Joan Rivers was my godmother and I miss her more than ever right now. I know she would have been thrilled about my creation, the first ever New York Dog Film Festival, which will be held October 3rd at Symphony Space at Broadway and 95th Street.
Her love of dogs was so great that she probably would have offered to be the “opening act!” Halo, Purely for Pets is the premiere sponsor of the festival, along with VCA Hospitals, and theya re giving out wonderful gifts in the doggy swag bags at the Pooch Party.
It’s been a year since we lost Joan and it makes me sad anytime there is something I would have wanted to share with her, but especially the Film Festival. I know it is going to be an amazing event – a celebration of the remarkable bond between dogs and their people, which Joan and her pack of two epitomized. She was the quintessential New York dog lover and this is a unique experience she really would have wanted to have.
I’m also throwing a gala premiere dogs-welcome cocktail “Pooch Party” on Friday October 2nd, the night before the festival at Ruby & Jack’s Doggy Shack on the Upper East side, not far from the opulent maisonette apartment Joan shared with her two beloved pooches, her rescued Havanese Samantha and Teegan, a Japanese Chin. I did speak to her of my dream of a Dog Film Festival and it was something Joan applauded.
Now that it is becoming a reality it really makes me sad she cannot be part of it. However, Joan will be there in spirit because Sam and Teegan will be making their social debut on the Green Carpet ‘Step and Repeat’ with their new Mom, who used to be their “Auntie Jocelyn.”
Joan’s longtime devoted Executive Assistant Jocelyn Pickett inherited the dogs in Joan’s will and takes them everywhere with her. They will be wearing iconic New York hoodies from Canine Styles, where they are groomed, and going home like all the guests with opulent doggy swag bags.
The little twosome will not be lonely because there will be a lot of canine guests and they already know another pair of pooches coming to the party. Joan’s assistant Graham Reed – who was by Joan’s side everywhere around the world – will be coming with his two little rescues – Beatrice from Waggytail Rescue in NYC, and Potatoes, from BARC in Brooklyn.
A further connection to the canine side of Joan’s life at the Film Festival is that her friend and personal house call veterinarian, Dr. Amy Attas of City Pet Vets (who obviously still looks after Teegan and Samantha) is the Veterinary Advisor to the Dog Film Festival and will be there greeting all the Founding Member ticket holders at the Pooch Party October 2nd from 6 to 8 PM.
They won’t even need tickets because Founding Members all receive “all-access dog tags” that will give them reserved VIP seating for both the 12 noon and 4 PM film programs on October 3rd with 40 different animated, narrative and documentary short films from around the world, “celebrating the remarkable bond between dogs and their people.”
There are a few Founding Member tickets remaining, and regular tickets are reserved and numbered, so the sooner you purchase them the better seat you can choose.
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.
She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.