Social time for canines and their folks

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BARRINGTON – The NH Dog Walking Club recently organized an egg hunt for Easter. This is just one of the many events hosted by this club whose mission is to bring dogs and their humans together in social settings.

42 dogs met leeward on a Saturday to look for Easter eggs. They found them easily because they were filled with dog delicacies and dogs have great noses.

Traci Bisson, owner / founder of the group, said they currently have around 1,500 members on their Facebook group.

“We have members from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut,” she said. “Most of our active members are from Rockingham and Strafford counties.”

Bisson owns It Takes a Village Pet Care in Barrington. In 2018, an employee came up with the idea of ​​a social group for pet owners.

Dakota apple harvest at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee.

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“It was during an employee review,” said Bisson. “This employee suggested meeting with dogs and their owners after work. It was a great idea, and from that came the idea of ​​a club to walk dogs and socialize. The first walk we took; Six people came. Now we are great at every event. “

Since then, structured walks and special events such as the Easter egg hunt have become an integral part of the club. They host birthday parties and celebrate events like Valentine’s Day (mini dog massages), Halloween (costume parade) and apple picking season. They offer a PAWS curriculum that helps people looking for great hikes.

For those who want to try it out, a Cinco de Mayo event is planned soon. Think dogs in sombreros and you get the idea.

Dover Dog Halloween Parade in 2019.

Bisson said her vision is to build a community of dog owners who advocate the health and wellbeing of their pets through positive reinforcement techniques and sustainable animal care practices.

“Our group is growing and growing,” said Bisson. “In 2020, when the pandemic broke out, we had to get creative, but we stayed active. We turned to take up talks with animal experts of all kinds. As we grow, we gain many valuable corporate partners to work with us on various events. “

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Charitable Affiliate Program

On the trails in Benson Park.

“In line with our focus on giving back, we launched the Nonprofit Affiliate Program in 2020,” said Bisson. “We invited members of our community to nominate their favorite pet charities in NH, and then asked members to vote over a period of two weeks. We support the three most important charities. This tradition continues annually. Members love to be involved in the process. This year Marys Dogs Rescue & Adoption, Live and Let Live Farm and Hero Pups were selected. Every October we also partner with Sit.Stay.Smile Pet Photography to celebrate the Dover Dog Howloween celebration which raises funds for the Pope Memorial Humane Society. “

The NH Dog Walking Club, formerly known as It Takes a Village Dog Walking Club, offers dog owners several options and benefits with their paid membership.

Your corporate partners:

Mary’s Dogs – Prize Donations

Friendly Pets – Prize Donations

Pet Supplies Plus – Prize Donations

The experts include:

April Begosh, Healthy Pets NH – offered a fitness exercise to warm up dogs at the event.

Monica Allaire-McMahon, Barrington Barks & Behavior – provided calming and relaxing sensory activities for dogs.

Other partners:

Marie Davies, Happy Belly Bites – donated the goodies for the eggs.

Don Chick, Don Chick Photography – offered free photos of dogs and their people.

Lia Harris, Lia’s Creations – Prize Donations

Ray Bisson, Stonewall Surveying – Donation of an orthopedic mattress dog bed.

It takes a Village Pet Care award donation.

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