Tuesday, November 20, 2012

five years' worth of happy: highlights from the hoedown

Thanksgiving shoppers will get a treat if they dare pick up this week's National Enquirer during their wait in long grocery store lines. If they can brave their way past the celeb trash talk and photo eye sores, they'll find a photo-heavy spread that celebrates the five year reunion of the Vick dogs' homecoming to California. We all had a good giggle about the dogs' saucy new claim to fame, but the reunion on October 27 was so sweet and memorable that we couldn't help but be happy about sharing the occasion with millions in Safeway check out lines. Why not!

The dogs' various accomplishments are as important a story as their rescue, if not more -- So a really good, foot stompin' hoedown was a must. The event melted five years of work, fun and 'Vick dog' media fascination into one of the sweetest of gatherings we could've hoped for.

125 friends and supporters gathered at the Rescue Barn under a nearly-full moon to nosh, dance, take photos, gather autographs and enjoy. It was an unseasonably warm evening, and everyone was relaxed and downright giddy. Which meant photographer Mark Rogers had his work cut out for himself when he had to wrangle this group of giggling dog owners and their spazz-happy dogs into this now-famous photo.

Even more fun - This behind the scenes (behind the photographer's back!) video went viral on the Net with over 77K people peeking in to see what the dogs are all about. It's a must-see if you need a mood brightener. VIDEO

It was a thrill for all of us to be reunited with Hector again (top photo), over four years after he boarded a plane to his new home in Minnesota. His adopters Roo and Clara Yori drove cross country to attend. They brought their dog Wallace with them too, and an armload of books: 'Wallace The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage and Championed Pit Bulls - One Flying Disc at a Time.' Unfortunately Jim Gorant, the author of Wallace as well as the Lost Dogs, was grounded by Hurricane Sandy and had to cancel, but author Ken Foster attended the event to greet fans of his new book, I'm A Good Dog - although his main focus at the hoedown seemed to be kissing the dogs and laughing at their antics. And yes, he did get on the dance floor - at least once.

This slideshow highlights some of the fun. A news piece by ABC News detailed the event and faithfully told the story of a rag-tag group of pit bulls who arrived five years ago to teach the world a thing or two about dogs.


Many thanks to event sponsors Jim and Patty DiSienna and Sheriff Boris, Folio Wines, Tito's vodka, Boulder Beer Company, and our awesome crew of volunteers for putting a shine on this fantastic celebration.


Rochelle New said...

Dear Bad Rap, you are my biggest inspiration (besides my own pup) to be the best dog mom I can possibly be. To educate, be responsible, enlightening, and loving. Thank you for all you've done, and all you continue to do.

Beth said...

This is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

There can never be enough thanks for all you people did who helped all these amazing dogs and still do so every day. I know many of us would have loved to be there but the video, the perfect picture of you all and the descriptions from some of the people that were there help us feel like we were there. These dogs in dog fighting are truly victims and thanks for showing the world that fact and showing once and for all they are worth saving if at all possible. Thanks for making people aware of what dog fighting is all about. I am sure many people didn't know and were horrified what some of these animal abusers did to these dogs that wouldn't perform. It truly gave a new meaning to what a monster is. Thanks again for all you do and have done in the past for these dogs and all the others that have come your way.

Jenny Y said...

What a wonderful slideshow and blog entry. I would have loved to be there ~~ I would have been over the moon to meet these precious angels. While some of the words in The Lost Dogs book are burned in my brain forever, I am trying to replace those images with these positive ones. Not a day goes by that I don't think of the "Vick" dogs, especially those that didn't get a second chance. A million thanks to you and the other sanctuaries who rescued these sweet babies....their lives and our lives are forever changed!!!!

Donna said...

Thanks so much for all the warm thoughts. Jenny Y, I encourage you to keep on with replacing the negative images the story brought you with the happys you see here and with all the other surviving dogs. They really do want to remind us that living in the moment is where it's at. I think I can speak for most us -- We're happier people because of that lesson.

Kathleen said...

What an incredible story! Congratulations on the amazing work you've all done, and thanks for doing it. These dogs and those to come will all benefit from it.