Rain, rain go away! Bark in the Park is my favorite dog event of the year. It started with a stormy looking morning. I signed up for the 1 mile Puppy Trot (instead of the 5k) hoping that Yuuki could walk the whole thing and get some steps on his little pedometer. We showed up to a cold dreary morning, but I wasn’t about to let that stop my fun. This the biggest collection of dog-related vendors in one place for the whole year! It was time for me to get my doggy-nerd on. Seriously.
I offered to walk my favorite not-my-dog so the giant husky wouldn’t have to run 5k– mostly because I thought it was going to be hot. He speeded along as Yuuki huffed behind us. Yuuki tried really hard, but he didn’t make it the whole mile. I walked him for a little bit of it in his pouch, but I let him finish strong. Just as my friends finished the 5k with their dogs, it began to sprinkle…then rain…then DOWNPOUR! Oh sadness of sadnesses. Doesn’t the sky know that today is a dog festival day?? There are dogs that need to be adopted and doggy t-shirts that need to be bought.
We waited it out for a bit under the registration tent- really about an hour. At noon, it cleared up to a regular rain and so we determined to make the best of it (thank goodness for dog-nerd friends!). Yuuki was wearing his hoodie, tucked into his pouch, zipped up in my raincoat and sheltered by my umbrella– and still a little cold. We pretty much ran from booth to booth picking up freebees like we were trick-or-treating. I had no idea what I’d grabbed. Then came the torrential downpour. We waited that out for a few minutes under the Two Brothers Dog Wash tent– he was understandably upset about the rain. Then, off again into the muddy, sloppy mess in the field. We stayed to watch the Police Dog Demonstration, but they apparently left early. The Jack Russell frisbee team was totally not feeling the frisbees.
Out of all of this, though I missed strolling without thinking about how pruny my feet are, there were two new attractions this year that I really liked. First, The Midway Veterinary Hospital in Chesapeake adopted a puppy from the Chesapeake Animal Control whom they named “Squirtle.” I’ve actually been referred to this clinic often because they handle hedgehogs there. At their booth, they were putting in raffles for a “guess my breed” contest for little Squirtle. You could guess two and write it down. They plan to get a genetic test done (though I’m skeptical of these because of an article in The Bark — I think it’s gotten better over the years as they include more breeds in the database) and the closest match wins. We all love to guess the mutt make-up, so it was a pretty brilliant idea! Next best: Radar Run. I saw it on the flyer, but didn’t understand what it was. They used police speed radars to measure the running speed of dogs down a corridor. Around midday, the fastest was about 34 mph. Of course, Yuuki had to play, too! As I expected, he didn’t run top speed and stopped to pee about 3/4 of the way through, but he got a whopping 2 mph on the records. He should get an award for cutest run. I noticed as he left the line was much longer. I’m not saying it was his cuteness that drew in the crowds, but…
All in all, despite the rain, I had a pretty good dog day hanging out with fun people and awesome dogs. Can’t wait until next year!