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Bark at the BallPark Fun for Dogs.

Sunny Florida skies with balmy Bay breezes made this past Sunday the perfect day to kick back with an ice-cold beer and catch a great game of baseball. Enhancing the afternoon’s experience was the presence of dogs, lounging in the stands with their owners. It was Bark at the Ballpark II at Bright House Network Field in Clearwater, where the Clearwater Threshers trounced the Daytona Cubs, 8-4. Co-sponsored in part by The New Barker, proceeds benefited the Humane Society of Pinellas County. Special Events Coordinator, Twila Cole and a very capable group of volunteers put on another cool event with contests, prizes and vendors. We ran into Executive Director Barbara Snow, who was making sure everyone was having a good time.

Part of what makes baseball fun and entertaining is the music, radio and/or television excerpts and a plethora (plethora?) of sound effects interspersed throughout the game. One of the sounds was a doorbell. Ding Dong. Guess what happened each time that was heard? About two hundred or so dogs started barking, right on cue.

And as good friend of The New Barker, Cory Cooper says, “You can never predict what your dog or your spouse will do in public,” comes Toby, a three year-old Yellow Lab. Toby snuck away from his owner, ran down the stadium steps and jumped over the dugout onto the field during a play. We caught the “play-by-play” on camera, then ran across the stadium afterwards to interview Toby’s owner, who said, “He loves to play catch and just went after a ball in play. When I realized he was gone and saw where he was heading, I thought for sure he’d stop at the fence.” Catch the photos on The New Barker Facebook page.

At the end of the game, everyone and their dogs were invited onto the field to run the bases. What a great sight. Kids, adults and dogs – smiling and laughing as they rounded the bases. The Humane Society of Pinellas will have more Bark at the Ballparks and The New Barker highly recommends this dog-friendly outing. For a complete list of Bark at the Ballpark events throughout Florida, visit the Social Calendar link on http://www.thenewbarker.com

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