Its a dogs world.
Doubters needed only to scamper over to Fewell Park on Saturday for evidence of just how far Fidos come.
Some 350 people are estimated to have attended Rock Hills Paws in the Park, an annual gathering where businesses catering to canines get face time with pet-owners who do the same.
There were games for children and people-friendly refreshments, but the center of attention was clear.
Presentations focused on pet nutrition, pet healthcare and managing grief when pets pass away. Competition was stiff among pooches in the running for beauty contests. And a popular petition urging officials to open a dog park in the city picked up more than 140 names.
When it comes to creature comforts, Rock Hill dogs have it good.
Animal Supply House was there offering free samples of preservative-free kibble, such as Holistic Select.
Beneful and Purina (pet food), its like giving a kid Doritos, said Mary Lesslie Culp, whose dad owns the business. Theyre going to love it, but it has no nutritional value. This is a good meal.
Nearby, Halcyon Hills Photography of Fort Mill shot pooch portraits, a popular gig.
Its up there with family photography, owner Don Duncan said.
There was relief for dogs with a spine out of line.
Stewart Family Chiropractic owner Felicia Stewart said she welcomes canines and small animals. She recommended regular visits, but offered a couple tell-tale signs that a pets overdue for a straightening: If an animal skin flinches or appears bothered when touched, or if there are noticeable changes in caboose activity, such as a tail not wagging like normal.
As he has for the last three Paws events, the Rev. Ronal King blessed dogs and anointed them and their owners with oil.
Not that mans best friend isnt guaranteed a pass through the pearly gates.
All dogs go to heaven, King said. Its for the protection of the animal, to keep it from harm and danger
When it is check-out time, Faithful Companion Pet Cremation Services president Phillip Santeiu said his company will pick up the animal and return the ashes the following day. They offer a selection of 25 urns from wood to ceramic with engravings.
We treat pets just the same way we do humans, Santeiu said.
Visitors and their pets lauded the event.
Its awesome, said Hugh Cole, who brought his two daughters and their Maltese, Lala, whose white fur they dyed pink.
Her owner (Coles daughter Lori) is three years old and she loves pink, he said.
Had they known about the beauty contest, Lala would surely have been a contestant, said Cole, who admitted to pampering the one-year, eight-month-old puppy with weekly baths and teeth-brushing.
Shes pretty much spoiled, he said.
Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072