Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

shopdog 2018

Fur Update

Matthew Dalton of The Wall Street Journal reports that luxury fashion houses that have long relied on animal skins are shaking up their supply chains and seeking alternatives. Two of the world's biggest and flashiest labels, Versace and Gucci swore off fur this year joining the furless pack that incldues Armani, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss and London Fashion House Stella McCartney.

PETA is keeping up the pressure on Hermes.

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Matchmaker for Senior and Disabled Dogs



July 16, 2018 03:25 PM

Updated July 17, 2018 03:24 PM


For the last 11 years, Jerry Kroll has specialized in finding homes for the dogs few people want to adopt: the shy ones, the seniors with silver fur, the three-legged hopefuls on the rebound.

The longtime volunteer for the SPCA of Wake County looks for dogs who can’t promote themselves — the hounds with chewed-off ears, the mutts that don’t wag tails, the pit bulls with a scary-sounding name.

And after a decade, Kroll, 85, has ushered more than 300 hard-luck canines into a new family’s minivan — a record of 300-0. Few can resist him in the lobby, where he offers new friends on a leash. Once, he found homes for three dogs in one day.

“They tell me I’m a salesman,” Kroll said.

Entire Story HERE.

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Smart Lock: Yes or No?

Some homeowners install a remote smart lock for pets. But should you?

(That's my Cate at the back door.)

      Your Shop Dog Bandit Still on the Job

Wall Street Journal presents two views HERE.

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Dogs Ride the Rails


Story in NYT about dogs on trains! Starts like this:

A few minutes after we sank into our seats, the train whistled out of the station and the conductor made his way down the aisle. It was just like any other trek between Penn Station and Union Station, except for one thing.

The conductor looked down at our printed ticket and mentally checked off my wife and me before pausing and giving a friendly but perplexed look. “Rufus and Hamilton,” he read off the sheet. “You’ve got four?”

At our feet were Rufus and Hamilton, our two black pug dogs. They were nestled into their sherpa-lined travel bags, quietly being lulled to sleep by the rhythms of the train as we headed from New York to Washington.


Rest of story HERE!

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Hit Dog Rescued by Officer and Nurse in Black Mountain

Lucky Dog Rescued by Officer of The Year

by Fred McCormick for Black Mountain News and USA Today Network

When Tina Kuetemeyer saw a dog hit by a coar on U.S. 70, she called the Buncombe Sheriff's Department not knowing who would sho up. Luckily for her - and for Dakota the Great Pyrenees - who showed up was deputy Phil Holderman, who is known for helping people and animals in need. Holderman, a Swannanoa Valley native, had recently been named the sheriff department’s officer of the year.


It all started about 6:15 p.m. May 29, in the rain. Kuetemeyer, an emergency room nurse at Mission Hospital, was driving west on the highway when she saw a big, white dog running in and out of traffic. She  called the sheriff’s department and began trying to divert drivers around Dakota, who had been spotted around the Swannanoa Valley for weeks.

“Then a car came flying,” Kuetemeyer said in a recent interview. “It almost hit (Dakota) head on, but he jumped out of the way at the last second and still was hit really hard.” The car didn’t stop.

Dakota went over an embankment, and minutes later Holderman, who regularly patrols the Swannanoa Valley, arrived. The 23-year law enforcement veteran knew about the Great Pyrenees - he had tried catch it days earlier. Social media had been buzzing for days with reports from people seeing the dog and hoping to reconnect it and its owner.

“It looked like a big, white bear,” Holderman said. “When I got the call that a dog had been hit, I immediately knew it was him.”

Crouching down beside the whimpering dog, the deputy and the nurse tried calling the number of Dakota's tag; no one picked up. Holderman asked Kuetemeyer if she thought she could help him get the 120-pound dog to his patrol car. She said yes, so they carried Dakota to the deputy’s vehicle on a heavy canvas seat cover the nurse keeps in her car for her own dogs.

Holderman and Kuetemeyer took Dakota to the nearby fire station to wait for an animal control officer.

“There is no way I could’ve helped that dog without him,” Kuetemeyer said of Holderman. “His willingness to help in that situation was incredible. It was one of those situations where it was the right people in the right place at the right time.”

The "right" person certainly seems to describe Holderman. The 1992 Owen High graduate pursued a career in law enforcement specifically to help people, he said. He is "the type of guy who always goes the extra mile," his wife Tonia said. "That's one of the reasons he was chosen as officer of the year."

Holderman received the award in April during the organization's annual awards banquet. During the presentation, he was recognized for assisting in a property crime case in which an elderly resident was targeted. 

"I look at it as though it's my job to offer whatever resources I can to the community," he said. That's why he was willing to do whatever it took to help Dakota, lying by the highway soggy and injured.

Holderman tracked down Dakota's owners and found out he was a farm dog who wandered into the Valley from Barnardsville. The deputy learned the owner was not willing to pay to repair the dog's broken femur (the surgery would cost $5,000, Kuetemeyer learned later). Dakota was taken to the Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital in Asheville.


“He was going to have to be put down if he didn’t have the surgery,” said Kuetemeyer, who followed Dakota to the animal hospital. “I asked the vet about his prognosis, and he said it would be a good one.”

She created a GoFundMe account and posted it on social media, where many were familiar with the large white dog that had been roaming the Valley. The crowdfunding effort raised a little over $1,800 within a few hours and more than $5,300 in two days. Kuetemeyer contacted the Carolina Great Pyrenees Rescue out of Charlotte and found that they would happily accept Dakota.

“I was blown away by the support of the community,” she said. “I expected there would be some help, but the amount of people who were willing to help out was overwhelming.”

Holderman is not surprised that the community he grew up and works to keep safe would jump to help Dakota.

“I see this community step up to help each other out all the time," he said. "They help people in need and animals in situations like this where they need it. It's part of what makes this community so great."

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A Pet's Charity for People

We are all in this together! I feel like I should do more! Read on. Your Shop dog Bandit

This is a story about a pet's charity for people and, oh yeah, a wine that bears his name! Written by Gina Trippi of The Asheville school of Wine for The Laurel of Asheville, the story is on magazine site here! Reprinted below:

By Gina Trippi

Eric Story and Alison Smith dreamed of combining their 30 years of retail experience and wine knowledge to start their own winery. The two were accomplished and eager, but short on cash. “We didn’t have an inheritance,” Smith says. What they did have was an 80-pound Goldendoodle.

Pledging to put “farmers first,” Smith and Story turned to Kickstarter, the world’s largest online funding platform, to raise the required capital in 2014. It worked. Within 30 days, the two had collected $25,000 in donations. “We are the first winery we know of to be crowd funded!” Smith says.

What was interesting, aside from the generosity of the public, was that most of the supporters were followers of an Instagram account that Smith and Story had created for their Goldendoodle, Lord Sandwich. And most of them were asking when Lord Sandwich would have his own wine.

At first, Smith and Story were concerned about putting Lord Sandwich on the label. “No critter wines for us,” says Story. With 65,000 followers on Instagram, however, the two decided that a market of that size with such devotion could not be ignored.

The response was Lord Sandwich Red Table Wine, an extraordinary blend of zinfandel, syrah, pinot noir, carignane, grenache and petite sirah. The wine is a dark reddish-purple in the glass and presents aromas and flavors of blackberry, pepper and spices. Rich and complex, the wine is also smooth and very approachable for an everyday dinner or special occasion.

Smith Story Wines are made with respect for the land and, as promised, respect and support for the farmers. All of the vineyards where Smith and Story source the winery’s grapes are owned by small-scale, family farmers. The Smith Story winemaking philosophy is to utilize classic Old World techniques and to let the grapes and the sense of place where they are grown speak for themselves.

With a plan to share their good fortune with those in need, Smith started a nonprofit, Socks for Sandwich, in November of 2014, combining Lord Sandwich’s passion for socks with a charitable purpose. For every bottle of Lord Sandwich sold, a new pair of socks is given to someone in need. With the release of 601 cases of the first vintage of the wine that bears Lord Sandwich’s name, the charity gave out 7,212 pairs of socks.

Some of the recipients of new socks include organizations devoted to women and children recovering from domestic abuse, children in foster care, homeless individuals, victims of weatherrelated catastrophes in the U.S., farm workers, and county and city service organizations devoted to assisting those with challenges.

“He has a special way of making anyone smile and inspires hundreds each day with his playful spirit and giving heart,” says Smith of the nonprofit’s namesake.

Checks and donations of new socks can be sent to Socks for Sandwich at 1415 Fulton Road, #205-224, Santa Rosa, CA, 95403. Credit card donations can be made at

Follow the life, times and charitable work of Lord Sandwich on Instagram @sandwichthedoodle.

Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines at 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big shop selection with small shop service. Gina can be reached or 828.575.9525.

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Dogs Found Dumped, Dead of Gunshot Wounds

Story was reported in The Asheville Citizen Times today, March 24th. HERE.

Brother Wolf has issued a reward for evidence leading to capture of the perpetrator and MetroWines has sent this Letter to the Editor. 


Dear Editor:

How many more stories (March 24th) do we need to read like "Dogs found dumped, dead of gunshot wounds?"

Animal abuse is not an insignificant crime. Acts of cruelty are collected along with felonies including arson, burglary and homicide in the FBI database.

What can we do? First, make animal cruelty a felony. Once the perpetrator is caught, 

the prosecutor should seek the strongest penalty and, upon conviction, the court should so decree.

North Carolina should also consider a registry of animal abusers. Concerned citizens, parents, 

and businesses should know the identity and the whereabouts of these criminals.

Because, studies show, they will go further. They will do more.

S. Gina Trippi

Asheville, North Carolina

  Calling on friends to help stop the abuse. Your Shop Dog, Bandit.

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Move Over!


That's me and Cate in our beds. We liked it that way. But some of us like sharing a bed with YOU. Read on...

"For most Americans, dogs are no longer relegated to the doghouse. According to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group, almost 60 percent of dog owners say they regard their pet as a child or member of the family. And many let their dogs snuggle up to sleep right in their human owners’ beds, often alongside their owners."

Entire NYT Story HERE!

Great story. Boy, what I would give for one more day of sleeping next to Cate. Miss you, my friend.

                                      Your Shop Dog, Bandit


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Pet Approval


45% of Millenials say getting their pet's approval of their dates would matter more than getting family approval, according to a Zulily survey. Well, of course. Tell it like it is!


And Parade Magazine answers what pets give back. "Science has proven dogs have the power to turn your frown into a smile. When you pet a dog, your body produces oxytocin and endorphins, hormones that lift your mood and strengthen the emotional bond between you and the dog. Oxytocin is the homrone that binds a mother to a child and one lover to another. Simply watching dogs playing or goofing around helps people feel happier and more relaxed."


That's my Cate. Got to make you smile. She was so beautiful.

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Paul McCartney Calls for Meat Free Monday


Sir Paul McCartney, while he continues to sell out concert venue at 75, is leading the Meat Free Monday Campaign asking people to skip meat just once a week to "help slow climate change, preserve natural resources, and improve their health."



Entire Article here online.

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Edith Wharton vs. ASPCA

David Dunlap writes for New York Times about Edith Wharton's battle with the president of the ASPCA.

Power to the people! OK, I said that part. With love, Your Shop Dog, Bandit.

Times Insider shares historic insights from The New York Times. In this piece, David W. Dunlap, a metro reporter, looks back at a particularly memorable letter sent to The Times’s publisher.

The front and back of Edith Wharton’s four-page note to Adolph S. Ochs. CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Edith Wharton loved animals.

But she hated John P. Haines, the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mrs. Wharton and other members of the society believed that Mr. Haines was at least inept, if not corrupt, in his management of the agency.

After an especially stormy meeting on Feb. 15, 1906 — a meeting so chargedthat it was front-page news in The New York Times — Mrs. Wharton took pen in hand at her townhouse on Park Avenue and East 78th Street.

She addressed a private letter to Adolph S. Ochs, the publisher of The New York Times:

“My dear Mr. Ochs,

“As one of the S.P.C.A. members who are trying to put the Society on a better basis by an honest investigation of its methods, I write to ask if, in speaking of yesterday’s meeting editorially, you will bring out as forcibly as possible that the two motions carried yesterday by Mr. Haines & his friends have resulted in cutting off all investigations and silencing the members for one year.

“The best service that can be done by the Press to those desirous of reforming the S.P.C.A. is to lay emphasis on these facts, & also on the fact that Mr. Haines voted for both motions, & that at least four of those voting with him (by his own admission) were employés of the Society.

“Irrespective of personal sympathies, we want the public to know that the members have been gagged.

“Sincerely yrs,

“Edith Wharton”

Edith WhartonCreditBeinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, via Wikimedia Commons

What brings her to mind this week is the fire on Sunday that consumed the chapel near Madison Square Park in Manhattan where she and Edward Wharton were married in 1885.

Both Whartons were devoted to animals; she to dogs and horses, he to cows, sheep, ducks and hens.

“Dogs — small dogs and preferably Pekinese — were among the main joys of her being, and had been since she was a child,” R. W. B. Lewis wrote in “Edith Wharton: A Biography” (1975).

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The Times’s account of the stormy meeting noted Mrs. Wharton’s assertion that the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Paris and Rome — of which she was also a member — “did far better with less money than the New York society.” The article reported that opponents of Mr. Haines had adjourned to the Whartons’ home to draft a statement that “in smothering further criticism, the society is put on record as fearing to face charges of negligence and inefficiency.”

(Actually, it is hard to square Mrs. Wharton’s letter with the account in The Times of the same day, since it had already done the things she asked Mr. Ochs to do. It’s as if she hadn’t read the paper yet. Perhaps she had let her home delivery subscription lapse. Don’t let this happen in your household!Choose The Times subscription that’s best for you. Starting as low as 99 cents.)

The meeting in which John P. Haines was “hotly assailed,” which Edith Wharton attended, inspired her to write a personal note to the publisher of The Times.

“Haines Hotly Assailed in S.P.C.A. Meeting,” The Times’s headline read. “Mrs. Cadwalader Jones Tells Him He’ll Regret the Day / Employes Appear to Vote / Both Sides Say Meeting Was Packed — Haines Must Go or the Society Collapse, Reformers Declare.”

Of course, The Times offered balance in its account, noting that Mr. Haines enjoyed the support of Miss Irwin Martin, the vice president of the Toy Spaniel Club. “She wanted to vote that no further evil reports of the management be listened to,” The Times said.

In the end, the reformers won. Mr. Haines resigned on March 8. Nine days later, the Whartons sailed for Europe.


Entire story by David Dunlap here.

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Last Year on Valentine's Day


I miss you Cate. Every minute. Of every day. Your Bandit.

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723 Hits

Whitney Cummings "hung out with wolves"


Comedian Whitney Cummings tells her story on "I Hung Out With Wolves" in NYT.

"Some wolves were not raised with other wolves, so they never learned certain behaviors, and some that looked less like them were raised with wolves and hence more wolflike. Hang out with a wolf, and you’ll become more like one."

Full Story HERE.


Around here in Asheville, we support Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary HERE!

That's AmbassaDog "River" in the picture above.

Lot to be learned.

                                                    Your Shop Dog, Bandit

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981 Hits

Humane Society Head Resigns

Bandit here reporting this disheartening although, sadly, not surprising, news concerning Wayne Pacelle.

The chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States resigned on Friday after sexual harassment allegations against him prompted an uprising from staff and donors.

The executive, Wayne Pacelle, who was the face of the Humane Society for more than a decade, had held onto support from a majority of the group’s board, which voted on Thursday to immediately end an investigation into his behavior.

Yet by Friday afternoon, donors and employees of the organization, one of the most prominent animal welfare groups in the nation, were distancing themselves from Mr. Pacelle, condemning the board’s decision and calling for him to leave. In an email to the staff, Mr. Pacelle said late Friday that because “our mission depends on unity,” he was stepping aside to allow a search for a successor to begin.


Entire Story HERE.

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Robot Dogs are FOR Robots


Robot Dogs are for Robots. So many dogs need a home. If you can, please do.

                                                 Thank you, Your Shop dog, Bandit

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947 Hits

Moth Sniffing Dog!

Photo Credit: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Riley is trained to detect moths and other pets that could dmaage high value artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

You GO Riley!


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790 Hits

Happy Birthday Betty White


Dear Betty:

Parade Magazine reports that your fountain of youth was fueld in part by your commitment to animal welfare.


Thank you for being there. And Happy 96th Birthday from your fans @MetroWines!

                                          Your Shop Dog Bandit

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Dogs on Plane

Photo by David Stubbs for New York Times

Kara Pollard, 33, is executive director of Dog is My Co-Pilot, an animal rescue operation in Jackson Wyoming.

Dog Is My CoPilot is a catchy name, but what does your outfit do?

We fly animals — 80 percent dogs and 20 percent cats — from about 20 source shelters, where they are in danger of being euthanized because of lack of space, to some 62 receiving animal rescue organizations where these animals are more likely to be adopted. According to the A.S.P.C.A., approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year.

We work with groups in 15 American states from Louisiana west.

Entire Story here.


WOW. What a story. Thank you Kara.

I need a smile. I got one.


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OBIT for Pet

WOW. Was she gorgeous.


Wall street Journal suggests that you write an OBIT for your passed friend.

Link to story, which may or may not work if you do not subscribe is here.

Just in case the link leaves you flat, here is a little content:

Almost 3,000 dog obituaries are posted on the website Doggy Heaven along with 20,000 photos and comments, said Steve Cencula, who created the site... Doggy Heaven allows visitors to post digital icons unde the pet's anme, including chew toys, steaks, baco and dog bones.

For Cate, if I could, I would post her beautiful turquoise collar and coat from The Sunburst Project operated by The Greyhound Alliance in Chicago to honor her courage and other greyhounds whose racing careers have ended making them of little value to the racing industry. Me and Cate, and since 2011 6,000 other greyhounds, have found HOME through The Sunburst Project. Until racing ends, there are a LOT of us out there. Help The Greyhond Alliance Sunburst project if you can.

This link works and you can see my family listed: RIGHT HERE!

            Your Shop Dog Bandit


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Oppose Ag-Gag

You support a free press? The First Amendment?



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