Brig. General Carol Ann Fausone (ret.) sent me an email asking if Donna (our trainer) and I would like to attend a Legislative Breakfast with her. Anytime I get anything from this woman my heart smiles. Legal Help for Veterans have been huge supporters of Stiggys Dogs from the beginning, James Fausone (her husband), Paul Bohen, and the whole Law firm are group of wonderful sincere people. I jumped at the chance and said yes we would be there!
That morning was one that everything that could go wrong did. I was running late, a thing that makes me every unhappy. However, with Gunny by my side relieving my anxiety, we meet Donna in the hallway 10 minutes before it was to start.
The room was packed with people, warm and loud. Gunny sticking close by my side, leaning in hard on my leg (such a comforting feeling). I spotted the General, a warm smile and hugs for our greeting. Carol Ann was thrilled to see we brought a dog and she began making her rounds introducing Donna and I to everyone. We found a table, grabbed some breakfast as the meeting was soon to start.
A man took the seat next to me. I instantly spotted his green Shamrock Tie, for it was the day before St Patty Day. “Nice Tie” I commented as a fellow Irishman to another. “Well, I am not Irish, but I am married to one for long enough to say I am” said this man with a big grin. “I am Jack Kirksky” as he extended his hand for introduction. The conversation went smoothly from the beginning. He noticed Gunny, we talked about dogs, they have two dogs. He asked about Stiggys Dog and I briefly explained what we do. “I am Navy, and come from a long line of family who were Navy too” Jack said Proudly. “Ben was Navy” I said softly. Jack looked at me confused as I went on to explain “Stigys is in honor of my nephew, Ben…..” and the unexpected tears started to flow. Jack listened, patted my hand, said he was sorry, took my business card that was laying on the table, and put it in his pocket. The meeting was started, the conversation ended.
What a wonderful morning Donna and I had. This meeting was with the areas communities Mayors, Councilman, and Representatives. It was so interesting and I felt honored to be there. Donna and I meet many great people that were very supportive and interested in Stiggys Dogs. Gunny was the perfect ambassador, even when his foot was stepped on, tail ran over by a chair, he was closed in a small room with lots of people that at certain times broke out into a big applause. I was proud to have Gunny by my side. It was a good morning indeed.
Now, a month later I get a email from a friend that knocked me off my feet. For Jack Kirksy, who come to find out later, is the Mayor of Livonia! Sent a email to all the Council and Staff declaring April 20th, as ‘Jean Day’ for an organization called Stiggys Dogs!!!!! (‘Jean Day’ is wear if you pay a donation to the non profit then you can dress casually)
Chills and tears again, Mr Mayor. Thank you, from the bottom of my Irish heart….