Hangin’ With Torrey Smith

Yesterday I posted a photo of me and my all time favorite celeb, and many of you guessed who it was (and shared in my excitement!): Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith!

Photo credit here.

Photo from here.

I am a HUGE Torrey fan. Huge. I’m talking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram stalking fan. . . watching Ravens games just for him fan. . . signing up for a meet and greet event the second it becomes available kind of fan. . .  Not only was he a UMD Terp when I went there, he also adopted one of his two pit bulls from BARCS, the Baltimore animal shelter. Amazing, I know. He is always doing charity events and has been a VIP guest at some of BARCS’s biggest fundraisers (which, as an event planner, I am extremely jealous of!).

When I saw that Torrey was doing another fundraiser for BARCS and that it involved him personally greeting everyone who attended, I knew I had to buy a ticket. Support a local shelter AND meet Torrey for the first and probably only time!? Yes please!!! I immediately contacted some friends who are huge Ravens fans and of course they were in right away. I loved that I was able to convince people who maybe aren’t as animal obsessed as I am to come out and support BARCS.

The whole event was really well put together. They had a DJ and great decorations, as well as flashy advertisements for BARCS all over the place (yes I notice these things thanks to my job). The way it worked was that we got unlimited bowling for two hours along with some food and drink. Torrey was going to come around to each lane to greet every single person who bought a ticket. After doing the math of people attending and the event timing, I knew I needed to make the best of our time chatting with him!

As he began making his way towards our lane my girlfriends and I all started freaking out. Obviously. What were we going to say? How do you make yourself stand out to Torrey Smith? What if you do something stupid? Turns out, Torrey is a super down to earth guy.

I guess I should have figured that considering I have done so much, er, research? on him on social media, but it really blew me away how laid back he was. We immediately started joking around with each other and chatted about his dogs. He graciously took pictures with my group and genuinely seemed to want to make this experience great for everyone who attended – he didn’t act like he was rushing to move to the next group or annoyed at taking so many pictures. Really, really awesome guy.

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Just that interaction alone made my whole year! I couldn’t get over how cool he was! That was only the beginning though. Other highlights of the evening included doing the Cupid Shuffle with him (my all time favorite dance) and chatting with him and his fiance about dogs. . . he even pulled out his phone to show me pictures of his pup Prince! If you are wondering if I almost fainted then the answer is yes!

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I know these athletes are just normal people (although, not all of them win the Superbowl, just sayin’!) but I have no shame about acting like a crazed preteen around Torrey  because seriously, how often is it that you get to meet one like him!?

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Thank you, Torrey Smith and BARCS, for putting on such a fabulous event! Torrey swore to me that he is really great at remembering people he meets, so I can only hope our paths cross again some day :-).

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Our Big Day

Sunday was a big day for me and Johnnie. Like I believe I mentioned last week, it was the day of my humane society’s dog walk, Paws in the Park.  Paws is our biggest fundraiser of the year and a ton of planning goes into it, so I was absolutely thrilled when the event was a huge success (despite some serious rain the second half!).

You might remember last year when Otie came to visit me at Paws in the Park, and this year my mama was generous enough to bring Johnnie (foster dad was supposed to come too but he was sick, poor guy). I’d been wrestling a lot with the decision of whether or not to have her bring J to this event because there usually hundreds of dogs in attendance. Hundreds, literally. A few weeks ago I was very “noooo way!” to the thought of bringing her, but as Mark and I talked it out, I started to change my mind.  I wanted to give her the chance to have positive new experiences. But Johnnie Cash can be sort of hot and cold with other dogs – which isn’t unusual for a dog, I just didn’t want to set her up to fail by throwing her into an event with a TON of other dogs.

But luckily we had a couple things going for us: it’s an extremely open venue so we wouldn’t get caught in tight quarters which stresses her out, and, for the most part, the other dogs at the event are pretty social too. It’s when another dog reacts towards her that she’s especially prone to a melt down. Also, to be honest, it was probably good that my mom was the one to handle her for the most part. Unfortunately I have become quite the worrier, and I know Johnnie can feel that stress on my end! My mom promised that she’d only stay for as long as J could handle the event, even if it was only five minutes.

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So the ultimate result of Johnnie’s trip to Paws in the Park was an exciting, positive experience! I was so, so happy and relieved when she met face to face with a few other dogs and wanted to play, and when she walked by the other attendees without batting an eyelash for the most part. We even tried some agili-dogging! And, no surprise here, she ROCKED it! She’s so confident in trying new things that she thought walking up a skinny beam just for a treat was the best thing ever. Whoever adopts her should really consider agility as a form of exercise and bonding!

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paws01As you saw yesterday, she also made a friend with MCHS mascot Henry. She thought he was a big stuffed toy to play with!

paws7I was so proud of her for doing so well. There were many moments when I asked her for her attention by saying, “Hey Johhhhniieeee” in my fun voice, and she checked right in even though there were other dogs around. She is really learning how to focus!

A big thank you to my mama who made this fun break possible during my chaos of running the event. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to bring J and deal with my micromanaging! You are the absolute best Foster G a dog and daughter could ask for.

paws6Since Johnnie came in, made doggy friends and rocked agility, all with no problems, I told my mom they had to leave :-) I was thrilled (and wanted to make sure) to end on such a good note! So in addition to the fact that the humane society raised a ton of money, this event was also a big success for our foster family. Now I have two things to celebrate!

To adopt Johnnie Cash and enjoy fun learning experiences like this one, check out her Adopt Me page.


Big Hugs

When you’re an event planner, you learn to appreciate those around you. You learn to appreciate your committee members who know the event just as well as you do so they can trouble shoot in your absence. You learn to appreciate the volunteers who spend an entire one of their weekend days at your event without any compensation. You learn to appreciate the vendors who understand when there’s a hiccup in the logistics and the businesses who put a little extra hustle on your orders the week before when things are running behind deadlines. You learn to appreciate the people in your life who not only understand your extra-busy schedule around event season, but go out of their way to give you a reason to smile during the most stressful times. You really learn to appreciate your parents who watch your foster dog for you during all those 10 hour work days leading up to the event and who bring said foster dog to the big day just to visit you.

You learn to appreciate the fact that all those awesome people deserve really big hugs.

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To adopt Johnnie Cash, check out her Adopt Me! page.


Sleepy, Sunburnt, & a Total Success

I’m so tired from this weekend I’m not sure how many coherent words I can type. So I’ll make this quick and easy.

1.  Paws in the Park was amazingly successful.

2.  I can’t take much credit for the good turnout – the weather was absolutely perfect: 70’s and sunny. That brought a ton of people out.

3.  I am sunburnt to a crisp, in all the best ways: sleeve lines, red neck, and watch tan.

4. My parents & boyfriend were nice enough to bring Otis for a little bit, even though I was too busy to see them a whole lot.

5.  It was a very exciting reunion when I was finally able to stop a chat for a minute. You can tell I haven’t seen Otis in weeks (or so it may seem to him).

6.  Otis made a new friend, sort of.

7. No adoption leads this time around, but it was still great exposure!

8.  It was so great seeing all my favorite people from Jasmine’s House, as well as some blog followers I’d never met before. Thank you for saying hi!

8. Highlight of the day? There was a dog there that looked a lot like Baxter. When my coworker walked past the dog she asked his owner, “Is that Baxter?” and he replied with, “Why does everyone keep asking me that!?” :-)

9. Not sure who is more tired from this event: myself or Otis, who is currently snoring and out like a light next to me on the couch. Ah, to be a dog.

10. No brain power left to think of a #10.

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.


Fostermama’s Big Day: Paws in the Park

To my serious dismay I have been kept home a LOT the past week. No going to work with mama because she says she has mee-tings all day. It’s just me and fostergrandpa hangin out in the house for the looooong day that fostermama is at work. Then she comes home all sleepy and curls up on the couch with me and a glass of wine so we can blog. That part I of course do not mind.

Fostermama says all this time she is spending at work is because of my blog entry about paws yesterday some event called Paws in the Park. She says its a doggie walk and festivul, and that I get to go because I’m an MCHS adoptable! Yippee! Apparently I’ll be sticking with fosterdad that day though because fostermama will be too busy running around like a crazy person making sure everything goes smoothly.

She seems a little bit nervous about this event if ya ask me. Not necessarily scared nervous, but excited nervous – kinda like I get when I think we’re heading to my favorite spot in the creek but I’m still not sure yet. She talks a lot about how she’s never done this before so she’s worried she’s forgetting something, but I told her if I’m there that’s all she’ll need! Okay, maybe not all she’ll need… but still.  For how much time she has been working on this, she HAS to be ready! Besides, it sounds like they’ve got everything lined up as best as it’s gonna get: the vendors, the rescue groups, the activities, the demos – what more can you be forgetting, mama? I told her to just point me in the direction of the hot dogs and she won’t have to worry about me, I’ll be good to go.

I’m excited to strut my stuff wearing my Adopt Me vest and bandana in front of hundreds of people – maybe I will even find my forever family?? At the very least it will be a fun afternoon hanging out with fosterdad, and after this I will get fostermama back a whole lot more. Hooray!

Plus, I hear my friends over at Jasmine’s House will be there as one of the rescue groups! If any of you DC area folks are coming to the event, be sure to make your way over to their booth to say hi and buy some of awesome Jasmine’s House merch! Then of course look for me, as I put my paws in the park.

For more information about adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page or email peacelovefoster@gmail.com.