People Helping Dogs. Dogs Helping People.

As we have mentioned during the month of August, the Humane Society of Sarasota County has the Food Pantry that gives donated pet food to those in the community who cannot, for whatever reason, feed their pets right now.

There are similar services across the state: Animal Pantry of Central Florida was started by nine year-old Zach who was shocked to see so many surrendered pets after visiting a local pet rescue. Zach has done an amazing job (with help from mom, Erica) raising awareness and pet food for those in need in his community. And at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Casper’s Cupboard has provided more than 500,000 pounds of food so far this year. Compare that to a total 360,000 pounds of food they handed out last year. Can those numbers be for real?

Again, WellPet came through with a huge donation to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay in 2009 as they did recently for the Humane Society of Sarasota County. KuDOGs to all who have helped.

Regarding the promotion The New Barker did in conjunction with the A.R. Gurney play, Sylvia at the Florida Studio Theatre, Wet Noses Dog Boutique and the Humane Society of Sarasota County: even though the show, Sylvia ends its run tomorrow – please don’t forget the Food Pantry’s ongoing needs. Chris, owner of Wet Noses on St. Armands Circle will have a large cart to continue collecting food all year long.

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Sylvia – Good for the Soul.

The Wednesday evening Sylvia Stories VIP Reception and Special performance was a resounding (make that a howling) success. As the rain poured outside, the atmosphere inside was upbeat with conversations revolving around – what else? Dogs. It seemed everyone had their own Sylvia story.

Catering by Mattison’s – complete with a full bar, was fabulous. Chef Paul Mattison even stopped by to check on things and talked a bit about his own dog Gemini. Deborah Millman, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Sarasota County and the shelter’s events coordinator, Ginny Armington were in attendance with two adoptables, Duncan and Bandit.

DJ Alan of Beach Breeze Weddings set the tone with some great jazz music. People streamed happily into the two lobbies of the beautiful Florida Studio Theatre bringing their donations of dog food for HSSC’s Food Pantry. Gift baskets provided by Wet Noses Dog Boutique, HSSC and The New Barker dog magazine were raffled off just before curtain call. Christine Baer, owner of Wet Noses Dog Boutique said, “This is one of the most exciting events I have ever participated in. From beginning to end, it was a success for everyone involved, especially with the food donation of 900 pounds that The New Barker arranged for the Humane Society of Sarasota.”

The evening’s performance of the play Sylvia, A.R. Gurney’s romantic comedy starring man’s best friend, was at once hilarious and poignant. The actress who played the part of Sylvia (the dog), Katharine Abbruzzese was adorable. Every dog owner in the audience laughed knowingly at her dog antics and personality. Kris Logan-Walker, owner of Fluffy Puppies in Clearwater and photographer Laura Allen were in attendance. “It was a great story. I had a good healthy laugh, which I really needed. The story was good for the soul,” said Laura.

Danae DeShazer of Florida Studio Theatre said the audience from Wednesday evening’s performance was one of the best during the play’s five-week run so far. “The actors were energized by the enthusiasm and response from the audience,” said Danae.

Sylvia runs through this Sunday, August 29. There are still tickets available. Remember to bring an unopened bag or can of dog food and enjoy the show. Hey. Hey. Hey.

The New Barker Arranges Shipment of Dog Food.

We are pleased to announce that The New Barker has arranged a donation of between 800 and 900 pounds of dog food to be shipped to the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) on Wednesday, August 25. WellPet, the maker of Wellness, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard and Eagle Pack agreed to donate and ship the food after receiving a phone call from Anna Cooke, editor of The New Barker. The donation is in conjunction with the fundraising promotion The New Barker is coordinating with the Florida Studio Theatre and Wet Noses Dog Boutique during the Theatre’s production of Sylvia. The play, written by A. R. Gurney, is a romantic comedy about how much one stray dog influences the lives of a married couple.

In addition to providing shelter and care for abandoned animals, the Humane Society of Sarasota County has a program that provides pet food to disadvantaged pet owners in the community. The Food Pantry at HSSC collects pet food through donations, enabling them to provide food to those in our community who find themselves undergoing financial hardship and are unable to feed their pets. The service is actually helping keep the number of owner-surrenders down and most importantly the Food Pantry is keeping families and their pets together.

Right now, the number of people in our community who have pets and are suffering from a financial crisis is astonishingly high, putting a severe strain on the Food Pantry’s supply. The Florida Studio Theatre along with The New Barker dog magazine, Wet Noses Dog Boutique and Mattison’s City Grille have partnered to help re-stock the Shelter’s Food Pantry.

Now through August 29, we have asked those purchasing a ticket for the play Sylvia, to please bring an unopened bag or can of dog or cat food. The public has resoundingly responded. And we are so excited that one of The New Barker’s esteemed advertisers, WellPet has answered the call to assist with some really wonderful food.

Plan on attending the August 25 performance of Sylvia at the Florida Studio Theatre. There will be a Sylvia Stories Pre-Show Cocktail Party, co-hosted by The New Barker dog magazine and Wet Noses Dog Boutique with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails provided by Chef Paul of Mattison’s City Grille. Meet and mingle with the actors prior to a special VIP performance of Sylvia. Three selections from the Sylvia Stories submissions will be chosen and featured in an upcoming issue of The New Barker. Submit your own Sylvia love story to info@floridastudiotheatre.org. Prizes will be awarded. Adorable Adoptables from HSSC will be on hand. And hopefully, through the generous donations of our caring animal community, the Food Pantry will be filled to the brim once again.

Feed your mind, body and soul through the arts by donating to the Humane Society of Sarasota County’s Food Pantry. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the arts, and our best friends. Call the Theatre box office to purchase tickets at 941.366.9000.

Another added treat: Hotel Indigo Sarasota is offering a special room rate the evening of August 25. The Hotel is dog-friendly and near the Theatre’s Downtown Sarasota location. For reservations, call 941.487.3800.

CONTACT:
Anna Cooke
Editor, The New Barker
727.214.7453; anna@thenewbarker.com

Dog Food for Thought.

Everyday, People Are Needlessly Giving Up Their Pets.
If You Could Help, Would You?

Did you know that in addition to providing shelter and care for abandoned animals, the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) has a program that provides pet food to the community in need? The Food Pantry at HSSC collects pet food through donations and provides the food to those in our community who are struggling financially and unable to feed their pets. The service is keeping families and their pets together, bringing the number of owner-surrenders down.

Right now, the number of people in our community who have pets and are suffering from a financial crisis is astonishingly high, putting a severe strain on HSSC’s Food Pantry supply. The Florida Studio Theatre along with The New Barker dog magazine, Wet Noses Boutique and Mattison’s City Grille want to help re-stock the Food Pantry.

Now through August 29, we are asking those purchasing a ticket for the play Sylvia, to please bring a donation of dog or cat food. We are looking for unopened bags or cans of any brand. We felt that Sylvia, the romantic comedy about man’s best friend, by A.R. Gurney, was the perfect show to raise awareness about the Food Pantry’s service and its current needs.

Additionally, in honor of all the dogs that have come and gone through our lives, we are collecting your stories to share. Called, Sylvia Stories, each of them will be posted on the Florida Studio Theatre website and displayed in the lobby of the Keating Main Stage, where Sylvia will be performed. Post your Sylvia Story here:

Plan on joining us August 25 at the Florida Studio Theatre for a Sylvia Stories Pre-Show Cocktail Party, co-hosted by The New Barker dog magazine and Wet Noses Boutique and catered by Mattison’s. Meet the actors prior to a special VIP performance of Sylvia. Adorable Adoptables from the Humane Society of Sarasota will also be on hand. Three selections from the Sylvia Stories submissions will be chosen and featured in an upcoming issue of The New Barker. Prizes will be awarded, including a package stay at Hotel Indigo in Sarasota. Hopefully, through the generous donations of our caring animal community, the Food Pantry will be filled to the brim once again.

Call the Box Office at Florida Studio Theatre to purchase your VIP Ticket: 941.366.9000.
Feed your mind, body and soul through the arts by donating to the Humane Society of Sarasota County’s Food Pantry. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the arts, and our best friends.

Sylvia Overview: After 22 years of marriage, Upper East Side empty-nesters Kate and Greg finally have time to work on their strained relationship. But when Greg brings home a flirtatious stray mutt, an unlikely love triangle develops as wife and dog vie for Greg’s attention. Played by an actress, this precocious, street-smart poodle/lab mix not only talks back when spoken to, but also quotes Homer and sings Cole Porter — making her a formidable “other woman” in one of the most unusual romantic triangles in the history of theater.

CONTACT:
Anna Cooke
Editor, The New Barker
727.214.7453; anna@thenewbarker.com

Danae DeShazer
PR/Marketing Associate, Florida Studio Theatre
941.366.9017; ddeshazer@floridastudiotheatre.org

The Case of the Missing Mitts

We have a new addition to our family – Doogie McDougal, a black Scottish Terrier, also known as the Aberdeen Terrier, popularly called the Scottie (beam me up). He is a big dog in a little dog’s body and is full of vim and vigor. He stole our hearts one evening at a Dunedin Bluejays Bark in the Ballpark where the Dunedin Dog Rescue volunteers were socializing their foster dogs.

The description of the Scottie’s temperament on the AKC website says they are a determined and thoughtful dog. “They should exude ruggedness and power, living up to the nickname, the “Diehard.” Indeed, that would be Doogie, chaser of squirrels, lizards and beetle bugs. He loves his crate and will often thoughtfully go in on his own to nap throughout the day.

Yesterday, walking into the kitchen, I noticed an apron and dish cloth on the floor. I turned to look at the four dogs. Three were in their beds in the breezeway. Doogie was staring up at me just beyond the kitchen with a soulful “I-don’t-know-what-got-into-me” look in his eyes. Do you think the gentle scolding I gave him with a smile on my face sends a confusing message? That’s like asking “do I look fat in these jeans?” Don’t touch that question with a ten foot leash.

This morning, while making coffee, with all four dogs readying themselves to go outside, I noticed Doogie rustling around inside his crate. When I turned around, there he sat just outside his crate. Placed at his front paws were the two missing mitts or pot holders from the pantry. One had been partially devoured (no evidence of fuzz anywhere). His look was again soulful, but now he was the one with the smile on his face.

I cannot figure out what he was possibly thinking or doing. And since I am one of the biggest anthropomorphisers in the world, I began deducing his antics using human attributes (and a Sean Connery accent, of course): Let’s see. Was he guiltily presenting them to me (“oops, furrrgot ta tell ya about theeshh lash night”)? Or was it his good morning joke (“heh, heh, heh – werrre ya missin somethin from the pantrrree)?

Either way, it made for a funny scene and a great laugh. I know, I know…reinforcing bad behavior. I sense we’ll have more incidents like these.