When it was announced recently that The Green Room was going to host a unique website launch, I was inquisitive. When I found out it was doggy themed, I was intrigued. When I found out there would be alcohol involved, I didn’t need any more convincing! The event was to be called “Puppies and Prosecco”, and was being held to mark the launch of the Dog Friendly Perthshire website and to raise money for the Perthshire Abandoned Dogs Society (PADS). There's a lot of love for our canine friends at Small City and there was no shortage of volunteers to cover this awesome afternoon, but Hannah, our crafts columnist and myself managed to convince the boss that we were the best people for the job. There were only one hundred tickets made available online and they sold out within minutes, so we were really lucky and grateful to get the opportunity to check it out.
Baxter attracts photographers like Bieber! But he’s much cuter and less obnoxiousWe arrive at The Green Room nice and early so we can get some one-on-one time with the brains behind the Dog Friendly Perthshire website, Katie McCandless Thomas and it’s public face, poster dog and superstar Lhasa Apso, Baxter. Katie tells us that she originally set up Dog Friendly Perthshire as a Facebook page in 2015. As a long-time resident of Perth, she and “ambassadog” Baxter are on a mission to promote Perthshire as the Dog Friendly Capital of Scotland and we think she is doing a great job.
Hannah and I both have dogs that can be a little intimated by other animals, so both love having access to a website that lists local businesses where we can take them to socialise in a friendly environment. Recently, we both contributed pictures of our dogs chilling in local businesses that we found on Dog Friendly Perthshire, to a Dog's Life Small City Gallery. As the start time approaches the rest of the press turn up (Baxter attracts photographers like Bieber! But he’s much cuter and less obnoxious), and we head upstairs to wait for the rest of the dogs.
Cut to half an hour later and The Green Room is wall to wall with pooches, it’s amazing! Beagles and Labradors hang out together while their humans sample a couple of drinks. Elsewhere a gorgeous black springer spaniel is working his stuff, trying out his ‘blue steel’ in a pint-sized doggie pop-up photo booth. There's even a face painting stall, although I was a bit disappointed it was for humans. I thought it might be quite funny to see a Great Dane loping around with a face like a tiger!
I have a glass of prosecco (which I opt to upgrade with a cheeky wee shot of flavoured Edinburgh Gin), and head through to the back of the pub to check out the merchandise. I’m usually pretty immune to the charms of pop up stalls but there's some really great stuff on offer, with a good balance between doggy related stuff and gifts, like artwork. Perhaps it is the goodwill engendered by stroking dozens of pups or the warm fuzzy glow of the prosecco, but I end up nipping to the cash machine and spending some money.
Alongside the stalls and booze there was a showstopper of a cake made especially for the occasion by Elaine, from Perth Pet Care. I’m licking my lips but Hannah points to the list of ingredients: Egg, peanut butter, apple (sounding pretty good so far), potato, turmeric and carab. Turns out it's a cake for dogs, and the appetising looking icing is actually mashed potato. The dogs seem to really be tempted, and they all try and jump up onto the table to get to it as they walk past.
Back in the bar its even busier than before, but all the dogs are miraculously well-behaved. They turn up with their owners, have a little sniff of each other and generally settle down. I run into one of my old work buddies Trev, who is here with his girlfriend and his dogs Glen and Sweet Dee (named after a character from my favourite sitcom ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”). We have a quick catch up and discuss our favourite places to go with our dogs, and they tell me about a couple of shops that I didn’t know were dog friendly, ‘Waterstones’ and ‘Big Dogs Books’. I look forward to taking my dog Millie, with me when I go shopping for some summer reading. Hannah and I have both had a fabulous afternoon and we hope that this will be become a regular event, so that next time we can come back with our fur babies.
We caught up with Katie McCandles Thomas a few days later to found out how she felt about it.
“We’re absolutely overwhelmed with the support that we have received for the launch of Dog Friendly Perthshire,” says Katie. “We managed to raise nearly £2000 and every penny is going to PADS to help the dogs in their care, and support them to continue the amazing work that they do. The Puppies and Prosecco event was such a success we are already planning another one with The Green Room for later in the year.”
Joanna High, Manager of PADS is delighted with the total raised. “£1,193 is an astonishing donation and is comparable with the amount raised at our largest annual fundraiser event, Scrufts dog show.
Work is about to begin on a £20,000 renovation of the external areas at the kennels, so these funds will make a considerable dent in the bill. We’re incredibly grateful to Katie and the dog-friendly community of Perthshire for the support and wish her all the best with her new website.”
Dog Friendly Perthshire hosted a special screening of Wes Andersons quirky animation 'Isle of Dogs' at The Perth Playhouse.
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