Don’t Miss OK Go’s Brilliant Video With Dancing Dogs

Posted September 30th, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

You will be mesmerized, as I was, by the riveting choreography in OK Go’s latest video, featuring great music and dogs that dance, prance, jump, and jiggle up and down and around–balancing themselves on moving ledges, shelves, chairs, you name it, as the brilliant band goes through their moves.

It’s funny and fun, and once you start watching it, you can’t stop. Five million people agree, having seen this winner on YouTube.

And the best part about the video is that OK Go is using it as a platform to help needy animals.

“Most of the dogs in the White Knuckles video are rescues,” reads a statement on the band’s website. “They’re the lucky ones — they have loving families. Unfortunately, there are countless animals out there who do not.”

When fans download the video through OKGo.net, net proceeds from the download price (which starts at $2 for the standard-definition version and $5 for the high-definition version) will be donated to the ASPCA. Donations are earmarked for rural animal shelters, according to the band.

In the back of my new book, KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL, I list my favorite animal and dog-related charities, and the ASPCA is front and center.

So please support this organization and do it by having some fun–just download this dog-dance, dance with your own dog, and help the dogs of the world.

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A Night To Remember: Katie’s BIG Launch

Posted September 28th, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

Glenn, the legendary Calvin Klein, and Lucy

A few nights ago, after nearly a year of intricate planning, the launch party for KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL was an evening to remember, complete with canine-packed gift bags, strawberry-flavored “Kate-tinis,” cocker spaniel cupcakes, and giant dog bones filling the windows at Manhattan’s chic MacKenzie-Childs –which rolled out a red carpet and trumpets at their whimsical flagship store on West 57th, with its signature hand-painted china, glassware, and furniture.

With my new blonde-haired puppy Lucy making her canine entrance to the flash of photographers, it was an overflow crowd of more than 300, including the Queen of daytime TV, Judge Judy, bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Police Commission Ray Kelly, his wife, Veronica, and their son, Fox TV anchor, Greg Kelly

Veronica, Glenn, Lucy, and Police Commissioner Kelly On Red Carpet

Judge Judy Arrives!

The host of the evening was my great friend, the legendary CALVIN KLEIN, whom I’ve known for many years, having first interviewed him for a classic Playboy Interview years ago. A great dog lover with two chocolate Labs, Calvin, in association with the book’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, turned the evening into a tribute to The American Kennel Club’s Humane Fund & Responsible Dog Ownership Days.

One of my favorite friends Ivana Trump

Lucy, the prestigious American Kennel Club's President Dennis Sprung, Lisa Peterson

Indeed, I’m incredibly grateful to the American Kennel Club, which has done so much to honor my book about a remarkable dog who united a family. They wrote their own article all about the party!

At the party, we were delighted to have on hand AKC President Dennis Sprung and the organization’s superb Director of Communications, Lisa Peterson.

I’ll be reunited with them both on October 16th, the weekend of the AKC’s uniquely entertaining and informative MEET THE BREEDS event, held at the Jacob Javits Center, where signed copies of KATIE will be sold  by Borders.

As for the launch party, my publisher, Hachette’s Center Street imprint (led by my great editor Harry Helm [“KATIE’S” greatest champion], and its President, Rolf Zetterstein) and I will be eternally grateful to the entire staff of MacKenzie-Childs, most notably to the brilliantly-organized Jamie DeVault, Director of Retail and Trade Operations, who made the evening technically perfect in every way, together with the store’s magnetic and generous owner and CEO, Lee Feldman, who was so incredibly hospitable in opening up his store to us.

One culinary pleasure of the evening was the incredibly delicious and refreshing “Kate-tini,” which was generously  conceived and executed by Lake Placid Spirits, the nation’s top creator of a premium handcrafted, grain-based vodka. Each batch, I’m told by the owner, Ann S. O’leary, is created with care from natural ingredients and is distilled in copper column pot-stills. P3’s uniquely smooth flavor is owed to the crisp, clean water drawn directly from Lake Placid and their signature final filtration (or polishing) using garnet from the southern Adirondack Mountains.

Can you believe how happy my guests were to be drinking something this special? It wasn’t until the end of the evening that I tasted it–but the fresh strawberries used in it were sublime–and you have to run out and get this vodka and make up a batch of “Kate-tinis” for anyone over age 21!–the recipe listed below in the enclosed photo.

As pictures are worth much more than these words, I include some visual highlights of the evening, most every one of them starring my six-month-year-old trooper, Lucy, passed from legend to legend throughout the evening, filling the paws of her predecessor, the unforgettable Katie, my cocker spaniel that started it all. A thousand thank yous to everyone that made it possible.

Video From The Launch

More Photos

My Mom and Me and Lucy

Judge Stunning On The Red Carpet

Lucy Gives Judge Jerry a HUGE kiss

My agent Jan Miller Meeting Lucy For The First Time

Fox Anchor, NY Legend Ernie Anastos, seduced by Lucy (perhaps attempting a getaway!)

Super-Glamorous Jan Miller

PC Ray Kelly, his son, Fox Anchor, Greg, Veronica & Lucy

Jan, MacKenzie-Childs's Lee Feldman, Creative Director Rebecca Proctor

Barbara Taylor Bradford, Glenn, and Robert Bradford

My best friend Michael Gordon chatting with Calvin Klein

My Mom, Anita with dear friend Peg Wallis

Tennis Ball Sculpture & Everything Canine At The Party

Katie Gift Bags Lined Up The Day Before

Friends for 25 years

Rebecca, Calvin, Glenn, Lucy, and Lee

Interior Designer Michael Simon, Glenn, Lucy, close friend Geraldine McBride

The evening's elixir...."The Kate-Tini!"

CFO Darren Lisitenn, Gospel Great BeBe Winans, PR Exec Heidi Krupp and dog Isaac

Animal Fair Magazine's Wendy Diamond and mascot Lucky

Katie Cupcakes!

The Best Decoration Of All: Books

My beautiful sister Debby

The most important guest, my lovely Mom, Anita

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Mary Higgins Clark

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Posted September 14th, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

Although I’ve been interviewed  by TV and newspaper reporters about KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL, today I have the opportunity to talk directly with YOU about my book, so I hope you’ll call in and ask me any question that might occur to you.

Just click here for details:

I’m really excited about this chance to speak directly to you because, over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting the most heartwarming E mails and Facebook messages from dog lovers and a variety of people I’ve never met–who tell me that I the story of KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL  touched them, in fact, that I left them in tears.

Oh no! That wasn’t my intention.

It’s true that the story is a very emotional one–with many twists and turns, from Hollywood high times to the terrors of 9/11, and all about the magic that can happen when we open our doors, and hearts, to neighbors, creating a new kind of family that we never expected.

In KATIE,  there are high moments of the greatest happiness–and amusement, thanks to my perspicacious dog, Katie, the star of the book–who could type, use a remote control, rock a runway modeling doggie fashions, and charm a varietyof Hollywood personalities; while at the same time there are highly dramatic points in the book, events  forever changed my life.

I’ll tell you all about it today!

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NEW YORK POST TODAY! “Spaniel’s ‘hall’ of fame; Hound hung with high society in penthouses

Posted September 13th, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

When I opened the New York Post this morning, here’s what I found:

Katie the cocker spaniel, who inspired the memoir “Katie Up and Down the Hall,” was named after Katharine Hepburn, who she met on a visit to the star’s home.

FARRAH Fawcett fawned over her, Bette Midler was bewitched by her — and Leona Helmsley sent a limo to pick her up. Pretty impressive for a bowlegged little bow-wow!

But Katie, the furry subject of celebrity journalist Glenn Plaskin’s “Katie Up and Down the Hall” (Hachette), out this week, was a four-legged force of nature. Her sunny personality united three generations of Battery Park City neighbors — a motherless little boy and elderly couple among them — in the years up to and following 9/11.

Given that it’s a memoir about a dog, one might expect “Katie” to read as the New York version of “Marley & Me,” albeit one filled with celebrity cameos and a Page Six reference.

Katie the cocker spaniel, who inspired the memoir “Katie Up and Down the Hall,” was named after Katharine Hepburn, who she met on a visit to the star’s home.  But this cocker spaniel — though quick to snatch any chicken leg within reach — was no Marley. For one, she was smarter: Not only could she understand some 60 words or phrases, she knew how to rock a runway — Plaskin has the sequined doggie jumpsuits to prove it.

Though she obediently showed off little numbers from Joan Rivers’ line for dogs, Katie wasn’t averse to rolling over afterward and spreading her legs — causing the photographer, as Plaskin writes, to cry, “We’re not that kind of magazine!”

Decades before Leona found Trouble, her bitey little Maltese, Plaskin told the Queen of Mean about his beloved pooch while interviewing her for a story. Intrigued, she ordered her limo driver to fetch Katie posthaste and bring her to Connecticut.

“She’d make a nice coat,” Helmsley mused. Katie later escaped into the garden and watered her vegetables.

Oddly, the woman Katie was named for seemed unmoved by those liquid brown eyes. During a visit to Katharine Hepburn’s townhouse in 1991, Plaskin told the legend he named his dog for her. “Small compliments,” she scoffed. “A midget me.”

Undeterred, Plaskin continued to take Katie on interviews to Beverly Hills and beyond. To keep her out of a jet’s cargo hold — “I would not check her as a piece of luggage!” — he had a vet vouch for her as a hearing-aid dog.

The ruse worked, and the two were inseparable until eight years ago, when Katie, 15 and frail, finally succumbed.

Plaskin, 58, has since opened his home and heart to another cocker spaniel: 6-month-old ball of fire Lucy, who will join the author Thursday at 7 p.m. at the TriBeCa Barnes & Noble.

Katie the cocker spaniel, who inspired the memoir “Katie Up and Down the Hall,” was named after Katharine Hepburn,
who she met on a visit to the star’s home.

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