“Yo Yo Cathy …”
That’s how all my emails from Bill Macchio, publisher of Mount Pleasant Magazine, begin. This particular one, titled “Lowcountry Live Pet Segment” with WCIV ABC News 4, was no different.
Literally minutes after he sent the email, my telephone rang, and Bill’s enthusiasm soared sky-high before I could utter hello.
He was ecstatic! I tried to keep up with his momentum as he speed-spoke about a concept for Mount Pleasant Pets magazine hosting a Lowcountry Live TV Show. He wanted to own an entire segment and center it around pets in the Lowcountry. He also wanted me to be a part of it.
As a micro pet influencer, a contributor to several magazines, as well as my own website – I was flattered, but I didn’t think it was great content for the show. I did, however, offer up a program I believe all animal lovers would have interest in: pet therapy. Bill agreed with me, and so I agreed to participate.
The Calm After the Storm
The day the show aired, Charleston was coming out from under its worst summer storm, which, the night before, brought uprooted trees, downed power lines, severe flooding and a high tide that wouldn’t subside. As a result, it was a challenge getting to the WCIV studio in Mount Pleasant.
This was a blessing in disguise for me because my focus was on alternate routes, not what I would say or if the camera would capture my heart beating out of my chest.
I arrived literally minutes before the show started, but I was there in enough time to see some familiar faces. Many of the other participants were friends, which made the hugs and greetings sweeter.
Sitting in the Lowcountry Live green room (news alert: The room isn’t green) was probably the best part. When you surround yourself with positive energy and like-minded people, the world becomes the best it can be. The time together was not long enough, but we were able to score a paw-some group photo.
Lights, Camera, Pet Action!
Erin Kienzle welcomed Bill and his “real” publisher, Charlie the goldendoodle. Helen Harris and Beezus the golden retriever – the “real” managing editor – accompanied them.
Charlie and Beezus sure got the show off to a great start, and, back in the green room, the lineup for this pet-themed episode was quite impressive. It was bound to be a great segment.
Ziggy’s Dog Parlor strives to deliver excellent grooming services.
They stagger appointments to avoid having your pet wait to be groomed. They go the extra mile to provide a soft, special touch.
Kristin Villa, accompanied by a helper, brought Ziggy, the mascot, and Axle, a rescue, on set to talk about how Ziggy’s loves to give their clients the royal treatment.
Executive Director Alan Berger talked about the four decades Pet Helpers has worked diligently to end euthanasia for all adoptable cats and dogs by keeping the animals until they are adopted. They provide lowcost surgeries, offer humane education programs and pursue animal-cruelty prosecution. For those who do not know: The 14th Annual Fur Ball Silent Auction will be held Nov. 10 at the Francis Marion Hotel.
Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming
Addie the Boykin spaniel, Cameron Reid and Leigh Reid Hope are no strangers to me. Both of my goldendoodles are regular clients at their establishment in Mount Pleasant – a franchise that feels more like a neighborhood specialty shop providing extraordinary customer service. Their retail and upscale homemade-treat section rivals any boutique in and out of the state. Talented groomers with unlimited patience and canine-connection powers make taking your dog there for a spa day worry-free.
MUSC Pet Therapy
For two years I volunteered at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Pet Therapy Program. Now as the program’s coordinator, I have to pinch myself every morning before walking into the main hospital with one of my two therapy goldendoodles by my side. I manage 42 incredibly caring and committed pet-therapy teams as they alter (if just for a few minutes) the days and lives of patients, families and our wonderful medical staff. Every day, we’re entering new territory in clinics, such as occupational therapy and special needs surgical-dental. We’re ushered with open arms into the ICU, labor and delivery, and many post-op procedure areas in both the main and Children’s Hospital.
My segment was next to last, giving me the opportunity to watch the others. What seemed like a lengthy time to talk about your passion is not enough time when you’re the person talking. As soon as I sat on the couch, it was time to leave. But I wasn’t finished! I wanted more!
Having Bill and Charlie sitting with me felt as comfortable as the many conversations we’d had in the past, before I started writing for Mount Pleasant Magazine and Mount Pleasant Pets.
I applaud Bill for listening to Charlie and making this possible. The Lowcountry is one of the top-10 pet-friendly cities in the country, so it only makes sense to tell her residents and guests about these pet-friendly treasures and causes that exist within everyone’s reach.
What a wonderful concept: to dedicate an hour-long segment to pets at least once a year. The guest list will continue to be extensive, I have no doubt.