It’s no secret that this column is a big fan of fashion designer John Bartlett for many reasons, chiefly his advocacyon behalf ofshelter dogs in New York City and all over the country. (He’s also sexy and brilliant and kind and funny and – dang it – gay!)
John recently unveiled his newly revampedweb site, and on it is a link to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund. Since few express passion for animal rescue as eloquently as John Bartlett, I’ll justlet his words do the talking here:
“When Tiny Tim entered my life he brought so much appreciation and love with him and taught me a great deal for the eight years that we shared together,” John says. “When he passed away,I wanted to honor him by creating the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, which will raise money to help those animals who do not have a home and need to be rescued from high risk city shelters.”
Tiny Tim’ssweet spiritlives on in the stylin’ T shirts and hoodies – for men, women, and kids – that bear his handsome tripod likeness. Ten percent of profits from sales of these glam garments are donated to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, which also gratefully accepts donations of money.
As John recalls, “Tiny Tim, my beloved rescue dog and best friend, was named after the inspiring Charles Dickens character [in A Christmas Carol] after he lost his leg on Christmas Eve in the winter of 2002. Tim had been hit by a car and was pulled from a high-risk shelter. He was then brought to North Shore Animal League America, where his leg was amputated and where he was subsequently rehabilitated.
“Four months later, on my 40th birthday, I went to visit the NSAL to look for a rescue dog. Initially, I went looking for a smaller dog that could travel with me. When I went to the shelter, I saw Tim sitting calmly in his cage while the adjacent dogs were barking trying to get my attention When I first laid eyes on him, it was love at first hairy sight. Tiny Tim and I went on to spend 8 glorious years together. He quickly became my muse and eventually the official logo of my company. His three-legged silhouette has become synonymous with dog rescue and animal welfare.
“Sadly, after eight amazing years together, Tiny Tim was diagnosed with lymphoma in the fall of 2010. Three months later, he was put to rest with his family surrounding him. The day that Tim passed was a bleak and rainy day. Shortly after his passing that afternoon, the skies cleared and a rare, beautiful rainbow appeared over New York City. I know that Tim is up in doggie heaven looking over me and looking out for rescue dogs everywhere.
“Throughout his time on Earth, Tim left an indelible mark on his loving human and canine families, as well as anyone he came in contact with. Tim meant a lot of different things to different people. To me, he meant complete, unconditional love. Hearing the thump of his tail near me when I least expected it always reminded me of this fact. To the humans who knew him, he was a handsome, playful, gentle soul. To his canine siblings and fellow dog park attendees, he was the boss and definitely the alpha but was always a compassionate leader. To the animal rescue world, he has come to symbolize the importance and necessity of continuing the important work of rescue workers worldwide. To preserve and honor his legacy, I have decided to create the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund.
“The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund is dedicated to raising and distributing funds to independent rescue groups who are pulling directly from the high-risk shelters and saving the lives of countless dogs. The money raised by the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund goes to providing these dogs with medical attention, foster parents and, eventually, a loving forever home – a place all pets deserve.
“The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund is kindly sponsored on a corporate level by the Bon-Ton Stores where I design two menswear lines: ‘John Bartlett Consensus and ‘John Bartlett Statements.’ Together with the Bon-Ton Stores, I am also launching a line for pets entitled ‘John Bartlett Pet.’
“Each year, Bon-Ton has agreed to donate $25,000 to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund in a declaration of their support for shelter pets everywhere and the ultimate goal of finding them all loving homes and families. Additionally, 10% of all profits from your purchases on this website will be donated to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund.
“When you wear your Tiny Tim clothing, you are saying to your community and to the world at large, quite simply and quite powerfully, that animals, just like humans, have inalienable rights: rights that allow them to life, to happiness and to unconditional love. Together, we can and we will make a difference.
“I cannot tell you how much your support to the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund means to me and to all of the pets that will inevitably benefit from the monies generated by your kind generosity,” John concludes.
Please, Dogsters, help spread the word about this beautiful project – and remember that Tiny Tim Ts make wonderful gifts for any occasion! Get’em for everyone on your list!