Two paws up for Smooch a Pooch

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Deciding to check out Saks Fifth Avenue’s highly regarded product selection, Reese the dog gets paws on the counter for an up- close look. Reese, accompanied by her human, at left, Phil Bauer, and Vafa Manteghi, was there as part of the Smooch a Pooch event.  — John Ferris Robben photo

Deciding to check out Saks Fifth Avenue’s highly regarded product selection, Reese the dog gets paws on the counter for an up- close look. Reese, accompanied by her human, at left, Phil Bauer, and Vafa Manteghi, was there as part of the Smooch a Pooch event. — John Ferris Robben photo

Photographs are by Post photographer John Ferris Robben and Post editor Ken Borsuk.

Normally when you hear that “Saks Fifth Avenue has gone to the dogs” it’s not exactly good publicity. But last weekend, that phrase had a very different meaning.

The store’s Greenwich Avenue location was open to both two- and four-legged customers on Feb. 23 as part of a special event with Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD) known as “Smooch a Pooch.” Customers coming into Saks had a chance to interact with some very friendly and well-trained golden retrievers, including the newest additions to the ECAD family, a nine-week-old puppy. Customers posed with the dogs and the animals trotted around a bit, with one dog, Reese, even checking out the makeup counter before declining politely to undergo a makeover.

ECAD is a not-for-profit organization that educates dogs and trains them to be service dogs for people with disabilities, like wounded veterans, children with autism and others with degenerative disabilities.

ECAD’s co-founder and executive director, Dale Picard, said the fund-raiser was a big success.

“ECAD folks and pups had a great time at Saks Fifth Avenue,” Mr. Picard said. “We made $634 in cash, and that does not include the contribution Saks will make, as ECAD was one of the designated not-for-profits during their February promotion. We also met a lot of nice people who we hope to see again. ECAD likes Greenwich.”

The event was done in connection with Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Loves Your Cause, which went on in stores all through the month of February. In Greenwich, Saks gave 5% of all registered purchases made with a Saks Fifth Avenue credit card to local charities. Customers had the choice of giving to ECAD, the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich or the American Red Cross.

“Saks Fifth Avenue was delighted to host ECAD and have the opportunity to support this great cause and the important work that they do,” Geri Corrigan, director of marketing for the store, told the Post. “The ECAD team and their warm and friendly golden retrievers brought a smile to everyone who encountered them. We look forward to having ECAD back again soon.”

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