I’m Baaaaack!

In general I try to maintain somewhat of a professional writing style on here, but today I just have to say:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s over! We did it!

Whew, now that that’s out of the way: yes, it’s true – you have me back. Love Ball is officially over and done (for about three weeks until we start planning next year at least), so I’m back to being able to give attention to the blog. For some reason evening meetings just don’t jive with getting solid blog posts completed? Who would have thought?

The event went really well. It was our first year at a new venue which is always a little hectic, but there were relatively few problems considering how much could have gone wrong. My team of committee members and volunteers helped me so much throughout the preparation and the evening that I was completely available for troubleshooting, so there were no major crisis!  From setting up the the silent auction to preparing the decor, things really seemed to fall into place despite hurricane Sandy’s best intentions.

The first half of the event is always the most crazy as people check in and reservation issues arise, and then we have to run the dinner program. After the awards program is over however we finally get the chance to take a little breather and enjoy ourselves as the majority of things that could go wrong are behind us.  I finally got to see all the beautifully dressed people and dogs as we danced to the awesome band, Fresh Air.

While event planning can be extremely stressful, the outcome is usually so rewarding that it’s worth any pre-event headaches. My coworker and I easily agreed that the Sunday after The Love Ball is by far the best Sunday of the year because you can take a big sigh, pat yourself on the back, and SLEEP for as long as you want! The feeling of knowing that it went smoothly makes it all worth while, especially since it’s all to raise money for homeless animals.  Thanks for all your well wishes last week – they paid off!

I’ll get more pictures from the event photographer, but here are a few for now from my friend Ellie Slotkin.  It’s such a fun event – if you’re in the MD/DC area, join us next year!

Hurricane of a Week. . .

Natural disasters sure know how to show up at the worst possible times, don’t they?  I’ve been dreading this week since far before the talk of this Frankenstorm came about. You see, we’ve got our biggest event of the year, The Love Ball, coming up this Saturday and, as the event planner, that means I’ve basically sold my soul to Love Ball until it’s over.  The week before a major event always consists of last minute detail tweaking, perfecting, modifying and finalizing – not to mention crisis management. Add a record breaking hurricane to that and you’ve got quite the “perfect storm” (har har) for an event planner’s worst nightmare. So yeah, this is going to be quite an interesting five days.

Last year’s Love Ball, a gala where you can mix, mingle, dance and dine – all with your dog! Photo by Joseph Allen Images.

The Love Ball 2011 – we are looking forward to this year! Photo by Joseph Allen Images.

Everyone on the East Coast being effected by Sandy, please stay safe!  Many local emergency response teams are setting up evacuation shelters for both animals and pets – so if you have to evacuate, please don’t leave the critters behind! Be sure to have an emergency plan for ALL members in your family, pets included.

In the same vein, many shelters will need extra help this week if they lose power or evacuate! The Baltimore shelter, BARCS, is evacuating 200+ animals probably as you’re reading this. If you’re able, look up if your local shelter needs help!

Stay safe and dry, everyone!

Bye Bye Joanie!

Yesterday we said goodbye to Joanie as she returned back to her other foster home. What a week it’s been! It was such a roller coaster of emotions: the first two days were crazy as everyone adjusted to a new situation, then we spent time coexisting, then I fell trulymadlydeeply in love, then I experienced feelings of both relief and “Wait! Don’t go!” as we prepared to send her back home.

The good news for you all is that Joanie’s foster mom also has a blog! You can keep up with Joanie’s journey at Waiting Between Trains. Thank goodness for that, right!? Heather’s got big plans for Joanie – including trips into town, CGC class, and an awesome Halloween costume – and I’m sure we’ll get to hear all about it.

Thanks for an awesome week, J!  We’ll miss ya like crazy!

Now someone please scoop up this amazing dog!

For more information about adopting Joanie, email me at peacelovefoster@gmail.com or fill out an application on the Jasmine’s House website.

Georgia On My Mind.

Most of you know how a house feels with the absence of a pet: very empty. After Zabora was such a joy to have, Aleksandra and I knew we wanted to get our hands on another dog and save another life as soon as possible. Only problem? She is moving at the end of October and I am swamped with Love Ball preparations until the end of October. Perfect solution? Aleks pulls the dog, fosters her in the mean time or until she is adopted, and I take over when I have a life again after Love Ball and she has to move. Wahoo!

Next step: picking another dog. Staring at a shelter full of 90+ incredible dogs with enormous potential and having to pick ONE is an extremely daunting task. How do you decide which one you take? What about the next one that comes along? That shy boy you discover in the cage just past the timid one you chose, do you change your mind for him?

This is why a lot of the time your foster chooses you. There will be one that, by a series of events, ends up in front of you like it is meant to be in your life. That is what happened with Zabora and me, that is what happened with Otis. Well, while Aleks and I were at the shelter scrutinizing over what dog to take next, we were chosen.

Photo cred to Aleksandra of Love & a Six-foot Leash.

Meet Curious Georgia, a little girl with an unknown story and a huge heart. Georgia is an Elderbull, though probably on the younger side of that classification, maybe six-ish. She came in as a skinny and scared stray. She was overlooked time and time again because of the same shy attitude that makes her such a gentle, loving dog.  She is immediately attracted to laps and smiles, and she lives like humans have never betrayed her – though the calluses on her elbows that suggest a life on concrete hint to the contrary.

Curious Georgia was plucked from the shelter at her last possible moment by one of my co-workers who, despite her house full to the brim with other fosters, couldn’t bear to imagine the fate of this little girl if she went unnoticed one more time.  She took her home not sure what the next step was for Miss Georgia, or who would keep her long-term, but knowing at least she was safe. It was about this time our paths crossed, and taking on Georgia seemed like a no brainer for us. That was only solidified when Aleks met her for the first time at the shelter, and Georgia took to her like it was love at first sight (didn’t you see that picture!).

I haven’t gotten the chance to get to know her much yet because I am still knee (or waist or chin) deep in Love Ball nonsense, but from what I already know and have been reading – Georgia is exactly the gem we thought she was. She is quiet, housebroken, gentle, and loves to be close to you. She is good on walks, with other dogs, meeting new people… I really think I could go on. All of these good reports are without even truly knowing much about her personality. I can’t wait to learn more about her, and get to know her as a part of the family.

Welcome, Curious Georgia!

Photo cred to Aleksandra of Love & a Six-foot Leash