Downtown Winter Haven Goes To The Dogs For Bark In The Park
by James Coulter
Most people visit the dog park to have fun with their dogs. For Debbie Anderson, she and her dachshund, Greta, they visit for serious training.
Regularly Debbie takes her little Greta to the park so that they can train for the Wiener Dog Race at the annual Bark In The Park in Winter Haven.
Each visit has Greta run to and fro, back and forth, between her owners so that she can learn when and how to run upon command.
Not only did this training allow her to eventually win the race this year, but she has been able to win the race for two years in a row.
This year proved to be her second consecutive win as she scrambled across the green grass on her tiny paws to first place as the Fastest Weiner Dog.
The secret to the three-year-old’s winning streak has by far been her personality, as her feisty spirit has allowed her to run as fast as she can, Debbie said.
“She just likes doing it a lot,” she said. “Hopefully, we can be back if she can stay healthy.”
For the eleventh consecutive year, Central Park in Winter Haven went to the dogs with doggos and puppers of every shape, size, and breed during the annual Bark in the Park event on Friday evening.
Hundreds of dog owners and their dogs flocked to the park to enjoy the evening of food, games, and vendors. More than two dozen local vendors congregated to offer pet items of all sorts, from dog food, toys, and accessories, to services such as pet sitting and walking.
The Humane Society appeared that evening to allow guests the opportunity to bring home a dog of their own by adopting one of their many rescue animals. Even local CBD stores such as Home Remecbdy offered special CBD-infused dog treats to provide natural remedies for pet ailments.
Marilyn Lacey, owner of Home Remecbdy, claims that CBD products work just as well for our four legged friends in helping ail their health problems such as anxiety and pain relief as it does for their human companions.
“It is all natural,” she said. “It cannot hurt them. They can’t overdose on this. It calms them down. It just a great product all around.”
For eleven years, Bark in the Park has been a staple event for the local community, as provided by the non-profit organization, Main Street Winter Haven.
Bailey McDaniel, Assistant Director, has seen the event grow in leaps and bounds with more vendors, attendees, and community partners and benefactors.
“I just think you have to listen to what the people want,” she said. “The people want dogs. They love their dogs. They are their most prized possessions. So why not celebrate what people love most?”