By Chris McGuinness

Killeen Daily Herald

SALADO - Members of the community gathered in Pace Park Saturday for an event to celebrate man's best friend.

The city's chamber of commerce and a number of local sponsors hosted Salado's first annual Dog Daze of Summer, which invited visitors to bring their canine friends and offered dog-centric activities for them.

"Salado is known for being a very dog-friendly place," said Candy Lopez, a member of the chamber of commerce. "Dogs are very social, so we thought having an event like this would help bring people together."

The event welcomed dogs of all breeds and sizes, and provided them with treats, water and space to play. "It's really neat to see what dogs everybody has," said Brooks Wolff, who attended the event with her 140-pound European Great Dane, Thor. "You can tell a lot about a person by what kind of dog they have."

Wolff, like many of the event's attendees, said the dogs held a special place in their owner's lives and considered them more than just pets.

While most of the dogs at the event were, like their owners, there to socialize and have fun, others were there to show off their skills as working animals.

Members of Fort Hood's canine unit put on a demonstration in obedience, aggression and detection.

"It's great to come out into the community and show them what these dogs can do," said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Kirby, Fort Hood's kennel master.

Kirby and his team brought two German shepherds and one Belgian malinois for the demonstration. He said Fort Hood has 34 dogs and 28 handlers, most of whom have been deployed overseas at least once.

"It's work, but they love it," Kirby said.

Lopez and others hoped the event would be held again next year. "I think we had a really good turnout, and I think everyone had a good time, the people and the dogs."

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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