Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dynamic duo raise funds and awareness

Roger and I present a check to Sassy Mae and AABR

At the end of February after talking with my Aunt Beth Downey, I learned about Sassy Mae, a petite brindle boxer who had been viciously mauled by another dog. Touched by the story of her will to survive, I convinced my brother Roger, a French Bulldog, that we could sell homemade dog treats produced at the infamous Brushtown Barkery to raise money to help with Sassy Mae's medical bills.

Founded in 2001 by the late Beulah Ruth, the Barkery's mission is to bring hope, help and healing to those in need whether they be two- or four-legged. Benefactors in the past have included the American Cancer Society, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Adopt a Boxer Rescue, and Furry Friends Network.

So, armed with only an apron and rolling pin, Roger and I set out to wage war against Sassy Mae's vast vet bills. Recognizing Roger's innate talent of taste-testing, he was immediately promoted from bus boy to Sr. Quality Control Tech and charged with ensuring that each and every batch of biscuits meets the highest quality standard established by Beulah Ruth.

With the help of our loving Mom, we baked 3,224 biscuits and raised $1,000 which we donated to AABR specifically for Sassy Mae's vet bills. In an effort to publicize Sassy Mae's tragic, yet heartwarming story, about how so many people pulled together for her benefit, Roger and I decided we needed a platform on which to present our check.

So being an affiliate of the Potomac Boxer Club, I decided to capitalize on the crowd of spectators who I knew would show up at our Specialty Show held last Saturday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

We are especially pleased to report that Miss Sassy Mae was healthy and happy to participate in the festivities while donning a dazzling tiara and custom-tailored Boxer Rescue sash. Elaine Hauck, a long-time volunteer of Adopt A Boxer Rescue, gratefully accepted the check on behalf of AABR.

After I was recently featured on the cover of GQ magazine, Dad and Roger took their wardrobe queue from me and wore identical navy sports coats, dress shirts, and ties. Definitely not a fan of copycats — or cats in general — I was embarrassed yet a bit flattered to know that they respect my sense of fashion so much that they want to emulate me.

Front row left: Roger, Sassy Mae, Newman
Back row: Pam Knowlton, Beth Downey, Steve Knowlton, and Elaine Hauck

The outcry of support for Sassy Mae has been incredible. I won't list everyone for fear I'll miss someone, but you know who you are. Give yourself a pat on the back. And, if you have a Boxer, Frenchie, or other furry friend nearby, give them a hug to show just how much you love them.

AABR's mission not only includes hands-on rescue, but also education about the realities of responsible pet ownership including the importance of spaying and neutering.

AABR depends on donations, like the one from Newman and Roger, to continue to help needy boxers. AABR also relies on volunteers, like Aunt Beth Downey of Amity Hall Boxers, a life-long proponent of Boxer Rescue, who agreed to foster Sassy Mae in order to get her into the AABR system. Undoubtedly Aunt Beth's dedication and commitment to take Sassy Mae to her daily vet appointments, certainly helped pave the road to her recovery.

In addition to foster homes, AABR is always looking for volunteers to organize fundraisers, perform clerical tasks, and work at adoption events throughout the area. If you would like to volunteer, or want to learn more about adopting through rescue, please visit the AABR Web site.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Three Dog Night

Ever wonder where the phrase "Three Dog Night" originated? Sure, there is the American rock band that was popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s known by that name. However, the term did not derive from the raging rock group.

It’s been said that on cold nights, Australian aboriginals would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground while embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights, they would sleep with two dogs, and if a night was especially cold, it was considered a “Three Dog Night.”

The expression is also used by the Aleutian Eskimos, who combat the cold by sleeping under fur blankets topped with their heat-emitting canine companions, to connote a very cold night that requires not one, not two, but three dogs on the bed to keep warm.

Being the leader of the Knowlton pack, I determine whether it's a one, two, or three dog night. It's not often, but occasionally a bone-chilling arctic night creeps up on me like a cheap pair of underwear, and I have to summon Daddy Dawg's help to keep the real leader of the pack, Momma Dog, warm.

Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Got Questions? Ask Newman

Got a question that's driving you batty? Submit your inquiry to Newman Knows All, and I'll do my darnedest to deliver a prompt response. Please keep in mind that I cannot offer legal, financial, or marital advice. You have to pay professionals dearly for those services.

The Ask Newman idea evolved after Roger confided in me about a conversation that he had with his new found friend Rex, a 3 1/2 month old Frenchie. Being the young lad that he is, Rex is full of questions. But then again, aren't all kids?

Seeing that Rog and Rex share a common heritage, it's only natural for him to look up to Rog, both literally and figuratively. With his seemingly sawed-off legs, it isn't often that Roger can boast that someone looks up to him.

Thank you for that very good question, Rex.

Being born with a set of bat ears the like of yours, it is completely natural to assume that you might be able to soar through the sky. However, let me assure you that this is not the case. Roger has tried repeatedly to take flight from various elevations, including the back of the couch and the top of our staircase and has failed every time.

I trust you've heard the idiomatic phrase "when pigs fly" — meaning that something will never happen. Well, the same could be said of any aspirations you have to fly nonstop across the Atlantic like Lucky Lindbergh did in 1927.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, however, I can't stand the thought of you taking flight off the Eiffel Tower assuming that your gargantuan bat ears are going to magically turn into a set of Boeing 747 wings and glide you to a safe landing.