MissChatter: Pups In The Park

MissChatter: Pups In The Park
August 31, 2010, 9:23 pm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 5:18 pm

By Miss Chatter
CSNwashington.com

Sunday afternoon, Nationals Park went to the dogs, but that wasn't a bad thing. Don't look now, but the Nats have quite the little win streak going since being swept by the Cubs with a new-look lineup that features Adam Kennedy leading off and Zimmerman and Dunn in the 4th and 5th spots. For those whose pets watch on tv with them at home, do you think the pups noticed the lineup change? Maybe some do. Or maybe they just want to chase the white ball flying across the screen in a game of "Fetch!" For the second time this season, man's best friend had an opportunity to take in a live game at the ballpark for a good cause during "Pups In The Park".

There's not much quite funnier than the sight of dogs in stadium seats usually packed with humans. Dogs of all sizes and personalities took to the left field mezzanine seats after the first ever Nationals Dog Parade around the warning track prior to game time. Some cowered underneath seats, some eagerly sniffed and lapped at passersby in the aisles, and some (like my deaf one) kept to the feet of their owners oblivious to activities around them. From huge dogs that probably weigh more than I do (not an easy feat after all this stadium food) to dogs no bigger than my hand to dogs in jerseys and hats and matching bandanas, sections above left field were overrun with adorableness.

When the Cardinals walked Adam Dunn and served up a home run to Michael Morse immediately after to hand the Nats a 4-0 lead in the third inning, the home crowd cheered - including much "woofing". Clapping? Oh we must bark! Cheering? Oh we must bark bigger and louder! Some pups even stood on their stadium seats and watched the action while cheering in their own doggy manner.

The 5 dog seat tickets from the event benefitted the Washington Humane Society. Fetch! Pet Care also works the event in the "Pet Relief Area" as well as with dog sitting helpers while owners hit their favorite food or beer vendor. Although, not many could tear themselves away from the game.

I'm always amazed more dogs don't try to establish their Alpha-ness at these events. The dogs generally sniff each other and move on, if they pay any attention at all to those around them. Quite fascinating to observe. They also try to drink beer and steal hot dogs from owners, but I suppose that's to be expected. Some really do seem to be paying attention to the action on the field.

More photos on misschatter.com

Each time I have to explain to my son why no, we cannot bring his ferret with us. Not a dog! Even though it was hotter than the dogs probably preferred, the sections were blissfully in the shade and the goodie bags handed out upon entering contained biscuits and dog food. Most owners, including us, have learned to bring a water container of some sort. Owners could also grab some ice on the way out to keep their pup cooled while hoofing it back to cars.

With only thirty games to go, I'm sad there will be fewer of these types of events the remainder of this year. No more ladies nights, no more bringing your pet to the park. Just good old baseball down the final stretch. Hopefully the winning ways keep up and the dogs keep cheering at home.