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 baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
“You don’t blog enough about dogs!”
Who said that?
My wife, Jennifer.
When did she say it?
What time is it?
Whenever I venture out of the house amongst the general public, I usually get hit with one of the following:
1) Hey, aren’t you…….
2) So, do you and Joel McNally actually get along?
3) How can you stand that Joel McNally?
4) Kathleen Dunn seems pretty nice
5) What’s Mark Belling like?
6) I tried to call your show but the lines were busy
I can now add a new line people toss my way with greater frequency these days:
“Did you get your wife a dog yet?”
People I’ve never met have, when talking to Jennifer, jokingly referred to me as her “dog-hating husband.” I happen to like dogs. Who doesn’t?
There are 72 million pet dogs in the United States, one for every four Americans.
Recognizing the tremendous popularity of the animal, and the fact that we talk about dogs more than any other topic in the Fischer household, today I launch a new weekly blog feature called, “The Barking Lot,” a title Jennifer came up with. Quite simply, each week The Barking Lot will be dedicated to anything and everything about dogs.
Assisting me in everything from all the fun research to actually writing this dog-blog will be my lovely wife. So let’s get to it.
SMOKY: CANINE HERO
By Jennifer Fischer
Kevin has written many blogs that almost make me sound OBSESSED with dogs. He’s not far from the truth.
Growing up, I always had a dog in my life. Actually, two dogs: Sugar and Skippy. Sugar was my Basenji Hound / Cocker Spaniel I got when I was two years old. She was my friend, my companion, my play mate, and my dress-up partner. Skippy (part English Springer Spaniel, part Who Knows What) came in to my life when I was in fourth grade. She was adopted for my ill grandpa, in the hopes it could occupy his days and fill him with joy. He was a true animal lover and she did, in fact, bring him smiles and laughter for a few short months before he passed away. Skippy was adopted from the Wisconsin Human Society, a little butter ball of black and white fur with a belly so round the vet initially thought she had worms. Turned out she just had a little extra puppy fat. Skippy was smarter than some people I know, and she could be a handful.
Like most children, I didn’t realize just how fortunate I was at the time. I had two wonderful, loyal pets that loved me for no other reason than I was there every day to feed them and pet them. They were loyal, loving, wonderful dogs who brought me more joy than I appreciated in my youth. Sure, I loved them. But I was busy being a kid: playing with friends, going to school, taking piano lessons, watching TV, etc. So yes, I played with them, took them for walks, and shared nibbles from the dinner table with them. But I didn’t realize just how much I would miss them until my adult years, in my own apartment that did not allow dogs.
Kevin has known many dogs in his life but has never realized the joy of actually owning a dog. So he does not quite share my at times overzealous love of all things canine. He looks at me a little strangely when I tell him my goal is to be able to name and recognize every breed in the American Kennel Club.
I have been after him for several months to write a regular feature about dogs. Until I get one of my own, living vicariously through stories of other owners is about the best I can do. Knowing the subject is so near and dear to my heart, and knowing that I too, love to write, the answer seemed obvious.
My contribution will follow some of the same themes you read consistently in Kevin’s blog… To offer one or more of the following: Humor, information, nostalgia, food for thought, or just plain fun. (There is little that is controversial about dog ownership, save for those who favor Pit Bulls.) My goal is to entertain, enlighten, and share positive stories about Man’s (and of COURSE woman’s!) Best Friend.
To alter a line from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, “You had me at woof.”
While watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past February, I learned about Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier who served her country during WWII. Her touching story of dedication and survival shows how dogs not only touch our hearts but impact our history.
---Jennifer Fischer (email@example.com)
Smoky in a blanket made for her by Red Cross volunteers in Brisbane, Australia
Jennifer is right that dogs are far more than friendly companions.
We sure hope you’ve enjoyed the debut of our new feature. Make sure to return next Saturday for another edition of The Barking Lot.