Results tagged ‘ Dogs ’

From the Rodeo to the Rocks

In 2009, the Wilmington Blue Rocks became the first team to book Team Ghost Riders — better known as Cowboy Monkey Rodeo  — at a Minor League ballpark. The thrilling spectacle of a monkey riding a dog herding sheep soon became an industry-wide phenomenon.

In 2016, the Blue Rocks have once again made Cowboy Monkey Rodeo history.

“Dir of Mktg Joe” is more coherently known as Blue Rocks director of marketing Joe Valenti, a longtime Cowboy Monkey Rodeo supporter. Valenti serves as the point man when the rodeo rolls into Wilmington, and in that capacity had gotten to know ringleader Tim Lepard.

“[Lepard] will retire the dogs at a certain age so they can live a dog’s life, not doing the grind,” said Valenti. “Last year he was in town in August. I mentioned to him, that if he was retiring a dog my wife and I would definitely be interested. He said, ‘We’ll look into it.’ But that night at the end of the show, as he was standing at home introducing the dogs and monkeys, unbeknownst to me he called me up there and gave me Shot. I had no idea that it was coming, we hadn’t discussed it or anything. It was crazy…He said when you’re ready, we’ll make the tradeoff.”

Shot, hard at work

Shot, pre-retirement

This past Saturday Valenti, his wife and young daughter, Rose, met with Lepard in Virginia and officially adopted the 5-year-old Border Collie.

20160103_162100“He was confused and tentative at first, not sure what to think about having a new family and a new home,” said Valenti. “One reason that Tim was ready to retire him is because he’s so docile. Just an affectionate, laid-back kind of dog, who was over doing the chasing rams kind of thing. Tim thought he would be a good fit with the family. So it’s been an adjustment to get his bearings and figure out who we are, but it’s gone really well….It’s cool to see him slide into the family role.”

Shot with Valenti's daughter, Rose

Shot with Valenti’s daughter, Rose

While Shot will spend the bulk of his time at home, Valenti plans to bring him out to Frawley Stadium on a regular basis.

“He loves people. I do the onfield, hosting, so I can have him come down with me,” said Valenti. “It’ll be cool leading up to the games [with Cowboy Monkey Rodeo], a little teaser, to have the dog here. And I’ll definitely bring him when the monkeys are here, to reunite him.”

Valenti won’t consider adopting a monkey, however.

“The dog is enough. Monkeys are cool, and it’s always fun when they’re around,” he said. “They run around and scare the players. But I’ll stick to the dog.”

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

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Beavers to Wed Dogs in Mass Ceremony

beaver.jpgApologies for the lack of blog posts as of late. Not surprisingly, my benevolent overseers kept me busy with a wide array of Opening Day content. Some of this content was perfunctory and forgettable, while some was near and dear to my heart.

But now I can return to my one true love — internet dating blogging. Today, let us travel to the Pacific Northwest, so that I can highlight one of the most intriguing promotions of the ’09 season: the Portland Beavers‘ “Bark in the Park” night on August 1.

For those who are unaware, “Bark in the Park” has become a popular Minor (and, occasionally, Major) League promotion over the past several seasons. The premise is simple: fans are allowed to bring their dogs to the stadium on these special evenings, resulting in nine innings of canine-related merriment. But the Beavers’ “Bark in the Park” features two unique innovations that are well-worth commenting on.

1. A local, yet-to-be-determined dog will be honored with his or her own bobblehead doll.dog-wedding10.jpg 

2. In a pre-game ceremony, the Beavers will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for Largest Dog Wedding.

Over the last three seasons, the Beavers have generated national attention with their Rodney McCray Bobblefence (2006), Bob L. Head bobblehead (2007), and Jerry Mathers bobblehead (2008). Now, they’re going to the dogs.

“Every year, we like to have a signature bobblehead, and this is the one that rose to the top,” said Chris Metz, the Beavers vice president of operations and communications. “Everybody loves their dogs, and Portland is no different in that respect. We’re already accepting submissions from people who want their dog to be immortalized.”

dogbobble.jpgThose who want their dog to be considered for this honor should click here. Simply send a photo of your dog along with a 200-word essay on why he or she should be considered. The deadline is June 1.

Now, as for the dog marriage world record…the existing mark is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records thusly:

“On February 12, 2006, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, 27 pairs of dogs were married in a ceremony organized by Nestle Purina PetCare Nederland B.V. The dogs had all met during a speed-dating session prior to the mass wedding and were issued certificates to celebrate the happy day.”

Metz says that the Beavers “feel very strongly” that they will be able to shatter the existing record. Even if they forgo the process of pre-nuptial speed-dating.

“I imagine that these will all be pre-existing dog relationships,” he remarked. “Ours is a family product.”

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