Dog day afternoon

The Baltimore Sun

Reisterstown is going to the dogs.

Well, not really. But there will be plenty of them there when the Humane Society of Baltimore County hosts its annual Bark in the Park Canine Games.

"Almost every breed will be represented," says Catherine Bereson, development and volunteer coordinator for the society.

She begins to name them: "Mutts, dachshunds, Yorkshire terriers, pit bulls, Newfoundland hounds, Great Danes, German shepherds, spaniels. ... "

Basically any dog - and its owner - can come. But, of course, no cats.

"Cats are not invited," Bereson says.

More than 300 dogs are expected. There's an entrance fee of $5 per person and $10 for the first dog, $7 for any others. Children younger than 12 are admitted free.

The theme this year is the 1960s, and each dog will get a tie-dyed bandanna.

There will be an afternoon of games for the dogs, as well as a couple that owners can play with their pets, such as hide and seek, when people hide in a big box and call to their dogs to find them.

There's also a standard agility course, with jumps, hurdles and obstacles, seesaws and a tunnel. Bereson says that sometimes owners take their dogs through on a leash.

"The dogs are activated, stimulated and excited," Bereson says. "They have a great time. It's not your typical walk in the park."

Not only are there lots of things for dogs to do, but there will be lots of prizes.

The Best Kisser ("The dog kisses its owner, typically," Bereson says) will be honored, along with Best Trickster, Owner-Dog Look-Alike, Most Beauty Challenged, Best Costumed and Best Singer.

For the last, the dogs howl, er, sing, along with their owner's encouragement. One dachshund Bereson knows of "sings" along with the "Star Spangled Banner."

And there will be vendors for things such as pet care services and dog apparel.

In addition, for $25, microchipping is available. A microchip is put under the dog's skin at the shoulder blades, like an injection and helps to identify the dog if it is lost. The chip holds a number that can be scanned.

"We can call you and say, 'Hey, we have Fluffy here,'" Bereson says.

The 14th annual Bark in the Park Canine Games, which benefit the Humane Society of Baltimore County, run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the society's preserve, 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown. Registration fees vary. Call 410-833-8848 or go to for information.

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