As dogs of every size joined people of all ages in sunny Nipper Park on Saturday, Aug. 12, there were smiles all around — dogs splashed around in wading pools, furry compatriots were freshened up with a bath, children puckered up at the puppy kissing booth — and a record-smashing day of awareness and fundraising for the national Bathe to Save Tour.
The first Mutts on the Mississippi event hosted Bathe to Save, a national tour born from an idea proposed by the children in the Amos family from Australia: Bella, 13, Austin, 12, and Aria, 11, who wanted to take Bubbles the HydroDog on an 18-month tour to give dogs baths and raise funds and awareness about rescue centers along the way. Accompanied by their parents, Anthony and Rachel, the team was busy grooming dogs in America's Hometown — with 82 fresh and clean dogs climbing out of the enormous blue dog Bubbles, breaking a previous record of 80 dogs in the metropolitan community of Somersworth, N.H. Anthony Amos said that the crowds coming by to see Bubbles and other local vendors was steady through the day, with a strong outpouring of support for the cause of raising awareness about rescue centers — notable even when compared to appearances on national TV shows like Larry King Live.
"That's all great, and a lot of people get behind us, but it's the community that we've noticed, that you need to be supporting," Amos said. "See, big cities like that are lot more fragmented, and it's great recommendations, and validation. But if you get into these smaller communities, everybody gets together, it brings towns together — that seems to be really what's the most valuable piece."
Vendors' tents circled the park, including a puppy kissing booth from the Northeast Missouri Humane Society, treats and a hydration station from 2 Besties Biscuits, accessories and grooming supplies from Groomingdale's Pet Boutique and artwork from You·nique Art Studio.
As each dog received a bath in Bubbles, a $20 donation went toward the Amos family's mission through 50-states and 150 cities, as they advocate on behalf of their furry friends of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. On the Bathe To Save website, it reads: "There are over 165 million households in the U.S.; 79.7 million have pets. No dogs (animals) should be killed in shelters. They truly can all be saved."
Amos said he looked forward to crossing the river and visiting Quincy after the successful day in Hannibal. Before the record was broken, he noted steady crowds of people of all ages accompanied by dogs from every breed imaginable. As crowds passed by the enormous blue dog giving baths to make a difference, Amos playfully put on a big, furry blue dog mask and struck a pose.
"If we get over 80 dogs, that's a big, big day for a small community, so I'm very excited about it," he said.
For more information about Bathe to Save, please visit the website at https://bathetosave.com .
Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org