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 …
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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
“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
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
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