HARKER HEIGHTS — The dog days of summer was observed with sweltering temperatures and canines Saturday at the farmers market in front of Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.
Killeen resident Emily McKnight brought her 5-year-old daughter, Audrie, 4-year-old son, Benjamin, and Mountain Man, a 1½-year-old Anatolian Pyrenees mix.
“When we got him, he was such a slowpoke and didn’t want to go anywhere,” McKnight said of how he earned his name, while Mountain Man let out friendly barks and pulled at the leash.
McKnight said she brought the family pet after hearing about the themed day from a vendor last week.
As someone who frequents the farmers market, Nolanville resident Nancy Niemann said she was glad to bring her 2-year-old Sheltie named Bailey.
Killeen resident Mayra Orozco pointed out the “party collar” one of the vendors gave her 7-month-old Yorkshire terrier named Tini.
Saturday marked August’s theme for the farmers market, said Heather Cox, the market coordinator and Parks and Recreation Department activities coordinator.
“Because it’s the dog days of summer, we’re giving out free Popsicles and free dog treats and raffling off free dog baskets,” Cox said.
Dog treats were provided by one of the market’s usual vendors, Three Bandits Dog Barkery.
Also promoted Saturday was the Harker Heights Pet Adoption Center, which Cox said conducts pet adoptions the second Saturday of each month at First National Bank in Harker Heights.
The Hares and Hounds Bell County 4-H Club had a booth to sell blankets to raise money for agility equipment for the club’s dogs, club manager Cindy Buckner said.
“We have a rabbit and dog jump and show our dogs and rabbits in the state show,” Buckner said.
Club members Kaitlynn Chevarie, 10, Kristen Barker, 14, and Liana Dorn, 13, were among others showing canines Kibble, Marple and Doyle and a rabbit at the booth.
Cox said this is the first year to have a dog-themed day at the market, and the ideas for themes came from a survey at the end of last year’s market.
In June, a food drive was held. Last month was Christmas in July, and Cox said a coat drive is Sept. 13 to benefit the Killeen Independent School District’s Homeless Awareness Response Program.
The Harker Heights Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday until Oct. 25 on the front lawn of Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, 850 W. Central Texas Expressway.