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‘Bark in the Park’ brings fans and their furry friends to the ballgame

By Johnathan Curley The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Indians entered Monday’s “Bark at the Park” game with a 10 percent chance of rain and a 100 percent chance of good boys.

The ruff weather of light rain and temperatures in the low 60s weren’t enough to scare away 3,686 fans and 87 canine companions who wanted to raise the woof at Avista Stadium together.

The rain drops eventually stopped, replaced by wagging tails that occupied seats along the left-field bleachers.

The humans in the crowd enjoyed typical treats like hot dogs and peanuts, while the puppy population watched the world’s weirdest game of fetch.

“People love their pets. Why not bring their pets to a ballgame?” asked Indians senior vice president Otto Klein.

Klein said the promotion has been a popular draw since its introduction five years ago.

The largest crowd of canines at the event was 199 in July 2015.

Since then, the event has been used to support a network of local animal shelters. Klein said all of the dog tickets, at $5 per pooch, benefit Scraps and the Humane Society.

This season, owners and their dogs had the chance to stroll acroos the outfield’s warning track for a postgame “Puppy Parade.”

“It’s fun to see all the different sizes, shapes, and personalities to these dogs. It’s always a friendly event,” Klein said.

The fans are equally entertained by the chance to hound umpires and chow down on Avista Stadium’s finest ballpark food together.

“It’s like hot dogs and baseball,” said Emily Daschbach, who was accompanied by her family and their husky, Rosko, for their third outing at Bark in the Park.

It didn’t take long for first-timers like Alex and Emily Martinez, who brought all three of their dogs – Coco, Vader and Leia – to the ballpark, to realize that baseball is just better with your furry friends.

“We love baseball and we love our dogs, so it’s great,” Emily said with a smile.

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