Dogs playing
Dogs playing

By Molly Butler

This strange season of restrictions and staying at home has left a lot of us feeling cooped up. Now just imagine how your dog feels! Everyone gets bored of sitting and staying home, but don’t worry. The North Mankato Taylor Library is throwing you a bone with its second Dogs Night Out event at Spring Lake Park on Sept. 29.

This event, held from 5-7 p.m. at Shelter 2 in the park, allows dogs to run, play and socialize off-leash as long as they stay in the area and obey voice commands. In addition, the first dogs to arrive will receive a free goodie bag, filled with donations of treats and surprises from Pet Expo and PetCo. Goodie bags will be given out while supplies last.

Organizer Hallie Uhrich says the event is a lot like taking your dog to the dog park. It’s a very laid-back program, with no facilitated activities—just a chance to hang out, grab some free treats and let the dogs be dogs.

“They can play with other dogs for however long, and you can leave whenever,” Uhrich said. “Or they can come and get a goodie bag and then walk their dog around the park paths.”

The event came about while Ulrich was trying to plan for National Night Out, traditionally the first Tuesday of August. For safety reasons, the event was cancelled this year. But in the process of planning, Uhrich came up with a dog-themed spinoff.

“I have two dogs, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of this event sooner!” she said.

The last Dog’s Night Out was in August and received great feedback, despite the heat and humidity. Uhrich said she hopes the September event will be more comfortable.

“I think I’ll try to continue this event at least yearly, probably in the fall when it’s a little cooler out,” she said.

So don’t sit and stay at home… Join the fun at Dogs Night Out!