Saving Pets One Meal at a Time


My lovely girlfriend and fellow dog lover, Lindsy Lucero, informed me of an outstanding non-profit organization called The Pongo Fund.

The organization was established in 2009 here in Portland in memory of Pongo, an almost 19-year-old dog (pictured above).  It is a Pet Food Bank for Oregon who saves dogs and cats from ending up in shelters when their families cannot afford to feed them.  They provide emergency assistance to anyone in honest need in order to help reduce shelter populations and keep people and their pets together.  To date the group has provided more than three million meals to animals.

If you need help

GROW, the Advantis Community Fund, is awarding $50,000 to non-profit organizations for projects that make a difference in our local community.  Several grants up to $10,000 each will be awarded. Vote for The Pongo Fund below:

Like them on Facebook

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Mighty Oregon

Last weekend the University of Oregon football program hosted their annual Spring Game and seven former players were selected by NFL teams.  Draft info listed below:

Round    Overall Pick              Name                      Team        Position

2                 61             LaMichael James              49ers            RB

5                155               Josh Kaddu                  Dolphins          LB

6                178               Mark Asper                    Bills               G

7                240               David Paulson              Steelers           TE

Players not drafted but picked up included Cliff Harris (Philadelphia), Eddie Pleasant (Houston) and Lavasier Tuinei (Seattle).

Oregon fans in Eugene, with three non-perishable food items each, who took a break from the draft (or monitored it on their cell phones like me) made the trek to Autzen stadium; the place where it only rains touchdowns.  Fortunately that held true on a clear and sunny Saturday.  The event was a huge success because Oregon honored the US military, donated over 72,500 pounds of food to FOOD for Lane County and put on a show for a record spring game crowd of over 44,000.   According to Yahoo! Sports UO attracted more fans than the combined spring game attendance of USC, Cal, Stanford, Washington and Arizona.  Impressive.

The match up featured Mighty Oregon (the light team) led by Redshirt Freshman Marcus Mariota against the Fighting Ducks (dark team) led by Sophomore Bryan Bennett.  In his debut, Marcus definitely lived up to the hype coming out of Eugene (even with closed practices) and looked like he did in his high school highlight reel.  Mariota completed 18 of 26 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing for 99 yards and two scores compared to Bennett, who completed 19 of 32 passes for 209 yards and a TD.  The highlight of the game was when Mariota faked the option pitch and took it 82 yards to the house, untouched, while out running both the corner and the safety.

What was even more impressive than his outstanding play was his perceived calmness, maturity, command of the offense, humility and leadership.  After every series he was high fiving or shaking hands with his teammates on the sideline.  This is good news for Oregon fans after the surprise departure of QB Darron Thomas.  You can’t draw too many conclusions from just one spring game but from what I have seen so far I am confident the Oregon faithful will be in good hands.  In the end, Mariota led Mighty Oregon to a 41-14 victory.  I can once again wear number eight with pride.

For the last few years Chip has dedicated the game to the US Armed Forces.  To kick of the action two jets screamed by over the gathered crowd, at half time Chip was presented with an American flag and then a US coast guard helicopter made a pass over the stadium.  When the game was over the players met members of the military at mid-field where they handed over their jerseys as souvenirs and small tokens of their gratitude.  Check out the videos of the action below:

Game Highlights:

Jets Flyover:

Flag Presentation and Coast Guard Chopper Flyover:

Jersey Exchange:

Game Gloves
Note from Chip to the Troops
Message from Chip to the Troops

Of course while I was in Eugene I made time for Burrito Boy, Hodge Podge and Brails.  I can’t wait for the season opener on September first.  Go Ducks!

Nike Outfits the NFL

Today Nike became the official apparel provider for the NFL and unveiled new uniforms for all 32 teams.  This historic day marks a new five year deal between Nike and the NFL and ends a 10 year run by Reebok.  According to ESPN, Nike spent $1.1 Billion (nearly double the recent largest Mega Millions lottery drawing in history) on the deal compared to the $250 million Reebok paid.  Needless to say it was more than just a fashion show.

For people like me today was pretty much a holiday, marked on the calendar months in advance, but for most it was just another day at the office.  A lot is being said about the uniforms but I must say it was exactly what I expected.  Nike did a supreme job of integrating the most advanced technologies while remaining true to the traditional team brands (with the exception of the Seahawks).  Of course they had to add a little flare to at least one of the designs.  As an Oregon fan who is accustomed to a tradition of innovation I really appreciated the neon, wings and twelfth man tribute on Seattle’s new look.  Walter Thurmond III is no stranger to unique uni’s.  I am sure he will feel right at home in his new fit.

Love or hate them you can’t deny that Nike is very good at getting people’s attention.  Now that we are all tuned in what’s next?

The jerseys are supposed to be available for pre-sale on April 15 and in stores on April 26. Some Nike apparel is already available at

Saving Grace

A non-profit organization in Northern California called The Grace Foundation recently saved an abandoned and pregnant Dachshund mix named Casey who was scheduled to be euthanized.  Not only did they provide a safe and loving home for Casey but they also successfully delivered her five pups.  The runt of the litter, who they named Beyonce, nearly died at birth but Dr. Michael Russell, the foundation’s veterinarian, and Executive Director, Beth DeCaprio, gave the puppy necessary heart compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation that ultimately saved her life.

Read the full story here.

Casey with her pups

According to The Grace Foundation’s website none of the puppies will be available until after May 3rd.  They might hold on to Beyonce a little longer than the rest of her siblings to make sure that she is healthy and strong.

Here is the foundation’s mission:

Here at The Grace Foundation our mission is to protect, care for and heal these two important groups:

  • Children
  • Abused and Neglected Animals

Since its founding in 2004, The Grace Foundation has been dedicated to saving the lives of horses and other animals. Grace provides critical care and rehabilitation for abused and neglected horses, livestock, dogs, and other animals.

Many of these animals are then utilized for equine-assisted learning and therapeutic programs for youth and children. Since its inception, The Grace Foundation has helped thousands of kids who are at-risk or have suffered from abuse and neglect themselves.

Grace also offers programs for people of all ages that are struggling with autism and other physical and emotional challenges, as well as a variety of youth leadership programs and life science classes.

Thanks Grace Foundation for saving Casey and her pups and for all that you do!  We will all be hoping these pups and many others find the loving homes they deserve.


One of the most important things I have learned in my career is networking is king.  The level of success you reach will likely be determined by your network.  As a technical recruiter my livelihood is 100% dependent on my ability to establish and maintain relationships.   This concept is critical in my field but it can/should be applied by all, both professionally and personally.

If we are looking for a job, someone to hire, a specialist in any field, or a companion we often turn to our network first.  How many of you have found a job, were afforded a rare opportunity or were introduced to your significant other because of someone you know?  This means we should treat every neighbor, teacher, student, barista, waitress, stranger etc. as a future potential customer, employer and/or friend.  Who knows if/when your paths will cross again either directly or indirectly.  This is especially important in a small city where six degrees of separation suddenly becomes two to three.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a hiring manager reject a potential candidate because of a negative reputation or how many times I have elected not to work with a candidate/client because of the way he conducted himself.

A few great examples of the power of relationships include Microsoft creator Bill Gates, Nike founder Phil Knight and the University of Oregon’s head football coach Chip Kelly.  Bill Gates’ relationship with his computer club members in middle-school eventually led to him having access to the University of Washington computers where he became one of the few advanced programmers in the world.  This rare opportunity laid the foundation for Microsoft.

Phil Knight forged a relationship with Mr. Onitsuka in Japan which secured Tiger brand shoe distribution rights for the western United States.  Additionally, Phil’s relationship with Bill Bowerman (University of Oregon track coach) led to his endorsement of the shoes, the development of Blue Ribbon Sports which eventually became Nike and the rest is history.

After leading the Oregon football team to a national championship appearance and subsequent Rose Bowl victory, Chip Kelly was offered a lucrative opportunity to become the head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  His departure could have been a devastating blow to a program who had reached unprecedented success under his leadersihp but in the end he elected to decline the offer and remain at Oregon.  His reason for staying, the relationships he built with the student-athletes, the coaches and the other staff.

Will all of us build billion dollar relationships that lead to successful empires like Microsoft/Nike or reach an elite level of coaching?  Probably not, but we should approach each and every one as if it will.  Your network is king.

You Should Noah Better Than That

If Noah’s on court performance and the Bulls’ loss the other night weren’t embarrassing enough, Joakim definitely brought shame to his team, family, fans, city and the NBA when he directed an anti-gay slur at a fan.  This incident comes just a month after Kobe Bryant shouted a similar slur at a referee.  Both were caught on camera but the difference is Kobe was fined $100,000 and Noah $50,000.  The message to players: if you are going to lose your cool and give up your dignity make sure it is directed toward a fan and not a referee.  Does the NBA care more about it’s  employees than fans?  I wonder what Artest’s fate would have been had he gone after a referee  instead of jumping into the stands to confront a fan?

On the surface it seems like a double standard but adding insult to injury a $100,000 fine for Kobe was only .4% of his salary and the $50,000 fine for Noah was a whopping 1.6%.  It looks like Noah’s fine made a bigger financial impact (the difference between a salary of nearly $25 million and roughly $3.1 million).  I commend Mr. Stern for taking decisive and swift action on these incidents.  Behavior like this should not be tolerated in the NBA or anywhere.

Stern must be fuming that this latest incident comes shortly after the NBA’s debut of Think B4 You Speak PSA:

Noah losing it:

Oh yeah and in other but somewhat related news James Harden deserves a fine for his offensive “Fisher flop”:

Super Dogs

By now most of us have heard the news that a dog named “Cairo” was part of the Navy SEAL team that took out bin Laden.  It is comforting to know that the “nations most courageous dog” and other four-legged friends put in harm’s way have undergone extensive training and been outfitted with top of the line equipment.  MSNBC reported the armor can cost upward of $30,000 and that last year, the military spent $86,000 on four tactical vests to outfit Navy SEAL dogs.

To some this might seem like an obscene amount of money to spend protecting dogs but, “no amount of money can replace the life of a canine that saves the precious lives of our troops in harm’s way” – Luis Reyes (The Navy’s first Master Military Working Dog Trainer).  I will sleep a little easier tonight knowing these protectors are protected.

What will they think of next?

Goodbye Norm

News broke this week that Jennifer Aniston’s dog, Norm, passed away a few weeks ago.  The Corgi-terrier mix was 15 years old.  In dogs years that is a long time but as all dog lovers know it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to a member of the family.

Jennifer told The Sun: “You have to say goodbye way too soon. It’s just so sad. It makes me so sad. But their love is unconditional and I love that.”  A relationship with a dog is a unique thing and they truly are man’s best friend.

Rest in peace Norm and sincere condolences to Ms. Aniston.  Thank goodness she still has her adorable white German Shepherd mix Dolly.

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