Before getting into Week 17, a couple of things …. 1) Life has gotten in the way of my blogging, so I’m behind. This blog is for Week 17, May 15-21. The blog takes a good bit of time, and there just doesn’t seem to be time to sit down to compose and gather info. Will forge ahead to catch up!
2) If you were reading my blog last summer, you might remember when Bella and I were privileged to attend a private screening of the new documentary ”Reinforcements.” (Here’s the blog from July, 2016.) I’ve been waiting and watching for a few months for it to be available online, and it finally is. Early Times will donate 22 cents to K9s For Warriors for every viewing (up to 50k, which I have no doubt they’ll meet); it’s well worth 30 minutes of your time to watch one of our warriors escort a young man down to Ponte Vedra to see Camp K9. Beautifully done. (To watch it on their site for the 22 cents to K9s, go to EarlyTimes.com, enter your birth date and view there.)
And now, Week 17…
RIDING INTO HISTORY
So, what is Riding Into History?
From their Facebook page:
Riding into History was founded in 2000 for two purposes. First, to celebrate the long and glorious history of the motorcycle, and second, to support a worthwhile cause.
Riding into History™ (RIH) is a world class Vintage Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance. Since its inception, Riding Into History has been held at the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Florida. It has received widespread coverage and articles have been written about it all over the world. It was also nationally featured on the Speed Channel.This competition attracts between 300 and 400 antique and vintage motorcycles each year. Collectors from all over America bring their motorcycles to the show, and they are displayed around the lake which forms the centerpiece of the World Golf Village.
There are numerous exhibitors at the Concours, as well as representatives from several motorcycle clubs. RIH is a 501(c)3 organization that has contributed over $400,000 to charities. Our chosen charity for 2017 is K9s for Warriors. RIH has no paid staff, and all duties are performed by volunteers. (Note: K9s for Warriors was also their chosen charity in 2016!)
Ulysses and I were a part of the morning shift, along with Sammy (Gail and Gary) and Molly (Mary Kay). This gave me an opportunity to try to get him to behave around other dogs. With people and kids, he’s great; he loses his mind around other dogs. He just wants to PLAY!!!
As usual, we spent time talking with folks about K9s For Warriors, but what was special to me was getting to catch up with Myrtle Hollingsworth. Myrtle, along with her husband, owned and ran the Harley-Davidson dealership in St. Augustine for more than 60 years. They were the longest single franchise dealer in the world … and they are dear family friends. My one mission at Riding Into History was to find Myrtle, and low and behold, she was sitting caddy-corner across the sidewalk from the K9s for Warriors booth. We had a great time catching up, and she got to meet Ulysses.
So, my motorcycling world (got my first bike almost 45 years ago) and my dog world collided that Saturday, and I joke that my theatre world did a drive by. One of the amazingly talented young people I get to work with in theatre was the model for this year’s RIH poster. In addition to that, her folks are riders and on the RIH board. 6 degrees of separation? If it even takes that many.
One more thing about Riding Into History – In the past three years, they have sponsored six dogs!!! Triumph, Beemer, Rocket, and Duke are with their warriors; Simon, and Judie are training in the kennels awaiting their match. The check from the 2017 RIH event will be presented at the June graduation.
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Going to the baseball games on Friday nights is just another night out for Ulysses. He’s always happiest though when his Aunt Kristen is there with girlfriend, Mia.
Diva & Uylsses tuckered out after playing hard enough to knock cushions off the couch.
Lindy tells dad Stuart that it’s too hot to come out of the tunnel at our class.
Ulysses in his “charriot” where he has his own built-in pillow.
If you missed the Facebook Live stream that Thursday night, you can view it below.
A graduate team I was so proud to watch. Anatole, the pup pictured with his Warrior, John, was raised by my friend Joseph. The first outing I took Bella to was a friends 40th birthday dinner. At the party, Joseph picked Bella up, loved on her and then said, “Tell me more about this.” Of course, I did.
The result of that conversation was Joseph volunteering as a puppy raiser and raising Anatole.
Photos of Bella and Anatole as puppies.
The result of that 8-9 month commitment was seeing Anatole graduate with John. Sure makes the heart smile!
The first pic below is Tony and Radar. (Here’s their Dog Day pic.) When I started my volunteer journey with K9s, there was a fund raiser going on by the volunteers to sponsor a dog. The two ladies that headed this up gave themselves a year … it only took them 3 months to raise the $20,000+ needed. It was a special day for all the volunteers to see Tony and Radar graduate. I hope we can do this again. (Shhh … I’m not volunteering…)
The second pic is the gift the class gave to Shari.
A post from one of the graduates!
“Johnny O here, and it’s my turn to take a crack at the daily post. Great Monday morning started out with a few requests for some famous K9sFW Iced Coffee, sadly we didn’t have any foo foo creamer. The gang gathered up outside to present the Moms with Mother’s Day flowers which made them melt. Big Momma also graced us with her presence this morning and saw us off on our day trip to the Jacksonville Zoo and Garden – we were all excited to face this challenge. So, along with all the exotic loud animals at the zoo, there were about a half dozen school buses full of children that as always were captivated by us and the dogs. Our dogs seemed a little overwhelmed today; however, we did quite well with handling them. The sun beamed down on us and at times the scorching ground seemed like hell on our little warriors’ paws, but we kept them in the shade as much as possible. We had some lunch at the J-ville Zoo food court and topped it off with some pistachio ice cream. We were all pooped from the day and as usual, we had a fantastic dinner, got fat and rocked in our rocking chairs and Blaze rocked one of his songs. Today was a great experience. The great thing I find about our training is the boost in confidence that generates from being in a group. It’s been helpful with lowering my inhibitions and allowing my true self to come out. Drawing strength from each other is what has made this training smoother.”
From the Interweb
As an ambassador for K9s (a volunteer position different from puppy raiser), I have the pleasure of working with Carrie, and let me tell you, she’s a joy to work with. Always positive, encouraging and willing to help. I sign my emails “Your favorite pest” because I feel like I pester her more than necessary. Oh well, she handles that with grace.
Warrior training at the Jacksonville Zoo
Amanda, who was paired with Lazer in March (Bella’s BFF) posted on this photo, “Oh I agree! Lazer improved and saved my life 🐾thank you K9s For Warriors!”
K9s Most Tail-Wagging News Source * Warrior Update 107, May 2017
Vincelette took 26 pills a day just to calm his nerves. … “I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything,” he said. “I thought my wife and my kids would be better off without me.”
This is back before the House….
Until then, be safe.
This blog, week 17, represents May 15th – 21st, 2017.
Please note that article sources do not indicate my personal political leanings.
If the article is true and supports K9s for Warriors,
I do not care what side of the aisle it was written from!