A few months back we told you about one dog who was making a difference. We wanted to share her story so that others could see what was possible with a bit of dedication and determination.
And, well, we sort of thought that’s where the story ended.
We were wrong.
Since we last chatted, Stacey’s story left Colorado, and travelled all the way to the bright lights of LA.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Maria Mandel, one of the human members of Stacey’s family and the driving force behind Stacey Mae’s Teddy Bear Project, is here with us today to give us an update.
Hi Maria, thank you again for taking the time to share your story, we are anxious to hear what’s been happening since we last chatted in May. In our last interview, we asked, “What’s next for Stacey and her family?”, and you told us:
We plan to continue the Teddy Bear Project with visiting the seniors’ homes and also we plan to continue visiting children’s’ hospitals and given out teddy bears and stuffed toys to the patients there as well.
Now, I assume that’s what’s been happening but I also know that another pretty amazing thing has kept you a bit busy as well. Please tell us about “The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by cesar® canine cuisine.”
Their motto is “celebrate the animals who enrich, enhance and even save our lives.” Because rumour has it, that you were there!
Is it true? You were at the awards as a nominee and a finalist?
Yes, that rumour is true.
Now we have questions!
Please tell us, when did you first hear about the hero dog awards?
I first heard about the Hero dog awards in April from my friend Judy, Surf Dog Ricochet’s owner. She thought it would be a good idea to nominate Stacey Mae. At first I didn’t think much about it and sort of doubted our chances. When May came around I looked at the link again and decided I would give it a try just to see what might happen.
When did you learn that your nomination was accepted?
I heard pretty much right after I put Stacey’s name forward. I was still unsure about what to expect.
I understand you had to travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony, tell us about your trip:
The trip was long! Three full days of driving, but so worth it.
Tell us about the actual event, your thoughts and feelings:
The entire experience was amazing. I never thought in my 18 years i would be walking on the red carpet and walking on stage to get an award. it really is a once in a life time experience. one that I will never forget.
We met so many wonderful people and other Hero dogs. All the dogs had amazing stories, how they helped their owners, saves people’s lives. Some of the stories were really touching and made me cry.
What was it like having to go up on stage and be filmed?
I was really nervous. Before we got on stage my legs were shaking!
I’d never walked a ‘red carpet’, and I never been on stage with hundreds of people looking at me before!
Especially such a big star like Betty White!
What does the future hold for Stacey Mae and the Teddy Bear Project?
I plan on continuing with the project and getting a non-profit status so I can do bigger things.
How can we help?
Please read my blog here, I’ve done an update and included some information on our latest activities.
Thank you for updating us and letting us share in your experience. Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank everyone for helping us come this far. I couldn’t have done it without all of you. It’s all thanks to YOU for giving me and my family this wonderful opportunity and I truly appreciate the support I have received throughout this journey.
Be sure to watch the Hero Dog Awards and cheer on Stacey Mae, Maria and her family.
The awards event will be televised on November 11th, on the Hallmark Channel.
A little side note: The driving force behind this project is Maria who maybe we didn’t mention is a teenager, juggling school, and life and yet still found room in her world to be a part of something pretty fantastic. We’re impressed.