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Dogs Rule at Bolongo Bay

Oct. 31, 2005 — It is said that dogs take after their owners, and that was apparent Sunday afternoon at Bolongo Bay beach.
Dogs and their owners both spent the afternoon playing frisbee on the beach, lying in the sun or shade, or swimming at the fourth annual Barktoberfest. The event benefitted the Humane Society of St. Thomas.
This was Barktoberfests' second year at Bolongo.
"The beach is key because the dogs can cool off," said event organizer and French bulldog owner Stacy Cohen.
But not every dog was eager to cool off in the ocean.
Dog-owners Derrick and Kelly McCrea sat at a picnic table with their two 10-year-old mutts, Andy and Amos. Both dogs were adopted when the couple lived in the United States.
"They're not too sure about the water," Kelly said. It was the dogs' first time at Barktoberfest, and they lay in the shade under the picnic table and panted.
The McCrea's purposely sat far away from a table with four Humane Society dogs available for adoption.
"We'd snatch them all up," Kelly said.
Dogs who had been adopted from the Humane Society before Barktoberfest were on the beach in full force, including 7-month-old Cruzan, a Chihuahua. Cruzan was dressed in a ladybug costume and sat on a bench next to her owner, Danielle Berg.
Berg works at Imperial Animal Hospital. She decided to adopt Cruzan after someone brought Cruzan's brother to the animal hospital. That person told Berg that the owner brought in three puppies.
"I called the same day and told [the Humane Society] to hold the girl for me," Berg said.
There were five contests for the dogs and a raffle for the owners. The $10 contest entry fee went directly to the Humane Society, as did the $2 raffle tickets.
The five contest categories were for fastest dog (won by the dog Bandit), best kisser (Elmer), best island dog (Chili), best trick (Zoey, who pirouetted) and best costume (Cujo, who wore a clown costume.) The first place prize was one round trip airline ticket on Cape Air for the dog's owner. The second and third place prizes were gift certificates to Robert's and to How 'Bout Your Pet. Raffle prizes included day sails, rounds of golf, and gift certificates for restaurants and businesses.
A number of merchants selling arts and crafts, clothing and more also set up at Bolongo Bay Sunday.
"Not everyone has dogs, but it's fun for people to see local merchants, too," Cohen said.
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