Natalie and Mandy and Hero Dog Poodle are in Long Beach, Calif., where the spotlight will shine bright (and deservedly) on Mandy and Poodle. Poodle was the winner of the American Kennel Club's Award for Canine Excellence, in the Exemplary Companion category. You can read more about the ACE award, Poodle and all the winners here.
Natalie has been sending pictures back as fast as she can take them. Here are some highlights from the day:
You'll never see bigger smiles at 4:27 a.m. Poodle, Natalie and Mandy headed to the airport.
Poodle and Mandy, on the plane. Poodle ended up with her own seat.
At the American Girl store in Los Angeles.
Hooray for Hollywood!
As for the award, I'm comfortable with saying there are few dogs more deserving of recognition. It's not a stretch to say Poodle was a key component in helping Mandy through her treatment.
This post pretty much sums up what Poodle is to Mandy. Here's the thing to know about Mandy: At heart, she is a caretaker. And it made her heart full to be able to take care of something the way she was being taken care of while she was in treatment. Poodle helped ease Mandy's mind, which without a doubt also helped her physically.
I don't throw the "hero" term around loosely, but it's certainly fair to say Jane Myers and Cathy McGinnis meet the criteria. Jane and Cathy were Poodle's owners (and know her better by her real name, Electra), and it was Jane who gave Mandy this gift. "Eternal gratitude" is insufficient to sum up our feelings for that gift.
Natalie and Mandy will have a whirlwind couple of days Friday and Saturday -- interviews, photo shoots, the award presentation. Alannah, Zachary and I are holding down the fort back in Florida. We'll pass on the sights as we receive them.