The Month of October Officially Renamed Dogtober.

Florida may not have four discernible seasons, but one look at the calendar and POOF. The Dog Days of Summer are over. October marks the beginning of what promises to be a very busy dog-social season. And Floridians love to party aplenty with their pups.

Tonight (Wed., 9/29) those partying pups with Dunedin Dog Rescue ( are closing out their summer with Dog Days of Summer, Gone at Decker Ross Interiors, 1445 Court Street in Clearwater. We hear some great food and entertainment will be available plus a chance to meet artist Anna Hamilton, she of the now famous DogEden Dog Mural in Dunedin and the soon-to-be famous PupArt Mural at Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor City. If you want your dog to be forever immortalized as a Pirate Pup in Ybor, visit the following link and scroll down for sign-up information. Cool cats are invited.

Tomorrow night in Bradenton at the Roo (as the Kangaroo Pub is affectionately known), it’s Yappy Hour from 5p-8p. The Pub is located at 427 12th Street W. on Old Main Street.

The New Barker Pick-of-the-Week Pup Event goes to the Blessing of the Animals this Saturday, just outside the fabulously cool SONO Cafe: adjacent to the Tampa Museum of Art and overlooking the Curtis Hixon Dog Park. In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, the wonderful rescue group, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue is hosting the free event with their Adoptables on hand. Bring chairs and/or blankets to enjoy the view overlooking the water and the University of Tampa’s historical minarets. The vendor-filled event starts at 3p with an inter-faith service and blessing starting at 4p-7p. This is going to be a big one, so come early, bring plenty of water for yourself and pets. And, remember to count your blessings – each and every furry one of them.

Of course, there are plenty of Blessings of the Animals going on across Florida all weekend. The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is officially October 4 and commemorates his life. Two other Blessings taking place this Saturday worth mentioning: a Pet Fair with Blessings, starting at 10a at Lake Seminole Presbyterian Church at 8505-113th Street Seminole (Pinellas County) and in Sarasota at St. Wilfred Episcopal Church, benefiting the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Click here for an abbreviated list with a web address to find more Blessings in your zip code. St_Francis_of_Assisi@SONO

If you’re looking for some high-speed action this weekend, check out the Cruising 4 Critters III hosted by the Gulf Coast Harley-Davidson, benefiting the Humane Society of Pinellas.

Another high-speed, action-packed event will be at the Dog Training Club of St. Petersburg, 4400-B 34th Street (US Hwy 19). The Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club is hosting an Obedience and Rally. Whew – those dogs are fast and fun to watch.

Planning a little bit ahead – next Saturday (October 9) it’s the Natural Paws-A-Palooza hosted by Groovy Cats and Dogs, Carrollwood (Tampa). This will be an educational and entertaining afternoon of health and wellness for your pets. Area pet wellness and lifestyle experts, including Yvonne Guibert, will be on-hand along with veterinarians, trainers and nutritionists. It’s all free and there should be some cool handouts in the goody bags.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for Dogtober’s dog events. The Halloween events continue to be added to so be sure to keep checking back. And if an event hasn’t been included, well, 50 lashes with a wet Labrador Retriever’s tail. Send it along to

Remember to dog responsibly.


Briefly, about The New Barker... In our 15th year of publishing original stories with award-winning photography. Reaching 30,000+ dog lovers in print each quarter. Each cover features an original work of art by a different Florida artist. Over the last 11 years, we have donated over $210,000 in cash, product, media space and money to animal welfare organizations across Florida. 30 days after the magazine is distributed and mailed, the digital version is uploaded. The New Barker: Where to stay, play, dine, and just have fun in Florida with your dogs.

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