REAL RESCUER OF BEVERLY HILLS GETS HIT BY WILD PITCH


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Admittedly, I don’t know much about the Housewives show franchise other than that its creator, brilliant TV impresario Andy Cohen, has turned the television world upside-down with his love-’em-or-hate-’em weeknight free-for-alls which have captive audiences clamoring for even more cities to be added to the current Bravo roster. TV snobs and critics may turn up their noses at these high camp glam slams, but Cohen must be doing something right because my most erudite of friends cop to fueling their cravings for fantastical escapism by way of binge-watching wives, ex-wives, wannabe wives, husbands of wives, ex-husbands of wives and significant others of wives living life unfiltered and sometimes oblivious to boom mikes and cameras in their boudoirs. We all know that entertainment is in the eye of the beholder and that good, light-hearted entertainment is just that – programming which provides recreational pleasure, diversion, pageantry and amusement.
Sadly, it’s the behind-the-scenes drama unfolding for one real housewife that has many of us in the rescue world dismayed as we all know that even the slightest appearance of impropriety can lead to one less dog being adopted rather than euthanized.

VANDERPUMP DOGS/FACEBOOK

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The backstory: Several years ago, Megan and I traveled to Los Angeles in order to meet with various producers who were interested in optioning the rights for what later became the movie, “Megan Leavey” and when we arrived on the West Coast too late to venture out for dinner, we decided to have something to eat in the hotel restaurant where we found ourselves seated at a table next to Lisa Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd. As our tables were close together and the restaurant was fairly crowded, we eventually started chatting with them and Lisa was fascinated by Megan’s story and was eager to offer some invaluable advice about Hollywood and the entertainment industry. She was down-to-earth, although strikingly chic – turning heads in the room with her ethereal British beauty, flowing paisley caftan and opera-length diamond necklace which caught the candlelight when she leaned over to give Megan a “good luck” hug before going home exhausted after a long day of shooting scenes for her show. Her husband Ken was equally gracious, asking about the Yankees and talking about football (soccer) and his love for all things having to do with dogs. I found him to be a gentle man who was on the mend after recovering from one orthopedic surgery and preparing for yet another. They gave us their mobile phone numbers and personal emails, which surprised us. And they repeatedly thanked Megan for her service and emphasized that she should feel free to contact them should she need advice about her film project. After they left the restaurant, the waiter and the maitre d’ came over to ask how we were doing and they told us that Lisa and Ken were amongst their very favorite customers at the restaurant and that they had been frequenting the place for years while always treating everyone they met – from busboys to nosey tourists – with the greatest of respect. The following day, Lisa Vanderpump sent out a lovely tweet about Megan and wished her success with her movie. 

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Fast forward: A few months ago, Randy and I traveled to Los Angeles with Megan to accompany her on her press junket for her movie. We had very little downtime as the publicists had booked Megan for numerous interviews with various media outlets and we knew that Megan could use a little break. I called ahead to Vanderpump Dogs and told them that we were in town and they relayed the message to Lisa and Ken. Although they were filming scenes across town that day and were exhausted after enduring several hours of shooting, they traveled a good distance through notoriously heavy L.A. traffic and finally arrived at Vanderpump Dogs to surprise Megan and congratulate her on the release of the movie. We were very touched that they would go to the trouble of doing so. This speaks volumes to their character – their real-life, true, not-just-made-for-TV-character. In the meantime, I had fallen in love with the sweet little former Cabo street dog beggar, Pearl V., whom I had seen via email days earlier and had been plotting her return with us to New York. While Lisa spent time with Megan, Pearl V. snoozed in my lap while I was interviewed by the very professional staff at Vanderpump Dogs and I filled out the necessary paperwork to be approved for adoption of Pearl V. I was very impressed with the staff’s dedication and attention to detail and the cleanliness of the facility as well as the hospitality they showed to each and every person who walked through that pink front door. I’ve been through many an adoption process and this one ranks at the top (along with WASA and ARFLA!) in terms of efficiency and placing the dog’s needs before the human’s wants. When Megan and I walked out of Vanderpump Dogs with Pearl V. leading the way with her fancy pink daisy leash (which Otto later chewed for breakfast) there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. This is what real rescue is. This is what real rescue should be.
With that said, the reality that doesn’t make for good TV is the internecine warfare and sniping which often takes place between rescue groups burdened with too many animals, too few dollars and emotions which have tendencies to cloud judgement. The dynamic duo of Vanderpump/Todd is relatively new to rescue as compared to some of us who have been doing this for over twenty years. (They have been successful restaurateurs and have owned businesses here and in London for several decades.) But now, they are making waves as far away as China where they accomplished more in one year than all of us have in the past ten. They put Yulin back on the map and exposed the festival for all to see. They used their celebrity to pull back the dirty curtains hiding the dog torture/consumption trade and Lisa went to Washington to testify before Congress and she left vowing to raise the funds to tackle the task-at-hand. While some initially scoffed at the notion of a Beverly Hills-based reality TV celeb getting her manicured hands dirty by documenting Yulin, everyone took notice when Lisa and Ken’s partner, filmmaker and animal advocate, Dr. John Sessa, packed a plane with veterinary/medical supplies and headed to Hong Kong and then to China to save as many dogs as he could.
Randy and I wholeheartedly support the Vanderpump Foundation’s efforts to not only save Yulin dogs and end the barbarity which takes place at this festival, but we also support their mission to find homes for dogs here in the United States. They have taken dogs like Pearl, and others from the kill shelters and back alleys in places where puppies and elderly dogs wouldn’t stand much of a chance in the already-overcrowded and underfunded city shelters. It pains me to see that another rescue group is now suing Lisa and Todd and their foundation. I am of the firm belief that EVERY DOLLAR SPENT IN LITIGATION IS ONE LESS DOLLAR SPENT SAVING A DOG. There is a very basic financial formula as it applies to rescue and it cannot be misunderstood. The more money we are able to allocate to saving dogs, the more dogs will survive. I hope that in the days ahead, the group suing Lisa and Todd and Vanderpump Dogs will come to realize that this type of litigation will not benefit the dogs desperately and immediately in-need of homes and that we are all working toward the same goal and that there is plenty of turf to go around as the numbers of homeless dogs seem to grow exponentially.
We are here on this earth but for a short time. We can spend that time trying to solve problems or we can spend that time creating problems for others to solve. I prefer to do the former. I support Lisa and Ken and I hope that you will too. I’m not soliciting contributions nor donations – just asking you to please take the time to send a few kinds words of encouragement to Vanderpump Dogs Facebook page or to their twitter so that we can all work toward relegating the drama to the TV screen and thereby eliminating it from the very real world of rescue.

MIGHTY FAMILY (GREAT DAY)

WATCH VIDEOS AND SEE PICTURES OF THE EVENT.


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THIS WAS A GRAET DAY. A MINT PROS DAY. WE ARE “THE MIGHTY FAMILY”

THE MYSTERY OF THE CENTURY.  CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH. ACCORDING TO MIKE TORREZ 

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BUCKY DENT  BEST NICKNAME IN THE BUSINESS CLICK ABOVE TO KNOW IT

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GATOR IS IN OUR HALL OF FAME  2017

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GREAT DAY WITH LEGENDS AT YANKEE STADIUM

PICTURES FROM MINTPROS.COM EVENT

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THANK YOU TO ALL THAT CAME OUT ON SATURDAY JULY 29TH 2017. NEXT MINT PROS EVENT WILL BE ON AUGUST 25TH 2017 HONORING THE GREAT GENE “THE STICK” MICHAELS.

WE ARE MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING


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OUR FIGHT

Yankees Universe Fund

What is the New York Yankees Universe Fund?

The New York Yankees and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have joined together to support the Center’s programs in pediatric patient care, research, and education by creating the New York Yankees Universe fund. Proceeds for the fund are generated by donations and the sale of Yankees Universe t-shirts, which can be purchased here.

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Where Does the Money Go?

All net proceeds from the sale of new Yankees Universe T-shirts will be donated to the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The proceeds will go to support pediatric cancer research and care, helping to contribute to advances in the treatment of children with cancer.

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About the Partnership

Memorial Sloan-Kettering treats more children with cancer than any other institution in the country, in the process setting a world-wide standard of care through the combination of pioneering research and life-saving treatments. The New York Yankees are the unrivaled world champions of baseball — personifying tenacity, passion, and an unparalleled drive for excellence. Together, Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Yankees are an unbeatable combination, offering new promise to children with cancer.

Give to the New York Yankees Universe Fund

The joint partnership of these two world-renowned institutions will positively affect the treatment of children around the world. Buy a shirt today or make a donation online or by mail to help make a world of difference for kids with cancer. To purchase a shirt, visit the Web site.

To contribute directly to the Yankees Universe fund:

Make a gift online to Yankees Universe fund. You will be given the opportunity to make your gift in honor of someone.

You may also make a gift by mail.

For information about purchasing Yankees Universe t-shirts, visit the Web site.

MIGHTY FAMILY (CAREGIVER)


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As a husband and caregiver of a wife battling cancer, times have been real hard. For the most part people have no idea. I want to make sure that I document things not for pity, but for the opportunity to help anyone else that is or might have to go through these things.

No one is ever ready to deal with cancer. As a caregiver, a husband, and a father it took us by surprise to find out that my wife had cancer. I had no idea what to do next. The first thing that came to my mind was “How am I supposed to raise my daughters without my wife?”  The second thing was “How can I go on by myself?” Then anger and next a million other questions flooded my brain.

If you know anything about me you know that I have been 14 years clean and sober. Now on that day, I thought about having a drink or two. My heart was broken and I could not stop anything that was going on, I had lost total control. The best part of me (MY WIFE) took me by the hands and we fell on the floor and started to cry. This was the best thing we both could do.

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After what felt like an hour we started to plan how we were going to tell our daughters the devastating news. How can you tell your kids when there is no playbook to go by? We seemed lost and confused as we spoke to one another. This was the day our world as we knew it, changed.

At times, it will seem like there are not enough hours in one day and not enough days in the week. I had to continue to work while my wife was getting her chemo treatments. For me it meant leaving work in the morning and meeting my wife at the clinic. In about six to eight hours later we would be heading home to our girls. I had used all my sick days and most of my vacation time to tend to different things like chemo, surgery, and doctor’s appointments.

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Coworkers and friends do not really understand what an emotional rollercoaster life becomes. People always say if you need anything you can count on me. The truth is that unless you have gone through this you will not understand it. Most of the people I know were not even aware of what mesothelioma was. However, I was and still am extremely grateful for their kindness. No one can ever prepare you to deal with a loved one after their chemo treatment. This is the moment when you get that feeling that you wish you could get inside the body of your loved one and take away all their pain.

I prayed a lot and I still pray a lot. I have all my faith in God. I speak to a selected few and I try to ignore the other people who think it’s ok to make fun of people who do not have any sick days left. Yes, I am the lucky one!! I have that not so funny coworker. As much as it hurts I have realized that some people just don’t care since this is not happening to them. I can only pray that they will never have to deal with anything like this in their life.

Stay strong and positive. Don’t let others dictate how you feel.  Smile and laugh as much as you can. It does help. Other people do not have to understand or care what you are going through. Be there for your loved one. Let no one fight alone. God Bless You and Your Family. AMEN

MIGHTY FAMILY (WE ARE CHAMPIONS)


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To quote my daughter Jaymi “We are not just a family from The South Bronx, We are champions”

We are somewhat back to normal or what I like to call the new normal. Life after chemo is strange but great. I feel that we all are a little more emotional now; more than before. I think now that things are better we are appreciating life a little bit more.
We have learned that when you really stop and look at the colors of a flower you tend to appreciate the beauty of it. When you stop and feel the wind on your body you just relax as you breathe. We have realized that there is no reason to rush as time does not forgive anyone. Time stops for no one.

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Growing up we took things for granted. As adult’s we get too occupied with work and bills but we lose our focus in life. When we found out about my wife’s cancer our world got turned upside down. I thought I was not going to be strong enough to deal with any of this and I thought I was just going to crumble in a million pieces. I prayed everyday like I always did and I learned to ask for advice and help when I could. One of the first things people would tell me is to slow down and take things one day at a time.

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When we first started to battle this cancer with the 1st oncologist we did not get any good news nor did we get any hope. As each day passed and we started seeing better doctors life started to change all around us. It was like a cosmic experience.
We now look at things and we say this is what the universe has lined up for us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We handle things much better now for we now know that time is precious. Whatever does not kill us will make us stronger. Spending time with family and friends have new and better meaning for us. Money can never replace a loved one. Time spent with a love one is priceless.
We all have problems in life. Never lose focus. Family time is important. It does not matter what you have done or not done in life. If you are awake and breathing today the Universe is giving you a chance to better yourselves. Don’t Waste it.

MINT PROS (AUG.EVENT)


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GENE “STICK” MICHAEL AND GUEST
SUITE, FOOD, LEGENDS

YANKEES VS SEATTLE MARINERS – 8/25/2017

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HONORING THE ARCHITECT
OF THE YANKEES DYNASTY
Gene “Stick” Michael and guest
A great present for the Yankee Fan in your life!
ONLY 50 TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE
Watch the 2017 NEW YORK YANKEES

In a private suite at Yankee Stadium
honoring the architect of the Yankees dynasty Gene “Stick” Michael and guest
They will sign autographs, pose for photos and
tell stories of their Yankee playing days.
Our “Yankee Legends Suite Game” offers a full ballpark buffet and
non-alcoholic beverages – ALL INCLUDED

MINTPROS.COM

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MIGHTY FAMILY (NORMAL)


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It has been three weeks since my wife had her last procedure. No more chemo or appointments until August 16th. We are starting to get back to normal as best we can. Slowly but surely, we are getting back into rhythm. One day at a time.

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With that it was time for my wife to get back to work. I thought It would be difficult for her, but man was I wrong. She could not run fast enough to get back to work. It was like Christmas in June for her. I guess being home for so many months and going through chemo treatments work is a better option.

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We are trying to keep ourselves busy as much as we can. Because of the weather at times we have not been able to do things, but when it is nice we have taken full advantage of it. I would like to say thank you to the New York Yankees Organization as they invited our family to be their guests at the stadium last weekend.  We had dinner at the Legends Restaurant and watched a great Yankees win.  We want to publicly thank The Levine family for all they have done for us.

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We are taking things one day at a time. We are getting ready for Jaymi’s graduation on June 27th and looking forward to our Mint Pros Event on July 29th where we will be with my wife’s surgeon and many others celebrating the 1977 championship legends, then in August we will take our yearly camping trip to the Hamptons. Things are starting to look better for us and we hope that they will continue to get much better. Again, thank you all for all your prayers and support. Remember No One Fights Alone.  

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