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Hoppy the dog

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., August 10, 2011 – Those who enjoy a good birthday party and would like to support a good cause can enjoy both this week by attending the Comedy Barn Theater’s “Hoppy Birthday” Party on Sunday, August 14 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Theater in Pigeon Forge. The Comedy Barn’s newest rescue dog, Hoppy, will be turning 1- year-old on Sunday and Dawn Goehring, owner of the Comedy Barn Canines and her fellow Comedy Barn employees are throwing Hoppy a birthday bash like no other as a fund raiser for the Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee (SBRET). Tickets for Hoppy’s Birthday Party are $5 per adult (children under age 11 are free) and can be purchased by calling (865) 428-5222 or 1-800-29-LAUGH.

The party is unique because people are allowed to bring their dogs to the party for free! One dog per adult will be allowed. Dogs must be current on shots, non aggressive to other dogs and people and be able to handle crowds.

Goehring, owner of the Comedy Barn Canines said, “The Comedy Barn Canines will be performing a public show at Hoppy’s Birthday party and Hoppy is working on some new tricks to show off to everyone. Also, juggler Slim Chance will perform as well. There will be games for the dogs; treats and raffles with cool dog prizes.

“We want to bring people together to have fun, enjoy life and support rescue dogs,” Goehring said. “It will be fun for the audience members to be able to bring their dogs with them to the party.

“Hoppy was rescued by Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee from a puppy mill at just 11 weeks old,” she said. “His leg was severely inured when they rescued him and he required an amputation in order for him to live a happy and healthy life.”

SBRET is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding forever homes for displaced and abandoned small breed dogs. They are also dedicated to educating the public about pet overpopulation and the benefits of spaying/neutering.

Goehring adopted Hoppy after fostering him for a couple of months. “I fell in love with Hoppy and he fell in love with me,” she said. “Hoppy’s spirit was contagious and I could tell he was a natural performer. Most people don’t even notice he is missing a leg! He is just as fast and agile as any of my other dogs!”

Because Goehring already had 16 rescue dogs and she had a rule against adopting puppies, she was hesitant at first to take Hoppy on. “But timing has a way of working on people,” Goehring says.

“I brought Hoppy home to see how we would fair with my other dogs. Things were going really well with the other dogs and my family, especially my 2-year-old son, who instantly took a liking to Hoppy,” Goehring explains.

“When one of my fellow employees got his leg amputated, that was the clincher for me,” Goehring said. “I thought this is what I am supposed to do with this dog. I am teaching him that disabilities can’t stop you from doing things the other dogs do.”

Hoppy is active, social, and smart. He is a great addition to The Comedy Barn Canines, “Goehring concludes. “This special puppy is a fantastic ambassador for rescue dogs and amputees. We hope a lot of people will come to Hoppy’s Birthday party on Sunday.” People can find additional information about the party on Facebook.

The 825-seat Comedy Barn Theater is the only theater in Pigeon Forge devoted exclusively to clean comedy, antics and animated stunts. The theater is located one-half block past traffic light No. 3 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Open year round, The Comedy Barn has two shows nightly at 5 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., as well as some scheduled matinees for groups throughout the season.
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