Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting the Word OUT!!!!

Last week can be summed up in the title of this weeks blog. I have had a few adverse effects from the new meds so needless to say I have been less mobile. I hate not getting out and being active but I have also learned that when my body starts to act up I had better slow down or things can get messy or worse I can end up in the hospital.

The great news of last week was that on Tuesday Truck Camper Magazine did their feature article on Iris & I. The Article started to draw emails very quickly. Comments started to fly in to me via email, facebook, twitter and phone. My Twitter account has grown by almost 40% in a matter of one week and the number of new Facebook friends and followers is pretty cool also. All I can say is thank you to all of you for getting the word out.

People like Mike Wolfe from History Channel's American Picker's Show and a couple radio shows down in NC that I know of that passed the word really helped also. I was supposed to go to a Truck Camper Rally in the White mountains but physically I could not do the drive so I am sure that did not help my getting the word out.

So in short what's coming up in the near future?

I am working on coming up with a way to help fund some of these trips that I have been doing. Many of the trips I do I pay for out of my own pocket especially lately and I am finding that I am overstepping  just a tad. I also have to come up with a way to put some transportation cost together quickly to help get me down for the Cruise Line Fundraiser that I won the right to help out. After looking at the current ticket rates it is going to stretch the budget to make this all come together on my fixed income. So if anyone has any ideas on how I should go about this please let me know.

I have the Paint Ball Fundraiser on Long Island. I hope to have the camper out there with Iris and myself to cheer on the guys and gal's that come out for this worthy cause. If anyone is interested in playing you still have time to sign up. Last year they had teams from all over there and even had a tank (for paintball). It was fun times for all.

There is so much follow up work I am doing at the moment to get the word out any help would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking at getting some Video Blog links added in here. One of my friends suggested that I attempt to grab one of the talks I do on Video. I do have links already at www.kphyfe.com for radio interviews that were done last year if anyone is interested.

Till next week safe travels.

Kent & Iris

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Heat is ON!

As I sit here on Monday wondering where my brain has gone to because the heat has fried it I hope to find something to write. The past week was as hot as it really ever should think about getting here in the northeastern part of this great country. With the humidity the feel like temp was between 105 and 110 so the weather soothsayers told us daily. Personally I have spent time in a few desserts and jungles and this was not as bad as that but a close third or forth given my age and medical condition. I know "suck it up buttercup" comes to mind but hey it's my blog.

So the week itself was pretty slow for us. We did the two phone interviews while sitting in the shade at the beach. Life is great, how did we ever survive without cellphones and wireless technology? We did however call it an early departure from the beach due to the heat and the fact I just could not seem to cool down in the evenings. So back to the home AC unit.

Thursday I was supposed to run the Camper down to the sign place and get the look over but again the heat was just to much for me. Something about the meds I am on that seem to make me want to fall over everytime I stand up in the heat that makes being out in it less desirable. So the camper north to New Hampshire did not happen either. Knowing the temps on Sat were going to be in the high 90's before the humidity did it's magic just made the idea of sleeping with no AC to much for this not so healthy old man. Guess I am getting smarter in my old age for all of you that worry I push to hard.

Since I did not get down to have the camper looked over I spent those days hiding in the AC at the house. I did spend a fair amount of time on the internet working on coming up with new ways to get the word out about VetDogs and also teaming up with the Power Lifting Community that even though I am broken seems to have accepted me as one of their own. Guess it really helps to have a soon to be 22 year old son (tomorrow 23 July) who is a moose and lives for the strength stuff.

I did head up to New Hampshire on Saturday morning to meet up with the Granite State Strongman/Women Championship and take pictures of a pretty awesome event. No ordinary weightlifting going on here that's for sure. Check out the pictures at my website I wish my son was able to be there but he was out getting his tattoo beefed up some. He had had a Cross now it really looks cool.

This coming week I have nothing planned as far as fundraising is concerned so people call me get me busy. Especially now my youngest just turned 19 2 weeks ago and started her Physical Therapist Assistant Program at New England Tech today my wife and son work full time so I find myself with more time to dedicate to helping other veterans. Especially since the new medicine the doctors put me really seem to have made a huge difference with controlling the events.

Thursday I will head to northern New Hampshire to attend my first New England Truck Camper Rally. I am looking forward to a good time meeting new friends and showing off my little rig. I know a number of the people are looking forward to meeting Iris also. Tomorrow there will be an article published online in the Truck Camper Magazine which is a great online magazine that has lots of great information and story's about people like me that feel all the tires needed for camping should be on your truck not on the camper.

Well thank all of you for following and a special thank you to TCM for making a donation to America's VetDogs I really look forward to showing off the article.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dog days of summer

Just a quick update this week. Iris and I have slowed down and taken some time for ourselves this week. We're resting relaxing and all around wishing that the hot and humid of summer in New England would tone back just a bit. 

My wife, Iris and I decided to escape the swelter of the inland heat to catch the ocean breeze and relax in one of our favorite places, Charlestown Breachway, Rhode Island. Here are a few pictures of Iris hanging out this morning. 
Here's the view from where she was laying.
Yes she likes hanging in the sun also!

Well this week we have a couple phone interviews, a meet and greet with thirty two signs about them possibly being the company that wraps the camper and then the New England Strongman championships. More next week till then stay cool enjoy the summer.

Here is a post from Facebook this morning pretty much sums this up for me. Water shade serenity her views guess this is what they call a service dogs life. Our camper is the central stop for many campers wanting their animal fix since the campground has a no pet policy. So glad I carry info on VetDogs and the guide dog foundation, so many people want to know more and how to donate. I tell them every penny counts and soon the camper will too! It will have it's own text to donate number so people can quickly donate via there cell phone.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Strength in numbers

So when given an opportunity to take on a new path or look on life I jump. When that path allows me to spend more time with my son and his friends that is even better. "50' closer to a cure" is a group of power lifters that have decided to use their strength to raise awareness and money for charities.

My son who has been into lifting and physical fitness for sometime now has gotten into the strongman side of things. My not being allowed to be active in this type of activity can now be lived vicariously through him and others competing while raising funds for good causes. The best part is that I am able to document the competitions with my camera skills (yes the proud dad syndrome).

Last week Iris and I were down in Plainfield, CT shooting pictures of these guys and gal's pulling a firetruck and this week we were up in Revere, MA watching them do a whole series of strongman exercises from pulling a tri-axle dump truck to a Viking Squat. You can see the pictures at http://photo.kphyfe.com/revere/  all profits from any sales of these pictures will go towards paying for the wrapping of the camper and gas to get Iris and myself along with the camper to the competitions.

Please spread the word that these very good people are helping our communities all over. They have also said they want to and will be working out a way to help America's VetDogs. Yes the pun was intended...

For all those wondering I did get back up to New Hampshire with the camper for some relax time after the time in Chicago and the trip into NYC never came to be. So last week ended up being a nice relaxing week for me.

There was a neat twist that surprised me for sure, I received a call from the group that had sponsored the trip in February for the VetDog Charity cruise. Jen and I won the two tickets for paradise (of course Iris also). We are very excited about this trip and are working out the details of how we will make it all work out as far as travel and cost. Flying makes the most sense with Jen and her work schedule but taking the camper and talking about VetDogs all the way down and back is my preferred method. We will have to see how it all works out, either way it is out of the budget cost so we may even think about having some form of a fund raiser for the fundraiser. Let me know if anyone is interested in helping me out with setting something like that up for a travel fund. We will be on the ship for 7 days and the funds raised onboard will be donated to America's VetDogs.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finally a moment to reflect

So why am I starting off with the image of the button that Iris hit's? Well it always amazes people that she is actually trained to hit a button that calls directly to 911, so I figured that today a quick view of that would remind us all why Iris is so amazing and such a life saver to me. She still practices with this button and soon we will have a new modified version to work with the GPS enabled button that makes our trips in the camper less stressful for everyone else.

After what seems like a month of sundays Iris and I have had a few days of doing nothing. Yes nothing is a good thing once in a while especially if you need to take care of yourself and don't really do a good job at that. We finished our trip to Chicago up on Thursday afternoon getting home to more rain. As if the rains in Chicago that had me delayed a day were not enough, go figure.

This weather pattern has allowed us to put the camper on hold along with the yard work and any other kind of four letter words. We did have one trip over to Providence to see the doctors yesterday where they confirmed that I am doing fine at this point but should relax a bit over the next weeks to get some more energy back. We do not know if the new medicine is causing the extra tiredness or if it is the extra activity. Of course if you ask me I will claim that it is the meds and I really just need to push through the phase and keep going so I do not miss out on anything. 

I figured I would pop a picture of Iris and I hanging out at the Mystic Aquarium with one of the Beluga whales to show off some of our past travels. She is so great. She  really could care less about the whales but boy the whales were super interested in her. We hope to get back down to visit with them again soon.

We did get an email on Friday asking if we would be willing to take a quick day trip into NYC to do a TV interview if it came up but have heard nothing else on that at this point. The good news is that I have already worked out to grab some Daddy time with my daughter if that does come to fruition. If not Iris and I plan on hiding in the downstairs TV area on the 4th with the tv louder then normal till the fireworks are over and maybe Friday we will get out and get some pictures if all goes well. Rumor has it the Sunflowers may even be out in Griswold.

Let's talk about Chicago, what a trip. I can't say thank you enough to the open hearts of the members of the NCMS https://www.ncms-seminar.org/Home/index.asp they were wonderful host. America's VetDogs was their primary charity for this years convention and they raised a good amount of money there while at the convention and I am sure when the attendees get back to their local groups and explain about how they were touched by VetDogs even more will happen. I know for a fact that a good number of people want to get into the puppy raising side of things along with sponsoring dogs and a host of other functions. So many of them are prior military and or have been around the military that they really want to help our nations veterans.

The Young lady below is Melissa Stockwell an amazing young women soldier.

Melissa Stockwell

@MStockwell01 Follow her on Twitter

3x Paratriathlon World Champion, Paralympian, Prosthetist, Motivational Speaker, Triathlon Coach, Army Veteran, and lover of the red, white and blue. Go USA!

I only wish that I could bottle the energy I took away from my talking to each and every one of them so that I could pass it along to others that have not been bitten by the charity of helping others. To listen to all of their stories of friends and families being affected in so many ways pushing their hearts to open and freely give to other Veterans they have never met but know need service animals to change their lives was such a blessing for me. Iris truly has rescued me but the people I come in contact with daily out there in the community that she touches with her eyes and story of helping me continues to rescue others.
All I can say is thank you all that allow me to carry this message to so many.

Yes this is Iris's newest Boyfriend Jake as they sit in the conference hall. They even hung out holding paws! So cute. Iris just wished he did not live in Chicago and that they both were not always working so often.