It was a gala spring event, with attendees decked out in pastel Easter apparel that included flowered bonnets, Easter-egg print bandanas and bunny slippers.
And those were just the dogs.
The Spring Pet Party at Mackie’s Parlour pet boutique in Scottsdale attracted about 350 humans with their canine companions Sunday afternoon — enjoying sunshine, calypso music and catering for both people and pets.
Vince Anginoli and Tony Bolling, co-owners of Mackie’s Parlour, circulated all day with their Norwich terriers, Sebastian and Cody, while guests and their dogs lined up to visit with a pet psychic and have photos taken with the Easter bunny.
The event was free, but photos were $15, with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Animal Welfare League.
Mayor Mary Manross read a proclamation making every first Sunday in April “Pet Appreciation Day.”
“Having brought up a large family,” Manross said, “pet ownership is very healthy for children. It teaches them to be less selfish and care about others and express their emotions.”
Many at the event, though, admitted their pets are their “kids.”
Darlene DeFranze of Scottsdale took her bichon frise, Cosmos, to see the pet psychic, Mary Weirick.
“She told me he’s a stable force in my life and he picks up on my emotions and helps me through hard times,” DeFranze said. “He’s the child I never had in the form of a dog.”
David Crantz of Scottsdale was on hand with his English bulldog, Bentley.
“I never thought I’d be one of those weirdos with their dogs,” he said. “You know, those people who become mentally ill about their dogs.” He paused. “I became one seven years ago.”
A waitress stopped by with a platter of cheese crisps that could have passed for human hors d’oeuvres.
“Is that dog food?” Crantz asked. Turned out, it was. He took a few and fed them to Bentley.
Occasional snarls and barks were heard throughout the day as boundaries were explored, but no serious altercations were reported.