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Wineries go to the dogs at weekend event

by: COURTESY PHOTOS: LAURINE APOLLONI - Dr. Kristin Sulis of Mt. Tabor Veterinary Care brought her beloved poodle DeeDee (who passed away in February) to last years Canines Uncorked event. For the last two years, on a summer Saturday, Labrador Retrievers, Vizslas, terriers and mutts alike have mingled with their wine-sipping owners at a handful of wineries in the north Willamette Valley.

This weekend, the opportunity comes again with Canines Uncorked, a fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society, where dogs and their humans can have the run of more than a dozen wineries and enjoy activities catering to both species.

It all started after Laurine Apolloni made a visit to the Oregon Humane Society with her daughter for a birthday party—and left with Samson, the family’s beloved black Labrador-mix. She hadn’t meant to bring a dog home, but one look into his eyes and it was a done deal.

“Sometimes when you look into a dog’s eyes, you get that magical connection and you know — that dog needed to be mine,” Apolloni said. “He’s been such a gem.”

The first year, Apolloni, who owns and runs the 45-acre Apolloni Vineyards in Forest Grove with her husband, decided to take donations for the Humane Society at a special dog-friendly tasting. The next year, several other wineries took part, adding special activities and drawing about 180 guests.

“Other wineries seemed to want to join in and it just took off,” Apolloni said. For $40 per person, the participating wineries offer various perks: pet massages, photo shoots, pet fashions and even pet-friendly gelato from an Italian “gelato maestro.” All of the proceeds go to the Oregon Humane Society.At Apolloni Vineyards--one of 13 participating wineries this summer--owner Laurine Apollonis pooch Samson dressed up last year to welcome guests to the Lickin Luau.

At Apolloni, activities will happen outside, in an environment created especially for dogs and their owners. The other locations on the tour have also made special arrangements so that dogs can join their owners, Apolloni said. “This is the day to bring them along for a summer adventure,” she said.

Last year, about 80 dogs visited their property during the five-hour event. The dogs — and their people — were well-behaved, proving that wine and canines can pair well, Apolloni said.

One owner, however, has having difficulty managing a glass of wine along with an active Irish Wolfhound tugging on a long retractable leash, she said. That’s when Apolloni’s husband, Alfredo, stepped in.

“You have such a beautiful dog,” she remembers him saying. “Would you mind if I took him for a walk?”

Jane Morrison, corporate relations manager for the Oregon Humane Society, said the money will go toward the organization’s programs, ranging from kid’s camps and adoptions to investigations of animal abuse. “If everyone gives in a way that’s meaningful, then that’s how this kind of work is done,” Morrison said.

Helping people connect with animals in fun ways like this makes it a pleasure, Morrison said.”We really like to celebrate the animal-human bond.”



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  • 20 Sep 2014

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  • 21 Sep 2014

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