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Frisky Pawtraits Co-hosts The Sweetest Thing

This is not the first time we have worked with Paws and Tails in the pet events space, but surely this lockdown has made us set forth into what we would typically call the unexplored.

Last June 6, Paws and Tails, in collaboration with Frisky Pawtraits, premiered The Sweet Life with Pets - a virtual pet event streamed directly out of Paws and Tails' Facebook page. It happened on the weekend where we were supposed to be in Naga, Camarines Sur for the Pet Star Roadshow Series, which was inevitably postponed amid the Covid19 outbreak. What better way to recuperate from our pet event nostalgia than co-organizing another one in our newly- claimed digital place?

The format didn't veer away much from the familiar Paws and Tails concept, but the challenge lies in how to seamlessly put together all the moving pieces. Nexgard Spectra, Miyoko Pet Products, and Acquaverde Beach Resort were among the huge brands which made our first and biggest virtual event possible.

Guest speakers were invited to talk about topics that are of interest to pet owners- focusing on timely and important tips that can be used while they are staying at home.

Mr. Adrian Cabuhat, owner and pet fashion jewelry designer for Shopawhowlique and New York Pet Fashion Show 2019 Winner, has inspired us and taught us how easy it is to create DIY Pet Fashion Jewelry. For the first-timers, venturing into pet fashion shows can be daunting since finding unique fashion articles is not an easy task. Creating your own broadens one's creativity makes your fashion statement distinctive and proves that inventive pieces need not break the bank.

We also had the privilege to have Teacher Brad Feliciano officially launch Canine Cross Training (CCT) on the same weekend as our virtual event. During the session, he demonstrated eight training skills that every dog owner can easily follow and replicate. These lessons could be taught to young dogs as a foundation, adult dogs who have not received any form of training, and even active dogs already specializing in a sport. Aside from the lessons being easy to follow, it can be executed in small spaces, very encouraging for pet parents to carry out on their own.

Not least of all, we were also very lucky to have Ms. Jocelyn Dy of Heather Kennel talk about Home Grooming 101. This topic proved to be very useful, especially since grooming services were prohibited from operating during the community quarantine. Dog parents who needed it the most shared that learning how to groom your own pets is quite a useful skill. Ms. Jocelyn has been grooming her own dogs for more than a decade, making her wealth of experience resonate with first-timers.

We were also graced by other virtual guests, as they shared more information about their products and services:

- Ms. Dom Rodrigo, Sales and Marketing Manager of Miyoko Organic Pet Products

- Dr. Ross Banayo, Companion Animal Business Unit of Boehringer Ingelheim

- Ms. Tess Samaniego, Marketing Communications Manager of Acuaverde and Acuatico Beach Resort

It was not just an informative afternoon, virtual games and an electronic raffle made it more fun and exciting. Games such as Bring Me, The Jenga Bone, Twin Pupsies, and Kaloka-like Twinning contests required our participants to dial in via Zoom in order to join and interact with the other participants.

The virtual raffle was also meant to be a fundraiser for the benefit of the Animal Kingdom Foundation, where every donation of Php 100 gives each participant two (2) additional entries to the e-raffle. A huge assortment of raffle prizes was also at stake from our event sponsors and media partners: Animal Scene, Manila Bulletin, Ezydog Philippines, Vitality, Paws & Fur, Purina Supercoat and Beggin', Charco's Dog Treats, Miyoko Organic Pet Products, Nexgard Spectra. The most awaited grand prize is an overnight accommodation package from Acuaverde Beach Resort.

Since the virtual logistics is quite new to a lot of us, the event wasn't spared from technical glitches and hiccups. The audio issues we had to resolve at the onset and streamlining the flow of people into the Zoom game rooms were in our list of what to watch out for in the next run. However, this did not dampen our spirits as we witnessed how enthusiastic and excited the participants were during these most awaited segments.

Paws and Tails is not the first to organize a virtual pet event, but we are proud to be part of and co-hosting the biggest virtual pet event thus far. The number of people who stay tuned only proves that everyone misses the social connection such events bring. While there is nothing much we can do at this point, we're here to remind you that staying safe doesn't mean sulking at home with your pets. In fact, we are trying to cultivate the exact opposite. There is so much we can do to strengthen that bond with them and to connect with like-minded people (albeit online). This activity is just one of them. We're certain that is only the beginning of more virtual pet events coming your way. Our weekends just got sweeter- so sweet, we can almost taste it.

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