Friday, February 29, 2008
I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn in person, but I can tell she is pretty laidback with a good sense of humor and she attacks the projects she cares about with great zest and zeal. Marilyn says she spent roughly her first 25 years in Indiana, the next 25 in Chicago and at present she lives in the Texas Hill Country where she follows the San Antonio Silver Stars and the Indiana Hoosier basketball. GO IU! (She made me put that in here).
Marilyn recently conscripted the help of a volunteer friend of hers, Aaron, who has always been an animal lover, actively campaigning for pets since 2000, locally and online. His household consists of 2 dogs (Noel is in the photo), one of which is a shelter rescue, one rescue cat, and 10 birds, 4 of which are rescues. He's also the volunteer coordinator for the non-profit, Missing Pet Partnership and hopes soon to help start disaster relief for pets in his area. Aaron lives in Maple Valley, Washington - just 35 miles south of Seattle. Thanks for your help, mate!
If you'd like to help Marilyn and Aaron with any of the tech stuff you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks to both of you for generously giving up your time and energy. Our success will be due in no small part to your efforts.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I got my first tutorial, however, from Ted, the Gear Lead at Whole Earth's San Antonio store. Not only did he custom fit the Osprey pack on me but was a fount of information about all the many ways we can use and adapt it for our purposes. Ted even showed me how I could carry my seven iron (the only golf club I know how to hit) with me. That's him and the backpack on the right.
Pictured below are Max (left) and Mike (right). These guys know all things socks and shoes and they helped me understand how to protect what Colin Fletcher referred to as the foundation of walking. I'm no good to myself or my boys with injured feet so their input was invaluable.
Words couldn't begin to express how deeply moved I am by the gesture and by their beautiful book . As is often the case when I find myself at a loss for something to say, I look to those who can. It's only fitting that I quote from the preface of their book.
In our continuing efforts to raise awareness about cancer in dogs, and educate pet guardians about the resilience of animal amputees, we are proud to present this first edition of Tripawd Heroes and Tributes, a collection of personal stories about how beloved tripawd dogs have forever changed the lives of their human companions.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost a beloved pet to cancer or faced the difficult decision of amputation. We extend our greatest gratitude to everyone who has shared their stories with us. With their help and yours, we can prove to the world that it's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four."
Indeed it is, my friends. You can order a copy of Jerry's First Tripawds Book on their site and for $10 more you can customize it with a photo of your own three-legged loved one on the cover and their story printed on page one. Jim and Rene are generously donating $5 per book to the Morris Animal Foundation's Canine Cancer Campaign.
Their son Austin and his friend, James, came a'packin their guitars and graced our cookout with a couple of tunes. They even dedicated a song to the walk entitled quite appropriately, "Walking Down the Line". I captured most of it on my camera. Quite an unplugged performance, mates! Not sure what Murphy was doing - maybe he thought he was part of the show? Or perhaps he just wants to be their roadie...
Jim, Rene, and Jerry from Tripawds also came bearing gifts. Prior to traveling to Austin, they were in Florida and visited the manufacturer of Syn-Flex, who generously donated two bottles of their liquid glucosamine which were raffled. They also sent bandanas which the boys wore with pride.
Kicking back and reflecting afterwards, I couldn't help but feel that we drew the finest crowd to the cookout. Thank you to everyone who joined us, brought their lovely dogs, shared their stories, helped out, came out to show their support, cooked and contributed food.
From left: Eric, James, Austin, Shiva (poking her big ole Great Dane head into the frame), next to an even Bigger Dog, Kesley, Jenn, Trixie, Greg, Jerry, and Sunny!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
We're finally getting around to shooting some Gear Checks. In this Episode, we're testing two products donated by Princeton Tec, the Pilot and the Eco Flare. You can't fully appreciate the power of the Pilot from the video but it's a fraction of the size of a Maglite and packs more of a wallop. Thanks to Rob Cash and the people at Princeton Tec!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Dr. Geral Post, a veterinarian oncologist of national repute, began a similar quest when he started the Animal Cancer Foundation in 1998. Their mission is developing and funding research that advances the prevention and treatment of cancer for people and pets.
When we had the good fortune to meet back in December, I asked him to put together a list of five of the most pressing areas of research needed right now. Epidemiological studies was one such topic and on a conference call, we discussed it further. No one knows exactly what types of canine cancers are occuring around the country, how common they are, and how fast they're growing.
As stunning as it may seem in this Age of Information, such a comprehensive nationwide study has never been conducted mainly because it's expensive. I think I can help out with that was my response. Since then I've spent some time with him and his right hand, Charlotte Lee, and recently they invited me to participate in ACF's last board meeting. Though it seemed more like I 'bribed' them with the cookies and creme cake I had delivered for the occasion.
No doubt about it, they're perfect partners for us and we've taken that one step further. On the Contributions page on our website, you can now make donations directly to ACF on behalf of 2 Dogs 2,000 Miles and they'll keep those funds restricted for this monumental study we're all working towards.
We look forward towards a long and successful relationship with Dr. Post, Charlotte, and the Animal Cancer Foundation.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Another of his pecadillos is digging (photo above). I started to shut him down this time but a thought occured to me. One of the issues we'll have to deal with is waste disposal and the most common procedure is burying it. Why expend my energy on the task when I have a much younger, much more effective digging implement in my team. Have at it, my boy.
At the end of the day, this is what it's all about. Midnight with me mates. I forgot to affix the tarp so were awakened by raindrops about fifteen of five. Thunderstorms came, too, completing the overature and the system stayed with us well past my 8am tee time. It would have been nice to get a round in before we had to leave but we had a heck of a time nonetheless.