If every dog has its day, well, Saturday couldn’t have been better.
The skies were sunny, the breeze was cool and Fuqua Park was packed with smiling faces and wagging tails.
Bark in the Park, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Stephens County Humane Society, was a smashing success all the way around.
“This is the best crowd we’ve ever had, the best weather we’ve ever had and hopefully the most money we’ve ever raised for these shelter pets,” said event organizer Patti Whitaker. “Every time you hear an air horn that means an adoption.”
After just an hour into the four-hour event, the horn had sounded five times — four times for dogs that had been adopted from the Humane Society shelter and one for a cat. They would soon be off to new homes.
Many folks who showed — and there were too many to count — had rescued the dogs they brought with them.
Brian and Beverly Murphy of Duncan were accompanied by their dogs Denali and Yukon. The dogs were on leashes while 18-month-old Kinsley Brown, a girl the Murphy’s were baby-sitting, rode along in a stroller — gazing up at some big dogs and looking down at the small ones.
The Murphy’s found Yukon, a small, Shepherd mix, under a bridge in Tennessee several years ago. She was among five pups left there in a large, plastic container to fend for themselves and probably die had the Murphys not found them.
“They still had their eyes closed,” Brian Murphy said. “Now he (Yukon) will be 7-years-old. You couldn’t ask for a better dog.”
There were contests throughout the day, including weenie dog races. The dachshunds were called to their starting positions with the same blaring horn-announcement heard when horses are called to the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.
At a dog-and-a-half long and half-a-dog high, the dachshunds weren’t nearly as big as thoroughbreds, not nearly as fast. They didn’t cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, either, but to the folks who brought them, they are priceless.
Pickle won the first weenie dog race and was hoisted into the air by a delighted Megan Holloway of Marlow. She found Pickle seven years ago wandering around homeless at a convenience store.
“I’m so proud of her,” Holloway said. “We’ve been practicing at this. I’ll stand on one side of the yard and she stands on the other and then she runs.”
There were 15 entrants in the Best Dog Trick contest. Some rolled over, one danced in circles at the sight of a cheese slice, one sneezed on command. Bullet, an 11-year-old black lab, let a treat rest on his nose then flipped it up into his mouth when 6-year-old Tommy Miller of Marlow said it was OK.
“He’s been working on this for awhile,” said Tommy’s dad, Ray Miller. He meant Tommy, because several years ago, Bullet already had the treat-on-the-nose gig down.
Some dogs were going to do something special, but well, they got stage fright. They got just as much applause, however.
It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the dogs or people. Both categories came in all sizes.
There were tall dogs and short dogs, giant dogs and tiny dogs, skinny dogs and yes, some fat ones, too.
One was so hefty, it promoted an event announcer to say over the microphone, “That dog looks awfully big. You sure he didn’t eat one of the younger ones here?”
Last year’s Bark in the Park raised more than $35,000 for the Stephens County Humane Society, whose workers and volunteers - with lots of help from people all over Stephens County - rescue and feed and shelter dogs and cats and find them homes.
Folks who want to help can call the society at 580-252-7387 or go to www.stephenscountyshelter.com - the group’s website.
If every dog has its day, well, Saturday couldn’t have been better.
- Local News
Waurika City Commissioners reinstate Brown
Chuck Brown was somewhat surprised early last week when the Waurika City Commissioners voted to terminate him from the position of city manager.
Brown was very surprised four days later to learn he had been “un-terminated” and restored to the city manager position.
Awards handed out at livestock show
Winners were announced and students walked away vests and plaques at the end of the week-long 76th annual Stephens County Junior Livestock Show, which ended Friday.
Following the award ceremony, the premium sale began as livestock was auctioned off.
Stephens County Fair Board secretary Kathy Shorter said funds for the sale are gathered through the different clubs in support of the students in the competition.
School boards to meet Monday
Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma public schools will meet at their respective superintendents’ offices at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma-Alma’s school board will discuss possible re-employment of certified teachers and staff for next school year and possible approval of a senior trip to Medieval Times in May
Today marks beginning of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time began in the early hours today as clocks were set forward one hour.
Clocks were skipped ahead from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. and won’t be set back again until Nov. 2 when Daylight Savings Time ends.
DPD aims to fill five staff vacancies
The Duncan Police Department is looking for five new officers.
Of the department’s 43 patrol officers, two are females and one is Hispanic. There are no African-American officers.
The city’s search for five new officers includes anyone who is qualified, said Chief of Police Daniel Ford.
Forestry service selling seedlings to public
The Oklahoma Forestry Service will offer the gift of seedlings to the public.
The service, which sells seedlings on its website throughout the year, will come to Duncan to sell seedlings and give Duncan residents a chance to speak to their forester, Kevin Keys, in person during the sale on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stephens County Conservation District Office at 3901 W. Beech Ave.
Half-cent sales tax approval urged for city’s growth
Twenty years have passed since the City of Duncan passed a half-cent sales tax to establish a foundation to strengthen the local economy.
Lyle Roggow, president of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, and Ben Herrington, DAEDF Board chairman, spoke Thursday on the need to continue the sales tax to keep the economy strong.
Junior livestock show finishes Friday night
The 76th Stephens County Junior Livestock Show concludes tonight with the awards presentation at 6 and the bonus sale at 6:30 at the county fairgrounds and expo center.
On Thursday, the doe meat goat show, wether meat goat show, steer show and heifer show were held.
Church Women United organization to celebrate World Day of Prayer
Christian women from various denominations will celebrate their beliefs by coming together this morning to pray.
The local Church Women United organization is set to meet at 9:30 a.m. today in the First Christian Church for fellowship and a program. Today is the 2014 World Day of Prayer, which brings women from all denominations together. The local effort is headed by Church Women United.
Baseball teams remember Chris Lane in Ada
One by one, they stopped playing or coaching and walked past the media to talk about Chris Lane.
Guess you could say he was on everybody’s mind Wednesday, especially the 40 or so players from Redlands Community College and East Central University.
They were all wearing Chris Lane’s numbers on the ECU diamond.
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