed to involve more effort from the humans, particularly in the Tun family's case. The Fort Wayne clan's dog, an 8-week-old German shepherd named Koda, lay in the grass as others busied about.

“He did all the work,” Alysha Tun said of her 5-year-old son, Jayce. “He had a blast.”

The boy hadn't tallied his collection, but Emily Daley promptly provided a total for her mother, who eyeballed her haul at 30.

“Fifty-nine eggs, Mom,” the girl said.

“Holy cow,” Jenni Daley said, lifting Dallas off the ground before he could consume the remaining biscuits.

His binge was understandable. Dallas usually eats three times a day but skipped lunch Sunday because the family had to arrive to the event early, Jenni Daley said, describing the pet as “super hungry.”