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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Dogs splash, socialize, run the agility course all at annual Bark in the Park event

Oct 01, 2022 06:19PM ● By Jolene Croasmun

The police K9 agility training course was available for all dogs at the Bark in the Park event at Mountview Park. (Jolene Croasmun/City Journals)

By Jolene Croasmun | [email protected]

Mountview Park in Cottonwood Heights was busy on Sept. 17 hosting the annual Bark in the Park event. Four-legged friends and their owners enjoyed the early part of the day running in the fenced off-leash area, getting wet in the splash pad and trying out the K9 obstacle course.

Bark in the Park is a yearly city event that has been going on since 2009. Ann Eatchel, the Cottonwood Heights culture manager said, “Bark in the Park is a great social event for people to get out with their dogs.” Eatchel added, “It is probably the best social event that I have because people interact more when you have your pet with you. You start talking and you start petting someone else’s dog and then the dogs interact.”

Eatchel stated that the fenced-off area in the park has been part of Bark in the Park since 2019 and “It is a big success. This is the only area for dogs to be off leash in the park.” Many dogs and owners were enjoying the splash pad, too.  

Besides having fun in the park, there are prizes awarded to dogs, including a top dog award. Eatchel had just given out an award for the most curious dog. The prizes were donated from Healthy Pet, a pet store in Cottonwood Heights.

Cottonwood Heights resident Angie Williams was with Morgan Schleidt and their 8-year-old basset hound named Porter. “We come here every year,” Williams said. Schleidt trains Porter at home on an obstacle course and Williams noted that “it is unusual for a basset hound to do some of the agility training.” Porter was comfortable on the obstacle course and Williams said that “Porter is always a crowd pleaser.” 

Porter looked quite dapper in his floral shirt and appeared to be full of confidence while running the agility course since he has won best in show and top dog at previous Bark in the Park events.

Cottonwood Heights police department set up their K9 obstacle course that they use to train their police dogs. Sgt. Ken Eatchel with the K9 division said, “We allow the citizen dogs to come and use the obstacles that we use for our dogs training.” Once the citizen dogs all had an opportunity to play on the obstacles, officers then did an agility demonstration with the police dogs. They also did a regular K9 demonstration.

Sgt. Eatchel posed with his K9 partner, Odin. Odin is a Dutch shepherd trained for patrol and narcotics detection.

Bailey Synder brought her young Australian shepherd named Finley to the Bark in the Park. This was the first time for Finley at the event. “We just stopped by to say hi,” Synder said.

The city council helped manage the booths and gave out free hotdogs for the humans at the event.