The Dog Connection TV Story
by Kathy Tarochione
How it began
Ever since I can remember, I've been an animal lover. My favorite animals are dogs, then cats, then horses. I've had all 3 in my lifetime. In the late 70's I had the opportunity to run a no-kill animal shelter known as Save A Pet in Palatine, Illinois. The shelter hadn't been open very long and the expectations were very high. The shelter was overcrowded, but many volunteers came every day to help. Because I was the Shelter Manager/Executive Director and lived on the property, I was best suited to see all the daily activities. Many people would try to “dump” their pets in front of the shelter during wee hours of the night. I couldn't always catch them, but I was able to get shelter for the animals. We didn't accept pets that were relinquished by pet owners. We only accepted animals from local animal control facilities in 4 counties. Nonetheless, there were always dumped animals. I had a few successful businesses over the years, but I always wanted to work full time towards my passion. . .the animals.
In 2000, I opened up Picture A Moment which was a digital collage business. Then my husband became terminally ill in 2005 which started me thinking about working from home so I could take care of him. I closed my Gallery, setup business at home and then realized I could do whatever I wanted to do. So I decided I wanted to work with the animals completely. I'd had enough of people if you know what I mean. I literally wanted to just "Go To The Dogs." I always had animals but my favorite was Maggie, a large Yorkshire Terrier. She was with me since she was 6 weeks old. She was my fur daughter for sure. She experienced all of my life's ups and downs and never complained. She passed in June 2007 at 18 years old as my loyal friend and faithful companion.
Then came Mandie, a foster dog turned into our furry daughter. She was a cross between a Bichon and Maltese. She was now the star in our household. And what a handful, but personality that wouldn't quit. She followed me everywhere and was so nosy. It was very sad when my husband passed in 2010. I knew he always wanted me to really dedicate my work to my passion. So that's what I did.
So I designed a PhoDOGraphy (Dog Photography) business and specialized in my PETographs which are Digital Art Creations. My creative juices were really flowing like they always had. I continued to think about ways to help animals and then it hit me. Why not let Dogs tell the story of what's happening in their communities from their viewpoint. I designed Mandie, the first Canine Community Reporter as the Reporter in Harrison, Arkansas. I dressed her up in a hat, glasses, a T-Shirt that said "Canine Community Reporter in Training" and a PETCam. She was a hoot and loved to go and visit the local businesses. Before you know it we were doing our PhoDOGraphy and traveling to various dog events. Mandie was going to be a Star.
In early December 2012, I just got home from a Santa Photoshoot and let Mandie out to pee. She ran across the road and was hit by my neighbors car. Well, I don't have to tell you what happened next and how I reacted. When I was able to get my head together I realized that thousands of dollars had been spent in making Mandie the main Canine Community Reporter. What was I gonna do? Answer? Mandie became our official Canine Community Reporter from Heaven!
Enter Charlie Tarochione
I'm was the PhoDOGrapher for the Ozark Humane Society in Harrison, Arkansas. They knew that Mandie was killed. I wasn't eager to get another dog, but I was open to a Foster Female small dog. I got to the Shelter and Kelly showed me a malechihuahua. I really wanted a female. It was so loud I looked to see who was carrying on so much. Well, it was, of course, Charlie. It was love at first sight. And the funny thing is my husband's name was Charlie (Tark for short). Needless to say, I knew he was sent from Mandie and Tark. But what a handful.
He walked in the door and lifted his leg 5 times, got into every garbage can I have and jumped up on the counter and knocked down a chicken I had on there. When I opened the door for a second, he bolted. (but not too far) Since then, he's become my assistance dog (I in Stage 3 of COPD with Heart Disease & Congestive Heart Failure) He even takes off my socks.
The Canine Community Reporters
I had Mandie settled and now it was time for Charlie to have his role in this. From the very beginning it was so funny to see him all dressed up and a great Character. So knowing he would be reporting the news in the community it became clear he should also have his own TV show. But first, who to get to be part of the team. We knew Charlie was homeless and now we knew he was Italian (my husband was Italian) so now for the story. Charlie was homeless with his Dad in Jersey. They decided to leave Jersey because it got to be too crowded for Charlie to be in the same town with Snookie and The Situation! So they came to Arkansas. His Dad knew the economy was pretty tough, so he gave him up to the Humane Society. Charlie didn't know what happened. He told me he was sayin "Why am I here?" So it's a good thing he got adopted by me.
Lead Anchor of The Dog Connection.TV (Formerly WCCR.TV)
Charlie was soon making many friends as the Alpha male dog with a real attitude. He has street smarts and knows how to handle everyone. So we decided to make him the Lead Anchor and SpokesDOG for The Dog Connection. And that brings us to now. He's the Star and soon to be another Hero in the Canine world. Stay tuned for his upcoming adventures and new TV Series with his Mom.
Watch our "Meet Charlie Tarochione. . .from Homeless To Hero" Video
The Canine Community Reporters News
In August 12, 2013 we launched our website beginning with 10 Canine Community Reporters across the country. They are all reporting in their area from their perspective. We have no idea how the entire concept will play out, but I can tell you that we are all having such a great time creating the characters, designing the shows and creating content that people can really relate to. We hope for success in our mission which is to help the animals. We know we can never lose that way. We decided to donate a percentage of all proceeds to help Animal Rescue Groups. So that's our story. We hope you'll enjoy reading our stories, taking our lessons and buying our products. Thanks so much for being here to support the animals.
Always Blessings. . .Never Losses, . . .Kathy & Charlie Tarochione