The Dog Dinner

The Dog Dinner, with thanks to Jess Wilson and for Michelle O'Neill and Riley.

Last night it finally happened.

Back in December, Jess Wilson asked if I’d donate a signed book for a contest she was running to raise money for a dog. I’m always a sucker for a good dog story, so I agreed.

In fact, I’ve been around good dog stories most all my life. My first dog stories involved beagles, because they were all around my grandparents down in Georgia. When I was just a kid, we had log trucks passing the house, and the beagles would come out from under the porch and chase the trucks. As you can imagine, every now and then, they’d catch one, and with all the weight of those logs, the result was a pretty two-dimensional beagle. But we were nothing if not resourceful, and we dried them on the clothesline and staged contests to see who could wing a saildog the farthest.
We had a pretty good thing going till the Wham-O people came along with the Frisbee.

But that’s another story. Last month’s story was about autism and service dogs – an improbable but seemingly legitimate combination. Michelle ONeill, another blog friend from Cleveland, was raising money to get one of these dogs for her kid, Riley.

The trouble was, fancy dogs are expensive.

Jess started by taking bids for the book. It brought in a few bucks, but she got a better idea – raffling a night out with me. Yeah – I know what you’re thinking – Who in her right mind would pay for that?? But there’s a sucker born every minute, I guess, because it worked. And it didn’t end there. Jess somehow enticed a dozen females from all over the country to come out here for Wives Gone Wild with me tagging along.

We had Pixie Mama, Michelle; Jenn , Judith; Rhemashope , Tanya; Kyra , Kim; Petra and even Mama Mara. And that wasn’t all – but I pasted the list from Jess’s blog so if you want to find the others, look there.
Moms came from all over the country. One even brought edible cow pies. The amazing thing was, most had never met in person until last night. I wrote a story on the power of the Internet and moms; this event demonstrated that for sure.

And the mosr remarkable part was that they shook a dog out of it. Michelle drove all the way up from Ohio to participate. Here she is:

The action heated up as the night wore on. In this next shot you can see that Kyra has found something tasty in Jess’s ear.

Moments later, the leg wrestling championship began.

Drama Mama – who was supposed to appear in person – called just as the grease started to fly.

Three moms watch, moments before the table was upended into their laps.

You’d have thought the restaurant would’ve kicked us all out right then, but times are hard. When they finally gave us the boot at 1AM we trooped back to Jess’s place, where the moms changed into pajamas, opened specially purchased Wine Coolers, and got ready to start Round Two.

I left while I still could. I distracted them with photos and slipped out into the cool night air. I will leave the rest of the storytelling to them.

All I can say is, you should’ve seen it. I wish I had taken more pictures. I'll bet I could've sold some of them back for some real money.


Niksmom said…
John, you are a good soul and a great sport! I wasn't able to make the trip. Turns out my son didn't want me to be too upset that I couldn't make it and decided to distract us with needing to be admitted to the hospital Friday night! But I digress.

While the raffle may have been the catalyst, the gathering definitely had a life all its own. I think you were the veritable icing on the cake. Wish I could've been there.
Drama Mama said…
you hot piece of aspergian look like you handled all that love just fine.

fine looking stable of wenches you have, sir.
Kim Stagliano said…
John - we had a great time - I love the photos you gave us as gifts. I took the Flying Page's - somehow a family trusting eachother to grab on and keep you from plummeting to the ground from a trapeze seemed appropos for me. And for the autism family in general.

Drama - you shoulda been there. (Do you like my black boot?) Tell me when you're coming to NYC. I'll be there.

Petra said…
John - you are the best!! I am going to link from my blog to yours.. as a little teaser to my readers who are eagerly anticipating my report (but as I am sick as a dog, pun intended, my report will have to hold).

John, remember the conversation toward the end of dinner, when you talked about your ever present self awareness and how that could be part of the explanation why the effects of TMS (forgive me if I use the wrong accronym.. I am under the influence.. cold meds this time.. LOL) 'stuck' for you?

You gave me a huge clue as to why my boy with Asperger's is so rapidly finding his social wings now. I know he is very self aware too....

I have to ponder on this a bit more.. and I'll write about it when I'm more coherent.
Anonymous said…
john! you are a RIOT!!! it was great seeing you there and meeting everyone.

i love the pictures you gave us. what an honor!
Jenn said…

It was an honor to meet you!!! Thanks for the pictures!

Wishing you all good things!

Mama Mara said…
John, I am still star-struck after meeting you. Glad you liked -- or at least were suitably disturbed by -- the cow pie and my freaky anonymity mask. Thanks for being the testosterone at our estrogen-heavy party! Can't wait to read your next book (please feed my book addiction soon). Woof!
Michelle O'Neil said…
You are a hoot John! Thanks so much for agreeing to support Riley in this way and for all the presents!

It was wonderful to finally meet you in person.

JoyMama said…
Indeed, what can one say to a Dog Dinner but "Woof"!

Wish I could have made the trip. I would have loved to meet you, and hang with all the wives gone wild, er, to the dogs. It sounds like a wonderful time.
John, it was fantastic to meet you and be in your presence. Thank you so much for humoring all of us and for generously sharing your photos. I can't wait to frame mine and put them up in the house! (The shirt and hat will be put to good use as well.) You are much appreciated!! Thanks for being you and for sharing your story.
jess said…
saildogs? oh my god, you really wrote that.

i knew we were in trouble when i heard you on the phone with drama telling her all was going well. 'oh sure, they're all there in the ring now. all greased up. yup, all is going fine.'

oh dear me.

john, you were gracious and generous and wonderfully entertaining and captivating, as always. we were blessed by your presence at our table and i was thrilled to have you in my home.

the gift of the photos (and the goodies from jan!) were just icing on an already perfect cake.

thank you so much for being part of our lives and our ongoing dialogue. you add far more than you know.
pixiemama said…
John -
Woof! It was a pleasure to meet you! Thank you so much for the beautiful photographs, t-shirts and caps. Mostly, thank you for joining us. I am selfishly wafting around, bragging that I met that famous Aspergian - no, not Foster - John Elder Robison! You will be pleased to learn that Foster immediately stole my "free-range Aspergian" hat. He is in love with it.

Jeneil said…
Great to meet you. Thanks for the beautiful photos and the good conversation. You were even better than the hype. Thanks again.


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