Park provides play for people with pets


Jerad Armstrong, Pitchfork

People’s pets were playing Frisbee, getting pampered with petting, receiving vaccinations and having playful brawls with their fellow furry friends. These German Shepherd were having a great time playing fetch with their owners at the park. The German Shepherd’s strength and agility is shown by their joy at jumping up for Frisbees and racing them back to their owners.

“Squeak, bark. Squeak, bark.”

“Aww, how cute!”

These are the sounds that people could hear at Fuqua Park on Saturday, Oct. 17. Bark in the Park is one of the only events in Duncan that pet owners can take their pets to to get inexpensive vaccinations and have fun with their pets. It was hosted by the Stephens County Humane Society.

There was no shortage of entertainment, with scenes such as three German Shepherds catching frisbees midair. They could be seen doing a trick of drinking a stream of water coming out of bottles. One of the dogs, however, didn’t have good coordination and could be seen wobbling as it was chasing frisbees.

“He’s so big, he doesn’t have good coordination,” dog owner Rene Flippen said.

Of course there was music, raffles and more. People could collect a complimentary gift basket with items like shampoo, pens, a leash and flashlights. Owners could also pick up a frisbee.

There were also dachshund races, good food and more. Pet owners could dress their animals up in costume and compete in the animal costume contest or, if they felt bold, folks could try to dress like their pet and enter into the best owner look-alike contest.

There were some rules that had to be followed for the entire event such as all dogs must remain on leashes, and currently vaccinated and licensed.

Funding was better this year than in past years. This year, $50,000 was raised at Bark in the Park.

“It’s important for us to raise funds because we are not supported by the city or county,” event coordinator Nicole Baldwin said.

The weather also played a big role in hosting the event. People from out of state would not want to come to a park on a rainy day just to be sent home. The weather also made it a great day for microchipping, she explained.

“Microchips are the size of rice and go between the shoulder blades,” Baldwin said.

These little chips are great if someone loses their pet during a storm or tornado. If the animal is found and it has a chip, the chip can be scanned for owner information.

This day of the dogs proved to be a great day for dog owners, as well.