Woofers in Wine Country: Greyhound Fest

The jubilant meet-and-woof has frolicked for a dozen years.

TAPESTRY TITAN: So many breeds of dogs have become associated with various aspects of pop culture and our lives that it can be difficult to separate the pups from where we know them best. Corgis and royals have a long and regal relationship, and Poodles and the fashion industry are an iconic duo. Pugs are often the comical stars of internet videos nowadays, while a Golden Retriever will sometimes show up in catalogs depicting a rustic, cabin-cute lifestyle. And what of the Greyhound, that long of neck, long of leg, long of snout, long of everything canine? Old-world paintings and tapestries easily spring to mind. Picture any great textile you've ever seen hanging in the hall of a castle or in the foyer of a great home; was a Greyhound among the beasties that some weaver, centuries ago, captured artfully in thread? In short, humans' friendship with the sweet G has much precedent, a vibe and spirit that's very much on display in Santa Ynez wine country each wintertime. That's when dog devotees and their beloved Greyhounds trot for Solvang, the site of the annual Greyhound Festival. It's one of the biggest in the nation, which suits one of our biggest -- or more accurately tallest -- breeds.

FEB. 19 THROUGH 21, 2016... are the dates for the 12th annual gathering, which will include a wine tasting, a buffet dinner, an appearance by keynote speaker Darren Rigg (founder of the Greyhound Adoption Center), and the always popular Solvang Streak. That's when the attending hounds, and their people, "leisurely walk, trot, or flat out run for fun!" Beyond the events and activities, look for those who adore this breed, those who've committed to rescue causes, and those who know much and can share information on care, cuisine, and day-to-day cuddling. We're not sure if spying several Greyhounds gathering in repose will summon a tapestry to your mind's eye or not, but the fact is that these elegant canines have been companions to humans for many, many years. And artists, through those many years, have often been inspired to capture that friendship in paint and thread. It's a touching testament to the hounds and humans, both.

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