Florida or Bust Dog Days feature1

Published on June 20th, 2013 | by Kelsey Arnold

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The Dog Days of Summer

Dog lovers all over Volusia County will rejoice at the return of Dog Days this summer at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

justin with kelsoIf you’re anything like me, the thought a stadium full of furry four-legged friends excitedly watching balls fly across a grassy field will melt your heart. However, if the thought of being coated in dog hair, a few stolen french fries, a spilt beer from a wayward tail, and a bit of slobber horrifies you – this probably isn’t the ballgame for you…or at least don’t sit next to my yellow lab, Kelso. Some seats are reserved as a “dog – free” area as well.

I began noticing after my first few Dog Days that the labrador owners tend to congregate together in the stands. I’m guessing it is to protect the rest of the spectators and pooches from the clumsy goofiness that is a lab.

In addition to your general admission, your dog can get into the park on these select nights for just $2.00. All of the proceeds from the dog tickets go directly to the Greyhound Pets of America.

Dishes of water are set up throughout the entrances to the stands, but it is always best to bring along either a disposable or foldable dish to keep your canine hydrated. The park asks that you keep your pets leashed to avoid chaos.

Never bring an aggressive dog to a game.

As long as you can follow these rules to keep your pet and others safe, you can have a blast at these games. Announcers of the game always have a little fun with the dogs and repeatedly ring a doorbell throughout the game or play clips of barking dogs. I’m sure you can imagine the reaction.

I have always questioned the decision to hold a competition on these nights in which you can toss tennis balls into hula hoops on the field to win prizes. I’m not going to lie. I am guilty of paying the dollar just to get Kelso his own tennis ball to prevent him from leaping the fence during the ball toss.kelso with cubbie

One of my favorite parts of the night is to take Kelso for his annual photo with Cubbie, the Daytona Cubs mascot. Some dogs don’t quite understand what Cubbie is and stare at him terrified as though he is a giant dog that learned to walk on two legs. My little guy always makes a beeline for him though, and isn’t stingy with the kisses on Cubbie’s snout.

Every year I look forward to these nights, 3 of which are held each summer. Each time I see old friends, and Kelso recognizes his buddies in the stands as well. After experiencing just one Dog Day, I’m sure you and your hot dog will want to make it a tradition, too.

The next Dog Day will be tomorrow, June 21. The last one of the summer is scheduled for August 30.

Click here to add this event to your calendar.[nggallery id=139]

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About the Author

Kelsey Arnold

Kelsey Arnold is a professional photojournalist with a Bachelor's of Science in Photography from the University of Central Florida. Her work focuses on travel and documentary photography. In addition to the NSB Observer, Kelsey owns and operates her own business, K. Arnold Photography. She loves to travel the country in search of the perfect photo.



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