Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Ball

(See photos at the end of today's diary!)

Good morning, everyone. I'm BAAA-AAAAACK!!! Oh, I feel just like Cinderella must have felt when she woke up missing a shoe. Was it real? Was it a dream? Was I really a princess for a day? Let me start at the beginning of my adventure.

Wednesday - October 12: My spa day. Bubble bath, shampoo, style, blow dry, bow AND play date. Miss Marilyn gave me a goldish orangish and black Halloweenish bow. Who would have thought it would be a perfect match to my ball gown two days later? While I was being pampered and primped, Mom was having a tooth pulled and a temporary bridge put in. She says "pulled" is like saying World War II was a back yard 4th of July celebration, though. I guess when the tooth is out and there's only deep roots left we get into drilling, blasting and tunneling. We don't need to go into detail here...this is about ME, not her!! Back to my adventure.

THURSDAY - wake up, pack, check packing, check house. Turn off air conditioning, check car...and away we go. They remember me at Aladdin parking and give us the top drawer treatment. At the airport, there's a line snaking all the way to Somalia at the Southwest counter so Mom caves in and asks for a wheelchair for the first time in her life. This is way cool, I think. I sit on her lap in my personal car seat and say "Hello!" to everyone I pass. Airports have the nicest people in them, for sure! When a human is in a wheelchair they get a full body pat down, and as I watch from my special vantage point, Mom gets the full Monty. About half-way through she asks her wheel chair driver if the TSA agent speaks English because she can't understand a word the lady says (which is why this is taking so long). The driver says the agent just has a very heavy accent but we still get an interpreter to translate, and things go a lot faster. I think that's the first time Mom got more petting than I did.

(Note: My water bottle slipped through inspection in San Diego despite all the TSA precautions - we just forgot it was in our stuff. Nashville, on the other hand, didn't even bother giving Mom a pat down when we departed.)

Thursday night - After landing and getting another wheel-chair ride to the Shuttle Shack, and discovering that the phone to the Sheraton isn't working, we luck out and the shuttle shows up anyway. Already I am greeted by lots of Southwest flight attendants, even from the other planes. "Hello! Are you Mary-Margaret?", they ask? I just smile and give them kisses. Southwest has the nicest flight attendants ever. When we get to the hotel, even the desk clerk says "Oh, THIS must be Mary-Margaret!". I'm flattered and my heart is so full of love. I give more kisses. We race to our room, drop off our stuff and race back out the door. We are going to Ruth Chris' Steakhouse in Nashville for Dinner.

Another first for me!! Dinner out with my very best friends, AthenaMaria and AbbeyMia. While the ladies and a couple of men are yakking, we three catch up on stuff that us Yorkettes really care about, like what are we wearing to the Ball. For supper I have the yummiest filet mignon ever. MaryElizabeth tells me it's so nice and tender because it's "prime", not like the stuff we buy in Albertson's or Von's. When we get back to the hotel we stop by MaryElizabeth's room to visit some more. I'm so tired but I don't want to go to bed either. This is the most exciting day ever.

MaryElizabeth holds out her glass with some golden liquid in it for me to smell and I'm intrigued. My tongue pops out like a Brazilian tree frog and I'm actually having my first taste ever of VSOP cognac. "Yikes", (I say) and scrunch up my face, wrinkle my nose and "blegh" my tongue. It sure doesn't taste like it smells (I say). The ladies get a big giggle over my obvious distress and discomfort and MaryElizabeth offers me another glass of (she says) "water". No thanks - Fool me once, shame on me. But it will be a long time before I stick my tongue into one of YOUR drinks again (I say). She apologizes over and over to me. She feels awful and had no idea I'd actually taste it. Well? This is ME - MARY-MARGARET! Of course, I'm going to try it. "Sheesh!" (I say). A minute or so later I figure I've laid enough guilt on the ladies and I drink about a half glass of water to get rid of that awful taste. Note to self: Lay off the after dinner drinks until you're 21 or maybe forever?.

FRIDAY - Up and at 'em. Mom throws on her t-shirt and shorts, grabs me and AbbeyMia and we go check out the lawn by the back parking lot. MMMM-mmmm! So many smells, so little time. This is amazing! I really don't want to go back in but humans are weird when they don't look "just so" or haven't brushed their teeth yet. On our way back to room 1067, we meet up with some Yorks and Yorkettes going into the "hospitality room". Their parents look pretty much like my Mom, like they just got out of bed, too! We go in and have some breakfast, check out the boutique, and I end up with a new coat, my ball gown, and two new dresses. All proceeds go to the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue, too. FUN!

At 10:00AM I go to my first educational seminar by Arlene King, World Class Dog Trainer and AKC Judge. I am mesmerized. Her pups "Fergie" and "Sophie" show us what we can learn if we really apply ourselves. After a few minutes I figure "Well, heck! If that's all I have to do to get a treat, I'm in!", and I hop down and over to Arlene. Mom's yelling in a loud whisper - "Get back here, Mary-Margaret!" and I think....Treat? Or Mom? Give me a break - no contest there - and I keep going. Lucky for me Arlene is so nice and generous. I end up with a few munchies in my tummy before I go back to the sidelines.

We go back to the Hospitality Room for some sandwiches before moving on to the next seminar - "T Touch" (Tellington Touch), by Penny Case. It's like a soothing, healing holistic approach to health and happiness. It works on humans, too, if you want to know. Mom listens and I get the benefits. Ahhhhhhh!! I can live with this.

The "Hamburger Hop" is at 6:00PM. I'm asked to deliver a blessing. Considering my Mom gets stage fright and I need her to translate, I'm lucky she didn't really butcher what I was trying to say - just a word or two got jumbled, but generally she got the point across, I guess. I get to visit with my friends and the humans yak while having dinner. Mom snuck me a burger of my own which I enjoyed quietly under the table. After dinner, there is a "Best Photo" and "Best Costume" contest - we didn't enter, but we definitely enjoyed the show. My good friends Ashley and Kung Fu Kori tied for best photo with another pup I don't know. Muppet and Dixie dressed up as Dr. Seuss' "Thing #1" and "Thing #2" and they won first place in the Costume contest. (see pictures below)

After the contests we had the Fashion Show. There were some absolutely gorgeous outfits there, most (if not all) made by Corrine Ellison, a pup's answer to Vera Wang. In addition to gowns, there were pups in tuxedos, and the highlight of the show was Remi in her 2011 Wedding Gown with removable train (for dancing). She was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen.

SATURDAY - Up and out to the back parking lot, then to the hospitality suite for some breakfast. At 10:00AM we are downstairs and I'm taking the Canine equivalent of the SAT. What? Huh? I didn't even study (I say). Mom's telling me to just watch and pay attention and I'll do just fine. Oh, Lordy (I say)....and I spend the next five minutes watching AthenaMaria, taking notes, and praying. When it's my turn I go through my paces - sit, stop, down, heel, left turn, right turn, about face....oh, I can't remember it all. But I must have had an angel on my shoulder. I got it all right and I PASSED!!! I got an "A". Here's what I was graded on:

1) Accepting a friendly stranger; 2) Sitting politely for petting; 3) Appearance and grooming; 4) Out for a walk; 5) Walking through a crowd; 6) Sit and down on command/Staying in place; 7) coming when called; 8) Reaction to another dog; 9) Reaction to distractions; 10) Supervised separation (3 minutes) - I PASSED THEM ALL!! I think I will ask Mom to frame my certificate and hang it up in our office when I get it.

At 1:00PM we went to Rosemarie Cunningham's Grooming and Wrapping seminar. There's a lot to know about grooming and pawdicures and stuff. Most of the pups with really long hair got all involved. Me? Oh, well by this time it was nap time and all I wanted was a comfy place to lay down. I saw a possibility over by the water table and took full advantage. Pulling the table cloth corner down a bit, I scrunched it up and made a bed. We Yorkettes can be creative in a pinch!


Finally - the highlight of a Yorkie's social calendar - the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Ball. Everyone was dressed to the teeth! I wore my gold lame' gown and mingled with the other pups. I was asked to give the blessing again. Mom did her best, but she was glad to sit down again. I need to work with her some more on this. Neeko (our Assistant Pastor at Chapel) and I shared some alone time but he's really more a ladies' man and his dance card was full. His brother, Ray - a handsome long haired surfer type pup - was paying a lot of attention to me. I didn't mind it until he got a bit aggressive and I had to tell him that "I'm NOT that type of girl!". He apologized and said he respected me for that, and the rest of the evening went well.

For dinner, I had the best ever chicken breast (under the table again, though). After dinner there were some awards and entertainment.

My very good friend "Jilli Dog" and her human, Rick Caran, put on a show with Jilli's sister Ruby and her brother, Spidey (a chihuahua). Jilli and Ruby are the only poker playing pups I've ever met. Ruby can count money, too. Jilli is a published author and did a book signing after the show. I now have a personalized autographed copy of "Jilli Dog, The Little Dog That Made Mr Kranby Smile". I can count Jilli and Ruby as two of my VERY GOOD FRIENDS now, too!


We wound up the evening with some good old down home country music. Mom bounced me on her knee and I really enjoyed the band. Dan Dugmore is the winner of many awards including the ACM 2011 award for best Steel Guitar player of the Year.

Karen Dugmore, Danny Dugmore, Adam Dugmore all played with him in the band, along with some other very talented people. I wish my mom had written down their names (like I asked her to) but who listens to me? They are all accomplished musicians, especially little Adam who blew me away with his drums. I rocked out to the music until it was time to go to bed.

That's Rick Caran holding Ruby and Jilli Dog in the front of the band.

I didn't want the evening to end. This was the very best weekend of my entire life. I will never forget it. Thank you to all the good humans that made this possible for me, but most especially to MaryElizabeth Dugmore, the magic lady that makes it all happen for us Yorksters and Yorkettes. Because of her and the good deeds of Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue so many of us have found our "forever" homes; so many indigent pups have had medical treatment that has allowed them to live the best lives possible; and so many humans and pups now share lasting and unconditional love.



Mary-Margaret O'Brien

PS - The entire weekend including the Ball was live-streamed over the internet. There were people all over the world, including Australia and England who watched it. We were told this was the largest, most successful ball we've ever had.



1) Me wondering when dinner will be served
2) Wow....treats for MEEEE??
3) Dixie & Muppet (Thing #1 and Thing #2)
4) I just LOVE Airplanes.
5) Tina Ann Byers & Lucy (Lucy is 3 - she was only given 72 hours to live when she was born. Her head was separated from her spine and she WAS a quadraplegic. See what love and good medicine will do?)
6) Lucy on wheels - this is her second set of all terrain tires.
7) Jilli Dog
8) Me - waiting for dinner again!
9) Gown on and ready to boogie
10) Class (I already know this stuff, though!)
11) Tina Ann Byers and Liah (3 yrs old) - This is where Liah always sits.
12) Tina and Liah
13) Aida in her Wedding Gown
14) Tootsie Pop (Diane Cuomo's pup)
15) ??
16) ??
17) ??
18) ??
19) MaryElizabeth Dugmore
20) Karissa and Chiklet Cuomo
21) More "Class" pictures
22) AbbeyMia in denim ball gown
23) ??


Neeko said...

OMDogness Gorgeous...
When did you ever write this VERY explicit Yorkie Ball celebration???
Meee just woke up after sleeping all day long today.
PAWSOME description of the whole thing and when did you ever take all these Kool pictures??? You are a magician!
Anyways, Meee just wanted to shout a Huge Thank you for inviting us to sit with you at the same table. My Bro Ray is still very embarrassed for his behavior. He said that you are verrrrrrrry HOT and he could just not resist the temptations. That ball gown of yours just fogged his capability of being a gentleman ...
Meee will get after my Mommy to get to work so we can post on my bloggie about the most Pawsome event of the year :o)

Love and Smooches,
Neeko ♥♥♥
P.S. My Mommy asked if you could please give your Mommy this link: She will know what it is about...

The Sewing Loft said...

Wowza! What a fun party an other stuff.

The Sheraton let a bunch of us Yorkies stay there? Wowza!! How did THAT happen? You looked juss beeutiful in your lame gown. So pwetty and the ultimate in Yorkie high fashion.

Ok, we gotta ast, how did you get to go in Ruth's? Did mommy carry you in a bag? How does that kind of thing werk? We want to do that too.

Speakin of bags, our mommy emailed the Yorkie Rescue and asked if those zebra doggie tote bags were still response so we don't have one. That was a couple weeks ago, guess they have been real busy.

We loved seein your pictures. You definitely were the bell of the ball. :)

Jillie and Andy

Vicki Siedow said...

WOW! What a gala! I am SOOOO jealous, but I loved every moment of your brilliant narrative, and the lovely photos. I'm very glad you and your mom got to go to this event, and it sounds like they were lucky to have both of you there.

Lisa said...

Loved your gold lamae dress Mary-Margaret. Neeko, Aida, Ray, and Leo T.'s mom Amalia and I are facebook friends, She sent me the link to the live stream of the Yorkie Ball, but I missed it. I was so disappointed. Thank you for posting some of the pictures. Neeko's mom also had a few posted on her Facebook. Have a great week you two!

Tina Ann Byers said...

Lucy and Liah were so excited to meet you at the Ball! We had tons of fun and can't wait to do it again!

Neeko said...

It's Meee again!
Guess what?
My Mommy was FINALLY pinned down in her office and she was not allowed to leave until she helped Meee blog about the PAWSOME Yorkie Ball :o)
When you have a moment, come and visit.

Love and Smooches,
Neeko ♥♥♥

Sugar Princess & Baby Sweet Pea said...

Oh MM, you look just so fabulous in your ball gown, and Abby Mia had a pawsome gown too. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thank you for the wonderful descriptions, it was almost like we were there.
Love Ya Bunches
The Heartbreaker Trio II