Posted by Chesa Keane on Oct 27, 2017
On September 30, 2017, the Rotary Club of Reno Centennial Sunset held its first Dogs of Rotary fundraiser to provide service dogs and training for Veterans. It was sunny day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The community was very generous and provided almost 100 high-quality items for our auction. There were fun doggie contests and several informative presentations to help inform dog owners in our community.

For example, Cubby is the first Honorable Dog Member of the Sparks Club and won the best Rescue Dog from a shelter adoption. Cubby is a certified alert dog who has alerted heart problems four times, helping to save the lives of people lucky enough to be around him when he signaled a heart episode.
G.I. Dogs, the focus of our fundraising event, was present and gave a great demonstration of how Veterans are closely identified with their service dogs. There is no doubt that these dog/Veteran teams work together well and the dogs are devoted to their Veteran – and vice versa.
Eyes for Tomorrow is a group that raises and trains dogs bred to be seeing eye dogs for the blind. These dogs are raised and fostered and trained as puppies and paired with people in need of their high specialized skills and training.
How My Service Dog Saved My Life presentation by Caryn Summers was heartfelt and everyone fell in love with 15-1/2 year old Shasta. Caryn shared many stories of Shasta’s life-saving efforts and what a good boy he is. Shasta, as an older man now, is retired, but still is the closest friend Caryn knows. He greets you at the door with a mouthful of dog toys and smiles always.
The Deckheads played music all day. Their genre would be described as Caribbean Cowboy and the music kept everyone’s feet tapping. Next year, we’ll bring them in closer to the circle of activity. There was more entertainment from our Reno Taiko Tsurunokai drum group. It was exciting and everyone thought they could have played longer.
As a first-year event, we learned a lot. Next year’s Dogs of Rotary 2018 will be on September 30, 2018 and as we gear up for more fun, we will be more organized than ever.  Make sure to join us.