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Your dog celebrates you every day (what do you think that tail-wagging means?); take some time this month to celebrate him. —Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Denver Dog Days of September

It's always a good time to honor the four-legged friends in our lives. And this month in particular is packed with reasons to do so. 


Paws 4 Life 5K Walk/Run Pet Fest, September 12

At this 5K walk or run, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue, pets get in free. Pups of all breeds can trot alongside their humans, and, post-race, enjoy doggie door-prizes. Puppy-loving humans who have yet to take home a furry friend can meet a host of adoptable canines. Meanwhile, runners can enjoy a silent auction, food and drink from Kokopelli Beer Company, and a talk from Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald of Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets. Register here. Saturday, 12 to 3 p.m.; Tagawa Gardens, 7711 S. Parker Rd., Centennial


8th Annual Doggie Plunge, September 12

The kids are gone for the day, so it’s time for the pups to play! Bring Fido to splash in the water and celebrate the waning days of summer at this aquatic dog event. While the furry friends are romping, humans can partake in food truck fare, and as a special snack, every dog will leave with a PawBender ice cream treat from Good Times. Ticket proceeds benefit Freedom Service Dogs of America, an Englewood-based nonprofit that raises and trains service dogs to improve the lives of the disabled, including children, veterans, and active-duty soldiers, and other adults. Register here to choose your two-hour slot. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Pirate’s Cove Family Aquatic Center, 1225 W. Belleview Ave., Englewood

Rocky Mountain Subaru Festival, September 13

If there are tropes about Coloradans, it’s that we all own two things: dogs and Subarus. It should come as no shock, then, that this festive event, hosted by the car company on Responsible Dog Ownership Day, is just as much for canines as it is for humans. Bring your four-legged best friend with you to enjoy a host of activities built just for him. Watch as he plays on the pet playground and participates in puppy musical chairs, or, if your dog is the competitive type, have her try her paw at the talent show or costume contest. Get your ticket here. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City

Colorado Disc Dogs’ SummerSet Festival, September 19


Whether it’s to participate or to spectate, humans and canines can enjoy this spectacular Fido-Frisbee event. Hosted by Colorado Disc Dogs, a canine Frisbee club that has appeared on multiple TV networks (including ESPN, in case you were doubting the sportsmanship of these pups), this competition has divisions ranging from advanced to recreational. And while all dogs, no matter their level of expertise, are welcome to give it a try, we’d say it’s just as fun to sit back and watch the pros, especially since it’s the last competition of the year before Nationals. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Robert F. Clement Park, 7306 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton

Dumb Friends League Wag ’n Trail, September 19

Qualities to look for in a hiking partner: strong legs, positive attitude, wagging tail. Bring your best (non-human) buddy with you to this 1.6-mile charity hike, and help reach the event’s goal of raising $150,000 for homeless pets in Colorado. Participants who raise a minimum of $25 will get some swag for their pup (a stylish bandana for him to wear on the hike), while $75 or more earns you some human gear (a Wag ’n Trail t-shirt and a photo of you and your pup are just the entry-level fundraising prizes). Post-hike, humans and their furry companions can take in the acrobatics of the RUFF Flyball Club, or peruse pet-friendly merch. Proceeds benefit Dumb Friends League Buddy Center in Castle Rock. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon; Glendale Farm Open Space Trail, 12300 S. Havana St., Castle Rock

BONUS: Volunteer at Freedom Service Dogs, September 11

This one’s for the humans: For a feel-good doggie volunteer event, head over to Freedom Service Dogs of America, the Englewood-based nonprofit that is hosting the Doggie Plunge event mentioned above, and volunteer a part of your Friday. Honor the time-tested relationship between service dogs and the veterans they help by fixing dog kennels, cleaning up the exercise yards, and helping run inventory. You get the chance to hang out with well-trained service pups and go home knowing you’ve helped them help others. Friday, 8:30 a.m.; 2000 W. Union Ave., Englewood


(Read Lindsey Koehler’s essay on losing her best friend, a boxer name Bodhi)

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