Yappy Hour at The Landing

by Rick Grant
Our four-legged friends came by the droves– all breeds and sizes of dogs descended on the Jacksonville Landing with their human companions last Sunday for the wildly popular Yappy Hour. I dragged my two mutts, Pepe (a Chihuahua) and Jazz (a Heinz 57 variety) to their first big social event.
Pepe was excited and had a big smile as he rubbed noses and rear ends with a variety of canines. Jazz was a bit freaked out and hid behind my wife. But, soon she ventured out and met many of the other dogs. All the dogs were well behaved and were kept tight on leashes by their human leaders of the pack. There were a few spats, but nothing serious.
Just about every breed and mix was represented from the smallest lap pups, a Great Dane and a St. Bernard that was as big as a Shetland Pony. Pepe’s brethren were well represented-from the tea-cup Chihuahua to Pepe’s larger size. I even spotted a couple of Chinese Crested hairless dogs. One owner of the Crested said she has to slather the dog with suntan oil to prevent her dog’s skin from burning. All the canines and people were having a great time. There was a shade tent with big bowls of water for the canines. The tent served as a popular meeting spot for the dogs.
As a fan of Cesar Millan’s The Dog Whisperer, show on National Geographic Channel, I follow all of his techniques which work really well. My only ongoing problem with my “pack” is stopping my dogs from barking when people come to the door or they hear noises in our apartment complex’s shared breezeway.
Funny, when I go into the room and use Cesar’s method of calm and assertive correction, they stop. But the second I leave the room they resume barking. Maybe I’ll put a cardboard cutout of me near the door. Oh well, Cesar will have to visit me for his show and correct this problem (fat chance!).
My old buddy George Aspinal and his band was performing acoustic music for the event. George specializes in Jimmy Buffett, The Eagles, and many other acoustic styled hit music, plus his original material. George is a local musical icon who is always invited back to play the Florida/ Georgia game weekend at the Landing. I hadn’t crossed paths with George in many years, but he and his band sounded great. It’s a class act. The George Aspinal Band is booked on a regular basis at the Landing and other live venues in the region.
The Yappy Hour happens the third Sunday of each month from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Landing plaza. There are animal adoption booths and plenty of outdoor bars for people. It was a great idea that encourages people to meet and their canines to interact.