At Tonkadale, our vision is to forever be your greenhouse home.  And we know that home includes your four legged friends. When Underdog Rescue approached Tonkadale to host their annual dog adoption day and fundraiser last winter, of course we said Yes! We have the space and are happy to share. Our furry friends are an important part of our community and Tonkadale has been dog-friendly since the beginning of time. Our four-legged friends and their well-behaved owners are always welcome!

At the Biscuits and Blooms event on Sept. 23, Underdog Rescue had an amazing line-up of events including vendor booths, a silent auction, dogs ready to adopt, food, fun and music. Beer and root beer was provided by our local friends at LTD Brewing. It was hot day, but no one complained. The volunteers filled the space with silent auction items, a wine wall, photo booth and much more. Attendees arrived just when things were heating up at 1 pm. Stanley’s on Wheels served up tacos and nachos and Funky Town dished up frozen treats for dessert. In attendance were many vendors selling everything a dog could ever need or want.

Young couple with dog

Photo by Tony Mantovani

Working with Underdog Rescue was a real treat and we met some amazing vendors:

Underdog Rescue

Underdog Rescue was founded in 2000 by Shannon McKenzie. Shannon saw a need to help the “underdogs” – dogs and cats often overlooked by other rescuers.

Their very first rescues included a pair of black kittens named Fenway and Wrigley, a pitbull puppy named Lucy, and a tiny Toy Poodle named Lily (who was suffering from a head injury). No other rescue groups would take Fenway or Wrigley because black kittens are often overlooked by potential adopters and, up until the time they rescued Lucy, rescue groups had not been allowed to rescue any dog considered to be a Pit Bull from Minneapolis Animal Control.

While in law school, Shannon McKenzie had the “anti-pitbull” policy changed. Underdog Rescue continues to successfully rescue and place pitbulls and other “bully breeds” through a continued partnership with Minneapolis Animal Control.

Shannon’s dedication to the Underdog also extends to dogs from commercial breeding facilities. These dogs often come with a different set of challenges. They may require additional medical care, socialization and basic dog skills. The volunteers understand this and welcome these pets into their homes to show them what life as a dog and life with kind humans is like.

Finleys Barkery

As former teachers turned entrepreneurs, [the founders of Finleys Barkery] set out to empower people to do what they love, one dog treat at a time. Our recipes were born from the idea that spoiling your pup shouldn’t come at the expense of proper nutrition. Operating just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, Finley’s Barkery provides a fun, supportive and challenging work environment for our team to thrive.

Finley’s Barkery embraces neurodiversity and empowers people to do what they love. 80-90% of adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. Finley’s Barkery set out to change that statistic. By utilizing one’s unique strengths, our team takes pride in their roles from handcrafting the treats, to marketing and sales.

The name Finley’s Barkery originated from our mini German Shepherd, Finley who we adopted in December 2015. Not only does she jump, spin, shake, and bark for all things peanut butter, but she represents the love, perseverance, and inspiration of each one of her team members. Finley is the head of the R&D team and approved all of the ingredients that go into her treats. Lucky for you, Finley believes a delicious treat shouldn’t come at the expense of your pup’s health.

What a great organization!

Bentley’s Pet Stuff

At Bentley’s Pet Stuff, they believe in pets and people over profits and operate under three guiding principles: feed your pets food that give them life, encourage a physically and mentally stimulating life and choose treats that encourage good health and good behavior. Sounds like a few guideposts we all could adopt. Their website features tons of helpful information related to pet care and you can order all the pet stuff online. Heads up: They are having a Customer Appreciation Sale now through October 1. They are close with locations all over the metro, but easily accessed in Excelsior on Water Street. You’re welcome!

PB&J World

PB&J World stands for Petey, Belle, and Jelly (real dogs in real life). This all-dog company is based in St. Paul and sells custom made collars, pet apparel and even snuggle sacks. Woah! Check out their stuff on Etsy.

This was the first time Tonkadale hosted an event like this and all in all, it was a huge success. Underdog raised funds to support their mission and we were so lucky to introduce new people to Tonkadale. Have you found your furever friend?

See you at Tonkadale, your greenhouse home.

Two dogs on a bench

Photo by Tony Mantovani

Photos by Tony Mantovani