Welcome to the November issue of the Club of the Month series in Trilogy Life Magazine. This month, we’ll meet a large – and growing – group of Trilogy members who have one very special thing in common:  their devotion to their four-legged family members. Get to know the Trilogy Dog Club of Rio Vista through the following interview with members Karen Bereta and Rose Romano.

Thank you for taking the time to share the story of your club with us, Karen and Rose! When was the Trilogy Dog Club founded, and by whom?
The Trilogy Dog Club was founded in November of 2011 by devout dog lovers of Trilogy at Rio Vista. The first Board members were Linda Solomon – President, Karen Bereta – Vice President, Rose Romano – Secretary, and Georgette Hall – Treasurer.  The inspiration and main purpose of founding the club was to develop ideas and recommendations for building a dog park within Trilogy at Rio Vista.  In forming this club we also looked forward to exchanging ideas for training, having guest speakers, and organizing owner/pet social events.

What is the mission of the Trilogy Dog Club?
Our mission is to maintain a lost and found dog network (our most important function), to provide social opportunities for dog owners and their pets, and to facilitate the building of an enclosed dog park within Trilogy at Rio Vista.

The vision of the founding members was for the Trilogy Dog Club to have “an open governance and maximum participation of members, with as much direct democratic decision making as is practical, and a sharing of responsibilities for maintaining an active vibrant club for the benefit of Trilogy dogs, other pets, and their owners.”

How many members are in the Trilogy Dog Club?
We currently have 241 member households registered in the club. Each member is given a membership card, which entitles them to club voting rights, as well as discounts at our local pet store and a pizza restaurant in Rio Vista.

How often do you hold formal club meetings?
We have monthly meetings lasting one hour in length. Karen Bereta, 2013 President, chairs the meeting.  Rose Romano, Secretary, makes sure the agenda is mailed out two weeks in advance of the meeting, and she also takes the meeting minutes and emails them to all of the members. Linda Solomon, Treasurer, keeps track of the funds and gives the Treasurer’s Report at each meeting. Karen Katzman, Vice President, will chair the meeting if Karen is not available. Karen Katzman has taken minutes for Rose and volunteered on club committees.  Linda Rowe is our Fundraiser Chair. Linda organizes the club events, reviews all of our upcoming events, and reports the breakdown of expenses and profits of any past events.  We have also had guest speakers discussing topics such as grooming and training.

Outside of these formal meetings, how frequently do you host gatherings for the dog lovers of Trilogy at Rio Vista?
The Board generally organizes social events with the help of volunteers.  I’ve listed a few of our favorite events below.

Yappy Hour was a social event held on the grounds of the Vista Club for dog owners and their pets. Hors d’oeuvres and mimosas were served.  One of the highlights of this event was an Easter Egg Hunt using plastic eggs with dog treats inside, and a few of the eggs had tokens inside to redeem for a prize.

We had our second annual Pooch Party on October 19th. This event featured a doggie fashion show with dog clothes from our local pet store, a Halloween costume parade, rescue groups, DJ music, hot dogs and other yummy treats. It was a chance for owners and their pets to meet other club members and socialize. Members were asked to bring a can of dog food, which was donated to the local food bank. We also made cash donations to Pilots N Paws, and JP’s Small Dog Rescue.  Note that non-club members are always welcome to attend our events.

We’ve also had three fundraisers so far. We hosted a Valentine’s Brunch last February, which was a huge success. We had two seatings for brunch and served 280 residents. It was so popular that we are definitely planning to have another brunch in February 2014.

The club participated in the Trilogy Community Garage Sale in May. Trilogy Dog Club members donated their unwanted items and we were able to make a large profit.  We donated any unsold items to a local charity.

We also had a very successful bake sale. All baked goods were baked and donated by our members. Linda Rowe chaired all three of these events.  She works miracles when it comes to organizing and making money for the Trilogy Dog Club!

We created tee shirts with our logo for dog owners, and we just recently started selling dog shirts with the logo, as well.  This is yet another way that we’ve generated revenue for the club!

You mentioned that your Lost and Found program is an incredibly important part of your club.  Can you describe this program for us?
In the past few years, it became apparent that our community needed a lost and found network.  In response to this need, a database was created listing all of our members, along with their contact information, and their pet’s description.

As soon as a dog is reported missing or a dog is found, we send an email out to all dog club members with the dog’s description. We have maintained the network with a 100% success rate of reuniting lost dogs with their owners.  In addition, we created a Single Point of Contact List with two Single Point of Contacts responsible in each Village. We have five Villages at Trilogy Rio Vista.  When a dog is lost or found, the SPOC for the appropriate village is called. We have also found homes for dogs when their owners are no longer able to care for the pet because of illness or a change in their circumstances.  The club purchased a microchip reader and we encourage our members to have their pets micro chipped.

Are there any special plans coming up for the Trilogy Dog Club that you would like to tell us about?
Recently, we started having Doggie Play Dates. Because we do not have a dog park yet, the club purchased temporary portable fencing that we set up for a few hours in open common areas. We let the dogs run off leash under their owners’ supervision.  The money the club has earned through fundraisers will be used to purchase tables, benches, pergolas, and trees once we have a dog park.

We have begun working with their Trilogy Disaster Preparedness Committee to include pets in their emergency evacuation plans.

Our next planned event will be Santa Paws, which is scheduled for December 7th. Our pets will have their pictures taken with Santa and refreshments will be served. We have already started planning our next Valentine’s Brunch for 2014, as well.

How can interested members of Trilogy at Rio Vista join the Dog Club?
The Trilogy Dog Club has its own website: https://trilogydogclub.wordpress.com/. Residents visit this site for club information and to obtain a club application form.  Each month we advertise our club on mytrilogylife.com and in the monthly Trilogy Living newsletter.  We have signs at every doggie waist receptacle in the common areas.  A local realtor distributes a welcome package to each new Trilogy resident and a Trilogy Dog Club Application is included in every gift bag.  We always welcome new Trilogy members to join the Trilogy Dog Club.

Thank you, Karen and Rose!

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