Monday, March 3, 2014

Radio Daffy

I was asked by a twitter pal Catherine @CatherineInSea  who hosts a blog talk radio show, to be on her show and talk about #4Legs4Daffy and the anipal community.
The show was live this morning and you can listen to it in the link below.

Paige and Heather were unable to attend the RadioBlog chat but wrote lovely and heartwarming notes that can be read below

From Paige @BlessedBeagle

I was/am only one of Ingrid’s/Daffy’s many Twitter friends.  @nocrybabydogs has over 2500 followers and I believe a good number of them would have done what I did given the opportunity.  I was blessed to live less than a day’s drive from Ingrid and while I didn’t see her often, I did spend a few days with her.  I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I know many, many of her Twitter friends would love to have met her in person.

Ingrid was so special.  Funny, smart, caring, talented, creative are just a few of the adjectives that describe her.  And Daffy is a delightful little dog.  She’s really smart and quite adaptable.  She was a good traveler and fit right in our home the one night she was with us.  I’m so glad she’s doing well with Dana and Jim and TSK.

I know Jim Moody said a lesson to take away from this experience is to plan ahead for your pets’ futures in care you pre-decease them.  That is a really good lesson in Daffy’s story.  But the lesson that really stands out in my mind is how Twitter (and other forms of social media) can be a very powerful tool to unite people all over the world who have common interests.  Social media has received it’s share of negative attention, and rightly so when people use it to harm or take advantage of others, but it’s only as bad or good as the people who use it.  Ingrid and Dana and I, and so many others, formed friendships based on our shared love of animals.  Many in the “Anipal” community volunteer in shelters, transport animals to new “forever” homes, foster homeless pets, advocate for animals’ welfare or are simply loving pet owners.  It’s a very caring group and I think that’s not unusual because animal-lovers are caring people by nature.  One pal organized a memorial service on Twitter that took place today.  People participated from all over the US, Canada, England and even New Zealand and Australia.  The anipals are a very supportive and encouraging group of people who use Twitter in a positive manner to do extraordinary things like Daffy’s transport and things as simple as brightening someone else’s day.  Thru Ingrid and this experience I learned that a community is not limited to those who are geographically close or to family relationships and I’m so pleased to be part of the anipal community.  Ingrid was an integral part of that community and she is deeply missed.

Dana, of course, did most of the organizing and coordinating for Ingrid once her illness advanced, but so many others were really accessible to Ingrid on Twitter and tried their best to help her.  When I spent a few days with her in November, I’m not sure how many greeting cards she received.  I do know she received at least two packages a day - all from Twitter friends wanting to support her, encourage her and send their love.  By no means do I know all of Ingrid’s Twitter pals, but I do know a woman in Florida who emailed Ingrid every day for over two years.  A friend who lives in Pennsylvania did a lot of research on Ingrid’s behalf on social services like Elder Care that could provide her with care and support she needed.  Another friend from Pennsylvania faithfully send gifts and cards. 

There were four of us from the Twitter anipal community at Ingrid’s funeral a week ago.  One lady flew from Florida to be there.  Another lady drove from Oklahoma City and another lady drove from Wichita, KS.  We were all so happy to meet one another but sad that it had to be under those circumstances.  One Twitter pal who couldn’t attend Ingrid’s service sent a lovely peace lily that looked so nice at the front of the chapel.

It’s funny - I used to limit my anipals to dogs because I’m not really a cat person.  But because of Ingrid and her open mind and huge heart, I now enjoy Twitter friendships with lots of cat owners.  Ingrid opened my mind and my heart in that respect. 

The actual transport of Daffy was really fun.  Very well organized and just a joy to participate in it knowing it would please Ingrid.  She and Daffy adored one another.  It was so important to Ingrid that Daffy go to live with Dana and Jim in Oregon.  Dana and Jim were going to drive to Kansas to get Daffy, but knowing I wanted to attend Ingrid’s funeral service in Great Bend, I volunteered to bring her to Denver with me.  Then another Twitter pal who also lives here in Denver offered to drive Daffy to Salt Lake City.  They actually drove to Salt Lake City and back in one day.  They arrived there, dropped Daffy off with the person who was to drive the 3rd leg, and then turned right around and drove back to Denver.  It was s 14 hour day for them and they did it out of the goodness of their hearts.  I’m not sure how the third leg was organized but I do know that it all came together very quickly and everyone involved was just as nice and accommodating as they could be.  I couldn’t ask to be part of a more caring community.

I guess the last thing I’d like to add is this: It’s really true that everyone is fighting some kind of battle so it’s very important to be as kind and helpful as possible when the opportunity avails itself.  We all need help now and then and if we don’t yet we probably will in the future.  It makes the world such a better place when we have empathy and compassion for those who are struggling.  I think my experience with Ingrid has given me a heart for shut-ins, the elderly (although Ingrid really wan’t elderly) and people who are ill.  I hope I can - in Ingrid’s honor and memory - do more to help people in her situation.  It was an honor and my great pleasure to know her.  I miss interacting with her so very much but am glad her suffering is over.  So many of us were so concerned about her for such a long time.  It’s good now to relive the happy times before she got so sick and to remember what a truly great lady she was.  I choose to believe she’s happy in Heaven reunited with her parents, husband and son who all pre-deceased her.  I choose to believe she’s safe, pain-free and filled with joy.  That gives me comfort.

From Heather @BrutusTheDane and @BaileyTheDane

I never knew Ingrid personally, as in I never spoke to her on the phone or met her in person. We exchanged Christmas cards and little gifts over the years and I bought cards and magnets from her business. Although we exchanged emails, I knew her primarily through Twitter in conversations between our dogs (Daffy and my first Great Dane, Brutus, and since he passed, Bailey).

In 2009, I got involved with Twitter to promote my food writing but found I was talking a lot about my big goofy Great Dane, Brutus. Instead of talking about him, I decided to talk AS him @brutusthedane and discovered the anipal community which was really just beginning to form at the time. What developed over the years was a very active and philanthropic community that throws fundraising events for charitable organizations each month and generally has a good time together virtually. Brutus really became a pillar in the anipal community. He eventually became Captain of the pawty security team (we help keep spammers off the pawty hashtag, answer questions for people about the charity or how to pawty or whatever; he hosted a regular fundraising event called Dudefest; is the editor of The Anipal Times @anipaltimes; and he is the bass player for the anipal band, The Shibbering Cheetos @ShibberingC. The band's goal is to again, raise money for charitable organizations by playing music during Twitter pawties. This is how we came to really interact with Daffy. Daffy was one of the band's backup dancers--a Cheetoette. We all have costumes (avatars) and just generally raised a ruckus on Twitter all in the name of good fundraising.

A year ago today, Brutus passed away unexpectedly. I still tweet for him because he was such a beloved pal to the community and so involved I couldn't figure out how to extract him and myself! He was so loved that the NipClub group is celebrating him during the month of March by having their charity of the month be Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue (where he and Bailey, my new Dane, came from). I also tweet for @RMGDRI.

Anyway, it was through Brutus that I actually had the opportunity to meet Dana in person "furson" 2 years ago. BlogPaws was hosted here in Salt Lake City and she drove in to attend the event. I've always admired her dedication to being a "doer". When she sees a problem, she creates a solution by organizing fundraisers or writing about our anipal friends who need help. Ingrid and Daffy have been one of her most touching stories I've followed over the years. Dana's dedication to them has been heartwarming.

When Brutus died, I turned first to the anipal community for support and comfort and so in turn, when Ingrid passed, the anipal community showed it's genuine support of our "furiends" by turning out to help make Ingrid's last request come true and getting Daffy to Dana and her new life.

Dana has done so much good for so many people that I was honored to, for once, be able to give back to her and help bring them together. When she asked if we could participate in the transport, I didn't hesitate for a second. I jumped at the chance to help her and Daffy and pay tribute to Ingrid's life and dedication to Daffy. I was by far the luckiest leg of the transport too. Not only did I have the shortest drive in absolutely gorgeous weather, I also had the pleasure and honor of delivering Daffy into Dana's arms!

As part of the transport, Daffy got to spend the night with us (Bailey and my husband, Robert) and it was such fun to see how the personality I knew from Twitter played out in real life. Daffy is a smart, spunky and curious dog who was a joy to host and drive. She was obviously very devoted to Ingrid, and Ingrid to her, and to know that she was going to Dana--who I already highlighted as being absolutely amazing--is the dream story of dog rescue. I'll always be grateful that I was able to play a small part in this story and it is an adventure I will recall fondly for years to come.

Meanwhile, Daffy continues to do great! 
After my radio interview we went to our pilates class. There were folks in the class that saw the article in the paper! They wanted to know all about her.
Then we went to the dog park. We chose one not far from here that is very big and not used alot as we weren't sure how Daffy would be off-leash and around other dogs.
We needn't have worried. She did great. She came when called and when another dog (big dog!) came into the park Daffy quietly came up to him, had a sniff, and they both went on their merry way.
We will definitely go to the dog park again. Perhaps another that has more action.
Daffy and tsk continue to do well together. They are slowly inching closer and closer...just a matter of time before there is cuddling.
This is pretty close to a cuddle!

Daffy has become so popular she has 'peemail' to check already

Daffy's very first outing to the dog park, she did great!

Daffy loves the sunpuddles

On the same bed!! Sharing a sunpuddle
There was a little grooming.... tsk of Daffy...

Such a sweet girl, her mom would be so proud of her


  1. Just got caught up on all the posts. I'm thrilled beyond words that Daffy's settling in so well and that she and TSK get along. Thank you Dana and everyone involved in #4Legs4Daffy. You've created a happy ending for a very sad situation. Without kind hearts like yours, who knows what could have happened to Daffy!

  2. That is so cool to see your cat grooming Daffy. She is truly a loving, accepting beast:-)) I'm happy for Daffy that she has an anipal in the house.
    Ruthie and Bella the Rat Terrier Princess @Bella_Ruthie

  3. Another teary-eyed post for me. Dana and Jim, you are such a blessing to the anipal community> Those were great letters too from Brutus' mom, and Blessed Beagles' mom. What wonderful people they are too. Ingrid was blessed to have so many good friends