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Party On, Pups. saint petersburg


We can remember covering the first Boutique Crawl for The New Barker back in 2009. Just a few people and their dogs participated. Tons of fun. Lots of heads turning, and eyes rolling. When a special order of simple chicken pieces with no spices was brought to the table, the server practically recoiled at the sight of food being hand-fed to one of the dogs. Things sure have changed in five years. Today, more restaurateurs are not only allowing dogs but actually catering to them with special menus. And plenty of other businesses are putting the welcome mat out with water bowls and dog treats for their clients’ dogs. On April 26, the 5th


Annual Boutique Crawl took place with more than 35 humans and their dogs in tow. Sponsored by the Chihuahuas of Tampa Bay Area MeetUp Group, this year’s event trans- portation was provided by Small World Tours, Cruises & Transportation, allowing the group to concentrate on shop- ping, partying and having a good time. And, in case anyone is wondering - yes, these dogs enjoy partying with their humans. Early that Saturday morn-


Florida and the Chihuahua 911 medical fund. As supporters of the Humane Society of Polk County, it touched Mike’s heart to hear about the struggles of the all-volunteer Limbo Chihuahuas. He and his wife Phyllis have two dogs, Mindi and Mandi, who often come to the office with them. The Crawl included lunch at Sweet Sage Café in North Redington Beach with more shopping at the Cafe’s new expanded boutique. Cameras were whirling as servers immediately brought out fresh water bowls. Dogs enjoyed delectable dishes from the spe- cial dog dining menu that Sweet Sage Café created - from the French Poodle Toast to the Wake Up Little Shih Tzu Creamy Scrambled Eggs. After lunch and shopping,


(Above): The group inside their motor coach, donated by Small World Tours and Cruises. “We sell fun,” said Mike Mackey, founder of the Central


Florida company, and dog lover. (Below): The motor coach, pulling up in front of Pawsitively Posh Pooch.


it was off to Safety Harbor for more shopping at The Dog House of Safety Harbor. “Oh my goodness, it was so much fun having these dog lovers in our store,” said owner, Kelli Chicos. Her boutique, located inside a cute and colorful bun- galow off Main Street, had just celebrated their grand open- ing a few days before the Crawl. At the end of the day, din-


ing, everyone met up at Pawsitively Posh Pooch to enjoy a Mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar with breakfast good- ies, and shopping. The motor coach would arrive within the hour to pick everyone up. Small World Tours, Cruises & Transportation is located in


Central Florida. Independently-owned and operated, they spe- cialize in booking cruises, motor coach tours and charters and resort packages. The company received nationwide attention when they became a first responder to help with the rescue of Hurricane Katrina victims. Then, as part of the recovery process, the company’s coaches carried emergency crews to and from sites being repaired. When Mike Mackey, who founded Small World Tours &


Cruises 33 years ago, discovered what the members of the Chihuahua meetup do to help animal rescue, he wanted in. He donated the cost of the bus, which meant more money raised from the Crawl’s excursion went to Limbo Chihuahua, a regis- tered 501c3 non-profit rescue group out of South Pasadena,


82 THE NEW BARKER


ner was at Three Birds Tavern in St. Petersburg. But not before another round of shop- ping at Pawsitively Posh Pooch. Five years later, there are still plenty of heads turn- ing at the site of the well-


dressed, perfectly-mannered dogs and their good-natured humans. But this group does more than party with their pups. They believe in supporting the local economy, especially the locally, independently-owned businesses.“Sure, it’s all about hav- ing fun,” said Lynne Tonte, one of the organizers of the Boutique Crawl. “But, it’s also about giving back to those businesses that have supported our causes all of these years.”


LimboChihuahua.org ~ 727.423.0226 Small World Tours And Cruises: SmallWorldTransportation.com ~ 863.420.0158 To view more Boutique Crawl photos, visit the Events Page at TheNewBarker.com


www.TheNewBarker.com


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