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Meet Liberty! Colonial Williamsburg’s First Ever Mascot Meets Her Public
Submitted by Joseph Straw

Liberty imageWILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Sept. 17, 2015) –Liberty, the puppy who puts the "DoG” in Duke of Gloucester Street, met her public Thursday at the historic Williamsburg Inn, inviting guests to Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning, pet-friendly hotels and calling on animal lovers to join a new charitable partnership with the Heritage Humane Society.

Colonial Williamsburg’s first ever mascot, Liberty, a Briard, arrived in style aboard one of the Foundation’s replica 18th-century horse-drawn carriages accompanied by her master, Gen. George Washington, portrayed by Ron Carnegie.

"Amid so much rich historic content, Liberty offers an opportunity to engage guests and to make the 18th century come alive in new and unexpected ways,” Washington said. "Liberty will inspire a new generation of guests to visit the Revolutionary City and to bring their pets, who are welcome at Colonial Williamsburg’s world-class hotels.”

The Revolutionary City itself goes to the dogs on Saturday, Sept. 19 when the "Dogs of DoG Street” take over the town to benefit the Heritage Humane Society. The donation drive event kicks off at 10 a.m. on the Palace Green when Liberty and Washington lead area dogs and their history- loving humans on a march to the Capitol.

"I call on fellow animal lovers to ‘fall in’ Saturday with me behind Liberty,” Washington said. "Together we will march to benefit of our friends at the Heritage Humane Society and their great works for our four-legged friends in need.”

"We are very excited for this growing partnership with one of the leading historical organizations in our community and in the nation, said Kim Laska, executive director of the Heritage Humane Society. "To be selected as the partner charity in this awesome event brings added exposure to our program and the wonderful animals available for adoption in our community. We are so thrilled with this opportunity and look forward to meeting more dog lovers on Sept. 19.”

To join the festivities with their own dogs, guests need only present a completed registration form available at colonialwilliamsburg.com/dogs along with a donation item from the Heritage Humane Society’s wish list:
  • Creamy low-fat peanut butter
  • Large Kongbrand dog toys
  • Chicken broth
  • Yesterday’s News-brand cat litter
  • Paper towels & toilet paper
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Laundry detergent (HE preferred)
  • Bleach
  • Soft and chewy dog treats/Pedigree Dentastix-brand
  • Canned cat and kitten food (nonfish flavors)
Registrants on hand receive a special "Dogs of DoG Street” bandana while supplies last, and a Colonial Williamsburg interpreter is available to take cell phone pictures of guests with Gen. Washington for posting on Instagram with the hashtag #dogsofdogstreet.

A live auction of items including replica leather dog collars just like Liberty’s will follow the parade at 10:30 a.m.

Free gourmet dog treats are also available while they last at the Williamsburg Farmers Market on Duke of Gloucester Street in Merchants Square from 8 a.m. to noon, along with copies of Colonial Williamsburg chef apprentices’ signature recipe.

Born in April, Liberty joined the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in July. Once fully trained and certified as a therapy dog, Liberty and her costumed handler will walk the streets of the Historic Area, interact with passersby, and visit with guests in our hotels. Eventually, guests and fans will be able to track Liberty’s adventures both on Colonial Williamsburg’s website and via mobile devices.

Liberty was already the subject of the most shared Facebook post in the history of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Dog owners from across the country uploaded images of their own pups to welcome Liberty to the colonial capital, and the blog was shared more than 16,000 times on Facebook.

Another Founding Father and city resident, Thomas Jefferson, stated his desire to give President Washington a set of French "Shepherd’s dog” puppies, which many believe to have been Briards. The historical record remains silent as to whether those puppies ever reached the President. But in selecting a Briard to remain at the side of our George Washington, Colonial Williamsburg has chosen to honor Mr. Jefferson’s wish.

Further information on the event is available at the event page online or by calling 855-296-6627 tollfree


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