Lucky and I celebrated an intimate gathering at philanthropist Valerie Diker’s apartment on 5th Avenue to discuss the plans for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary 25th anniversary. Best Friends is the largest no-kill sanctuary in the world and one of their main goals is to close down puppy mills and to create nation legislation that will stop pet stores from selling mill animals. Little did Lucky and I realize that we would be introduced to 2009’s Best of Breed Westminster winner who happens to be Valerie’s Champion Dachshund, Jessie. Champion “Dikerdachs” (as in dachshunds) Jessie was a newbie in 2008 when he first appeared at Westminster along with his canine competitor “Dikerdachs” Champion Richard who won the breed the year before and got first award of merit last year. Quite a pair of winners! Lucky who never wins any awards (maybe because she can’t sit still) likes to run with the champions. Sure if Wheaties had a dog food they would be on the cover!
In 2009, Ch. Richard retired to stud (at least Lucky thinks he’s a stud), with 10 little champions already “on the ground”; now it is Ch. Jessie who is the “Top Dog” of New York Top Dogs in the city that never sleeps (doesn’t let sleeping dogs lie) and hosts the Westminster Dog Show. Jessie’s owner/ breeder, Valerie Diker is a true New Yorker, a well-respected breeder, published author, philanthropist and mother of three human pups. She began breeding 18 years ago and has bred 22 champions to date, that’s truly a doggie dynasty lineup! Valerie shared (since Lucky was not allowed at Westminster (no regular dogs just the show dogs are permitted) and gave us the inside scoop, “There was a great deal of energy and excitement from the crowd at Ring 6 when Westminster Judge Dr. Donald Sturtz Jr, pointed to this adorable little dog and picked him as the big champion! Rarely do miniature dachshunds win; the standard dachshunds almost invariably win at Westminster.”
As a true New York City winner (the big apple – loves winners – grooms them) Jessie appeared on Fox News and The View with his owner-breeder, also a “born and bred” native New Yorker, Valerie Diker. These two are a true love match. Jessie never stopped kissing Valerie smack on the lips this prompted The View’s Whoopie Goldberg to ask, “tell me, do you have peanut butter on your lips?” The audience was in hysterics and Jessie kept kissing until Mrs. Diker got up, at Barbara Walters’ request, to walk Jessie “show style” and strut his stuff. And he did – proudly! Lucky and I salute both Valerie and Jesse for their work with Best Friends as animal advocates for fairness to animals (as we do at Animal Fair: www.animalfair.com)!
We ended this week with a fabulous event hosted by our dear friend Sue Costello on the Penthouse of Barneys New York. The event was entitled Hope Trumps Fear Storytelling by actor funny lady comedian Sue Costello. It was an intimate night of original storytelling at this New York landmark. Elaine Stritch kicked off the night with a story about missing her call time at the opening night of her trademark performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch” in Company. Elaine Stritch is also on Lucky and my favorite NBC show 30 Rock, where she pays Jack Donaghy’s mother Colleen. Elaine was laughing when we asked her what Obama should call his future first dog – “Liberty” as we all need Liberty (at least financial liberty with the current economic acrobatics going on)!
Comedy Central Presents’ Marc Maron, comedian extraordinaire (and I’m not saying that that because he has four cats: Monkey, Boomer, Moxie and La Fonda) from Late Night with David Letterman, Conan, Air America, who’s currently work shopping his one man show Scorching the Earth Sundays cracked a funny and said “leave it to Sue Costello to do underground theatre on the 8th floor of Barneys” Marc Maron was funny enough to come up with the idea that President Obama should name his dog “Bush” (I’m leaving that one alone). Hmmm … Louis Ramey from NBC’s Last Comic Standing told a revealing story about how he was homeless and auditioned for the Aspen Comedy Festival and got it. And Jackie the “Joke Man” Martling closed the night with an officially painful and hilariously funny story about one bad day in his life, first bombing on stage and Rodney Dangerdfield and then Dangerfeld catching him peeing by a dumpster. Sue Costello started off the night with gratitude for all the support she got while writing her one woman show Minus 32 Million Words, and some very funny and heartwarming stories of how Hollywood can be a nice place to visit. Kevin Dyson, General Manager of Barneys NY, is a close friend of Sue’s and one of the most touching moments of the night was when Sue brought him on stage and thanked him while he blushed uncontrollably. Lucky and I had a night to remember, full of laughs and heartfelt stories to bark about, as we already know that Hope Trumps Fear, we see it everyday with animal rescue, and it was good to see it take place in human rescue as well.