Alex’s House holds 3rd annual Bark in the Park

It was a day for the dogs at the 3rd Annual Bark in the Park Saturday at the El Dorado Dog Park.

Residents and their four-legged family members enjoyed playing in the dog park, taking part in contests and bidding on silent auction items, all of which benefitted Alex’s House, a non-profit dog rescue near Rosalia, which rescues dogs scheduled to be euthanized and tries to find them a good home.

A focus for Alex’s House is senior and hospice dogs.

“John (Schafer) and I are fosters for senior needs and hospice (dogs),” said Vicki McKain, who runs Alex’s House along with Schafer.

She shared one success story with those attending the event. The story was of Timmy, an 11 to 12-year-old dog they had at the rescue who was allergic to just about everything. A woman in Illinois saw Timmy on a pet Web site and came down and adopted him.

“It’s really sad to see 11 and 12 year old dogs end up in animal control,” McKain said.

Alex’s House is named for a dog McKain had, Alex, who she has adopted from the Winfield Animal Shelter. Alex was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, dying two months after her diagnosis. From that experience, McKain and Schafer decided to move to the country and open Alex’s House, which was initially envisioned as a place for old and sick dogs who had been abandoned by their owners, but they quickly learned dogs of all ages were in need of rescue.

Now, they hold a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to help raise money for food and other items needed to care for the dogs until they are adopted.

At Bark in the Park, a silent auction, lunch and contests raised money for them.

The contests included Best Costume, with the winners being Mikey as a banana split in first, Bo and Afnan as Scooby Doo and his van in second, Baby as a princess in third, Sophie as a peacock in fourth and Lizzy as a diva in fifth.

Next was a game of musical mutts, where the dogs had to sit on command when the music stopped. The winner was Spartin, second was Petyon, Shelia placed third, Mack came in fourth and Josie was fifth.

In the wiener bob, the winner for the smaller dogs was Baby, with Zuko placing second and Bella in third. For the larger dogs, first went to Spartin, second was Bo, third was Milo, fourth went to Peyton and fifth was Cloud.

In fastest fetch, for the small dogs, Bella placed first at 11.93 seconds, while Milo placed first in the large dog category with a time of 5.75 seconds.

The final competition was a photo contest. First place went to Ami, with Bear placing second.

To learn more about Alex’s House, visit

Julie Clements can be reached at