The third annual Dog Days of summer event held at Round Peak Vineyards Saturday afternoon was an example of partnerships working together for a common good, organizers said.
According to Second Chance Rescue Spokesperson Sherry Azelton, the venue was moved from downtown Mount Airy this year by organizers to tap into the naturally dog-friendly, laid back atmosphere at the vineyard. The group Mayberry 4 Paws also held a benefit luncheon at the vineyard.
“This is a wonderful thing,” said Azelton. She noted that organizers were pleased with the turnout.
Azelton said that the grill cooks for the benefit luncheon included Dr. Anthony Russo and his wife, Natalie, who offer low cost spaying and neutering services through the Surry Spay and Neuter Clinic of Pilot Mountain.
“Money pet owners save on having their dogs spayed or neutered can go towards medicines that further improve the life of their pets,” explained Azelton. “We (groups) all try to work closely together. In this tough economy people are having to give up their pets.”
She said that Second Chance concentrates on helping people to keep their dogs and said every success is “one less dog on the street.”
“I am very blessed,” continued Azelton. “To me it’s all about rescue, not the breeds of the dogs. I’m blessed to help with all the people who help with events like this one. I love my dogs. They are my babies.”
Azelton said that she had found being a smaller rescue group had allowed her to work more closely with dogs and their owners and to do that little something more to socialize the animals rescued.
Jane Taylor of Mayberry 4 Paws, a non-profit spay and neuter group, was enthusiastic about the turnout.
“We (the group) are trying to arrange these services at a reduced cost to owners who might not otherwise be able to afford them,” said Taylor. “Keeping them out of the shelter and in their homes is our goal. As of the end of May we were able to help with 183 spayings or neuterings. Unfortunately, that doesn’t put a dent in what needs to be done.”
Earlier, Vineyard owner Kari Heerdt indicated that the vineyard’s dog-friendly year-round atmosphere and picturesque location made it a natural for the event. She said this is the first year doggie contests such as pie-eating, “Olympic” obstacle course, a kissing contest and a tug-o-war were offered.
Kim Baker of Kritter Kutz was available to bathe the vineyard’s four-legged visitors for a nominal fee. The Mount Airy Police Department presented a demonstration of the department’s K-9 unit. Other contests included a peanut butter “kissing” contest and a cutest dog contest.
Heerdt explained that the back patio of the vineyard was made available for Dog Days so canines could sit with their owners and other dogs while owners dined and tasted wine. Participants were also invited to stay after the event to participate in the weekly Grill Fest at Round Peak.
“Every Saturday during the summer we stay open until sunset, and people can bring a picnic and sit and listen to music,” said Heerdt. People wishing for more information about Round Peak Vineyard should call 352-5595.
Contact David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.