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Yappy Hour brings dogs, owners together

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 9:18 p.m. CDT
(Heidi Litchfield -
Tucker greets Jack at Yappy Hour on Thursday night at Clayton's Tap in Morris.
(Heidi Litchfield -
Smalls, the great dane hangs out in the back room Thursday night at Clayton's Tap for Yappy Hour.

MORRIS – A yip, a yap, and an occasional growl was heard as four legged patrons of Clayton’s Tap greeted one another in the back room during the August Yappy Hour sponsored by Bonnie Latta with Bone-ifide Care and Sara Martinez of Blackbird’s Bowl.

“We started Yappy Hour as a twice a year event for people to come out and bring their dogs,” Latta said. “It was so popular that people asked us to hold in once a month, so this is our first year doing it ever month.”

Latta said the event continues to be popular with both the dogs and their owners who come out the second Thursday every month to socialize with each other.

“It’s good for Jack [a seven-month-old rottweiler] to socialize with other dogs,” Lisa Smyk said. “He plays well with others because of this type of event.”

Jean Vilt of Morris comes with her mixed-breed dog, Tucker, not just for Tucker’s socialization but also her own.

“Friends come with dogs, and he likes it here,” she said. “I like it too.”

She said she wishes there were a dog park in Morris where she and her friends could gather with their dogs and have more options than just the once a month event.

“We have a lot of parks for children,” she said. “We desperately need one [for dogs].”

As Vilt brought up her desire for a dog park, other dog owner’s chimed in how nice it would be and how they’d be willing to raise money for the things needed if they could get some land to have it on.

Grace and Dennis Mertes come to Morris from Gardner for the event bringing with them Wyatt, their seven-year-old bulldog.

The Mertes love bulldogs and are part of a bulldog rescu,e so while Wyatt gets plenty of socialization at home with the two puppy mill rescue bulldogs they own it’s the chance to be around other dogs that brings them to Morris.

“We like to support Bone-ifide and Blackbird’s Bowl while letting Wyatt see other dogs,” Grace Mertes said.

Blackbird’s Bowl donates doggy treats so they can partake in some treats while the owners talk over their own treat and relax.

Latta said the event has about 10 to 20 people each month and there is always room for more.

“It’s a good social event for the owners,” she said. “It’s great that Clayton’s is friendly towards the dogs and their owners.”

Scott Darlington, owner of Clayton’s Tap said he and his wife Lois love having the dogs in.

“We usually bring our dog Ace,” Darlington said. “He has a tore ACL, so the doctor said he couldn’t come this month, but he loves it when he does.”

Darlington said he likes to give back to the community in many ways, and hosting Yappy Hour is just another way.

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