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9/13/2012 3:00:00 PM
Winery owners' dogs star in book
Photograph by Craig McGill from Wine Dogs 2012
Trouble and Gemini are local stars in a book that releases in October.
Photograph by Craig McGill from Wine Dogs 2012
Trouble and Gemini are local stars in a book that releases in October.

When the new Wine Dogs book comes out in October, two of the featured subjects will hold a “pawtograph” party.

Gemini and Trouble, a husky cross and pit bull-terrier mix respectively, belong to Holly and Jim Witte, owners of A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery. They are parishioners at St. Alexander Church in Cornelius.

“Our dogs are amazing,” Holly said. “They are as much a part of the vineyard personality as we are.”

The two dogs meet arriving guests with wagging tails, and Gemini escorts visitors to the winery tasting room.

“He turns around to make sure people are following him,” Holly said. “Trouble, also known as Me Too, trails along.  We also told them they had to be quiet and gentle in the tasting room and patio and they just come in and lie down.”

Wine Dogs USA 3, by Craig McGill and Susan Elliott, features 300 photographic journals of dogs who live at 190 wineries across the country.  Elliott and McGill travel around the world taking photographs of winemakers’ best friends. The first Wine Dogs book was published in 2003, and they have since published eight volumes, including editions from Australia and Italy.

The book will include the dogs’ vitae: Their pastime/obsession with herding guests to the tasting room. Gemini’s favorite food is homemade chicken soup; Trouble’s favorites are liver cookies.

The Wittes adopted Gemini from the Bonnie Hayes Shelter in Washington County six years ago, when he was 18 months old. Trouble came to the winery after he was found abandoned in a box in front of a Fred Meyer. He’s 3 now. Jim and Holly also have four cats, 13 horses and 14 pigeons.

“I came from a childhood apartment in New York where my mother and grandmother wouldn’t allow four-footed pets, so I’ve made up for it now,” Holly said.

The book, which sells for $29, will be available next month at winedogs.com or at A Blooming Hill Vineyard and Winery, 5195 SW Hergert Road, in Cornelius.

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