Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

shopdog 2018

Airport Calm Yourself Down Therapy Dogs

Just read this story in USA today. Dogs are being used to calm people down at airports in the United States and Canada. Overall, I think dogs really do have a calming presence unless the dog is like Bandit and jumps up, bounces up and down, shakes and barks every time he hears any sound that could even be remotely related to a leash and then upon realizing that the sound is not his leash tries to convince you that it was his leash while I am trying to take a nap. Look at this run on sentence. I need sleep. Anyway, kudos to the therapy dogs who are helping people who fear flying, or the ticket agent and there is plenty to fear there from what I hear or the airport food, again plenty to fear there or just the thought of that uncomfortable seat or the bad wine. Another run on sentence. Bandit! Here's the story:

LOS ANGELES -- Claire Arno and her two children missed their flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Stuck waiting at Los Angeles International Airport for the next flight to New York, Arno is looking for ways to entertain Piper, 4, and Marius, 6.

Along come Hazel, Rosalie and Kai. The three dogs — a pointer mix, a Chihuahua/terrier mix and a long-haired Dalmatian — command as much attention as Gwyneth Paltrow would sauntering through LAX.

Arno's kids rush over to pet the dogs. Other travelers snap photos of or take selfies with them. The dogs' owners call them the "pup-arazzi."

"It's absolutely nice to run into them," Arno says as she watches her kids play with the pooches at Delta Airlines Terminal 5. "I think it calms the kids down. It's a little bit of home at the airport."

That's exactly what LAX officials had in mind when they started the Pets Unstressing Passengers, or PUP, program last year. Thirty trained dogs have been employed to relax and entertain stressed-out travelers. Wearing red vests that instruct people to "pet me," the dogs wander LAX's terminals with their owners, providing comfort and airport information.

For frazzled travelers, "this is a breath of fresh air and fun for them," Heidi Huebner, director of volunteers for the PUP program at LAX.

Dogs are celebrities

About 20 airports across the USA and Canada — including Miami International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Mineta San Jose International Airport and Edmonton International Airport — have therapy dogs.

Air travel can be particularly stressful these days. The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 370 in March and now the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week have travelers on edge.

Even when passengers aren't worried about catastrophic events, they're dealing with a traveling experience that has deteriorated in other ways.

About nine out of 10 travelers recently surveyed by the firm ResearchNow for the U.S. Travel Association said that in the past year, air travel has become either more of or is as much of a hassle.

Flight delays and cancellations are the biggest complaints, but long security lines and checked-bag fees also are frequent gripes, according to the online survey of 1,031 business and leisure travelers from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12.

"We know air travel can sometimes be hairy due to Mother Nature, delays," and other stressful events says Tara Hernandez, marketing and communications manager at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., which has six therapy dogs in its Gentle Fur in Action program. "What we have tried to establish with our … program is a sense of comfort, a way to ease anxiety and stress."

At LAX, Hazel, Kai and Rosalie are doing their best.

"When she puts that vest on, she knows she has to work," says Lou Friedman, a retiree who owns Hazel with his wife, Barbara.

The work beats Hazel's previous life, though. The Friedmans rescued the 9-year-old pointer mix from a shelter. When they found her, she was so afraid of people that she insisted on sleeping in a closet.

She eventually let her guard down, and she and her owners now dedicate a few hours a week to helping others in distress. Hazel's favorite way to make a traveler chuckle is to lie on her back and wiggle around.

Perfect for the job

Like other airport therapy dogs, Hazel had to be trained before she was hired.

At LAX, the pups must have worked with a dog therapy organization for at least a year. They have to be at least 2 years old. And they have to be registered with Therapy Dogs Inc.,which evaluates people and pets who are involved in volunteer animal-assisted activities. The pets usually visit hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other venues before getting the airport gig.

They then go through classroom training at LAX, which includes a walk-through with Huebner to ensure they are the right fit. Owners are fingerprinted and badged for security reasons.

Other airports have similarly stringent requirements. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport requires dogs and their owners to go through four evaluation visits.

The LAX dogs typically are available for a few hours a day every day of the week. Each dog works until he or she gets tired. "When the dogs are done, they're done," says Norm Zareski, who owns 10-year-old Rosalie.

On a recent Friday, Hazel, Kai and Rosalie enthusiastically take a stroll. They intend to get through all of Terminal 5 but make it only a few feet past security.

"A lot of times, they don't make it past this area," Huebner says. "It's quality, not quantity."

They are canine celebrities at LAX, a place used to playing host to many human celebrities. The pups even have business cards that tell travelers what their favorite treats and lounging spots are. Hazel's favorite treat is cooked egg yolks. Kai likes bell peppers. Rosalie's favorite place to lounge is on "any lap."

The dogs attract children mostly, but they also often help the adult traveler who's just having a bad day.

"You can tell. You see it on their faces," Zareski says.

Megan Moroney has been up since 3 a.m. She's heading to a friend's wedding in San Jose. She was packing until midnight and then had to work a morning shift at a coffee shop before heading to the airport.

She's exhausted, but when she spots the dogs, she heads straight to them.

"This is the greatest thing you can bring to an airport because everyone is stressed out or bored," she says. "I just saw them and feel rejuvenated and excited. I feel peacefully happy."

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A Day in the Life of a Shop Dog


We just found this new book "Travels with Casey." Looks way cool. We are thinking to write a more extended version of the blog here about a day in the life of a shop dog. This is from Amazon about Casey's book:

A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America’s relationship with dogs.

“I don’t think my dog likes me very much,” New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.

On the way, Denizet-Lewis—known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life—meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.

Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions—and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities—during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.

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Visit from California


A really really nice lady from Aromas California, Catherine, came to meet us! She has a greyhound in her family. By the time she touched down here in Asheville, she was missing her pack. So she called Sherry Painter in Hendersonville of Greyhound Friends of North Carolina and Sherry told her to head over to MetroWines for a dose of some greyhund love! So she did. Catherine showed us her pack, a greyhound and a cat! So cool. I love my job. Cate

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Greyhound, Inc is 100 Years Old This Year


I, me, Cate, am taking this opportunity to congratulate the Greyhound Bus Company for 100 years of service to America and for their extraordinary choice of a logo! Greyhounds have been clocked at 45 miles and a bit faster making us the fastest, and I do not care or accept what Saluki says! the fastest dog on earth. You don't have to believe me but, if you don't, I challenge you would you to stand in front of this pack! Oh yeah baby. Been there. Stand clear. Number 3 looks like trouble!


Some history about greyhounds from Rich and Jerrie at The Greyhound Alliance and The Sunburst Project who helped Bandit and me find a warm home, lots of love and a job in retirement! 


• Greyhounds are an ancient breed of dog with drawings of a greyhound-type dog dating back to 6000 BC.

• Greyhounds have long been associated with royalty. From about 700 years, English law decreed that “no mean person shall own a greyhound” and no commoners were allowed to own one. The penalty for breaking this law was death.

• Initially bred for royalty and noblemen, this breed was a favorite of King Tut, Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I.

• Egyptians considered the birth of a greyhound to be second in importance only to the birth of a son.

• General Custer traveled often with no less than 14 greyhounds.

• Greyhounds were the first breed of dog mentioned in English literature with Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

• Greyhounds are the only dog to be mentioned in the bible in the Old Testament, Proverbs 30:31.

• King Howell of Wales enacted a law that made death the punishment for killing a greyhound.

About being fast from REGAP of Connecticut: "Greyhounds: The Fastest Dogs On Earth"

Greyhounds hold several unique distinctions among their canine brethren. Not only are they the oldest purebred dog, dating back to the Pharohs of Ancient Egypt, but they’re also the fastest dog on Earth. Greyhounds can run as fast as 45 miles per hour and can average 30 miles per hour for distances as a long as a mile.

As pets, Greyhounds receive high praise. They possess superior intelligence, but their character is sometimes undervalued because of their reserved behavior towards their master and toward strangers. The Greyhound is sensitive, courageous, loyal and, of course, very fast.

Please find room in your hearts and homes for these wonderful loving pets, they deserve a chance to be loved, happy and have a better life. 

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Bastille Day


Bastille Day has come around again! Nowhere else to be to celebrate this day of liberation but @MetroWines. Join us from 3 to 6pm on Sunday, Juyl 13th. $8 at the door. Wine, food, toasts, trivia!

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pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto pesto

Your Shop Dogs, Cate and Bandit

Did somebody say pesto?

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NotSoldinDCcom deliveries


This is my old house in Washington DC. This is an old picture becasue we had the square bushes taken down and the door painted aubergine! We received deliveries at the new front door all the time. As I was not yet working full time as a professional shop dog, I was usually home.  Sometimes it was wine. The point is that you can receive packages at your front door in DC too. WE ship anywhere allowed by law. Check our site for wines that are not sold retail in DC but may not be available where you live either. Take a look at or at the Store on Get a package at your front door! But don't bark. It really scares the UPS guy. Your Shop Dog, Cate.

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Shop Dogs Welcome Rachel Reenstra!

Shop Dogs Welcome Rachel Reenstra to Pop UP Comedy at Metro Wines! 
TONIGHT: Friday, June 6th frpm 7 to 7:30pm. $10 for glass of wine and show. Free parking
We are super excited because Rachel has requested that a portion of the proceeds from the show tonight go to benefit The Greyhound Alliance! Through its Sunburst Project and Kennel, more than 2,000 greyhounds have been shelterd, provided medical care and given a ride HOME somewhere in this country or even parts of Canada since the kennel doors opened in August of 2011. Most awesome. Me, Bandit, I was one of the 2,000 lucky dogs that finally went HOME through The Sunburst Project. Thank you Rich and Jerrie and Linda and Stacy and all the people who made HOME possible for me.  Your Shop Dog, Bandit. And me too, Cate


Star of shows on ABC, Animal Planet and HGTV, Spokesperson and Stand Up Comic Rachel Reenstra will be making a surprise appearance @MetroWines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville, 7:00. The 30 minute show offers 2x the comedy in 1/2 the time. $10 for the show, glass of wine or bottle of beer and popcorn. Free and easy parking.

Rachel Reenstra is currently the Host of the ABC weekend series "The Wildlife Docs" (2013-2014). The former star of the Animal Adventure Series on Discovery, "Ms. Adventure" (2007), and previous host of HGTV's highest rated series "Designed to Sell" (2008), Rachel continues to make appearances in television, film and commercials while also continuing her successful career in voice overs and performing stand up comedy all over the country.


Contact: Gina Trippi at 575-9525
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Memorial Day

People say that we, racing greyhounds, were working dogs. And we were. But not like military dogs. That is what you call a WORKING DOG! Me and Cate are thinking of your service to your country this weekend. Thank you. Awesome.  Bandit


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ShopDog in Training!!


Yesterday was a BIG day at the shop. Stephanie and Darned Ideas did origami. News flash: Origami has nothing to do with fish. It was about folding paper. Kind of tough with paws. We went back to stocking new wines. But meanwhile, Draper came in. That's Draper with Kendal. Word on Charlotte Street is that Draper may want to be a ShopDog. Truth be told, Cate and I could use a break. Shopdoggin' is long hours. But we love our work.


And, also, we are tracking Burt's progress. He has been under the weather.  So everybody send out positive thoughts for Burt.

                                                                Your Shop Dog Bandit with Cate

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Cillaxin' on Our Day Off


Shop Doggin' is a full time job. Always something that needs to be done. And anniversary week threw us into overdrive! This Thursday, Betties Mobile Boutique is parking in our lot and Stephanie and Darned Ideas will be inside to make Origami. Not sure what Origami is exactly but it could be something to eat. We hope so. Back to chillaxin' on our day off.

I love you Bandit, Cate

I love you Cate, Bandit

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2535 Hits

Cinco de Mayo


Happy Cinco de Mayo! Apparently there are Cinco de Mayo Celebrations con perros in at least Chandler, Arizona and Washington DC. Chihuahuas are invited to dress the part and run races. As working dogs, everyday was not great but on Cinco de Mayo, judging from this picture, we are darn glad to be greyhounds! Your Shop Dogs, Bandit and Cate. 

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Horse That Paints: Metro Meteor

Ron Krajewski and Metro Meteor, a former racehorse who paints (with Mr. Krajewski’s help) at a stable in Maryland. CreditMatt Roth for The New York Times
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Metro Meteor is a retired thoroughbred racehorse with congenitally bad knees and a fidgety personality. He was a star in his heyday, but after four and a half years of running hard (and winning big), and two operations to remove bone chips from his knees, he was not only no longer able to race, but he couldn’t even hold a rider.

Ron Krajewski, a former Air Force staff sergeant and animal-lover-turned-pet- portraitist, and his wife, Wendy, a flight attendant, were part of a consortium that owned Metro when he was working. When a veterinarian estimated that Metro had maybe two years of mobility left, they adopted him and assumed his care; he now lives at a stable in Rocky Ridge, Md. Mr. Krajewski, a self-taught artist, thought he might teach Metro to paint, too.

“I figured if he couldn’t be a horse, maybe I can teach him what I do,” Mr. Krajewski said.

Turns out that Metro, now 11, had a bit of a knack. Mr. Krajewski insinuates a brush dipped in paint into Metro’s mouth, and Metro goes to work, bobbing his head and smearing the brush across a canvas or hardboard. Mr. Krajewski tapes the brush handles so they don’t splinter in Metro’s mouth. (Metro has a vigorous stroke, and has broken a lot of brushes and ripped a lot of canvases.)

Metro at work.CreditMatt Roth for The New York Times

Now Metro is a demicelebrity, a sold-out artist at a gallery in Pennsylvania who has appeared on the “Today” show. Half of the proceeds of his painting sales go to the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and the rest goes to his veterinary care, which is not cheap. And so this year, Metro has a licensing agreement with Dream Green USA, which is producing Metro totes ($79.99), Metro pillows ($69.99) and Metro wall art ($299), all made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles; Dream Green will donate a percentage of the sales to New Vocations. We weren’t able to get Metro on the phone last week, but we did speak to Mr. Krajewski. (The interview was edited and condensed.)

Q. How did you come to adopt a racehorse?

A. We owned 3 percent of him, and when it was time for him to retire, they offered him up to us. He was a lot more horse than we had bargained for. He was a really good racehorse, and when you’re winning, they ignore all the bad behavior. They can bite and kick and push you around, and it’s ignored on the track. But he was an outcast and branded as a dangerous horse. He didn’t like being touched. He was just cranky.

In the videos on his website, Metro seems very affectionate toward you, like a dog or a cat. Is that because you have treats in your pocket?

He’s very loyal to me, but I’m the first one he tries to bite. If I call him from the field, he’ll come running, and then he’ll bite me. He’s like the old man in the neighborhood who when you hit the baseball into his yard, he keeps it. But his family loves him. He’s a complex horse.

Metro's atelier. CreditMatt Roth for The New York Times

How many paintings has he made?

A couple hundred. We work eight at a time. It takes four days to do one painting, working on it one hour a day. He can’t do more than one color on the same day, because he’ll smear it. So we developed this process of one day, one color. It builds up these layers of depth. His brush strokes are so strong.

How did Metro get into the housewares business?

A horse can only paint so much; if we wanted to make more money to take care of him, we needed to look into licensing. Dream Green was willing to work with us and our charity, New Vocations.

Do horses see color?

Sales of Metro’s paintings, totes and pillows help pay for his veterinary care and assist a racehorse adoption program. CreditMatt Roth for The New York Times

I think they can see shades. I don’t know if Metro can see the canvas in front of him. Horses have eyes on the sides of their head, so there is a blind spot. I think he paints by feel. He knows where to stand and where the canvas is.

I loved the video of Metro using the paint pens, but I was worried he was going to eat one. Has he?

No, but he’s tough on the tips of those. He breaks brushes; he rips canvases. Sometimes he’s pretty violent. Sometimes he has a real soft brush stroke. These are temperamental artists.

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Oh boy. Oh boy! The Blue Ridge RollerGirls are coming to our shop to pour some of the 2013 Best Sellers as part of the BIG Metro Wines First Amazing Year Anniversary Celebration on Friday, May 9th from 5 to 7pm. How way cool is that?


And after that from 7pm to 8pm, one of our favorites Comedians Peter Smith McDowell will be here to make us LOL. Peter will be headed to New York City in August so come over so you can say you knew him when....

and the show is FREE to say thank you for supporting LIVE comedy on Charlotte Street.  Laugh more in 2014!

                                       Your Friends and Shop Dogs,

                                                 Cate and Bandit

Cate here. Just wanted to say that I love The Blue Ridge RollerGirls and Peter Smith McDowell a million times over.

I love them both more than you do. Bandit

Do not. Cate

Do too. Bandit

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2570 Hits

Diego: Good Bye

Good bye, Diego. Thank you for your service. You were an officer and a gentleman, a role model and, from what the Asheville Citizen Times said, a true friend. Many will miss you.  We miss knowing that you will be out there making the world a better place. Sail on, Diego! Your Shop Dogs, Cate and Bandit

Diego, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, died from complications from surgery, police Sgt. Dave Romick said.


City police are mourning the loss of one of the department’s police dogs. Diego, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, died from a condition called “gastric dilatation with volvulus,” police Sgt. Dave Romick said. The condition is also known as “twisted stomach.”

The dog joined the department in 2007 and “quickly became an asset to the department and the community he served,” Romick said. “Diego was a tenacious and dedicated member of the Asheville Police Department and loyal friend and partner to Officer Tanner Rhinehart.”

Diego was trained as a multipurpose service dog, specializing in narcotics detection, tracking, article search and criminal apprehension, Romick said.

The dog is credited with finding nearly $100,000 in cash, over 115 pounds of marijuana, nearly 8 pounds of cocaine and a pound of methamphetamine. He was also a proven tracking dog, successfully locating several criminals and missing persons, Romick said.

Diego also spent many hours showcasing his abilities at local schools, churches and other public events.

Diego had recently undergone surgery to remove tumors from his abdominal area. He recovered from the extensive surgery and was briefly released back to full-time duty before his death. An autopsy concluded the dog died from the gastric dilatation. “Diego was the epitome of a working dog,” Romick said. “He loved every minute while on duty and often pouted when it was time to quit.”

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Road Trips!

Preparing for a road trip. Conjures up images of past trips for Cate and me and boxed wine and Govino Glasses (unshatterable and wagging tail proof plastic barware!!) for Gina and John. We love road trips! Whole family together in the Subaru.  Your Shop Dog, Bandit


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This is our new friend, Burt. Good looking man this guy is. He lives with Martin. Word is that Burt walks with two  old races in his hood. Martin says he will bring Burt to walk with us over at the shop. Me, I am all about this idea. Bandit can be a little crusty when a guy as handsome as Burt is added to the mix. But, I say, bring it! Your Shop Dog Cate

Oh WOW. This just in!!! Burt sent a phto of his hound friends. AWEEEEEEEEESOME. The brindle grey looks like my first husband, FourWheels. An officer and a gentleman he was.


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Colorado Bans Greyhound Racing!

The State of Colorado


Greyhound Racing



Everybody is smiling!

                                    Your Shop Dogs

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Mardi Gras!


Last year in DC just before the Mystic Krewe of Biscuits

rolled around my block. 

That's my Mardi Gras hat. Versatile.

You can wear it or shread it!

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Sail On Sasha

We lost one of ours today. Sasha, (Roof Top Silvey) the pretty girl with the the red collar, passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Sasha was rescued and LOVED by Rich and Jerrie in Chicago. Gone too soon but she could not have had a better life or a fmaily who loved her more. Sail on Sasha. You will be missed everyday. Cate and Bandit

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2165 Hits