Esquimalt went to the dogs this weekend — literally!

Hundreds of pooches and their owners took over Bullen Park for the 9th annual Pet-a-Palooza.

The doggone-good fun included the ‘Ruff Mudder’ — it’s like a Tough Mudder for dogs and their owners.

“They have to go through kind of a quasi swamp, over some hay, they walk the plank which is the funniest thing you’ll ever see and then there’s a big quagmire of pool noodles and balls,” says Ruff Mudder emcee David Knap-Fisher.

There were also races on land, including a very competitive corgi race.

And some participants were taking it very seriously.

“He’s been training all his life!” jokes corgi owner Dan Skinner, after his pooch named Gordon won the semifinal.

“The secret is lots of walks on the beach, lots of swims,” Skinner says. “He’s done a lot of cross-training in the last little bit.”

This is the first year for the event at Esquimalt’s Bullen Park, and it attracted big crowds.

“I absolutely love it,” says chiweenie owner Courtney Parkes. “He’s having an amazing time getting all the treats and getting to socialize. It’s really great to see all these dogs.”

One of the most popular attractions was the Victoria Humane Society booth, where people could cuddle puppies.

There was also puppy yoga.

And the best part? All of the puppies are up for adoption.

“Everybody loves puppies, you can get anybody to do anything if you have puppies, but this has been really good because we just got in 60 puppies and we got in about five more pregnant moms so it’s just been crazy and we have so many of them coming,” says Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society.

Click here for more information on adopting a puppy from the Victoria Humane Society.

Tess van Straaten