Fan's best friend
Dogs get to take in G-Braves game with owners

LAWRENCEVILLE - A parade of pooches and their owners made their way around the Gwinnett Braves' warning track Thursday to the tune of Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

Two- and four-legged baseball fans were invited out to the ballpark to celebrate Bark in the Park.

Kiezer, a 1-year-old dachshund, and Jake, a 6-month-old German shepherd mix, there with owner Stephanie Poynter of Loganville, were arguably the most appropriately dressed for the evening's game. Kiezer and Jake both sported Braves jerseys and baseball pants. Kiezer's Braves batting helmet once served as a bowl for Dippin' Dots ice cream.

"We're huge Braves fans," Poynter said.

Out on the grassy berm, where dogs and their owners lounged on blankets to watch the game, Sweetie, a 4-month-old Weimaraner, enjoyed a taste of cherry Sno Cone her owner, Epley Thomas, kindly shared, as Thomas' children Lainey, 8, and Jack, who was celebrating his fourth birthday, waited for the game to begin.

Duluth resident Sandi Garris and Nita Watson of Flowery Branch staked out space on the berm for themselves and two English springer spaniels, 7-year-old Sam and 11-year-old Max.

The women came out to Thursday's game to promote English Springer Rescue America Inc.

"And to watch baseball," Garris said. "(Sam and Max) love the Braves."

As the the home team warmed up to play against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Buddy, a friendly golden retriever, cooled down in one of the kiddie pools filled with water.

"He's a little hot right now," owner Tom Whitlock said. "(But) it will be a fun night for everybody. The whole family's here tonight." Including the dog.