FAMILIES and their furry friends had a ball at the first annual Dogfest held in Surrey over the weekend.
West End star Michael Ball, along with his pooches Ollie and Freddie, was among those who enjoyed the four-legged festival hosted by Fitzpatrick Referrals, run by Co. Laois vet Noel Fitzpatrick.
Noel shot to fame when he starred in the BBC series Bionic Vet, which saw him pioneer revolutionary new surgical techniques that gave limbless animals incredible new bionic legs.
The family day attracted a large crowd over two days, with guests getting a close-up view of the ground-breaking practice, which is based in Godalming and has just launched a new Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre.
Another famous face among the Labradors, sausage dogs and terriers was DJ Chris Evans, whose Germans Shepherd Enzo was given a bionic spine by Noel in 2008.
On Sunday, Chris presented the inaugural Fitz Bionic Heroes Awards to dogs that have had life-changing surgery. There was also a dog show with prizes for all kinds of talents, from the scraggiest hair to the longest ears.
Agility competitions were also held on Saturday with Michael Ball — whose Tibetan terrier Freddie had pioneering hip replacement surgery at Fitzpatrick Referrals — presenting the Fitzpatrick Agility Awards.
For more pictures from Dogfest, see this week’s Irish Post – out now.