2009-11-13 / Community

A Happening 'Howlloween' for the Hounds

For the third consecutive year, The Allied Rockaway Foundation for Ani - mal Recreation and Fitness (ARFARF) partnered with the NYC Depart - ment of Parks and Recreation, Rock - away Division, to bring about a very special Canine Costume Carnival at Freeway Dog Park on Halloween Day. Dogs of all sizes came decked out in their costume finery and the day was a blast for two legged and four legged guests alike.

ARF-ARF members organized various eerie and exciting activities for the big event. Zina Skachinsky, ARFARF's director, was responsible for securing and constructing a large haunted house in the "Small Dog" section of the park. This provided an excellent background for the framed pooch pictures which were snapped by her sister, photographer Viki Skachin - sky, and made available to dog owners as keepsakes.

Joining the day's activities was the ASPCA spay-neuter mobile unit, which provided free or low-cost neutering services to as many as 16 animals. The North Shore Animal League Mob - ile unit was also on hand making adorable puppies available to good homes here in Rockaway while the Mayor's Council for NYC Animals was there to provide low cost micro-chipping to insure that any dog that somehow gets lost will find its way back home.

ARF-ARF members were on hand to sign up new members and assist in raffling off the wonderful baskets of doggie goodies provided by various local stores and agencies. Most impressive was a huge basket of items provided by Brown's Hardware, which went to one very lucky winning ticketholder. There were various games for the hu - mans as well as a unique Chinese auction. Free goody bags filled with tricks and treats were also awarded to the first 50 guests who entered the park.

The best prizes of all, of course, went to the dogs with the best and most creative costumes. There were separate categories for large and small dogs and first and second prize baskets were awarded to the winners in both these categories. Many thanks to Ms. Jill Weber of the Parks Department and ARF-ARF founding member Valerie McKean for acting as judges in the event. With all the fabulous furry "getups" singling out the winners was certainly no easy task. A special "shoutout" definitely goes to Maggie, the Welch corgi who was obviously "tickled pink" to be part of the Rockaway's great Canine Costume Carnival, 2009.

Dogs and owners frolicked through the day without incident. ARF-ARF would like to remind all Rockaway dog owners that they are welcome to visit Freeway Dog Park, with their dogs, any day of the year, not just when there are special events. We have one of the largest and most beautiful offleash dog parks in the city right here in Rockaway. It is a great place for people and their pups to exercise and socialize so, if you haven't been there yet, come on down to Freeway Dog Park and see what all the barking's about.

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