Dogs had good reason to wag their tails like propellers on full blast Friday.
The sight and savory smell of ice cream will do that to our furry friends.
Dogs of every breed, age and wonder-what-that-is mix got their tails waggin’ and ice cream lickin’ on for Wiscoy for Animals’ 20th annual Ice Cream Social. The socials will happen from 6 to 8 p.m. every Friday in August.
Pups like 10-year old Callahan, an Irish setter, gulped down peanut butter-flavored ice cream and treat toppings.
“He’s very friendly, just one of the friendliest dogs at Foxdale, and would normally want to say hi to everyone, but he’s very busy right now,” Callahan’s human Dottie Lutz said. “He’s usually not this sloppy.”
The event will draw about 100 pups and their humans to a roped-off part of Wiscoy’s parking lot every Friday.
“There’ll be repeats, because you know some people and their dogs like to come every time,” Wiscoy owner Wanda Crosby said. “On our biggest day we might get up to 150 dogs.”
Crosby started the event to show appreciation for her customers. She also felt that man’s best friend should get a turn at the frozen treat.
“It’s an invitation for our customers and a really easy way for me to just celebrate our relationship with the community and an event for our dogs,” Crosby said. “I believe that this event defines how we always want our relationship to be in this town and with our customers and their animals.”
The rules are simple enough for dogs and their humans who join in the fun. No pups 4 months and younger can join, collars must be snug so that dogs can’t escape and canines should also be kept on a short leash.
There should also be no nose-to-nose contact.
Steve and Corinna Lyncha’s five pugs, who can eat together, made an exception to that last rule as they took turns licking their frozen treat out of two cups.
“Anything food is a mad dash with a pug,” Corinna Lyncha said.
The ice cream social is one of the few events for dogs that the Lynchas can take their pack of pugs to.
“It can be hard to take them out together, because some places where they do events they’ll put on restrictions like one dog per person, so here and Pugtoberfest and the beach is where we can take them out together,” she said.
Some dogs like Buckley and Quinn, senior Petit Bassett Griffon Vandeens, had mixed feelings about the ice cream.
“I couldn’t tell you why it’s Quinn that really gets into it and Buckley doesn’t always,” their human, Joe Lichty, said. “Dogs are like people, and they just have completely different personalities. I really like to get them out to see the other dogs and have fun.”
One big pup, a 3-year-old, 100-pound Great Pyrenees named Clary, made an even greater turnaround at the ice cream social this year. It’s been just over a year since she was adopted and taken to her first ice cream social last August.
“She’d been kept in a cage and was bred continuously from the time she was 6 months old until she was 2 years old, and they dropped her off at a high kill shelter in Kentucky,” her human, Denyce Matlin, said. “She was only about 68 pounds and couldn’t breed any longer. She was so fearful here, because she had never been socialized or let out of the cage. Everything, people, cars, homes, other dogs, were new for her. She wouldn’t get out of the back of our SUV last year. So, we’ve just kept working with her.”
Clary has since found a friend in 2-year old Quinn, an Anatolian shepherd and Great Pyrenees mix that the Matlins recently adopted. She also got out of Matlin’s car this year without any reservations and comfortably sat in front of the store near other dogs, showing just how far she’s come.
“We’ve been coming for at least 15 years, so it’s really nice to see her do this well and enjoy interaction with the other dogs and people,” Matlin said. “I think this event is absolutely fantastic to bring dogs to, to socialize them.”