Friday, February 16, 2018

Gone to the dogs...but in a good way

With Jen Reeder, dog writers association president
I wasn't planning on going to New York to pick up my "Inspirational Feature" award at the Dog Writers Association of America's annual banquet, but an email from the organization's president changed my mind.

She offered free food, a reporter's dream!

Only kidding, sort of, because the banquet cost more money than I wanted to spend. It was the content of the email itself that moved me to pack up my dress clothes and do something difficult for a freelancer: get dressed up.

She wrote, "Congratulations on winning DWAA's inaugural Harrison Stephens Inspirational Feature Award for 'A Favor Returned.' It is a truly beautiful, moving piece. Harrison Stephens was my grandfather, and my parents sponsored the award. All three of us wept reading your story and felt he would have been delighted and honored that your piece won. I wish he could have read it!

Anyhow, my parents were asking if you would be attending the DWAA banquet on Feb. 10 in New York. If you're considering coming, they would like to pay for your banquet ticket so that you can attend if you like. "

I was so moved and honored that of course I went. A friend went with me for a whirlwind one-night stay at The New Yorker hotel, where the banquet was held.

It coincided with the Westminster Dog Show, held across the street at Madison Square Garden.

So when we walked in the lobby, we saw a strange sight of dogs milling around with their people. At first I thought they were going to attend the dog writers' banquet, and I had a vision of tables set for dogs and people, bringing to mind a memorable dining companion that Carrie Bradshaw has during her Paris visit in Sex in the City.

Actually we were seeing show dogs either going to or returning from Madison Garden.

We did have the pleasure of sitting at the AKC table with my editor from Family Dog, the AKC's magazine and the one where my story about Maddie ran. (Refresher: It was about how my kids and I helped Maddie heal after she was hit by a car, and how she helped me heal after I was hit by a leukemia relapse.)

The editor brought her dog, a well-behaved big dog – a Leonburger – named Emily. The dog didn't have her own chair, though. She lay down quietly next to the table except for when she being lavished with attention.

I never saw so many people passionate about dogs, and it was a lot of fun to be around them.

"America's Veterinarian," Dr. Marty Becker, gave an informative and entertaining keynote speech, and David Frei, the voice of the Westminster Dog Show until last year, gave a gracious and entertaining speech after being inducted into the Dog Writers Association Hall of Fame.

My award came with a $300 check. Katie asked me how I was going to share it with Maddie. I started by getting her a soothing oatmeal bath at the groomer. Next time I go to Dave's to get her dog food, I'll come up with something extra special.

Here is a link to the digital version of the story. The photos by my colleague and faux cousin Michael Gordon are also prize-worthy. It was so much fun working together, like back in the day at The Republican and its predecessors.

I have another dog story in the works. Who knows, maybe I'll become a dog writer.


Laurie Bobskill said...

Oh Ronni, you've made me cry again. Happy tears.

Anonymous said...

My Wife Stage IV breast cancer and MS has just been cured with the cannabis oil gotten from DR.PATRICK OSCAR cannabis oil is great medication. To hell with the government and their insane policy, we have a medication that is hundred percent assured to cure cancer and you don't need to spend so much money on anymore on chemo, radiation or surgeries that wouldn’t work. Where to purchase, contact via: ( My family is now a brand new one, so stop your worries and go get your medication and set the family free of the deadly disease that hold no respect to family harmony. Make your health a better one by using cannabis oil in your everyday life. contact Dr.Patrick on: for all type of cancer cure

Unknown said...

I am clouds from manchester, i hear how people are talking about The powerful spell caster called DR Covenant in regard of how he bring back ex lover, Winning lottery, getting pregnant and getting married to their dream lover and i also contact him to help me cast a spell in regard of my ex lover whom i love so much that left me 2yrs ago, but today my ex is back to me and we are happily married with 3kids am so much happy for the help i found in you DR Covenant. my family and i are very much happy and we are living large now, i am grateful and appreciate your good work . Thank you and may you live long to help people in problems. if you are going through any problem at all he will help you contact him on his email is call or add him on watsapp +1(571)489-6842, check out his webpage