Dog-themed expo strays onto Main Street
Dudley is the coworker who gets by on good looks and charisma. He shows up to the office underdressed, drinks and eats sloppily at his desk, and is even known to fall asleep mid-shift. But Mark Warwick, the voice behind WTZQ 95.3 FM, doesn’t seem to mind.
“He’s pretty awesome,” Warwick swoons. “He’s got a beautiful smile and just loves belly rubs.”
Now might be a good time to note that Dudley is a four-legged colleague—an English GoldenDoodle who, over the past year, has emerged as the radio station’s unofficial Director of Morale. His owner, advertising consultant Donna More, brings him into the pup-friendly workplace every day. “He makes his rounds to say good morning,” says Paige Posey, who purchased the Hendersonville radio station with Warwick, a long-time general manager, earlier this year. “Then Dudley settles into Mark’s office—his favorite place.”
It’s rather fitting that the company’s mascot is a doe-eyed pooch, especially since Warwick and Posey have, since 2014, organized what they claim to be the city’s only pet-centric event. Seven years ago, Bark in the Park emerged as a “cool way to celebrate the community’s love for dogs,” says Warwick. Boutique pet stores sold hound-themed tchotchkes and gourmet treats while local animal shelters found pups forever homes. The idea took off.
In 2018, the City of Hendersonville approached the couple about moving Bark in the Park from the Mountain Inn and Suites on Upward Road to Maple Street in the Seventh Avenue Depot District. That’s when the event name aptly changed to Tails in Town.
This year, the party will move even closer to the heart of downtown, with festivities slated for Main Street. A joint venture between WTZQ 95.3 FM, Blue Ridge Humane Society, and Historic Downtown Hendersonville, the free jamboree is sure to deliver a “plethora of pooches and a flurry of furry action,” according to the event’s website. There will be live music, adoptable pets, and more than 50 highbrow, canine-centric vendors peddling everything from organic kibble to hand-sewn leashes to doggy dental services.
Comora Tolliver, owner of Barkers Anonymous on Kanuga Road, is one vendor who’s in the market of selling body parts—turkey necks, duck heads, pig trotters, and the like. These natural morsels are packed with protein and vitamins that can improve animal attitude and well-being. “Bad health affects behavior,” says Tolliver, who is a certified dog trainer. “To make sure dogs have a well-rounded relationship with their owners, you need to keep them healthy.”
Tolliver is also presenting the much-anticipated “Be Pawvilous” fashion show, a parade of nearly 50 doggos and their two-legged friends. Dudley, who is known to dress up in a top hat and sunglasses, will likely be greeting guests on the sidelines. After all, public appearances are his specialty, notes Warwick.
“At Farm City Day, I got to see Dudley in action when a small special-needs child hugged him. The two made such a connection with one another that bystanders literally started crying,” says Warwick. “People in this community just love dogs.”
Tails in Town is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, 10am-4pm, on Main Street in Hendersonville. The event is free. Carolina Poodle Rescue, Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue, and Mountain Pet Rescue will have adoptable pets on site. Because of COVID-19 protocol, Blue Ridge Humane Society will just have photos of adoptable pets. There will also be a pet food drive to benefit Blue Ridge Humane Society. For more information, visit WTZQ.com.