Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, was the location for the most recent #PugsTake Event where hundreds of pugs and peeps from all over the country flocked to see old friends and make new ones all for a great cause. Just when we thought it couldn’t be better after taking Boston last May, Philly got a chance to see what it’s like when pugs take over their town. Heads turned on every corner when a parade of pugs were spotted crossing intersections, getting photographed at historical sites, dining at local restaurants with outdoor seating, and even barking at horses and carriages like us, Otis & Milo Walsh. We’re part of a great team of organizers alongside Hamilton Pug and his brother Rufus from NYC, Timmy O’Pug and the late great Violet Pug from Chicago, Boogie the Pug & his chihuahua brother Marcelo from NYC, and Finn Pug from Washington, DC. We bring like-minded pug peeps together for weekend events at different cities to raise money for various pug rescues twice a year.
The weekend festivities started on Friday, October 12, 2018 when a bunch of us pugs went on a Founding Footsteps Historical Tour of Philly, rich with history, where you can find the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed,) and other American Revolutionary sites. Of course we can’t forget the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, immortalized by Sylvester Stallone’s triumphant run up the steps in the film “Rocky.” We started at the home of Betsy Ross then walked and pushed pug strollers through charming, old cobblestone streets. Of course everywhere we went, the pugarazzi couldn’t get enough of us!
We were so thrilled the Kimpton Monaco Philadelphia allowed us to take over their hotel for the whole weekend. Can you imagine what the 5:00 pm wine hour in the lobby was like with tons of pugs and peeps welcoming each other over wine and pug chatter? The hotel even served champagne that first day, what a treat! We had pugs come from all over, even our cousins Moose and Buffy drove all the way from Canada.
Our Friday night event was at Old City Beer Garden where the Philly regulars had no idea there would be a pug invasion of their local watering hole, a great space where all the pugs got to enjoy the crisp Fall weather outdoors under the stars. This great venue was perfect for everyone to make new pug friends and greet the regulars that never miss a #PugsTake Event.
On Saturday, the morning started at the Schuylkill River Park Dog Run where Philly locals learned what a grumble of pugs are. From there, everyone proceeded to go to the fabulous Goose Island Philly Brew Pub, a Chicago original that made its way out east. With their expansive outdoor space, table service for lunch with great beer, and the weather cooperating just for us that afternoon after a dismal rainy forecast, we were set to have a successful charity raffle event. Thanks to our truly amazing pug community that all came together to donate raffle prizes, purchase raffle tickets, and support our event, we raised $6,500 that day to benefit S.N.O.R.T. (Short Noses Only Rescue Team) and Pug Rescue of Austin.
We also sold tees, sweatshirts, and mugs on Teespring all benefitting PetResQ and button pins with the incredible logo designs by Inkpug who so generously designed them for us. All the pin sales benefitted Bialy’s Wellness Foundation which helps families and rescue organizations care for pets with special needs, particularly those with mobility issues from paralysis, amputation, and neurological or birth defects. They provide families and rescues with the equipment, medical care, rehabilitative therapy, training, resources and support to give these special animals another chance at the good life. Between all the gear, pin sales, and raffle tickets sold, we raised nearly $10,000 that weekend for four different charities. What a great feeling to be able to help these organizations and have a blast at the same time.
No pug event is complete without a costume contest, of course. We were so thrilled to host the contest with 3 prizes and trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. There were just so many amazing costumes, it was so difficult to make a decision. We even had 2 honorable mentions because that’s how tough it was to narrow down the winners. @frankierosethepug and @lolapearlthepug has for the second year in a row taken a trophy. This year they took 1st place as the Handpugs Tale. For creativity and cuteness, they earned the top spot. Our 2nd place winner was the Pugarita Stand, and the Fabulous @Pugdashians took 3rd place as The Strawberry Patch Pugs. Honorable mentions were Gus @phillypugs as the incredible Willy Wonka! Then we had Ghostbuster Pugs. There were just so many more great costumes, making it ultimately a difficult decision. But more importantly, everyone had fun seeing the great turnout that day with pugs in costume and their peeps enjoying the extensive beer selection and great raffle prizes.
Some raffle donations worth mentioning like the Pugdashians’ handmade pug designed quilt that always raises tremendous amounts in pre-raffle ticket sales along with the handmade Blind But Not personalized pictures quilt. We can’t forget to mention the most incredible hats so generously donated by Pupstarsonoma that was also another huge draw. From a handmade gold jeweled crown with an elegant and royal cape as well as a rich pink tweed boucle hat with matching pearls, to their ladybug themed hat and matching Tuesdays Ties bow tie, to their handsome British cap and matching wool fringe plaid scarf – they amazed us all. The Crafty Hong Sisters also never fail to deliver the most incredible handcrafted and highly coveted crocheted gift basket with everything from pug ornaments to matching Mom & Pug sweaters. There are just so many donors to individually thank, it’s hard to mention everyone. Without all our very special donors, our event would never be as successful.
The weekend of course flew by so quickly. Before we knew it, it was Sunday and we had our final meetup at the “Rocky” steps at the foot of the Philadelphia Art Museum where we took pictures and videos to commemorate yet another great PugsTake Event. We can now check Philly off our list and hope to come back again as the City of Brotherly Love was the City of Puggerly Love that weekend! Thanks Philly, we’ll be back!
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