"Happy Dog" A DDB Coloring Book by MN Rep Tim Treybal Booth
Buy the Coloring Book illustrated by Tim, or sponsor a class to receive the books! And then the book...
Minnesota Rep Tim Treybal Booth
Jackson, MN held their annual Farm and Home Show March 20, 2010. It was the perfect opportunity for me to have my first DDB booth to educate and raise awareness to our cause.The event consists of approximately 60 area vendors displaying their products and services and draws visitors from southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. The Dogs Deserve Better booth brought in a whole new booth idea to the venue.
As it was my first booth, a lot of work, coordination and prep time went into it. I was blessed to get nine area sponsors to help with the cost and of course DDB corporate was very supportive and provided high resolution images for the banner. I estimate between 200 and 300 people stopped by the booth. People were very curious as to what DDB is about, thanked us for what we do and were pleased to learn there is such an organization in the area. Some commented “Are you the guy that wrote those letters to the editor in the paper?”
We gave away a girls and boys bicycle, donated by the local taxi service, and had prizes for those who could best guess the number of dog biscuits in the jar. This was a big draw (114 guesses) and people really enjoyed it. My wife and I spent many hours in the preceding weeks preparing display and picture boards, getting the banner made to my liking (kind of fussy about it), having custom printed coasters and jar openers made and the many other details that were done to make it the best we could.
It was a great success!
Me and DDB by Rep Tim Treybal
Me and DDB
There is a blind four year old yellow Lab named Cody that I drive by four times a day going to work (I go home for lunch). He is chained to the bumper of one of many junk cars in the yard. The situation is horrible in my mind, to the point that at times, I will avert my eyes as I pass by. Most times I just have to look to make sure he is okay and always hoping some day he will not be there having been brought into the home. This has not happened (yet). One very cold Minnesota evening in the winter of 2009, I called the police and asked them to visit the home and ask the owners to bring the dog inside for the night. I think and hope they did. I was not aware of DDB at this point.
Meanwhile, I had been volunteering 3 times a week for 2 years at a Humane Society in a town nearby. Well, not so nearby as it is 64 miles round trip. I started working there feeling a need to do something beneficial with my life and since I’m not a people person but a huge dog lover (I have 3 rescued dogs of my own), the choice was a no-brainer and I wished I’d thought of it sooner. I worked with the dogs, letting them out for their exercise, playing fetch, introducing potential adopters with dogs, cleaning kennels and such. My favorite part was working with dogs that came in to the shelter unsocialized, scared to death, aggressive, etc. These were considered unadoptable dogs, and we know what that means for the future of a dog in a shelter.
So, I would take it upon myself to work one on one with these dogs and ask the shelter to give the dog a chance. My first and favorite “turn around” was a black Chow Chow/Lab mix named Davidson that came in and literally plastered himself to the back wall of his kennel, so scared he wouldn’t move or relax. Tail tucked and fear in his eyes. When he was let loose in the yard he would run when approached, and would not come back on his own. The shelter deemed him unadoptable, but as I thought he was beautiful, misunderstood and had a gut feeling that he just needed a chance, I asked the shelter to give me a week with him before they decided his future. They agreed. I traveled to the shelter every night for a week to work with Davidson and took him for leash walks. He would buck like a horse in fear at every passing vehicle and noise but I would keep moving forward to let him know that he was not in danger and that I had it under control.
It took 3 nights of this before he started to relax. On the fourth night, he walked right beside me with a hop in his step and was not bothered by the passing cars and noises. The next evening we were walking along and he nuzzled my hand with his nose as if to say “thank you”. What a moment that was for me. He began to do this often on our walks. We would return to the shelter and have playtime in the yard; he would follow me around considering me his pack leader and with tail held proudly in the air, finally a happy dog. The first time he lunged toward me and went into a play bow with his chest to the ground, paws spread and a smile on his face, I knew I had found the real Davidson. We were inseparable after that and at each visit he would hear me come into the kennel and wait anxiously at his kennel gate for me and of course he would be the first dog I would greet.
The shelter was amazed at his progress and couldn’t believe he was the same dog that arrived at the shelter. He was then considered adoptable and was neutered and put on the shelters Petfinder web page. Davidson was eventually noticed by a rescue group (with my encouragement) looking for dogs to take in. He lived with them for a few months and they fell in love with him. Davidson is now named Taz and is in his forever home, living the glorious life that he needed and desired, and probably at one point, doubted he would ever have. To this day I keep a picture of him on my desk at home and at work.
Back to the blind Lab….In the spring of 2009 I approached the owner of the dog and offered them to surrender the dog to me. They admitted he didn’t have the best life but were unwilling to surrender him. One day in early summer, I saw the mother of the home outside with Cody and stopped just to say how nice it was to see Cody getting some much needed attention, gave him a treat, a pat on the head and left. Later that summer, on a day that the temperature was in the 90’s and humidity level to match, I looked over on my way home from lunch and it appeared from the road that he had no water in his bowl. Before I left home I filled up a gallon jug with water. I stopped by the house and found that his black rubber water bowl sitting out in the blazing heat was lined with green algae with about a cup of green water in the bottom.
Just then the mother came out of the house and started yelling at me for being on the property and sticking my nose in their affairs. I told her the condition of the water and she returned with “I just gave him fresh water yesterday”. I showed her the green water and asked if she would drink it. No answer. I emptied the bowl and refilled it with the water I had brought and left while she continued yelling at me. She called the police and I received a call from the police telling me that if I approached the property again, I could be arrested for domestic disturbance. Yeah, I’m the bad guy, right?
That is when I got on the internet and started searching for information on dog chaining. I found unchainyourdog.com and dogsdeservebetter.com and read all I could and realized I was not alone in my beliefs. I further researched Dogs Deserve Better and that they were looking for area reps to further their cause. I immediately submitted an application to become an area representative and was approved in July of 2009. Learning that I needed a picture of a dog in its present chained living condition in order for the dog to be a DDB candidate, I stopped on the road and took a picture of Cody. Well, the owner saw me and I received another call from the police and again was threatened with domestic disturbance charges.
With my responsibilities at work, a volunteer at the shelter and my new endeavor as a DDB rep, I was feeling overwhelmed and knew I had to make a choice. So, with great dilemma, I left the shelter to pursue my passion for chained dogs with DDB.
To raise funds for my use in dog rescue I used my mediocre talent at drawing and made an illustration for a t-shirt to sell for funding my local cause. Some of the DDB reps bought some shirts from me and thought it was a great shirt idea. The founder of DDB, Tamira Thayne, noticed the shirt and asked if I would be willing to create drawings for a coloring book to educate children around the country as to the right way to live with our pet dogs. Although I didn’t feel I had the talent to do it, I agreed and came up with 22 pages of illustrations for a coloring/activity book which is in print now and will be available in the very near future.
I have helped rescue 4 dogs from life on chains, or in need of rescue and found them loving homes in my short term as a DDB representative. One was this last fall, a black lab named Max who was chained to a dog house 20 yards from the house. People were calling me with their concerns for the dog. So I visited the home and learned that the house was a no-pet rental and they were temporarily keeping the dog for a family member who was in the process of buying a house and then would come for Max. I was told it would be a few weeks. I gave them a 40 pound bag of dog food and a bale of hay as it was getting cold at night and Max’s doghouse was just a plywood box with a cut out for a door. They were very grateful.
Well, weeks turned into months and winter was turning into the famous cold Minnesota is known for. I received more calls about the dog and was set for another visit when I got a call from the owner asking if I had Max, I was stunned, thinking that she thought I took Max. As it turned out, someone had taken Max and they thought they brought him to me. I was told that the city attorney took him.
Well, I just happened to know the city attorney as he had helped me with family affairs after losing my mother, father and older brother within a short period of time.
I called the attorney, Steve, and yes he had Max. He invited me to his house over lunch. Max remembered me on sight (and smell) right away from our previous brief encounter. He jumped up and put his front paws on my shoulders and gave me a kiss. The story goes, Steve and his wife, Linda, drove by Max’s former house one day and Linda was appalled at seeing Max in his living conditions and told Steve that he needed out of there. The next day, Steve and a police sergeant went to the home and expressed their concerns of the poor quality of life of the dog. After some discussion, the owners agreed to surrender the dog to Steve. My thought was “awesome” but at the same time a bit disconcerted that it took the city attorney getting involved for this to happen. Max was adopted by Steve’s law partner and in a happy home. He sleeps in bed with them at night and the kids love him. Max is one happy dog!
Steve and Linda are avid dog lovers and have 2 German Short hair dogs and an elderly Lab as indoor dogs of their own. One, Louis, has placed in shows and attended Eukanuba and Westminster shows. After our visit, I asked Steve if he would be interested in helping me with an anti-tethering ordinance for our town. He took a second as it seemed an unheard of thought to him and then answered “Yes, I think we should”. He called me to look over a rough draft a few days later. I was shocked he got right on it. We went over it for an hour or so and had a more reformed draft with my input.
I was then slated to approach the city council at the next meeting with the ordinance. Suffering with a severe case of social/uncontrolled anxiety, with the help of medication, I approached the city council and with a shaky voice read off the notes I had made. My wife and a few of my supporters were at the meeting too. It went well, I answered some questions and they decided to table the issue for further discussion. I was pleased that they didn’t shoot me down then and there. We are still working on the ordinance as some of the council members think it might be too stringent, but I went in with the most we could ask for knowing that we would probably need to back off or reword some of the conditions of the ordinance. Discussion is still going and there will be another council meeting soon. This brings up a thought….would DDB reimburse for medication expenses in order to further our cause? Kidding!
I had my first DDB booth event last week and it went great. The people were very curious and thanked us for what we do. Some already knew me and my cause and some knew me from two letters to the editor that have been printed in the local papers. Also from the two huge red DDB magnets on the front doors of my blue Durango that get noticed as well as the DDB yard sign I have at my home.
I increasingly get calls and anonymous letters asking to help dogs.
On a comical note, while my wife and I are at home relaxing in the living room, we see people passing by walking their dogs. My wife says “Oh, that’s Mr. and Mrs. Whatever” (she’s so social, blah blah) and I respond with “And that’s Mojo on the leash”. I can retain dog names but not people. Go figure!
I am currently working on another set of cartoon drawings for a new coloring book aimed toward our affiliate organization “Mothers Against Dog Chaining”.
My goal as a DDB rep is to get our ordinance passed for the city of Jackson and help with its enforcement. Emily Northrup, a new MN rep, and I have been making a great team and are excited to be working together. Working alone can be very daunting.
We are and will continue the fight for our cause, reducing the number of chained and penned dogs finding them the homes they deserve and spread education and awareness along the way.
I have a couple local fencing projects in the works and will join fellow rep Patricia Aldering later this spring to build fencing on the Red Bluff Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin.
Other rescues I’ve had are Doc (previously named Liberty, how ironic), a black lab that lived penned for 6 years; Riley, a chocolate lab found wandering in -30 degree conditions outside and taken in by a family that couldn’t keep him and called me. He had frostbite on his scrotum and ears. Jade, a chained 11 month pit bull/bulldog mix was surrendered to me and is being fostered by my co-Minnesota rep, Emily Northrup.
I am extremely proud and blessed to be a part of this wonderful group of people at DDB. I can’t express my thanks enough for the help and support I’ve received from them. A big thank you to Tamira Thayne for starting this great cause, encouraging me with the coloring books and always being quick to respond with help and guidance.
DDB has filled a need and an obligation in my life. I will make a difference!!
New! Yard Signs to Help Man's Best Friends who are living Chained/Penned: Inexpensive "Mini Billboards"