Dog Days of Summer

July 7, 2014 |
HSSAZ Dog Days of Summer fundraiser is July 25. photo: Les Manser

HSSAZ Dog Days of Summer fundraiser is July 25. Photo: Les Manser

Tucson is known for its many distinguishing qualities including breathtaking summer sunsets, its surplus of renowned local artists and its citizens’ fondness for canine companions. So it’s only fitting to celebrate the summer in the Old Pueblo by bringing together the ample art and dog communities to enjoy a beautiful evening for the third annual Dog Days of Summer Event. Taking place at the stunning Plaza Colonial, the festivities will commence on Friday, July 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. All of the proceeds from the $5 tickets will go toward supporting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSAZ) and its programs.

Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs and families for an evening that will feature a special art show at the Jane Hamilton Gallery highlighting wonderful dog-themed paintings by Louis Mason, live music and entertainment, food, drinks and gelato provided by the local restaurants, open tours of all of the Plaza stores, $5 caricature drawings of dogs done by students of the Art Institute of Tucson who have also designed the clothing for the most popular event of the evening, The Doggy Fashion Show. The theme of this year’s canine fashion is denim jackets that will be made available for purchase after they come off the runway.

“My favorite part of the event is watching people ‘ooh and ahh’ at how adorable the dogs are when they’re walking in the fashion show. And just seeing the students feel so proud of their work makes it special as well,” says HSSAZ Public Relations Lead Samantha Esquivel. “It’s a great collaboration between all of the stores in the Plaza, The Art Institute of Tucson and the Humane Society, and what better cause is there to bring the community together to have a great time. It’s been a big success for us in its previous runs and it’s only gaining more attention as the years go on.”

Upon purchase of entry, each guest will be given a “Plaza Passport” that will receive a punch in each of the local stores that fill Plaza Colonial (with an option to buy 5 passports for $20). Once the passports are completed, they will then be entered into a raffle for prizes from each merchant valued at $200. The participating merchants include Elements Home Décor & Gifts, George’s Men’s Clothing, J Bridal, Jane Hamilton Fine Art, Mills Touche, Mingle Salon & Spa, Romano Real Estate, Rug Resource, Shlomo & Vito’s New York Delicatessen & Pizza Kitchen, Sunset Interiors and Tavolino Ristorante Italiano.

“A lot of people in Tucson have the impression that everybody leaves in the summer, and granted a lot of people do, but a lot of people stay and this event is something fun for people to do in July. It draws people out and reminds them that all of these stores are open throughout the summer,” says Plaza Colonial Spokesperson and merchant Ivan Escobell. “We have an amazing courtyard that is one of the best in Tucson and it creates a beautiful setting and atmosphere for this event. We all love it here in the plaza because we are all huge dog lovers ourselves and the Humane Society is very close to our hearts.”

With all of the proceeds from the sales of the passport tickets, caricatures, doggy clothing, food and drink going to the Humane Society, this event is not only fun for the whole family, but beneficial to the dogs of Tucson who rely on the non-profit to give them a second chance at life.

“The Humane Society cares so much about our animals and we want to aid and service them the best we can. And we are an organization that not only serves pets, but the people who love them as well,” says Esquivel. “This event is so special because you see so many dogs and owners mingling with each other in a social setting. It’s just so much fun and the weather is great and the people are great. Everyone has a blast and it’s a wonderful way for people in this community to meet each other.”

Plaza Colonial is located on the southwest corner of Skyline Drive and Campbell Avenue at 2850 E. Skyline Dr. For more information about the Friday, July 25 event and HSSAZ, visit or call (520) 327-6088.

Category: Community, Events