Not only is it puppy dog heaven, but some really memorable moments happen here. This was our second year for the event and it was bigger and better this year. We are hoping to continue to grow this event and already have a waiting list of shelters and vendors who want to attend again next year. So this event we literally let the store go to the dogs. We start with “Free “ photos for you and your pet along with some great give-a-ways. Then to add to the fun, we offered educational live training, and grooming demos. To top it off with a nice finish we brought in puppies and older dogs in need of a forever homes.
On Friday nights we offered an informative seminar on how to choose the right dog breed for you and a brief history of some of the dog breeds out there. We had one customer who was having a hard time selecting the next new dog breed for his family, and after our seminar, he left with lots of ideas on breeds that might be the perfect fit for their home. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly. When you think about the fact you could have this family member for well over 15 years, getting the right companion for your family situation is not only important for your happiness, but very important for the dog as well. There are so many factors to consider, but most highly recommended are size, space, and lifestyle for you both. A very high energy dog with the need to run may not be the best fit for someone in a one bedroom apartment, who works 12 hours shifts. As well as a brachycephalic dog may not be the best choice for someone who wants a dog to run 5 miles a day with them. There are so many dog breeds out there now, that you can find one that is perfect for you lifestyle, space limitations, and companion desires. Most all dogs just want to be loved and a part of the family and getting the match perfect the first time can help avoid a dog ending up in a shelter, and hoping for the right family to come along a second time to adopt it.
On Saturdays, we focused on training and grooming for your dog. This is also is very important in keeping harmony in the house. With over 400 recognized dog breeds there are a lot of fur types and intelligence levels with dogs as well. We had Sit Means Sit Denver dog training in to help show you how to avoid and correct some of the most common of behavior issues. Dogs learn how to sit, run, walk, and jump along all of other body functions on their own. What we have to teach them is where and when it is acceptable to do these things. One thing I learned from their demonstration is how to teach your dog to “Place”. This is an amazing command to teach you dog to stay in any spot you command them to until you release them. This is a huge help when there are distractions that can cause over excitement. Another great tip was learning how to teach you dog to come, and then advancing that into heeling. I didn’t realize it is a dog’s natural instinct to chase and follow you. So the best way to start leash, come, and heel training is to turn and face your dog and walk backwards in front of him. They naturally want to follow you. So you get them to follow you facing backwards and slowly progress that into turning away from them and then getting them to walk next to you. It was a tip I have started using at home with my dogs to teach them to come to me and walk next to me on the leash, instead of walking out in front of me and pulling on the leash. For more tips check out http://ift.tt/1SalClh
So the Heartwarming portion of our event came in with our Fundraiser and Adoptions that we did. We had 3 shelters that joined us for over our two Saturdays. The first, Life Line Puppy Recuse, a no kill puppy shelter in Brighton Colorado that helps re home over 1200 homeless puppies a year. They brought 3 puppies both Saturdays and they all found homes. The also partner with local fire fighters to produce and distribute and Fire Recuse Dog Calendar every to raise funds for their shelter to stay in operation. https://youtu.be/y7o3QZLn90I
So they had live fire fighters on site from the calendar, signing the calendars they sold. One fire fighter even brought his now adult dog that was a feature in the 2015 calendar. It was an added bonus for us to help give an extra platform for theirs shelter and charity. For our families that already have dogs, they could still help the ones who are still searching for their forever home. The second, Aurora Animal Shelter, a local shelter operated by the City of Aurora Colorado, brought 4 dogs both Saturdays and waived the regular adoption fees for our event. 7 of the 8 dogs found forever homes with us. The last dog was transferred to another nearby shelter to find her forever home. The third shelter was My Fairy Dawg Mother shelter. They specialize in hunting breed dogs and use the generous help of volunteers to foster their dogs that are in need of adoption. They had several foster parents on site with their adoptable dogs, but with everyone walking around with dogs, were not sure our customers realized their dogs were up for adoption. We not know this is something for us to improve on next year. But all these adoptable dogs lead me to our Grand finale heartwarming moment.
We love to help these dogs find forever homes and we reach out in all ways to get the word out. So here is Reeve’s Story, told by one of our amazing customers: “This past week I have spent some extra time looking for a dog and every time I call about a dog they have already been adopted. I am always a day late! Today I had a call from my girlfriend, that Bass Pro was sponsoring an adoption event. Aurora Animal Shelter had a 6 month male chocolate lab, male is not my preference but I went to look. He was already big and I was going over all of the paper work with the Aurora Animal Shelter when a young man in an Army Reserve uniform walked up. He was there to adopt the same dog. I started asking a few questions and he told me that he had already been to the animal shelter several times and was told if he wanted to adopt this dog he would have to go to Bass Pro. I also found out that this cute puppy would be trained as a service dog. That is all that I needed to hear. I ask the young man if he wanted the dog and he said yes. I turned to the lady with the animal shelter and told her that I want the young man to have the lab. I explained to him that my brother, Rodger, had been a Warrant Office in the Army and that my husband, Steve, was a Intelligence Analyst in the Army. I explained to him that both men were deceased and I was going to name the lab Reeve after Rodger and Steve. I ask him if he had a name picked out and he said no. As I walked away with tears in my eyes he had agreed to name his new chocolate lab, Reeve. I cried all the way home and the tears are still flowing. Rodger and Steve are both smiling down on my and when the time is right I will find just the lab for me.” This was a huge moment for all of us. We loved the generosity of this customer and the fact this dog was going to a bigger purpose. “Reeve” will forever be a special dog for our store.
So when we think Bass Pro Dog Days, it is an amazing opportunity to bring our love of dogs to everyone. We enjoy the fact we can help customers learn more about dogs, find the homeless dog a forever home and wrap it up with a Free photo for the customer to take home a remember the experience. This is the one time of the year we love that the store “Goes to the Dogs” and can’t wait for next years event. Remember to like us on Facebook, Dog Days Family Event so you get all the details on next years event.
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