So it sounded like a great idea at first…the Greenville Drive, our local minor league baseball team, partnered with the Greenville Humane Society to host “Bark in the Ballpark,” a day where baseball lovers could come out to the park and bring their furry family members along as well. Our greyhound group discussed making an appearance and the local greyhound club took the reigns to organize something with the Drive/Fluor Stadium so that not only could we have a tent to sit under, but we could talk about greyhound adoption in between innings. The kids and I headed downtown, me with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” ringing in my head and them with “She’s Taking Us Out of the House!!” written all over their smiling greyhound faces.
Those smiles faded quickly, though, when we arrived. I had budgeted for free parking (What was I thinking? Just because Greenville is littered with parking decks that there would magically be one at the stadium? Silly me…) and $5 general admission, leaving me a bit of cash for a drink and maybe some ice cream…it is June in the southern United States, after all.
No parking deck was to be found but there were lots of helpful people with orange flags ready to direct me into the surrounding parking lots and take $5 of the cash I’d brought so that I could park there and walk to the stadium. We did that, and started up the hill on the hot pavement toward Fluor Stadium. Got to the ticket window and there were all kinds of dogs there…on flexi-leads. I’ll save that rant for another post.
Up to the window…1 for general admission, please? She asks if I have dogs. Yes. She asks how many. Three. She explains that all the dogs are in the reserved seating so that will be $6. Okay. My $5 plan has become $11 in a matter of minutes, but I’m still hanging in there. That’s what man made debit and credit cards for, right?
I asked her about where the tent for the greyhounds would be, and if that was in the reserved seating. She didn’t know what I was talking about. That should have been a sign for me to take the money and run (sorry…had the car radio on 70’s rock all weekend) but I didn’t. We headed into the stadium.
The Greenville Humane Society had a tent right at the entrance with water bowls…we skipped that because I was just positive that we’d have plenty of water at our tent.
Only there was no tent.
The organizer, the one that had called to set up the tent and the between-innings appearance wasn’t there. In fact, I only found three other families from my adoption group still there by the time we got there. We, along with all the other dog people, were put out on the concrete just behind reserved seating (if you’re looking at the baseball diamond we were just behind first base). Next to us was the concessions area with blessed shade, and before I’d even found my group I was headed there so the kids could cool off from the walk from the car/standing in line in the sun to get tickets.
A very apologetic young man in a Greenville Humane Society shirt stepped in front of me to tell me that dogs weren’t allowed under the shade at the concession area, but that he would be glad to hold them for me while I went to get food.
Let me just process that a moment…I don’t fault the humane society because they were just doing what they were told by the stadium…but you’d think, being the HUMANE SOCIETY they would see a flaw in not allowing dogs in the one place in the whole stadium that has shade…in June, in South Carolina, at 4pm in the afternoon when it is 80+ degrees Fahrenheit outside. But I digress.
I found the other members of my group and stayed about half an hour. We shared our car mat to at least give some barrier between the dogs and the concrete. They shared water and Miss Becky even got an ice cream for them to share with her boy Stormy. Finally I decided that I’d had enough and that the dogs had long since had enough, so we left to go home.
Perhaps this is why I prefer soccer?