My youngest child, Lady Isabel von Blutenberg, and I are walking the virtual distance from San Francisco to Tahiti. 4,192 miles! Why in the world are we doing this? We're walking to raise money for one of my favorite charities (and a client), the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. You can donate, if you'd like, or walk with us, or start your own team with your own wild puppy. www.crowdrise.com/TAHITI
But the impetus to put our feet and paws to the pavement was initially inspired by something else. Here's the story: In April 2013, my mom, Isabel, passed away from a rare cancer. The previous summer I lost my 11-year old dachshund, Eika von Blutenberg. My dad passed from lung cancer in 2008. In July, 2013, my friend John called to say, “There’s a dachshund at the shelter." That never happens. We ran over there, had a meet and greet with the little puppy and my other two dachshunds and we adopted her an hour later. They said she was nine weeks old and someone left her in a park. I named her Lady Isabel von Blutenberg after my mom and Eika.
Lady is not your typical dachshund. As a puppy she was a nonstop biter. My arms looked like I had been scratched by a herd of cats (I'm not a big fan of cats, even though I'm a Leo) and she had more energy than 10 puppies together. Boundless energy. I always say if she had grown to the size of a Great Dane, I might not have been able to keep her! My nephew and sister-in-law got me the Wisdom panel—a DNA test for dogs—which explained EVERYTHING. Lady was a boxer, mini-pincher, dachshund mix. I held a contest for people to guess. Nobody guessed BOXER. As soon as I researched the BOXER personality…my new “wisdom” changed our lives in the most incredible way. I now knew Lady needed adventure to tame her boundless energy. That Boxers tended to keep their inner puppy around for four years! That harsh commands or classes were never going to work…only persuasive love and affection. No little walks around the block were going to help her. So I got a Fitbit and started a fundraiser for the Lung Cancer Foundation. We set out to walk the virtual distance from San Francisco to Chicago. 2,148 miles! We walked and ran 5-18 miles a day, every day since January. I only wish I had gotten a Fitbit for Lady because she probably ran double or triple the miles that I did. Before the Wisdom panel, I knew dachshunds inside and out, but knew nothing about Boxers!
Now what? We're done with the first leg. So, we're walking to Tahiti. Hope to see you there in about a year and a half. Party admission tickets will be held at the hut. The minimum donation is $41.92 but feel free to donate a million if you've got some extra cash sitting around. www.crowdrise.com/TAHITI