Dogs have their day at winery

See Ya Later Ranch hosts Dog Days of Summer on Saturday

The first signs of fall can stay away — the dogs want one last day to play.

See Ya Later Ranch in Okanagan Falls is holding its ninth-annual Dog Days of Summer event on Saturday, where dogs and their two-legged friends can celebrate the final days of warm weather with animal-friendly activities for a good cause.

“It’s hectic, but a lot of fun,” Tamsin Finnigan, the ranch’s manager, said Wednesday.

Participants can check out dog-related vendors including biscuit bakers, groomers and more, as well as have a professional photo taken of their furry family member.

The highlight of the afternoon is the doggie fashion show, set to kick off around 2:30 and will feature celebrity judges evaluating everyone’s get-ups.

“Usually we have to cut it off at about 40 dogs,” Finnigan said, adding that it isn’t just pets in costume. “People dress themselves up, too.”

The event serves as not only a fundraiser for the B.C. SPCA, but an homage to the ranch’s beginnings.

Finnigan said the ranch had originally been called Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards, and they hosted a barbecue each year during which residents used to recall stories about the eccentric owner who used to occupy the lands.

The vineyard had been an working ranch in the 1900s with Hawthorne brothers Sam and George working the land. The property was sold to Maj. Hugh Fraser, a former prisoner of war during the first European conflict who came to enjoy the freedom of open skies in the Okanagan Valley. He lived there for 45 years, naming it the See Ya Later Ranch.

His reputation in town became one of eccentricity, stemming from part myth and part reality. He held parties and invited townsfolk to join him and his brood of animals on the ranch.

Fraser was an avid dog lover, fond of Scottish collies, and all his four-legged friends were given the run of the ranch. They were laid to rest in a dog cemetery on site, which features the oldest headstone dated dedicated to “Jimmy My Pal” from 1917 to 1921. There are 12 headstones in total. He stood as president of the B.C. SPCA for five years.

Fraser planted a few wine grapes at the ranch, pioneering viticulture on site. In honour of the previous owner’s viticulture endeavours, Hawthorne decided to produce a limited offering devoted to Fraser and See Ya Later. “They found they were wildly popular,” Finnigan said.

See Ya Later Ranch wine series now features a white dog with angel wings in celebration of man’s best friend, the individualist lifestyle of Fraser and his pioneering spirit that surrounds the winery site.

While there are less dogs on site now, the 101-acre vineyard is primarily home to Gewürztraminer vines as well as Chardonnay, Ehrenfelser, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.

In keeping with the animal-loving spirit of the previous owner, Finnigan said the winery wanted to support the plight of animals through the B.C. SPCA.

Over the years, Dog Days of Summer raised between $3,000 and $7,000 for the animal cruelty and adoption organization’s Penticton branch.

Finnigan said $1 of each bottle purchased at liquor stores this month will go to the SPCA, as will the net proceeds of food sales Saturday.

Dog Days of Summer runs from noon to 4 p.m. at See Ya Later Ranch, 2575 Green Lake Rd., just five kilometres from Highway 97. Admission is by donation. For information, visit www.sylranch.com/events/default.asp or check them out on Facebook.

 

Just Posted

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read