Pooches Take Over Grovedale Winery
By Kelly Cole
Many who were preparing to attend the Picnic with Your Pooch event on Saturday, Sept. 24, wondered if the weather would cooperate. The day started with light showers, but thankfully gave way to sunshine as the event at Grovedale Winery in Wyalusing began and pups with their masters arrived.
This is the third year that the Bradford County Humane Society (BCHS) put on the event and they chose a great venue location with Grovedale Winery for dog lovers to mingle. The wine tasting room was open with owner, Jeff Homer, and Marlene Hulsizer on hand to pour a glass or discuss the wine making process. Grovedale was also donating a portion of sales from a special wine they had chosen for the event.
Dogs of all breeds and sizes were in attendance on Saturday. Their sense of smell was in overdrive as every dog had to meet and greet each dog they passed. There was a meeting of breed cousins on the patio at the winery between Joan Abrey’s English Mastiff, Beau, of Wyalusing and Gus, a Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) owned by Karl and Gina Peterson of Camptown.
Jeff Dusek’s beagle/basset hound mix, Cheyenne, from Sayre and Robin Lutz’s “Heinz 57” breed, Blue, from New Albany listened to the River City Trio and watched the Country Connection Line Dancers perform.
Pet owners were able to enjoy yummy ice cream sandwiches that were being handed out by Bradford County’s first alternate Dairy Princess, Marilyce Young, as they wandered around the winery grounds to mingle with other pooch lovers.
A number of those who attended the event were there with either a dog they were fostering for the BCHS or had one they had adopted. Each seemed content and happy with their forever home, and the owners would gather together and share funny stories of what their pups had done.
Karen Stroud, from Wysox, brought her stunning Goldendoodle, Mellie, who was accessorized with a pink bow and matching kerchief, to Grovedale on Saturday. Mellie was named after Stroud’s sister Melanie Spencer, who passed away a little over two years ago. At the time, Stroud and her family were looking for a sign that her sister was still with them when she came across Mellie’s breeder. She wasn’t looking that day for a puppy, until she saw Mellie off to the side and learned that the litter had been born on the day that her sister had passed away. At that point, she had no hesitation that Mellie would be a part of the family.
Susan Meas and JoAnne Shaffer put their pooches, Joy, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and Rain, a Bouvier des Flandres, through a variety of agility drills to entertain the audience throughout the afternoon. Meas and Shaffer took time to go over each drill as well as answer questions. Many in the audience were interested in finding out more about training their dog in agility.
Dogs Gone Wild, LLC, a vendor at Saturday’s event, is the place to contact as they are located in Monroeton and offer different sports that your pooch can be trained in. You can contact Rob or Sue Thompson by phone at 570-364-5454 or through their website www.dogsgonewildllc.com for more information.
Wyalusing resident and local artist, Brian Keeler, has donated one of his oil paintings to help raise money for the BCHS. The painting was displayed during Saturday’s event and will be shown at other BCHS events where you can place a bid. Bids will be accepted until Jan. 4, 2012.
While at the picnic, you could buy hand-painted wine glasses from Jean Zeppa-Bennett of Creekside Creations in Ulster. She had sets of red wine, white wine, water goblets and champagne flutes available along with a variety of pitchers and carafes. They’re a great gift for wine enthusiasts.
Another vendor at Picnic with Your Pooch was the Endless Mountains Dog Obedience Club (EMDOC). This is the club to call if you need help training your new puppy or dog. EMDOC started in January 2004 and offers a variety of training classes for beginners, advanced beginners and at competitive levels.
They also offer the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program that is sponsored by the American Kennel Club. This is a program that everyone should attend to insure your pet has good manners in the home as well as in the community. The next class will be offered in spring 2012.
If you are interested in participating in one of their programs or becoming a member, you can contact Laurie Shepard, club secretary, at 607-565-4341 and find out more about the club and its programs at www.emdoc.org. They hold meetings the second Monday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church in Towanda at 7 p.m. and anyone is welcome to attend.
The Wyalusing Pet Clinic was there to micro-chip dogs and offered a nail clipping if needed. A nice bonus to chipping your dog is that you receive a lifetime dog license along with knowing that if someone found your dog, all your information is connected to that chip. Scott Ruback, pet photographer, had a studio set up to capture a pooch’s day at the winery and offered a portion of the proceeds back to BCHS. Representatives from Invisible Fence in Horseheads were there to discuss adding one of their fences to your home, providing security and a safe environment for your dog. The BCHS also had a multitude of toys, leashes and t-shirts for sale as well as a raffle table and a 50/50 with donations from local businesses.
The BCHS would like to remind everyone that they can always use dry and canned food donations for both dogs and cats. These donations are not just for the shelter, but are also used for area residents who qualify for the Towanda Area Community Outreach (TACO) food bank. Participants in the program can go to the shelter four times a year to collect food for their pet.
The shelter is also holding their fall rabies clinic this Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Athens Township Building. Cost is $5 per vaccination. You must bring your pet’s current shot record and make sure to use carriers and leashes for your cat or dog.
The shelter is a great place to start calling if you have lost your pet. Many are brought there in hopes that they will be reunited with their owners as soon as possible. This is very important during this time, as they are quite full due to the flood the valley just experienced.
Jennifer Spencer, Community Coordinator for the BCHS, put in a lot of time and energy to gather vendors and donations to create an event that would raise money for the shelter as well as awareness to the benefits of making a shelter animal your next pet. If you own a business and would like to be a vendor for or make a donation to next year’s Picnic with Your Pooch, call Spencer at the shelter.
The BCHS is always looking for volunteers, so if you have time on your hands, call the shelter at 570-888-2114 or visit their website www.bradfordchs.petfinder.org to find out more.