Last fall, I came upon an offer for tickets for a Washington Nationals game that had a Pups in the Park theme- you could take your dog to the baseball game. How fun, I thought! One problem: it was for a Sunday during September and my husband could not miss an NFL game. So, I put my tail between my legs and waited patiently for the Nationals to announce their Pups in the Park for 2015. One magical cold February day, the dates were announced and I had my tickets for the first Pups in the Park day faster than you can say “That’s a good boy!”
For the Washington Nationals, their ‘Pups in the Park’ games tickets partly benefit the Washington Humane Society. An adult ticket is $26 in the Outfield Reserved Section (Sections 140-143) and a dog ticket is $10. The dog actually gets a seat AND that ticket price goes to the Washington Humane Society.
As the date got closer, I got a little nervous- Tucker gets along well with all dogs but he gets excited and pulls and I wasn’t sure what he would think. I didn’t want to stress him out any. We also learned that we could participate in a parade on the field prior to the game. So, my husband and I hatched out a plan to make this as organized as possible and as stress free as possible. We had previously bought a parking pass for a lot about a half mile from the stadium and decided to leave our apartment around 10:15 to make sure we were in line for the parade at 11:30. Now, on a good day we can get to that parking lot in about 10 minutes…on a bad day with traffic, it could take a lot longer. We brought water with us and I brought a bone in case he got bored. We hoped that we could make it to first pitch before he got too bored. Oh, and we made sure he had plenty of exercise before we left so he would be a bit tired.
The day arrived and it was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 80 degrees…in April. I had picked these tickets because I thought it might be the coolest weather. While it was warm, we lucked out with no humidity. We also lucked out with traffic and made it to our assigned parking lot in plenty of time. This worked out perfectly for us because Tucker is quite the puller when excited. Since we weren’t in a rush, we could make sure he stayed calm and didn’t pull as much. We got to the right-field gate and there was already a line of puppies and owners. We checked in (you have to bring a signed waiver and a vet record to participate) and got into line for the gates to open. Magically at 11, the gates opened and people and their pups started going through the metal detectors.
Once through the metal director, we lined up in another line in the tunnel leading to the field. At this point, I was super excited, my husband was super excited, and Tucker was straight chilling. It was remarkable to see all these dogs there and they were all so well-behaved. At 11:30, they escorted us on the field and we got to walk around the whole field and take photos and videos. After that was done, they re-scanned our tickets and we were off to the Outfield! They had reserved a whole big area where the dogs could go complete with sod that the dogs could have a potty break on and plenty of water. There were also several picnic tables where we could relax in before going to our seats. Tucker was one of the first dogs on the sod and he peed quickly (repeated visits there led to no such further actions as I think he figured out it was fake..). We then sat down at a picnic table where we got some food and some beers and conversed with other owners and their pups.
As the game grew closer, we found our seats. We were fortunate to not have anyone sit in our small row or in front of us so we could spread out. Tucker really wasn’t a fan of the seats and he preferred to either sit or stand in front of his seat, or sit on his Dad. However, many dogs were sitting in their seats (old pro’s!).
Remember how I said we had just hoped to make it to first pitch? Well we made it to first pitch and the first four innings before we decided everyone had a great day and it was time to go on to our next adventure (which was going to pick up more dog food!). Tucker was exhausted but I could tell he had a great time–and it was fun being able to go to the game with him. I also want to note how wonderful the Washington Nationals staff was with this event. It could not have been planned or executed better in my mind. They have 5 more Pups in the Parks events planned for this season but tickets go fast- get yours NOW!
Now I’m on to planning the next big adventure that I want to take Tucker on: THE BEACH!