Arts & Entertainment
Who let the dogs out?
Group for canine lovers celebrates four years
Originally printed 2/23/2012 (Issue 2008 - Between The Lines News)
Canine to Five owner Liz Blondy created an event that allows dog lovers and dogs to meet like-minded people, enjoy a drink and get to know one another in a fun, no-pressure atmosphere.
The gathering, known as Drinking with Dogs and held on the third Tuesday of each month from May to September, brings canines and their owners together on the patio at a diverse selection of local bars from 6-10 p.m.
"The event has grown every year. This will be the fourth year that we've done it. We're excited about it," said Blondy, a long-time Detroit resident who, after a decade in sales, combined her love of animals with her hometown passion to establish her dog daycare in Midtown in 2005.
"It gets people to places that they've never been before," said Blondy. In the past, Drinking with Dogs has visited the patios of The Whitney and Traffic Jam in Midtown, Foran's Grand Trunk downtown and Whiskey in the Jar in Hamtramck. Visit http://www.CaninetoFiveDetroit.com or its Facebook page as this year's schedule of events will be available in May.
"I think people want the opportunity to be social," said Blondy. "This gives them that opportunity. They know they will have something to talk about with other people. Everyone is going to talk to you about your dog. This gives people an easy conversation starter. It's really surprised me and has exceeded all my expectations."
Among those looking for a buddy for their pet or just someone to hang out with will be Blondy and her five-year-old dogs - a Great Pyrenees named Argon and a Newfoundland named Bunny. While Drinking with Dogs is a comfortable and happy event, Blondy reminds dog owners to mind their manners.
"Your dog has to be friendly with people and other dogs," she said. "Please clean up after your dogs and, because we don't charge for the event, you have to spend money at the establishment."
Canine to Five is Metro Detroit's only dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility, located in the heart of Detroit's Historic Midtown Neighborhood. The facility includes 4,500 square feet of cage-free, indoor climate-controlled play space and 8,900 square feet of secured, fenced in, well-lit outdoor play space. Separate play area for puppies, small dogs and quiet time, and 12 large secure kennels are available for overnight guests. Canine to Five Detroit Dog Daycare is located at 3443 Cass Avenue in Detroit, just south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Its regular business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.detroitdogdaycare.com.
Open City Doggy Style
In the practice of promoting local businesses, Blondy co-founded Open City, which launched in 2007 to bring Detroit entrepreneurs together. That includes her good friend and Supergay blogger, Joe Posch, a small business owner who chronicles his day-to-day life as a professional gay working and living in downtown Detroit at http://www.SupergayDetroit.blogspot.com. Posch has lived in Boston, Washington D.C., and Ann Arbor.
"When I moved to Detroit in 2005, one of the things I found is that the gay community is so different and is really spread out. Living downtown, I didn't want to drive to Ferndale or the Royal Oak area all the time. It was kind of frustrating at times. I was making a lot of cool friends, but not meeting a lot of gay people," said Posch. As a result, he started the Supergay blog in 2006 to write about places where there was a gay scene, gay events, gay-related stuff, and what it's like to live in the city from a gay perspective.
Blondy and Posch have a shared connection to the area. After a discussion about how to bring downtown-oriented gay people and their friends together, they teamed up to create Doggy Style, a non-dog friendly event held weekly around 9 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Park Bar in Detroit. The last Doggy Style event is on April 3 and will pick up again after the Detroit Tigers baseball season ends.
For those wondering why they selected Doggy Style for their event name, Posch explained: "Liz always orders her drink of choice the exact same way. Whenever we wanted to order together, we ordered it Liz Blondy-style. Because she owns Canine to Five we started ordering the drink doggy style."
In its fifth season, Doggy Style started quietly in 2007 featuring interesting and well-curated video compilations produced by Posch and enjoyed by a variety of people watching on several video screens while gathered around Park Bar's circular bar. From the '50s to current music, there is a heavy emphasis on gay culture and gay icons.
"I like to call it Detroit's best gay-er night," said Posch. "Although it's not intended to be exclusive to gays and the crowd is mixed at times, the vibe is gay. It's important to me that gay people have this to do every week. The fact that straight people like it too is a bonus."
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Detroit, MI 48226
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