Dana and her sister, Regan, own the Elegant Pauper gift shop downtown, which on Friday night was turned over to Montgomery, their parents' 2-year-old Afghan, who sat and slept regally on the couch while Dana and Regan ran a benefit to raise funds for Afghan hounds.
Montgomery -- he answers to "Mo-Mo" -- is a rescued Afghan. Dana discovered him 18 months ago on one of the breed's rescue websites, soon after Elliot, one of the family's two Afghans had died. "There were 30 families willing to adopt him, but I wrote a very compelling letter," Dana says, and so they were given 48 hours to come to Arkansas and claim him. Which they did, by hurriedly flying down and then renting a car to bring him home. He is the family's sixth Afghan -- and a welcome companion to 8-year-old Remington, another Afghan. ("Remington just missed Elliot so much; the second we brought Montgomery home he was so happy, his tail started wagging and it couldn't have worked out better.")
Those of us who have fallen in love with one dog breed or another can understand this attraction, even for a breed that can reach 80 pounds and likes to hog the couch, the whole couch.
But this isn't a story about Montgomery. Rather it's about 67 Afghans hounds rescued two weeks ago from their New Mexico breeder, who got sick and ran out of money. (There were also 25 exotic birds, but that's another story.) Dana and Regan wanted to raise funds to help Afghan Rescue New Mexico, which is bringing the dogs back to good health, and then hoping to find them good homes around the country.
So the girls turned Elegant Pauper over to the dogs on Friday night: There was Mo-Mo's Lemonade Stand inside the shop, with all proceeds going to help the dogs. And for a $5 donation, shoppers could receive a 15% discount on all purchases made in the shop this weekend. Dana and Regan will also share some of the funds raised with HOPE Safehouse, which finds homes for abandoned pets in Racine.
The benefit at Elegant Pauper will continue Saturday.
The Santa Fe New Mexican's story about the rescued Afghans is HERE. More on the effort to raise funds and find homes for the dogs is on the website of the Afghan Hound Club of America, which has posted pictures and web pages for many of the dogs.