Hair Of The Dog?

One thing we know for sure, dog lovers are a hearty lot, ready to share in their camaraderie and love of dogs. Whether it’s hosting dog-themed parties for friends or fundraising for an animal advocacy cause, it’s a given – the festivities almost always involve food and drink. Many adult beverages are named after a dog breed or are dog-inspired. We thought it would be fun to feature some of them alongside their recipes in our spring issue.

Our staging area was the award-winning ulele, located in historic Tampa Heights. It’s the newest restaurant from the Gonzmart family’s Columbia Restaurant Group and features native-inspired foods and spirits. The backdrop, vibe and colors made for some gorgeous photography.

While working with ulele Mixologist Chuck Cooper and ulele Head Brewmaster Timothy A. Shackton, we discovered their profound love of dogs. Both men were eager to share stories of how, when and why they adopted their dogs. It became obvious that this was too good to be true, and that we would be returning for a second, more dog-centric photo shoot.

But first – the drink recipes for your summer imbibing.

Colorado Bulldog 11/2 ounces Tito’s Vodka 11/2 ounces Kahlua 1 ounce cream or condensed milk Dark cola soda Combine vodka, Kahlua and cream in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into a collins or pilsner glass. Top with fresh cola. Garnish with three chocolate chips and serve with a tall straw. Serves one. Shown with a shot of ulele espresso.

Colorado Bulldog. Photograph by Laura Allen Studios for The New Barker.
Colorado Bulldog. Photograph by Laura Allen Studios for The New Barker.

Pomeranian 11/2 ounces white rum (Don Q) 1/2 ounce pomegranate liqueur (Pama) 1/2 ounce triple sec 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/4 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice Combine rum, liqueur, triple sec and juices in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon wheel and cocktail straw. Serves one.

Salty Chihuahua Wet the rim of an old fashioned glass with lime juice, then dip in crushed pink peppercorn and salt. 11/2 tequila (Patron Anejo) 1/2 ounce grapefruit liqueur (Pamplemousse) 5 to 6 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice Combine tequila, liqueur and juice in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into the peppercorn and salt rimmed old fashioned glass. Garnish with grapefruit wheel. Serves one.

Mixologist Chuck Cooper pours a Pomeranian (left) and a Salty Chihuahua.
Mixologist Chuck Cooper pours a Pomeranian (left) and a Salty Chihuahua.

Hair of the Dog 2 ounces vodka (Cane Fireant) 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 ounce sangrita 1 ounce fresh egg white 1 slice of jalapeño or Thai chili pepper Combine all ingredients in tin. Shake. Strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon and chili. Serve with a tall straw. Serves one.

"Learning about spirits enhances my need to know. It Intrigues me and made me realize I'm a history buff. After work, I go home and read books about booze, then create new drinks." Mixologist, Chuck Cooper, pouring a Hair Of The Dog.
“Learning about spirits enhances my need to know. It intrigues me and made me realize I’m a history buff. After work, I go home and read books about booze, then create new drinks.” Mixologist, Chuck Cooper, pouring a Hair Of The Dog.

Bloodhound 1 ounce Gin (Nolet’s) 1/3 ounce dry vermouth 1/3 ounce sweet vermouth 1/4 strawberry puree Combine all ingredients in tin with crushed ice. Shake. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of strawberry. Serves one.

The beautiful Bloodhound.
The beautiful Bloodhound.

Dog’s Nose 11/2 ounce Absolut Vanilla Vodka 14 ounces Buckhorn Black Nutmeg or cinnamon Add vodka to a 16 ounce chilled pilsner glass. Pour beer over vodka to fill glass. Dust with the freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon. Serves one.

Inside the Ulele Spring Brewery (left to right): Rusty Red, Pirate's Barrel Lager, Buckhorn Black Lager for Dog's Nose.
Inside the Ulele Spring Brewery (left to right): Rusty Red, Pirate’s Barrel Lager, Buckhorn Black Lager for Dog’s Nose.

The colloquialism, hair of the dog originally referred to a method of treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog. In the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898), Ebenezer Cobham Brewer wrote, “In Scotland, it was a popular belief that a few hairs of the dog that bit you applied to the wound would prevent evil consequences. Applied to drinks, it means, if overnight you have indulged too freely, take a glass of the same wine within 24 hours to soothe the nerves.”

The Money Shot, in one take, at the front entry of ulele. Wow. From left to right: Guinevere, Hope, Abby, Bella, Levi, Miss Roux, Peter. Photograph by award-winning photographer, Laura Allen.
The Money Shot, in one take, at the front entry of ulele. Wow. From left to right: Guinevere, Hope, Abby, Bella, Levi, Miss Roux, Peter. Photograph by award-winning photographer, Laura Allen.
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The Dogs of Summer.

In the world of Minor League Baseball, 2008 may have been the year of the dog, according to Benjamin Hill of MiLB. On January 18 of that year, the Greensboro Grasshoppers announced that the collar of Miss Babe Ruth, the club’s popular Black Labrador, had sold for $290 in a charity auction. Miss Babe Ruth was billed as the youngest bat dog in the history of the Minor Leagues when she made her on-field debut in Greensboro in 2006.

Also on January 18, 2008, Maverick the Wonder Dog became part of the Brooklyn Cyclones front office. And just three days later, the Trenton Thunder announced that Chase, their popular Golden Retriever, had fathered a litter of puppies.

Chase was actually acquired at the end of the Thunder’s 2002 season. Over the years, he became a disc-chasing community icon. Fans lined up at every game to obtain his paw-tograph. Even Derek Jeter was among Chase’s long list of close and personal friends. Chase retired in 2013, and soon after passed away. His son, Home Run took over as the lone bat dog for the Trenton Thunder. He even brings water out to the umpires during games. Check out the Chase Video tribute. What a ham.

Major League Baseball is catching up. Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Brewers adopted Hank, a stray dog found near the MLB team’s Phoenix spring training facility. He was hungry and scared, and appeared to have been hit by a car.

Healed and healthy, Hank now travels with the team. So, now we’re wondering if he’ll be with the team as they meet up to play the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 28, 29 and 30. We would love Hank to meet Bailey, a Florida Ambassadog for shelter dogs everywhere.  Her favorite team is the Tampa Bay Rays, and she loves Joe Maddon (but, has yet to meet him). She even channels Maddon by wearing her own Ray Ban glasses while listening to #Bruce Springsteen. In fact, Glory Days might be Bailey’s favorite song.

Just a few years ago, Bailey was 12 hours from being euthanized when a volunteer from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay discovered her, sitting in the back of a crate. She was shivering, scared and had painful tight mats all over her fur. Bailey’s story is like thousands of other dogs waiting to be adopted. Luckily, today she lives a good life, traveling everywhere with her humans, including to Tropicana Field during the Bark in the Ball Park Dog Day. She has also been the Doggie Dining Diva for THE NEW BARKER, contributing as a “restaurant reviewer.” (#Laura Reily and #Jeff Houck, watch your backs…).

We know how supportive the Rays have been to local rescue organizations such as Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Could a meet up on the pitcher’s mound between Bailey and Hank occur during the Rays vs Brewers game to show a unified support for shelter dogs everywhere? Stay tuned. THE NEW BARKER plans to lobby for it, and we’ll need our fans’ voices and votes to make it work. Please visit the Event page at THE NEW BARKER on Facebook. Simply cast your vote for either Bailey or Hank by writing a comment as to why you think one or the other (or even both) should step up to the pitcher’s mound on July 30 to throw (or goober) the first pitch. Then share the page to your family and friends. It’s all in good fun to help bring more awareness to the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy.

Chase, the official bat dog for the Trenton Thunder.
Chase, the official bat dog for the Trenton Thunder.
Miss Babe Ruth made her debut with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2006.
Miss Babe Ruth made her debut with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays fan, Bailey and her Joe Maddon Ray Bans.
Tampa Bay Rays fan, Bailey and her Joe Maddon Ray Bans.
Hank, mascot for MLB's Milwaukee Brewers, running the bases.
Hank, mascot for MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, running the bases.

Every Home Should Have a Dog. And Every Dog Should Have a Home.

Yes, we do love dogs. Leanne came perfectly dressed to work The New Barker dog magazine booth during Florida's Largest Home Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Yes, we do love dogs. Leanne came perfectly dressed to work The New Barker dog magazine booth during Florida’s Largest Home Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Florida’s Largest Home Show and The New Barker dog magazine have teamed up to bring something warm and fuzzy to the Florida State Fairgrounds this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 18, 19 and 20). The Fall Fling Adopt-A-Pet will provide a free venue for Florida rescue groups to showcase their adoptables, hand out information and even collect donations for their cause: saving dogs from euthanasia.

For 29 years Turner Expo has produced Florida’s Largest Home Show in the Tampa Bay Area. With more than 900 exhibits, the shows have been selected as one of the top 30 premiere home shows in the country and featured in the National Home & Garden Show Series. The success of the shows inspired Turner Expositions co-owner Paige Kolm, to give back to her community, which has been so supportive of the Home Shows. The avid dog lover is concerned about the high rate of euthanasia and the number of homeless dogs. It is a fact that an astounding 9,000 dogs and cats are killed every day in shelters across the country. “I just wanted to stop being an observer and become a doer. We, as a community, have to help change this situation, and we cannot rely on one entity to shoulder the entire burden,” said Paige.

Of particular benefit to the rescue groups’ adoption efforts is that visitors coming to The Home Show are prepared to shop for the home. In other words, people come with the mindset to spend money. “It’s an entirely different demographic and vibe for the shelters and rescue groups participating,” said Anna Cooke, editor of The New Barker dog magazine. While browsing aisle after aisle of appliances, the latest in home entertainment technology, bedroom decor and comfort options, landscaping, high tech cookware and more, the visitor is pleasantly surprised by the appearance of puppies and dogs. “It’s a nice break for the shopper to interact with the dogs. And, it gives the volunteers fostering the adoptables an opportunity to reach out to a new group of people,” added Cooke. “Maybe some dogs will be adopted. Maybe some shoppers will be inclined to make a donation. In either case, we’re informing more people, outside of the world of rescue, about the work these volunteers are doing.”

Volunteer Pat Hose accepts a donation from The New Barker dog magazine.
Pat Hose, a volunteer for Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay, accepts a donation from The New Barker dog magazine. The New Barker donated five dollars of each magazine subscription purchased via the Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay website.

The Spring Show in March, 2013 was the first time Florida’s Largest Home Show invited the rescue groups. Animal Based Charities helped coordinate the rescue groups. “We had more than 25 groups participate over the three-day event,” said Kolm. “We were so pleased with the response from our guests, that we decided to do it again for our Fall Home Show.”

Home Sweet Dog Home. The New Barker booth during the Spring Home Show and Adoption Fling featured products by Bowsers Pet Products.
Home Sweet Dog Home. The New Barker booth during the Spring Home Show and Adoption Fling featured products by Bowsers Pet Products.

In conjunction with the Fall Fling Adopt-A-Pet, on Saturday, Bay Area Kennel Clubs are participating in an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. There will be Canine Good Citizen evaluations, demonstrations in Freestyle, Agility and Rally/Obedience. One-on-one sessions with a trainer, a Meet the Breed Parade and more. At The New Barker booth, homeowners will be able to speak with experts about liability insurance for their dogs, a different kind of home security and personal protection option, hospice care/end-of-life planning for the family pet and more. IN DOG WE TRUST will be selling their official NFL sanctioned line of dog bandanas.

Show hours are Friday, October 18, 11a-6p; Saturday, October 19, 11a-7p; Sunday, October 20, 11a-5p. The event is free on Friday during the ABC Action News FREE Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, adult tickets are $8; senior tickets are $7; children under 12 get in free. The Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US Highway 301 North, Tampa. Attendees will want to use the 301 entrance gate.

Yes, Florida's Largest Home Show is Dog Friendly.
Yes, Florida’s Largest Home Show is Dog Friendly.

Contacts:

Paige Kolm/Turner Expositions/813.677.6925

Anna Cooke/The New Barker Dog Magazine/727.214.7453

 

Stellar Canine Athleticism in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Downtown St. Petersburg had its wow factor turned on to high voltage for a spectacular dog day afternoon on Saturday, May 4. The 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge brought in dogs and their humans from all over the country to compete in dog diving, agility, Jack Russell Terrier races, 30-weave up-and-back and freestyle flying disc. Incredible is the right word for this dog-filled event.

As a venue, Spa Beach Park is perfect. Its proximity to the St. Petersburg Pier and a boat-filled waterfront gave out-of-towners a visual treat. And while the cloud-filled sky threatened to burst at any minute, it rained only briefly, towards the end of the day. The downpour arrived during a beautiful freestyle flying disc performance. The team continued its performance, undaunted, as most of the crowd ran for cover.

The overall event set-up was pretty near perfect, with bleacher seating on two sides and VIP seating on another. There were several big screen TVs displayed throughout, including the main one just above the dog diving staging area. Spectators were able to see every competition from any vantage point within the event’s parameters, thanks to an incredible video production crew from F&F Productions. The show’s production, including sound, music and announcing were all spot-on, adding complete entertainment value to the competition. Speaking of value, the event was free to the public and their dogs.

Complimentary copies of The New Barker Dog Magazine were handed out in the main merchandise tent as well as in the VIP tent. The New Barker Dog Magazine team, including Heather Schulman and Leanne Sandbach, photographed and interviewed competitors and spectators for our summer issue. The event itself will be broadcast in Tampa Bay on May 11 on the CBS affiliate, WTSP at 1:00pm. To find out where the event broadcasts in your Florida city, visit BarkNetWork.

In the meantime, here is just a teaser of what we saw during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. No question about it, these dogs rocked & ruled.

Baxter, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois broke records during the dog diving competition. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois broke records during the dog diving competition. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter shakes it off after one of his jumps. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Baxter shakes it off after one of his jumps.
Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Energy and high-flying athleticism were in full swing during this team's freestyle flying disc performance.  Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine
Energy and high-flying athleticism were in full swing during this team’s freestyle flying disc performance. Photograph by Anna Cooke for
The New Barker Dog Magazine
Freestyle Flying Disc Competition during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge in St. Petersburg, FL. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.
Freestyle Flying Disc Competition during the 2013 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge in St. Petersburg, FL. Photograph by Anna Cooke for The New Barker Dog Magazine.

Dog Lovers Around the World Agree: That’s One for Pope Francis.

The new pontiff was presented to the world as: “Cardinalem Bergoglio, qui sibi nomen impost Franciscum.” (translated: Cardinal Bergoglio, who takes for himself the name of Francis). Bergoglio’s decision to become the first pope ever to be known by the name Francis is almost unprecedented and a bold choice, according to Vatican analyst John Thavis.

Picked in a reference to Saint Francis of Assisi, the most iconic saint in Catholic tradition, the name symbolizes poverty, humility, simplicity and peace. “What has made this pope an early hit with the public is the sense that Francis is more than a name. It is a statement about the kind of pope he wants to be,” Thavis wrote on the National Catholic Reporter.

So, it is no coincidence that one of the first privileged to receive a physical blessing from Pope Francis’s hands this past weekend was a Labrador Retriever named Asia. Scores of journalists came from all over the world to cover the conclave that led to the election of the first Jesuit, the first non-European and the first Latin American pontiff. Asia is a service dog belonging to visually impaired radio journalist, Alessandro Forlani, who works for Italian RAI radio.

As Forlani waited in line with Asia to enter the hall, security guards told him that most likely he would not be allowed inside. “But after a few minutes, Vatican officials gave me the green light, and I was accompanied by a Swiss guard to the audience hall,” said Forlani. He and Asia were seated near the first row of seats.

At the end of the pope’s magnetic speech, a previously-selected group of media notables was presented to the pontiff. While the journalists lined up to be greeted by Pope Francis, Vatican officials approached Forlani and Asia.

Pope Francis blesses Asia, a Labrador Retriever. Photo credit Discovery News.
Pope Francis blesses Asia, a Labrador Retriever. Photo credit Discovery News.

“They said that Pope Francis had asked to meet me. He had seen Asia and wanted to see both of us,” said Forlani, who asked the Pope for a blessing for his wife and daughter at home. Then, Pope Francis bent down to caress Asia and said, “and a special blessing for (your) dog too.”

It was a fitting image for a pope inspired by the patron saint of animals.

The New Barker dog magazine is Florida’s top dog lifestyle magazine.

Because of You.

The staff at the veterinary hospital braced themselves behind the desk. Across the lobby they watched as a couple scrutinized the invoice’s contents for their dog’s medical treatment. Their dog, who had been diagnosed with renal cancer, had just undergone a successful yet grueling surgical procedure to remove her cancerous kidney, and part of her adrenal gland. She was still in recovery, under close watch. The office manager was prepared to explain the bill, but Dr. Nick Bacon, the surgical oncologist, walked towards Lisa and Harry Posin instead. As Harry pointed to the bill, he remarked, “Dr. Bacon, I think there must be some mistake with the bill.” So Dr. Bacon graciously began the task of going over each item on the bill, line by line. Afterwards, Harry pressed on, “But doctor, the bill is too low. Is your fee in here? Dr. Bacon exhaled. Suddenly, the weariness from the surgery washed away, as he assured Harry that indeed his fee was part of the bill. Thus began a warm and mutually rewarding relationship between Dr. Bacon, the Posins, Olive, their beloved Maltese, and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

Olive, during her promotional photo shoot for Olive's Way.
Olive, during her promotional photo shoot for Olive’s Way.

Olive’s Way. A Love Story. Olive was three when Lisa and Harry noticed something was not right. Their always alert and energetic dog had been lethargic for several days, and her eyes appeared puffy. They took her to their family veterinary clinic in Boca Raton where she was diagnosed with conjunctivitis, and subsequently treated with steroids. But Olive’s condition wasn’t improving. In fact, while Lisa’s mom, Marie McCarron was babysitting Olive, she observed that Olive seemed to be getting worse. Marie drove Olive to the veterinary clinic, stormed the office and firmly requested, “I want to see the records for my granddaughter.”

It turns out, no blood work had ever been done on Olive to confirm, or pinpoint the origin of her illness. Lisa flew back from New York immediately, and took Olive to her mother’s veterinarian in Boynton Beach. “When the doctor came out of the exam room, holding Olive in his arms, I knew right away by the look on his face that something was terribly wrong,”said Lisa. “I called Harry and asked him to please come over, right away. And then, for some reason, when I hung up the phone, I just walked out of the clinic’s lobby, holding tightly onto Olive’s little sweater. I just walked and walked for, I don’t know how many miles. When a car pulled up alongside me, I turned to see it was Harry. He was holding Olive, and I could tell he had been crying.”

“Olive has cancer,” Harry told Lisa. “We’ll get her the best treatment available,” he assured her.

The Posins immediately took Olive to a specialty hospital in Coral Springs to see Dr. Morales. From what she had been told by Marie’s veterinarian, Dr. Morales initially thought to herself that there was little hope for Olive. She would make sure Olive was comfortable until the Posins were ready to let her go.

But the tests that Dr. Morales ran revealed a glimmer of hope. The cancer was encapsulated, and if removed immediately, Olive might stand a good chance of living. When the Posins asked Dr. Morales where they should go for the surgery, she immediately recommended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Lisa looked at Harry, and then at Dr. Morales and said, “I don’t think you understand, Dr. Morales. We’ll take Olive anywhere in the world to ensure that she receives the best possible treatment and care.” Without a blink of an eye, Dr. Morales gently answered, “Well, then, you’ll be taking Olive to the University of Florida, of course.”

While Lisa, her mom and Olive traveled to Gainesville by plane that same afternoon, Dr. Morales was already on the phone with Dr. Nick Bacon, head of the Oncology Unit at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Harry would fly up later that evening.

What makes the UF College of Veterinary Medicine so special is the team approach taken with each patient to reach a diagnosis and recommend the subsequent care. For one consultation fee, the patient is seen by an entire team of specialists in one location. It is often a profound savings in cost, and certainly a savings in time, as all tests, procedures and specialists are contained on one campus. Once in the system, a family is gently guided throughout the various processes by the team, while being provided thorough explanations and assurances along the way.

Dr. Bacon explained the bell curve of Olive’s diagnosis and prognosis to Lisa and Marie. She could live another 16 months if the surgery was successful, he told them. As reassuring as the entire team in the room was being, Lisa was still consumed with fear and utter sadness at the realization that Olive could actually die. A young woman on Olive’s team, sitting next to Lisa, took her hand and said, “We’re here to help you, any way we can.” Suddenly, Lisa looked around and became acutely aware of her surroundings. “I felt as if I was in the most amazing place, with the most amazing people,” said Lisa. “The positive energy within that whole environment made me feel hopeful, and I realized at that moment, anything was possible.”

Several times during the nearly six hour surgery the following morning, the Posin’s were given updates on Olive’s condition. Afterwards, Dr. Bacon, who had performed the surgery, sat with the Posins for about an hour to further discuss Olive’s condition with them. 24 hours after the surgery, the Posins were able to peek in on Olive. “It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in my life,” said Lisa, “She was swaddled up, and with her pretty bright eyes looking at me, I just knew she was going to be okay.”

Convinced that the bill was correct, but not completely satisfied, Harry asked Dr. Bacon, “How much money is raised each year for the oncology unit?” Surprisingly, on average, only $10,000 in donations came in sporadically each year by humans whose animals’ lives had been touched by the College of Veterinary Medicine. “They were making due with what they had,” said Lisa.

The Posins, who had together already decided they would make a donation to the oncology unit for their efforts in having saved Olive’s life, decided that they also wanted to create a vehicle to raise even more money specifically for the Oncology Unit. Through this foundation, all of the money raised would go to help develop more research programs, purchase state-of-the-art equipment and fund in whole or part, an internship, a residency in medical oncology, and a fellowship in surgical oncology.

“Harry named the foundation Olive’s Way to show that this would be the way, a beacon of hope for those pets suffering with cancer. Because with hope, as I already know, anything is possible,” said Lisa. In 2008, a year after Olive’s surgery, the first fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, raising an astounding $320,000. Olive attended, as did Dr. Bacon. “Once people knew of the wonderful work taking place at the University, they immediately wanted to help by making donations to the foundation. They had just never realized that their help was needed to keep the College of Veterinary Medicine viable and growing,” said Lisa. “Due to the severity of Olive’s illness and the complex nature of the surgery,” Harry strongly believes, “had it not been for the skilled oncology team at the University of Florida, we would likely have lost Olive on the operating table.”

The oncology service at the College of Veterinary Medicine has grown from a single clinician in 2002 to the largest training center for veterinary oncologists in the Southeastern United States. In 2010, the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida opened a new hospital with 100,000 square feet dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of veterinary patients. Today, the University of Florida is one of only two centers in the world to train veterinarians in cancer surgery in a post-residency program. Olive’s Way has helped to make all of this possible. Olive defied the odds and lived another four years after her surgery. “They were four good years too,” said Lisa, who can still vividly recall the day it was time to let Olive go. “I was lying in bed with her face on my face. Harry was looking at us with tears in his eyes, waiting to take her. That precise moment in time always comes back to me whenever I see anyone else in pain. I still miss her dearly, and telling her story allows me to get back in touch with her. I never want to lose sight of her, and I can be completely re-charged just by seeing a picture of her.” Dr. Bacon changed the Posin’s lives, and they changed his. As a result, he has changed the whole landscape of the oncology department at the University. “Even though cancer is such a horrible subject, we are on the hopeful side of it, thanks to Olive’s Way, and the Oncology Department at the University of Florida,” said Lisa.

Her Name is Lucca, the Military Working Dog.

'Canines With Courage'
Retired U.S. Marine Rober Harr, 86 (center) with U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham (right) and U.S. Marine Cpl. Juan Rodriguez (left) with Lucca on the Natural Balance 2013 Rose Parade Float, Canines with Courage. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times).

A decade ago, Military Working Dogs like Lucca would have most likely been euthanized after her service. The dogs were considered government equipment and too dangerous to return to domestic life. Thousands of dogs working for the military have been sent overseas since 1942. Over the years, many have been left behind as excess equipment. During the Vietnam War, about 4,000 American war dogs were employed in various capacities. About 300 dogs were killed in action or were victims of either tropical diseases or infections. The rest of the dogs were reportedly put down by military veterinarians or given to the South Vietnamese Army.

In 2000, President Clinton signed a law allowing retired soldiers and civilians to adopt the Military Working Dogs after their deployments.

John Burnam, who served in Vietnam and wrote a first-person account of working with a front-line scout dog named Clipper, will also be riding on the float today. Clipper never made it back to the United States. Burnam is president of the foundation that established the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, which is scheduled to be completed in October, 2013. Burnam’s story about Clipper inspired Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC), who introduced legislation for a national monument. In 2008, President Bush signed the bill into law, and President Obama authorized Burnam’s foundation to build and maintain the San Antonio, Texas monument.

The bronze statue features a Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and a Belgian Malinois leading a dog handler on patrol. The $1.2 million dollar price tag was funded solely by grants and donations led by sponsors Natural Balance, Petco and Maddie’s Fund.

Cpl. Juan Rodriguez, 23, credits Lucca with saving his life. The dog sniffed out a booby trap, setting off the bomb that took her leg. Cpl. Rodriguez later escorted Lucca to her first handler, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham, 33. Lucca is living the life of spoiled retirement, and enjoying every minute of it.

The New Barker dog magazine is honored to be a longtime supporter and sponsor of Military Working Dog Team Support Association (MWDTSA). Over the years, through the support of our retail advertisers and their own generous customers, supplies have been collected for the dogs and their handlers currently deployed overseas. We have collected the donations and transported them to the SPCA Florida in Lakeland. There, they are either shipped to Atlanta, or Dixie Whitman, the executive director of MWDTSA drives to Lakeland from Atlanta to pick up the supplies. Dixie then packages and ships the supplies directly to the deployed handlers and their dogs.

You can learn more about this fine organization by reading Lucca’s story. Supplies continue to be collected at Fluffy Puppies, Clearwater; Gone to the Dogs, St. Pete Beach; Groovy Cats & Dogs, Tampa; One Lucky Dog, St. Petersburg; Paw Paws Pet Boutique, Madeira Beach; Pawsitively Posh Pooch, St. Petersburg; Pet Food Warehouse, St. Petersburg; Pet Supplies Plus, Clearwater & Pinellas Park; and Wet Noses Boutique, Sarasota.