Page One

“Bay to Barkers”– for the dogs

By Brian Kluepfel, Special to the Daily Planet
Monday July 15, 2002

The East Bay Humane Society and the city of Berkeley welcomed a special breed of graduate to the Berkeley Marina on Sunday. Several breeds, in fact. 

The “Bay to Barkers” 1.3 mile hike took place for the fifth straight year, bringing together dogs who have been adopted from the Humane Society. 

The Baha Boys’ hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out” boomed from the loudspeakers, breaking up early morning sniffing, barking, petting and snacking. As the sun broke through the fog and chill, scores of dachshunds, Dalmatians, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Australian sheep dogs, pit bulls and mutts turned their noses into the salt-spray breeze and took their owners for a walk. 

Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean brought her dog Ben, a Labrador Retriever, to the event. Dean read a proclamation in honor of the “Bay to Barkers,” which organizers claimed was the biggest to date– more than 600 dog owners registered to walk the loop at Caesar Chavez Park. 

Dean also stumped for a ballot initiative that would provide funding for a new animal shelter in Berkeley. A group handed out literature entitled “Gimme Shelter” urging Berkeley voters to say “yes” to the November measure. 

Lisa Fine, executive director of the Humane Society, introduced the alumni dogs at Sunday’s event. Captain, a shepherd mix, was described as “kind, generous and warm hearted... a Don Juan.” 

DOGS/From Page 1 


Don Juan was available for adoption, as were four or so other dogs walking around, including Coco, a cattle dog, and Galeano who is “as exotic as his name.” Tiny Guinness,” full of puppy sweetness,” drew “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. 

Mary Milton of El Cerrito, a volunteer at the Humane Society, was in charge of walking Galeano for the day. She provided recommendations for those thinking of adopting a dog: Volunteer at the shelter and learn about the animals. 

Of course there is the legend that owners and their pets eventually come to resemble one another. A pet-look-alike contest furthered this theory, and following on its heels, a dog-kissing contest. 

Berkeley’s own Top Dog restaurant offered its usual array of bratwursts and other grilled sausages. There was also Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, burritos and for the four-legged folks free sample doggie snacks were proffered by Pet Food Express. 

While the event was indeed a celebration of man and woman’s best friend, it served also as an information center for different animal service groups. Groups that rescue German Shepherds were represented as was a nascent coalition of California dog owners, promoting issues such as off-leash access. 

Doug McKechnie, who heads the Oakland-founded California Dog Owners Group said, “There are more dog-owning households in California than there are homes with children. We’re just trying to promote responsible dog ownership, and keep our trails open for responsible dog owners.” 

Also in attendance was an Oakland-based veterinarian who offers acupuncture services to dogs. “They’re good,” she said. “They barely feel the needles going in.” 

All proceeds from the “Bay to Barkers” benefit the Humane Society.