Doggy Happy Hour a huge hit
Doggy Happy Hour is in full swing Tuesdays at The Gashouse Vail Valley Co. Restaurant & Bar in Edwards.”I’m usually not the going out type – people have to drag me out on the weekends,” says Elizabeth Sexton, who attended the happy hour last Tuesday with her Westie, Mary. “But as soon as I heard about this, I knew I had to come. Now we’re making plans for it to be a weekly outing.”The Gashouse has been hosting the canine-human social extravaganza every Tuesday since late April, and the word is spreading fast among dog-loving valley residents.Lucy, a beautiful Weimaraner, performed tricks Tuesday for owner, Konr Beetch, while others looked on jealously.”First I taught her to speak on command, but my wife wasn’t too happy about all the barking,” Beetch says, holding up a treat for Lucy and saying “whisper.”Lucy responds with a low, barely audible “rrooofff.””Um, can you teach my dog to do that?” several other customers ask immediately.The Manos family attended the event Tuesday without a dog, but their 10-year-old son, Peter, had a different take on things.”Well, my little brother is like a dog,” Peter says. “He’s always jumping, and sometimes he scratches by accident.”Steve’s Cat and Dog Repair handed owners party-favor bags as they walked in Tuesday. The bags included funky bandanas and treats for the pooches.A small tiff broke out when a brown poodle tried to play with a Jack Russell Terrier while the terrier was indulging in a treat from the party bag.The poodle was scolded.”You know you wouldn’t want someone trying to distract you when you’re eating your treats,” Abby Dixon says to her nosy poodle.The disagreement was quickly resolved with a nuzzle and a friendly rear-sniff when the terrier was done with his treat.Steve’s Cat and Dog Repair also raffled off some serious prizes to attendees, including a free physical, two days’ worth of boarding and a nail-clipping.The Doggy Happy Hour is the brainchild of local valley resident Bob Angel.”I thought of the idea a few years back while I was working for Petsmart on the East Coast,” Angel says. “I thought it was a great idea to bring people and their dogs together – everyone wants to bring their dog along when they go out, and now they can.”And the Gashouse is the perfect locale for such an event, Angel says, with its fenced in patio to keep dogs safely off the busy Edwards roads.Sexton, meanwhile, says she sees the canine-friendly event as more than a good time – it’s an excellent opportunity to “socialize” her dog with other dogs, people and small children, she says.”Socializing your dog is just as important as socializing your children, especially out here where there are dogs everywhere,” she says.When asked if they kissed their dogs on the lips, all but one attendee answer “yes” or “of course.”The lone, anonymous owner, meanwhile, has a slightly different take on things.”I try to kiss her, but she won’t kiss me back,” she says.