Introducing The BH Pupscouts Holiday Event!

We will be raising money and awareness for Wings of Rescue.

funny-cats-gangster-940x550Los Angeles has too many dogs and cats in its shelters. This fabulous organization flies those sweet pets to points north. My ‪#‎fashionSavingDogs‬campaign rehomed 46 dogs through the organization a couple of years ago. The pilots are generous and amazing people, lending their planes and time to save dogs. And the homes these dogs land in are paradise. A pitbull pup had a lake in his backyard! Another lived by the beach.

We will be earning our sewing badge making petticoats and hats so we look like stewardess (I’m filming it for the out-of-towners).

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 Then we will be earning our acting badge when we make a promotional video.

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Then we will be earning our parade badge when we enter our Wings of Rescue “float” in the West Hollywood Halloween parade.

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And we’ll get our rescue badge when we deliver the check to Wings of Rescue. Hopefully we will earn out TV badge by getting on a morning show, or better yet, on Ellen! (okay, I know. Now I’m dreaming. You know what they say — dream big or just sleep). We even have some FL, NM and AZ pupscouts who will be helping from afar!

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We will be having fun, and Wings of Rescue will be able to continue serving Los Angeles’ lost and forsaken pets.

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Wings of Rescue recently suffered a devastating loss. In May of this year the plane owned by their Founder, Yehuda Netanel, a plane that was responsible for flying up to 50% of the animals that the organization save, was destroyed in a plane crash during a test flight following its annual inspection. Both test pilots perished. We are so thankful that Yehuda was not in the plane at the time, but all are still reeling in the aftermath of this sad event. Because of this, Wings of Rescue is struggling to keep up with the demand of all the pets in need of this life-saving long-distance air transport program.

With almost 3 million animals being destroyed annually in city and county shelters nationwide, Wings of Rescue is making a tangible difference with its unique alternative to the shelter system, with a lofty goal to fly 7,000 pets to freedom this year. However, with the loss of their major transportation medium, this goal is going to be more difficult to achieve unless they have the support of our Wings of Rescue friends and donors.flyinghome

Wings of Rescue’s former airplane, a Piper Malibu Mirage with a JetPROP engine conversion, was able to fly up to 60 animals each week. With the purchase of a safe and efficient previously owned Pilatus PC-12, they would be able to fly 200 animals each week. That is an increase of 140 pets that can be saved per week. Essentially with this aircraft they would be able to complete their goal of saving 7,000 animals this year and double that number for 2016. Over the lifetime of owning this plane, they will be able to save over 100,000 animals. In addition to the animals that they will be flying with their new plane, they are also freeing-up kennel space in the shelters for additional animals to have the opportunity of being adopted.

The Beverly Hills Pupscouts are so proud to be helping this organization.  Many of us are rescues, and the rest are dedicated to helping dogs who have landed in harsh circumstances. Join us!

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xoxo

Lola

I Fell Onstage!!!

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Our newest Pupscout. Her name is Lola.

Yes, I did.  I fell.

This was not a first for me. In second grade they put me in the 4th grade Christmas presentation.  I was to play a spinning top and sing this little song.  Our first performance was an assembly for our peers, and a boy I had a crush on was in the audience, so I decided to spin my heart out. I got dizzy and fell. Today I was ready to go up on stage, and I was juggling a dozen plates in my head, and I sort of thought there was an extra step, so, as I turned to coax my dogs up on stage… I FELL ON MY ASS!!  What can you do.  We are who we are.  Be proud, or be miserable. I’m a klutz.  I accept it.

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Coco Channel.

The Pupscouts went to Pawapalooza. They had a costume contest. There were four winning catagories — three of those prizes were taken by us! Coco Chanel won in the evening out category. She had a full presentation and it was so creative. They went as lobster dinner.  Coco was in a lobster costume. She was in a cookpot, and her two sisters were dressed up for a night on the town.  Annabella won the doppelganger category.  This was intended to be a person and pet look alike.  Annabella was so creative, she carried her doppelganger on her back!  It was a cute costume with two little bears (I think they were bears) delivering a petmeds.com package.  Then I won the grand prize!  Woofie was in a tux, and Bear went in drag.  (It was West Hollywood after all.)  They were Blaire Waldorf and Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. I wore a skirt that matched Bear’s dress.  I had lent dresses to my fellow pupscouts, so I think they gave me grand prize because of how wonderful everyone looked, and because I told them my mission, to save rescues by shining a light on the cause.

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Wendy Burch from KTLA 5, Lola and Cheryl Teigs. BLONDES RULE!!!

We had a very special camera man, young Adian, the grandson of one of our members. He’s in the forth grade, but I think he did pretty good!

Then we went back to my apartment and had a cookout and a badge ceremony.  The strawberry shortcake was a big hit, and it was nice to relax.  Although I didn’t really relax so much.  But I had fun creating a fantastic meal.  I just love creating, no matter what I create.

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Dinner!

All in all it was a super-fun and crazy day! I found myself giving the quickest greetings to friends, and I might have appeared curt.  My mom used to say when I cooked or sewed, that I was like a tornado. I still am. When I commit to something, it’s a 200% commitment, and I tend to take on more than a sane person can handle. My brain is so busy making sure the zillion things I have set in motion are all playing out as they should, that I come off a tad antisocial.

I happen to be in a hypercreative state right now, and those creative projects supercede everything in life. I am determined to succeed at the mission I have set before myself. l love all the friends and family who are taking the journey with me. The pupscouts who have contributed to the motion of our troop have so inspired me that I have written a fun and funny reality show revolving around them. The entire pet fashion world has inspired a TV series. And dogs in general have inspired a second series.

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Mariah and Coco Chanel

I really, really can’t wait until one of these projects steps out into the light, because with it the rescue message that inspired it all will spread far and wide. So when I do something inappropriate, like cut you off mid sentence and fly off — please know it is not personal. Just join the ride.  xoxoxo

#PAWSAPALOOZA #PupscoutsROCK #rescuesROCK #MeanPeopleSuck #DogIsGodSpelledBackwards

Beverly Hills Pupscouts Pool Pawty!

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From left to right: CoCo Chanel, Sookie Small paws, Coco Puffz, Annabella, Bear, Woofie, Kiki, Daffodil.

Thirteen posh pups and seventeen humans came together for a gorgeous day of sun and fun.

It was a perfect day.  A gorgeous pool. Fun toys. A great spread of food.  There were boys in sparkled speedos, girls in teeny weeny bikinis, lovelies in life jackets, and a few pups who chose to do the day naked. We wanted a group shot, and the raft turned out to be the perfect staging tool. Nobody wanted to jump!

Kiki was our hostess. She’s a rescue who found her way into a wonderful home where she lives with her two rescue brothers.

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Kiki

Once everyone arrived, we had a mini meeting. We’ve had a few months of summer fun. It was time to plan our holiday charity event.  The thing that Pupscouts do best is to charm and delight. Cute dogs in uniform happily posing for cameras are the best conversation-starter anyone could ever invent. We know this from experience. When we dress the dogs up and take them out for lunch on Rodeo Drive, or to any sort of streetfair, within seconds dogs posing like rockstars bring smiles to a full posse of passersby. That’s when we share our message. And it does elicit support, even donations.

The Pupscouts.org are a national organization of socially responsible dogs and their people who like to earn badges and raise money for causes. They began in New York City with a group of prominent Fashionesta dogs. The organization gained national attention when they appeared on Good Morning America.  Nightline followed, then National Geographic’s “Spoiled Rotten Pets”.  The Beverly Hills troop loves to make videos, participate in fashion shows, promote dogs, help rescues, make new friends and, in the process of doing all that, they love to have fun.

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Woofie, thanking the sun for the joy he has found in his new life.

We are a group rescue advocates. Most of our pups are rescues, and those that aren’t promote the cause. Rescue isn’t a breed, it’s what happens to any dog who lands in an irresponsible home or a sorrowful circumstance.  So you don’t have to be a rescue to promote the cause.  We decided that our holiday event will be to promote Wings of Rescue.

Wings of rescue provide desperately needed air transport for their rescue partners and the thousands of animals they save each year from high kill shelters in California. They fly these precious passengers in private airplanes to their new forever homes up and down the west coast in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and even Canada.  Wings of Rescue has already saved over 12,000 dogs and cats and is going to rescue 7,000 more by the end of 2015. They are a 501c3 charity so your round trip operating costs and donations are tax deductible. We will be earning our sewing badges as we make petticoats and caps to alter our uniforms into stewardess outfits. Then we will hit the streets, raising funds to sponsor some dogs who will be a part of this holiday event.

After the meeting, we learned about water safety and doggie first aid, then it was time to swim!

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Delicate little Jade, a rescue.

The water was the perfect temperature, I’m guessing close to 90 degrees. Everyone was in the pool, and we all stayed there for houra.  It was picture time! We had raided the dollar store and purchased a dozen blow-up floaties.

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Kris, Teddy, Bella, angel and Julia.

Our newest member, Lola, had no fear of water! She jumped off the raft and swam for shore. Some of the dogs who had never been swimming weren’t really sure what to make of this long-legged darling’s actions.

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Lola, swimming.

Sugarbaby liked floating in her pink boat…

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Sugarbaby.

Bear and Sookie Smallpaw studied the situation. Sookie was a good swimmer, but this would be Bar’s first time swimming. He had the doggie paddle down, although it was more about survival than fun to him.

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Bear & Sookie Smallpaw

Coco Puffz was the first one in the pool.

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Coco Puffz

Annabella is our smallest Pupscout, but she is big in spirit!

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Annabella

Daffodil loved her little floatie.

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Daffodil

Bella had fun with mommy.

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Bella and Wendee.

Coco Puffz commanded from the bow, Kiki took the stern. Annabella, Woofie and Bear were busy figuring out what this thing they called “pool” really was.

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Coco Puffz, Annabella, Bear Woofie, Kiki, Daffodil’s butt

Five o’clock rolled around and it was time to go home. The dogs, after chasing each other around the pool and swimming, were worn out! I’m guessing each is off sleeping in their bed right now.

To join the Pupscouts, check out our meet-up page: http://www.meetup.com/Beverly-Hills-Pupscouts/.

Stand up for your Rights!

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight. ~ Bob Marley

After nearly a year of being bullied, I just took the first solid legal steps to address the abuse.  It feels so f****** good!!!!  I think our system only works when you use it.  When laws are broken, those responsible need to be held accountable.  To sit back and complain, or cry poor me, or just move on with your life is not an effective reaction to someone else’s bad behavior. It just makes those people think abuse is okay.  It feeds their entitlement. It burdens them with the guilt of their own actions. Their next victim awaits, all because you decide to just move on.  Inner strength comes from courageous actions. It’s the stuff our nation was founded on. I feel like a superhero right now.

No more squashed me! I’m standing up!  #meanpeoplesuck #freedomROCKS

 

Some LOLA Fashion

I’ve been lax in posting LOLA fashion stuff because I’ve been so busy writing!!

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You know what I’ve noticed?  I greet dogs before people! On the street, in stores… I go up to every dog, give a gushing hello and tell them how beautiful they are! I’m not sure if that is unnatural or unhealthy, but it feels really good.

I’ve spent the last four years deeply entrenched in the dog fashion world. So guess what I’m writing about? It’s a one hour black comedy, probably for a cable station. I tend to write black comedies. Occasionally I’ll write a drama, with tension-relieving comedic moments. I love to poke fun at human foibles, and I love to make people feel something true.  This particular series has a lot off fun poking, and a lot of something-true.  Think “Toddlers & Tiaras” meets “Desperate Housewives”, only with dogs.

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Anyway… back to the fashion stuff. I finally made my Darling Dolls & Dashing Dudes Video!  This was a campaign I ran, where I custom made for 18 people 22 original samples (some got two), for an insanely low price. On a private website I gave them a slew of fabric choices. They told me what they liked and we went from there. It was a lot of fun, and quite the learning experience. I’m doing it again in August.

Not everyone was able to send in footage, but what I got was GREAT!

I also made a whole line of human skirts!  I found myself constantly wanting a cute skirt. Little minis to toss on over a pair of leggings. I couldn’t find any I liked! They were all straight and tight. I wanted FLAIR! I wanted glistening confections to wear with t-shirts and boots — play clothes and date clothes bubbling with panache! I’ve been too busy to promote them, and too busy to date! It’s the writing. I’m finishing on the 4th of July. After that comes my anti-bullying campaign. Stay tuned!!

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These two skirts are my favorite. I wore the pink one to the A+D Museum gala and I felt so good in it! They each match a doggie outfit. That catches you up on all things dog fashion.  Now back to my script. Happy forth!

xoxo

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Bullies LOSE! My Anti-Bullying Campaign

I’ve been trapped in a situation where, for the past seven months, some people I know have been using the law to bully me. This is me, stepping out of that trap. Yaaaaay!

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I have no desire to harm anyone involved, so you won’t hear any personal attacks or nasty statements. That’s just not the way to win in life. What I want is to share my experience, and start a conversation about bullying—how it makes you feel and how to rise above it. Bullying doesn’t only happen to kids on the schoolyard. Bullies grow up and they find new ways to do what they do. Sometimes the bullied becomes the bully. I wrote a book about a bullied boy, and I told the young readers of that book to find their power and use it to rise above their circumstance.  There’s a million ways to find your power, and a million ways to rise above being the effect of someone/something else.picture-5

Never wait for your demise, take action — any action, even if it’s dumb!

Here is a cool story about not being the effect of a seemingly helpless situation. December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor. It was a horrible experience when, on that perfect sunny day, the boys on those boats suddenly found themselves watching bombs land on their brothers and on themselves. There was one captain who took control of the situation.  He told his crew to throw potatoes. Now, that might seem like a pointless waste of time, but the sailors who threw those potatoes were among the few survivors who didn’t have mental issues to deal with afterwards. They took action, even if it was pointless. During that moment they were busy doing something and not just waiting for their demise.  I believe that is the key surviving a bully.

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Here is a very important note. When you’re being bullied, never sink to their level. You’ll end up mad and you’ll do stupid stuff.  There are laws for free speech, but there are also privacy laws, so you have to be careful what you write and say.  This is probably more applicable to adults involved in adult kinds of bullying. But it’s good advice for all. Always be the bigger person. always act with grace.

So here is my situation is the vaguest of terms. It was a business situation that went bad. I survived, because that is what sane people do. I’m an artist, and my way of igniting my power when  life crashes into me is to make something beautiful, make something true; get lost in the aesthetic universe and just create. Yes, I was financially devastated, but I still had my integrity, and I was rebuilding. I got invited to be the featured designer in one of the most prestigious dog fashion shows in the pet fashion industry–a charity show for a cause near and dear to my heart. Life was looking up! Living right was paying off! I rock!

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A couple of months later, the world smashed into my joy.  I’m going to backtrack. At the time when myself and this individual parted ways, she was mad.  I mean steam-coming-out-of-your-head mad. In my analysis at the time, the emotions of this situation were similar to those of a 20 year marriage where the old wife is replaced with the younger second wife, and she’s out for blood. I knew I had to be extremely ethical in my every action. That’s not hard for me, but like everyone, I have been known to backslide on occasion. I knew this couldn’t be one of those occasions or it would come back to bite me in the ass.

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Here is where the using-the-law-to-bully-me began. A letter was sent to the producer of this wonderful show, a letter that painted me as everything that I am not — irresponsible, unethical, untrustworthy, incapable, dishonest… I think the producer of the show might still believe some of that. I delivered a fantastic show, and she never even thanked me. I guess I don’t blame her,  She went through hell, too.  She even ended up in the emergency ward from the effect of the threats. I will always adore her because she believed in me, at great cost to herself. Not many people in this world have that level of integrity. 1394575946

Anyway, I have spent close to $8,000 trying to reach a settlement. It won’t go away.  I can’t even express the feeling I get each time either a legal threat arrives in my inbox or a piece of slander/libel from the community comes my way. I had a dream once that a plane crashed on my neighbor’s house. The feeling is like that, only it’s crashing on me. My stomach tightens into a knot. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t breathe. A person can’t live like that. I’m guessing all the little kids out there being bullied feel just like that, only worse, because they don’t have an adult brain or the tenacity of a tardigrade to get through it.

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(Tardinrades are Earth’s most tenacious creature, able to live in boiling water, solid ice, and the intense radiation of space. They can survive a decade in a desert, without a drop of water to drink, or in the deepest trenches of the sea. They rock.)

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So I’m starting this campaign. It will help me to stop my bully so I can get back to creating my life without torment. And I really hope it helps the little kids going through this, too.  I hope my book helps. It’s still in the process of being published. The bullying campaign will come out when the book does, so stay tuned.

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Dignity

MY MUSEUM PIECE! It’s for the Architecture + Design Museum’s Yearly gala: Celebrate 2015: SHELTER. We had to create an interpretation of “shelter”. This is my take on it. It’s called DIGNITY.

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“DIGNITY” the thing that makes life beautiful.

Dignity is shelter for the soul. I amplify the dignity of dogs.

Not all dogs have perfect lives. Some of that comes from hard luck circumstances. Much of it comes from the fact that dogs are still seen by many as property. History demonstrates that when living beings are seen as property, bad things happen to them.

But dogs are so good at rising above those bad things. I think all greatness, all heroism, all victories of any size, come from one’s ability to rise above that which wants to tear you down. It is so easy to get trapped in the mud of it all. Dogs just don’t do that. Some people say they are dumb, they don’t understand, they just want food, they forget… I say their ”forgetting” is a kind of brilliance that humans could benefit greatly from.

The gala is on June 27th, at the museum’s new address in the Downtown arts district.  Here is a link to their site: https://aplusd.org/

Dignity will be on display in the museum for the month of July, then donated to their auction.

xoxo

LOLA

Branding… what is it?

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My old logo, revised.

I’m teaching myself more about branding. It’s one of those buzzwords that everyone uses. What does it really mean?

I read some articles on the subject.  I found the comments to be more enlightening than the articles.  I especially liked this one:

Branding really starts with self discovery. In it’s most basic form it’s simply an extension of you. Think of yourself as the nucleus of your brand. It’s not to say that it’s all about you, it’s not – it’s about your customer in many ways. BUT, it is about you in the way that it’s the specific combination of your approach, method, voice, story, style and personality that builds a unique brand. It’s about defining what you want your brand to look like and sound like for your audience and staying true to that in everything you do. When done right your brand will resonate with the right audience and attract the right people.  ~DreBeltrami

So, if I apply that to myself and my brand, I would say the qualities at the core of me that resonate in my work are authenticity, integrity, whimsy, humor and rockstar glam. Giving back is hugely important to me. Offering high value for the price is hugely important.  I’m a storyteller, who works in many mediums, with a bold voice. I want my brand to look, sound and feel like all that.

Here is another comment that I liked:

I would say that the foundation of your brand is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and the ability for your customers to experience it in a tangible way. Your logo, website, packaging, collateral, etc. are a reflection of your brand and your visual identity, they do not form your foundation. Branding is strategic. Think of it as who you are going to be. Marketing is tactical and it is what you do with who you are.  ~Bronson Ma

That makes sense. Your USP should be a strategic decision.  I want it to be rockstar glam for dogs.  I want to be style for a price.  I want to bring Seventh Avenue quality to the world of pet fashion. And I want the rescue message to spread with the line.

This comment is good. I think a lot of people forget this:

Branding is consumer driven.  The “branding” occurs when the consumer, identifies and puts all the pieces together to form that company “brand”.  The company marketing strategies, artwork, media buys, the company’s actual product — all of these factors play an important role in the “consumer” identifying the “brand”.  Marketing, advertising and branding are all 3 very different animals. The first 2 drive the consumer to hopefully use the product repeatedly over a long period of time….thus the magic of “branding” occurs.  Company=Marketing & Advertising. Branding=Consumer Satisfaction.  ~KMNetterville

So we build, in a clear and concise manner, what we want to be seen as. But the thing that actually makes us a brand is the consumer identifying us as such. That means the marketing strategy is really important. I need to work on that. I need to organize my clever bits and pieces into something that will create a big effect. I need a well-formed, interlinked, dynamic, boldly inventive plan that you can put on a to-do list and complete.  I’ll have to get back to you on this.

But to end, I really liked this summation:

Small business branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable. Every small business has a brand – either by accident or (as we like) on purpose, because it’s a lot like a personality – everyone has one, like it or not. ~Indispensable Marketing

 

 

Beverly Hills Pupscouts Earn their Fire Safety Badge

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Sookie, Anabella, Woofie, Bear and Coco Puffz on Engine #5.

We had magic on our side from the get-go, and the day continued on that wave of enchantment, with 5 magic moments.

Moment #1:  Woofie, Bear and myself parked in the Canon Drive lot and headed for the elevator.  A lovely couple admired the boys from afar, and when we reached the elevator we got to talking. Turns out they were rescue advocates who work with Wings of Rescue, lending their plane to the cause! I did a rescue event called “Saving 70 Dogs”, and 46 of those dogs that we saved were flown to points north through Wings of Rescue. I gave the couple my card. I would love for the pupscouts to help promote Wings of Rescue.  They are a fabulous organization.

Moment #2: We met a woman on the street who works with the local shelter.  She’s going to join our troop. We actually met lots of people who want to join the troop.   This woman expressed a need that I would love to build an event around — a kitty “got milk” campaign. Apparently the shelter has run out of money so they can’t pay for the bottle-kitty’s formula, leaving the financial burden on the foster families.  What that means is a lot of foster families are dropping out, and the kitties are being put to sleep.

Moment #3:  Deedee was talking to another lovely couple (Beverly Hills has so many wonderful people who live here). The gentleman was so taken with our efforts, he gave us a donation.  We expected $10, maybe $20.  He gave us $100! It will help fund an event that promotes a rescue effort.

Moment #4:  Coco Puffz posted a pix on Instagram about the Pupscouts being at the BHFD fire safety event, and a fireman came and found us!  He helped us get on a fire truck for a pix. He shared that picture and a lot of infrmation, then he hooked us up with the person in charge of pet oxygen masks. We hope to do something to raise money to help the fire dept get those masks.

Moment #5: The gentleman in charge of BH public works approached us asking for information.  We want to integrate ourselves with our namesake community — the community some of us live in. We want to make a difference, and nothing promotes a cause better than a team of darling donation dogs.

All in all, the day was a fabulous success.  We ended it with a yummy meal and some good conversation. We gave out lots of cards to lots of people who loved what we are doing.  It’s never the case where everyone who shows interest actually responds, but it sure was nice to feel such a warm welcome from the community on our first official outing.  I’m so happy to be the troop leader of the Beverly Hills Pupscouts!  The best is yet to come.

Elmore Buttercup Bear, Modeling a BHPD tee.

Elmore Buttercup Bear, Modeling a BHPD tee.

Sookie Smallpaw, Anabella, Woofie Sweet-thing, Elmore Buttercup Bear, and Miss Coco Puffz on the front bumper of engine #5.

Sookie Smallpaw, Anabella, Woofie Sweet-thing, Elmore Buttercup Bear, and Miss Coco Puffz on the front bumper of engine #5.

Junior firefighter, Elmore Buttercup Bear.

Junior firefighter, Elmore Buttercup Bear.

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Woofie, Bear, and our newest Pupscout, Teddi.

 

 

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Miss Coco Puffz and Sookie Smallpaw

Today ten pupscouts earned their fire safety badge.  

We were so lucky that the BHFD was hosting this event. We got to see a firman climb to great heights on the ladder then repel down, we got to see a jaws of life demonstration, and we got to see a car catch on fire, with the BHFD putting out the fire.600_437077014

The requirements for the badge are as follows:

1. Tour the firehouse.

2. Get a photo with a fireman or fire truck.

3.  Find out at least one fact that you can share with your fellow Pupscouts about the Fire House or about Fire Safety. Each pupscout should have a different fact that they’d like to share with us. Or tell us about your favorite part of the tour.

4. Post your photo and fact on the Beverly Hills Troop 12 Meet-up page and on a thread we start on my FB page, for everyone to see.  One of the National Troop Leaders will approve the badge.

 

Follow this link to see the postings by the doggies of what they learned.

LOLA’s Facebook post where the Pupscouts tell all about the event.