Wednesday, January 05, 2011

a worthy White House literacy project

There is a timely review of Gorant's book 'The Lost Dogs' in SFGate today. Like just about every red-blooded, dog loving member of the media, writer Christie Keith is less than impressed with Vick's big return, especially after having read the book. She doesn't want vengeance though, she just wants people to know the nitty-gritty of MV's actions before waving the 'healed by jail and touchdowns' flag. Simple enough. She writes:
I'm neither a sports fan nor a social worker, and I freely admit that that I care more about his victims than I do about Michael Vick. But unlike many dog advocates, I don't want to see him put back in prison, denied his right to vote, kicked out of the NFL, beaten, kicked or bashed in the head. I certainly don't think he should be executed, as right wing pundit Tucker Carlson suggested on Fox News recently. I just think his defenders should read this book before deciding what they think about Michael Vick's big comeback.
It's likely that Obama missed the memo about Vick's sadism. I know - I know. Like you, we're over this whole thing and have banged our head on the wall plenty about our President's recent endorsement of the Eagle's profitable poster boy. It sucks to have to sneer at Obama for such a dumb move, of all moves!

No one has expressed this funk better than the Raised by Wolves blog. And Francis Battista of Best Friends offered this eloquent response that's been all around the Net.

But before we walk away from this political wipe-out, maybe the thing to do is take Keith's lead and help educate our dear leader. After all, the White House website states that "President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history." Rah. With that in mind, we're proposing that animal lovers with a few bucks to spare access that administration by sending a complimentary copy of the Lost Dogs to the first family. Maybe tuck a photo of your dog inside? or a personal note warning the Obamas to keep the book off their daughters' bookshelves for a few years? Couldn't hurt.

I've been intrigued by White House protocol for gifts ever since a friend wrapped up his nastiest shoes and mailed them to George Bush. So what would happen to your book if you were to send it to DC?

1) More book sales would help keep 'The Lost Dogs' high on the top seller lists. Good. 2) The White House would of course have to figure out what to do with your gift. According to the Brookings Institution, "Presidents and their First Ladies receive thousands of gifts each year, from large to small, from domestic to gifts from heads of state. Any gift not from a foreign official must be logged by the White House Gift Unit and managed by one of several domestic agencies."

It's fun to try and imagine how the Gift Unit would 'manage' a tall pile of books with Sweet Jasmine's face staring up at them. Would they distribute to random waiting room areas around the White House? Donate to local literacy projects? Destroy them all? Send a few up to the Presidential bathroom libraries .. or maybe a dog-loving intern would swift a few copies into the 'Situation Room?' Who knows - with some luck we might even spy one of the fire engine red books in the background of the next Lady's Home Journal get-to-know-you interview with Michelle.

Here's the address for your gift giving. And if you want to buy a fresh one, use this Amazon link, and BR will get a bit of change per sale. Let us know if you decide to support this project. Why not!

EDIT - HOLD THE PHONE! - More people than we ever imagined sent books to the White House after this blog post went live. A casual count tallied a minimum of 200 books sent. It seems that the large number reached critical mass a few days ago, and while the first few arrivals were signed for and accepted by WH staff (we're not sure how many), they are now turning others away. Mission Accomplished! Now what to do with all the books that are returning to their purchasers? We have a few ideas and will post asap. Thank you ALL for jumping both feet into this action.

Mr. President and First Lady Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

66 comments:

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I just sent a copy!

J.M. said...

I didn`t send him a copy but I did write to him last week.I suggested he read the book,check out your blog and if he still felt the same way about Vick,perhaps he might like to see how the Prison "rehab" had gone by sending their dog Bo to Vick`s house for an extended stay.
Sure Hope Bo doesn`t have any behaviors that might annoy Vick and cause him to lose his temper.

Jess said...

Great idea. I'm on it.

Christie Keith said...

I just sent a book! Great idea, Donna, and thanks for the nice words!

Dianne said...

Thank you, your order has been placed.
An e-mail confirmation has been sent to you.
Order Number: 002-0005438-8359470
1 item will be shipped to President Obama by Amazon.com. Estimated delivery January 7, 2011

Looking forward to meeting Christie at the No Kill Conference in DC in July. I did meet the USDA Agent and Jim at the signing at WARL and gave them a little tour of the kennels. Jim said he is not a pit bull type of guy. He signed my book dedicated to Jasmine.

Robin from SF Bay said...

Done!

Donna said...

Nice! Smiling wide in Oakland this morning.

Meredeth said...

I wrote a letter, also suggesting he read The Lost Dogs, as soon as the news of the phone call broke. I also created the petition at Change.org
(http://met.al/f34) that I plan to send WITH a copy of The Lost Dogs to the WH when it's completed.

Dee said...

Imagine the publicity, for the book, for the dogs, for the wave of resentment the president's remarks generated when thousands of copies flood the gift registry.
I'll be gifting a copy to Beau, post-haste.

Donna said...

Good idea Dee. Addressed to Beau ... Nice touch.

Dianne said...

It's Bo as in Bo Diddley, not Beau.

Gina said...

What a GREAT IDEA! I just send mine. :)

Heather Pate said...

Such a wonderful suggestion. I have ordered two copies, one for myself and one for Mr. Obama. I will be sending a picture of my beloved boy in the front cover as you suggested. Let's hope all of us together can make some positive change.

gjwriter said...

I sent an email to the white house last week as well. No response, of course. I didn't know anything about the plight of pit bulls until a rescue landed in my lap. I am smitten, almost three years now, and every day with my girl gets better and better. I find myself talking to anyone who will listen regarding the topic. I read "The Lost Dogs" in one sitting and have vowed to keep talking about how great all these dogs are and how hard you guys and the other rescuers work every day to help change their reputation. This year I want to start a letter writing campaign to Charlie Brown of the Denver City Council and this insane BSL statute the city has which he was behind. We pit bulls lovers in Colorado were very concerned when John Hickenlooper was elected Governor. He supports BSL. Too many people have lost their valued family pets simply because of how they look. I think "The Lost Dogs" should be required reading for everyone, including the President, his wife and especially his children. Rather than celebrate Vick's second chance, lets celebrate someone like Sean Moore in Chicago. That is a true story of rehabilitation. We need more of him working at the grass roots level with inner city kids, educating them about dogs and solid, positive dog ownership. Human responsibility is not something most people are willing to accept, until that changes at the highest level, the fight will be on.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Dee! Surely BO has an opinion :)

I would like to point out an additional perspective here: Obama is starting his second presidential campaign as of November when Republicans took majority. It is no surprise that he is supporting a public figure who is becoming the epitome (whether we like it or not) of second chances, when he himself is looking for people to give him a second opportunity in two years.
Not to mention, animal advocates tend to lean toward the left, and a majority of Vick supporters tend to lean toward the right (trying to find the link that talks about this), a group he is vying for.

It is never JUST the president, it is his cabinet, his campaign staff, his publicist, his wife, etc. So before we criticize Obama for supporting a dog abuser, keep in mind it may not have entirely been his decision, but one to improve public image.

Here's to the book in the mail, and that Bo has a word with him.

KB

Patrick said...

I will send a copy what a great idea. Lets get more and more people telling the President what they think.

Chrysta said...

I just sent my copy. I did not criticize President Obama in my message, instead I wrote that I wished President Obama would read the book and be inspired by second chances given to these dogs.

Nancy said...

I just sent my copy!

Shaun, Cassius, and Captain said...

I will send a copy also, with a photo of my beautiful APBT boy Cassius, and a nice note about his accomplishments as a therapy dog, Canine Good Citizen, and ATTS temperament tested STAR, and soon-to-be blood donor (when I get my nerve up). Cassius also works as a neutral dog for reactive dog classes and just accepted a lovely brother into our home as if they were long lost soul mates.
I will also post this on my FB personal and business page: (Graceful Dog) and hope more people will participate. This is where change begins. If Obama is the decent man I believe he is, he will see his error and try to correct it.

Let's remember to keep it positive and respectful. Otherwise it will only hurt the dogs and our cause.

Great idea!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my dog, I LOVE this idea. Ever since I read the President's statement I have wanted to do something to let him know how pit bull lovers feel about this. Thank you so much for posting this on facebook! I'm sending him and his family a copy, along with a picture and note from my dog, Jack.

Jennie Bailey said...

BRILLIANT idea! I'm going to do just this - mail them a copy of the book. I'll be sure to highlight the lovely depiction of him and Quanis picking that poor little dog up over their heads and smashing her into the ground over and over and over until she died. If I post-it and highlight that page, it will get read by someone.

dottie said...

He has a copy coming from me, too. What a great idea!
Dottie

Mike Sweeney said...

Done

Maverick say's HI!!

Eric Goebelbecker said...

Sent mine, with a note explaining why.

BuffaloSky said...

I just sent the Obama family a copy from me. Thank you once again for inspiring a positive reaction when I couldn't stop banging my head against a wall. Much respect from Seattle!

Maria Nilsson said...

Done! I just sent a copy with a note from Amazon. If he has time to call the coach about MV, then he damn well ought to have time to read this book!

PetieGrrl said...

Copy on the way after emails unanswered. Great turn-around on this! Good job.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, your order has been placed.
An e-mail confirmation has been sent to you.

1 item will be shipped to President and First Lady Obama by Amazon.com.

Estimated shipping date January 6, 2011
President and First Lady Obama
THE WHITE HOUSE
1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20500-0004
United States

DONE! GREAT IDEA!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought regarding the warning that the Obamas should keep "Lost Dogs" out of their daughters' reach - perhaps tucking in a copy of our old favorite "Demo Dog" might be appropriate so the girls have something to read, too?

bookmonkey777 said...

I too was outraged and wrote a letter to Obama last week suggesting he read "The Lost Dogs". I'm so happy to see so many other people did the same.

argus52257 said...

No such thing as a bad dog breed, just bad dog breeders n trainers. Had rotties that would never harm a child even when they take the food away but a grownup kickin in the door will pull back a bloody stump

Susan said...

Just sent a copy to the President and bought one for myself! Thanks for the great idea!

Chinchilla said...

I sent a new copy as I'm not done reading mine yet. I liked Chrysta's message, so I used that in the gift note. I sure hope they pick up one of these copies and READ it.

she who loves dogs said...

I read this book and vomited, and when I got done with it I just couldn't let go. I was so bothered by this book that I blogged about it on my blog several weeks ago:
shewholovesdogs.blogspot.com (My opinion on the subject is under the post Neuter Michael Vick!)

Sending a book to Obama is a brilliant idea! Thank you!

Emily Browning

nadjatam said...

Sent! Great idea.

Floatingclouds said...

As a librarian and pit bull/dog lover, this is the best idea yet!!! Thanks for thinking of it.

Anonymous said...

Just Sent "The Lost Dogs" to the Obamas via amazon as a belated xmas "gift". Wonderful idea Donna -and thank you so much for the work your org. has done.

Lisa A. said...

I just sent a copy, thanks for the great idea.

Newbieblogger said...

This is such an awsome idea! I will definately be sending my copy as soon as my grama is done reading it! The more people that read this book the better!

Laura said...

I sent a copy to the First Family and ordered one for myself. Go Team!

CeliaSue Hecht said...

join in the fun, if you have already sent a book to obama, write me and I'll enter you in the contest, & if you haven't, there is still time to win, dog food, dog treats and more, http://celiasue.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/bless-the-dogs-the-children-contest/

Anonymous said...

Done!

Gus-N-Jack said...

@Meredith can you send the link from change.org so I can go and send out the pertition to everyone I know?

Gus-N-Jack said...

I would like to say that Im not really a person who is emotionally available so when i read this book and started crying, i was shocked. Meanwhile my 8 week old puppy (Jack, Am Staff, APT, and american bulldog mix) is sitting there tugging on my 70 dollar jeans while my othe baby boy a 7 month old same mix is mouthing my hand and stareing up at me with his steel blue eyes, I could never in my life imagine doing what Vic him self did not just what everyone else there did. To pick them up by their legs and slam them into the ground over and over again till they are dead. I almost threw up I was crying so hard. I only hope that our "president" reads this book and if nothing else I hope he crys at what someone could do to a dog. He has spoken openly about going to his fathers country and seeing what is happening over there, purhaps he does not see that Vic and the rest of everyone else out there did the same thing. I hope it makes him just as sick.

Star F Fao said...

Sent my copy just now via Amazon.com.

I think tis is an excellent idea.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea and will follow through
We rescued our Pit a 5 week old the week that SI published the photo and story.
While trying to pick out a name for our baby I picked up my SI and found Jasmine and that is our babys name 2 years later our baby Jasmine is an AKC CGC and our loving girl

Jessica said...

I just ordered my copy via amazon.com Great idea, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Donna and Tim - You never cease to amaze us with your ability to turn a situation around. What a good, sensible, civil idea. I have done as you suggest, and congratulate you on finding the win/win in what appeared to be a loss. Thank you! -Jean in Seaside, Ca

Ivy Cunningham said...

Send mine today! Love this idea.

Donna said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence Jean. We hope it helps on some level. Now we just need a WH insider to help us learn what's likely to happen to them all .... A casual count puts this project at a minimum of *200* Lost Dogs books landing on Obama's doorstep. Two hundred!

Lis Carey said...

I sent a copy; it shipped yesterday.

Dianne said...

I bet the Washington Post gossip columnists would be interested.

reliablesource@washpost.com

SuzannaBanana said...

200 + 1. I just placed an order, while Winston and Molly watched over my shoulders.

Jennifer said...

It is scary that people even take Fox News seriously.

Maria Nilsson said...

Has anyone else gotten a message from Amazon that the order is "undeliverable"? I just received this message from them. What to do?

Hello,

We're writing about the order you placed on January 05 2011 (Order# 002-2686551-0052255).

USPS was unable to leave the package at your delivery address because of postal delivery policies. If your package was shipped to a PO Box address, it was likely too large to leave in your particular post office box.

The package is available for pick up at your local post office. For more information about picking up this package, please visit http://www.usps.com and click "Locate a Post Office" to find contact information for your local post office or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.

The package tracking number is '9102927003525043447317'. The items listed below are included in this package:

Jim Gorant "The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption"
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592405509

To see full details of this order, including tracking details and the shipping status of other items from this order that may not be listed, please visit Your Account (http://www.amazon.com/your-account).

*****
WHAT IF AN ITEM HAS SHIPPED AND I NO LONGER WANT IT?
If your shipment arrives too late, you may either refuse delivery or return it to us for a refund. For returns instructions, please visit our Returns Center at www.amazon.com/returns.

*****
HOW DO I CONTACT YOU ABOUT MY ORDER?
If you have more questions about this order, you can e-mail or phone Customer Service by clicking the "Contact Us" button on the right side of any Help page (www.amazon.com/help).

Sincerely,

Customer Service Department
http://www.amazon.com
==============================
Check your order and more: http://www.amazon.com/your-account

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Donna said...

you're the first, Maria.

anyone else?

Donna said...

Maria ... We heard from one person whose book was signed for and accepted by WH staff, and a couple more whose book was sent back. It's likely they reached critical mass at the WH and turned them away once it was clear that this was an action. I'm sure we'll hear from others, so check back soon.

ForPetsSake said...

Love this idea - I'm reading the book right now. Still hate Vick.

Anonymous said...

My book/package was also returned this week........

Anonymous said...

I just sent my copy to Oprah. She was betting Piers Morgan last night that Michael Vick would go on her show.

dottie said...

I got the same message as Maria, so don't have any idea what happened to the book I sent. Guess I should check my amazon account information. Even if it didn't get to the WH I'm glad I did it!

Donna said...

Apparently the "books returned" message isn't accurate and they're being accepted at the WH regardless. I can't understand it. I've been trying to get a follow up blog post up -- Give me a day or so and we'll revisit this topic and see what can be done to clear up confusion. Thank you!

CeliaSue Hecht said...

Jean in Seaside, I am in Seaside, too... update, a few people told me that their books were actually received at the white house after they received notices that the books were to be picked up at their post office... there is also an audiobook I just found out with a sample that link can be emailed.

I've posted a new article about Oprah at all voices and my blog, including Chris Durant's link, he says that Vick should have gotten 65 years in prison, if he had been charged with animal cruelty instead of being given a plea deal. 65 years.

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7974958-oprahs-birthday-has-gone-to-the-lost-dogs

Hippiebitch said...

Try checking your tracking numbers again and keep your ears to the ground... Seems they tried to deliver mine again at 4am, yesterday morning, after 11 days at the P.O. awaiting pickup. Both trackers, USPS and Amazon, say it was delivered.

tismeinaz said...

Hey - maybe a few of the returned books can be sent to Dwaine Caraway - Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas. That idiot called Vick a hero to youngsters and gave him the key to the city. He needs to be scared straight.

Picking up Women said...

It sucks to have to sneer at Obama for such a dumb move, of all moves!