Waggin’ load of tricks and marimba mewsic too | Ferry Home Companion

We haven’t been able to get the final figure from the exhausted volunteers who put on the sell-out Wags to Riches, the fourth annual benefit for the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter, July 27.

But we were able to count more than $60,000 from the $75 admissions — 225 of them — as well as live and silent auctions and the “Splash for Cash” (where a standard poodle retrieved from a lake one of about 200 numbered tennis balls sold for $10 each).

Wait — hold the presses. Carol Smith, given the task of comptroller by Animal Protection Society director Leslie Byron, just phoned in with the unofficial word that this looks like a record.

Personally, I feel that despite the thirst-quenching vintages and the marvelous cuisine and hors d’oeuvres, the best sales technique was the Wish-n-Wells Canine Agility demonstration above the dinner tents and the lovely lake and hills of the Bob and Lissa McDowell estate grounds.

They set up a competition of close gates, tunnels, hurdles and balance bars which would have sent many an Olympian on their ears, but the pooches, for the most part, took it in stride. And even when they missed, their sportsmanship excelled. No “agony of defeat” when they goofed up, they just wandered around looking for someone to pet them.

The dogs, all appearing to be pedigreed, had various hurdles to clear, from the height of the big poodles and sheepdogs down to the Havanese’s half-foot height.

(The Havanese, my favorites, are the last canine refugees to make it from Castro’s Cuba, where such dogs were outlawed as useless wastes of food.)

The outstanding job done by Mike Adams as auctioneer, the great background music from the stage above played by the Kubatana Marimba Band, the willing volunteers replenishing empty fingers and low-level glasses — all made for a smooth, delightful day of summer fun and generosity.

By the way, the winner of $775 Splash for Cash donated all of their take to APS! That’s got to tell you something about this island.

— Contact Howard Schonberger at 378-5696 or hschonberger@sanjuanjournal.com

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