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Sundance Snuggle Lounge For Puppies, Staff And Volunteers

Credit Carolyn Murray

For the past five years, Sundance and Nuzzles & Co have partnered to bring a little puppy love to the 10 days of hectic film promotion happening in Park City. It’s a mash of people, films, stars, traffic, slush and queuing and it can drain staff and exhaust the most ardent film buff who volunteers for the event.

There were six puppies from two litters brought from the Nuzzles Ranch to the Minors Hospital on Wednesday. They had recently been brought to the Rescue Ranch from the Navajo Reservation. Frequent trips are made to collect as many dogs and cats as possible and bring them to Park City for adoption.

It must have been nap time because no squealing, barking or raucous puppy play was going on when I arrived. All six puppies were droopy eyed or sound asleep in laps. Nuzzles & Co Board Member Beth Lopez says people walk in looking stressed and leave with a smile. She says the Snuggle Lounge is good outreach for the organization and it socializes the puppies which helps with adoptions.

“Generally, we’ll have some adoptions from an event like this. We have a lot of people coming in from out of state and it might not make sense for them to try to take with them an animal that they decided to get on the fly. But it's really good for building awareness, building our brand reach, building the story of rescue. We do have some adoptions and building more of a donor base. Anyone who loves animals tends to wanna help support this kind of work. It’s expensive and hard and time consuming.”

Holly Wright is from Dallas and was sitting contentedly with a puppy in her lap suggesting she could easily slip the little guy under her coat to take home to her two other dogs.

“And this is my 11th year volunteering here at Sundance and this is my first year getting to see these puppies. I’m always jealous when I see all the pictures on Facebook of people with their puppies.”

Wright says she works 8-hour days during the entire 10 days of the festival. She calls it a working vacation and takes in as many events as possible.

“I’m not in the business at all. I just like to see independent films and documentaries. I see about 20 to 25 films while I'm here and I take advantage of the panels. I'm about to go up to the music cafe and spend the day there listening to live music. And tomorrow I'm going to try to see if they'll make her panel with their reading Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States. there's going to be some live readings of that.”

Nuzzles & Co employee Kristen Brown says people are generally willing to share lap time with the puppies but sometimes it takes a little elbow action to get a place in the snuggle queue. 


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