Call me crazy, but I’m glad summer is finally over. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine. But a dog can only stand so many consecutive 100-degree days before they start dreaming of crunchy leaf time. Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve jumped into a pile of leaves. Each season has its perks, but none quite like autumn. The weather is cooler, the air is fresh and lucky for us, harvest festivals abound. It’s no wonder fall is a dog’s favorite season. So, rather than sit inside and play with the same old toys, dig into the seasonal spirit and do something fun. Between picking pumpkins and prepping for costume contests, there are plenty of opportunities to do something special together. Every day and every season you get to spend with your dog is a wonderful one, and this fall is going to be the best one yet. To make it easier for you, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite events.
FALL FESTIVAL & DOG WALK It’s a day of dog-friendly fun, including ranch tours, hay rides, face-painting, games, music, food, a car show and a dog walk. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, Seamark Ranch, 3631 Seamark Rd., Green Cove Springs, seamrkranch.com, free (festival), $25 (dog walk)
BARK & BREWS Barked Goods sponsors this itinerant monthly get-together, giving pet parents the chance to explore the local craft brewing scene—and meet the area’s pet-product vendors. $1 of every beer purchase goes to animal rescue. 1-4p.m.Sunday, Oct. 20, Hyperion Brewing, 1740 N. Main St., Springfield, hyperionbrewing.com, free.
BARK-TOBERFEST Brooklyn’s canine recreation complex hosts an epic dog-friendly Oktoberfest event, complete with seasonal brews and—wait for it—Dachshund races! This event is free to members, $15 for non-members. Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, Kanine Social, 580 College St., Brooklyn, kaninesocial.com.
HOWL-O-WEEN The folks at Bark on Park team up with allies at Alewife to put on a canine costume contest. Watch the dogs walk the catwalk while drinking craft beer and browsing Bark’s pop-up boutique. 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, Alewife Craft Beer Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, 1035 Park St., Five Points, alewifebottleshop.com, free.
STRUT YOUR MUTT More than a dozen rescue groups, shelters and animal welfare organizations join forces for this charity dog walk. Lace up. Leash up. Save lives. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 26, Riverside Park, 753 Park St., strutyourmutt.org.
HOWL AT THE WALK Julington Creek Animal Walk’s annual fall festival features a pet expo, pup contests, raffles, live music and pet caricatures. Noon-3p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, JCAW, 12075-300 San Jose Blvd., Southside, julingtoncreekanimalwalk.com.
HOWL-O-WEEN BLOCK PARTY Dogtopia and Groomindales Dog Salon throw this Halloween block party, which is open to the community. There will be contests, raffles, vendors and free food. 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, Dogtopia, 1075 Hendricks Ave., Southbank, dogtopia.com, free.
HOWL-O-WEEN BARKTACULAR Kanine Social’s annual party is back, with paw readings, cutest costume contest, food trucks, and scary fun for all! This event is free to members, $15 for non-members. 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, Kanine Social, 580 College St., Brooklyn, kaninesocial.com.