Dog was woman’s best friend

Jude Artenstein with Rusty

Jude Artenstein with Scout

 

By Mimi Pollack

Mimi Pollack

Mimi Pollack

SAN DIEGO — The Doggie Street Festival is the love child of Jude Pauline Artenstein, a San Diego based independent filmmaker and wife of producer/director Isaac Artenstein.  She founded the annual festival seven years ago as a civic tribute to her beloved golden retriever, Scout.

During that time [2008-2009], she was recuperating from a serious accident that left her unable to walk for months. Scout was her constant and devoted companion who stayed by her side. As she could not move much, she spent a lot of time watching the news and was deeply affected  by the economic crisis and news stories about dogs and cats left behind in abandoned houses, as well as families losing their jobs and unable to keep their pets, and finally, overflowing shelters  that could no longer accept animals.

Moved by all these stories and grateful for the companionship Scout provided, she felt inspired to do something, and once her health improved, she went about creating an adoption event that would bring together the rescue community and provide a platform to increase adoption and education on spaying and neutering as well as a festive celebration for all.

“It is important to create visibility that will result in more humans attending and more dogs and cats finding loving people to take care of them the rest of their lives,” she says. “This event always moves me to realize that together we can do very good things.”

That  festival has grown into three annual events held in San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Sadly, Scout passed away from cancer and is no longer by Artenstein’s side. However, she said, these festivals are a way to not only honor him, but also acknowledge all our four legged friends as they accompany us on life’s journey.

The San Diego festival would make Scout proud! It will take place on Saturday, August 22nd from 9:00 to 4:00 at the NTC Park at Liberty Station. It will be a free family and dog friendly celebration of our companion animals and an adopt-a-thon.

For children, there will be a Kids Stage with invited guests to encourage pet adoption. The organizers of Doggie Street Festival hope to capture the imagination of young people and involve them as advocates, so they will choose adoption as their first option when looking for a four legged friend in the future.

Another highlight at this event will be the presentation of our local Hero Awards. This year KUSI-TV broadcast meteorologist Dave Scott and San Diego VCA Hospital Manager Vilen Vlasov will be honored.

The festival will provide a great shopping experience as there will be lot’s of deals and free samples as well as more than 100 specialty vendors, showcasing the latest in a variety of pet services and offerings. Finally, there will be food, auction prizes, and music for everyone to enjoy.

For more information, visit their website at www.doggiestreetfestival.org

*
Pollack is a freelance writer based in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa.  You may comment to her at [email protected]

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