Schedule & Announcements

Talking People At The Talking Animals Festival
The Talking Animals Festival is delighted to announce our slate of five speakers, who will deliver talks on a wide variety of topics. While this schedule is subject to change, the speakers, topics and times of their talks are listed below. The talks will run 20-30 minutes, including questions & answers, and you can find out more about the speakers &/or their talks by clicking on the link next to their name.

10:30am: What Makes a Good Pet?
Kelly Diedring Harris more info

11:30am: Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Pets?
Connie Brooks more info

12:30pm: Hazards of the Home
Chuck Schobert more info

1:30pm: Holistic Therapies, Food and the Truth about Vaccinations
Dr. Anne Lampru more info

2:30pm: Vegan Tales from the Appalachian Trail
Jim Janolek more info

Soccer Playing Dogs!

The Talking Animals Festival is pleased to present games played throughout the day by two soccer-playing border collies, Ms.Z and BEK–and maybe you?!?! These dogs, from, are amazing–we saw them in action recently when their human, Mark Lukas, came over to look at Lowry Park–and even the most gifted goalie would be hard pressed to defend against either of these gifted canines. For a little sample of Ms.Z and BEK in action, check out this clip. Calling all 4 to 12 year old soccer players–you’re not only invited to participate, but also to wear your soccer uniform. And, for that matter, all kids between the ages of 2 and 92 are invited, too. It’s more fun if there are big teams playing against the dogs, so the more the merrier–come one, come all.

Bounce House From Bounce Away Bouncers

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Bounce Away Bouncers, a bounce house company serving the Tampa Bay Area, The Talking Animals Festival will offer a bounce house on the grounds of Lowry Park–and it will be FREE! All the usual rules will apply–no doing flips… keep all food, candy and drinks out of the bounce house…no sharp object, etc.–but it will be available for free bouncing all day long at the Festival.

Silent Auction & Raffle Items

The Talking Animals Festival will feature both a raffle and a silent auction, with items ranging from gift certificates for pet sitting and other services and products from our Festival vendors to meals at local restaurants and much more. Perhaps our most spectacular silent auction item comes from Baja Expeditions a four-night Mexican whale-watching package for two, to observe and probably touch/pet the so-called “friendly whales” of San Ignacio Lagoon in the Cabana Camp in Baja, California. Note: You provide transportation to/from the Lagoon, but the package covers everything else, including lodging, meals, whale-watching, etc. In this accompanying picture, that’s my sister’s hand petting a friendly whale. If you’d like to find out more about the whale package, or other items–OR if you’d like to donate an item, and receive various types of publicity for doing so–please e-mail


Veterinarian Dr. Jeanne Hart, who operates Tampa Mobile Veterinary Services, will be offering “Healthy Weight Check-Ups” at the Festival. These FREE exams will involve weighing family pets that Fest attendees bring, assigning a body condition score, taking the blood pressure, and giving the pet’s human a handout with the animal’s information. The chief goal is to educate folks about the importance of their animals maintaining a lean body weight and good nutrition. This represents a new feature of the Fest.


Suzanne Liggett, of Heart&Soles Yoga and Education Services, will be providing four FREE 20-30 minute yoga classes for kids–though, as she notes, parents and caregivers are welcome to join in–spread out over the day. Suzanne will provide mats for at least 15 people per class, and if there ends up being more students than mats, others can join in on the grass. This too is a new feature of the Talking Animals Festival, though directly lifted from Tampa Bay Veg Fest.
At the Talking Animals Festival, the free kids yoga classes will be offered at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm.


Courtesy of artist extraordinaire Mike Beardsley, the poster for the 2011 Talking Animals Festival is now completed–and fantastic. To see what the poster looks like, simply scroll down. If you’d like to download the poster–perhaps to print some copies and distribute at your neighborhood pet-friendly restaurants, coffee shops & other businesses, dog parks, events, etc–you can click here. Thank you, and big, big thanks to Mike Beardsley & his animal-loving colleagues at ChappellRoberts.


A handful of people, in observing that the hours of the forthcoming Festival are 10am to 4pm, have pointed out that not only are those hours different from last year’s (noon-5pm), but an hour longer–and seem to appreciate that the tabler/vendor fees remain the same as last year’s, provided those folks agree to park in the northwest parking lot.


We’re delighted to report that–as they did at the inaugural Fest–the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) will again provide $10 microchipping at the Talking Animals Festival, for as long as the chips last. This was an enormously popular component of the first Fest, and no wonder: People seeking to get their cat or dog microchipped at a veterinarian’s office might expect to pay $50-$60, or more.