Diana Frohman has a special gift for connecting with animals – dancing.
After 10 years of performing choreographed dance routines with dogs, the Bay Shore resident is always enthusiastic when she can grab a pair of furry paws and take a spin.
At the Long Island Pet Expo in the Park on Saturday, Frohman stepped to the rhythm of Maroon 5’s “Daylight” with her golden retrievers Eddie, 7, and Henry, 3. The fifth expo took place at Tanner Park in Copiague, in conjunction with the Long Island Family Festival, and continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and pets must be leashed.
Frohman said the connection formed between animal and human while dancing is effective for a positive and loving relationship.
“The dancing is exercise for the animals and it is also an amazing bond between the person and the animal,” said Frohman, 48.
The Long Island Pet Expo began as an event strictly for horses, said promoter Karen Garetano, of Huntington.
“Then we figured people who had horses had pets like cats and dogs too so we decided to turn it into a pet expo," she said.
With close to 1,000 people in attendance, the annual event featured Floral Park's Green Meadows Farm petting zoo including pigs, goats, guinea pigs and alpacas; a canine fashion show; and Jungle Bob’s Live Animal Show.
Garetano, 61, said she was thrilled to see individuals learning about the best care for their animals and having fun at the same time. “I am a huge animal lover,” she said. “This event is close to my heart. This event is for the whole family.”
Among the vendor booths were rescue and pet adoption groups as well as those promoting pet wellness. “We emphasize education and entertainment,” Garetano said.
Dan Huebner, from the Mid Atlantic Disc Dogs Club, emphasized the importance of interacting with your animal by playfully performing with his dog and Frisbees.
“If your dog can chase a ball, your dog can chase a Frisbee,” he said. “It’s a fun activity for an animal.”
Marie Codella, 12, of Lindenhurst, attended the pet expo for the first time hoping to get her border collie, Sandy, to socialize with other dogs.
“We want her to learn to be social and this is a great place for that,” said Marie's mother, Jennifer Codella.