Originally published on November 2, 2018 in The Holcad Student Newspaper.

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, Westminster’s Pre-Veterinary Society hosted Barktoberfest, a dog-friendly carnival. The event took place in Old 77 and benefited local animal shelters. In previous years the Pre-Veterinary Society hosted a 5K, but this year they decided to switch it up. Treasurer Hunter Ferchaw explained that Barktoberfest is a new idea they are testing out this year. “In the past we held a 5K, but we wanted to change it up so that the whole community could be involved,” Ferchaw said. The carnival had about 14 dogs in attendance.

Barktoberfest had many activities and games set up for attendees. Scattered around the room were 3 games: balloon pop, pumpkin ring toss, and pumpkin bowling. Attendees were also able to paint a mini-pumpkin and create their own braided dog toy out of old t-shirts. The Pre-Veterinary Society also baked homemade dog treats for the pups and offered hot chocolate and warm apple cider for the human guests. There were also several raffle baskets and gift cards that attendees could win. The different baskets were cat-themed, dog-themed, chocolate lovers, and movie night. The gift cards were from Nova Destinations, The Tavern on the Square, and the Pet Parlor. The Pre-Veterinary Society was also selling t-shirts.

One dog in attendance was named Minnie Pearl after the famous actress. Her owners are Jay and Kim Harrison. Minnie is an 11-year-old Yorkshire terrier rescue pup. Her mom Kim stated that she “is a mini-person, requires a lot of attention, and has a lot of personality.” At Barktoberfest Minnie dressed as a little bumblebee. Dressing up isn’t uncommon for Minnie, because she loves to wear clothes and have her hair brushed and styled. Fun fact about Minnie: her favorite restaurants are Panera and Bob Evans. Her parents take her out to eat frequently, and Minnie is known to love Panera’s bread and Bob Evan’s scrambled eggs the best.

Ranger, an 11-year-old English cream golden retriever, was also in attendance. His owner Amy Bersett shared Ranger’s interesting backstory. Until Ranger was 5, he lived in Russia as a stud dog at a breeding facility. He was then adopted by the Bersetts and now calls New Wilmington home. Once, Ranger was feeling adventurous and made his way down to Westminster’s campus on an evening stroll. However, Ranger doesn’t have the best stamina. When he made it to the quad, he was pretty tired, so he just sat down and started crying. Some students found him and Ranger was able to make it safely home. In his free time Ranger likes to swim in Brittain Lake and also spend time with his best friend Twilight.

Ranger’s brother Amos was also at Barktoberfest. Amos is a 3-year-old Newfoundland poodle. His owner explained that even though he has a lot of hair, he can quite easily fit underneath their fence and escape. Amos is an explorer and is known to break loose when he wants. Amos’ dog parents were both excellent swimmers, but unfortunately Amos did not inherit that gene.

The fluffiest dog at Barktoberfest was hands down Echo, a 15-month-old Keeshond. His owner is Cindi Baldwin. Baldwin explained that Echo is a purebred and has recently started performing in dog shows. “Echo is a champion, but he’s also a goofball and a prankster,” she said. Echo is known to hop around like a rabbit occasionally, and his favorite toy is his little green frog. “Anywhere Echo goes, that little green frog goes as well,” Baldwin explained. Echo is a big snuggler. Since Baldwin works at a local veterinary clinic, on Fridays Echo gets to go into work with her, which makes him very happy.

Junior Julie Yesko also attended Barktoberfest, and she explained that it was a great opportunity to bond with the community. “I’m glad they changed the event from the 5K to this, because having dogs in this setting really helped garner students’ interest. We are a very dog-motivated community on campus,” she said. The Pre-Veterinary Society is hoping to make Barktoberfest an annual event.

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