Volume 13, Issue 34 ~ August 25 - 31, 2005
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Paws for a Cause
Whole Foods Market throws a canine Chip and Dip party
by M.L. Faunce 

Saturdays are go-to-town day for errands or jumping on the boat for many area dogs in the company of their humans. But both companion species are welcome only at rare spots beyond the places dedicated to animals (see “Chesapeake’s Canine Customers: Pet-friendly establishments in Bay Country,” Vol. xiii, No. 28: July 14).

But on August 20, the barking chain sent out news of a party goin’ on at Whole Foods Market at Annapolis Harbour Center. It’s a Chip and Dip Day, one wag told another, and by the 10am shotgun start, a corral of sleek beauties from Greyhound Rescue tag-teamed to open a party that lasted all day.

Humans described the fundraiser for Calvert Animal Welfare League hosted by Whole Foods as a “huge micro-chipping clinic for cats and dogs, and pet expo.” But dogs of every breed in attendance saw it as a paw in the door to new consumer choices. Today, dogs are welcome at the upscale market known for natural, organic foods. Tomorrow, Borders Books, crowed one learned golden retriever.

photo by M.L. Faunce
Dachsund Rose gets her paws printed and a microchip implant at Whole Foods Chip and Dip Day, a benefit for the Calvert Animal Welfare League.
Dogs jumped in an out of line for therapeutic massages, queued up to get their paws printed, salivated over organic gingerbread-man shaped treats and begged their owners to take them to the Canine Fitness Center, where reps touted pet aqua-exercise, aerobic swimming, treadmills and ruff-wear swim vests and toys.

Dachshund Rose of the Bay Weekly family trotted bravely forward to be micro-chipped, getting a very small chip implanted in the scruff of her neck so that lost or stolen pets can be identified. Painless, Rose reported, but she abruptly turned heel and left before “delicious all-natural hot dogs” were grilled by Whole Foods staff at the Giving Grill for more fundraising.

Labs and terriers, beagles and bichons listened intently as Teresa Connelly of the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank reminded them that just as with the human Red Cross, holidays and summertime are also times of need for dogs, who could save a life by donating to the canine blood bank. (For locations of the 17 donation sites in Maryland, see www.EVBB.com.)

Whole Foods workers doled out goody bags, handled paw traffic, sudsed up and washed down dogs of all sizes and provided pet sitting while owners shopped inside. That segregation set off the barking chain again about pet access; others barked about the need for the souvenir T-shirts with four armholes. Still, canines at Chip and Dip Day gave a big round of a-paws to Whole Foods Market, its workers and the generous day of giving to their cause.

Calvert Animal Welfare League, the immediate beneficiary, is a non-profit operating a new, state-of-the-art no-kill adoption center for homeless cats and dogs in Prince Frederick. The League also offers reduced-fee spaying and neutering as well as training classes and educational tours of their pet home: www.cawl.us.

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