Back in the day, Emmylou Harris was rarely known to tour without her canine travel companion, the poodle mix Bonaparte. Then, when Bonaparte passed on, the singer decided to honor him by rescuing dogs who'd run out of time in Nashville, Tennessee shelters. For the last eight years, Bonaparte's Retreat fosters (including Harris herself, who's currently caring for seven adoptables) have been keeping these dogs happy and safe till permanent, loving homes come along.
It was a mutual passion for dog rescue that brought Harris together with Pali Boucher, founder of SF's Rocket Dog Rescue, of which Harris has been a big supporter ever since—most recently in July with a fundraising concert at Lagunitas Brewery benefiting both organizations. The event was such a success they're hoping to make it an annual tradition.
Along with many other notable artists, Harris will be on hand for this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, coming up October 5-7 in Golden Gate Park. It's a classic only-in-San-Francisco event, which offers a rare opportunity for you and your pooch to enjoy three days of world-class and local musicians. Together. For free. (Besides Harris, this year's lineup includes Elvis Costello, Les Claypool, Patti Smith and Ralph Stanley).
Before you pack up Scotty and rush off to catch the tunes, though, consider whether this is the scene for him. If he prefers peace and quiet to crowds and noise, he may be better off snoozing at home, but well-behaved dogs who enjoy the social whirl will be in their element. Be prepared for the fact that the saintliest dog may eventually get stressed, and be ready to take him home when he isn't having fun. (See the FAQ for more details).