Canine fest draws crowd

Posted 9/18/08

Tom Munds Bass, tenor and high soprano barks filled the air as owners brought dogs of every size, shape, description and color to the Sept. 12 …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Canine fest draws crowd


Tom Munds

Bass, tenor and high soprano barks filled the air as owners brought dogs of every size, shape, description and color to the Sept. 12 Freedom Service Dog-sponsored Festival of the Bastardino at Centennial Park.

The event was billed as bringing the Italian celebration of mixed heritage dogs to America for the first time.

A steady flow of cars into the parking lot brought dozens of furry friends and their owners to the event. They were greeted by a midway-like atmosphere created by the double line of vendor booths and tents offering services and products for dogs, ranging from pet photo specialists and dog treats created at a local bakery to a wide array of chew toys and a variety of dog-training services.

“This is a great event,” Centennial resident Sheryl Nguyen said as she, her family and her dog Fievel checked out the event. “Fievel is my best friend and goes everywhere with me. He is having a good time and so are we. This is a great opportunity for Fievel to socialize and he really enjoys that. It is a very nice event and it is a great turnout.”

A short distance away, Brian Boldry let his dog Taz bob for tennis balls and a prize for his owner.

“Freedom Service Dogs put on a very nice event,” Boldry said.

“It is always great when there is an event offering an opportunity to get outside and enjoy a social event for the people and the dogs. It is a bigger event than I thought it would be and there are more people and pets here than I expected. Taz is having a ball and so am I.”

Kyle Henderson brought his dog Ink Spot to the festival because, he said, he believes in the Freedom Service Dogs mission.

“We came to today to have fun and support Freedom Service Dogs,” Henderson said. “Two of my friends are physically challenged and the fact they now each have a Freedom Service Dog has really made a difference in their lives. I want to help them if I can so Ink Spot and I came today to have fun and help raise money for the organization.”

Freedom Service Dogs, now based in Englewood, rescues mixed-breed dogs from shelters, puts them in training for about two years, and then gives them free to people with disabilities. The dogs can perform services like turning on lights, opening doors and even do the laundry.

Because it is rigorous training, not all the rescued dogs successfully complete the program. But Freedom Service Dogs doesn’t return the dogs to the shelters but, instead, finds good homes for them like placing Sam with the Siegler family.

Eric Siegler, his daughter Jamie and her friend Maddie Colville were at the festival with the Siegler dogs, Rocket and Sam.

“Sam may not have been successful in Freedom Service Dog training, but he is a great family pet,” Eric said. “Rocket is a good dog, too, and both the dogs are having a good time today.”

At a glance

— Event raises money for Freedom Service Dogs

— Variety of treats, services available


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.