Dog called ‘Soda Pup’ delivers wine during lockdown
By Louise Hall
A dog delivering wine to people’s doorsteps amid the coronavirus lockdown is stealing the hearts of residents in Maryland.
The pooch, better known by the name Soda Pup, is allowing customers to continue purchasing wine from the Stone House Urban Winery while observing social distancing measures.
The adorable 11-year-old brindle boxer wasn’t always a hard-working wine delivery pup, but eagerly filled the position when the coronavirus stay-at-home measures meant customers could no longer pop into the winery in person.
“After we could no longer have our guests come into the winery in a social setting, I noticed that Soda was looking a little sad,” Stone House owner Lori Yata told Today.
“You see, every time the door would chime, Soda would jump up to greet whomever was coming in. It was so funny — when a regular guest would come in, their head would swivel over to Soda’s bed and he would be acknowledged before the rest of us,” Soda Pup’s owner told the broadcaster.
Apparently Soda Pup has more than taken to the new role, carrying the wine in a horse saddlebag and carefully transporting the bottles to customers for treats.
“When we get the call, I hold up Soda’s vest and he hurries on over. Not exaggerating, he really hurries over and stands ready,” Ms Yata said.
Customers call ahead of time to secure their wine, and when they arrive at the car park to pick up Soda trots out to the car park for door-to-door delivery.
“I put a couple treats in the pack, a bag for the wine, and the two bottles of wine. I then open the door and he marches on up the walk to the curb and parking lot to deliver the wine,“ Ms Yata told Today.
“I do have to make sure there are no critters around, such as geese, squirrels, bunnies etc. ... Come on, he is a dog!”
The creative solution to the obstacle of social distancing in the winery’s transactions has provided a small lifeline for the business, which like many others has taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Soda has been by my side through some of the toughest times of my life,“ the winery owner said. ”Once again, he is by my side when I have no idea how this small business is going to survive these most difficult times.“
“Some customers will buy more bottles of wine so their kids can see Soda deliver it. Again, it puts a smile on so many faces, young and old,” the owner said.
However, Ms Yata emphasised that, ultimately, it is the happiness that Soda Pup brings to her customers and the love her dog receives in return that makes the unique delivery method worth it.
“If Soda puts a smile on at least one face, then he has completed his mission in life,” she said.