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Two words: Pup Crawl!

Storm clouds rolled in and puddles formed in every low–lying spot, but that didn’t slow down participants in last week’s Humane Society of Greater Savannah Pup Crawl.

The fund raiser for the owner–surrendered animal shelter was a success despite the rain. If you missed it this month, mark Sept. 9 on your calendar — that’s the next Pup Crawl.

Participants purchase a $10 souvenir cup and then follow a map to event sponsors. There, crawlers get a free or discounted drink in their cup and, if they make an additional purchase, get a raffle ticket for a basket of pet goodies.

I started at The Rail Pub, where I purchased my up from the Humane Society’s “Pup Crawl HQ.” A quick stop inside bar landed a draft PBR in my cup and I was off and walking.

Next stop: Flip Flop Tiki Bar. There I was poured a cocktail laced with rum and blue curacao that was as attractive in the cup as it was refreshing. The bar, like the other destinations, sported a bright banner out front and water bowls for crawlers with four–legged friends in tow – or in the lead.

After a good visit with the bartender, I took my remaining cocktail and hit the sidewalks again to sample Moon River Brewing Co.’s contribution.

Participating bars can give a free or discounted drink. So far, mine had been free and pretty much covered the cost of my cup.

Moon River has hopping with regular guests — I hit the door right on their Pup Crawl start time — but I found a seat at the bar and was promptly poured an Apparition Ale.  This English–style Pale Ale is one of Brewmaster John Pinkerton’s staple beers. Its mild bitterness was just the thing to cleanse away the sweetness of my rum cocktail.

I had looked forward to meeting up with friends in City Market to enjoy wings and the drink from Wild Wing Cafe. Skies were still pretty clear when I got there. I stopped to swap tales with veteran Savannah performer Bucky Bryant and then grabbed a courtyard table. Wild Wings was offering a $4 margarita — I opted to pass and chose to spend an extra buck for a Blue Moon IPA, staying in the pale ale theme I had started at Moon River.

I was surprised to see a veggie plate with spinach dip on the menu, and ordered one to crunch on while waiting for my friends. The veggies were good and cold, fresh and crunchy. The dip is not extraordinary, and was a little watery. Still, it was a fresh start.

I didn’t feel like getting covered with wing sauce and selected Wild Wings’ “feathers,” boneless skewers of chicken sauced with any one of the restaurant’s huge selection of flavors. I went with Loco Bueno, a honey–lime–cilantro that is a little savory and a lot sweet. A side of French fries accompanied.

I was enjoying the chicken — moist, flavorful and a good and plenty four pieces — when the rain began. I huddled with lots of Pup Crawlers and their pets under cover.

When the sheets of rain subsided to drops, I darted through back alleys for a quick free margarita at Taco Abajo and called it a night. I did not make it to Corleone’s, Congress Street Social Club or The Salt Table.

The city’s liberal open container law makes fun events like this possible, and sponsoring bars and restaurants keep it lively. The Humane Society survives on donations — not government support — and counts this among its best fund drives. Learn more about the next Pup Crawl at