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Posts Tagged ‘peanut pet shelter’

Thanks for Everything, Andy

Posted by Tony & Cheri on October 6, 2011

For the last several years, our friend Andy MacDonald has operated the Peanut Pet Shelter, an animal rescue organization that he and his then wife Jen founded here in Playa del Carmen Mexico.

Andy MacDonald

Our friend Andy MacDonald

That organization has been dissolved in the past few days and has been replaced by a new organization with a new Board of Directors. Andy will not be part of that new organization. We will make a statement regarding that circumstance sometime in the near future. But for now we want to simply say thank you to Andy MacDonald for his years of work and service to the Playa del Carmen community.

We met Andy and Jen when they first visited Playa and decided to move here and open a restaurant. Like many Playa dreams, that went by the wayside. But rather than giving up and going back home to England, they decided to stay and fill a need they saw here. They opened a shelter for homeless dogs.

Nowadays there are many different organizations concerned with animals in the Riviera Maya. Some are local, some are in other countries but have a focus here, some are just individuals, and some are large groups. But back in the days when Andy & Jen started the Peanut Pet Shelter, Playa del Carmen had no abundance of people helping stray animals–only an abundance of stray animals. The local city pound killed strays that were caught, often in a cruel manner, and those that weren’t killed were housed in inhumane conditions. Those left to run on the streets were little better off. Playa was full of stray dogs who were diseased, malnourished, injured and forgotten.

Andy and Jen opened their own home and began to house these animals. Andy would go out and rescue abandoned or stray dogs. The dogs would be cleaned, fed, housed and then offered for adoption. Over the years literally thousands of animals have had their lives saved by Andy MacDonald.

Fundraisers, auctions and corporate sponsorships are now commonplace among the organizations that operate animal shelters in the Mayan Riviera. However when Andy and Jen started the Pet Shelter many years ago, there was no established fundraising base. They had to go begging hat in hand. They were the ones that first made people aware and first made people care. A lot of people and organizations today are reaping the benefits of that work.

Eventually the Pet Shelter became popular among locals, tourists and the internet community which focuses on Playa. Many people worked long and hard for the Peanut Pet Shelter. People gave time and money and volunteered for difficult, unpleasant and often unrecognized work. Playa is a better place for everything this special group of people did. However during all those years, the one constant of the Peanut Pet Shelter was Andy MacDonald. Much of the work of capturing, caring for, housing, feeding and cleaning these animals was done by Andy.

We have seen Andy lying in the mud for hours trying to coax an injured dog out from its hiding place. We ourselves have called him at all hours of the day and night to ask if he might go after an injured or stray dog we had observed.

His home has always been filled with these dogs. He has at times lived among over 100 dogs which required constant feeding, care, and of course cleaning up after. We have marveled at his dedication.

The Peanut Pet Shelter eventually became a nonprofit organization, and Andy received a minimal salary as Director. And when we say minimal, that’s exactly what we mean. We know Andy had little money for luxuries, and what he did have he would spend on the dogs before he spent it on himself.

Unfortunately, good deeds are not always justly rewarded. Playa del Carmen, like any small town, has jealousies and petty vendettas. Andy was all too often the focus of such unfair animosity. At the same time, because he was the public face of the Peanut Pet Shelter, he became somewhat of a local celebrity both in Playa and in the virtual world. Andy’s personal life was scrutinized and criticized by people who wanted him to be a saint, to be perfect or to simply meet the image they wanted. Seemed like everyone wanted to tell him how to do his job and how to live his life. He was attacked for getting divorced. He was attacked for getting remarried. He was attacked every time he tried to go on vacation or order a beer at a local bar.

Andy isn’t perfect. But then again, who of us is? What we do know is that he gave selflessly of his time and energy for years and years with too little praise and too little compensation.

Now that Andy is no longer going to be operating a pet shelter in Playa del Carmen, it would seem appropriate that he finally receive some proper recognition and appreciation. We would like to be among the first to simply say thank you to Andy. We have in our lives two former street dogs–Gypsy and Roxie–that we would not have but for Andy’s work at the Peanut Pet Shelter. There are a lot of former strays that have found happy homes with families here in Playa and throughout North America as result of the hard work of the Peanut Pet Shelter, its volunteers, and most of all Andy MacDonald.

We would therefore ask those who know Andy, who have been part of the puppy washes, the fundraisers, the cleanups or the rescues to join us in offering our gratitude to Andy by leaving comments on this blog.

Andy, we are proud to call you our friend and are grateful as members of this community for everything you have done for Playa. We wish you the best of luck in your new marriage and life, and you will always be part of the Luna Blue family. You leave Playa a better place than you found it.

Posted in Friends | Tagged: , , | 41 Comments »

Best of Playa Raffle & Fundraiser May 27 for the Peanut Pet Shelter

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 24, 2011

Our friends at the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen have had a rough year. A local competing charity and various individuals with personal agendas tried in a malicious and underhanded way to discredit and close them down. It was an ugly campaign that caused rifts between various individuals and businesses. Fortunately, this small group was unsuccessful in their endeavor. However, the result of their effort was a reduction in donations to the Peanut Pet Shelter, which has since then been struggling to make ends meet.

We are big supporters of the Peanut Pet Shelter. Because of them, we have our dog Roxie (the star of the poster) and, indirectly, our dog Gypsy, both of whom entertain us and make us happy on a daily basis. Many of our friends here in Mexico and also in the US and Canada have adopted dogs that were rescued by the PPS. We have seen first hand the amazing work they do in rescuing and caring for the many, many abandoned animals of Playa.

As a result, we’ve decided to join together with other local business owners and sponsor a kick-ass raffle and fundraiser to not only raise a boatload of cash for the Peanut Pet Shelter but to show them that the people of Playa del Carmen and the nearby communities care about them and see them as a valuable part of life here south of the border.

We’re calling it the “Best of Playa,” because most of Playa del Carmen’s best businesses (as well as several businesses from the surrounding communities) are donating prizes to this worthy cause.

Raffle Details

From now until the Best of Playa Raffle Party on Friday, May 27, 2011, for every $10 donation to the Peanut Pet Shelter, you will receive one raffle ticket for the Best of Playa Raffle, where Playa’s best businesses have donated dozens of cool prizes to support this worthy cause. Tickets may be purchased via the link below until 4 pm the day of the event.

Before the event, tickets will also be available at the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar and at the Peanut Pet Shelter dog & puppy washes on Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets will also be available at the event up until the drawing.

You need not be present to win…but you do need to go to paradise to redeem. 🙂

Every 10 kilos of dog food donated to the Peanut Pet Shelter will earn the donor another raffle ticket. Food may be delivered to the Peanut Pet Shelter or the Luna Blue Hotel or brought to the event.

The drawing for prizes will be at the Best of Playa Raffle party at the Luna Blue Bar on May 27. We will have live music, drink specials, and some fun surprises. AND 50% of the bar proceeds will go to the Peanut Pet Shelter!

Click Here to Make a Donation/Purchase Raffle Tickets

There are dozens of raffle prizes available, including a private sunset cruise on the Catamaya for up to 80 people(!!), a seven-night stay at the Royal Oasis condos, and a five-night stay at our own Luna Blue Hotel! Prizes will be added daily up until the date of the event, so check back often.

And please patronize the many Friends of the Peanut Pet Shelter who have so generously donated prizes:

Posted in Activities, Dining in Playa, Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar, What's New | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thanksgiving and more…on the beach

Posted by Tony & Cheri on November 5, 2010

Can you believe it? November is already here. Only seven weeks until Christmas and a week more to a whole new year. The whirlwind of the holiday season is almost upon us. Here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, this time of year brings some of the familiar activities we remember from the United States and some uniquely different ones.

Bye Bye Hurricane SeasonBye Bye Hurricane Season
When November shows up on the calendar the first thing that happens is that those of us living in the tropics begin to relax a little about the weather. The hurricane season in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean officially runs from June 1st through December 1st. However the final month of November sees water temperatures drop, and the chance of a major storm is almost zero. This storm season has been very good for us here along the Mayan Riviera. While there were many named storms, including a large number of hurricanes, they never made landfall or even threatened this part of the Caribbean. In fact, we didn’t even have much in the way of normal rainfall. It was a great summer for hitting the beach down here in Mexico.

November in Playa also means getting ready for the “snowbirds,” the masses of tourists who come each year escaping the cold winds of winter in the north. Just after Halloween when temperatures drop up in the States, people start thinking about time in the sun. Around town you see businesses putting on a new coat of paint, sprucing up and making improvements in anticipation of our yearly winter migration of tourists.

Turkey Day
The first influx of the tourist season will happen around the time of the US Thanksgiving day. More and more people see that long four-day weekend as a chance to get away and get a tan before the snow starts falling back home. In response, many businesses in Playa del Carmen have adopted the holiday as its own. When we first moved to Playa many years ago we couldn’t even find a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. How things have changed.

Happy ThanksgivingThis morning on our weekly shopping trip to Sam’s Club we saw not only frozen turkeys but all sorts of holiday dinner paraphernalia like Thanksgiving platters, napkins, cooking utensils, and decorations. The stores here in Playa del Carmen now stock cranberries, stuffing mix and canned gravy this time of year. We even found pumpkin pie mix!! So if you are here in town and have a room with cooking facilities (like the Luna Blue’s Garden View Deluxe rooms with full kitchen) you can prepare a holiday meal just like back home…only with warmer weather.

Don’t Wanna Cook?
And if you think being on vacation means a break from cooking, you can still enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast. Many restaurants have special menus on Thanksgiving. Last year you could have had a gourmet turkey dinner with all the trimmings at Wicky’s or John Gray’s Place. Or you could have opted for a feast on the beach with buffets at Zenzi or Bad Boys beach clubs. Great multi-course Thanksgiving meals were also served at Cocina 38, Off the Vine, El Bistro and Ajua Maya among others. We expect an even larger list of restaurants serving turkey dinners this year. So instead of slaving over the stove all day, you can head for the beach, swim in the Caribbean sea and then go to dinner where someone else did all the work (and will wash the dishes afterwards).

The Game
Another Thanksgiving Day tradition you will find here in Mexico…Football! For many red blooded American men and women, Turkey Day just isn’t complete without seeing “the game.” That is no problem here where satellite TV will beam the broadcast into several popular sports bars in town. Our personal favorite is PG’s Sandbox which has several big screen TVs, good drinks and plenty of things to snack on (in case you are still hungry after dinner!). PG’s is just down the street from the Luna Blue Hotel at the corner of Calle 26 and 1st Avenue.

Fun Local Charity Events
Of course there is a lot to do down here during November in Playa del Carmen besides overeat on Thanksgiving day. This month there will be a fun charity event with which we are proud to be associated.

The Peanut Pet Shelter “Feed a Friend” Drive. People donating a $25 bag of food to the Peanut Pet Shelter are entered in a drawing to win a free vacation in Playa del Carmen including a week’s stay at our own Luna Blue Hotel. The party for drawing the winner will be held at the Luna Blue Bar on November 9, 2010. Click here for more details.

For Foodies & Jazz Buffs
November is also when Playa hosts two wonderful annual events, Taste of Playa and the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

Try the Luna Blue's newest drink, 'Sex on the Bar' at Taste of PlayaThe Taste of Playa, held on Sunday, November 21, is a food and beverage festival featuring tasting menus and samples from 40 of the best restaurants and bars in the area. This year, our own Luna Blue Bar will be participating this year, offering tastes of some of our finest cocktails including the legendary “Sarita B Careful” margarita and the new wonderfully wicked “Sex on the Bar.” Our booth will be a replica of our bar with Jorge serving the drinks and with some of the infamous “tangas” (thongs) hanging from the ceiling. Please stop by and see us if you come to the festival.

In addition, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival will take place November 25-28 at Mamita’s Beach Club and will feature jazz musicians from around the world. Personally we are really looking forward to hearing the Manhattan Transfer vocal group. Mamita’s is on Calle 28th just a few blocks from the Luna Blue Hotel. Regular blog readers already know that guests of the Luna Blue receive free use of chairs and umbrellas at Mamita’s. But now our guests will also get 10% off of their food and beverage purchases at Mamita’s. So now you can spend the day at the beach for free while eating and drinking for some of the lowest prices on the sand.

For more details on both the Taste of Playa and the Riviera Jazz Festival see our previous blog entry here.

Now’s the Time to Visit
As you can see there is a lot going on in our lives and in Playa del Carmen this month. It really is a great time to visit. The weather is still warm and the beautiful beaches are not yet crowded with visitors. And you can save money by staying with us at the Luna Blue Hotel. We still have a few rooms available for the week of November 21st (Thanksgiving week), and if you reserve and pay in full at the time of your reservation you can still take advantage of our 10% discount. Please visit our website for more details.

And remember whenever you are traveling in this area to stop on by and say hello. We love to meet the folks who read our blog.

Posted in Activities, Dining in Playa, Events & Happenings, News & Politics, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Party through Spring and Summer at the Luna Blue Bar

Posted by Tony & Cheri on May 3, 2010

With the end of spring and the start of summer, the calendar of events and happenings at the Luna Blue Hotel and Luna Blue Bar is beginning to fill up. Lots of parties and fun things are planned:

Luna Blue Bar Happenings for May 2010

On May 5 we will be celebrating America’s favorite Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, with 2 for 1 margaritas, fun giveaways and the traditional music of Mexico. The party starts at 7:00 pm.

On May 7 we are proud to host the Peanut Pet Shelter “Another Brick in the Wall” Party. The Pet Shelter is once again giving away a holiday for two here in Playa del Carmen. This includes FREE FLIGHTS…. FREE AIRPORT TRANSFERS…AND A WEEK STAY AT VILLA BALAM. CLICK HERE to find out how to buy a brick and help build the new pet shelter clinic (and become eligible for the fantastic thank you gift of a FREE trip to Playa del Carmen). The party starts at 7:00 pm with live music by Mike Grabow starting at 8:00 pm.

On May 9 our friend A’ndrea Houston is hosting “Another Playa Bar Crawl.” About 90 of A’ndrea’s closest friends will be cruising the bars of Playa that night (be afraid!) and will be starting the festivities at the Luna Blue Bar. The bar opens at 3:00 pm and the Bar Crawl kicks off around 8:30. There will be music and surprises and fun. What better way to start a party night in Playa than at the Luna Blue?

On May 11 we will be hosting our own InkFest 2010 party, celebrating the art of tattoos. Anyone with a tattoo on display (which means uncovered for viewing…regardless of where it is located!) will receive a free shot of tequila from our lovely Bikini Shot girl. There will also be a tattoo contest with prizes for the best, the sexiest, the biggest, the most tattoos etc. And of course we will have live music with Mike Grabow, drink specials and all the usual craziness of a Luna Blue party.

Luna Blue Bar Happenings for June 2010

On June 4 the Peanut Pet Shelter and many Playa peeps are having a “Yappy Hour Peep Meet and Party” starting at 7:00 pm. There will be 2×1 margaritas, Papa T’s famous burgers (with proceeds to the Peanut Pet Shelter), live music and plenty of fun. Stop by and meet the folks from the Pet Shelter and some of the peeps that you always wanted to see in person.

On June 10, Sadie Elizabeth Infante will arrive in Playa for the first time. 🙂

On June 11 we are starting a new tradition here at the Luna Blue with our “1st Annual Rainbow Celebration.” June 11 is the anniversary of the day Mexico banned discrimination based on, among other things, sexual orientation or preference. The Luna Blue will proudly display the rainbow flag, the international symbol for tolerance and gay pride. Come and join us in celebrating the value of everyone’s life and love.

Luna Blue Bar Happenings for May 2010

We will also be playing the live Radio Margaritaville satellite broadcast of Jimmy Buffett’s concerts on May 15, 17, 20 and 22, and June 17, 19 and 26. Get 2 x 1 margaritas and swing beneath our newly-expanded palm frond roof while listening to Jimmy in paradise.

And as usual, every Tuesday and Friday night you can hear the great Mike Grabow sing about where he wants to be as Lenny the Wonder Dog races through the crowd and girls in bikinis sip free margaritas.

If you are in Playa del Carmen, stop by the Luna Blue Bar. Paradise doesn’t get much better than this.

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You haven’t been to Playa del Carmen until…

Posted by Tony & Cheri on February 1, 2010

It seems to us that few visitors to Playa del Carmen come for only one trip. Playa is a special place and its uniqueness and beauty can be very addictive. People return year after year and never seem to run out of things to do or see. Part of the reason people return is that Playa is always changing with new events, restaurants, shops and clubs.

At the same time there are some places and activities that have stood the test of time and have become “Playa classics.” In our mind, they are part of what makes Playa del Carmen so special…and if you haven’t seen or done a good part of them…you haven’t yet seen the real Playa. So here is our “must see and must do” list for your next trip back to paradise.

In our opinion, you haven’t really been to Playa until you…

1. Skip the mega-resort out on the highway and stay in town. At night, turn off the air conditioner, and listen to the call of geckos as you fall sleep beneath a whirling ceiling fan.

2. Walk along the empty shore of the Caribbean early in the morning and watch flocks of pelicans diving into the water for breakfast.

3. Get coffee and a pastry at Java Joe’s. Sit and listen to the chatter of old time locals talk about how Playa used to be.

4. Snorkel in Akumal Bay where you might come upon a sea turtle or two casually munching the seagrass on the sandy bottom.

5. Sit in the evening at a beachside bar, pulling your chair down to the water’s edge and watch the lights on Cozumel island sparkle against the night sky. Look for cruise ship lights in the distant ocean.

6. See fire dancers whirl flaming torches as they perform amazing acrobatic movements in the sand.

7. Guys: Go fishing for marlin while smoking a real Cuban cigar. Out on the ocean, any man can be Hemingway for the afternoon.

8. Gals: go topless on the beach. It doesn’t matter your age or shape. This is the Caribbean where every woman can experience the freedom of the sensuous tropics…and no one back home will ever know.

9. Explore the locals’ Playa del Carmen. Walk along Juarez Street or 30th Avenue. Pick a café or restaurant where you see no tourists and sit yourself down. Better yet, stand in line at a taco cart and try something new.

10. Volunteer to help at the Saturday Dog Wash at the Peanut Pet Shelter. Hang with the local ex-pats and fall in love with the puppies. If an adorable stray falls in love with you, take him home with you for a permanent reminder of this special place.

11. Bar crawl the beach, starting on the north end with Mamita’s and then head south hitting beach bars along the way. End at Bad Boys late in the afternoon on a Thursday or Saturday when you can dance in the sand or on the bar to the music of the Nasty Bastards.

12. Swim in a cenote with local kids jumping in from the overhanging rocks.

13. Find the best tacos al pastor (marinated barbequed pork tacos). Start at Carboncitos and then head over to El Fogon or to any number of other local eateries. Try to pick your favorite…it may take several tastings. And if you get tired of tacos, go to H.C. de Monterrey for some arrachera.

14. Meet Lenny the Wonder Dog. Toss the ball so he can bring it back to you. Repeat…all night long.

15. Get a tattoo at Scream Ink. Only for the truly hardcore Playaense.

16. Rent a car and drive to Cobá instead of flying by small villages along the way in a giant tour bus. When you get to Cobá climb the pyramid and gaze on the same jungle that Mayan priests looked out over thousands of years ago.

17. Stroll along Fifth Avenue at night listening for the best come online from store owners (“Hey Buddy, now it’s my turn to rip you off.”).

18. Speak a little Spanish to someone…even if it is just “Buenos Dias” or “Gracias” or “Uno Mas.”

19. Drink some really, really good tequila…and sip it, don’t slam it.

20. And last but not least…sit on a swing at the Luna Blue Bar, drinking a Sarita B Careful margarita and listening to Mike Grabow sing his original song about discovering Playa, “Where I Want to Be.” Then say to yourself, “This is paradise.”

Of course, this is just our own subjective checklist. Feel free to make your own…and we would love to hear any suggestions you may have.

By the way, it was five years ago today, Feb 1, 2005, when we sat in the lawyer’s office in Cancun and signed the final papers making us owners of a little hotel in Playa Del Carmen. We had been coming here to this lovely part of the Caribbean for a number of years and had finally decided to make it our home. So here we are five years later still trying our best. For all who have helped and encouraged us along the way, you have our sincere thanks.

Posted in Activities, Dining in Playa, Events & Happenings, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Halloween at the Luna Blue 2009

Posted by Tony & Cheri on October 20, 2009

It’s that time of year again….when untamed spirits roam the night, joining in wild, uncontrolled gatherings of reckless abandon beneath the full moon.

In other words, it’s time for the




Luna Blue Bar - Poster Halloween 2009

This year we have pulled out all the stops. Musician MIKE GRABOW will be returning to the Luna Blue Bar that night. Mike’s mellow music and easygoing style has long been a hit with visitors and locals alike and we are thrilled to have him back.

And while you are listening to Mike sing, why not take advantage of our 2 X 1 MARGARITAS? People say our bartender Jorge makes some of the best…and strongest…margaritas around.

We will also be grilling up Papa T’s famous “BOO BURGERS” that night. Cheeseburgers with all the trimmings and a little Cajun spice added to ward off evil spirits!

This night will also be a chance to buy a PEANUT PET SHELTER REFRIGERATOR MAGNET! On November 13 one lucky person will have his name drawn from all those who bought a magnet and be given the fabulous thank you gift of a week-long stay in Playa Del Carmen…FREE. Airfare, meals, tours, transportation, and a stay at the award-winning LUNA BLUE HOTEL will all be part of this wonderful gift. So make sure to pick up a magnet or three at the party. Anyone buying a magnet that night gets a FREE shot of tequila and a FREE copy of the poster pictured here!

And what’s a Halloween Party without COSTUME CONTESTS? We are having not one, not two, but three contests that night. There will be CASH prizes for the Best Guy’s Costume, for the Best Girl’s Costume and one more for the WICKEDEST Costume of the night (your own good taste is the only restriction)!

The bar opens at 3:00, the 2 X 1 drink specials start at 7:00, the music starts at 8:00, the COSTUME CONTESTS begin at 9:30 and the party goes until the witching hour of MIDNIGHT.

There will be even more surprises, giveaways, and fun stuff so make sure and stop by the LUNA BLUE BAR HALLOWEEN FANTASY COSTUME PARTY. Saturday, October 31st. On Calle 26 between 5th and 10th Avenues. You only have to ask yourself…

How Wicked Do You Want to Be?

Posted in Events & Happenings, Friends, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Win a Trip to Playa del Carmen & Support the Pet Shelter

Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 18, 2009

Our friends at the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen are having an amazing raffle. For the cost of only $25, you can win a 7 night vacation in Playa del Carmen, including airfare! All proceeds go to the Peanut Pet Shelter, a no kill animal shelter in Playa del Carmen dedicated to rescuing and finding permanent homes for injured and abandoned dogs and cats.

The prize includes:

– 7 night vacation in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
– Airfare for two from any North American airport
– 7 nights stay at one of four quality condos
– Airport transportation
– Personal guide
– Stocked bar with choice of 3 liquors, domestic beer and soft drinks
– Lots of snacks & purified water
– Maid Service

Only 500 tickets will be sold for this drawing. Once 500 tickets have been sold, the Peanut Pet Shelter will randomly (electronically) draw for the winning entry. All participants will be informed of the draw date and results – and that information will also be posted here. For only $25 you have a 1 in 500 chance to win a dream vacation!! For only $100 you have a 1 in 125 chance to win!! Buy multiple entries and increase your chances of winning, all while benefiting a great cause!

UPDATE as of MAY 22, 2009: Although all 500 tickets have not yet been sold, the raffle drawing will be held on June 1. For more details, click here: Dream Vacation. As you’ll see, checks postmarked on or before May 25 and sent to the address indicated will be entered in the drawing. Your chances of winning now are better than ever!!

Tickets are being sold at the Luna Blue Hotel & Bar on Calle 26 Norte between 5th & 10th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

If you can’t make it to Playa, you can still enter the drawing. Email a Peanut Pet Shelter representative for more info.

For more information, check out the Peanut Pet Shelter website..

Please help support this wonderful cause…as an added bonus, the Luna Blue Bar will kick in a $250 peso bar tab for the winners!

UPDATE as of JUNE 7, 2009: The drawing was held as planned on June 1. The lucky winner is….LORI DEAN! Congratulations, Lori! And the winning ticket was purchased at the Luna Blue!! The Peanut Pet Shelter is already planning for a second similar raffle, although we hear that this one will be even better, with donated prizes of dinners at restaurants and all kinds of other neat stuff! Stay tuned here and on the Peanut Pet Shelter website for more info.

Posted in Events & Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Paintings For Pets: Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar This Week

Posted by Tony & Cheri on November 24, 2008

Award-winning artist Barry LauniusThe Luna Blue Hotel & Bar is proud to announce that tomorrow night and the next night, Monday and Tuesday November 24 & 25, we will be sponsoring “Paintings for Pets,” an Art Show & Benefit at the Luna Blue Bar, from 6-11 pm. Our friend and extraordinary artist Barry Launius, has brought a collection of his tropical watercolors and acrylics to display and sell, with the sole purpose of raising money for the Peanut Pet Shelter here in Playa del Carmen! This is an extraordinarily generous gesture on Barry’s part. He and his wife Phyllis are also pet lovers, and according to Barry, this show is a memorial of sorts to their dog Rex, who they recently lost, as well as our own Huggybear, who we also lost a short time ago.

Barry is an award-winning artist of major talent whose works focus largely on the tropical paradise of the Riviera Maya. We love his art, and it is displayed prominently in the Luna Blue Hotel and Bar and throughout our home. This week’s art show is a rare opportunity to see many of Barry’s original pieces and pick up some early Christmas presents–while benefitting one of our favorite local charities.

A local art framing shop, Paré, has offered a 15% discount on matting/framing any pieces purchased at the art show. We use Paré exclusively to frame all of the art we have purchased for the house and hotel, and they have always done an excellent job. They are located in central Playa del Carmen on Calle 12 between Avenida 15 and 20.

During the Paintings for Pets events, we will be featuring 2×1 margaritas, and Tony will be cooking up his famous Cheeseburgers in Playadise (with proceeds also going to the pet shelter). Local musician Chris Bollister has hinted that he may drop by one or both nights for an acoustical guitar set. We’re hoping for a large turnout.

The cost of the paintings will range from $30 US for watercolors to $350 for the very largest acrylics. Once you see Barry’s work, you’ll fall in love with it!

If you’re in Playa, please drop by the tomorrow or Tuesday night 6-11 pm at the Luna Blue Bar. Calle 26 Norte between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue. Hope to see you then!

Here are a few of the paintings that will be up for grabs at the Paintings for Pets event:

To view some others that will be for sale at the event, click here.

Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, The Hotel & Bar, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Want Something Different? Dog Washing Day!

Posted by Tony & Cheri on May 24, 2008

A pet shelter resident -- wanna take him home?
Guests at our hotel, the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden, are always asking for advice on something different…a new restaurant, a unique tour or some activity only the locals know about. Lately we have been telling people about something we think is fun, special and very different: Dog Washing Day at the Peanut Pet Shelter.

First a little background. A couple of years ago, Andy and Jen left their home in the United Kingdom to move to the paradise of Playa Del Carmen. Once they got here, they began to notice the large number of abandoned and stray dogs that wander the streets. Some are born here and others are left behind when their owners move on or go back home. Unfortunately, the local government doesn’t have the resources or facilities to do much about it. Dogs which are captured or turned into the animal control are quickly put down.

A Playa visitor helping outBeing the animal lovers they are, Andy and Jen decided to do something about the situation…something very different for this part of the world. They opened an animal shelter to house abandoned dogs. Well, actually, they opened their home! They began to collect street dogs, care for them, feed them, get them medical attention and try to adopt them out to local families who wanted a pet. They did all of this on their own time, often with their own money supported by the contributions of locals and visitors.

They currently are housing and caring for about 50 dogs, many of them very young or small puppies. That’s a lot of work. One of the biggest chores is giving the dogs their weekly bath. No, the very active puppies don’t stay clean for long, but they do get washed down, and more importantly, they get used to the feel of human touch. They become accustomed to playing with and seeing people which turns them from street dogs into potential pets.

Another visitor meeting the localsFor some time now, local expats have gathered at Andy and Jen’s home/shelter on Saturday afternoons (1:00pm to 3:30 pm) to help with the washing. Hoses, buckets and towels litter the yard as playful pups are grabbed and scrubbed. Lately, the local crowd has been joined by more and more visitors. Guests from the Luna Blue Hotel are now starting to ask about washing day and how they can help. Last week we had a sweet young couple spend the final day of their honeymoon joining in the fun. They are returning later this year and plan on taking a puppy home! And recently, a mother and daughter visiting us from the states (ages 82 and 58 respectively) spent two Saturdays of their trip at the Pet Shelter and said it was the highlight of their vacation.

The best day of Tyler's vacationSo, if you are going to be visiting us here in Playa in the near future, and you are a dog lover, think about spending some time at the Peanut Pet Shelter. You will see some adorable dogs and puppies. And yes they are all up for adoption, and yes they can be taken back to the US and Canada without quarantine. Mexican street dogs (or MSD’s, as we jokingly refer to them) are loyal, hardy and loving—we know because we own one (read Gypsy’s story here). And while you might think street dogs would be fearful or anti-social, it’s just the opposite. These dogs are starved for love and are grateful and loving in response to any attention they get. You will also get to hang out with folks who live here and will be glad to tell you about life in Mexico, as well as some of their favorite places to eat, go, drink etc. If you do stop by to help, make sure to wear old clothing and nothing white. You’ll end up dirty and smelling like a lot of puppies. 🙂 This is a chance to see part of Playa Del Carmen you won’t find in the guidebooks.

And while you are visiting you will notice the construction on the lot next door. With the help of generous donations from around the world, Andy and Jen are now building an actual kennel/shelter for the dogs.

If you want to wash a puppy or two when you come down on holiday just contact Andy & Jen via their website or contact us at the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden. It will be a vacation memory like no other.

Here are some more pictures from a recent Wash Day at the Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen:

Colleen doing drying duty
Cheri washing a very dirty puppy
Tyler and friend taking a break
Double duty in the tub

Gypsy, our own Mexican Street Dog. She was ALMOST a resident of the pet shelter!
Gypsy, our very own MSD

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