What motivates a free buffet for passing dogs? THE BEE looked into it, and here's the story....

RITA A. LEONARD - Molly Haydon and Dave Armsby, at their S.E. 16th Avenue Dog Treat Stop. The dog in their dog house is not real, but the squirrels and crows are not supposed to know that. A Sellwood-Moreland resident's "Dog Treat Stop" at 7614-B S.E. 16th Avenue has been providing free walk-up treats for dog walkers and their dogs for several months now.

The wooden dog-house-shaped treat stand is complete with a friendly brown stuffed pooch. The canine refreshment station offers hand-cleaner and three grades of free snacks and water bowls. Those three grades do not reflect any difference in quality – only a difference in size: For "big, bigger, and biggest" dogs.

Molly Haydon and Dave Armsby moved to the neighborhood from the suburbs in June of 2020, and have found the dog treat station has helped them get to know their neighbors and their pets. "We used to have a mastiff, but she died a few years ago," remarks Haydon. "We'll soon be getting a new one. We've connected with so many people here through the treat stand, and learned many useful life skills from them. People are so lovely here."

Inspiration for the dog treat stand came to them as the couple were sitting on their balcony sipping wine and discussing their workdays. They enjoyed watching dog-walkers making loops around the neighborhood. "We learned to watch for a corgi/husky mix named Howie, who would always stop and look up at us, and that started us thinking about creating a treat stand," recalls Haydon.

"We finally decided to open the dog treat station, so owners and their dogs could choose their own treats. Many puppies have learned to sit for 'treat training' here. During the pandemic, we refilled the water bowls often. We order treats monthly from a company called Old Mother Hubbard's that produces treats from chicken, cheese, and their original formula.

"At first we assembled the treats in baggies by hand – Dave is really good at that," smiles Haydon. "Then we decided to offer the treats on a table in boxes, but we had to squirrel-proof and crow-proof the containers. It was like running a buffet for dogs.

"When the rainy weather came, we had to cover the containers, so that's when we decided to make the current doghouse and treat dispensary. The toy pug dog inside the doorway of the doghouse (it was named "Rover" by a four-year-old named Ashlyn) is intended to scare away crows and squirrels. We've watched so many pups and kids grow up over the months. There are 'windows' of busy times for the dog-walkers, when all the dogs pull their owners over here for a treat!"

Molly and Dave also support the "Make-A-Wish Foundation". "We're wish-granters here, and also support a similar program for pets called 'Wags To Wishes'," says Haydon. "We try to celebrate holidays with pets, too – such as by offering turkey stick treats around Thanksgiving, or handing out small flags on Flag Day." The couple reports being dedicated to pet-friendly activities, and occasionally sets out small dog toys for passing dogs. They've gotten to know the names and flavor choices of most of their visitors. Now that they've gotten some attention in THE BEE they may be meeting some new ones!

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