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I’ll be a vendor at this event’s opening reception on Aug. 19 and will donate double my usual amount per book sale ($4 instead of $2) to the Pet Project. So, if you’ve a need for a copy of my book, “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss,”  for yourself or a friend, please swing by and get a personally inscribed copy and do some extra good with your purchase.—Sid

“BARK at ART”

Gallery 122 at Hang It

August 19- September 10, 2011

Pet Friendly Opening Reception –Friday August 19, 7-10 pm

 Gallery 122 and The Barkery are teaming up to host a benefit for The Pet Project. “Bark at Art” will feature limited edition, signed and numbered prints by local and national artists that are inspired by our furry, four-legged companions. “BARK at ART” will run from August 19 through September 10, 2011, with a pet friendly** opening reception held on August 19, from 7-10 PM. (**Owners are responsible for pets. All pets must be on a leash and current on all vaccinations). The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public. Guests are asked to help The Pet Project by bringing unopened bags of pet food, new/gently used supplies, or a suggested donation of $5.

100% of door donations, and 80% of poster sales will benefit the Pet Project.

The Pet Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to provide pet food and basic supplies to pets whose owners are struggling financially. The Pet Project also provides connections to basic veterinary care and provides information on finding pet-friendly housing. For more information on The Pet Project please visit www.thepetprojectmn.org.

Gallery 122 is an art gallery that features different local artists throughout the year. Gallery 122 is located in NE Minneapolis in between Central and E. Hennepin at 122 8th St SE. The gallery hours are Monday and Friday 9-5, Tuesday through Thursday 9-7, Saturday 10-4, and closed on Sundays.

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My hubby and I took our four Westies, Blanche, Keely, Ambrose and Oliver, to Central Bark indoor dog day care center in Edina, MN, yesterday for a Winter-Weary Westie party with about 50 other cute pooches of that marvelous breed. Much butt-sniffing fun was had by all the four-leggeds. (The humans, wisely, refrained from such interaction.) Everyone was asked to bring a pet-food donation for The Pet Project, and we wound up with a small truckload full! (The Pet Project is one of my favorite nonprofits because it supplies local food shelves with pet food and products so that owners who are facing tough financial times won’t have to lose their beloved animal family members. There’s no question but that everything you donate goes directly to needful animals. I’d just had my birthday party two days previous and had asked friends to do a similar donation in lieu of gifts for me, so we hauled over all of that as our donation at Central Bark.) While at the Westie party, one of the other pet parents brought out a healthful frozen dog treat that the pooches went bonkers for. I begged her for the recipe, which she kindly shared, below. Thanks so much!—Sid

Tasty Terrier Treats *

Combine and mix all of the following ingredients either by hand, in a blender or in a food processor:

1 qt. vanilla (or plain) yogurt

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. honey

1 ripe banana

Pour mixture evenly into a 9×13 cake pan, cover with foil and freeze overnight. Cut into little squares and store in the freezer in a Ziplock bag or Tupperware-type container.

* Edible by people and all other dog breeds as well.

Big idea of the day: Creative FUNdraisers can involve kids.
Anybody old enough to remember Muscular Dystrophy Carnivals? I hosted some in my backyard to raise money for “Jerry’s Kids” back in the 1960s!Why not host your own retro-style carnival? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. And you can charge people one entry fee (in dollars or pet food/toys/litter, etc.), or you can have them buy tickets to use at your “booths.”
THE DUCK POND: I remember we set up a wading pool with water and floated plastic ducks with numbers on their bellies and had little kids use a pole to “fish” out their duck for a prize (something small like a piece of candy or trinket from a multi-pack of toys at a dollar store will do) corresponding to the number.
CAKE WALK: We baked cookies, pies, muffins, and cakes and laid out numbers on sheets of paper in a circle on the grass (weighted with rock so they wouldn’t blow away) and had people walk around as music (the Jackson 5, as I recall, was a favorite) played (on a portable 8-track player) and when it stopped, participants froze at the number they were at. Someone in charge drew a number from a hat and whoever was on the corresponding number on the ground won his/her choice of the baked goods.
SPORTS: We played competitive bocce games, badminton, volleyball, kickball, etc. Go with whatever games you think will appeal to the kids’ age range in your neighborhood.
SCAVENGER HUNT: Send kids out in teams to locate a list of oddball items. Instead of going into strangers’ homes, however, you can make the list be unique, readily identifiable items on the houses themselves or in the front yards of houses on your block. Just have the teams find the items listed and record the address where they spotted it in order to get credit. For instance, you could have written “A pair of concrete lions” and they’d jot the number of the house where these sat out alongside the front steps in a blank next to it. You get the idea. They’re still having to hunt, but there will be no lugging back the items or involving neighbors who value their privacy. The team that gets the most items correctly noted in an allotted amount of time wins.
TALENT SHOW: Get everyone involved displaying their virtuosity on the harmonica, magic acts, song-and-dance routines, puppet shows, outstanding stupid human tricks, etc.
Why have I taken you on this sentimental journey into my fund-raising past? I want to urge you and/or your kids/students/younger relatives/neighbors organize to host a backyard (or National Night Out Block Club) carnival for all their friends—with a wide variety of games, relays, contests, cake walks, lemonade stands, etc.—to raise $$ and/or pet food donations for The Pet Project! All donations go to providing pet food and products to families in need through local food shelves. Help people keep their beloved animal friends with them throughout this recession and other unforeseen life changes such as the owners’ illness or disability. Shelters and rescues are flooding over with pets who, while not neglected or abused, are being surrendered by anguished owners who can’t afford their upkeep.

Kids are often passionate about pets. Why not nurture their generosity and creativity and get them involved in this worthy cause—and have a FUNtabluous time, too? Please, please, please send me any photos or stories of your fund-raising efforts for the Pet Project and I’ll post about it here and on my Facebook Fan Page! Heck, send in a video of your event to fellow animal-lover Ellen Degeneres and get a national trend going! —Sid

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The Pet Project is designed to help people keep their pets by offering food to those who are struggling. The Pet Project is working to expand these services to include assistance in finding housing with a pet and basic veterinary care.

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