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Lisa Unleashed: Strutt Your Mutt — Early Registration Deadline May 16

Published: May 13, 2018

Lisa Peterson

Newtown’s Ninth Annual Strutt Your Mutt Dog Walk & Fair will be held next Saturday, May 19, rain or shine, at the Fairfield Hills Campus at Trades Lane and Keating Farms Road. This cool event, from 11 am to 2 pm, sponsored by the Friends of Newtown Park and Bark and Newtown Parks & Recreation, is an annual fundraiser for keeping our community dog park open to all dog lovers and their canine companions.

Owners can bring up to three dogs at $10 per dog. This is an on-leash event.

The main event is a 2K dog walk, starting at the flagpole, around the campus along the very flat and paved scenic fruit trail and down the long sidewalks near the newly mulched streetscape circles on Keating Farms Road.

After the walk there will be games, contests, gift baskets, music by Kevin Koschel the Musicman, and the Strutt Your Mutt Pageant. There is plenty of parking, loads of vendors, and food will be onsite. Newsflash: the mythical dog poop fairy told me to remind everyone to bring plenty of poop bags with you!


How to Participate

To join the fun, you can register early online at and use PayPal or you can mail-in a registration form (there’s a downloadable PDF on the website) with payment to Newtown Park and Bark, c/o Newtown Parks and Recreation, 3 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470; or stop by the office at 3 Main Street to drop it off in person (Town Hall South, lower level).

According to the registration form, payment and registration must be received or done online by May 16. Those who register early will receive a doggy-goody bag filled with great stuff. You can pick up your doggy-goody bag at the registration booth the day of the event, where it will be listed under the full name you put on your registration form.

There will also be day-of registration which begins at 10:30 am.

If you are unfamiliar with Newtown Park and Bark, according to their website, “We are a volunteer group of Newtown resident dog lovers who joined forces in 2009 in order to establish an official off-leash dog park here in Newtown. The town provided us with a parcel of land and we have raised over $31,000 through the donations of our loyal and enthusiastic supporters, as well as through our major annual fundraising events, Strutt Your Mutt and Howl-O-Ween. In 2012, our efforts were further boosted by the extremely generous bequests of two late Newtown residents, Frances Hair and Hazel Bouchard. As part of their $2 million legacy to benefit the animals of Newtown, Park and Bark was awarded $171,368 for costs associated with completing the dog park. Donations from local vendors as well as public contributions keep things running. We are most grateful for the daily support of Newtown Parks and Recreation Department.”

If you’ve never been to the off-leash dog park — located at 23 Old Farms Road, off Wasserman Way, adjacent to the Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center and across the road from the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard — you’ll find it’s filled with fun agility-type equipment for dog training and exercise, a separate area for small and large dogs, shade trees, benches, and water for thirsty pooches.


‘The Dogs of Camelot’ Book Signing

Featured this year will be author Dr Margaret Reed, owner of Canine Training & Behavior Services, who will be on hand for a book signing of her newly published work The Dogs of Camelot, Stories of the Kennedy Canines, which she wrote with co-author Joan Lowds. describes the book: “Before that tragic day on November 22, 1963, the Kennedy years were filled with hope and promise. As the White House gardener put it, they were also filled with children and dogs. The Dogs of Camelot illuminates the inside story of the Kennedys’ lifelong love of dogs and the unparalleled canine corps they brought to the White House. The American public only saw glimpses of the many Kennedy pets because of the zealous way Jackie Kennedy guarded her family’s privacy. Through cooperation with the Kennedy Library, the authors have access to rare and previously unpublished photos and stories that present a fascinating angle about the Kennedys that is deeply revealing about their character and compassion.”

The Strutt Your Mutt book signing will be from 10:30 am to noon, and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

A quick shout out to vendors and sponsors of the event: Arf Scarfs, Best Friends Pet Hotel, Cafe Xpresso, Canine Training & Behavior Services LLC, Cleaner Tails, Connecticut Humane Society, Good Doggy Treats, Mary Kay, Mt. Pleasant Hospital for Animals, Newtown Veterinary Services, See What I Saw, Something Winey, Sonny’s Grinders Asian Style, The Exceptional Pet, Tick Ranger, and Tiger Rose Labradors.

For more information about the event contact Newtown Parks and Recreation at 203-270-4373 or or Friends of Newtown Park and Bark at

Lisa Peterson writes about history, horses and hounds at You can reach her at

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