Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Beantown Tails: Project Pawsitive's own team member featured as local hero.



I am humbled by the article written so well by Beantown Tails Magazine in Boston. Thought you'd like to see it:

Local Hero — New Leash on Life
September 30, 2011 in Boston, October 2011 by Tails Magazine

Rehabbing rescues gives Jill Sullivan Grueter a sense of purpose

By Wendy Wollenberg

For anyone who thinks that an animal can’t change your life, consider Jill Sullivan Grueter and her dog, Molly. A Chocolate Labrador rescued by Sullivan Grueter in 2001, Molly’s life was cut short by lupus in 2004. Four months later, Sullivan Grueter’s father passed away from brain cancer. These two life-changing events inspired Sullivan Grueter, a writer, to donate her services to local animal rescue groups. While working with these shelters, she saw first-hand the repairs some of them so desperately needed. “I thought of doing an Extreme Makeover for shelters,” Sullivan Grueter says.

Instead, she recruited a high school buddy, JB Byrne, a carpenter and builder who has constructed multi-million dollar homes all along the Seacoast of New Hampshire. Byrne brought on a talented and ambitious crew consisting of Drew Davis, a stonemason, and Simon MacAlister, an electrician, and in 2009 the Project Pawsitive Foundation was born. The group restores, renovates, and rebuilds animal shelters on the verge of collapse and is currently undertaking its third project. “The guys get their hands dirty, and I do whatever is in my power,” Sullivan Grueter says.


Which means a lot of fundraising. Sullivan Grueter raises all of the money for Project Pawsitive herself, a “16- to 18-hour a day job,” she estimates. Corporate sponsors such as Home Depot and Lindt Swiss Chocolatier help fund Project Pawsitive’s initiative. Also in the group’s innovative fundraising mix is an ongoing online auction with such covetable items as dinner with Boston Bruins players, VIP concert tickets, and signed sports memorabilia that have been donated by fans of the organization.

Sullivan Grueter films every renovation project for a podcast and has also used a reality show-style video to help promote Project Pawsitive’s cause. Working with an LA-based production company, Sullivan Grueter created a compelling video outlining Project Pawsitive’s mission. The video, which can be seen on You Tube and has been shopped to networks, features a horse rescue organization, the group’s first renovation project. The Project Pawsitive team built a new roof and added power and water. “The building was not going to make it through another winter,” Sullivan Grueter recalls. The video shows the commitment the Project Pawsitive team brings to each project and the change that can come when people pay attention and band together. “I want to bring awareness to small rescues that aren’t necessarily in big, shiny buildings,” Sullivan Grueter emphasizes. “I want to start a revolution.”

Project Pawsitive began its biggest and most challenging project yet last month, Greyhound Adoption Services, a rescue in Salisbury, MA. The building, which has been in operation since the 1980s, will be a total tear-down. The four-week plan consists of a complete rehab of the interior and exterior of the building, including roofing and flooring, new kennels and office areas, and a state-approved section for housing new rescues to screen for illness.

While Project Pawsitive currently operates solely in New England, Sullivan Grueter has heard from shelters all over the world requesting their services. “I even got a call from a rescue group in Australia,” she reports. “I guess the word is getting out there.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Dream Team

I don't think I've told you the story about how I got these crazy chaps to join the Project Pawsitive team.

Let's go in order of the pictures. First, let's start with JB. I met JB in high school. Yes, a looonnnngggg time ago. Since then, we've kept in touch through mutual friends and I knew the kind of amazing work he had been doing with building multi-million dollar homes on the Seacoast. It was a no brainer for me to discuss my vision of renovating animal rescues in need. I brought him over to the first, potential renovation site. You can see a video here. And, it was history as 'they' say. Who are 'they' anyway. That's another blog post I guess.

From that day on JB has been working to pull together material lists, supply needs, renderings, ideas -- you name it. He also is the one who brought on Simon and Drew.

Simon, our master electrician, is an English bloke who used to be in the music industry in England. Transition to electricity in America? Not sure. Feel free to ask him at simon@projectpawsitive.com . Anyway, he loves animals and has a rescue dog of his own. Recently, when we went over to do a podcast at our latest renovation (the greyhound shelter) -- he even fixed a pretty serious electrical issue (can you say water near electrical outlet) without a bat of an eye.

Finally, Drew. He is a great guy. When I met him, he was working at Harley Davidson, but this guy really is a Jack of All Trades. He even designs his own celtic t-shirt line. Really cool person. You can see one of the songs he wrote for us too. Told you he was a Jack of All Trades.

Anyway, these guys are awesome. And, as soon as I raise the additional dollahs (that's a Boston accent rendition) -- they will be right there to get the renovation done! Can't wait.

Argh...a shark promoting my blog?

Trying to get some traction here and I am supposed to add this link?

Hostgator discount code

Amazing Pet Hero Stories


Oh my gosh. I just came across this amazing article from Reader's Digest that described real life accounts of pets saving their owners. Aren't they just amazing creatures.

Enjoy:

Whoa, Girl Halfway through my first pregnancy, I was riding Ruby along a trail in the Pennsylvania countryside, about three miles from home. We waded into a pond so she could take a drink. On the way out, she slipped, and the two of us slid backward into the water. Ruby was on her side in the water, flailing and kicking. I tried to dismount but my left foot was stuck in the stirrup. One good thrash of Ruby’s legs, I feared, would mean the end of my baby and serious injuries for me. I yelled, “Ruby, stop! I’m stuck, girl.” Instantly she froze.

I managed to pry my foot free, got up and trudged out of the pond, soaked. Only when I was safely out of the way did Ruby kick and get all of her 1,200 pounds up and out of the water. My daughter, Tessa, was born five months later. She’s six now. Ruby, 25, is protective and careful when she’s around. – Submitted by Lise Sentell, Zelienople, Pennsylvania

Saved by the Lab While walking Boomer, my five-year-old Lab, on a street near my home, I stumbled into a pothole and broke both my legs. Though I screamed for help, no one was around. Boomer lay right down on the road and stayed there. I knew I needed medical help, so I wrapped my arms around his neck and said, “Home.” My 160-pound Lab dragged me, stopping now and then. Finally we made it to the house. My husband found me and called 911. I had rescued Boomer from a shelter. I never dreamed he would end up rescuing me. – Submitted by Bobbie Glover, Auburn, California

Sealed! Gimpy the elephant seal pup, my constant companion at work, was a gentle giant at 150+ pounds — until the day I slipped and belly-flopped to the deck at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur, where I was a volunteer. Dazed, I looked up and saw three aggressive seal pups moving in. I reached for my protective board. Then I saw another large mass of seal blubber rushing toward me. It was Gimpy. She became my shield. As the yelping pups got closer, she swiftly forced them away. She saved me from a mauling that day — there’s no doubt about it. – Submitted by Hugh Ryono, Fullerton, California

Sniff and Scratch Maggie May Longfellow, our miniature dachshund, sleeps in the top bunk with our 12-year-old daughter, Katrina. Our 16-year-old daughter, Kelli, who has Down syndrome, sleeps in the bottom. This works well for our family of seven, since our dog never disturbs anyone at night. But on February 2, 2005, at 2:30 a.m., my husband, James, and I were awakened by Maggie barking near our bed. What the heck? Then I smelled gas. In the kitchen I found a burner left on, spewing out natural gas. Gagging, I threw open the windows, remembering not to turn on lights. That could trigger an explosion. Kelli, it turns out, had lifted Maggie May out of the bed. Our dog then pawed and scratched until she opened our door. Thanks to her, there was no headline in the paper: House Explodes, Killing Family of 7. – Submitted by Linda Clevenger, Bremen, Indiana

An Eye on You Cashew, my 14-year-old yellow Lab, is blind and deaf. Her best friend is Libby, 7, her seeing-eye cat. Libby steers Cashew away from obstacles and leads her to her food. Every night she sleeps next to her. The only time they’re apart is when we take Cashew out for a walk. Without this cat, we know Cashew would be lost and very, very lonely indeed. It’s amazing but true: This is one animal who knows what needs to be done and does it day in and day out for her friend. — Submitted by Terry Burns, Middleburg, Pennsylvania

Stomp! In the back pasture of the refuge I operate, Lurch, my 11-month-old African Watusi calf, turned sideways and blocked my path. I couldn’t understand it. Was he being stubborn? I grasped his horns and pushed by him. As I was about to take a step, he tossed his head, throwing me off balance. A copperhead snake lay coiled right where my foot would have landed. As my dogs rushed over to check it out, the snake attacked and bit one of them. Lurch stomped on the snake until it was dead. Copperhead venom isn’t usually fatal to adults, but with me it could have been. I’m very sensitive to insect bites and had just been hospitalized for a lung condition. Lurch was only doing what he thought best. Today he’s a full-grown steer, and just as full of himself! – Submitted by Janice Wolf, Gassville, Arkansas



If I had a big enough rock, I might crawl under it.

I feel like this today. I really do. Except I don't think anyone would ever know it. You probably hide it pretty well when you feel like this too. Don't ya! I think my dogs know. No, they absolutely know. My pup, Tango, a lab/weim mix (we call him the "lab on stilts') keeps bringing me things and setting them on my lap. Just a minute ago, it was one of my jogging shoes. CORRECTION: walking shoes. I'd like to run, but the theory of it sits better with me at the moment. Anyway, don't dogs always seem to know what our mood is just by parking themselves next to us? Thank Heaven for a tight-lipped, say nothing and just be there, best friend.

Anywho. I've spent the last five consecutive months straight trying to raise funds for my latest renovation and generate big time buzz for the organization and it's just been really wearing on me. This latest renovation is by far the largest and toughest one to date. But, it's also so totally, incredibly worthy and deserving of a new life. I just can't stop until I do this for them.

It's a greyhound rescue in Salisbury, MA. Get this -- 2,000 greyhounds saved and counting. They are too amazing. But, their shelter is in serious, serious need of help. This past weekend, when Hurricane Irene hit, I just about cringed every time the wind blew. I haven't heard anything about damage to the building, so I am taking that as good news thus far.

Today is just one of those days (actually, it's been more like the past week) when I feel totally defeated. It's like, 'what else can I do?' and combine it with 'what am I doing wrong?'. I am only half way through my fundraising goals and the renovation is supposed to be starting in a month. Now my hope is to get it done before the snow flies.

I've Twittered, Facebooked, emailed, direct mailed, YouTubed, silent auctioned, got on the radio, in the newspaper, presentationed, etc., etc. My head is spinning. I need that big break. Oh, and a vacation would be nice.

I heard someone say that anything that comes easy is not worth it. I need to remind myself of that. I am picturing this situation like a flower trying to push its way through the dirt to become what it's meant to be -- I just need to remember to watch where I am stepping!

So, fellow dreamers, grassrooters, passionists -- keep plugging. I truly believe that we will look back on our tough times and say, "all of it was worth it".

With gratitude,

Jill



Monday, January 18, 2010

I love this YouTube video!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNRDHpNtFk4

Snow...

Since I live in New England, I suppose I should be excited about the newly-fallen snow. It is beautiful, but as a golf lover, I want nothing more than to feel the warmth of Spring! My husband and I bought cross country skis a few weeks ago. They are still shiny, new, and unused in our garage. LOL! Anyone out there have any great cross country skiing stories to share and motivate me to use them?