A Memorial Fit for a Dog

Last year’s Winslow’s Memorial duly honored the spirit of its namesake. This year’s offering continues the tradition.

Pets hold a special place in our hearts. When considered objectively, the attention we shower on four-legged, winged, or scaled companions borders on the absurd. All of the toys and trips to the groomer make sense only when you consider the intense emotional bond that people form with animals. We’ve all seen our dogs ‘smile,’ and the personality quirks of cats are legendary.

Our attachment to pets explains the seriousness of resolve to improve welfare for all animals. We feel sorry for a lonely dog in a shelter, because we know firsthand its capability for love and affection. Joe Berry, owner of Winslow’s Wine Cafe, goes above and beyond in these efforts. Last fall, his Winslow’s Memorial event raised about $10,000 for the retired police dogs of Fort Worth’s K9 unit.

“Even though we raised about 10k for the retired K9s, the real winner was the exposure,” says Joe. “Some philanthropists who were at the event organized another gathering where 30 people raised $10,000 per dog. They brought in the fire-rescue and bomb squad dogs, and raised money to have bullet-proof vests made for them.”

The memorial event, along with Joe’s wine cafe, are both named for Winslow, a dearly departed blue heeler. While Joe was brainstorming ideas for his restaurant, Winslow’s appearance on the porch served to signify an ideal name. After Winslow’s death in February of 2015, Joe decided to honor his beloved dog with an annual memorial to raise money for other animals.

The second annual Winslow’s Memorial will take place on October 23rd. Each year, Joe plans to select a different honoree; this time around, the Humane Society of North Texas and K-9 Support will share the benefits of Winslow’s memory.

“In all of Texas, HSNT is the only place that accepts all kinds of animals,” says Joe. “Another thing that touched me about them is that a few weeks ago, when the floods happened in Baton Rouge, they went and got dozens of dogs, from local shelters to help make room for incoming flood victims animals.”

In particular, Joe and HSNT hope to raise money to purchase and staff an additional adoption trailer. HSNT’s adoption trailer travels around North Texas, and transports animals to promote adoption and adoption awareness.

“My whole focus is on adopting dogs,” says Joe. “We’re trying to raise funds to get another employee and trailer, so they can adopt out as many dogs as possible.”

Sandy Shelby, executive director of HSNT, elaborates on the needs of her organization’s adoption efforts:

“One of our greatest challenges is wanting to do more adoptions, but being limited on resources. We get asked to be out in the community, but we have to limit how much we can do.”

HSNT’s efforts extend well beyond adoptions, and cover a range of animal-related needs in North Texas. HSNT is currently the largest and only open-door facility in the area, which means they set no boundaries on the animals they accept. HSNT also does cruelty investigations, and maintains dedicated adoption facilities to try and find good homes for needy animals. The group also has a senior outreach program, Rae of Hope, that helps older citizens in assisted living facilities receive assistance with their pets.

If you have room in your heart and home for a new pet, HSNT will have its adoption trailer at Winslow’s Wine Cafe the night of the event. In addition to these animals, a special group of “racer” puppies will be present. Joe Berry explains:

“There will be eight puppies, which you can adopt at the end of the evening. Before that, each one will have a bid sheet for a race. You can bid to sponsor a puppy, and if you have the highest bid on the winner of the race, you get to meet your puppy at the finish line and award them a basket of treats.”

All money raised from the puppy race, in addition to money from an on-site auction and ticket sales, will go towards HSNT’s efforts to buy a new trailer. Tickets for the second annual Winslow’s Memorial are on sale now for $125. The evening includes wine and cheese pairings, light hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to benefit an exceptional cause.

To buy tickets, call Winslow’s Wine Cafe at 817.731.6515. You can also visit them online at www.winslowswinecafe.com. For for information on HSNT, or to find additional ways to support the animals of North Texas, visit www.hsnt.org.