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Keeping abreast with Newt’s Nook


We’re proud to unofficially unveil the sign that will welcome visitors to “Newt’s Nook — A Home for Pitbulls.”

Now under construction in Celina, Texas, the shelter was made possible by a $5,000-plus donation from a Dallas strip club owner — the amount being a refund of what she paid to attend a dinner to receive an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Newt Gingrich’s organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future.

American Solutions, as we told you yesterday, mistakenly bestowed the honor on Dawn Rizos, the owner of The Lodge, a popular Dallas strip club.

When former Speaker of the House Gingrich, a week before the awards ceremony, uninvited Rizos, he agreed to refund the $5,000 that she, as instructed, had submitted in exchange for the privilege of eating dinner with him. He refunded her airfare as well.

“At first our feelings were hurt,” Rizos said. “But then we figured at least we could make something positive out of his bad manners.”

About the same time Rizos got her refund, she heard that Animal Guardians of America had an urgent need for a heated and  air-conditioned shelter for rescue dogs, primarily pit bulls, at its sanctuary in Celina.

“We do a lot of charitable work and we love animal rescue groups,” Ms. Rizos said. “The cost was about the same as the amount Newt sent back to us, so we decided to do something good with it.”

The formal dedication for Newt’s Nook is scheduled for early November.

“We’re sorry that Dawn was treated so unfairly,” said Annette Lambert, director of the Animal Guardians chapter in North Texas. “But this will be great for a lot of wonderful dogs. I hope Newt will stop by sometime to see what we’ve built in his name.”

Rizos says Gingrich is invited to the opening, as well as to The Lodge, which describes itself as “the country’s best-known and most-honored gentlemen’s club,” and one that has “set national standards for elegance and integrity, and helps hundreds of people support their families and improve their lives.”

“He’s always welcome at The Lodge,” Ms. Rizos said. “We don’t hold a grudge. And we still have a lot to talk about.”

(Photo:  The sign, created by The Lodge bartender Bryan Callaway, that will welcome pit bulls to their new shelter; courtesy of Mike Precker)


Comment from Baltimoregal
Time October 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

This makes me very happy.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time October 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I absolutely cannot stand Newt Gingrich. (That’s about as political as I get when it comes to non-dog matters…) It seems to me his staffers peddled this “award” to a whole lot of folks whose businesses might not get the Moral Majority Seal of Approval. He’s had to revoke more than one of them. I’m delighted the club’s owner has a sense of humor and a soft spot for Pits. Well done!

Comment from Jenifer
Time October 30, 2009 at 11:44 am

Um. John. PUN INTENDED?????

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time October 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Totally. I also wondered if they were going to Newter the dogs, but fortunately I kept that one to myself.

Comment from Jenifer
Time October 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Wise decision! Newter indeed. Definitely not something that should be tried out on your adoring but unsuspecting public until they have had an opportunity to digest their brunch.

Comment from lamarycontrary
Time November 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I will contribute to the welfare of these saved animals. Not because I dislike Newt, but because I love my pit bulls.

Comment from Charley
Time November 25, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Finally, someone in N Texas that feels the same about Pits as I do. I’m in Johnson County but will come up when I can to help.

Comment from Charley
Time November 25, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Webmaster, please approve and send me a message. This Breed is the finest God put on Earth.