The first event was a fun little demonstration for the Kiwanis Club of Edina. Dempsey got to show off his skills opening doors, flipping light switches, retrieving objects, and tugging off gloves and jackets. He also got to talk about Helping Paws, and how they will help him further the independence of someone with a physical disability.
Dempsey wasn't expecting anything except for some pets and snuggles, but the good folks of the Kiwanis Club presented him with a certificate, a special pen, and a check! Dempsey would like to thank the Kiwanis Club of Edina for their very generous support!
The other event Dempsey participated in was the annual Tail Waggin' Dinner, where Dempsey volunteered as a greeter, directing people to the registration table.
The theme of this year's dinner was "Paint the Town Blue," and one of the auction items was a painting made by the dogs of Helping Paws. Dempsey contributed to that, too, in his own way.
Most of the dogs were into Pollock-esque action painting, smearing paint onto the canvas with their tails, but Dempsey was more influenced by Rauschenberg: When it was his turn to paint, he decided to make a combine by knocking the canvas down onto the grass, and then rolling around in it, mixing in blades of grass with the paint. Oh well. At least he's not a conceptualist.
At the dinner, Dempsey pretended he was at a show opening, dressed up in black tie, and talking to potential collectors about his work. Alas, his sophisticated image was marred by the fact that he was wearing his black tie sideways.
When we saw the finished painting at the dinner, I have to admit I was pretty impressed. It's not exactly a Pollock, but it's not a bad piece of abstract expressionism. Dempsey persuaded Doreen to try to bid on the painting, but the bidding went up much faster than we anticipated, and we lost the bid.
We did, however, pick up a puppy! After hearing a speech by Angie, a Helping Paws client who spoke very movingly about how having a service dog has improved her life, we got teary-eyed, and wrote Helping Paws another check. We are now proud partial sponsors of Walter, Dempsey's little brother! (A full sponsorship is $5,000, which covers the hard costs of training a service dog.)
We babysat Walter a few weeks ago, and we fell head over heels in love with him. Though we get to see Walter pretty frequently, it still feels special to say that he's "our" dog, too.
Dempsey would like to thank all the generous sponsors that contributed to the success of the dinner. He sends kisses and snuggles to everyone!