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Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Early in May my aunt contacted me and asked if I'd like to go to a Saints game. More specifically, the "bring your dog to the ballpark" game, otherwise known as a 'Saint Paul Saints Dog Day.' I figured it'd be fun and a good socializing opportunity for Zada. Plus there'd be beer. Oh, and baseball.

Since the Saints play near where we live, it wasn't a long trip. Which is good, because I'd had 'one of those days' and was running behind, and stressed out for whatever reason. Upon calling my aunt to tell her I'd be late, she informed me she'd signed me up for some sort of contest. Great.

Upon arriving, I found my aunt and we proceeded to the tail-waggin' tailgating party in the parking lot. She has some friends who'd organized a little get-together complete with chips, hot dogs, dogs on leashes and – of course – beer.

While the majority of the dogs at this particular party were bite-sized, there were a few big dogs for Zada to meet and play with, including a wilder-than-wild husky mix and a Bernese mountain dog. Of course, my aunt had also brought along one of her dogs (BB) so we had a full line-up.

After heading over for a free hot dog (included with our ticket!) and our complimentary photo (stolen from Facebook, hopefully the photog doesn't mind) it was time to head into the game. We got a little distracted waiting in line for our free soda (I chose beer) because these weird characters kept marching by. My aunt decided she wanted a portrait of the two dogs with an Elvis-type character; Zada looked skeptical of the whole thing.

I was wondering where we'd be sitting at this ballpark, since bleachers aren't very dog-friendly. Evidently we ended up in the wrong section, but no one seemed to care and after settling the dogs we sat down to watch some baseball. Zada – in true cowardly shepherd fashion – hid underneath me and didn't emerge the entire time.

Of course, to go along with my beer I had to buy mini-donuts. The dog in front of us in the stands got a donut treat from the vendor and for each time I reached into my own bag for a donut that dog bored holes through me. Cute lab named 'Fin.' (I think) There was surprisingly less barking than I'd thought with a bunch of dogs in attendance. Maybe like mine they were mostly just overwhelmed with the experience. (That and the fact I spilled a bunch of beer on her.)

Wouldn't you know I hadn't bothered to check the weather and it started to rain. Both my aunt and I put on our free ball caps but after a while the rain just wouldn't let up – thank goodness she'd brought ponchos! Only my beer got to share mine; my aunt tucked BB into hers so he stayed warm and dry the entire game.

After the 6th inning we had to head down to the gate for our "contest" which ended up being "Best of Breed" or something. It was fun, but I really didn't take it too seriously since a gal in a huge pig costume was the judge. Either way, BB won and my uncle won't ever let me live THAT one down :)

All in all, it was a fun time and I think I'd go back again on Saints Dog Day – hopefully it won't rain the next time, though. There's nothing QUITE like riding home in a car reeking of wet, beer-stained dog. Try to explain THAT one to the cops.

PS: There was actually baseball at the park, too :)