The Cavalier King Charles spaniel sniffed the Havanese, the tan mutt eyed the leashless, brindle Dutch shepherd with what might have been envy, and the two Australian cattle dog mixes socialized, maybe discussing their lineages.
If it’s the season for humans to socialize over craft beer at Oktoberfest parties, Saturday was the canines’ turn to mingle — with Frisbees and smoked sausages the only social lubricant required.
The humans dubbed it Dogtoberfest.
The hundreds of pooches who came to Tacoma’s Kandle Park included a few in disguise and one in distress.
The few that participated in the costume contest went home with awards: the greyhound dressed as a hammerhead shark, the duck that was really a Rottweiler puppy, and the spider that was secretly a pug.
Then there was the visitor from Idaho. The Italian greyhound hadn’t planned to attend the party — until a bigger, unleashed dog took a bite out of it. Its owners rushed the patient to Soundview Veterinary Hospital, only to find the doctor was out.
Dr. J. Travis Martin and his staff had organized the celebration in the park to mark the hospital’s first anniversary. The event was a way to say thank you to the hundreds of clients who have brought pets for treatment in the facility’s first year, Martin said.
When the dog was brought to the park, Martin cleaned the wound, stapled it closed and gave the patient an anti-inflammatory drug, all at no charge.
The other pooches and their human companions soaked up the sun and checked out vendors. The dog training offered by one company, Got Sit?, intrigued Sue Keene.
Keene’s son’s dog, Cuzco, pulls on her leash with exuberance, as the mutt showed at the festival. “She’s put me on my face before. She takes off,” Keene said.
Tiger Lilly’s owner, Kim McDowell, was glad to find some fellow dog people.
“You can’t take your dogs very many places,” she said, “and she gets lonely.”
Jordan Schrader: 360-786-1826