In the Dog House

But the dog house gets an upgrade!

Kindly owners put dog houses in the backyard, and there it sits.

       I have a dog house.

       You know what I do with that dog house?

       I look at it—from the safety of the couch!

       Belinda Benavidez is the director and founder of D’Corazon Marketing and Special Events. She has Great Danes, whom she takes on field trips.

       “I take my Great Dane to murals throughout town, and one mural showed the Alamo.”

       She took a picture of her dog in front of the depicted landmark.

       “And a friend of mine said, ‘Oh, my gosh. That looks like a dog house.’”

       Lightbulb moment!

       “So, I thought that dog houses that looked like the Alamo would sell really well!”

       “I started looking up other information about creative dog houses that were available.”

And the idea of “Barkitecture” San Antonio was born.

       There are other Barkitecture events around the country, including one in Austin, but Benavidez is the San Antonio creator and producer.

       She invites people from around the community and challenges them to design and build a really cool house, a really cool dog house.

       “We utilize community-service involvement. We send out invitations to superintendents at all of the school districts in San Antonio. And, they forward them to their schools.”

       Engineering and STEM classes are involved in this citywide competition, including our own Alamo Heights schools.

       Architecture and engineer groups compete, but everyone is welcome “to create the best dog house in town,” she says. “It is a daylong festival.”

       But do dogs really use these things?

       “I have Great Danes, and they live inside. But people have yards, and dogs go outside, play and hang out, and some dogs live outside and as long as they have accommodations, especially fancy houses, like these!”

       Local shed builders like JB Woolf Sheds reports that more customers are coming in with specs for a custom dog house, along with specs for sheds.

       A South Carolina company sells cedar-built structures for Fido, complete with heat and with air-conditioning! 

       “It is something for the dog to cuddle up to,” says Benavidez. “As well as having the shade and protection from the weather.”

       Especially if it is under a tree, and for hot, humid San Antonio, that’s important.

       And with the rain that we’ve had, these shelters provide pups with essential protection from wet weather, too.

       The pandemic curtailed the contest in 2020, but Barkitecture this year is Saturday, December 4, at Maverick Park. You can sign up on their Facebook page.

       “We are excited to host our event there and to be able to enjoy the new dog park,” says Benavidez. “In addition to the dog house competition, we will have a ‘Hero Doggy Costume’ contest, classic cars, and a silent auction of ‘one of a kind dog houses’ and food trucks.”

       The proceeds of the auctioned houses go to local non-profits.

       Dog houses, costume contests, adoptions, rescues, specialty food items, and travel accommodations; it has become a welcoming world out there for us four-legged friends.

       Until next month,

       Woof woof!


By Berit Mason

Berit Mason has been a reporter – anchor for WOAI 1200 AM Radio, a contributor to the San Antonio Business Journal, a writer for SA Scene magazine, and for “San Antonio Woman”. She has been writing the “Ask Roxie” column since 2016. Berit also worked in T.V., as a reporter – anchor in West Texas and in Waco, where she was a RIAS Berlin Commission German – American Exchange Journalist, starting her career interning with CNN Washington. She is a frequent traveler to Scandinavia, where her mother was from. Her father was an author of military aviation history. Berit loves animals, and was raised in a family who preferred to acquire the family dog, from among the many homeless pups roaming San Antonio streets.
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