Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Was a Very Greyhound Weekend!

I think I'm finally recovered enough from this past weekend's Greyhounds Rock fundraiser gathering to get back to my normal life ... which means that there's more time to spend on roses, and remodeling, and blogging!  Before I get to the roses and remodeling part of what I do here, let's settle in and I'll show you what our gathering was all about.

We hold our gathering at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House, which is a dog-friendly hotel with all the facilities we need.  Having our event all under one roof is important, since October weather can be so unpredictable.  Fortunately for us this year, the weather cooperated and we had blue skies and comfortable autumn temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday.

Part of our contract with the hotel states that we have to cover the floors of the ballroom and our meeting rooms with plastic.  We did this on Friday afternoon.  The effort we put into 'plasticating' the floors (our made-up word) is more than repaid in ease of clean up, should any of the dogs have an accident.

After the ballroom floor was covered, we set out the items for our Silent Auction.  So many folks were so generous with their donations.  We had a wonder assortment of items available for our guests to bid on.

We had items lined up like this along 36 feet of tables!

Friday evening, guests were invited to the hotel's gazebo for hot chocolate, cider, and ghost stories ... no photos of the storytellers, because I went home early to catch some z-z-z-z's to charge my battery for a very long day Saturday.

Saturday morning, guests brought their dogs and headed for the conference center where our activities were to be held.  

They were greeted by an assortment of vendors selling mostly-dog-related merchandise.

Our Greyhounds Rock store featured my martingale collars, Gale's jewelry, Mary's homemade chocolates (her turtles have been called 'crack' because they're so addictive), our magnets and wrist bands, and other stuff.

Other vendors had more collars, tshirts, toys, decorative items ... whew!

The stained glass vendor licensed our logo and made sun catchers.  I bought the one on the right.

For $10, guests could have our volunteers John or Pam dremel your dog's nails.  Most dogs stood patiently, because John and Pam are very good at what they do.

Taylor, however, decided that she did NOT want her nails done, and she tried to escape through her Daddy's legs.

Look at those teeth!

In addition to shopping, Saturday morning was devoted to a variety of educational seminars.  Guests were treated to presentations on animal communication, greyhound track life, raw feeding and nutrition, fostering, and dealing with grief.

Wherever we turned, there were greyhounds ... who were beautifully behaved, as usual.

Windsor, Mercedes, and Derby wait for their mom, who was at the registration table.  The poster behind them was advertising one of our new projects ... we are soliciting donations and assembling a canine cancer memorial quilt ... details can be found on the Greyhounds Rock web site.

On Saturday afternoon, most of our guests assembled in the ballroom to hear a presentation by Dr. Guillermo Couto, director of the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program at Ohio State University (the program which will receive the proceeds from our gathering).  Dr. Couto is a very engaging speaker, and he has a talent for explaining complicated topics in a very understandable way.

The topic of his talk, the state of greyhound medicine and what's happening in his program at OSU, is serious ... and he peppers it with just the right amount of humor.  I love this slide, a definition of 'greyhound' given by one of his students.  The greyhounds they see in their program are stressed, and sick, and this fits them perfectly.

We used a hotel tablecloth, taped to the wall, as a projector screen.

This is where the money goes.

After Dr. Couto's presentation, there was a little bit of time for more shopping, a chance to take a break and get a bite to eat,

Tempest is thoroughly enjoying her treat.

and a quick appointment for Kim and TJ with Jim Poor, our portrait photographer.

TJ was a happy, happy boy!

Saturday climaxed with the evening Dessert Party banquet in the ballroom.  The hotel catering staff provided a dizzying array of tempting treats ... guaranteed to tempt our guests to abandon their diets for the evening. 

Since this was Halloween weekend, we had a dog and human costume contest.  I am amazed at the costumes that some people dreamed up.

The Biker Couple were my personal favorites.

Her shirt says, "This Bitch Don't Fall Off."

Notice the Marlboros in his pocket.

The judges' pick for most original costume was this rendition of Juan Valdez (of the Colombian coffee commercials) and 'his' burro.

(photo courtesy of 45mphK9)

At the end of the evening, as we packed up our supplies and the left-over desserts, I snapped this photo of TJ getting a drink of the melted ice in the bowl from the drink table.

On Sunday, activities moved here to our place, for a cook out and time to visit and get to know one another better.

(photo courtesy of brindleandfawn)

The morning began with a very touching Blessing of the Hounds, delivered by Theresie Houghton (a cancer surviver herself ... approaching her 5-year anniversary cancer free!!)  Theresie thought the Rose Arcade would make a nice background for her service.

(photo courtesy of brindleandfawn)

After the group blessing, each dog in attendance received a personal blessing and a cookie.  TJ accepted his cookie with his usual enthusiasm.

(photo courtesy of Deedee)

Sunday was the only day of the gathering that I could include my own dogs.  I worked all day and into the night on Saturday at the hotel, and I couldn't have cared for them properly, so Emma and Daniel stayed at home.  On Sunday, Daniel was at my side most of the day.

(photo courtesy of brindleandfawn)

We set up Emma and the other well-behaved senior dogs inside our picket-fenced area, with comfy blankets and dog beds to relax on.

(photo courtesy of Deedee)

Mary's dog Dori really enjoyed herself in the sunshine.

(photo courtesy of Deedee)

The humans dined on hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad and coleslaw, and the left-over desserts from the previous night's banquet.  Asher was treated to a plate to lick.

(photo courtesy of brindleandfawn)

Look at this happy face!  Daniel had a really good time on Sunday.  He loves having other dogs come over to play.

(photo courtesy of Deedee)

After lunch, many of our guests walked next door for a wine tasting at Hartwood Winery.  The dogs and their owners were warmly welcomed, and many relaxed in the vineyard.

(photo courtesy of brindleandfawn)

When all of the guests had said their goodbyes and headed for home, and we cleaned up the leftover food and put away the supplies, a few of us headed for the Pavillion and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and talking about the weekend.  TJ hopped up on the couch with Kim . . .

. . . and Asher curled up on his blanket and went to sleep.

It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend!

We are already planning next year's event, bouncing around ideas to make it even better than it was this year. 

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. Awesome post! I am so glad the event went well. Such beautiful dogs and I love the costumes! Cute! Rest and recoup and back to your Roses!

  2. Oh Connie this brought a tear to my eye, you know how I love dogs!! I'm so glad all of your hard work paid of in spades! And I can't imagine how you could improve on everything you did for this year's event! Congrats!

    Kat :)

  3. I love places and events where dogs are welcome and can relax. My 16 yr old Faith needs a quiet place but young Reedy wants to be in the action. Greyhounds are beautiful but the little terriers have my heart, maybe because they can jump up into my arms. And when to old to jump, they can cradle there.

  4. Just amazing, what you've put together.. what a great weekend. And so kind of you to open up your home to all.

  5. Oh my gosh! Love the burro. And Taylor, poor thing, just couldn't escape the nail clipping fast enough. LOL

    I thought of you a few days ago when I was at PetSmart and they had greyhounds out front up for adoption. Such sweet, darling faces they had.

    Looks like your week-end was a complete success! Kudos to you and all who participated.


  6. Such wonderful pics. Your dog is beautiful. How lucky she has you. Lovely post.

  7. What a fun weekend you all had, Connie! I would'ave loved to have been there! You are very special people to love and care for those beautiful beasts. Bless you! :)

    xoxo laurie

  8. That looks like a great weekend, how could it not be with all those dogs.

  9. What a wonderful event for such a worthy cause too. All the dogs look so peaceful and happy. Your dedication and thoughtful desire to share this with all of us has inspired me to really consider adopting a greyhound, they look to be such beautiful pets.
    Thank you Connie.

  10. What an amazing event :) And how wonderful of you to open your home to them all. The dogs look so happy and it warms my heart to see them all so well cared for (spoiled I should say!)

    So glad you had a successful event :)


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