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Dog Day at the Toint

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Jack, a three year old black labrador adopted from the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan, Kansas, accepts a treat from his new pal Willie Wildcat at K-State baseball's Bark in the Park day.

May 11, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
 
Every dog has its day, and that day was yesterday for many local four-legged friends as the Bat Cats celebrated Bark in the Park Day at Tointon Family Stadium.

Big dogs, small dogs, old dogs and young pups flooded the gates before the first pitch ready to cheer on K-State baseball with their Wildcat owners.
 
"I like it, I love seeing all the dogs," laughed K-State student Harley Walker who was accompanied by her four-month old German shepherd puppy, Captain. "He's pretty young and still getting used to socializing with other dogs, but this is absolutely something we'd do again with him. We love it."
 
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From Border Collies to Beagles, from Great Danes to Yorkshire Terriers, dogs of all sizes and breeds were welcome to cheer on their favorite team, and each received a special K-State Frisbee to take home.
 
Among the many dogs at Tointon was Jack, a three-year-old black Labrador who was rescued from the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan, Kansas, last summer. Though he had watched numerous K-State games on TV with his family, never before had he had the opportunity to experience that special game day atmosphere.
 
That all changed yesterday afternoon.
 
Sporting his favorite purple K-State scarf, Jack jumped, ran and barked, and barked, and barked for K-State. He shared treats and posed for pictures with Willie Wildcat, and by the end of the afternoon, he had made many new purple clad canine friends.
 
Though Jack was unable to comment for an interview, his wagging tail said it all - Bark in the Park was awesome; he'll be a K-State fan for life.
 
The T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter was also in attendance at Bark in the Park letting people know about its numerous furry friends now up for adoption. For the fifth consecutive year, the shelter had the opportunity to share information about its nearly 40 adoptable dogs and 60 adoptable cats with Wildcat fans attending Bark in the Park.
 
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"I love coming here and, when the dogs come through the gate, I'll know this one or that one, so it's nice to see them in a home being dogs and not in a shelter," said Angela Smith, who has been the shelter's technician for the past seven years. "(Bark at the Park) is big, it's great publicity for the shelter."
 
Despite a close 6-4 loss to Oklahoma State, K-State baseball said the annual Bark in the Parkcelebration is a day they look forward to each year.
 
"We see the dogs before the game," said K-State catcher Blair DeBord. "You look at them, some are cute, you're like 'Oh, I wish I had that dog,' but then when you get into the game you don't really notice it - but at the start of the game you really do. We don't get to bring dogs (in the dugout), but I would love to bring Bentley, my family's beagle."
 
A special afternoon for many, yesterday marks a day where dogs and (Wild) cats lived together in perfect harmony.