New canine columnist Balty the Dachshund reflects on what it's like to attend a Major League Baseball Bark in the Park event.

I often hear my Dad refer to the popular American pastime that humans call baseball as a thinking man’s game.

(Note to Dad: I know you just say this so that Mom will let you watch it on TV all of the time. Oh, and I agree with you — it's educational.)

Since I myself spend most of my days contemplating the meaning of life, while chewing on my favorite Kong, I decided that I would focus less on barking and lunging at perfectly nice people and attend my next Mets Bark in the Park game with a new puppy outlook — and maybe even watch a few innings.

It would be even better if I didn’t have to wear the ridiculous hat that inspires perfectly nice people to fuss over me, but I digress.

I was three when my parents took me to my first baseball game. Dad basically ignored me the whole time, and Mom kept asking him questions that got him really mad. I’m not sure why, but this only happens at baseball games.

I remember a few wonderful things from that first game: I got to go for a walk around the baseball field, and I peed in left field, which Dad thought was the best thing ever.

I also sniffed all sorts of other dogs who were wearing a lot more Mets stuff than me, like the cute dappled Dachshund I spotted dressed as a blue-and-orange bumblebee.

We recently went back to the ballpark for another game. I still had to wear that stupid hat, but now that I am 4 and wiser, I got to ponder why pup day at the ballpark is so great for a city-dwelling dog like me.

Here’s my top 5 list:

  1. I get Mom and Dad all to myself for a whole day. My big brother, Felix, is now a senior, so he doesn’t do well in crowded places full of other dogs, who he does not like much at all. It took me a long time to get him to accept me — even though I lick his face and ears every morning — but we are now best buddies.
  2. Lots of people tell me how absolutely adorable I am. I love this. So does Mom.
  3. I spend most of the game sitting on Mom or Dad’s lap. This is a special treat.
  4. All kinds of doggies! Everywhere!
  5. Food! Within the first 30 minutes, Dad always goes to get some beer (and a glass of wine for Mom). They don’t share any of this with me, although I do try to stick my nose in the cup.

But since my Dad loves me so much, I get something even better: hot dog! It is delicious. I even dream about it. And it’s not because I am a Dachshund. (Note to other dog owners: Mom wants you to know that your “hot dog” jokes aren’t ever funny to her.)

Let’s go Mets!

Want to check the fun out for yourself? Here's a list of some Bark in the Park events across the country. To get tickets, visit the Major League Baseball site for your home team.