Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: UPDATED: Cloudy and windy, a chance of a few showers. High of 61. "B"
SUNDAY: Partly cloudy to sunny. High of 50. "C"
Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:
Two weeks ago, I was running around like a crazy lady getting Kyla’s birthday party in place. The journalist of the Barking Lot duo took over. He decided to answer a roundup of questions that our readers have presented over the years. This week I’m taking the opportunity to put in my own two cents’ worth. (Actually what I’m doing is what ALL wives have to do for their husbands: clarify what the husband said and set the record straight.) My follow-up answers are in purple below his:
Q. Your blog is dominated by serious issues. What prompted The Barking Lot?
A. Jennifer loves dogs. How do I know this? She constantly talks about dogs and about getting one. Her face literally lights up when she sees one walking by. Several years ago I suggested that if she couldn’t have a dog just yet that she put her passion about dogs into a guest blog. It’s the same advice I’ve given to other bloggers: Write about what you’re interested in.
Actually, the way it went was, I suggested to Kevin he do a weekly dog feature. He had so many other weekly items I thought a dog blog would be a perfect addition to the list. His response was, “Why don’t YOU do a weekly dog feature?” Since I didn’t have my own blog at the time, it became a collaborative effort.
Q. So it’s been several years. Why haven’t you got a dog yet?
A. First came Kyla. Now Jennifer is saying we’re definitely getting a dog. But I also get asked about more children. My guess is we’ll get a dog someday. It all depends on the timing. I find it interesting that folks in Franklin most often ask me about Kyla and when I'm going to break down and purchase a pooch.
My own personal rule was that I was not about to housebreak a dog AND potty train a toddler at the same time. Now that Kyla has turned four, potty training is no longer an issue. I want her to be old enough to appreciate the newness of a puppy, too. What’s the famous phrase from the Wizard of Oz? “All in good time, my pretty…”
Q. Don’t you like dogs?
A. I love dogs.
A. Yes, really. Ask Jennifer, my brother or my sister-in-law who’ve seen me interact with dogs.
Kevin is the biggest softie I know when it comes to dogs.
Q. What’s holding you back?
A. I’ve talked with dog owners about this. While I love the joy and love a dog can bring to a home, I particularly find it unfortunately too temporary. The inevitable letting go would be extremely difficult. I don’t know how dog owners deal with that.
For Kevin, it’s bad enough he has to witness other dogs’ deteriorating health and the “inevitable letting go.” He’s never owned a dog and been through the process himself. Personally I know how rough it is. But my belief is that it’s a “Circle of Life” thing… as horribly tough as it is, the end is necessary to all the love and joy a dog brings you.
Q. As a rare husband-wife blogging team, how much do you collaborate with one another?
A. The Barking Lot is a 7-day effort. We work every day to some degree on each week’s installment. Jennifer writes her own blog and comes up with her own ideas, though I will make an occasional suggestion. The two of us both work on finding and contributing to the DOGS IN THE NEWS, photo, and video portions. We’ve also had readers submit stories and ideas. Like an editor I can be a nag, harping on Jennifer as the end of the week approaches. “Where’s that blog? How’s it coming along?” I believe the majority of Jennifer’s contributions are written when Kyla naps.
Q. Do you ever argue about the blog?
A. Hello. I repeat. Like an editor I can be a nag, harping on Jennifer as the end of the week approaches. “Where’s that blog? How’s it coming along?” This doesn’t happen all that often, though. Only when there’s an “R” in the month.
Well, at least he’s honest.
Q. How do you decide on content?
A. Since Jennifer has dogs on the mind, she selects her own topics. They can be based on a news story, a trend, an observation, a brewing controversy, you name it. Jennifer is left to her own devices. I must say that if I wrote a dog blog, it might be a bit more edgy (no surprise there). For DOGS IN THE NEWS, the main criteria are that the news story, opinion piece, or helpful advice for dog owners must be interesting. DOGS IN THE NEWS starts out serious and ends with lighter material. The blog has evolved in that a decision was made some time ago that certain stories would be left out. Every week there are news articles about dog abuse. Our feeling is that Barking Lot readers don’t check in to read about those grisly details. We’d include them to relate that these crimes occur and should be dealt with. However, we’ve more or less eliminated them. There will always be exceptions. The photos and videos can be tough because often times there are too many to choose from. We’ve just added ending each week’s blog with a photo of a very cute dog. The idea came after seeing photo after photo of cute dogs. So now we conclude with an AWWW moment.
Q. How do you get the weather details?
A. I won’t divulge my source. You could probably figure it out. I will say that it is very reliable and it’s not Channel 4, 6, 12 or 58. I toyed with the idea of asking a TV meteorologist to make a weekly contribution but decided against because they’re too busy, would probably not do it gratis, or would just send me to their station’s website. The forecast is based on the Franklin area.
Q. What do you base the letter grade for dog walking on?
A. The temperature, is it wet or dry, and sidewalk and street conditions.
Q. The Barking Lot. That’s cute. Who came up with the title?
A. The cute one of the duo. Let me clarify. Jennifer
I’m all about those catchy blog names… Barking Lot, Kyla’s Korner, Ms. Elaine Kneeous. What can I say?
Q. So are you saying that asking Jennifer to blog about dogs was your way of pacifying her while you keep her waiting on a dog purchase?
A. Very perceptive.
Q. What kind of dog are you thinking about?
A. Me personally? I’m not thinking about it at all.
Q. OK, Jennifer then…
A. She doesn’t want what she calls a Dog McNugget, but she doesn’t want a Guinness Book of World Record holder either. Jennifer would be deliriously content with a Soft-coated Wheaton Terrier.
A Wheaton Terrier would be amazing. However, I have another dog-ownership rule: Our pooch will NOT go to the salon more often than I do. So a dog that needs regular professional grooming is O-U-T. I’m also adamant about saving a dog and not buying one. There are plenty of groups out there that specialize in particular breed rescues. I’d be extremely happy with a Basenji (one of my own past dogs) as well.
Q. Let’s say you do get a dog someday. Does that mean Jennifer will write about that dog 95% of the time?
A. Pretty much.
One of Kevin’s favorite stories is how he “ranks” in our home. He says that the microwave is #1, the computer #2, dishwasher #3, etc. He says he’s happy when he’s in the top 10 but that if/when we DO get a dog, said dog will trump his place in line. I’m glad to know he understands.
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.
How could they kill a healthy guide dog?
A unique legislative bill in Colorado: Train police to avoid dog shootings.
Why does a dog sniff require a warrant?
Special service dog arrives at Wisconsin Hills.
Can a dog really help a child with autism?
Death row dogs get second chance.
Dog saves pregnant woman and her baby.
With a name like Rocky, he's gotta be a hero.
15 ways getting a dog can help your family.
Dogs: Man's best fitness friends.
You named me Brutus? Really?
Louisville's Kevin Ware has a dog.
THAT'S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.
HERE'S OUR DOG PHOTO OF THE WEEK:
Take a look!
Thanks for stopping by. Please tell a fellow dog lover about us. Why not e-mail them this blog.
We close as we always do with our closing video.
And one more…
See ya, BARK, next week!