Brodie the border collie can empathize with his owner, Hilary Hall.

It’s 80-something degrees in March, and shade is scarce at the Oconee Veterans Park dog park.

Lynn Brogdon’s 18-month-old boxer slurps vigorously from a water bowl below a lone spigot.

Behind him are golden retrievers, dachshunds, pitbulls, labs, terriers, Chihuahuas and mutts—all in line to guzzle, and then slosh around in, the water that their dehydrated human counterparts are eyeing with envy.

Lucky for both canine and owner, water stations and fountains are on the horizon for Oconee’s Bark Park.

Oconee County finished second last year to Jacksonville, Illinois, in a nationwide contest sponsored by PetSafe. Oconee still took home a $25,000 grant for improvements to its dog park.

But a wish list compiled from a community survey is over budget, necessitating a fundraiser.

Parks and Recreation has set a goal to collect an additional $10,000 from the upcoming Dash for Dogs 5K, which essentially is a giant dog walk.

The race is Sunday, May 15 at Oconee Veterans Park. Race day registration begins at 1 p.m. A 2K fun walk starts at 2 p.m. and the 5K at 2:30 p.m.

Walkers who want a T-shirt will pay $20 by May 2 or $25 after the race. Registration without the T-shirt is $15 by May 2 or $20 the day of the race. Registration is available at active.com.

Sponsorship for the Dash for Dogs 5K, are due by April 27. The available levels include “Fido favorite,” $200; “ball bouncer,” $125; and “belly rub love,” $50. The first two guarantee a logo across the back of the T-shirt. The latter sponsorship gets the name of the company or individual printed in alphabetical order. For more information, contact Mychell Lang at mychell.lang@gmail.com or deedeegaines@gmail.com.

 For more on this story, see the March 24 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.

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