As many of you know, I’m a passionate dog-lover. I believe strongly in the dog/human bond and that’s why it’s inconceivable to me that some people abuse these wonderful animals. Puppy mills are a form of abuse. If you have any doubts, read the story of the little puppy mill rescue dog that inspired Hops & Harley.
Five years ago, the first Hops & Harley occurred in the taproom of City Star Brewing in Berthoud. Today, the event is held at Fickel Park and has grown into a festival that attracts dog and beer lovers from around the country; after all, Harley, who passed away last year, is quite famous. His work as a spokesdog against puppy mills eventually resulted in him becoming the 2015 American Hero Dog.
City Star Brewing is the host of Hops & Harley and 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to Harley’s Dream, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about the commercial dog breeding industry (aka puppy mills).
While puppy mill tales are sad, Hops & Harley is a celebration. This year’s event features live music from Bonnie & the Clydes and Woodbelly Bluegrass Band. Food trucks will be in attendance, along with activities for children and for dogs. In addition, attendees will enjoy a photo booth, doggy doppelgänger contest, Painting & Pints, and they’ll have a chance to learn about puppy mills.
Of course, no Hops & Harley is complete without beer. City Star will be pouring a variety of their craft beers including Harley’s Wheat, and a personal favorite of mine, Spirit Hound Distillers from Lyons, will provide cocktails.
Hops & Harley is kid-friendly, dog-friendly and free, so pack up the entire family and head to Berthoud on Saturday, June 24.
Hops & Harley
June 24, 2017 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!
If you’ve been following HeidiTown for any length of time, you’ve probably met our German Shepherd, Xena. As Xena got older and had more health issues, we started looking for ways to include her on our trips. However, I was astonished to discover that many so-called “dog-friendly” hotels do not allow dogs over 45 pounds.
A lot of HeidiTown citizens have fur kids that exceed this weight limit – our Xena is 75 lbs – so I made it my mission to find a few awesome Colorado hotels that were large dog-friendly. Here’s the list I’ve put together of some truly fantastic hotels that do not discriminate against large breed dogs. If you know of others, please leave a note in the comment section. Continue reading
Dog sledding in Colorado? Yes, you can. I’ve done it twice now and our experience this past week at Snow Mountain Ranch was like no other.
I was a huge fan of the Iditarod when I was a kid. The race incorporates lots of things I love; dogs, snow and perseverance.
Snow Mountain Ranch is part of the YMCA of the Rockies. It is located between Winter Park and Granby, Colorado and is a snow sports fanatic’s dream destination. In addition to dog sledding guests can participate in everything from cross country skiing to fat biking to ice skating and the best part? Guests never have to leave the property. Continue reading
It is my great pleasure to introduce this month’s recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign. For those of you who may be new to this little town, each month I choose a Colorado nonprofit to receive a free ad space and blog post write up here on HeidiTown.com.
There are certain organizations with missions that truly touch my heart and National Mill Dog Rescue is one of those groups. I actually broke down and had a good, long cry while researching and writing this post.
NMDR is a Colorado Springs based nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes retired commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills. Since 2007, this organization has saved 8000 dogs. This number is astounding, but their work is far, far from over. Puppy mills still operate all over the country and the dogs at these facilities live a life that will sadden and disgust most dog owners. No baths, no beds, no love. Continue reading
Throughout childhood I watched the Iditarod with pure excitement. I remember watching the late Susan Butcher dominate the race during the late 80s and early 90s. It was a sport that crossed gender lines and pitted human nature against Mother Nature, and Mother Nature sometimes won.
I was also a fan of the Iditarod because growing up in the Pacific Northwest I had several connections to people who ran the race; not close associations, but close enough to make me feel connected in a small way.
After reading the book “The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs & Men in a Race Against an Epidemic“ by Gay Salisbury, I developed a renewed interest in this race that had mesmerized me as a child. The book, published in 2005, is a nonfiction account of the 1925 diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. Unable to reach the town by plane, sled dogs were used to race lifesaving serum to the people of Nome. At the time, this event captivated the nation and inspired the annual Iditarod Dog Sled Race.
This long intro illustrates just how much I’ve always wanted to try dog sledding, so when I got the opportunity at Sled Dog Rides of Winter Park this past weekend, I jumped at it. I was in town covering the Grand Park Dog Days of Winter, a sanction sled dog race, so it was the perfect fit.
Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park is located just three minutes outside of Fraser, or 12 minutes from Winter Park Resort. My husband, Ryan, and I arrived on a snowy and blustery Friday afternoon. Ryan’s uncle, Dean, joined us as well.
As we were guided to the area where the dogs are tied, all was quiet, but not for long. When the dogs realized that sleds were being set up the howls began. It was as if they were all saying, “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!”
Ryan and I were bundled onto one sled, while Dean rode alone. Because our combined weight was significant, our team consisted of 12 excited dogs.
Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park has around 80 dogs, mostly Alaskan huskies. An Alaskan husky is a husky that has been bred with a variety of other breeds, so they all look a little different. Our team had one crazy Siberian husky named Yukon, while the rest were Alaskan huskies. Yukon is the dog in the video below that seems to be bouncing around and looking everywhere except forward.
Snuggled into a large blanket aboard our sled, we watched as our team was hooked up. This is quite a process and I kept thinking of the phrase, “herding snakes.” When the team was ready our musher, Laura, hopped on the back of the sled and we were off. The fast start was somewhat unexpected, and I was startled and tingly with delight all at the same time.
Laura informed us that we were sledding in less than ideal conditions. With fresh snow and wind, the groomed trail was constantly being covered with snow, making the dogs’ job more difficult.
Even with a heavy sled and deep snow in places, our team ran their hearts out. As we flew through Grand County’s beautiful countryside Laura kept us entertained with stories and answered our many questions; her knowledge made this ride not only fun, but educational.
While going through a deep drift our sled slowly turned over and we had to bail. Ryan was especially excited about this little incident because he felt it made a better “dog sled ride story.” However, it’s not nearly as dramatic as it sounds. Once the sled was good and stuck, Laura had us roll off the side so the dogs would be able to pull the sled out of the drift. After that we got back on and were off again.
The ride took about 45 minutes and we covered around 3 miles. Dog sledding is exhilarating, and for dog lovers like me, there’s the added bonus of getting to meet the dogs after the outing.
Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park operates winter and summer. During the summer the dogs pull visitors in modified golf carts or on specialized scooters. You can visit Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park at DogSledRidesofWinterPark.com or check them out on Facebook here.
See more photos of this dog sledding trip here. My husband took the following video or our dog sled adventure at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park.
(NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: You’ll need to go to HeidiTown.com to see video)
Below is one of my favorite Instagram from this dog sledding experience. This was one of our “wheel dogs” (meaning he was directly in front of our sled). I love that face! Follow me on Instagram @TheMayorofHeidiTown.
This trip sponsored in part by the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber.
Each month I introduce my readers to a nonprofit of my choice and that organization receives free ad space on HeidiTown, plus Facebook posts and tweets about the nonprofit for the entire month.
November’s recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign is Denkai Animal Sanctuary with locations in Greeley and Grover, Colorado.
If you’ve been reading HeidiTown for any length of time, you know that I’m an animal-person. Years ago, I actually spent a little bit of time volunteering at Denkai – walking dogs and hanging out in the cat room. That’s how they first got on my radar, but more recently my People With Compassion for Pets giving circle donated to Denkai.
Denkai has a mission of providing a combination of service for animals, at-risk youth and raising environmental awareness. They are one of only a few no-kill shelters in Colorado, and they take in all sorts of animals including livestock.
Several years ago, I interviewed the founder of Denkai, Floss Blackburn, for a local newspaper, and her hard work, determination and dedication is truly remarkable. Everything she does is for the love of animals.
Running an organization like Denkai is no easy task. This animal sanctuary is always in need of volunteers, donations, foster families for animals and every day items like soap and hay.
Please take a moment and LIKE Denkai on Facebook:
And check out their website:
As a reminder, I started the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign in February 2012, as a way to highlight some great Colorado charities by giving them a blog post and free, one month ad space on HeidiTown.com. So far, five nonprofits have participated.
This month’s recipient of the HeidiTown.com Gives Back campaign is Larimer Animal-People Partnership.
This organization came to my attention several years ago because I write about events and LAPP holds the Doggie Olympics each September in Fort Collins. The 17th Annual Doggie Olympics is scheduled for Sunday, September 23, 2012.
I had the opportunity to researched LAPP last year while writing an article about working and therapy dogs for a local Northern Colorado magazine, and was truly moved by what this organization does.
The Larimer Animal-People Partnership was founded in 1990, and is affiliated with the Delta Society. Many of their members represent other animal-related or service organizations throughout the community.
What is the mission of Larimer Animal-People Partnership?
This is a group of people who believe in the power of the human-animal bond. Animals have healing abilities that are powerful and mysterious. I know this to be true because I’ve seen examples of it in my own life.
LAPP strives to encourage positive interactions between humans and animals. They work to increase public awareness of the significance of the human-animal bond by offering presentations and community service programs.
Community service programs including outreach at Crossroads Safehouse, a shelter for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Team members at LAPP also conduct library visits to read with children. Teams work with the counseling staff in the Teen Residential Treatment Center at Mountain Crest Psychiatric Hospital and routinely visit Oakbrook II, an independent living community for the elderly. LAPP teams are often involved in other community outreach programs involving animals.
I am happy to be donating free ad space to this worthy organization for the month of September, and I hope you will check out the Doggie Olympics on September 23 at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins, Colorado. This event is an opportunity for your dog to strut her stuff in a fun and safe environment. Learn all about the 17th Annual Doggie Olympics and register HERE.
To learn more about Larimer Animal-People Partnership go to COLAPP.org.
As a reminder, HeidiTown.com Gives Back campaign kicks off this February, and throughout the year, one Colorado-based nonprofit of my choosing will receive free HeidiTown ad space. On the first Monday of each month, I will highlight that month’s nonprofit.
The first recipient of my HeidiTown.com Gives Back campaign is Freedom Service Dogs, located in Englewood, Colorado. This nonprofit incorporates two things that are close to my heart – military veterans and rescue dogs.
Established in 1987, the mission of Freedom Service Dogs is to train dogs to aid disabled military veterans, and they have received national attention in the past several years for their work. One of the greatest things about this program is that all the dogs have been rescued from shelters.
These amazing dogs assist veterans who have become disabled during service, who have developed PTSD or other psychological trauma, or who have developed medical problems later in life after their service.
Find this nonprofit online at FreedomServiceDogs.org and learn about the program from veterans whose lives have been transformed by their service dog. You can also find Freedom Service Dogs on Facebook.
I am dog person. I can’t imagine coming home to a house without having an excited canine there to greet me. While some people ooh and aww over babies, I’m the person who will get overly excited about a new puppy or newly adopted dog. Let’s face it, dogs are awesome and many of us couldn’t live without ours.
That being said, this week’s give away is a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest, the annual fundraiser for Animal House, a no-kill dog shelter in Fort Collins, Colorado. Animal House specializes in second chances. They obtain dogs from other shelters; dogs that have been slated for euthanasia.
This is the 3rd Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest and it’s being held at Drake Center in Fort Collins on October 15, 2011. There will be over 20 craft breweries in attendance as well as several micro-distilleries (including my personal favorite, Dancing Pines Distillery, in Loveland). To satisfy your growling tummy, there will be craft-beer inspired food pairings served throughout the evening.
So here’s the deal folks, enter to win a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest here by telling me your best dog tale. I know it’s a little work, but it can be simple. For example, our German Shepherd likes to talk to the cat. Here’s another, when our German Shepherd pees in snow she covers it up – true story! We have no idea why she does this, but we find it highly amusing.
I will pick a winner sometimes on Friday afternoon (October 7, 2011) – we have guests coming to town, so I can’t give you a specific time, because I won’t stick with it. Just be sure to have your entry in by noon on Friday.
If you don’t win, I encourage you to buy a ticket to this event. Tickets can be purchased at www.fallharvestbrewfest.com. Tickets are $35 and include your night of fun and the warm fuzzy feeling that you drank for a great cause. You can also join the Fall Harvest Brewfest and the Animal House on Facebook.
~ CONTEST CLOSED ~
Here in Colorado, certain things just go together – bikes and beer, hikes and beer, climbing and beer, rafting and beer, skiing and beer, snowboarding and beer, sledding and beer, and dogs and beer. This might explain why the Great American Beer Festival, grand-daddy of all beer festivals, is held yearly in Denver.
The GABF starts this Thursday and runs through Saturday, October 1. In honor of this enormous beer festival featuring 450 breweries and over 2,200 different beers – more than any other beer festival in the world – I’m going to do a giveaway.
No, I didn’t manage to snag tickets, because the event has been sold out for months, but I am going to give one lucky HeidiTown citizen a signed copy of The BrewDogs of Colorado. This book is a beautiful tribute to the brewers of Colorado and the dogs who love them.
With a forward by former brewery owner and now Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, the book covers breweries from all across the state, including anecdotes about the dogs that have played a significant part in the brewers’ lives and notes about each brewery’s most famous beer, including medals and honors they have received.
From Whiskey, the Gore Range Brewery‘s golden retriever that once ate a cell phone to Milka, Oscar and Nanaimo, three best friends that call Shamrock Brewing Company home, dog lovers will adore this book.
To win a copy of The BrewDogs of Colorado, just tell me your favorite breed of dog, and if you feel inspired, tell me why that is your favorite breed – and yes, “mixed” is a breed. My “forever” dog, as I used to call him, was a “mixed” breed. I got him when I was five-year-old and he passed away during my first year of college. He was one of the most special dogs I’ve ever owned.
The winner will be chosen at noon on Friday, September 30. Good luck!
Note: If you were lucky enough to secure a ticket to GABF, look for The BrewDogs booth – they have some great merchandise!