Not just ugly, inspirationally ugly.
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Two years ago, Elwood, a mix of chihuahua and Chinese Crested, was about to be euthanized. Then, soon after he was rescued, Karen Quigley of Sewell became the owner of the hairless but tufted pup with the missing teeth that causes his rather long tongue to hang out. “Just because a dog is different doesn’t make him any less adorable or lovable,” she says.
To prove the point—and to draw attention to issues of animal adoption and acceptance—Quigley entered Elwood in the 2007 World’s Ugliest Dog competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California, which he won handily. “I definitely think he won because of his personality,” she says. “He was the crowd favorite.”
Now Elwood is a celebrity, the subject of a new book for children called Everyone Loves Elwood, by Quigley with Loren Spiotta-DiMare of Tewksbury. Elwood will do a book “pawing” on April 12 at the Califon Book Shop in Califon and another on April 13 at Well Bred, a gift shop for pets in Chester. (The book can be purchased at those events or at everyoneloveselwood.com.) He’s a dog in demand, as evidenced by his well-received appearances at mental health clinics, elementary schools, hospitals, and pet adopt-a-thons. “We couldn’t be more proud of Elwood,” says Quigley.
“He does spread a wonderful message about being kinder and more accepting,” says Spiotta-DiMare. Elwood, in fact, has already raised an estimated $10,000 for pet-rescue organizations in New Jersey. Which is a beautiful thing.
BEST DOG PARKS
South Mountain Reservation in South Orange
This 1.4 acre fenced-in park for large dogs and .7 acre area for dogs under 35 pounds, has water fountains, poop bags, benches, and agility equipment. It’s adjacent to 2,200 acres of the reservation (which has sections in several towns) to explore on leash.
Crest Drive off South Orange Avenue; Essex County Parks Department (essex-countynj.org/p/index.php?section=dog).
Rocky Top Dog Park in Princeton
This privately operated, two-acre fenced park has a swimming pond and shady and grassy areas for puppy play sessions, breed-specific events, and “socials” for small- and medium-sized dogs.
Visitor passes start at $5; three-month membership, $81; vaccination records required. Open from 6 am to 9 pm year ’round. Rte 27 near Rtes 518 & 522 (Promenade Blvd); (rockytopdogpark.com).
Duke Dog Run in Freedom Park, Medford
Two 10-acre fields separated by a tributary of Rancocas Creek offer plenty of space for dogs to run and swim within this 100-acre park run by Medford Township.The park is enclosed by a natural hedge—small, determined dogs may be able to squeeze through—and water fountains are not provided.
86 Union St (discovermedford.com/recreation.html).
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A Meal for Amiel
As mentioned earlier in the week, on February 8, chef Florian Wehrli, along with top chefs from New York and Northern New Jersey will collaborate on a benefit dinner at Perona Farms to raise money to build a greenhouse/interactive classroom for Frankford Township School. The five-course tasting meal will feature regionally grown meats, cheeses and produce.
Early in Saturday night's American premiere of a work by the South African choreographer Robyn Orlin, the dancers of the all-male Senegalese troupe Jant-Bi begin to advance steadfastly toward and then literally into the audience--standing on the backs and armrests of occupied seats and striking a pose of invincible, unyielding bravado.
At that point, who could guess that this pinwheeling, sometimes perplexing, affair at Montclair State's Kasser Theater would culminate in a flood of joy uniting audience and performers?
For some reason, that is my favorite line in what I like to think of as my favorite play, Waiting For Godot. I certainly will not forget this particular carrot. That I can't explain the contents of this picture is part of what I like about it. In other words, you can't make this stuff up.
Snow everywhere in Jersey. Nonetheless, you can celebrate the Super Bowl on the beach in Sea Bright. In Driftwood Cabana Club's rebuilt, enclosed, all-weather tiki bar, "You kind of feel like you are on a cruise ship," says beverage director Beau Keegan, "because all you see is water.”