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Popular Puppy Parties Pay Off Big
Virgil Stewart found a sideline business to go with his dog breeding operation. He takes puppies to birthday parties for kids to pet, cuddle and play with.
  “Summer is our season for weekday parties. We can do as many as 12 in a day,” says Stewart, who lives near Los Angeles, Calif.
  When he started offering puppy parties 25 years ago, they were lucky to do 2 events per weekend. In 2015, he expects to total around 800 parties.
  To keep up with the demand, Stewart maintains around 70 dogs and puppies, mostly small breeds noted for their good temperament. Breeds include Maltese, Yorkshire, Jack Russell Terriers, Dachshunds and Shih Tzus.
  The fact that even the adults of some of these breeds are small helps. Stewart points to a 5 to 6-year old Daschshund that acts like a puppy and is popular at parties. By far the most popular, though, are the 2 to 7-month old puppies.
  Prices vary by type of animal, length of time, and day of the week. An hour with up to 10 puppies at a birthday party will run $200.
  Parties have ranged from kids to adults and birthdays to fraternities - even professional baseball teams. While adult parties are on the increase, children’s birthdays remain Stewart’s bread and butter, along with selling the puppies.
  Stewart says finding homes for his party puppies is no problem. He has built up a good reputation with area pet dealers.
  “I think the parties help to socialize them,” says Stewart. “Their temperaments are phenomenal.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Virgil Stewart, Torrance, Calif. (ph 310 328-2040; www.pupsandreps.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #5