Originally published on 12th & Broad... The Hutton Hotel was full of furry guests as Nashville Humane Association’s Unleashed took over the Grand Ballroom of the hotel for the sixth year. Unleashed is one of my favorite annual events and not only because I get to bring one of my pugs to dinner. It’s because this event raises much-needed funds for Nashville Humane. The event is a blast and it’s fantastic to watch the community come together, dogs in tow, to support animals in need.
Nashville Humane had a record year in 2015. They placed over 4,000 dogs and cats into their forever homes. As one of Nashville Humane’s largest fundraisers of the year, Unleashed helps NHA raise money not only through tickets to the event but also through an incredible array of silent and live auction items donated from Nashville businesses.
My pug Mingus took his official 12th & Broad pugarazzi Twitter and Instagram duties very seriously. At 10 years old, he’s a demanding pup so he had no problem telling me who he wanted photos of, and who he didn’t. He still hasn’t gotten over the “Derp” incident with Wells Adams from iHeartRadio who was one of the celebrity dog walkers. Mingus is now a big fan of country artist Kelleigh Bannen who told us in the green room that she has two pugs of her own.
The highlight of the evening (paws down) was the runway show that featured adoptable pups walking the catwalk with celebrity handlers while wearing custom couture apparel made by Nashville designers. This year, Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Award Recipient Eric Adler created an adorable red and white button down with a black and tan floral printed collar. Another favorite was the punk rock look created by Any Old Iron. Sisters of Nature, Ola Mai, Olia Zavozina, The Trunk, Van Hoang, Riley Reed, Truly Alvarenga and Baxter Bailey & Company all created one-of-a-kind looks that were later auctioned off. I can tell you from first-hand experience that bidding on these outfits is a big part of the evening. My pug Lula loves the cold weather, because she gets to wear her couture Elizabeth Suzann cashmere coat that I purchased at the Unleashed auction two years ago.
I had to pry Mingus away from the celebrity goody bags provided by Title Boxing. That bag was packed full of amazing goodies like Goo Goo Clusters, Southern Firefly candles, Kendra Scott jewelry, Kevin Mitchell hair product and Mingus’ favorites Yazoo and Tito’s Vodka. He was also a big fan of the Pedigree buffet in the main ballroom where he definitely ate his share of bacon and cheese treats.
Mingus may still be sleeping off his Unleashed party hangover, but he already can’t wait until next year. From the Wag the vote posters that lined the halls of the ballroom, to the voting boxes that were the table centerpieces, this year’s Unleashed was one of the best.
All of this year’s incredible pups are available for adoption now at Nashville Humane. Head to NHA today to visit them and consider giving them their forever home. Mingus and I will be watching for their adoption stories in the coming weeks!