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Mutt Lynch Winery Develops Dog-Inspired Wines — And Gives Back

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Mutt Lynch Winery Develops Dog-Inspired Wines — And Gives Back

When Brenda and Chris Lynch branched out from their corporate marketing careers in the wine industry and put their years of experience into their own winery in 1995, they couldn’t deny that they were confronted by “dogness” at every turn. At that time, they were devoted dog rescuers and had five dogs they adored. Just as they were opening their winery, there was a fire in a small outbuilding of the Healdsburg Center of the Sonoma Humane Society. “It was really more kismet that anything else,” Brenda said. “They were really good people at the humane society, and we saw an opportunity to give back in a real way besides just rescuing dogs.”

The Story Behind Mutt Lynch Winery’s Dog-Inspired Wines

Canine cuties from the Sonoma Humane Society at a winery event.

Canine cuties from the Sonoma Humane Society at a winery event. Photography courtesy Mutt Lynch Winery.

Brenda and Chris called their first wine Humane DeBone and donated all of the profits to help the humane society. The wine sold out almost immediately. “We realized we had stumbled onto something,” Brenda said. “And helping the shelter became a big factor for us in where to go commercially.” Since then, Mutt Lynch Winery has developed its dog-based labels and slogans as well as its reputation for excellent wines. The winery has won numerous awards for its wines, primarily made by Brenda, who discovered her knack for winemaking only after starting the business. (Chris still works in marketing for larger winemakers.)

The wines’ creative labels, nearly all of which are a play on dog themes, have also won them a great deal of notoriety. Their labels are catchy — or should I say fetchy — with clever names like Canis Major Syrah or Merlot Over and Play Dead, along with evocative images of dogs on the labels. “We wanted people to be attracted by dogs so they go, ‘Ahhhh, that’s cute,” but the best is when they taste the wine and go, “Ohhhh!” Brenda said.

The winery’s limited mbf Zinfandel, with a picture of an open-faced black Labrador on the label, and the Primativo and Petite Sirah are regular medal winners. Their more creative and colorful labels are offered under the heading of “dog series.” The label images, such as a dog dancing with abandon on the Unleashed Chardonnay, are more whimsical. Designed by Rae Huestis Designs, the Mutt Lynch Winery’s labels have won numerous awards, including winning repeated honors at the San Franciso Chronicle Wine Competition, perhaps the most prestigious competitions on the west coast.

How Mutt Lynch Winery Gives Back to Dogs in Need

Brenda Lynch and her beloved dog, Patches.

Brenda Lynch and her beloved dog, Patches. Photography courtesy Mutt Lynch Winery.

But no matter how many awards Mutt Lynch Winery wins, there is vital connection between the wines’ dog themes and images, and the Lynches’ work on behalf of dogs. A portion of all their sales goes to dog-oriented nonprofits, and the Lynches regularly donate or discount cases of wine to events that raise money for dogs. They also hold fundraising events in their tasting room. The events, of course, are aptly named: Bark Mitzvah, Howl-O-Ween and Yappy Hour, to name a few. The winery partners with Adopt a Pet, a pet adoption website in North America, and helps support dozens of nonprofits throughout California and around the country.

For Brenda, the ability to help dogs has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. She says when she was growing up there weren’t many rescue groups. “And I was that kid that came home with every cardboard box of whatever was in front of the grocery store. Our ability to give back is just a really good fit for who we are as human beings.”

Looking Toward the Future

One of Mutt Lynch Winery's dog-inspired wines.

One of Mutt Lynch Winery’s dog-inspired wines. Photography courtesy Mutt Lynch Winery.

Brenda said she’s not entirely sure where the winery will be in 10 years, but she hopes it will be able to continue as it has been. Brenda and Chris’ twin passions for making quality wines and helping dogs has been very rewarding for them.

“Our commitment to dogs is very real and a part of who we are,” Brenda said. “I think people sense that.”

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John Geluardi has worked as a journalist for 15 years, mostly as a political reporter. He has written feature-length stories on culture, crime and presidential campaigns and has won numerous first-place awards for his stories. He published his book Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry in 2010. John is a longtime dog owner and dedicated student of the language of dogs. Each day, he looks forward to long walks with his dog, Corso.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you

The post Mutt Lynch Winery Develops Dog-Inspired Wines — And Gives Back appeared first on Dogster.


Source: Learn about Dog Health Problems and proper pet care here, Dogster


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For Hire: Underpaid Dishwasher

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For Hire: Underpaid Dishwasher

Siri waits until I leave the room to scope the counter for food, her brother snitched on her, and my sight froze her.


Source: small dog breeds, Dog Shaming


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Toxic Chemicals And Dogs – Deadly Canine Cancer Connection

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Toxic Chemicals And Dogs – Deadly Canine Cancer Connection

We have been talking a lot about the dangers of toxic chemical use around, on and in our canine companions. I have written articles about the dangers of toxic chemicals (both household/indoor chemicals and outdoor chemicals) and I wanted to bring even more facts on the dangers of outdoor toxic chemicals to the front of […]

The post Toxic Chemicals And Dogs – Deadly Canine Cancer Connection appeared first on The Whole Dog.


Source: Learn about dog training tips and puppy training, Whole Dog News


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How One Pit Bull Mix Survived a Shooting and Inspired The STAR Project

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How One Pit Bull Mix Survived a Shooting and Inspired The STAR Project

She may have been dead according to the media, but she wasn’t dead to him. Charlie Cifarelli of Lincoln, Nebraska, couldn’t get the video of the Pit Bull terrier mix out of his mind.

How an injured Pit Bull mix went from presumed dead to alive

It all began in August 2012 when a homeless man suffered a seizure. His dog, a young and sturdy female Pit Bull terrier mix, refused to leave his side and became agitated. When police arrived on scene, the dog began barking, and officers shot her point-blank in the face. The dog’s screams prompted witnesses to take notice. People began taking videos of the scene in Manhattan’s East Village, and in today’s world, such videos go viral.

The man eventually received medical attention, but the dog? Everyone assumed she died. But Charlie was not convinced.

He used his connections and business acumen as the C.O.O of a recycling company to speak to officials within New York’s animal care services department, at first under the guise of recycling possibilities. He discovered that she suffered extreme soft tissue damage as well as bone damage and lost her eye. But she lived.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Charlie, originally of New York. “Once I got that info, I went wild.” He immediately created a Facebook page dedicated to the dog named Star and contacted the media. “I got the public really behind me,” Charlie said. “This dog goes from being dead to having a Lazarus-type turnaround.”

The quest to find the miracle Pit Bull continues

However, soon after, Star was back in the wind. No one knew where she went.

Charlie plugged away at his quest to find her. Then one day, he got a break. He saw a picture of Star and, with some extraordinary sleuthing, he narrowed down his search to Pennsylvania. Charlie then began calling every rescue group in the area — hundreds of them — on the off chance one of them might know something about this dog. Eventually, one did. After four very long months, he had finally found her.

After just one visit, Charlie knew Star was his soul pup. She had melted his heart all over again.

He bought a house with enough land for kennels and an 8-foot fence and networked with the owner of where Star stayed in Pennsylvania as well as the Mayor’s Alliance. In April 2013, it was official. Star, now 6, was his.

Starting The STAR Project to help other dogs like Star

Charlie knew that Star was lucky. He didn’t buy into the misconception of an “aggressive” Pit Bull from the streets as being a dangerous pet. He wondered how many more Stars were out there that would never get a second chance? That’s when he and his partner Jenn Sanchez became involved with the STAR Project, through which high-risk dogs are routinely rescued and adopted out to qualified homes through a thorough screening process.

Last year, more than 20 dogs’ lives were saved through the organization. A big component of the STAR Project is the emphasis on education — about canine behavior, dog ownership, spay/neuter, children and dogs.

Charlie and Jenn hope to do more than just educate. They want to create a dog food bank for owners in need, acquire land for a future dog sanctuary in the Midwest and write children’s books to educate and inspire the next generation about dog ownership and rescue. “I’m willing to dedicate my life for this,” Charlie said. “It would be wonderful to get up every day and do this … [Star] has been the best part of our lives.”

Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Lincoln Journal Star.

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Kyra Kirkwood is a Southern California-based writer, author (Move Over, Rover!) and journalist. She lives with her husband, two kids, one rescue dog and three reptiles. Follow her at kyrakirkwood.com and on Twitter at @IAmTheWriteMom.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you

The post How One Pit Bull Mix Survived a Shooting and Inspired The STAR Project appeared first on Dogster.


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