(Crystal A. Proxmire, 7/17/2011)
As Downtown Ferndale prepares for the arrival of hundreds of dogs and their owners this Thursday night, The Fido Does Ferndale Chairperson is anxiously awaiting the big event. This is the first year that Andrea Johns has taken the leash to lead the way to what she hopes will be the biggest pooch fest ever.
On Thursday, July 21 from 5pm to 9pm W. 9 Mile road will feature many “paws-on” activities for people and their pets, including:
K9 Treasure Hunt through the streets of Downtown Ferndale
Pet Adoption Information
Pooch Parade….and MORE!
To call Johns a dog lover would be an understatement. The energetic young bartender is a volunteer at Waggs and Wishes Animal Rescue, which recently moved from Ferndale to Ann Arbor. “I showed up at the Waggs and Wishes shelter to drop off some donations one day and immediately found my second home. I had never met such a fun, approachable group of people with so much passion for saving animals. I have been honored to grow with the organization, to gain the trust of animals who had seen so much pain, and to hit the streets giving them a second chance and to open my heart and home. Angie Potter, the founder of the organization has contagious energy and hope. Her rescue now, ask questions later approach has given my spirit a boost in hard times.”
In addition to the time she spends at Waggs and Wishes, John takes care of several animals in her own home. Nine year old Derby is a Dane/Lab mix, Kali is an eight-year-old Doberman/Lab mix, and Joey is a seven-year-old Pit Bull. She is also fostering a baby Chihuahua, and has two cats and four turtles.
“J.R. the Chihuahua joined my pack at Petapalooza. His family surrendered him to Waggs and Wishes and I just couldn’t let the little guy wait in a cage for a permanent home. I took him 2 days later to be neutered and told him that if he was going to join our family, he would not wear silly outfits or ride in a purse. He would walk on the ground and act like a dog! He can now sit, shake and hang with the big dogs. I’d keep him forever if it wouldn’t make me a crazy dog lady,” Johns said. Derby and Kali were also shelter dogs.
Her love of animal rescue is part of what prompted her to expand the pet adoption offerings at Fido. This year the Alley of Hope will feature what Johns calls “a hand-picked group of the best small blood, sweat and tears rescue groups in the Metro Detroit area.” Among the organizations represented are Waggs and Wishes, the Animal Care Network / Michigan Animal Adoption Network, the Detroit Bully Crew, and the Michigan Animal Rescue Leauge and the Puppy Mill Awareness Group. The Michigan Humane Society. “Although small, these groups play a huge role in rescuing animals, educating the community and combating overpopulation,” Johns said. “Due to the large number of rescue dogs who have found forever homes in Ferndale, we thought it would be appropriate to include these local heroes in our celebration.”
Johns got involved with the DDA-organized event through her work at Dino’s Lounge. Her boss, Dean Bach, sits on the promotions committee. “As a Dino’s girl, I am so proud of how Dean has opened up the business for the causes that we hold close to our hearts. He not only allows us to take over the establishment for benefits, but jumps in with clever promotional ideas, a ridiculous outfit and a camera crew! I was honored to be involved.
‘After moving to Ferndale from Pontiac, I was amazed at how dog friendly the city was. Instead of rescuing the dogs in my neighborhood, I’ve met their owners and know them all by name. I cried the first time I saw a pit bull jogging with his owner, neutered and well fed, without a metal chain around his neck. This was my chance to give back to my new community and to celebrate my new amazing new home.”
The proceeds from this year’s Fido Does Ferndale event will be used to install a doggie drinking fountain in Schiffer Park. For more information visit the Fido Does Ferndale Facebook Page.