Dogs, owners enjoy activities at Bark Park’s Barktoberfest

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – More than 100 dogs dragged their owners to the Tupelo Bark Park on Saturday for Barktoberfest’s day of pet-friendly events.
The festival raised money to help with upkeep at Tupelo’s new dog park and will also go toward installing an agility course behind the current dog park.
Oscar, a Basset hound, warmed up his vocal cords next to the stage around noon for the best howler competition with his owner, 4-year-old Wit Harbour.
When asked about competing, Oscar whined nervously and then belted out a few Basset hound howls.
Oscar had nothing to be nervous about – he won the competition.
“For about three years now we’ve been working hard to get this dog park up and going and I don’t want it to be one of those things where nothing happens and then it disappears,” said Summer Knight, chair of the event.
Knight said their goal is to raise $5,000 with the event. The first Barktoberfest event in 2010 raised about $1,500, which Knight said was used to get the park built. Saturday afternoon she said it looks like they will hit their goal.
Knight said she hopes organizers can create a facility behind the current dog park where agility trial events can be held.
“We want to get it big enough so we can not only hold events, but let people that don’t have a backyard or live in apartments bring their dogs and exercise them so they don’t end up at the humane society,” she said.
The festival offered events for pets and their owners like the 5K run and dog walk that started the day off and the pet and owner look-alike contest.
The winner of each contest was given a free grooming session from area groomers throughout the area.
The best of show winner, chosen from all the winners of the day, won yearly vaccinations and seven nights of boarding at Tupelo Small Animal Hospital.

Click video to hear audio