10 Tips for a Positive Barks at Parks Experience

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10 Tips for a Positive Barks at Parks Experience

Pups, doggos, big woofers or lil’ borkers – you can have them all at Iowa State University’s semesterly event – Barks at Parks. Barks at Parks takes place during Dead Week in the upper rotunda of Parks Library. College Students sit in a circle as community members parade their officially licensed therapy dogs around, stopping for the students to pet, pat, or snuggle these four-legged friends. Selfies are strongly suggested, and shamefully exploited!



  • Don’t wear all black

This may seem like common sense, yet, it is an increasingly difficult task to not wear an all-black outfit that matches your mood due to the current climate. As you meet and greet these soft-eared friends, your body will inevitably be covered in their fur, and not wearing black is the best way to decrease how messy you already look. Unless if you are into that look, which is not the worst thing you could be into.



  • Arrive at the 0:40 mark

Just as bank robbers scout a location and pick the best time to intrude, BAPers (People who attend Barks At Parks) know the best time to be in the upper rotunda for prime pup concentration. Here is a secret for you, dear reader: the best time is around the 40 minute mark of each hour. It is right when people leave to get to class on time, and before people get out of class and head to get their furry fill.



  • Charge your phone

In the trying time of final exams, everyone is posting pics of themselves at the Library or bragging about how late they stay up studying, or just plain ol’ videos of shots being drunk. Give everyone a break from that tiresome routine, and show them how much fun you are having with the biggest toe beans in the tri-state area.



  • Spot the King of Barks at Parks

We do not have pictures or any type of confirmation that He is actually in charge of BAP, but He has been there multiple times, knows the dog owners personally, and is clearly not a college student. He is old and tall and His name might be Ed. Big if True.



  • Have conversation starters prepared

Look, we know you’re just there for the dogs, but that doesn’t mean that all social skills should fly out the window. Have some questions to ask the owners who are attached (via leash) to the dog, so that it’s not super awkward when you are gushing about the softness of a pup’s tummy and then make eye contact with the human that feeds them.

For Example:

  • What is its name?
  • How old is he/she/they?
  • What kind of dog is he/she/they?
  • Do you take him/her to nursing homes?
  • I love him/her/them



  • Bring Friends

Of all times, now is not the one to be selfish. If you bring a friend, they can take cute pics of you holding a puppy, which will guarantee likes bc dogs are so in right now. Share the BAP love.



  • Spot a cute boy (Or girl)

If you don’t bring a friend, being alone at BAP is the best time to meet a fellow dog enthusiast, who has the same schedule and priorities as you. Dreamy. Plus, you don’t have to make eye contact while you are having a conversation (probably about dogs) because you will both be busy watching and/or petting a pup. It’s a bucket full of wins, really.



  • Don’t waste time

Of course, you’re going to get some cute vids and pics, but don’t waste your time rewatching them while you could be petting the pups that are there, in the flesh. Wake up. Live in the moment.



  • Stay in a circle

With the political climate that we are living in right now, it is important to stand up for what you believe in. One of these things is the format of Barks at Parks. It’s simple. Everyone sits in a circle, and then there is an inside circle that faces the outer circle, creating the shape of the ring, and the dogs walk around the middle. It is really not that hard. When there are fewer people (see: BAP Tip #2), it is tempting to pod up around the dogs you love most. That is a dumb and terrible idea. Do NOT succumb to the peer pressure of sitting like that. It is impractical and broken.



  • Look Good

Of course, you can look however you want, this is only a tip for having The Best BAP experience. Everyone will be taking pics and vids, and you will inevitably be in the background of a snap, so make sure you look fly, just in case.