Tails were a-wagging and there was a whole lot of playful wrestling too among a group of canine revelers at the Pupperazzi Pawty. Nearly 20 dogs were partaking in the event that was held at the Veterinary Care Group in Oyster Bay on Jan. 25. Busy sniffing and barking, the dogs were probably experiencing for the first time a party that was thrown exclusively for them.
Veterinarian Dr. Jamie Zhen said one of the reasons for hosting the party was to encourage exercise. “They gain weight in the winter so it’s important to get them out,” she explained. “I see a lot of chunky monkeys.”
Socialization is also important, she said, which is difficult when temperatures drop because although a dog may not care about going outdoors owners do, opting to stay inside.
Zorro, an 11 month old shih tzu cockapoo, warmly greeted every dog that entered the office. Although he is tiny, he jumped on even the largest dogs, sniffing and licking them. Then, around 15 minutes later he collapsed, his stomach flat on the floor, legs splayed outward, and tail continuing to wag.
Apple, a twelve year old Yorkie, wore her finest party attire — a black sweater with white stripes, shoes and a black bow. She and Mollie, a mini golden doodle, waited patiently for a scoop of ice cream for dogs from the Pupper Cup. It was Molly’s second helping.
“It’s harder in winter to find dog-friendly events,” said Kelly Crook, Mollie’s owner. “We came here because it was something we can do out of the house.”
Eileen Greenspan and James Hanlon, of Mill Neck, brought June, a 14-month-old service dog. Greenspan and Hanlon often socialize dogs who go on to be trained by the Guide Dogs for the Blind, American Vetdogs and the Guide Dog Foundation.
“Dogs give unconditional love,” said Hanlon, adding that it is sometimes hard when it’s time for the service dogs to leave.
June couldn’t play with the other dogs, because she was “working,” Greenspan said. But June did pose for a photo with Greenspan and Hanlon, as did the other dogs with their owners.
No party is complete without a goody bag. One was given by Zhen, who also shared a friendly good-bye as she pet each dog. Her purpose was met, Zhen said. The Veterinary Care Group, which became a full time office in November, had now been officially introduced to the community.