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'Puppies everywhere!'

Their fur still damp from a recent bath, a pair of puppies squirm about as Steph Arthaud wraps them in a towel and gently brings them to join their mewling brothers and sisters in a kennel on the grass. These are just a pair from the latest litte...

From left: Colby Gaylord, Kimberly Gaylord and Kaitlyn Jones all get to know some squirming bundles of puppy love on Saturday morning. Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press
From left: Colby Gaylord, Kimberly Gaylord and Kaitlyn Jones all get to know some squirming bundles of puppy love on Saturday morning. Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press
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Their fur still damp from a recent bath, a pair of puppies squirm about as Steph Arthaud wraps them in a towel and gently brings them to join their mewling brothers and sisters in a kennel on the grass. These are just a pair from the latest litter that Raise the Woof helped save-a litter now up for adoption.

In no time at all a small crowd is drawn by the plaintive whines of the anxious puppies, and soon a gathering of folk were hugging pups by the pair, falling in love in an instant-and this year's Bark in the Park, held at the Dickinson Dog Park, wasn't even underway yet.

"(There's) puppies everywhere!" said Kayla Fender, president of Chive on North Dakota, the local state branch of Chive Nation, which supports charity programs that benefit veterans, people with special needs and, in this event's case, animal rescue.

"The purpose of this event is to bring awareness to pet adoption as well as raise funds for local shelters," Fender said. "That is basically what we're here for."

Previously held later in the year, last year's Bark in the Park was cancelled due to inclement weather. This year it was held in the heart of summer, and the weather was perfect for the day's planned events, which included a 5k walk/run with pets. The presence of local food truck vendors and a puppy kissing booth lent a carnival atmosphere to the proceedings.

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"It's a great cause. We like to support a lot of local business, so if you want to support businesses we're always looking for people for that," Fender said. "Pet adoption is huge; adopting is so much more important than people realize it is."

This is the third Bark in the Park event.

Chive on North Dakota has a website and presence on Facebook, and those interested in supporting future events like Bark in the Park can seek them out there. In previous years the event has raised a couple thousand dollars, which went toward supporting local pet rescue efforts.

Steph Arthaud dries off a pair of freshly-washed puppies as they get their first trip to the Dickinson Dog Park for this year's Bark in the Park. These puppies and others are available for adoption through Raise the Wood, Arthaud's rescue organization. Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press
Steph Arthaud dries off a pair of freshly-washed puppies as they get their first trip to the Dickinson Dog Park for this year's Bark in the Park. These puppies and others are available for adoption through Raise the Woof, Arthaud's rescue organization. Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press

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