Social Distancing? Need a drink? Help is on the way!

Soda Pup
Social Distancing? Need a drink? Help is on the way!
A Boxer named Soda Pup is delivering wine to customers in Maryland

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Before now the dog most associated with alcohol was probably the St. Bernard. These giant dogs have often been portrayed carrying small barrels of brandy around their necks to help avalanche victims (although alcohol is not actually what you want to be drinking if you are stuck in the snow). But now, there’s a new dog on the scene. Move over St. Bernards, there’s a Boxer coming with alcohol to save us during the pandemic! During COVID-19, a Boxer named Soda Pup is hooking up the Hagerstown, Maryland area with bottles of wine from Stone House Urban Winery.

Many small businesses are struggling right now as social distancing requires them to close their doors or change the way they operate. Times are hard, but Soda Pup has found a unique way to lend a paw during the pandemic. The Boxer is personally (pawsonally?) delivering wine from his family’s winery, allowing customers and winery employees to continue to socially distance and brightening people’s day at the same time. 

Soda Pup was already a customer favourite at the winery, but he started his official pandemic work on March 20th when he sweetly hijacked the company’s Facebook page and made an official post: “Hi all, Soda here again. So, mom has been filling me in on this COVID-19 virus thing and she says that it is REALLY affecting small businesses like our little winery. Mom says that we all have to pitch in and pull our weight, that includes me as well. So, if you are out shopping and have kids in the car, or just want to keep your distance from other folks, give us a call and place your order, I'll try to personally deliver your wine in my nifty new wine saddle bag.”
 


 

Customers place orders by phone, allowing them to talk with winery staff about the right wine for them. When customers reach the winery, they call and Soda comes out to deliver the wine right to the car! Since the start of the pandemic, Soda Pup has been equipped with a saddle bag vest which allows him to carry two bottles of wine per trip. Lori Yata, Soda’s guardian and co-owner of the winery, told Modern Dog that he was a natural at wine delivery—she strapped his saddle bag on and he went right to work! “I do have to make sure there are not critters around, like squirrels, robins etc….not sure he could resist that and finish his delivery.” Lori noted.

Who doesn’t need a bottle of wine delivered right to your car by an adorable dog? Soda has a sensitive tummy so the winery is asking that customers only feed him the treats that Soda’s mom has added to his saddle bags so that customers can “tip”  him. Since posting videos of Soda bringing wine out to cars, he has gone viral. Visitors to the winery can take selfies with Soda and are tagging the winery on social media. 

“We've had people call in just specifically to have Soda Pup bring wine out to them, people who have never even been here before," Lori told local news station WJLA.

Unfortunately, at this time Stone House Urban Winery does not offer shipping, but if you live near Hagerstown and you’re needing to pick up a bottle or two of wine, Soda Pup is on the job and ready to deliver! When asked how Soda feels about his new job, Lori enthused, “Soda loves what he is doing. When he sees me go for his saddle bag, he comes right over standing ready, willing, and able. As soon as the door opens, he walks out, looks to see where his friends are, and heads up the walk. If it is someone he knows he is literally trotting up the path, sometimes going cross country across the grass. Regardless of old friends or new, it just warms my heart to see how excited he is to do his job.” Let’s raise a glass to one dog making these uncertain times a whole lot brighter. 

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