NOVEMBER 2004 JOURNAL ARCHIVE


1st - Day #185
MAX & BAILEY ENTER MISSISSIPPI - STATE #44

With just 33 days left on their journey, Max & Bailey entered Mississippi today. I'll admit that we won't miss the unusual heat and humidity we experienced in New Orleans, but we will certainly miss our new friends from New Orleans.

Many of our new friends are currently waiting for an Assistance Dog of their own. Judy Miller has been waiting for over a year. Mary Myra is now working on plans for raising money to help her receive an Assistance Dog. And Chad has been waiting for almost 5 years, with two or more years left before he receives his Assistance Dog. These three all have two things in common : They will all wait much too long and they will do so with a positive attitude. Another three everyday heroes that we've met on this journey.

Your donations or logo gear purchases can help us shorten their wait. Wouldn't it be great if corporations would sponsor just one dog each year. The dogs could be named to reflect the many companies who made the sponsorship possible - just $18,000 for an Assistance Dog or $40,000 for Guide Dog. That is a lot of money to most of us, but a very small investment in the community for a successful company. Maybe tomorrow....

For today, Max & Bailey will continue riding, speaking out for people with disabilities and educating Americans about the many ways an Assistance Dog can improve the life of a person with disabilities. Please help us shorten these long waiting lists. Chad, Mary Myra and Judy are worth your investment.

If you have made a donation in the past, don't forget to investigate the possibility of having your employer match your donation. Many employers will match donations (or make a donation for each hour you volunteer) to qualifying 501(c)3 organizations. Hogs For Dogs just happens to be a 501(c)3 qualifying organization. You can double your donation simply by asking your employer to get involved.

Donor-of-the-Day : Cindi Clark is today's donor of the day for her $130 online purchase. You may remember Cindi from our Yachats, Oregon events. She helped us then and she continues to help us today. She's also volunteers her time and love as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions For Independence. She is a very special person. Thanks, Cindi!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Our New Orleans Hostess - Carolyn Kerner (2) Welcome to Mississippi (3) Chad and Bailey (from yesterday's photos). Wouldn't this picture be better with an Assistance Dog.

Come celebrate with us in Raleigh on December 4th as we 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. Help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! See you there!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


2nd - Day #186
RAIN AND MECHANICAL BREAK-DOWN SLOWS THE RIDE

Election Day is the chance for Americans to exercise their right to choose this great country's leadership. Regardless of your political beliefs or whether your candidate is the ultimate winner to lead the country, your vote counts. Every vote counts. We hope you took the time to reflect on your beliefs, the country's needs and got out to vote.

Similar to voting is your choice to support or not support people living with disabilities. We are often asked if a $1 donation can make a difference. Like counting individual votes, if every American gave only one dollar, there would be $350-million to assist in lessening the long waits for an Assistance Dog. Yes every dollar - just like every vote - is immensely important. It won't have the same impact on the country as the choosing of a president, but to the person who receives the independence of an Assistance Dog it may be even more important. Why note make your vote for independence today?

Max & Bailey spent their day riding through rain showers from Hattiesburg to Meridian, MS. It was a very wet - and sometimes miserable - ride. It was made even more difficult due to a new kind of mechanical breakdown - a breakdown of the body. Blaine's body, to be specific.

Our doctors gave us a thorough physical before we embarked on this charitable journey. We knew it would be a long and difficult ride and that it would take some toll on our body through long miles and the stress of planning and participating in the hundreds of events across the country. We received the green light for the ride with one (non-fatal) warning. Blaine's uric acid was close to the levels that would result in the very painful arthritic condition called Gout. After 185 days, the doctor's prediction came true -- painfully true!

I (Blaine) went to bed feeling a little melancholy because the ride was drawing to a close and there was so much more we'd hoped to do for others. The ripple effect of our education may be seen for years to come, but we feel that we - with your help - could have done more in the fundraising arena. By 3 AM that same morning, I was writhing with a pain in my left foot so intense that, if asked, I would have happily amputated it right then. I couldn't walk, couldn't sleep and couldn't believe all this pain was caused by a higher than normal uric acid. Now I BELIEVE!

I have medication with me and am confident that the pain will soon subside. But, the ride and trying to shift gears with my left foot today left me feeling more than melancholy - it left me with tears. Janet, always my supporter, just reminded me that my pain was nothing compared to the challenges facing the people we ride for. I felt better - but cried a little more.

So, I hope you chose to get out and vote, to make your voice heard in a sea of different opinions. And we thank all of you have voted here, through this website or at any of our events, for the independence we seek for people living with physical disabilities.

We invite everyone living in or near the Atlanta area to visit with us at our Roswell, Georgia events. Local volunteers like Robert Wilson have spent countless hours putting together some fun events and support. The Mayor of Roswell has decided to proclaim November 6th as Hogs For Dogs Day. Please come out and support the ride.

Photos-of-the-Day : Too much rain for new photos


4th - Day #188
MAX & BAILEY ARRIVE IN ROSWELL, GEORGIA

Max and Bailey are now in the 46th state on their journey - Georgia. You aren't losing your mind if you think we missed reporting state #45 (Alabama). Yesterday's ride to Auburn rates as one of the top three worst rides on this journey - nothing but pouring rain, wind and very limited visibility. There are no photos from Alabama because we saw very little of it. Our focus was on the ten feet of highway in front of us. And, yes, the dogs stayed very dry and comfortable in their cozy sidecars. We, on the other hand, had cold puddles in our underwear, again!

Today was a much better day. After a very refreshing visit with some of our good friends who live in Opelika, AL, we made the 130-mile run to Roswell, GA for this weekend's events. The sun was shining and it was actually a little cool - a big change from our recent record-breaking heat. The weekend forecast looks absolutely perfect for our events, so if you're anywhere close by, please come out and join us. You can see all the Atlanta (Roswell) area events on our Upcoming Events page, but here is a brief list:

Friday
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10:00 AM Grayson Elementary School Presentation
11 - 5 PM Dog Wash at the Red Bandana

Saturday
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10 - 5 PM Killer Creek H-D Events (see events page)

We invite everyone living in or near the Atlanta area to visit with us at our Roswell, Georgia events. Local volunteers like Robert Wilson have spent countless hours putting together some fun events and support. The Mayor of Roswell has decided to proclaim November 6th as Hogs For Dogs Day. Please come out and support the ride.

Donor-Of-The-Day : Steve and Karen Conrad from Bear, Delaware are our donors of the day. They made a very generous $100 donation and will have the donation matched by their employer.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey at the Georgia border (2 & 3) Our first photos of 'April', the Canine Partners For Life puppy named after one of our hard-working board members, April Fort. April, this sweet-faced puppy, will go on to become a future Assistance Dog (with the help of your donations!)

Come celebrate with us in Raleigh on December 4th as we 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. Help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! See you there!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


5th - Day #189
GRAYSON ELEMENENTARY WELCOMES MAX & BAILEY

We always enjoy sharing Max & Bailey's educational message with students, and the fifth-grade students at Grayson Elementary were exceptional! Though we were about 10 minutes late because of traffic, the students gave us a great welcome and forgave us for being tardy. They were interested in learning about Assistance Dogs and how those special dogs help people living with physical disabilities. We were honored to be there today and want to thank teacher Louise Adkins for our invitation

As soon as we left Grayson Elementary, we had to make our way to The Red Bandana for our Dog Wash event. Volunteers helped wash dogs in the store's do-it-yourself dog wash for a $10 donation. Though we didn't have as many visitors as the organizers would have liked, it was a great event. Even Max & Bailey took turns in the bathtubs.

We have another great event planned for the Roswell, Georgia area on tap for tomorrow. Come out to Killer Creek Harley-Davidson for the Doggie Fashion Show and Silent Auction. There will be live music, food and fun for all ages. Bring your dog in their best costume and take a chance at winning prizes. Check our Upcoming Events Page for more details

Donor-Of-The-Day : Hogs For Dogs supporters rushing to order the new 2005 Max & Bailey Calendar are our donors of the day today. The calendars are selling VERY fast and today's buyers include Pat Nowak, Scott Brady, Lyneette Beaster and Debbie Dornfield. Thanks for those purchases. We hope you enjoy the calendars as much as we enjoyed putting them together. Get yours today!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Grayson Elementary students line up to see Max & Bailey (2) Blaine talks to the large group of fifth-graders (3) Sunny Braley and the staff at Red Bandana Pet Food pose with the Hogs For Dogs team (4) Max getting his bath at the Dog Wash event

Come celebrate with us in Raleigh on December 4th as we 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. Help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! See you there!


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6th - Day #190
ROSWELL MAYOR JERE WOOD PROCLAIMS NOVEMBER 6TH AS HOGS FOR DOGS DAY AND KILLER CREEK HARLEY-DAVIDSON DOGGIE FASHION SHOW AND SILENT AUCTION IS A BIG SUCCESS

Our friends and Atlanta volunteers, Robert and Carolyn Wilson, deserve a HUGE round of applause for their fundraising and educational efforts in the Atlanta area. The Wilsons have spent months planning and working to make this weekend's events a success. Well, the numbers are in and they are very good: $4,822.45 worth of GOOD!

Now, we know that the Wilsons didn't do this alone. Holly Neal Ford, Squeek Moynihan (love that name) and John (GM) from Killer Creek H-D, along with their entire staff pulled out all the stops to make today's event possible. Local businesses and individuals donated valuable items for the silent auction. Don Law rocked the crowd with his pro-bono performance. Mariana Travis volunteered countless hours of her time as a volunteer. The list goes on and on, but it takes leadership to make these things a success. And, I hope you'll join me in thanking Robert and Carolyn for playing that lead role.

We also had a wonderful surprise today. Jack and Elli Sias from Fairburn, GA stopped by today's event and made a very generous $500 donation. Now, here's the rest of the story: We met Elli and Jack when we drove through Glacier National Park. It was a short encounter, but they have followed Max & Bailey's journey through the website since that first meeting. They believed in what we're doing and surprised us with today's donation. Thank you Elli and Jack.

Jack and Elli's donation and loyal following is just another example of the kind of support we have seen from folks across the country. Bill and Olive Smith have been following our journey since we saw them in Mount Airy during our first week on the road. Sue Edelstein met us once at Guiding Eyes For The Blind and has become our unofficial media support team, calling and emailing media outlets around the country. John and Mary Quick from Silent Farm B & B opened their home to us and became one of our greatest cheerleaders. And, then there are all our dedicated volunteers who have given thousands of hours to this project. It would take pages and pages for me to list all the people we've met who have shared our passion for this ride. But, you get the idea.

So, it is our pleasure to publicly announce (for the first time) that Max & Bailey are hoping to generate enough interest for a 2005 Reunion Tour - a three-month, limited tour through select cities across the country. We need to garner a minimum of $100K in corporate sponsorship before the ride becomes official - but we're willing to give it a try. If you have an interest in helping us make this ride possible, let us know. There are still millions of people waiting for an Assistance Dog. Let's keep the momentum going!

Donor-Of-The-Day : Obviously Elli and Jack Sias get today's top honors for their $500 donation.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Janet: ready to sell! (2) Max entertains visitors (3) Golden Retriever, Hannah, plays the piano during the dog trick contest (4) More dog tricks (5) Max & Bailey get a special visit from another dog showing their motorcycle colors (6) I wish I had video to share. This little 'Hog' is actually moon walking (honest!) (7) Don Law entertains the crowd


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8th - Day #192
MAX & BAILEY SEND THEIR REGARDS FROM TIFTON, GEORGIA

Max & Bailey had the great honor of visiting with the students and staff at Sacred Heart School in Warner Robins, GA. They were a great group and we owe a special thanks to Cyndee Morgan for inviting us into their school. That was the highlight of the day.

The low point came as we arrived in Tifton and got back online to answer the hundred or so emails that still need a response. Among the thirty new emails was one from a producer of a major network morning show. After corresponding with them for months about a possible segment on Max & Bailey's Ride to highlight the needs of people with disabilities and the long wait they face for Assistance Dogs, they decided against the piece.

We were disappointed, to be sure. But not for the reasons you may imagine. We have no burning desire to be on national television. Our deep disappointment is for the millions of people with disabilities whose story we had hoped to tell and for the effect that national awareness might have had on the 3-5 year waiting lists for Assistance Dogs. And with only 26 days left on this ride, we are running out of opportunities to tell that story.

I know you're busy. But, if you could find a few minutes in your busy day, we need your help. I am asking every friend, family member, teacher, volunteer and Hogs For Dogs' supporter to call, write, or email your favorite media personalities. Teachers, what a great exercise it would be for your students to write letters about Max & Bailey's visit to their school and send them to select media outlets. If you ever believed in helping us reduce the long waiting lists, believe now. Act now, please.

Donor-Of-The-Day : We met our donor-of-the-day at Rest Area #14 in Dooly County, GA. Robbie - that's his name - saw us drive up and knew he had seen us somewhere before. Just as we were about to drive away, Robbie stopped to ask us if we were indeed the Hogs For Dogs folks who were riding around the country to help people with disabilities. That we are. Robbie made a $10 donation and wished us well. He became our donor of the day with a simple handshake.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Sacred Heart School photo. (2-12) The reason we ride. The reason you care. The reason that these waiting lists have to get shorter.

Twenty-six days from now, on December 4th, we will 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be celebration with food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. You've traveled along with us for most of them. Why not help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! We'll hope to see you there!


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9th - Day #193
SMALL TOWNS AND BACK ROADS PUT US BACK ON COURSE

We've seen more interstates than we ever cared to see over the last month of this charity ride. Our goal when we left home - navigationally - was to travel on primarily back roads and smaller highways. Somewhere between Texas and Georgia, we had lost our way and found ourselves staring at dashed white lines as they blinked by at 70 mph. We didn't enjoy it, but it was required if we wanted to get to our events on time. Today, we found our way back to those small roads.

The day began at Little River Harley-Davidson in Tifton, Georgia. We pulled in for a picture in front of the shop for our ABC's of Harley program - a program where you take your photo in every state and at national parks, etc. What we got was more than a photo. We met great people like Don and Brad who listened to our story and then recommended a small grill in Moultrie, GA for lunch.

Hwy 319 South was our route, and though there are four lanes (two each way), the drivers all had that small town, wave-as-you-go, kind of attitude. We smiled all the way into Moultrie, past the beautiful old courthourse and around the corner to Vern & Firewaters Blue Sky Grill, where there was a parking space right up front. If you're wondering - Interstates don't lead you to places like this.

Max & Bailey were already surrounded by men in ties and woman in their business clothes as we found two stools at the bar where we could see the dogs. The people inside ran the gamut from business folks on their lunch break to a woman's group and us two bikers at the bar. We made friends easily, had the local paper show up for an interview and the Grill's proprietor buy our lunch - and several t-shirts, too.

Yes, indeed. We had been missing these people while we were out chasing dashed lines on the Interstate highways. Today, we came home.

Thank you Don and Brad for the lunch recommendation. A very special thanks to Randy Banister for buying our lunch and to Deb and Christie for making our visit to the Blue Sky Grill so relaxing and delicious. And thank you Moultrie, Georgia for reminding us what we'd been missing while we raced from place to place on Interstates.

We still need your help with the media. Call, write or email all your favorite TV, radio and print media outlets to let them know about Max & Bailey's Ride. And, if you don't already have a 2005 calendar, pick up one of Max & Bailey's Postcard From The Road calendar. You get the calendar and people with disabilities get a chance to shave a year - or more - off of their wait for an Assistance Dog.

Donor-Of-The-Day : Randy Banister from the Blue Sky Grill is today's donor-of-the-day for his friendship, free lunch and $70 logo-gear purchase. If you're ever in Moultrie, stop by and have lunch with some good people. I recommend the Chicken Melt.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Little River Harley-Davidson (2) Bailey waits outside the Blue Sky Grill (3) Welcome to Florida - State #47! (4) Janet and Bailey celebrate state #47 (5) Max shows what it looks like to have a bad hair day at the border.


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10th - Day #194
TALLAHASSEE WELCOME MAX & BAILEY

Max & Bailey began their day at the old State Capitol Building in Tallahassee, Florida. We had reserved the opportunity to be on the Capitol lawn for the entire day prior to our arrival and had invited the state's legislators and Florida's new agency for people with disabilities to join us there. We thought it would be a perfect opportunity for the state's leaders to speak to the media about their programs to support their citizens living with physical disabilities.

They declined. And I don't know how to say anything positive about that. I think their actions speak louder than their words in this case, new agency or not.

News anchor Sarah Grady from WCTV-TV 6, however, was there and filmed a nice segment about Max & Bailey's Ride and the role Assistance Dogs play in the lives of people with disabilities. She and Corrie - the videotographer - did a great job of capturing the story for WCTV's Peculiar Pastimes segment of their evening news. You can see some of the story on their website at: www.wctv6.com/news/features/4/1177771.html (we'll also post this info on our Press Release page).

Our afternoon was spent with middle school students at the prestigious Maclay School. Karen Stuart, a student from the school's Animal Club, helped put together our visit. The staff and students listened attentively and were very generous. The Animal Club pledged a $200 donation and the middle school students were collecting donations to add to that total. As a special treat, we had Judi Volpe and Jeri Rickord from Paws With A Cause demonstrated many of the tasks an Assistance Dog is trained to do for their disabled partner. Well, Judi and Jeri didn't do the tasks, their PAWS demonstration dogs Hickory and Timber, respectively, did the work. It was a big hit with the students.

If you live in the Tallahassee area and want to meet Max & Bailey or learn more about our program, we will be at the Veteran's Day Parade in the morning and then at Barnaby's Pizza from 2-5 PM. Come out, say hello and help us celebrate and remember the veterans who sacrifice so much for our country's freedoms. As a former member of the U.S. Air Force, I will be thinking of those serving in the military around the world tomorrow. I hope you'll do the same.

We still need your help with the media. Call, write or email all your favorite TV, radio and print media personalities to let them know about Max & Bailey's Ride.

--- REMEMBER : MAX & BAILEY CALENDARS ARE ON SALE NOW -- AND GOING FAST! ---

Donor-Of-The-Day : The Maclay School's Animal Club with their $200+ pledge and Benita Harrod, of Moultrie, GA, with her $30 online donation are today's donors.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Janet answers questions for Sarah Grady of WCTV Channel 6 (2) Meet PAWS demonstration dog, Timber (3) Max poses at the Florida's Old Historic Capitol building (4) Hickory calls for help for WCTV crew (5) PAWS regional trainer Judi Volpe speaks with Sarah Grady. (6) Blaine speaks at Maclay School (7) Karen Stuart from Maclay's Animal Club volunteers to help with our presentation (8) Timber brings items to Karen (9) Maclay's Animal Club poses with Max & Bailey (10) The Animal Club leadership team


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11th - Day #195
PARADES ACROSS AMERICA HONOR OUR VETERANS

Freedom doesn't come free. Since the country's earliest days, the men and women of our nation's military have always answered the call to arms when our liberty has been threatened. While we sleep in our homes and cherish our families, they re-read letters from their families wishing they were home. And while we live our lives in freedom, our military proudly stands in harm's way to give us that opportunity.

For Veteran's Day, Max Bailey and thousands of Florida residents turned out for the annual Veteran's Day Parade in downtown Tallahassee to honor the past and present heroes who have sacrificed so much so that we may live our lives in peace. I hope each of you took a moment to honor veteran's in your own community today. They have paid for our freedom with blood and personal sacrifice. They deserve our thanks and our respect.

Max & Bailey - who did not ride in today's parade - received lots of smiles and thumbs up from the parade participants as they marched past. We waved our flags and the dogs showed off their red, white and blue bandanas. It was a good day, both at the parade and at our informal meet- and-greet held at Barnaby's Pizza. But today is not about Max & Bailey - it is about our veterans. News about our events can wait until tomorrow.

--- REMEMBER : MAX & BAILEY CALENDARS ARE ON SALE NOW -- AND GOING FAST! ---

Donor-Of-The-Day : Tammy McGhin of Tallahassee is today's donor of the day. She made a special trip back to Barnaby's Pizza to buy a t-shirt and make a $25 donation after reviewing our website. Thank you, Tammy!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Let the parade begin (2) Color Guard (3) Max & Bailey enjoy the parade (4) Bailey gets a visit from some Scouts (5) Malory - PAWS demo dog at the parade (6) Max hangs out in his sidecar (7) Hickrey shows his patriotism (8) Honor thy veterans (9) Timber cheers from the sidelines (10) Sidney visits with Max (11) Max & Bailey help the band keep the beat (12) Hey Bailey - How about a finger in the eyes...

Twenty-four days from now, on December 4th, we will 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be celebration with food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. You've traveled along with us for most of them. Why not help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! We'll hope to see you there!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


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13th - Day #197
RAIN DAMPENS BRANDON HARLEY-DAVIDSON EVENT

Yesterday's rain made our ride from Tallahassee to Ocala another wet, miserable one. We keep telling ourselves that we need to replace our quickly deteriorating rain gear, but with so few days left, we will probably just live with the puddles that form inside our gear until we return home.

The rain ended late yesterday, but Mother Nature had her way with us when we were about 20 miles north of Brandon Harley-Davidson, the location of today's event. So, like any other day that begins with a little rain, few bikes found their way out of the garage and out to the dealership. The sun came out in earnest around 1:00 PM and the event was still a lot of fun. The crowds, however, stayed away.

Regardless, we owe Brandon H-D General Manager Somer Huffman and Event Planner Brittany Foster a big thank you for all their work and hospitality during our visit. They provided lots of local support, spread the word about our arrival and even arranged for our bikes to be super cleaned by the service team.

We'll try our hand at another event tomorrow. Fletcher's Harley-Davidson has invited us to hang out at their store in Clearwater from 11 - 3 PM. We'd love to see you there and the weather looks to be better than it was this morning.

--- REMEMBER : MAX & BAILEY CALENDARS ARE ON SALE NOW -- AND GOING FAST! ---

Donor-Of-The-Day : No single donor of the day today. We would like to thank those who braved the rain earlier in the day and helped us raise nearly $500 at the Brandon H-D event.

Photos-of-the-Day : Photos from our Brandon H-D event and the cool replica stage coach.

Twenty-two days from now, on December 4th, we will 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be celebration with food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. You've traveled along with us for most of them. Why not help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! We'll hope to see you there!


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14th - Day #198
FLETCHER'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON WELCOMES MAX & BAILEY

Local volunteer Mike Denson and a group of about ten riders escorted us from our hotel in Brandon to Fletcher's Harley-Davidson in Clearwater. We really enjoy the escorted rides because we can leave the navigating to others. Today's ride was especially nice because we have fond memories of the Clearwater area from the times we've sailed there on our sailboat. Even Max & Bailey perked up to catch a breath of the salt air. It smelled just like home.

Max & Bailey were a big hit at Fletcher's Harley-Davidson. Event coordinator, Dick Pritchard, was waiting for us with cones marking off our parking place and there was a good size group of riders there waiting for an organized ride that began at 11:30. But, until the ride left Fletchers, they visited with the dogs and bought plenty of Hogs For Dogs Logo Gear. In fact, today was another winning event with sales and donations of $572.30. Thanks to everyone who made the day a success.

We met some wonderful puppy raisers from three of our charity partner organizations at today's event. Kirk and Cindy Martin stopped by with their 6th KSDS puppy, Bay. Several PAWS puppy raisers attended both today's and yesterday's event. And, we even met Kim - a puppy raiser from New Horizons.

But, there was one volunteer who deserves special recognition - Judi Volpe. She has been with us at every event since our arrival in Tallahassee and has helped us move logo gear, sell at our events and answer questions about Hogs For Dogs and the Paws With A Cause program. I'm sure PAWS is as happy to have her on their team as we are to have her helping us here in Florida.

We rounded out the night with a relaxing meal at Mike Denson's home with new friends and some great food. They even helped us give Max & Bailey a bath so they'd be clean and fresh for our school visit tomorrow. That's the best thing about this ride - the people you meet. The worst thing is having to say goodbye so many times as we drive on to the next stop on this 218-day journey.

Tomorrow is another busy day with school visits in the Lake Wales and Lake Alfred area, so I better end this here and get some sleep.

Keep those purchases coming. The calendars are selling very fast (we may have to print more) and don't forget to buy Christmas presents for all the special people in your life. Buy all you want -- We'll make more!

Donor-Of-The-Day : Mark and Annette Rowan are today's top donors with their online store purchase of more than $200!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey at Fletchers (2) Fletcher's sign announcing our arrival (3) Kirk and Cindy with their KSDS puppy, Bay (4) Bailey at today's event (5) Paws pup with Max & Bailey (can't remember everydog's name!) (6) Everybody lean together now (7&8) Bath time!

Twenty-two days from now, on December 4th, we will 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be celebration with food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. You've traveled along with us for most of them. Why not help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! We'll hope to see you there!


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15th - Day #199
TWO SCHOOL VISITS AND A HEARTFELT GOOD-BYE

Max & Bailey spent time at two Florida schools today. Our first visit was at Polk Elementary in Lake Wales. As a special treat for the students, Judi Volpe and her PAWS demonstration dog, Hickrey, joined us for today's presentations. And even though Judi had almost completely lost her voice, she and Hickrey stole the show at Polk Elementary and at Karen M. Siegel Academy, our second school visit.

We gave two presentations at Polk Elementary this morning and then raced across a few towns to the Karen M. Siegel Academy, a school dedicated to teaching students with moderate to severe physical disabilities. At the Academy, Max & Bailey roared onto the school grounds and into a covered circular pavilion where the students encircled a large center area. Unfortunately, the acoustics were terrible so the presentation probably wasn't the best. I knew we were in trouble when the noise from voices reverberated so badly that Hickrey got completely confused and couldn't even respond to American Sign Language. We thought that would be the perfect place to demonstrate his skills that way, but there was too much background distractions. It wasn't that the audience was loud, the sounds just echoed forever!

Students at both schools were wonderful and We owe Barb Muren, Polk Elementary's Director of Technology, a special thanks for arranging both visits. Barb is also involved with a unique program that helps people with physical disabilities learn to water ski. Now, that's cool!

Judi, Janet, all three dogs and I were exhausted by the end of the day after all our school presentations and the frantic driving in between schools trying to beat the clock. But those visits are always so rewarding. We would have happily given three more presentations if the opportunity had been there.

And while today was a good day, it was also a sad one. Today was the last time we would be working with Judi until at least the Thanksgiving timeframe. She has been a real trooper over the last week, traveling everywhere with us and really contributed to our success in this area. It just won't be the same tomorrow without her working with us.

Keep those purchases coming. The calendars are selling very fast (we may have to print more) and don't forget to buy Christmas presents for all the special people in your life. Buy all you want -- We'll make more!

Donor-Of-The-Day : Erik Helleskov of Santa Rosa, California is today's donor for his ~$130 online purchase. I don't want to spoil it for Erik's family and friends, but it looks like there will be a few calendars in their holiday presents. Thanks Erik!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Janet, Bailey and Barb Muren at Polk Elementary (2) Judi and Hickrey working together (3) Hickrey 'braces' to demonstrate how he can help someone regain their balance (4) Karen M. Siegel Academy (5) Hickrey uses his paw to call for help (6) Some of the students at the Academy (7) Hickrey demonstrates how he helps open doors (8) One final photo before Judi and Hickrey head back to the Orlando area.

Twenty-one days from now, on December 4th, we will 'Cross The Finish Line' at Ray Price Harley-Davidson. There will be celebration with food, music and fun for the whole family. If you were thinking about a weekend vacation, Raleigh is the place to be. Several of our sponsors will be on hand and Red Roof Inn has special rates for all our out of town visitors. We've gone 25,000 miles. You've traveled along with us for most of them. Why not help us finish the ride with a big welcome home party! We'll hope to see you there!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


16th - Day #200
MAX & BAILEY DREAM OF THE SEA

Today - Day #200 - was a day with no events or school visits on the calendar, so we spent much of the day working on emails, sorting out details for future events and catching up the accounting for the ride. But - in the middle of the day we made a very special trip into Largo, Florida to see our friends at the Island Packet Yacht factory. Many of you may be asking yourselves why we'd visit a boat builder in the middle of a charity motorcycle ride. Well, for those that don't know Max & Bailey's background (or ours), I'll now tell you the rest of the story...

Janet, Max, Bailey and I had never ridden motorcycles before this journey. If you've read our first journal, you know that we learned to ride last October, specifically to pursue this ride to help others. We are living on our savings that we scraped together over the last fifteen years so that we could take some time off in the middle of our lives, while we still had some of our youth rather than waiting until we were older and struggling with health issues. The motorcycle ride for charity is the second part of our time off. Our first adventure was to sell our house, buy a sailboat - an Island Packet sailboat - and to sail over the horizon in search of pirates, treasure and all the oceans had to offer.

For 3 1/2 years, Max & Bailey lived the life of sailing dogs. We didn't do it for charity, we did it for sanity. Max & Bailey sailed 23,000 ocean miles, have been featured on the cover of books, had their stories told in numerous magazines and are very well known in ports around the U.S., Nova Scotia and Bahamas. They have survived storms at sea, explored uninhabited islands and gone swimming with the dolphins. cruising under sail is what we, as a family, enjoy most.

So, visiting Island Packet Yachts was very much like going home. The distinct smell of fiberglass and the crystal clear reflections in their trademark highly-polished beige gel coat allowed our minds to wander back to the sea. Even if for only a few hours.

We never shared this with the public previously because the person who originally helped us with public relations said that it would be extremely detrimental for our image - that you couldn't handle knowing that we had saved our money for years and then went off in search of adventure. I didn't believe her back then and I don't believe her today. You've now known us for 200+ days and I wanted you to know our background. We are sailors, and now we are motorcyclists. And, regardless of which roles we're playing - we have always helped our neighbors in need.

Now you know - the rest of the story. I have shared some photos from Max & Bailey's sailing adventures in today's photos of the day. If you want to learn more about their previous adventures, you can find the entire story at www.SailCharbonneau.com. I hope you enjoy this sneak peak into our past.

------- SPECIAL MESSAGE -------
WE WANT TO SEND OUT A BIG THANK YOU TO OAK STREET SCHOOL, IN BASKING RIDGE, NJ, FOR CONTINUING TO FOLLOW MAX & BAILEY AROUND THE COUNTRY
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Donor-Of-The-Day : Laura Coppedge of Wake Forest, NC is our donor-of-the-day for her online purchases today. I'm beginning to think that our online donations page isn't working since we haven't had a single online donor in several days. I'll have to look at that - or maybe you'll try it and let me know it's working just fine :-)

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Some of our friends at Island Packet Yachts : Karsten Johnson, Tom Broome and Bill Bolin (L-R) (2) Max & Bailey pose next to Karsten's cool car. Notice the matching flames on their goggles! (3) Max & Bailey on the beach (4) Max & Bailey making friends in the Bahamas (5) Some days are just hammock days (6) Offshore relaxing (7) Janet and Bailey enjoy a Key West Sunset together (8) Our boat, Charbonneau, pulls us off for more adventures.


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Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


17th - Day #201
MAX & BAILEY ARRIVE IN NAPLES, FLORIDA

Not much to report today. The morning was spent catching up on emails (still) with an afternoon ride to the Naples/Marco Island where we have two school presentations at Tommy Barfield Elementary and one evening presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Church. We'll update the site with photos and a full report from our adventures tomorrow.

The holidays are just around the corner and we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. If you are still looking for gifts for the special people in your life, we hope you'll consider some Max & Bailey logo gear or a few of the Max & Bailey Postcards From The Road calendars. We know you can spend your money anywhere, but by giving a gift from our company store you also give people with disabilities a little holiday cheer by helping us lessen their long wait for Assistance Dogs.

The calendars are now shipping. So, if you placed an order already, look for them in your mailbox soon. I've had several glowing reports from those who have received theirs. We hope you feel the same way. Remember, you can buy all you want. We'll print more!

------- SPECIAL MESSAGE -------
WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE STUDENTS AND STAFF AT ARIZONA'S ARLINGTON ELEMENTARY FOR THEIR SURPRISE DONATION OF $200. IT TAKES A WHILE FOR OUR MAIL TO CATCH UP WITH US AND TODAY WAS THE FIRST TIME WE LEARNED OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
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Donor-Of-The-Day : Paul Hackmann of Goldsboro, North Carolina is today's donor-of-the-day. Paul made another generous $50 donation and confirmed that our online donations form is still working. Thanks, Paul!

Photos-of-the-Day : No new photos


18th - Day #202
TWO SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS AND ONE NO-SHOW

Max & Bailey had two great visits with the third, fourth and fifth grade students at Tommy Barfield Elementary on Marco Island. The students were split into two groups - one at 9:30 AM and the other at 1:15 PM. It was perfect timing for Max & Bailey's visit to educate the students about Assistance Dogs because many of them had just finished a section on Guide Dogs as part of their reader series.

Both groups were great and I think we all learned a little from each other. We owe Dr. Jory Westberry, the school's principal, a great deal of thanks for arranging our visit on such short notice. Dr. Westberry and the entire staff at Tommy Barfield Elementary should be very proud of their students. After all, they have been rated an 'A' class school for the last six years running. That's quite an accomplishment.

And while we were there talking about helping people with disabilities, the cafeteria walls were lined with boxes filled with canned goods, ready to be picked up by the local Salvation Army to help those in need this Thanksgiving. Good students, good teachers, good samaritans. This was my kind of school.

To top it off, we had two separate local newspaper crews come out to catch all the action. It was a good day for educational visits.

Unfortunately, our evening presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation church in Naples didn't have the same success. In fact, after quite a bit of animated emails wanting us to join them this evening, we found the place empty and locked up. There was one other church member there who we bumped into and she knew about our program and was mortified that after all that work, nobody set up the meeting on their end. Our record for cancelled events is now two cancellations in 202 days. And though disappointing, this one wasn't our fault (I don't think).

So, we did what anyone in our situation would do. We went out and filled ourselves with good Chinese food with our local Naples host and tour guides, Lee and Karen Heifetz. It was a wonderful meal to match the rest of our stay with Lee and Karen.

Donor-Of-The-Day : Mike and Lynn from The Hair Solution salon in Marco Island are today's donors. Lynn came over to meet Max & Bailey while we ate lunch at Joey's Pizza (good pizza) and then returned with a very generous $50 donation a few minutes later.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1-7) Max & Bailey hanging out with the students at Tommy Barfield Elementary. (8) We came, we saw, Max slept through it all -- our missed visit at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


19th - Day #203
TIRES AND ALLIGATORS

I have to make this a short update because - well - I forgot to do it last night and then I overslept this morning. We rode from Naples to Miami yesterday along the Tamiami Trail. The ride took us through a portion of the everglades where we stopped for a few quick photos of the local inhabitants - alligators. I said quick photos because Janet wasn't too interested in hanging around to see if the toothy guys and gals were friendly -- see the photos.

One of our reasons for racing to Miami was to replace the two balding rear tires on our bikes. I had made an appointment with Peterson's H-D in Perrine (south Miami) the day before, but when we got to Miami, they had no record of our appointment. We begged and pleaded with them to help us out because we did call and without new tires our entire weekend in the Florida Keys was cancelled. And this will be our first real weekend that we've taken as a break since leaving home.

Eric and the entire staff at Peterson's must have felt real sorry for us because they jumped on the project immediately even though they had a full house of bikes to work on in their service department. If you ever want quality service and friendly people in this part of the country -- Try Peterson's. They were GREAT!

Donor-Of-The-Day : Carolyn Kerner is today's donor-of-the-day for her online purchase of six Postcards From The Road calendar. Thanks Carolyn.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Max & Bailey at the Everglades visitor center (2-6) Our friends in the Everglades

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


20th - Day #204
KEY WEST HERE WE COME!

Well folks, we are officially off-duty for the next three days. Of course we'll still be easy to spot and get the millions of questions about Max & Bailey - but other than that, we're off duty and spending three days in the Florida Keys.

We left Miami this morning after a quick stop by Peterson's H-D for a bike wash. While we were there, Debbie Campbell traded us a couple of Peterson's t-shirts for a Max & Bailey shirt. Debbie has just recently completed a 48-state ride in 48 days for her 48th birthday. So, she and Janet hit it off right away.

When we finally began the 140-mile ride towards Key West, the weather was perfect. The daily forcast called for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. It doesn't get any better than that -- if that is what we actually got. We had made it as far as Marathon when the clouds thickened and the rain began to fall. Yet another attempt by Mother Nature to ruin a great day's ride. We rode on, ignoring the liquid sunshine.

When the rain didn't dampen our spirits, Janet's bike decided to help Mother Nature out by breaking the bike's shifting linkage with just 30 miles to go before Key West - and there is no dealer in the Keys. Arghhhh!

But, all my boating skills came racing back to me. We were in the Keys, after all. I quickly reached for my tie-wraps and engineered a temporary fix to get us to Key West. If it breaks again, I have another set of tie-wraps ready for the job. We will not be deterred from enjoying a few days off. If anything else goes wrong - I am armed with duct tape, too!

Life improved considerably as soon as we arrived at the Center Court Bed & Breakfast, our accommodations for the night. We were greeted with big smiles and a lot of interest in Max & Bailey's Ride. What started as a wonderful conversation ended as a free night of lodging in an exquisite suite one block off of Duval Street - their Romantic Suite.

Donor-Of-The-Day : Naomi from Center Court is our donor of the day for her gracious offer of free lodging in Key West.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Debbie Campell and the Hogs For Dogs Cres (2) Welcome to the Keys (3) Max & Bailey at the Key Largo Visitors Center (4 & 5) My handy repair of Janet's shift linkage (6) A ride past the infamous Sloppy Joes Bar on Duval St. (7) Max & Bailey hanging out by the Center Court pool (8) Janet relaxes with a rum punch while getting a first look at the Max & Bailey calendar (our first view).

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


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21st - Day #205
ISLAMORADA HOME COMING

After a short one-night stay, we said our good-byes at the Historic Center Court Bed and Breakfast and headed out for some quintessential photos of Max & Bailey in Key West - The photos we couldn't get yesterday because of that nasty rain.

So, enjoy the few new photos of Key West and the ones from one of our favorite places on the planet - Islamorada. We'll be here for another day before we put our boots back on and continue the last twelve days of the ride.

But, I told you we were taking today off -- so enjoy the photos. I'm going back to my hammock and rum punch.

Donor-Of-The-Day : Jackie Zucker from Miami is today's donor with a generous $50 online donation. Remember, just because we've finally taken a day off doesn't mean that you can't make a donation to help someone waiting for an Assistance Dog.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Naomi Van Steelandt poses with Janet and the dogs at the Center Court B & B (2) Max & Bailey at the Southern Most Point monument (3) Mile Marker Zero in Key West - the end of the road (4) Wyland mural (5) signpost with distances to everywhere. Appropriate don't you think? (6) Roadside paradise (7) The way we normally arrive in the Florida Keys (8) Islamorada sunset

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


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23rd - Day #207
ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Only 11 days left to go on Max & Bailey's 2004 Ride Across America. But those 11 days are going to be very full days with long miles and plenty of events.

We stopped in Miami again today so we could get Janet's bike repaired. You may remember that her gearshift linkage broke on the way to Key West and I made the improvised repair with a couple of tie-wraps. The Peterson H-D mechanics were mighty impressed with my repair, saying they'd never seen it done quite the way I did it, but that it was quite ingenious. After a few minutes of visiting with our new friends at the dealership, Janet's bike was ready to go, complete with a new shift linkage.

Max & Bailey will be spending Thanksgiving with some very special folks in the Merritt Island area of Florida. Station 43 of Brevard County Fire and Rescue has invited us to join them at the firehouse for a holiday feast - firemen style. Also included on the guest list are several Paws With A Cause representatives and Bill & Katie Scholl. Bill's story - and his Assistance Dog Zeb - is shared in every brochure we've printed for this ride. Bill is a former fireman in the Brevard County area who was injured in 1999 as the result of falling from a fire ladder. You can read his story in our Dog Stories section.

So, though we won't be home with our own families this holiday, it will be a very special Thanksgiving that we share with heroes in the community - some will have two legs, some will have four legs and a furry tail. The public and media has been invited to the firehouse to meet Bill, Zeb, Max & Bailey, and our firefighter hosts from 2-4 PM on Thursday. Details about the event will be on the site very soon.

We are also looking forward to our event with charity partner New Horizons this Saturday. The event, billed as the Magical Motorcycle Tour, will include a benefit ride from Daytona to Orlando with the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club and tickets to the basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. The Orlando Magic Dancers will be on hand for photos with Max & Bailey and the whole event sounds like a great time. The details for that event are already posted on the website, so check it out and we'll hope to see you there on Saturday.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : There is a long list of online store buyers that we need to thank today. Kathy Hart, Jon Martin, Roger Longley, Keith Worcester and Jackit Post all spend some time in our online store and made significant purchases (many of them calendars) to help us shorten the waiting lists for Assistance Dogs. Thanks to all of you.

Photos-of-the-Day : No new photos today because we'd already traveled the same roads on our way south to the Keys. Look for more new shots tomorrow. Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


25th - Day #209
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO OUR FAMILY AND YOURS

We're writing to you from Merritt Island, Florida today. And while we won't be with our own families this holiday, we hope you are surrouned by everyone near and dear to you. We'll be sure to call home and check in with everyone and let them know how much we love them and appreciate their support.

Instead of sitting at our family's table, Max & Bailey will be spending Thanksgiving with some very special folks in the Merritt Island area. Station 43 of Brevard County Fire and Rescue has graciously invited us to join them at the firehouse for a holiday feast - firemen style. Also included on the guest list are several Paws With A Cause representatives and Bill & Katie Scholl. Bill's story - and his Assistance Dog Zeb - is shared in every brochure we've printed for this ride. Bill is a former fireman in the Brevard County area who was injured in 1999 as the result of falling from a fire ladder. You can read his story in our Dog Stories section.

So, though we won't be home with our own families this holiday, it will be a very special Thanksgiving shared with heroes in the community - some will have two legs, some will have four legs and a furry tail. The public and media has been invited to the firehouse to meet Bill, Zeb, Max & Bailey, and our firefighter hosts from 2-4 PM on Thursday. Details about the event will be on the site very soon.

We are also looking forward to our event with charity partner New Horizons this Saturday. The event, billed as the Magical Motorcycle Tour, will include a benefit ride from Daytona to Orlando with the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club and tickets to the basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. The Orlando Magic Dancers will be on hand for photos with Max & Bailey and the whole event sounds like a great time. The details for that event are already posted on the website, so check it out and we'll hope to see you there on Saturday.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : Bill and Katie Scholl are today's donors of the day. They not only helped host today's meal at Station 43, they bought the entire station Max & Bailey t-shirts and then made a $1,000 donation on top of it. They told us that Zeb has literally saved Bill's life & they wish they could help everyone who needs an Assistance Dog get one immediately. I challenge all of you to make your own donation -- of any size -- in honor of Bill, Zeb and firefighters around the country. These folks, and Zeb, are true heroes.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Bill Scholl and his Assistance Dog Zeb pose with Max, Bailey and the C-shift from Station 43 in Brevard County (2) Station 43 runs out on a call just before our Thanksgiving meal (3) Max & Bailey pose with Station 43's bunker gear (4) Yanni and Heather help with the feast preparations (5) Max & Bailey -- do they want to join Station 43 on their next call? (6) Firehouse photo (7) Waiting for the next call (8) Max smiles for us (9) Let's EAT! (10 Bailey poses outside the main door to Station 43.

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


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26th - Day #210
MAX & BAILEY GET READY FOR THE ORLANDO MAGIC

Max & Bailey said a heartfelt good-bye to Bill & Katie Scholl and Bill's Paws With A Cause Assistance Dog this morning. Like most of the people we've met who are partnered with an Assistance Dog, Bill has an incredible spirit for life and gives most of the credit to Zeb being in his life. It makes us more convinced that the three to five year waiting lists have to go away -- and soon!

On our way out of the Merritt Island area, we took a side trip along the Space Coast before pointing the bikes towards Orlando to be ready for our event with charity partner New Horizons tomorrow. Along the way, we drove through the town of Christmas and had to stop for a quick photo. 'Tis the season, after all.

We want to invite everyone in the Daytona and Orlando areas to come join us for the great event put together by New Horizons. The Magical Motorcycle Tour will include a benefit ride from Daytona to Orlando with the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club and tickets to the basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. The Orlando Magic Dancers will be on hand for photos with Max & Bailey and the whole event sounds like a great time. The details for that event are already posted on the website, so check it out and we'll hope to see you there on Saturday.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : Linda Stender of Apex, NC is today's donor-of-the-day. Linda is a long- time friend of Blaine's from his days in the Corporate Security world. Thanks Linda!

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) A good-bye photo with Bill Scholl and his Assistance Dog Zeb (2) Max and Bailey pose in front of the Space Shuttle at the Astronaut Hall of Fame (3) Christmas (4) Little Corbin meets Bailey at the post office in Christmas

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


28th - Day #212
MAX & BAILEY RE-ENTER GEORGIA TODAY

Max & Bailey send their regards from Brunswick, Georgia today. Since we didn't have any events planned for this area, we stopped by St. Mary's, Georgia to visit with many of our friends who are still cruising on their sailboats. St. Mary's always invites the cruising community to stop in and have a Thanksgiving Feast with their families. This year, 40 boats were anchored off the town docks and over 100 people enjoyed a home-style dinner with the generous folks from St. Mary's. And, if they're reading today -- We'd like to thank Dave and Peggy Hall for supporting us from their boat and for sharing our progress with the cruising community via single-sideband radio updates.

We spent Saturday in Orlando with charity partner New Horizon's Service Dogs. The first annual Magical Motorcycle Tour was supported by the nice folks from the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club in Daytona. After a registration period and some photos with two of the Orlando Magic Dancers - Danielle and Deanna - twenty or so bikes escorted the group to the TD Waterhouse Centre for the main event, food and raffles.

I have to be honest and say that we really felt like outsiders at this event. The Fire & Iron riders were very cordial towards our crew, as was the Orlando Magic staff once we arrived. But, the organization that we had ridden 23,500 miles to support - New Horizons - seemed a little distant, both in spirit and location. Ultimately, Max & Bailey's information booth was pushed up against a curb beside the group's port-a-potty and well away from the rest of the group's activities.

At the end of the day, which was punctuated by a heavy rain shower, Our donation bin contained a total of $11 and our logo gear sales were very light. U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc. presented New Horizon's with a $1,000 check as we've done with our other charity partners, then closed up show and drove away.

We do want to thank the few folks from New Horizons who made an effort to welcome us to the event. Your kindness was much appreciated after the long days and many miles we've spent on the road. We wish you all continued success. And we also owe a special thanks to Judi Volpe for donating her time, and her tent, to help us yesterday. If she had not thought to bring a tent for us, Max, Bailey and all their logo gear would have been drenched.

Tomorrow - Tuesday - we will arrive in Charleston, SC. South Carolina will be the 48th state on Max & Bailey's journey and it will be the first time that Blaine has been with his family since leaving North Carolina 212 days ago. While in Charleston, we will be visiting the students and staff of the Charleston Day School.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : Rob and Cindy from Orlando are today's donors-of-the-day for their logo gear purchase and their generous offer to buy us lunch today. Thanks for your support and for your dedication as puppy raisers for Paws With A Cause.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) New Horizon's Director Janet Severt (seated) and Bobbie Hall and the Orlando Magic Dancers (2) Danielle and Deanna pose with Max & Bailey (3) Our escort lines up in the rear view mirror (4) Gas stop on the way to the game (5) a photo of the event from our location by the port-a-potty (6) New Horizon's dog Turbo with the Magic Dancers.

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


29th - Day #213
MAX & BAILEY HAVE NOW TRAVELED IN ALL LOWER-48 STATES

There was a little dancing going on at the South Carolina/Georgia border today as Max & Bailey crossed into South Carolina - the 48th state on their seven-month charity ride. While passersby may have thought we were crazy to be celebrating on the side of the road, we didn't pay them any mind. We crossed our 24,000th mile today and can plainly see our way home from here, something we've waited 213 days to see.

Today not only marks our arrival in South Carolina, it has an even sweeter reward. It is the first time that Janet and I have seen my parents since they watched us ride away from Raleigh, North Carolina on May 1st.

Local radio personality, and avid Harley rider, Murphy from News Radio WSC-FM 94.3 welcomed us to the Charleston area with a great on-air intereview.

Tomorrow we will be visiting the students and staff of Charleston Day School in downtown Charleston before making a stop at Low Country Harley-Davidson for another scheduled round of maintenance on the bikes and sidecars.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : Rob and Cindy from Orlando are today's donors-of-the-day for their logo gear purchase and their generous offer to buy us lunch today. Thanks for your support and for your dedication as puppy raisers for Paws With A Cause.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) South Carolina Arrival with Max & Bailey (2) South Carolina Welcome Center (3) Blaine and Max (4) Janet and Bailey. Yes, we all celebrated at the border today.

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc


30th - Day #214
CHARLESTON DAY SCHOOL MEETS MAX & BAILEY

Even after 214 days on the road, our most cherished moments are the ones we've spent with students around the country. Today, we added the pleasure of speaking to the students and staff at Charleston Day School.

We owe a special thanks to Cindy Branscome, Charleston Day's Athletic Director, for inviting us in today. Cindy has been following Max & Bailey's progress for months and made special arrangements with Headmaster Brendan O'Shea to move the normal Monday morning assembly to Tuesday so that Max & Bailey could visit. Thank you Cindy, Mr. O'Shea and all the students and staff for making our visit a memorable one. Even the local NBC affiliate WCBD - Count on 2 - came out to get the story which aired on their 5:00 news broadcast.

The rest of the day was spent with our new friends at Charleston's Low Country Harley-Davidson. We went in and begged for a simple oil/transmission fluid change and ended up spending the entire day there while my (Blaine) bike had one problem after another corrected. Luckily, they found the problems before we found ourselves along the side of the road.

So, we can highly recommend Low Country H-D if your bike is in need of some TLC. The staff was amazing and our mechanic - Rob - put an extraordinary effort into making sure we were safe to hit the road again. That means something in our book.

Our next stop will be for some great events in the Wilmington, NC area with charity partner Carolina Canines For Service. If you're in the area, please join us on Thursday night at the Ramada Inn for a North Carolina pig-pickin' and beach music by the Craig Woolard. Check out our Upcoming Events page for more info on that and all our events.

---- IF YOU WANT A 2004 MAX & BAILEY CALENDAR, ORDER SOON. THEY ARE SELLING FAST! ----

Donor-Of-The-Day : Cindy Branscome from Charleston Day made a generous $100 donation to help Max & Bailey's ride help others. We were honored to have her invite us to the school and touched by her selfless gift.

Photos-of-the-Day : (1) Third grade students visit with Max (2) Blaine takes questions from some of the students at Charleston Day (3) Our donor-of-the-day Cindy Branscome poses with the Hogs For Dogs crew (4) And with Max & Bailey inside the gymnasium

Independence is still on sale in our online company store. Buy anything in the store and know that your purchases are helping fuel the hopes of people with disabilities across the country. Will this be the year that they get their Assistance Dog for Christmas? It may be - with your help!


Copyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, IncCopyright 2004 - U.S. Hogs For Dogs, Inc

 
 
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