The dog days of summer have never been sweeter.
About 100 dog owners and their furry friends came out to enjoy the first Scoop'It & Loop'It ice cream social and community dog walk Thursday night in Turlock's Crane Park. Participants, both human and some canine, enjoyed free ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery at the Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital and Community Veterinary Clinic.
Chihuahuas, corgis, collies and more mingled with other dogs at the event, and their owners got to chat as well. Monte Vista Hospital Director Sara Leimgruber said the event was meant to bring the community together and encourage people to walk their dogs regularly.
"It was a big success and we can't wait to do it more next week and see if it can grow even larger," Leimgruber said.
Participants also were given pedometers, maps of the Crane Park walking loop and a handout showing the recommended daily walking distances for dogs of various sizes.
Scoop'It & Loop'It events are planned for each Thursday in July, and possibly beyond, in Turlock. The next one will be Thursday at Crane Park. The location for the July 25 event hasn't been determined.
Turlock resident Peggy Jenkin, who brought her golden retriever Brandi with her, said she liked the idea of getting together with other dog lovers.
"I live just down the street," she said. "I think this is a lovely idea and didn't realize I'd see so many of my friends and neighbors here."
Fellow Turlock resident Mary Freitas and her Labradoodle Chloe attended as well, and shared a sweet treat.
"We wanted to socialize her a little more," Freitas said of Chloe, who got a few spoonfuls of ice cream. "She's usually real calm. But she sure likes this ice cream."
The next Scoop'It & Loop'It event will be from 7 to 8 p.m. at Crane Park in Turlock. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/MonteVistaVet.