Get Ready for Bark in the Park!

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Come Saturday, October 13, rain or shine, dogs and those who love them will get to celebrate one of the most indelible bonds on the planet. All in support of Talbot Humane. People and their beloved pets—and those who just want to bask in the good time—will transform Easton’s Idlewild Park into a fairground of family fun With all the sniffing, playing, prancing, shopping, snacking, spontaneous conversations,and special events going on, it will be hard to tell who is having the better time, doggies or those who proudly delight in them every day. Bark in the Park is a wide world of dogs, from fit-in-your-palm Pomeranians to statuesque Great Danes, mixed-breed cuties to loads of labs.

This will be the 9th annual Bark in the Park. Over the past eight years, the event has brought in more than $320,000. This year’s goal is $35,000. Talbot Humane gratefully acknowledges that generous support from community businesses and individuals is already well underway for this year’s event. Major sponsors thus far include Doc’s Downtown Grill and Sunset Grill, Easton Utilities, Hair O’ The Dog, Kevertin Pet Resort, M&T Bank, the Star Democrat, and radio station WCEI, which will again offer a live feed from the park on October 13. Hands-on help from a wealth of volunteers also is a hallmark of the festivities.

Bark in the Park officially runs from 9 a.m. until noon, with on-site registration starting at 7:15. Fact is, though, there’s a special pre-event happening that always draws avid participants who want to start the day in an active way: the Family Fun 5k timed walk/run with raffle gift card prizes for winners—fastest female and male. Plus everyone who takes to the trail (starting and ending at the park) gets a gift bag. Sponsoring the 5K is TriCycle & Run. Those who go to talbothumane.org before October 13 can register in advance for $25. This registration protocol holds for the contribution-linked Dogwalk ($25), Fun Dog Show ($10), and Costume Contest ($10).

At Bark in the Park, pets are safest on nonretractable leashes and must be at least eight weeks of age to participate.

After the nine a.m. Blessing of the Animals by a local member of the clergy, is the Dogwalk through historic Easton—where dogs and their owners get to strut their stuff.

Just prior to the Dog Show is the volunteer-led Pawrade of Adoptable Dogs from regional animal shelters and rescues. It’s a great chance for attendees to consider making homeless dogs a part of their families. (More than 1,150 animals come through Talbot Humane’s doors every year—and that includes dogs as well as cats, rabbits, birds, and others.) Hair O’ The Dog is again stepping up to the plate to sponsor this popular event.

The Dog Show boasts ten categories, with several new this year, including Most Dog Kisses in 30 Seconds, For a full roster of Dog Show competition categories, go to the shelter website, talbothumane.org, and pull down the Bark in the Park tab.

Some of the day’s grandest grins are prompted by dressed-up dogs. Talbot Humane Executive Director Patty Crankshaw-Quimby, a huge fan of this festival facet, looks forward to people coming out and giving it their all at the Costume Competition. This year, instead of rolling the costume segment into the Dog Show, we’re having a special stand-alone event for this great crowd-pleaser. It’s Early Halloween for the four-leggeds. (Swimsuits allowed for doggie competitors.) For more details: talbothumane.org.

Among the day’s other pleasures and festivities is a Doggie Spa sponsored by Kevertin Pet Resort: On tap, for a contribution to the shelter, are brushing (of coats and teeth!) and nail trimming.

Kids will get to choose among cool activities sprinkled throughout the fairground, and a fun variety of vendors will set up shop, offering dog toys and accessories, jewelry (for people), coffee, food, and more.

Returning this year is Fastest Recall, where pets will be timed as they make retrieves.

Talbot Humane honors local veterinarians for their ongoing involvement with the shelter. They generously give countless hours and services to the animals in our care. (Talbot Humane accepts all animals, even those with pressing health needs.) Several vets will be at Bark in the Park to share expertise in mini-workshops on parasite prevention, nutrition, and other timely topics.

Pet owners can also take advantage of on-the-spot micro-chipping. It’s reassuring to know that the owner of any lost micro-chipped dog that shows up at a shelter can be contacted—and reunited—as long as contact information is up to date.

Underscoring the community aspect of Bark in the Park, local shelters, rescues, and other organizations will showcase their efforts and fill folks in on their missions and volunteer opportunities.

Festival fun and fellowship add up to a memorable day, no question, but it is Talbot Humane’s mission in support of the animals that takes the Bark in the Park spotlight. Right now, close to 200 animals are in Talbot Humane’s care, waiting to “go home.”

Talbot Humane Executive Director Patty Crankshaw-Quimby invites you to “Bring your dogs and the kids to Idlewild Park on October 13. Enjoy yourselves as you show your support for all we do for the animals of the Midshore.”

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