Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
When country music duo Jimmy Wayne and his rescue dog Ruby Amarillo are not cat, errrr dog, napping, they are creating beautiful music to promote awareness to the plight of foster children.
Foster Children Find A Ruby
What does one do following a year of touring with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and performing at Madison Square Garden? Country music singer and songwriter Jimmy Wayne, boasting seven Top 40 country music singles, knew that the answer was to follow his passion of advocating for foster children, having once been in their shoes. Jimmy was one of the lucky few to be adopted into a loving family and encouraged to graduate from college before pursing his musical career.
There are 463,000 foster children in the U.S., many of whom do not end up in loving families like Jimmy did. But he knows that every year, 30,000 18-year-old foster teens are "aged out" of (released from) the system into a life of extreme poverty. Fifty percent of these young people end up permanently homeless, and fifty percent of the females become pregnant within the first year. Thirty percent of the entire group struggles to survive in a world they are unprepared for before ending up incarcerated. "Where to start?" Jimmy thought.
Jimmy Wayne understands that "all journeys begin with one step" and that we can each be "part of the solution", so on January 1, 2010, he stepped out of his warm, luxurious Nashville home into the cold air to raise money and awareness to the plight of these forgotten children. Jimmy had been "talking the talk" all along, but he decided to add "walking the walk" in order to be part of the solution. Thus began a 1700-mile charity walk from Nashville, Tennessee to Phoenix, Arizona. His fame is the key that opens doors to educating others about the needs of foster children. During his walk, "Project Meet Me Halfway" received 100% of the funds he raised. Jimmy Wayne's youthful promise of "When I make it - I won't forget where I came from" was being realized.
While walking through Amarillo, Texas, Jimmy found a Chihuahua puppy and named her "Ruby Amarillo". The tiny pup kindled another idea on how to further help foster children. Jimmy recalled meeting three men from Cost Less Pet Treats while performing at a farm and garden event. Jimmy phoned them and together they began a "Made In the USA" dog treats company called Ruby's Pet Treats. Jimmy Wayne's two pet projects, "Project Meet Me Halfway" and the Michigan Humane Society of Genesee County (a no-kill shelter which operates solely on donations), are the benefactors of the pet treats sales. "Project Meet Me Halfway" also benefits several nonprofit organizations that serve homeless youth. Jimmy emphasizes the need, saying, "I want to help kids who don't have socks! There are many, many desperate children who need our help."
Jimmy Wayne made good on his vow as a starving, homeless teenager to "never forget the hard times and where I came from," and his desire to alleviate the suffering of others, paws-ible. He is accomplishing his goal of helping foster children and their pets. He also raised his beautiful singing voice to educate government officials on the need to create/modify legislation to benefit these children.
And Ruby? "Ruby is low maintenance but I keep a lint roller nearby at all times," laughs Jimmy Wayne. "She is not bothered by the Pup-arazzi that follow us. In fact, as soon as she realizes someone is taking her photograph....she patiently poses. Such a diva!
I confess, it is my fault that Ruby is spoiled. When I found her she was so small that I'd pick her up and place her on my pillow at night which evolved into me picking her up and carrying her downstairs every morning for her turkey breakfast. Now it has gotten to the point where I HAVE to pick her up and carry her upstairs at bedtime.
I should have known better! Ruby isn't my first pet, just the smallest. I used to have a miniature collie named Laffy. He always looked like he was smiling and laughing so it made perfect sense to name him after the TV Collie Lassie. You can follow my 'spoiled' Ruby on her @RubyAmarillo Twitter account."
Jimmy is in the process of writing a script for his book "Paper Angels" and filming it in 2014. While he writes the script and is working on new songs, Ruby assists him by maintaining a calm presence at his side. (Actually, she is waiting for her next treat!)
Listen to Jimmy Wayne's radio interview on New York's legendary WABC. His interview begins 35 minutes into Laura Smith's August 3rd Saturday Cafe broadcast. (Angel Scribe is also interviewed 15 minutes into this show.)
Videos/photos of the walk/projects: www.JimmyWayne.com
"Within our society, sixty-two percent of people own a pet, with eighty-three percent ofthose people referring to themselves as 'mommy and daddy,'" writes Coleen Ellis, author of "Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love andGrief". "These are the people who truly look at their pets as family members. More than likely they celebrate their pet's birthdays, buy themChristmas gifts, do all of the things that they would do for any human family member."
Adopt a gem like Ruby!
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