Dewey’s Golden Jubilee is a Weekend for the Dogs
This past weekend was a rainy, dreary one for Delmarva, but it was the perfect weekend for the dogs. Golden retrievers to be exact.
The fourth fall Dewey’s Golden Jubilee was this past weekend, Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1.
This event got its start five years ago when Karen Gerth, her husband, and their golden retrievers joined some friends who also had golden retrievers in Dewey Beach. Karen said she loves Dewey because of their dog friendliness.
“They have weekend events for other breeds of dogs, so I asked if they had one for golden retrievers, and they didn’t. So I spoke to the mayor and we put the event together,” Karen says.
Friday night of the event included a “gold rush” to kick things off. Karen says they usually walk the dogs on the boardwalk, but had to walk them on the sidewalk this year because the boardwalk was closed due to weather. About 100 dogs were in attendance for the walk.
On Saturday morning, Father Max Wolf from All Saint’s Church and St. George’s Chapel in Rehoboth Beach, led a blessing of the animals ceremony. Each golden retriever was blessed on the beach.
After the blessing ceremony, handlers turned their dogs loose and about 150 golden retrievers plunged into the ocean. The 300 handlers in attendance watched their furry friends run, jump, swim, and have the time of their lives on the beach.
They gave awards for the youngest and oldest golden retriever and for who traveled the furthest. The youngest was 12-weeks-old, named Pip, and the oldest was 17-years-old, named Miss Humble. Ironically, they shared the same birthday – just many years apart of course. A golden retriever family from Connecticut, the Lok family, won the award for the furthest traveled.
Following the event, they had a “poop patrol stroll” to help clean up any dog poop left on the beach.
Later that evening, they had a bonfire and handlers and their dogs – sandy paws, wet fur and all – joined to close out the wonderful event.
For the past three years, they have been raising money for Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
“The study helps to see why golden retrievers are dying faster and looks at their health overall. There are 3,000 dogs in this study and 15 of those ‘heroes’ were at our event,” Karen says.
To become a ‘hero’ and be involved in the study, Karen says you have to fill out a survey.
“Dogs apply to be in the study. It’s an extensive survey that asks about where the dog sleeps, what food they eat, and more,” Karen says. “Once you are in the study, they examine the dog each year by taking samples of hair, nails, urine, fecal, and other things to test.”
Sandra Lok, who has attended many Dewey’s Golden Jubilees, says she started an event like this for golden retrievers where she lives in Connecticut called the New England Golden Jubilee. Sandra says they will be having their third event soon.
“I was inspired by Karen,” Sandra says. “She is so dedicated to the study and helping to find a cure for K-9 cancer.”
Unfortunately, golden retrievers are not living as long as they used to. That’s why they are conducting this study. Unfortunately, Karen’s 9-year-old golden retriever, Max, passed away following the event this past weekend. Max was one of the reasons Karen started the event years ago. Max will definitely be missed, but will always be remembered at these events.
The spring Dewey’s Golden Jubilee is the second weekend in May 2017. Check out Dewey’s Golden Jubilee website and Facebook for more information on upcoming events and to register your golden retriever for 2017 jubilees.