Mom Creates Special Advent Calendar For All The Dogs Walking By Her House
“They all love it!”
The countdown to Christmas Day is full of excitement, and one woman in Ontario, Canada, has created a new way for dogs in her neighborhood to get in on the fun: a giant, dog treat Advent calendar.
The calendar consists of 24 treat-filled jars on a Christmas tree stand, free to anyone who stops by, and four-legged locals couldn’t be more thrilled to participate.
Amy Gaudette is used to neighborhood pups stopping by her driveway. She started her first free treat stand in 2020 when everyone in her neighborhood was sheltering in place.
“I started the café during the COVID-19 lockdowns as a way to spread kindness to others,” Gaudette told The Dodo.
She stocked her treat stand with a variety of dog-friendly snacks and called it Oshawa Puppy Café.
“At first I think my neighbors were a little confused as to why there were free dog treats at the end of our driveway,” Gaudette said. “But over time, more and more people found out about us and it became a place to always visit while on a walk with their dogs. The dogs now know what our café is and pull their owners to our house!”
Before long, Oshawa Puppy Café became a staple hangout spot in Gaudette’s community. To keep up with all her visitors, Gaudette created an Instagram account for the café and attached a sign inviting guests to take a picture and tag her.
Pictures of smiling pups — of all shapes and sizes — started pouring in.
Gaudette was taken aback by the response to her treat stand and quickly started to think of ways to offer more.
She expanded her offerings with free holiday-themed photoshoots like a “Free Kisses” stand for Valentine’s Day, which her visitors loved.
Then, she hosted an adoption drive with local rescues, and has been giving back to her community through charity and adoption events at the café ever since.
“I’ve been very fortunate to use our café in such a positive light,” Gaudette said. “[We’ve] helped dogs find their forever homes.”
According to Gaudette’s calculations, about 10,000 treats have been enjoyed in the year and a half since Oshawa Puppy Café opened, but the smiles on her visitors’ faces are what count the most.
This year, she’s hoping the interactive Advent calendar will inspire even more joy.
During the month of December, Gaudette’s neighbors can stop by the Advent calendar and help themselves to a treat from one of the calendar’s numbered jars. Each jar contains a completely different treat with a list of ingredients.
“The Advent calendar really surprised everyone,” Gaudette said. “They all love it!”
The Advent calendar will only be available until the end of the year, but Gaudette plans on bringing it back next holiday season.
In the meantime, the Oshawa Puppy Café owner, and her dogs, Roxie and Misty, are gearing up for a new year of visitors, events and lots of treats.
“I hope I’m able to keep connecting people and their love for their pets together,” Gaudette said. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”