One of the ASPCA's media relations people was kind enough to email me late today this photo of Alayne at the event in New York with the award. Alayne said the luncheon was very nice and everything went well. Prior to presenting the award, the ASPCA showed a video they had produced about the ranch, and the highlight of the piece was a clip of Charlie our once-blind Beagle admiring himself in the mirror.
Alayne almost didn't make it to New York -- yesterday's trip was a real ordeal. Her flight on United from Missoula to Denver was cancelled because of weather in Denver, and then a back-up flight on Delta/Northwest from Missoula to Minneapolis was postponed by several hours, making it too late to catch her connecting flight to La Guardia. Finally the ASPCA's travel agent got her out of Missoula late in the day to Salt Lake City. She then spent several hours in the airport there before leaving at midnight on a red-eye to New York that arrived at JFK at 6 a.m. this morning. With events starting at 10 a.m. -- egads. So she is naturally exhausted from the trip and looking forward to being back home tomorrow evening!
As Alayne was literally walking out the door yesterday for the airport, the phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, which showed a 202 area code phone number (Washington D.C.) and the listing as "Democratic Sen." I picked it up and said, with our usual greeting, "Rolling Dog Ranch, this is Steve." The caller said, "Steve, it's Max. How about that award!"
Now, if you're a Montanan and a guy named Max calls you from Washington, there's only one Max it can be ... our United States Senator, Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. And as busy as he is, he took the time yesterday to call and congratulate us on the ASPCA award. This is actually the second time Senator Baucus has called. His first call came a few years ago, after someone had told him about us and he looked up our Web site. He was calling then just to let us know that he thought we were doing a great thing here at the ranch. This kind of 'personal touch' is one reason he's serving his sixth term in the Senate.
Please keep voting for us every day in The Animal Rescue Site/PetFinder's Shelter Challenge. Thanks to your votes, we came in third nationwide and won $3,000 for the animals in the previous contest. Now we have a shot at No. 1 and the $20,000 grand prize! Enter "Rolling Dog Ranch" and our state postal code, MT for Montana, and it will bring up our listing so you can cast your vote. Please ask your family and friends to vote, too. Thank you!