Jan 2nd, 2015

A Tail-Wagging Good Time!

Kate Pyle, PR & Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Scout was happy to momentarily take a break with her owners.

Scout was happy to momentarily take a break with her owners.

GardenFest for Fidos Benefits Richmond SPCA

Shiba Inu and owner in front of the Conservatory Holiday Tree

Kobe, my Shiba Inu, being uncooperative in my photo attempt.

What could be better than touring Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden during Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights? I’ll tell you one thing – touring it with your best friend. Better yet, your best canine friend. Between the lights, the beautiful scenery, and new dog friends, GardenFest for Fidos is the perfect opportunity for a tail-wagging good time.

During GardenFest for Fidos dogs can enjoy the holiday lights at GardenFest for Fidos! Leashed pets are allowed on these special Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights on special nights only. See our website for this year’s dates.  the Garden opens its doors to four-legged companions, allowing leashed dogs to walk alongside their owners. The $2 donation suggested pet admission benefits the Richmond SPCA. I was excited that on my first visit to GardenFest, my best friend, Kobe, was going to be at my side. (Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend obviously never had a dog.)

GardenFest is truly a sight to see. I started interning here right as staff members and volunteers started to prep for set up, and watched in amazement as everyone worked diligently to transform the Garden into a magical winter wonderland of lights. I wasn’t the only one experiencing GardenFest for the first time — many people I stopped to talk to were first-timers as well.  When you add dogs to the mix, it’s even more fun. The visitors I spoke with were happy to have a social outing they could go on with their dogs.

From tiny dogs, to dogs the size

I stopped Dez & Ally as they arrived -- GardenFest for Fidos SPCA

I stopped Dez & Ally as they arrived. GardenFest for Fidos benefits the Richmond SPCA.

of a mini-horse, every canine friend seemed to be smiling from ear-to-ear as they accompanied their owners on a walk. So many exciting things to see and do at dog level! So many  canine friends to greet!

Overall, the general consensus was delight. GardenFest for Fidos is a wonderful opportunity to stretch your legs, and your dog’s, while viewing the beautiful holiday display. From the beautiful tree in the Conservatory, to the zoo animals in lights, there is something for everyone to see. I highly recommend anyone with a furry friend (who enjoys meeting new people and friends) visit! While GardenFest for Fidos may not be a good fit for dogs that do not do well with unfamiliar people or dogs, it is a great place to bring well-socialized canine friends for an evening out.
If your dog doesn’t have his winter coat yet, remember we also host Fidos After 5 — our summertime dog nights on select Thursdays in June, July and August.

Oh, and if you are looking for a holiday gift for Fido, be sure to check out the Garden Shop (don’t miss the pet-themed tree!) or the Richmond SPCA’s Lora Robins Gift Shop (pets are welcome in the store!) At both shops 100 percent of proceeds from purchases benefit our nonprofit  missions.

Didn’t get enough of these beautiful creatures? Here are a few more friends enjoying GardenFest for Fidos:

Alaskan Malamute with Holiday Hat

Kinley, a beautiful Alaskan Malamute, spreading some holiday cheer.

Boxer puppy and French Bulldog at GardenFest

Ruby and Penelope had zero interest in a group picture, there were just so many things to sniff!

Canine friends outside of the Conservatory

Frank, Fergus, and little Pip after touring the Conservatory.

We’d love to see your photos of you and your furry friends enjoying GardenFest for Fidos on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Tag us, or use the hashtag #GardenFest … or here’s more on our Instagram Contest, maybe your dog will become a star like

White shiba inu dog and gray dog

Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu and her friend Frankie. Find Kira at @kira_the_cream_shiba_inu on Instagram

About Kate Pyle

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