MAMAS ‘Bark in the Ball Park’

Mikey, a young paraplegic Dachshund, won Best in Show at the Bark in the Ball Park dog show Saturday. Rolling along in his two wheeled carriage, Mikey proudly pranced through his steps to win as Best in Show as if wearing a doggy-do-wheelie-do was the most natural thing in the world. Mikey has no control over his back legs.

Mikey’s back was injured in an accident with the resultant surgery unable to correct his injuries, so the next thing was to fit him in a prosthesis to give him the mobility that active Dachshunds need. “Mikey,” owner Katie Wehner said, “has never let his injury slow him down. He climbs stairs, runs, chases balls, and has great fun playing with other dogs. Just watching him makes you a believer in what dogs and people can overcome.”

MAMAS, The Mary Ann Morris Animal Society, Inc. is an organization dedicated to procuring the humane treatment of animals in our rural area. Only one of the five towns within our county has an animal control officer. We are not able to pick up animals; those who find strays must bring them to us. “Bark in the Ball Park,” a fundraiser for the shelter, though not as well attended as one might wish, was a wonderful experience for dog lovers and even those who never think more than once or twice about dogs.

All proceeds from the Bark in the Ball Park benefit go directly to MAMAS Shelter.

Bamberg County Council supplies some of the shelter’s funding, but donations from members, volunteers, and benefactors are essential to provide care for its dogs. The number of animals the shelter can accept is directly affected by donor funding. “We are desperate for volunteers to help with transport to and from vet appointments, kennel work, socialization, leash training, feeding, watering and grooming. We rely heavily on donations of bleach, dish detergent, laundry detergent, dog crackers, paper towels, leashes. Flea products such as Capstar, Advantix, Frontline and Revolution are desperately needed, especially in the coming warmer months,” operators said.

Amidst clapping and cheers, Bloodhound Calie and Service dog Cain gave demonstrations of their very unique skills in tracking. Calie, Calhoun County’s Bloodhound, and handler David Martin, is generally used to track missing persons and “perpetrators and follow trails that are sometimes hours old,” Martin explained. On the other hand, Cain, and handler Bamberg County Deputy Sheriff Norris Williams, is an attack dog that follows fresh scents of perpetrators and to hold at bay those who may or may not be dangerous. Both dogs respond to voice and visual commands from their handlers.

James Lowery and the Edisto River Kennel dogs gave impressive demonstrations on obedience and obedience training that was both marvelous and extensive in the skills that handlers and dogs demonstrated in retrieving and obedience. “During trials,” Lowery explained, “handlers are not allowed to use voice commands nor touch the competing dogs as they perform single, dual and even triple retrievals. Only visual and whistle signals are allowed during trials.” The skills of these well-trained animals are astounding.

Sponsors for the event included the House of Pizza, Radio Shack, Bamberg Veterinary Clinic, Tractor Supply, Neely’s Appliance and Phoenix Specialty Co., and others.

If you missed the Saturday “Bark in the Ball Park,” you missed some exciting and interesting events. MAMAS is tentatively planning a fall event, so look for it and be sure to not miss it. It’s great for the family.