Bridget Fry’s broken heart helped her rediscover her creative side.
His name was Sid — a nearly 17-year-old Labrador-shepherd-mix Fry had to put down in September.
Now, in his memory, she is organizing the first Spring Paw-looza on April 8 in the Volant Mills Courtyard at 550 Main St. in the borough. The 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. fundraiser will include a doggie Easter egg hunt, painting with your pup, pet portraits, a Chinese auction and more.
Proceeds will benefit the Lawrence County Humane Society and Shenango Valley Animal Shelter in Hermitage.
Derailed Distillery located in one of Volant’s four Main Street railcars will donate 30 percent of its proceeds during “yappy” hour from 4 to 5 p.m. For the fundraiser, owner Bob Palko plans to name a mixed drink Wreck-It after his dog, a nearly 5-year-old Great Dane who goes by Wreck-It Ralph.
Although he never met Sid, Palko likes the idea of the fundraiser.
“I think it’s a great way to help the dogs and cats in the animal shelters,” he said
“It’s also a great way to honor her pet. It will benefit and help the community way more than she ever thought.”
A home health care nurse, Fry adopted Sid when he was 5 from the Lawrence County Animal Shelter.
“Sid was always with her no matter what,” said Fry’s close friend Cheryl Geidner. “He was her rock.”
Life started to take its toll on Sid, and when Fry had to begin carrying him down steps, the 37-year-old knew the end was near.
“I didn’t want to let him go, but I knew he was ready,” she said. “He was everything to me.”
Geidner said Fry was adamant about doing something in Sid’s name after his passing and commends her for the endeavor.
“She just wanted to make awareness of rescue animals,” Geidner said.
“You not only save them, but they save you in many ways.”
“I was personally really struggling with his loss,” Fry added. “I wanted to honor his memory and his life of purpose.”
Folks who want to enter their pet in the doggie egg hunt or paint your pup need to pre-register by calling Fry at (724) 901-1920.
The egg hunt will include prizes like dog collars and other supplies.
Bella’s Pet Grooming will offer nail trimming. Dogsmartz Unleashed will discuss dog training and behavior. Knockin Nogging Cidery and Winery and Volant’s shops will be open.
Fry encourages folks to visit the event, even if they don’t have a pet and feel free to bring your dog as long as it’s on a leash.
“It’s genuine,” she said. “It’s organic and it’s coming from a good place and it all started with a dog. I genuinely believe that he will help some other dogs find a home.”
Sid wasn’t Fry’s only recent loss. In December 2021, her cat Merl died. Sid missed the cat. So Fry asked the folks at the Shenango Valley Animal Shelter if Sid could pick out her next cat.
“There was no hesitation (by the shelter),” she said.
A black cat, who Fry later named Bagheera, was the first to wander from its cage.
“They (the cat and Sid) started wagging their tails and sniffing each other and Bagheera rubbed against him,” she said.
The day that Sid died, Geidner found a malnourished kitten.
“She brought it over to me and I was like a mama bear cradling her,” Fry said. “I just feel like that never happens.”
She named the kitten Lilibet, the nickname for Queen Elizabeth II who died a day or so earlier.
“It (the kitten) was one of my best gifts ever,” Fry said.
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