Barktoberfest comes to East Windsor Dog Park

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Windsor - posted Tue., Oct. 15, 2013
Kristen and Denise O’Connor, along with Jon Parad, have fun at Barktoberfest with Brody and Molly.
Kristen and Denise O’Connor, along with Jon Parad, have fun at Barktoberfest with Brody and Molly.

The East Windsor Dog Park on Reservoir Avenue was jumping with dogs and their owners on Oct. 5 during the sixth annual Barktoberfest.

Darrell Szlachetka of Manchester came to celebrate with his foster dog, Meme, a 3-year-old Bassadore ready for adoption. “She is a great dog,” said Szlachetka. “She is great with kids and other dogs. She’s not really crazy about cats, though. She came from Virginia this past February and now she is ready for a permanent home. I hope that she will find a family today. This is a great showcase for adoptable dogs, and they are collecting pet food for the Five Corner Cupboard Food Pantry. It’s a great day.”

The Sadie Mae Foundation was there for prospective dog parents. “We have recently reopened in Coventry,” said Betsy Deloof of the Sadie Mae Foundation. “One dog is going to have a litter in a month, while another dog just had puppies. We currently have three dogs in the kennel and four dogs and four cats in foster care. We hope that today will bring future dog parents to our facility.”

Both pets and their owners were enjoying the day. “This is more than a day for the dogs,” said James Barker. “The owners get together and have a great time as well. When you come to something like this, or go to the dog park, you are getting to be social with others in your community. It’s great for the dogs as well as their owners. I love events like this and I know Chloe loves to play with all the other dogs as well.”

The East Windsor Dog Park is maintained and operated by volunteers. Barker is one of those volunteers. He fills the water buckets that are out for the dogs to drink from and he helps to clean up any trash.

George Hunt, another park volunteer, plants flowers to help make the park look beautiful and helps to maintain the condition of the park. “I am having such a great time,” said Hunt. “A year ago, I didn’t know these people, and today they are my friends. It is really so much more than just a get-together with other dogs; it is a place to meet friends and belong to something.”

Kristen and Denise O’Connor, along with Jon Parad, were bringing Brody and Molly for a day of fun in the sun. “They should have more of these festivals,” said Parad. “Its great meeting people from the community and letting the dogs have fun running around.”

The band, "Sibling Rivalry," played while the pets and people had fun eating, drinking and socializing. “Jeffery loves to socialize,” said Kenneth Roberts of Enfield. “He is such a sweet dog and loves the interaction that is going on today.”

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