What A Difference A Dog Book Can Make.

Doug Koktavy, author of the award-winning book, The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer is making several stops in Florida this weekend. The New Barker dog magazine and TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach have partnered with several retailers to provide Doug with a venue in Sarasota, Apopka, Clearwater and Tampa. 50% of the book sales will be going to various rescue groups in Florida as a result. “Our goal is to sell 100 books and raise around $1,000 for each venue’s rescue group,” said Anna Cooke, editor of The New Barker.

And if Thanksgiving travel plans have you out-of-town during this five-day event, you can still purchase your book and have it signed by the author. The owners of each of the businesses hosting the events will hold onto your signed copy until you return. If you are a dog lover or know someone who is, The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer will make a thoughtful holiday gift, personally inscribed by the author. Beautifully illustrated by artist Chris Smith, the book is a gift that gives twice, knowing that 50% of the purchase price will be going to a Florida rescue group.

A bit about the book:
Doug’s beautiful Black Labradors, Beezer and Boomer both had terminal illnesses, but they left behind a legacy of amazing lessons. Doug wants pet owners to know that while you may be saying goodbye to your furry or feathered family member, these are not the worst of times, but the best. The book is much more moving and inspirational than it is sad. In fact, it was bestowed the prestigious Nautilus Book Award in April, 2010. The book is in good company with other Nautilus Book Award winners, including Deepak Chopra, MD and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

“When we think about the days ahead without our cherished pet, we give in to the fear. We’re so afraid, in fact, that we’re actually missing out on what could be our pet’s best gift to us.”

Anyone living with companion pets should have a copy of this book in their library to refer back to from time to time. There are wonderful life lessons on the pages, things that one can put to use daily, in all relationships.

Doug’s first stop is this Friday evening in Sarasota for a wine reception at Wet Noses Dog Boutique in St. Armands Circle. Christine Baer, owner of Wet Noses said of the book, “When my dog Max was diagnosed with cancer, Anna told me about The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer. I went right out to purchase a copy and immediately read it. It was just so helpful for me. I absolutely loved the book, and I’m looking forward to meeting Doug this weekend. The reception is my way of saying thank you for writing such a wonderful book.”

The reception at Wet Noses will be from 5:30pm until 7pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. A $5 donation is requested which will go towards the purchase of the book. Doug will be signing books, and 50% of the proceeds will be going to the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

“We’re thrilled that Doug is coming to Sarasota and helping us raise much-needed funds for the shelter,” said Executive Director, Deborah Millman. She added, “One thousand dollars will provide food for all our shelter pets for more than a month. It will provide health checks and spay/neuter for 20 orphans waiting to be adopted.”

On Saturday, Doug will then be at Media on Main in Downtown Sarasota from 10am until noon. He will give a presentation along with Bentley’s House, a local pet grief counseling group. This will be another Sarasota opportunity to get up close and personal with the author, have your book signed and again – 50% of the book sales will go to the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Contact Chris Baer at Wet Noses to reserve a copy of the book for either Friday’s or Saturday’s event. 941.388.DOGS (3647).

The rest of Doug Koktavy’s itinerary is as follows:
Sunday, November 28, 1p-3p
Centers for Animal Therapies/C.A.T., LLC
In Apopka. Call Jo at 407.869.1145
50% of book sales will go to the C.A.R.E. Foundation.
“One thousand dollars will provide a new roof for the pen area, housing four dogs, two goats, a pig and a tortoise,” said Christin Burford, Executive Director of the C.A.R.E. Foundation. “Each of these rescued animals works hand-in-hand with autistic children,” she added. Currently, the roof is a torn tarp.

Monday, November 29, 6:30p-8p
Fluffy Puppies, Clearwater
Call Kris at 727.446.7999
50% of book sales will go to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida.
“One thousand dollars will treat five dogs for heartworms and provide annual shots for 20 dogs waiting to be adopted,” said Lise Amundrud, a volunteer with Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida. “We have more than 120 Labs in foster care right now and spend on the average, $450 per dog in medical costs. So, $1,000 will help offset our high medical expenses,” she added.

Tuesday, November 30, 6:30p-8p
Downtown Dogs, Hyde Park Village in Tampa
Call Rene at 813.250.DOGS
50% of book sales will go to TampaPets.org, a partnership between Hillsborough County Animal Services, Humane Society of Tampa Bay and about 60 rescue groups.
“One thousand dollars will go towards the 2011 Tampa Pet Adoption Expo Fund to ensure the expos will continue to remain free to rescue groups participating,” said Cory Cooper, board president of TampaPets.org.

Doug Koktavy is an attorney and now Certified Counselor, Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement. If you or someone you know has lost a pet or going through a pet’s terminal illness, come hear Doug talk. It could be the single, most inspirational thing you do all holiday season.


Anyone looking to add a new pet to the family unit, come to the Florida State Fairgrounds this Saturday, November 13. TampaPets.org, Hillsborough County Animal Services and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay come together with more than 40 rescue groups. Vendor spots have been sold out for some time. FREE PARKING. FREE ADMISSION. FREE FUN. Find that dream pup and make its dream come true.

The Rally to Restore Dogma.

November 2, 2010 – Today is Election Day in the United States. Once again, the nation’s eyes will be on Florida as its citizens vote for a new Governor in a hotly contested race. In an effort to get out the vote, The New Barker, Florida’s top dog lifestyle magazine, has organized dog owners for a Rally to Restore Dogma. Whether you are a Dogmacrat or Repuplican, let your bark be heard at the voting booths. Need to know who’s running for what in Florida? Go here: http://www.uselections.com/fl/fl.htm

All tongue-and-cheek aside, seriously, today is an important day in America.
Thankfully, whatever the outcome, life goes on with our dogs.

Friday, November 5 visit Taste Cafe in Safety Harbor for the unveiling of the Humane Society of Pinellas County’s 2011 Calendar. The suspense is finally over. Who made the calendar’s cover? Taste Cafe is located at 500 Main Street, Safety Harbor.

On Saturday, November 6 it’s the 4th Annual Wag-A-Palooza at Plaza Bella on Bloomingdale Avenue in Valrico. Hosted by the Merchants of Plaza Bella, the free event will feature rescue groups and their adoptables, valuable savings for holiday shopping and delicious food samplings. For more information, contact Debbie at 813.681.8686.

Also on Saturday, November 6, it’s Dox-A-Palooza, the annual fundraising event hosted by DARE, Dachshund Adoption, Rescue and Education. The event takes place at the Mango/Seffner Dog Park, 11717 Clay Pit Road in Seffner. There will be a silent and live auction, rummage sale, dog costume contest and plenty of raffle prizes. And of course, what would a Dachshund event be without the famous Wiener Races?

November 6 is the first Saturday of the month and that means it’s time to celebrate Pets on the Patio at Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor City – one of the coolest pirate bars in the world. Check out their new Galley, updated menu (re-vamped with the knowing palate of Jeannie Pierola), and the renovated patio. The giant, remote-controlled red umbrellas are a fabulous touch. And check out the new wall mural being created by pet portrait artist Anna Hamilton for TampaPets.org. Your pet could be forever immortalized in the pirate ship painting. Just send in a picture of your pet, or bring one along Saturday evening. For sign up to the PupArt Mural, go to http://www.tampapets.org/events.php
Gaspar’s Grotto is located at 1905 East 7th Avenue in Ybor City. Call 813.248.5900 for new Pets on the Patio hours.

If your holiday plans include bringing a new dog or cat into your home, consider adopting. Another consideration: think about adopting before the rush of the holidays is upon us in an effort to calmly introduce your new pet into his or her environment. While the thought of presenting a new puppy wrapped in a shiny red ribbon is tempting, oftentimes the excitement during the immediate holidays is too much stimulation for a new pet. And for humans too, especially children. Fortunately, we have a couple of early adoption options for consideration.

On November 13 TampaPets.org, in conjunction with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County Animal Services, will be hosting its sixth Adoption Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Through this unique partnership and with the help of the ASPCA, the event continues to remain free to all participating rescue groups and to the public. Another bonus for the Fall Adoption Expo – the parking is free. Visit http://www.tampapets.org/expo.php for more information. This is an all-round great experience for the entire family.

The Happy Paws Pet Expo takes place on Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14 at the Fort Lauderdale War Memorial Auditorium. This event has been in the works for almost a year and will be one of the best bets for a two-day event. Families are encouraged to bring their dogs as this is an interactive event, complete with competitions in agility, flyball and more. Entertainment from media personalities and some amazing performing animals as well. And of course, rescue groups will be on hand with their adoptables ready to take home.

Also on Saturday, November 13, Pug Rescue of Florida is gathering Pug lovers from across the state to the largest Pug Meet-up of all time. PugsGiving will be held at the Maitland Civic Center. And speaking of Pugs, one of Florida’s biggest Pug lovers, the incomparable Robert Plunket, will be emceeing Hot Dogs and Cool Cats at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. Mr. Plunket has scripted a murder mystery to outshine all others. It’s all in fun and all to benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC). For ticket information, call HSSC at 941.955.4131.

For details on these events and a complete calendar of Florida dog-friendly events, go to http://www.thenewbarker.com/Events/htm

Attention Dogs: Grab a Human and a Leash and Hit the Road.

The New Barker (www.thenewbarker.com/Events.htm) is certainly the Howl-O-Ween Headquarters for dog-friendly Fall Events. Dog-friendly farmer’s markets are almost in full swing for the season now, including Downtown Bradenton. The New Barker has partnered with Realize Bradenton, an organization of arts, culture and heritage to host Dogs Dig Bradenton. These dog-friendly events begin this Saturday, October 16 and will run one Saturday a month through Spring, 2011 at the Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market. The farmer’s market itself runs every Saturday.

Also this Saturday, it’s the SPCA of Tampa Bay’s 20th Annual 3K Pet Walk in Straub Park, in beautiful Downtown St. Petersburg on the waterfront. This is another great setting with lots of vendors and thousands of dog lovers walking for a cause.

Beginning this Saturday through Sunday October 31, it’s the 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The piece de resistance is on October 23 when Downtown Dogs co-hosts its annual Hyde Park Masquerade. Call Downtown Dogs at 813.250.DOGS to reserve your spot on the roster. This is always a fun event.

Sunday, October 17 at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, The New Barker is co-hosting Dog Day at the Museum for the exhibition, WOOF! Art of the Dog. The museum is located at 352 S. Nova Road, Daytona Beach. Dogs and humans can stroll the grounds and admire the outdoor sculptures. Dog sitters will be available for humans who would like to go inside the museum to see artwork by dog artists including William Wegman and George Rodrigue.

Did you know that our Doggie DNA enables The New Barker to be in multiple places at one time this weekend? Well, that and thanks to a bevy of Rover Reporters who love covering Dog Stories for us. So, we’ll also be at the festivities this Sunday, October 17 during the Open House at the Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club in Clearwater from 10a – on, at 2101 Logan Street, Clearwater. Call 727.449.8738. Come out to see agility demos and dancing with dogs. Really. Dancing. With DOGS. And it’s all free.

Save These Dates: Here’s The Dog-Down on the most celebrated Halloween Events of the Season:
October 23 – The New Barker, along with Paw Paws Pet Boutique in Countryside Mall, hosts the first ever Spooktabulous Pet Costume Contest, benefiting the Humane Society of Pinellas. Registration starts at 10:30a. There will be a bevy of prizes for the winners. Call 727.726.7299 or visit www.humanesocietyofpinellas.org to pre-register.

October 23 – Hyde Park Pet Masquerade, co-hosted by Downtown Dogs. Registration begins at 10a. The event benefits the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Great venue with some of the most creatively original costumes around. Call 813.250.DOGS for more information.

October 23 – Happy Dal-loween and Fall Festi-Dal, hosted by Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay. This polka-dots-and-moonbeam event is never spotty in its fun, food, games, raffle prizes and overall furvolity. The event starts at 10:30am and goes on until 3p at Lake Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz. www.dalrescuetampabay.org

October 23 – The folks at Groovy Cats and Dogs in Carrollwood are at it again with their annual Groovy Monster Bash from 6p-9p. Reserve your tickets now to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with delicious food and drink. Proceeds will benefit Lost Angels Animal Rescue. Make that Groovy call to 813.265.1333. It could change your (social) life.

October 23 – The Jacksonville Dog Fanciers Association and The New Barker present the Third Annual Hallow-WOOF from 9am-4pm at the club’s Activity Site, 6932 Morse Avenue, Jacksonville. Free parking and free admission. Call Pat at 904.693.0837 for more information. Established in 1939, this club is one of Florida’s oldest AKC All-Breed Dog Clubs in the state. That’s worth the price of admission (Free).

October 23 – The SPCA of Central Florida hosts its 10th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk from 9a-1p at Cranes Roost Park in Uptown Altamonte. They’re already halfway to their fundraising goal of $80,000. What are you waiting for? Wiggle on over and start walking. Help the SPCA of Central Florida meet their goal. Visit www.OrlandoPets.org

October 23 – The Humane Society of Sarasota County hosts their 13th Annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade. Visit www.hssc.org to pre-register. Remember to bring an unopened bag or can of dog food for their Food Pantry.

October 23 – Germain BMW of Naples hosts Strut Your Mutt, billed as Naples’ Premier Halloween Pet Costume Contest. Festivities begin at 11a and go on until 2p at the dealership, 11286 Tamiami Trail N. Celebrity judges include Naples Mayor Bill Barnett. Vendors and lunch. Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Naples.

October 23 – The Tavares Hush Puppy Dog Parade in Wooten Park, Downtown Tavares is going to be a happening event. Festivities begin at 3p with hayrides, pumpkin patch, farmers market, splash park and later that evening at 7:30 – Grammy Award Winner, Buckwheat Zydeco brings some fabulous Cajun music to the park. Co-hosted by The Green K9 and The New Barker. Visit www.thegreenk9.com or call 352.253.5205.

October 24 – Pet Food Warehouse is hosting its annual Fall Pet Fest from Noon until 2p at 6155 18th Street North in St. Petersburg. Come check out their newly renovated and expanded storefront. Registration begins at 1:30. These folks are serious about their Pet Costume Contest: Three Grand Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 in Pet Food Warehouse Gift Certificates will be handed out. All proceeds will benefit the SPCA Tampa Bay.

October 24 – It’s the 6th Annual BarktoberFest, a fundraiser for Paws Park at Jacksonville Beach. For more info, visit www.pawsparkjaxbeach.com

October 27 – Hyde Park Village and Downtown Dogs present a very dog-friendly Live Music Concert Series. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

October 28 – This is a big day for Halloween and Dog Lovers. Fluffy Puppies hosts its 4th Annual Bark-O-Ween Party and Costume Contest. Co-sponsored by The New Barker, this hair-raising good time will be at O’Keefe’s Tavern, 1219 S. Ft. Harrison in Clearwater, from 6p-9p with celebrity judges and Kristen Levine, Wizard of Paws for Fetching Communications, emceeing. Visit www.barkoween.com for the registration form. Specials on yummy drinks and food. Proceeds will benefit Dunedin Dog Rescue.

October 28 – One Lucky Dog Yappy Hour and Halloween Celebration. Kick back and join your friends for some serious fun and shopping this evening from 5p-8p, at 5320 4th Street North, St. Petersburg. There will be great specials on Halloween costumes too. Call 727.527.5825 or visit www.shoponeluckydog.com

October 28 – Pawsitively Posh Pooch is hosting a Pawsitively Posh Halloween Costume Party during their Yappy Hour event, 6p-8p. Free wine, beer and delicious appetizers are always served. Prizes will be awarded for: Funniest, Scariest and Most Original costumes. Humans are encouraged to dress up too for a chance to win the Best Human Costume Contest. Donations are requested for Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Call 727.892.9303. The store, with a fab, bigger-than-life dog painting in the window by local artist Robert Phelps, is located at 1425 4th Street North, St. Petersburg.

October 29 – Head to St. Pete Beach because Halloween has Gone to the Dogs. The Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest event is from 5p-8p. The grand prize for the best dog costume? A three day, two night stay at the dog-friendly TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on St. Pete Beach. Gone to the Dogs is located at 310 Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach. Co-sponsored by The New Barker.

October 29 – The Humane Society of Manatee County presents A Tail Wagging Tail Gate Party from 6:30p-10:30p at the beautiful Palma Sola Botanical Gardens, 9800 17th Ave., NW Bradenton. Co-sponsored by The New Barker.

October 30 – Stride for Strays. Take a step and help save the life of a dog or cat. From 8a-1p at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes in Tampa. All proceeds benefit Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) a low cost spay/neuter clinic. Call 813.250.1234. Co-sponsored by The New Barker, this is one fundraising event not to be missed this year.
Visit www.stride.actampa.org

October 30 – The 2nd Annual Bay to Bay Stroll, presented by Nicole Geller Photography. For the second year in a row, this talented artist single-handedly organizes a great event with proceeds going to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Susan G. Koman Cancer Foundation. Contact Nicole at 813.837.4786.

October 30 – In-DOG-Nito and Paws on Parade, Tom Varn Park, 301 Darby Lane, Brooksville. Call 352.686.9485.

October 30 – Fright Night, St. Armands Circle. Wet Noses Boutique tells us this will be the largest dog-friendly Halloween event in all of Sarasota. The event is from 6p-9p with a special performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller by the Sarasota High School Drama Department. Kids and dogs can Trick or Treat around the Circle. Traveling to St. Armands for the event? Make reservations at the dog-friendly Hotel Indigo in Downtown Sarasota. Get up the next morning and visit one of the most beautiful Farmer’s Markets in Florida.

Events are being added daily, so be sure to check back often to www.thenewbarker.com/Events.htm. It’s also a good idea to become part of The New Barker Facebook page. And you can subscribe to The New Barker, Florida’s top dog lifestyle magazine by going online.

The Month of October Officially Renamed Dogtober.

Florida may not have four discernible seasons, but one look at the calendar and POOF. The Dog Days of Summer are over. October marks the beginning of what promises to be a very busy dog-social season. And Floridians love to party aplenty with their pups.

Tonight (Wed., 9/29) those partying pups with Dunedin Dog Rescue (www.dunedindogs.com) are closing out their summer with Dog Days of Summer, Gone at Decker Ross Interiors, 1445 Court Street in Clearwater. We hear some great food and entertainment will be available plus a chance to meet artist Anna Hamilton, she of the now famous DogEden Dog Mural in Dunedin and the soon-to-be famous PupArt Mural at Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor City. If you want your dog to be forever immortalized as a Pirate Pup in Ybor, visit the following link and scroll down for sign-up information. Cool cats are invited.

Tomorrow night in Bradenton at the Roo (as the Kangaroo Pub is affectionately known), it’s Yappy Hour from 5p-8p. The Pub is located at 427 12th Street W. on Old Main Street.

The New Barker Pick-of-the-Week Pup Event goes to the Blessing of the Animals this Saturday, just outside the fabulously cool SONO Cafe: adjacent to the Tampa Museum of Art and overlooking the Curtis Hixon Dog Park. In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, the wonderful rescue group, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue is hosting the free event with their Adoptables on hand. Bring chairs and/or blankets to enjoy the view overlooking the water and the University of Tampa’s historical minarets. The vendor-filled event starts at 3p with an inter-faith service and blessing starting at 4p-7p. This is going to be a big one, so come early, bring plenty of water for yourself and pets. And, remember to count your blessings – each and every furry one of them.

Of course, there are plenty of Blessings of the Animals going on across Florida all weekend. The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is officially October 4 and commemorates his life. Two other Blessings taking place this Saturday worth mentioning: a Pet Fair with Blessings, starting at 10a at Lake Seminole Presbyterian Church at 8505-113th Street Seminole (Pinellas County) and in Sarasota at St. Wilfred Episcopal Church, benefiting the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Click here for an abbreviated list with a web address to find more Blessings in your zip code. St_Francis_of_Assisi@SONO

If you’re looking for some high-speed action this weekend, check out the Cruising 4 Critters III hosted by the Gulf Coast Harley-Davidson, benefiting the Humane Society of Pinellas.

Another high-speed, action-packed event will be at the Dog Training Club of St. Petersburg, 4400-B 34th Street (US Hwy 19). The Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club is hosting an Obedience and Rally. Whew – those dogs are fast and fun to watch.

Planning a little bit ahead – next Saturday (October 9) it’s the Natural Paws-A-Palooza hosted by Groovy Cats and Dogs, Carrollwood (Tampa). This will be an educational and entertaining afternoon of health and wellness for your pets. Area pet wellness and lifestyle experts, including Yvonne Guibert, will be on-hand along with veterinarians, trainers and nutritionists. It’s all free and there should be some cool handouts in the goody bags.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for Dogtober’s dog events. The Halloween events continue to be added to www.thenewbarker.com/Events.htm so be sure to keep checking back. And if an event hasn’t been included, well, 50 lashes with a wet Labrador Retriever’s tail. Send it along to events@thenewbarker.com.

Remember to dog responsibly.

Weekend Pupdates for You and Your Dog.

There is a slight change in the weather. A tinge of fall perhaps? Well, this is Florida, and the weather here has been known to play tricks on its residents. Football season is here, but we’re not entirely done with hot weather. However, the dog-friendly activities have certainly kicked up a couple of notches, indicating that fall is just around the corner and folks want to get out. Seminoles, Gators, Bulls and Bucs fans can show their team spirit with some dog accessories from your favorite dog boutiques and stores. And let’s not forget our Tampa Bay Rays team spirit. You’ll find the best selections of dog gear with a wide variety of price points at places like Pet Food Warehouse, One Lucky Dog and Pawsitively Posh Pooch in St. Pete and Groovy Cats and Dogs in Tampa’s Carrollwood.

Today at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa it’s the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Day. It’s a wonderful collaboration between the Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater and Pasco Kennel Clubs and various breed-specific rescue groups. There is no cost, except for a $5.00 parking fee, it’s indoors and air-conditioned. If you’re interested in a particular breed of dog, this is the place to be today. Come out and speak to AKC handlers, groomers and trainers. Find out about the personality of a particular breed and if that dog would be a fit with your family and lifestyle. Come see agility demonstrations and even put your own dog through some agility tests – no experience necessary. The best message one can take away from the show might be the fact that there is a rescue group for almost any breed of dog. From puppies to seniors. Visit The New Barker for free goodie bags with coupons from Downtown Dogs, Fluffy Puppies, Tampa Bay Area Grooming Academy and more. Julie Ashlock with Canine Comfort Pet Massage will be giving massages at The New Barker booth. We’ll also be raffling a couple of grand prize giveaways, including some super cool stuff from Pet Flys. The show goes on from 9am until 5pm, today only.

While you’re in Tampa, consider stopping by Gaspar’s Grotto for their monthly Pets on the Patio Yappy Hour. Summer hours for today’s event are 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Grotto’s Galley has been completely renovated and they’re introducing a fabulous new menu from Chef Craig Smith. Get a preview tonight and stay tuned to The New Barker online calendar and PupDates as we announce a week’s worth of Pirate, Pups and Partying at Gaspar’s Grotto, 1805 7th Avenue in Ybor City. http://www.thenewbarker.com/Events.htm

Does your dog like to swim? Then the Pup Splash at Ross Norton Pool and Park in Clearwater just might be the ticket for you and your dog, located at 1426 South MLK Jr. Avenue in Clearwater. Laura Allen Studios will be taking photos for The New Barker, so get your dog on out to the pool. Fluffy Puppies will be handing out some coupons and The New Barker will be giving away subscriptions. The hours are 10 a.m. until Noon for dogs weighing less than 20 pounds; Noon until 2 p.m. for dogs weighing more than 20 pounds.

Today’s weather is definitely Farmer’s Market weather. And one of the prettiest in the area is probably Sarasota’s Farmers Market, downtown. Grab a cup o’ java at Java Dawg. You can’t miss it: The big red double bus with the long line. The fresh artisan-roasted coffee is worth the wait. Then stroll through the fresh produce, colorful plants and be sure to stop by Wet Noses Dog Boutique’s own booth. Say hello to Christine. She always has something special to say and hand out. For a map and directions: http://www.sarasotafarmersmarket.org

Tomorrow at the Dunedin Brewery, it’s Dunedin Dog Rescue’s monthly Suds on Sunday. Dogs get bathed and the owners get a free beer. It’s the best deal in town and becoming one of the most popular dog events in the South. Really. Where else can you hear some eclectic live music, get your dog washed and taste some of the most delicious micro-brewed beer ever? And while you’re in Dunedin, stop by Skip’s Bar and Grill to check out the famous DogEden art wall where hundreds of dogs (and cats) have been painted by artist Anna Hamilton. For location and directions to the Dunedin Brewery: http://www.dunedinbrewery.com/location.html

It’s a fun-packed, dog-friendly kind of weekend. Remember to have enough water on-hand for you and your dog. Email your photos (info@thenewbarker.com) of these and any other events you’ve visited. You and your dog could be in the next issue of The New Barker.

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.

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.

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.

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