As you can see, he has a job. All of our dogs should have jobs. Shedding a half-pound of hair on the couch waiting for us to come home everyday does not qualify as work, unless the Dyson Vacuum Company keeps them on retainer.
Now that all of the papers have been filed, the pencils have been sharpened and the desk is clear, Gardie will move on to his second and most important job as the big “(Mc)dog” at the Ronald McDonald House. And his job is; love.
For over 30 years the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston has provide a cozy bed, a warm meal and quiet compassion from caring staff, to thousands of families with young ones struggling through the trials of childhood diseases and medical treatments at area hospitals. As a home away from home, the RMH has been an invaluable asset to life in the Trident area.
After becoming involved with the House while working morning radio shows in town, the group approached me again many years later and asked if the Animal Medical Center in Mount Pleasant would consider taking care of Gardie’s Veterinary needs … there was no hesitation. With the help of our Veterinary business partners, we have kept Gardie healthy and available for work everyday since we began our partnership with the Ronald McDonald House.
Only a handful of the RMH’s around the country have adopted the concept of a house dog. I maintain that the Ronald McDonald House is now the Ronald McDonald Home, since the biggest difference between a house and a home can be something as simple as adding a loving pet. And there is no doubt that Gardie has fine tuned the art of “love” and brought it to the house.
Little Hailey, Jones from Seneca, stole some love from Gardie while her family spent 2 nights at the house while in the MUSC pediatric intensive care unit.
Again this year, like so many other businesses in our community, we will participate in the Red Shoe Walk (October 24th) to help raise money and awareness for one of the best non-profits on the planet. Last year I harnessed Gardie up and we marched the mile together around Hampton Park. His simplified take on the day was that hundreds of people showed up to chase him around the park when he slipped his lead. (Following a year of intensive leash training, this years trek around the oval should be a little more subdued.)
If you could take a moment to learn more or make a contribution, check out the web site. http://www.redshoewalk.com
Gardie and I appreciate any assistance you provide in the effort to help the Ronald McDonald House. Housing more than 800 families a year, at a cost over $1600 per day, the task is a massive undertaking. With last years fund raiser the “house that love built” added a handful of new rooms allowing more families to settle into comfort during extraordinarily difficult times.
Following the fundraiser, Gardie will be taking a little vacation. Periodically he takes a holiday at my house. There he bounds across the furniture and beds, in pursuit of my “labradoodle” Addison, both followed closely by my ferocious Yorkie JoJo, with little regard for the rules he lives by at the Ronald McDonald House downtown.
He is a spirited (and muddy) reminder to me of how fortunate I am that I never needed the Ronald McDonald House, but how fortunate I would have been … if I did.