Dog-friendly beaches don’t come much more accessible than Dillon Beach. This spectacular location in Marin County, roughly 25 miles southwest of Santa Rosa, welcomes off-leash canines all year round, making it the perfect spot for dogs that love the sand and surf.
Happily, there are also a number of wonderful animal rescue groups that operate in and around Dillon Beach, ensuring that the area’s unwanted pets can get a second chance at life. Dogma Animal Rescue is one such organization. Based in Santa Rosa, this volunteer-based, non-profit group rescues animals throughout Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties. With a mission to save abandoned and stray dogs, Dogma Animal Rescue has a particular focus on pregnant dogs and hosts a wide range of mobile adoption events to help pooches in need find loving forever homes.
More inspirational dog devotees can be found at Big Dog Rescue
http://www.homelesshounds.us/. At its adoption facility in Sonoma County, this no-kill, non-profit group is dedicated to rescuing dogs at risk of euthanasia. The Big Dog Rescue team ensure that every dog they help is spayed and neutered, gets the medical care it needs and is then carefully matched with an owner who can provide all the love, attention, and TLC that every dog deserves.
Get set for a rockin’ afternoon of woof-tastic, tail-wagging fun at this family-friendly fundraiser. Held every October, Woofstock takes place at Marin Humane Society’s Novato campus, with hundreds of music-loving locals and their canine companions being treated to some great live music along with a stack of dog-friendly activities. There’s always food, beer, and wine aplenty, as well as the always-pumping kids’ zone and vendor booths. Groovy, baby!
Why should us humans have all the good times at Halloween? Marin Humane Society’s annual Howl-o-ween, held at its Novato campus every October, is designed to make all the fun of Halloween available to our four-legged friends. That’s right, this is a Halloween party designed for dogs, so your pooch can do everything from bobbing for bones to getting dressed up in her scariest costume. The event features agility equipment for dogs, a host of family-friendly activities, and an always-popular costume parade so every dog can strut their stuff.
Kunde Family Winery boasts an enviable location on an 1,850-acre estate in the Sonoma Valley. It truly is a beautiful spot, and you can explore it with your dog by your side on one of the winery’s special dog hikes. The Kunde Family are dog owners themselves, and they hold multiple dog walks throughout the year to let you take in the scenery and learn all about sustainable winemaking. The hike ends with a wine tasting and lunch, so you know you’ll be rewarded for working up a sweat. To top it off, a portion of your tour fee is donated to Dogwood Animal Rescue Project and Sonoma County Humane Society.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a fact that is rarely more obvious than at Sonoma-Marin Fair’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. The competition, which makes headlines around the world, gives these … um, unconventional-looking pooches a chance to enjoy their moment in the sun. As part of the fair, 14 furry finalists get to show off their unique looks to a panel of judges, all with the aim of taking home the coveted title of World’s Ugliest Dog - in addition to 1500! It’s all in good fun of course, and to any true dog lover (and especially to their owners), these dogs are beautiful inside and out.
B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o! Held at the Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living, Paws For Bingo provides a superbly simple way for dog lovers to have fun and raise some funds for dogs in need. Held on a Saturday afternoon in October, this annual event kicks off with lunch and a few beverages, before all the paw-some fun and frivolity of bingo gets started. There are silent auctions and prize drawing tables, as well as a chance to meet the rescue groups you’re raising funds to support —Dogwood Animal Rescue, Sonoma Humane Society, and Lily's Legacy. Throughout its history, Paws For Bingo has raised more than $90,000 to benefit animals in need, and that total is only going to keep getting bigger in the years to come.