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Dogs go back to school at Nigeria’s canine festival

A dog dressed in costume walks alongside with handler on the red carpet during the 3rd edition of Lagos Dog Carnival, in Nigeria December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Seun Sanni

Hundreds of dogs strutted their stuff on a runway in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos competing for the awards on offer at this year’s “Back to School”-themed canine extravaganza.

The Lagos Dog Carnival, now in its third year, attracted many different breeds, wearing school uniforms in colourful fabrics, as well as sunglasses and with schoolbags strapped on their backs.

Jackie Idimogu, the Carnival’s convener, said the idea was to bring together dog owners to celebrate their dogs and learn from each other how to take better care of them.

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“This edition is bigger and better than the previous editions and interestingly, the number of dogs that we have this year is over 250, which is double what we recorded last year,” she told Reuters.

At the event, held outdoors in the Lekki neighbourhood of Lagos, the awards on offer included “head boy” for the cleanest school uniform, “punctuality prefect” and “most noisemaker.”

Canada, a white-haired golden retriever, was crowned head boy for a pristine lime green uniform with stripes and a school bag. Ivory, a bulldog, walked away with the punctuality prefect gong for arriving first at the carnival.

For barking throughout the event, Oscar another golden retriever, took the noisemaker award. Ruby, a German shepherd, won “labour prefect” for his imposing size.

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There was a cameo appearance by a cat, which received an attendance award.

“Ever since we started the Lagos Dog Carnival pet owners now take better care of their dogs, our motto is no naked dog is allowed, so owners now dress and groom their dogs better and we have also helped raise awareness on keeping dogs as pets,” said Idimogu.

She said there are plans to take the event to other cities across Nigeria in future to increase awareness about how to look after dogs as pets.

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