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Downtown Charleston goes to the dogs during Streetfest

Streetfest went to the dogs on Saturday as Charleston hosted a special “Dogfest” that had dozens of furry friends walking up and down Capitol Street barking, sniffing and sometimes nervously greeting each other.

The event was open to the public, and those who don’t have dogs of their own were invited to take one from the animal shelter to walk around the block.

“Our dog is very sweet but very old, so today we’re walking Kilo, from the shelter down there,” said Angela Gould, whose daughter Elena, 8, was walking excitedly with the dog. “Every time anything is happening on Capitol [Street], where they shut off the road like this, we try to come out.”

From Quarrier Street to Lee Street, the block of Capitol Street was lined with vendors and organizations selling mostly puppy-themed goods or hosting dog-friendly activities. Small, plastic swimming pools lined the block for the dogs to cool off in, and as music played, some dogs even posed for “puppy sketches.”

Amber Costello, executive director of the Charleston-based Fix ’Em Clinic, a nonprofit created to lower the number of animals euthanized in the area by providing cost-effective spay and neuter services, was out at the event with her 2-year-old pitbull, Peaches.

“We’re a fairly new organization, and we’re a nonprofit, so this was a way to expose ourselves to the community and get out there,” Costello said, as she held Peaches’ leash. “As a nonprofit, you know, we want to be a part of the community. We need their support and we want people to know we’re here.”

Kim Cook brought her German wirehaired pointer, Dudley, out to Dogfest on Saturday — but it wasn’t necessarily a special outing.

“We go to every Streetfest. [Dudley] is well known around here,” Cook said. “He goes everywhere — Kinship [Goods], Bully Trap, downtown, West Side, it doesn’t matter. We’re always out and about.”

Cook said she was excited for Saturday because it was an opportunity to support the local animal shelters, as well as nonprofits like Fix ’Em.

She also said she doesn’t pass on an opportunity for Dudley to socialize.

“And it’s not a dog park, you know? It’s a whole different environment, a nice change of pace,” Cook said.

The socializing was a driving factor for Amanda Mason, from Nitro, to bring her pup, Junebug, to downtown Charleston.

Mason adopted Junebug about two years ago. The dog — mostly black and dark brown with lighter tufts of hair speckled over her head and snout — was a “regular” at the Krogers where Mason worked.

“She kept visiting, every day,” Mason said.

Eventually, Mason took her to a shelter. Junebug was chipped, but whoever was responsible for her never came to pick her up, and Mason volunteered to take the dog as her own.

Last Sunday, Mason’s other dog died and she said Junebug was very dependent on it.

“She’s doing good today, excited as you can see,” Mason said laughing as the 3-year-old mutt barked and jumped toward a passing dog. “We wanted to take her out here and spend some time with other dogs, lift her spirits a bit, and this is perfect for that, for anyone I think.”

Caity Coyne is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Reach Caity Coyne at caity.coyne@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-7939 or follow @CaityCoyne on Twitter.

Funerals Today, Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Armstead, David - Noon, Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.

Crawford, Charles - 7:30 p.m., Andrews' residence, Belleaire at Devonshire, Scott Depot.

Duff, Catherine Ann - 11 a.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Jarrett, Shirley - 1 p.m., Mt. Juliet United Methodist Church, Belle.

Lawrentz, Deo Mansfried - 11 a.m., Koontz Cemetery, Clendenin.

McGraw, Judy Fay - 2 p.m., Jodie Missionary Baptist Church, Jodie.

Mullins, Alice Ellen (Blessing) - Noon, Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Staats, Anthony Vernon “Tony” - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.