Monday, October 15, 2012

Looking forward to IMPACT: Josie, Co-founder of Chicago Party Animals (CPA)

Interview by Julie Curtis

I’ll just start with, “Josie’s really cool!” As I walked into the CPA space, it struck me how the place is so  pointedly designed to welcome the humans and animals that come to socialize here. Co-owner, Tim, credits Josie with the CPA vision.

And there she was, completing the presentation: turning chair seats into the space as if to say, “Come in, sit here!” That’s when Mr. Big “pugged” his way over to me.

“Hi, Josie! I’m Julie Curtis from IMPACT Chicago.”
“Hi, Julie! We’re just getting ready for Waggin’ Wednesday; the food trucks, people,
and dogs will all be flooding in after 6pm.”
“Yes, I’m really excited to support The Puppy Mill Project this evening!”

Josie and Mr. Big

“So, how are you feeling about taking IMPACT?”
When I was a kid, I was in karate. I was raised in Gary, and I used to get jumped a lot but my mom put me in Tae Kwon Do [which I ] probably [did] about 6 years, and then I just got away from it, and then I was taking Krav Maga a couple of years, then I was at POW for a little while. I wasn’t consistent with it because I didn’t have a set schedule. Then I saw the [IMPACT] video and I said, you know, let me get back into it
and see what happens. I liked the enthusiasm on the video.

“What are you looking forward to most about taking IMPACT?”
I like the camaraderie. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m on a mission to loose 30lbs so I want to get more active [and] actually for protection purposes even more importantly. I mean it’s amazing how much stuff is happening here in Chicago. [Y]ou know it’s always been bad, but now we’ve really become numb to every day violence, it’s like if there’s not a shooting in a day it’s like something’s wrong. It’s every place. And I’m out with my dogs a lot.

I have my dogs for protection. And I have my girl, Diva, she’s my Rottweiler, and we’re about to adopt a pit bull and of course there’s Mr. Big. (he’s now contently sleeping on the couch next to her). No one ever messes with us if I’m out with Diva, of course she’s pretty big at a 100lbs. They see her and cross the street. But if I’m alone…

I really don’t want to put my dogs in a position where they’d have to do anything. You know, knowing how things get turned around… like the way people feel about pits and rotts, our dogs would get put down even though they are just protecting us.”

Thus, organizations like “Don’t Bully My Breed” and several others are needed to educate people and advocate against cruelty to these breeds.

Any questions for me?
“I saw also that there’s advanced classes, I’d definitely be interested in that.”

Sure, once you’ve done the Core, you’re eligible to take the Advanced Course. There’s one in December, so after the November Core here at CPA, you’d definitely be eligible.

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