Doggies on the Deck is a monthly yappy hour at Landini’s Pizzeria in Little Italy, San Diego, on the first Tuesday of the month. The back deck of the pizzeria is fully fenced and there is a gate to close the entrance so dogs can be off-leash, which is rare for a yappy hour at a restaurant. If you have visited this blog or Fetchlight social media in the past, chances are you are familiar with this event since Fetchlight was involved in it for several years. I love supporting great causes and great businesses in my neighborhood! This month I talked with Christine Landini, marketing and event director, to get the scoop on the history and more details about this fun and fundraising event for local dog rescues.
What inspired you to start Doggies on the Deck? When did it start?
Christine: I attended a yappy hour with my sister and her dog to see if it was a safe environment to bring my 2-year-old bulldog. This particular yappy hour was raising funds for the same dog rescue every month and I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to spread the love? Our pizzeria had a patio and I decided it would be fun to host our own yappy hour where my bulldog could socialize with other dogs. Their humans could enjoy food and drinks all the while to help raise funds for a different dog rescue every month. Our first Doggies on the Deck was held on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
[Doggies on the Deck is abbreviated to DOTD for the rest of the article.]
Approximately how much money in donations have you raised for pet charities through your events?
Close to $20,000 since it started.
What else do you do for Landini’s and the newer upstairs Ristorante Illando?
I handle the marketing and special events for both Landini’s Pizzeria and Ristorante Illando. My sister, Alisa, is a dog enthusiast and is now the creative force behind DOTD. She took over planning this event about a year ago. She’s amazing!
Would you like to tell any stories about your favorite dog customers, funny dog things that may have happened at the pizzeria, etc.?
We had one of our favorite dogs, Buddy, present and celebrate his 18th birthday with us at DOTD for a Casino Night, it was very special. There have been a number of birthday celebrations during DOTD, we love that! There are quite a few dogs that come for the first time to DOTD that are scared to leave their owner’s side, but it’s such a fun off-leash atmosphere for the dogs that they quickly warm up and are making new friends. A lot of times the dogs get so comfortable, they just jump onto the laps of anyone. We are honored you have chosen to host your Fetchlight Anniversary Parties at Landini’s. It’s always a pleasure to have you there! [Thanks, Christine!]
We always have complimentary dog treats during DOTD. A couple times some of the larger dogs would sneak a snack from the treat table without getting their owner’s permission. It’s a funny sight, especially when a large dog tries to jump on the table. Some dogs steal pizza from unsuspecting people’s hands. They should know to not lower their hands to dog level. LOL!
What are your plans for 2017, anything new we’d like to know about?
We will continue to help many dog rescues through Doggies on the Deck! But we like to change it up once in a while. One example was back in July 2014, we spread our love to The Horses of Tir Na Nog. They “build connections between people and horses in the San Diego community, increasing awareness about responsible horse ownership and care through education”.
Something new we are doing this year is participating at the Lunar New Year Festival with a Dog Meet Up in the Beer Garden. There will be complimentary dog treats. We’ll be there February 3 from 5-10pm at Qualcomm Stadium.
We are still brainstorming on new events to bring our loyal dog patrons, so stay tuned for updates!
Tell me about your pets!
I have a 5-year-old Olde English Bulldog named Lando and a 4-year-old Rat Terrier mix named Cecco “loco”. Actually, we added the loco for fun! Haha! They have an Instagram account (which I’m very bad at keeping up with) named The Odd Couple 2, which describes them perfectly! One is more than content to sleep away on his couch and the other is crazy to get out and chase the ball ALL…DAY…LONG… I’ll let you guess which is which. 😉
What is your favorite thing to do or place to go with your dogs in San Diego?
My favorite thing to do with my dogs is to take them anywhere I can enjoy a nice long walk with them and of course throw the ball for Cecco. Since I moved to Point Loma it’s been Liberty Station’s grassy parks.
How can people contact Landini’s about their dog hosting a DOTD event for their favorite rescue?
If you are interested in having your Instagram dog present Doggies on the Deck! or would like to host any dog event on our patio, please contact Alisa Carlos for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Christine!
Upcoming San Diego Dog Events at or presented by Landini’s
Lunar New Year Festival with a Dog Meet Up in the Beer Garden. There will be complimentary doggy treats. We’ll be there February 3 from 5-10pm at Qualcomm Stadium.
Doggies on the Deck, Feb. 7, 5-8pm, Landini’s Pizzeria 1827 India Street, back deck.