Thursday, January 28, 2010

All Ears

Life is not always a bowl of cherries. Let's face it  personal problems are a part of life. Whether they are financial, medical or emotional, they exist both on and off the job. For this reason, Penn State offers a University-wide Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help deal with life's sour cherries.

Having parents who are benefit-eligible employees of Penn State, we all have access to the free, confidential 24-hour assistance program, seven days a week. But for those of you who aren't members of the Penn State family, where will you turn?

If you ever need to talk to someone who will really listen, Roger is all ears. While our All Ears Program (AEP) may not be as professionally staffed as Penn State's program, there's no doubt that your voice will definitely be heard.

AEP Crisis Counselors

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Calendar 2010

As many of you know, for the past ten years M&D produced a calendar featuring a photo of Beulah Ruth on every month of the year − culminating with a Best of Beulah Ruth Calendar in 2009 after her passing. As a tribute to our late sister, Roger and I (and now Thelma Lou) decided that the calendar tradition must go on.

For those of you who have not yet seen the 2010 Calendar, please let me take this opportunity to unveil this year's work of art.

For all the tireless years of tolerating countless costumes, we would be remiss not to include a photo tribute to the late Beulah Ruth. So for those of you who never had the privilege of viewing a calendar of the legendary Boxer, we present you with a slideshow of last year's calendar − The Best of Beulah Ruth.

If interested in purchasing a copy of this year's calendar, please shoot me an e-mail message. The price is $15 per calendar, plus shipping (approximately $2 USPS in the Continental US).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pampered Princess

Although M&D have always wanted an English Bulldog, like any good prospective pet owners they did their research before adding Thelma Lou to the Knowlton pack. Having heard that Bulldogs are known as "walking vet bills," first and foremost was locating a reputable breeder. Since Grammy Lee happens to breed Bulldogs that task was a piece of cake.

Before deciding to bring Thelma Lou home, Mom and I spent more than an hour grilling Grammy Lee assessing whether she'd be a good fit for the family. Don't worry. We didn't actually grill Grammy Lee. Heck, she barely has enough meat on her bones to justify firing up the gas grill.

During our educational interview, we heard about allergies, tear stains, and butt wiping, but what we didn't hear about was the special assistance that Thelma would need to get up on the couch. Don't get me wrong, I love my little sister. But, I just can not believe that M&D bought a couch equipped with an elevator for the Pampered Princess!

Pampered Princess Rises to a New Level

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rub a dub dub

Rub a dub dub. Three dawgs in a tub.
And who do you think they be?
The beggar, the baker, and
The cookie taster.

The Beggar

The Baker

The Cookie Taster

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 in a nutshell

What a year! Roger and I have been such busy beavers that it’s going to be difficult to summarize our accomplishments to a one-page, brag sheet, but I’m gonna give it the ol’ college try. Since this is a recap of 2009, some of it may seem like a repeat. Too bad! Suck it up!

At the end of February, 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 Roger that we could sell homemade dog treats to raise money to help with Sassy’s medical bills. So, armed with only an apron and rolling pin, Roger and I set out to wage war against her vast vet bills. With the help of M&D, we baked 3,224 biscuits and raised $1,000 which we later donated to Adopt A Boxer Rescue.

In an effort to publicize Sassy Mae's tragic, yet heartwarming story, I decided that we needed a platform for the check presentation. So being an affiliate of the Potomac Boxer Club, I decided to present the check at the PBC’s Specialty Show in April, capitalizing on the group of spectators who I knew would show up to see me in the ring.

Being alumni of the K-9 College of Etiquette, Roger and I understand the importance of making a good first impression. Keeping in line with the formal wear expected in the show ring, Roger and I – escorted by our handsome handler Daddy “The Library Dawg” Knowlton – wore traditional blue blazers, oxford dress shirts, and matching ties when we presented the $1,000 check to Sassy Mae who was healthy and happy to participate in the festivities.

Fast forward to June, when I threw in the towel on my show career – in the confirmation ring – that is. With our ever-expanding wardrobe, Mom obviously still has high hopes of one of us making it in show biz. Who knows? Roger and I were both featured in the July/August 2009 edition of The Boxer Ring for our philanthropic work for Sassy Mae. Additionally, we were both featured in a recent edition of The French Bullytin (Vol. 26, No. 4), wearing fatigues to show our support for U.S. troops.

Finally, Roger recently appeared on abc 27 news for his volunteer bell-ringing work for the Salvation Army at our local Wal-mart on a bitter cold, Saturday afternoon while earning four credit-hours towards his community service Dog Scout badge. Led by Scout Leader Ann Withun and her Australian Cattle Dog Rowdy, Dog Scout Troop 161 raised more than $500, setting a new troop record.

In October, after crafting a seafaring vessel we call the USS PBC, Roger and I set sail across the Potomac River to the 2009 Mid-Atlantic American Boxer Club Regional show being held in Frederick, Maryland. Immediately preceding Best of Breed judging with first mate Rog at the helm, we took the ring by storm raising nearly $100 for our maiden voyage on the high seas of the Francis Scott Key Holiday Inn.

After the show, we hung out with Grammy Lee and met her latest litter of English Bulldog puppies. In November, Mom and I decided to do some early Christmas shopping at All for the Pet. Wouldn’t you know it? Grammy Lee was still looking for the perfect home for Peachy – the little rolly, polly bulldog puppy with which Mom had become so enamored at the regional show.

After a brief discussion with Dad on the phone, Mom asked me if I wanted a sister and I responded, “That sounds Just Peachy!” So on November 21, Just Peachy became my little sister Thelma Lou. Although it took Roger a few days to adjust to having another bully in the house, he is now very grateful for his little sister since Mom no longer dresses him in drag.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2010!