Bark in the Park wet but fun

The grounds at Wilson Bank and Trust  were filled with water and a muddy mess, but that didn't seem to dampen the spirit of fun that prevailed between the dogs and their owners Saturday at the 9th annual Bark in the Park to benefit The New Leash On Life.
May 4, 2009

The grounds at Wilson Bank and Trust  were filled with water and a muddy mess, but that didn't seem to dampen the spirit of fun that prevailed between the dogs and their owners Saturday at the 9th annual Bark in the Park to benefit The New Leash On Life.
"We love this event because it shows how much people really care for their pets and care for the homeless animals, too," said Sheri McCamish, co-chair of the event, "and they are sure proving it today."
"The only ones who didn't have fun today are those with clean, dry feet," laughed Annalise Henning with the Country K-9 Rescue booth.
"And clean, dry clothes," added Pam Black, a volunteer who had changed into clean, dry clothes only to have her dog jump on her and splatter her sweatshirt with mud.
"We had so much demand for vendor space that we expanded onto the track area at the bank. We have 68 vendors this year and still have several on the waiting list." said McCamish. "This year's vendors  included ones whose products or services have nothing to do with animals, but they just want to support what we're doing."
A new factor this go around was the set up of the entire adoption staff along with adoptable animals. These dogs were wearing vests that said "Adopt Me" and they were being squired around the grounds by volunteers. Most were so tickled to get petted, they just hung in there waiting for more attention. Some were adopted.
There were Cutest Canines in a puppy division and one in the adult division. (Of course, there are no ugly dogs. someone was heard to comment.)
As they sashayed down the runway, it was hard to tell whether the dog or its owner was strutting with the most pride. Let's see, there was Fred in a red tee shirt, Bear in a lei, Sugar in a skirt, Hootch in a yellow scarf and lei, Spot in a Titan's visor and neckerchief, Chico with no extra attire, Darla in a tee shirt, Apollo wearing a necklace, Katrina with a yellow neckerchief, Merkie and Josie in just their dog fur, Lola sporting a yellow collar, Heather wearing a blue necklace, and the list goes on.
There were also the Best Dog Trick and Best Dressed Dog contests. At 4:30 p.m.,The Wilson Sheriff's K9 Search and Rescue demonstrated how to begin training a search and rescue dog, and the Wilson County Disaster Animal Response Team showed how to help pets survive disasters.
A silent auction offered many items for bid, including a two-night stay at the Opryland Hotel, including breakfast.
Every type of dog from huge to the tiniest was represented. 
A tiny Morkie pup, a cross between a Yorkie and a Maltese and tiny enough to fit in your hand, was seen getting its paw prints made at the PAWcasso booth. Jennie Binion was carrying her six-week-old miniature dachshund up on her shoulder as it sported a tiny straw hat. It was so small, it would have had to swim in the standing water if she'd put it down.
Stacey and Scotty Sutton were there for their third year with their Yorkies, Lily and Lexie, who are half sisters.
"We first started bringing them three events ago," said Stacey. "Lily won that first year. We're trying again this year." (Lily did her play dead trick in the Best Dog Trick contest.)
One couple was showing off triplet white poodles. Well, their top half was white anyway. They had a lot of dog washing to do that night.
"Of course, we couldn't do anything about the weather, but about the only complaint we heard was from people who went into the photo booth to have their pets pictures taken and complained about the pet looking a mess," said McCamish.
"But, we'll take as many muddy paws as we can get."
Even Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead and his wife, Darlene, were out wading the water with their furry friend. A number of owners were on hand who had adopted their pets from the New Leash On Life association, including Jodi Wright who had adopted her year old Rat Terrier/Jack Russell combination which was having a good time.
There were bake sale booths, jewelry, health items and a new one called BFF, which stands for Best Furry Friends and makes their own dog treats, birthday cakes and other de-lick-table treats for all your furry friends.
From bacon flavored bubbles to Bow Wow Luau, where "your pet becomes a true Paw-T animal," it was a place to let the good times roll for your dog, big, small or inbetween.
The Snip and Tip Spay Station was on hand as always.
Bark in the Park benefits New Leash on Life, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals in the community through shelter, placement, spay/neuter, education and awareness. For more information, call 444-1144.

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