Tag: travels with ace calendar
Dogs can’t be perpetual — despite what some people might try to tell you — but dog calendars can.
While I pledged to selfishly ignore all calendars other than my own — that being the 2012 (and half of 2013) Travels With Ace Calendar, which documents the year my dog and I recently spent rambling the country – I’ve realized that, under the guise of writing about the works of others, I can sneak in plugs for my own calendar, and my own book.
See, I’ve already plugged them both twice and I haven’t even mentioned “Everyday Dogs: A Perpetual Calendar for Birthdays and Other Notable Dates” (Heyday Books), which showcases, through vintage photos and quotes, the special bonds between humans and their dogs.
“Everyday Dogs” is the work of two staff members at the University of California at Berkeley. Mary Scott is a graphic designer for the campus’s Doe and Moffitt libraries. Susan Snyder is public services director at university’s Bancroft Library.
The cover of the 152-page book is a photo taken by noted 19th century California photographer Carleton E. Watkins of a dog named Guardian in a wicker carriage. It’s just one of 75 black-and-white photos featured, all taken between roughly 1870 and the 1940s.
The photos are coupled with dog-related literary quotes from, to name just a few, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jack London, Mark Twain, John Muir, John Steinbeck and Gertrude Stein (who’s also pictured with her poodle, Basket).
Whether you’re a fan of literature, history or dogs — or, preferably, all three — you’re going to appreciate this collection. It’s playful, wise, revealing and provocative, much like a dog.
“All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog,” Franz Kafka, one of those quoted in the “Everyday Dogs” calendar, once said.
He was right, I think, with the possible exception of today’s date.
For that you need a calendar. Or two.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bancroft library, black and white, books on dogs, calendar, cloning, date book, dog books, dog calendars, dog inc., dogs, emily dickinson, everyday dogs, gertrude stein, heyday books, jack london, john muir, john steinbeck, literary, mark twain, mary scott, perpetual, perpetual calendar, pets, photographs, photos, quotes, susan snyder, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar, university of california, vintage
If you think animal welfare can get vicious — what with all the desperate-for-funds parties involved, all the politics, all the backstabbing — consider, if you will, the calendar industry.
Having recently stepped into the field myself — you may call me either an entrepreneur or impresario; I think I prefer the latter – I’m amazed at all the calendars vying for the public’s attention, and that’s just counting the ones for good animal causes.
Of course, it would be foolish of me to mention any of them by name, as that might cut into sales of my “Travels with Ace: One Dog’s Year on the Road” calendar, 50 percent of the profits from which go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for blind, deaf and disabled animals in New Hampshire.
The ”Travels with Ace” calendar — and here is a page where you may learn more about it (and buy it repeatedly) — documents the year Ace and I spent traveling across America, emulating John Steinbeck and his poodle Charley.
As Steinbeck did in his classic work “Travels with Charley” I hope to turn my travels with Ace into a book — though one far different from his, one more whimsical, one that takes itself far less seriously, one that’s more like the dog, which is really what my trip, unlike his, was about. It’s different, too, in this way: While Steinbeck was attempting to take the pulse of mainstream Americans, I, by nature, gravitate to offbeat types.
Ace, too; maybe that’s why we’re a team. It’s also why you’ll find us, as you flip through the months, hanging with hobos in Tucson, climbing brightly painted Salvation Mountain in California, and rubbing elbows (and nothing more) with the staff at a strip club in Dallas.
But that was the fun part, and a diversion from what we’re here to talk about today — the business of wall calendars.
The business world can get pretty cut-throat, which is why I’ve always detoured around it whenever possible. It’s also why we won’t be mentioning any competitors, like BARCS Orioles calendar, and why we will snub as well the Maryland SPCA calendar, not to mention the ASPCA calendar.
We realize you have many calender buying options. We realize, too, that you can usually get them for free, if you’re willing to look at advertisements for insurance companies, funeral homes, hardware stores, banks or real estate agents.
But we have the one thing (in addition to being good for 18, count ‘em, 18 months; in addition to featuring our old dog friends back in Baltimore; in addition to showing you the dogs and people we met in our travels) that no other calendar has:
He, despite his starring role in the calendar, has been of absolutely no help when it comes to the handling, the packing, the shipping, the signing (yes I sign each one) and the never-ending trips and long waits in line at the post office.
I am doing all the heavy lifting, all the monotonous work, and more of it than I expected — and I’m loving it.
Why? I think it has something to do with Christmas, and with the giving (though I am far from giving them away), and, maybe most of all, with keeping me occupied over the holidays.
Living alone, not counting Ace, and having gotten away in recent years from any sort of decorating, baking, caroling, playing Santa in dog photo with Santa fundraisers, or other festive acts, I tend to get a little Scroogy around the holidays.
With the demands of the calendar, though, my apartment — though it is elf-free — is feeling a little like Santa’s workshop.
I bustle about with scissors and markers and tape and lists, attempting to make sure, with all due precision, that orders get filled and delivered — unscathed, we hope — to all those who ordered them. (I think, at one point, I was even humming a happy tune.)
While nobody’s getting rich, except maybe for the company that printed them, the calendar is doing well. Our first printing sold out, and they’re all in the hands of the post office now. Our second shipment should arrive here this week.
The bulk of our orders are coming through PayPal, but if you want to order by mail, send a check for $28 and your address to ohmidog!, 804-D Avalon Road, Winston-Salem, NC, 27104.
If you live in Canada, or Europe, or someplace like that, precisely throw in a little more for shipping.
And to all those who ordered one, to all those who didn’t, and even to all those other dog calendar-selling organizatons, Happy Holidays!
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, 2013, ace, america, animal welfare, animals, business, calendar, christmas, competitition, dogs, gift, good causes, holidays, john steinbeck, ohmidog!, pets, photography, road trip, rolling dog farm, salvation mountain, santa, strip club, travel, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar, travels with charley
All of the dogs at Rolling Dog Farm are beloved.
But Blind Patti — it’s fair, if not gramatically correct to say — was beloveder than most.
The eyeless shepherd mix, one of the dogs featured in our “Travels with Ace” calendar, passed away Nov. 20.
“Our beautiful blind girl Patti died tonight, just a few minutes before 7 p.m. She passed away here at home peacefully, lying on a big soft fleece bed in the dog room, covered with a fleece blanket,” Rolling Dog’s Steve Smith reported from the sanctuary’s home in New Hampshire.
Patti came to Rolling Dog Farm — back when it was still in Montana — from Spokane Animal Control.
When she arrived in 2003, one of her eyes was missing, and the other was solid white. A scar ran across her forehead from one eye to the other, and suspicions were that she had been struck with either an ax, hatchet or shovel.
At the Spokane shelter, she’d been scheduled to be euthanized her second week there, but an employee felt sorry for her, checked her out of the facility the day before she was to be put down, and tried to find her a home.
Rolling Dog Farm (called Rolling Dog Ranch at the time) was contacted and agreed to take her in, and another rescue group agreed to transport the blind and battered dog to Ovando, Montana, where the sanctuary, until last year, was headquartered.
She was thin and had a ragged coat when she arrived in Montana, with one seemingly empty eye socket. When Rolling Dog Farm took her to their vet, the remnants of an eyeball were found in the open eye socket. They cleaned it out, and sewed the eye shut. The other eye, which she couldn’t see out of and which was clearly causing her pain, was removed.
After that, Patti blossomed, according to the profile of her on the Rolling Dog Farm website:
“Even though she can’t see, she still thinks of herself as a guard dog of sorts. She stands at the fence and barks if she thinks anything, or anyone, is out there and we ought to know about it. Now plump, her coat shines. (At 80 pounds, she’s on a diet!) She loves to ‘mix it up’ with Steve … woofing and wrestling and showing him just how tough she is.
“Her favorite activity is to climb on to Steve’s lap while he tries to read the paper. Not content to merely lay on his lap, Patti insists on rolling over upside down, feet up in the air, tummy ready to be scratched. And if she doesn’t get the attention Patti thinks she deserves, she begins squirming.”
I first met Patti when I visited the sanctuary in Montana in 2007, and I ran into her again when, during the year Ace and I traveled the country, we stopped in at Rolling Dog Farm’s new home in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
About a year after that, this past October, Smith noticed Patti wasn’t herself. A series of trips to veterinarians followed, and what was at first thought to be one cancerous mass turned out to be a rapidly increasing series of them. About four weeks ago, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called hemangiosarcoma.
“She was one of our stars, a favorite of volunteers, employees, visitors and media over the years,” Steve, who runs the sanctuary with his wife, Alayne Marker, noted.
“Only four dogs have been with us as long as Patti — Widget, Goldie, Cedar and Libby. So she was a fixture not only of the sanctuary, but of our hearts as well.”
The day after she died, Steve, who I’d been exchanging emails with regarding making Rolling Dog Farm a beneficiary of sales of our “Travels with Ace” calendar, opened up a link I sent him to the calendar page.
The calendar documents some of the memorable moments from the year Ace and I spent traveling the U.S. — including our stop at Rolling Dog Farm. In addition to receiving 50 percent of profits from the sales, Rolling Dog Farm is featured one month, and among the photos I used — though I didn’t know of her condition — was one of Patti.
“… On that page you’ll see a photo of me with blind Patti that almost made me cry,” Steve recounts on the Rolling Dog Farm blog. “When John sent me the link, I clicked on it, the page opened … and there was the photo.”
The photo shows Steve and Patti, face to face, and I like to think it comes close to capturing the essence of what Patti, blind as she was, far more eloquently depicted than I ever could.
As Steve puts it:
“She showed us how animals are immensely capable of forgiving — if not forgetting — what people have done to them. “
Posted by jwoestendiek November 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2012, abused, animal control, animals, blind, blind patti, blinded, calendar, cancer, dead, deaf, died, disabled, dogs, eyeless, hatchet, lancaster, montana, new hampshire, ovando, patti, pets, photography, rolling dog farm, rolling dog ranch, sanctuary, shepherd mix, shovel, spokane, steve smith, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar
Which is surprising, considering how loud, garish, and exclamation point-filled it is.
Likely, there are two reasons I’ve been taken by surprise: First, I don’t have a proper wall calendar, on which I can write down important dates. Second, up until the last couple of days — even though it has been around since at least 2005 — I’d never heard of it.
In case you’re as uninformed as I was, Cyber Monday is basically Black Friday online, with Internet retailers offering alleged discounts on purchases made through their websites.
After three days of shopping ’til you drop (apparently Black Friday also includes Saturday and Sunday), yet another day is set aside for you to spend some more in the comfort of your home.
Normally, I couldn’t care less about Cyber Monday. But with the announcement of our new 2012 (and half of 2013) “Travels with Ace” calendar — now available at a website near you — I would like to hop aboard the bandwagon and take advantage of any spending frenzy that’s out there.
So, for one day only — what the heck, let’s make it a week; no, let’s go crazy and say a full month (while supplies last) — our sister website (TravelswithAce.com) will be taking orders for the calendar at full price. That’s right, full price, allowing you to spend the money that you, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have saved elsewhere.
What, you were expecting a bargain? Alas, we shant be slashing prices — for several reasons.
First off, the calendar is raising money for Rolling Dog Farm, with 50 percent of all profits going to the non-profit organization that cares for blind, deaf and disabled animals in New Hampshire.
Second, I put it together through a website that will remain nameless – unless you order a calendar, in which case it will have their name plastered on it somewere — and as I was doing so, the price kept going up. When I called to see if I could get an additional discount given my volume purchase, and given it was a partly philanthropic effort, I was told no — that the current “sale” price was the best they could offer. Because the website pointed out the sale price was expiring that day, I placed my order. Guess what happened the next day? The price went down, a little. In other words, I paid too much for them.
Third, it’s an 18-month calendar. That’s six, SIX! extra bonus months. It’s also a limited edition, and each copy will be hand signed. My first real foray into Internet marketing ( if you haven’t already figured that out), the ”Travels with Ace” Calendar features some of the more memorable moments from the year Ace and I spent traveling the U.S. It also features 30 or so of our old dog friends back in Baltimore.
For every purchase of a “Travels with Ace” calendar, customers can buy as many additional copies as they want at FULL price.
(Normally, this is where the small print would go, but I don’t know how to make small print. Besides, it hurts my eyes.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, calendar, click til you're sick, cyber monday, dogs, fundraiser, gifts, internet, marketing, online, pets, profits, road trip, rolling dog farm, sales, shop til you drop, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar