Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Walk with the Stars

Luke and the Boys were in Palestine, Texas on Saturday, May 3rd, when the 2008 Texas Music Awards were presented at the Palestine Civic Center. There the guys got to meet and greet, and do a little walking with some of the award recipients. Luke and the Boys’ appearance was arranged with the help of Luke’s friend Greg (of and Greg’s family, along with Texas Music Awards Volunteer Coordinator Jackie Bryant and our own 2dogs’ Volunteer Coordinator, Kathy. Luke, Hudson, and Murphy not only had an opportunity to schmooze and cruise with some familiar country stars, they got invites and VIP passes to the after party. (I hope someone snuck Hudson and Murphy some cocktail weenies!) This was a great opportunity for the Boys to spread the word about canine cancer awareness and the 2dogs2000miles Foundation, and of course, Hudson and Murphy are great at breaking the ice and getting people talking.

Monday, I spoke with Greg and asked him how he became involved with Luke and the Boys. He explained that he and his family, some years ago, shed the trappings of what most of us would consider a comfortable life, to head out onto the open road and connect with one another and the world – to “work, learn and play together” -- Greg, his wife Jenn, their three kids, Kesley, Sunny, and Austin, their two dogs, Timon and Daisy, and their cat, Kiki, all in one RV. Now that’s family! After several satisfying years on the road, they returned to their Austin roots, but still enjoy their stuff-free lives, having discovered that less is, in matter of fact, more -- in many ways.

Through the tragic loss of their own dear friend Isaac to an aggressive form of cancer, Greg and his family wanted to do something to honor the once in a lifetime friendship both families had nurtured. They worked on several projects to honor their friend, and ultimately connected with Tripawds in Austin. There they met Luke and the Boys, and immediately hit it off. They discovered they not only had the open road in common, but more importantly, a deep philosophical connection. “You can’t measure the pain of loss” Greg told me. He saw in Luke a kindred spirit, willing to give up comfort and familiarity to strike out for something he believed in. “Loss is loss” Greg explained, whether it’s a dear friend, a treasured animal or a beloved family member. “Each of us has to find a way to deal with the loss, make sense of it, to do something with and about it.” Greg and Jenn understood this passion and commitment in Luke, who, like they and so many others, had lost someone they loved, earlier than they should have – “Outside of time,” Greg put it.

Through connections Greg has in the music industry, he, Jackie, Kathy, and others made the 2dogs - Texas Music Awards connection happen. Jackie got them in, got them badges, and skillfully managed to have Luke and the Boys strategically placed right where the award winners made their exit off the stage. No one wants to miss a photo-op, especially with the likes of Hudson and Murphy, so many of the stars were happy to walk with Luke and the Boys, especially after Luke explained the cause they were walking for. The highlights of those ‘walks’ are pictured here.

Greg summed it up like this: “We are totally and wholeheartedly inspired by Luke. He’s doing something that’s extremely important. We have a unique opportunity to raise awareness, is what it boils down to.

"Look at how amazing this guy is. Look at what’s going on here. It’s noble. It’s the right thing to do.”

The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. -- Allan K. Chalmers

(Photos courtesy of Greg and Jenn. You’ll find more about their journeys at:

Thanks to Jackie Bryant, the Texas Music Awards, all the folks who walked with Luke and the Boys, and everyone who made the encounter possible.

No comments: