A poodle in the outfield? A mastiff at the beer stand?
Miranda Phillips, of Deshler, Ohio, attends the game with Daisy, her 4-year-old pit bull.
Welcome to Hens and Hounds, the first of three times this season Toledo Mud Hens fans are invited — encouraged, really — to bring their canine companions to Fifth Third Field to enjoy the great American pastime.
So on June 29, first-timers Nichole Wilkins and Ibrahim Awada who brought their two Brittany spaniels to the game along with their families.
The dogs enjoy the environment and get excited being around people, Mr. Awada said.
“They like it because of the new surrounding, but they don’t socialize too much with the other dogs,” Miss Wilkins said.
VIDEO: Hens and Hounds Night
Columbus natives Kelly Danaher and Chris Ellis also enjoyed the event for the first time with their 2-year old Siberian husky, Cooper.
“It stinks that it’s this one little section, but I don’t blame them for not letting us go in there,” Miss Danaher said, indicating the grandstand far removed from the outfield section where the dogs and their owners were sequested.
Still, she said there aren’t many places in Toledo that are dog friendly, so she’s glad she could bring Cooper to the game.
“Columbus has a lot of dog friendly bars and a lot of places like that but never like a sporting event we’ve seen before, so it's really cool,” Mr. Ellis said. “This is like the one weekend in town [everything has] matched up.”
Pat Lofy, of Alexandria, Va., carries Sarge, his 13-year-old toy poodle, during Hens and Hounds.
Blade/Kurt Steiss Enlarge
Already accustomed to this tradition, which has been going on for four years, Bruce and Kelly Michalak brought 8-year old Cruiser for a second time to a Mud Hens game.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to get out more, see other dogs, and be social,” Mrs. Michalak said.
She said Fifth Third Field is the only place Cruiser gets to hang out in public besides the pet store.
Also enjoying the dog-friendly environment, Tom Miller brought his two dogs, Gracey and Bella.
“We brought Gracey last year, and she had a good time,” Mr. Miller said. “The little one is getting used to coming to public places.”
He said since there aren’t many public places he can take his dogs, he often sneaks Bella into stores in a bag with him.
The Mud Hens started hosting dog friendly nights in 2014, and owners have seized the opportunity to socialize their dogs with people and other dogs in a nonpark setting.
Jessica Taylor said she hopes that her dog Bailey gets more opportunities to attend events like Hens and Hounds.
“She’s a little hyper and wants to say hi to everyone,” Miss Taylor said. “If she ends up on the field tonight, I won’t be shocked. She is a fence jumper.”
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