Lulu was sort of tight-lipped when we first met. Not standoffish really, salve but I imagine people have always sort of thought of her as something of a big deal so she probably just feels she’s not the one who ever needs to make the first move. But I pegged her as more shy than anything, which, when you think about it, is sort of a surprise because it’s hard to take your eyes off of her when she enters a room. I know I immediately fell in love when I first saw her. That raven hair…those dark, deep-set dreamy eyes…the way she smiled when she got her belly rubbed.
No fears, friends…I’m not honing my skills as a romance novelist. I just can’t think of a better way to talk about one of the bells of a recent ball at the Pfister. If you didn’t know, the Pfister is a “dog friendly” hotel. You got a nice pooch that understands that plush carpeting and feathertop bedding does not a pretty potty make? Then your best friend is welcome to come for a stay. This past weekend, however, the Pfister went from “dog friendly” to “dog more-than-friends-yeah-its-serious” status.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 2015 Paws and Claws Gala from the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Let the oohing and aahing begin.
The Wisconsin Humane Society has been having their Paws and Claws fundraiser at the Pfister for several years, and it is, I freely and fondly admit, my absolute favorite thing that I have seen during my time as The Pfister Narrator. Come on, dogs in formal wear? You’re melting inside, right? I know I did.
There was Lulu the big dog. She’s the kind of canine that you could use as a blanket. Massive, sort of sleepy looking all the time and full of hair that surely ends up on a freshly buttered piece of toast even when she’s far from the kitchen.
Lulu was lounging with her friend Schnoud who was blinged out from head to toe. Lulu was close to nap time it seemed. Schnoud was ready to party all night long.
I’m always curious about the first and last moments a person experiences at a fancy event. Those are the critical memory moments, the first impression and last lingering thought for someone who has taken the time to gussy up in some fancy duds and use all their good manners at the dinner table. I wasn’t around for the final moments of the evening, but I can say that the Paws and Claws organizers found a secret weapon for making a great first impression and she is aptly named Sunny.
Look at that million-dollar smile. I mean…stop the cuteness, okay? Sunny’s owner explained that she is a “people person.” You can quibble over whether Sunny should rightfully be called person, but I can tell you that I am convinced I would rather spend many more hours discussing politics and the national debt with Sunny than quite a few persons of interest I know.
The whole gala is organized to support the Wisconsin Humane Society’s very humane efforts working with animals. No more clear picture of the success of those efforts can be seen than by watching Jasmine prance around the Pfister’s seventh floor ballrooms. Spry, spirited and sprightly, Jasmine doesn’t seem to ever consider the fact that she has only three legs. Her owner explained to me that as a puppy she had been abused and mistreated, and when she finally made it to the Humane Society the vets there decided the best treatment for her was to remove her leg. That move might have slowed down other dogs, but Jasmine has enough energy to light up a whole room, and she was doing that while she yipped and sniffed around all the good times on hand.
I pulled aside Heidi Boyd who was working the event as a member of the Humane Society’s development team and complemented her on the whole glittery affair. I said, “Quite a night with a great bunch of dogs and cats, isn’t it?”
Heidi smiled warmly, clearly in love with the work she does and said, “Plenty of dogs, for sure. Cats, not so much.” Heidi confided in me that cats don’t do so well at events like this, but that I should look out for one super star cat, the Siamese named Coco.
Moments later I saw a gathering of scrubbed up party goers huddled around a carrying crate and I moved in to take a look at all the fuss. A few feet away, my nose started to twitch and I felt a series of sneezes coming on. My cat allergies were kicking in, and I realized that I had found Coco, the so called Super Star Kitty. I demurred from an audience with the highness of the hairball as I knew my allergies couldn’t handle the pressure and made my way for the elevators so the revelers could have all their fun. Besides, I didn’t want to ruin the bell of the ball’s night by “Achooing” all over her fancy dress. That, my friends, is a fate worse than using your date’s patent leather pumps as a chew toy.
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