Internationally Renowned Canine Philanthropist Ecco D’Oro Dies

World famous Canine Philanthropist GCH Sweetbriars Ecco DOro JH “Ecco” died on October 24, 2020 after a short battle with an aggressive cancer.
Ecco ready for the opera

Canine Philanthropist Ecco D’Oro

Ecco pictured with his stuffed prototypes

Ecco D’Oro with Eccolinis

Ecco receives a thank you from a child in Colorado.

Letter to Ecco from a child

World famous Canine Philanthropist GCH Sweetbriars Ecco DOro JH “Ecco” died on October 24, 2020 after a short battle with an aggressive cancer.

When you care…and share…life can take you ANYWHERE!”

— Ecco D’Oro

SMITHFIELD, VA, USA, October 25, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Ecco, a Spinoni Italiano, was best known as the “naughty dog with the big heart” after he reached social media fame from his not-so-stellar but laughable antics.

What started as a simple Facebook page turned into a journey that can only be described as mind boggling.

“When I posted pictures of Ecco, more times than not, he was in some kind of trouble”, recalls his owner, Amy Havens. “Instantly, he became a global internet sensation. Ecco’s personality was so human that I began to write through his eyes. I would post inspirational Italian lessons daily from Ecco’s perspective and a poem weekly coined Sunday Prayers, which morphed into a new page dedicated to prayer requests due to the demand. I had to get him his own P.O. Box because he was receiving fan mail!

‘I realized that many children were watching Ecco’s naughty behavior so I decided to turn his negatives into positives. It’s impossible to be well behaved all of the time. However, the lessons you learn when you make mistakes are what really matters.

‘Ecco was known for stealing and destroying underwear, so I created the international “Underwear Everywhere Drive.” People would send socks and packages of new underwear from all over the world. Ecco and I would then travel down to the Union Mission in Norfolk, VA, and make our annual donation on behalf of his “pack”.

‘As Ecco’s popularity grew, unexpected things began to happen. Children wrote letters to Ecco. One in particular made an impact that will stick with me for the rest of my life. A little boy disclosed how he was being bullied and contemplating suicide. This child confided in a dog, not a human. This would not be the first child who messaged Ecco in despair and at that moment, I knew our true purpose.

‘This was the catalyst that inspired the birth of Nawty Dawg Big Heart, a non- profit organization to help others in need. Soon thereafter, Ecco became the larger-than-life Spokes Dog, barking our mission, “If you care…and share…life can take you anywhere.”

‘Prayer requests and cries for help flooded in as a result. We raised money for vet bills, transports and pretty much anything you could think of having to do with animals. We organized 911 “Bark Outs” to save animals from the euthanasia lists. Ecco’s social media pack was strong and philanthropic. Thousands of dollars were raised to help animals in need.

‘I don’t think we would have received a quarter of the response had it not been for Ecco. People really felt like they were talking to a dog, not a human. It was the most bizarre dynamic that I have ever encountered.

Irene Binggeli, now retired from Palisade Elementary School in Colorado, recounts the impact that Ecco had on her students. “Sharing is Caring!” “This could be heard in the halls of Taylor Elementary School. It was also the title of a lesson I taught students in the library with the help of Ecco. He taught kids about the importance of looking past their own life and to help others wherever possible. Ecco inspired our students to do good deeds in their community and to be more compassionate around their peers. These lessons completely changed the way the students felt about their families, friends, town and indeed the world. Just a month ago a former student, now a high school senior, shared with me that he still has the thank you note that Ecco wrote to him after a fundraiser we did for our local animal shelter. “Oh, it’s just a dog!” Hundreds of kids and young adults in Colorado would disagree with that statement.”

Ecco brought joy to children and their families at Ronald McDonald House and to little ones during the Christmas season when he donned his Santa Paws outfit and visited pre-school classes. There were so many appearance requests that a stuffed prototype was created. “Eccolinis” were sold all over the world with a portion of each sale donated to a random charity.

“Eccolinis were spotted on every continent excluding Antarctica”, Havens stated. “It was surreal. Those stuffed pups helped children through surgeries, made it into delivery rooms, and even found love during biker week in Sturgis!”

Celebrities started noticing the impact that Ecco’s messages had on children and it wasn’t long before Metropolitan Opera Diva Janet Hopkins contacted Amy to arrange a performance together at the famed Westminster Dog Show in New York.

“The one thing that was more important to us than anything else was education”, said Amy. A long-time advocate for animal rights, Janet teamed up with Ecco to raise awareness about animal rescue. Janet and Ecco met in the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania, where Miss Hopkins serenaded Ecco with a favorite personalized Italian aria, “O Mio Babbino Cane”.

Janet and Amy went on to co-write a children’s libretto named, “Ecco Goes to the Opera”, complete with an interactive coloring book, in hopes of bringing more children into the arts through animals and music. When Janet heard of Ecco’s passing, she replied with this statement, “I will forever remember my sweet Ecco. Our duets will echo across the rainbow bridge till we meet again. You were deeply loved.”

Prior to retirement, Ecco was the “Canine Travel Correspondent” for the exclusive Everyday Opera Magazine and the celebrity magazine, Concierge Q. “That crazy dog had restaurants completely shut down to throw charity wine tastings for him and his fans. It was surreal.”, stated Havens. “Restaurants craved the opportunity to invite a famous philanthropist dog in to review their businesses!”

Throughout his career, Ecco was an accomplished show dog, an avid bird dog, a magazine cover dog and the subject of many articles, books and documentaries. He lived up to the meaning of his name, Ecco D’Oro, “Here is gold”.

“Ecco was a ‘once in a lifetime’ dog but most of all, he was our beloved family member. Fly high our naughty boy with the biggest heart. You made a difference.”

Amy H. Selleck

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October 25, 2020, 09:15 GMT
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Listen: Surfing hall-of-farmer Barton Lynch talks anarchy, butterfly collecting and the brutality of the …

One in a million… Today’s guest is the former world champion surfer Barton Lynch famous, now, for his oratorical gymkhanas on WSL broadcasts and …

This avenging angel function of the White shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the Orangutan.

Misanthropy is as old as the hills, from the moment we crawled out of the sludge hatred of our brothers and sisters has been a constant companion.

We all love a little revenge fantasy, from Cain and Abel to De Niro’s Trav Bickle who famously wished for a cleansing rain to rid the streets of “human scum and filth” revenge fantasies have offered succour to our sense of fragile aggrievement.

We all pine somewhere in our heart of hearts for an avenging angel to restore justice, no matter how misplaced that sense of justice might be.

Read any below the line commentary on a White shark attack story, no matter the source and it becomes perfectly clear that the White shark has become the post-modern avenging angel du jour.

“Cull fucking humans”

“Humans are a cancer on the Earth that needs eradication” etc etc – is the gist of it.

The latest attack is usually less than a day old before those comments are delivered with a misanthropic glee. This avenging angel function of the white shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the orangutan. In this world view the white shark is a way of being, a cypher, a means of understanding and taking revenge on a human created world gone mad.

Judge, jury and righteous executioner.

Despite the misanthropic undertone post-attack the focus of shark public relations is on rehabilitation of the image of White shark as violent offender. Jaws author Peter Benchley, as reaction to the fear unleashed by his creation, led the PR effort, declaring after the 2001 fatal White shark attack on Ken Crews: “I can say absolutely that the shark was not acting with malice towards the man; not with intent to do bodily harm…”

This omniscience into the mind of the shark is a curious feature of most shark writing, even those of a scientific bent.

The leading shark conservationist gals like Ocean Ramsey in Hawaii and Madison Stewart in Australia are expert in this linguistic trick, casually maintaining the White shark is cautious and curious and any bite is just an unfortunate mistake.

I don’t begrudge these gals their living as white shark experts, they are, as Beck sang on Mellow Gold, “goddesses milking the time for all that it’s worth”.

And if they can make a hundred fifty US dollars for a download on how to avoid shark attack, then that counts as an honest living in my books.

Intense contradictory feelings cloud my judgement on this issue. I’m down with the White shark as avenging angel, but I wish the target was soccer mums and not my pals.

Terrible thoughts, I know.

My bairn wanted a go out at the Point this week. There’s no-one down the inside section. The White shark has created space which I am happy to inhabit. Four wheeling, fizzing constellations of bait balls getting hit by meso-predators erupt in spray showers within a hundred metres.

The feeding frenzies slip in and out of the sand bank. In the near distance I can see half a dozen late migrating humpbacks, the sound of over-sized pectoral fins slapping the water arrives a half second after the vision. Situation normal for around here.

If you avoided surfing when bait or whale were visible you’d never paddle out.

My boyo gets the wave of his life.

Another one.

Looking back I am blinded by the glare. I hear screaming.

I can hear “Dad! Dad!”.

Blood turns to ice as I sprint paddle towards the screaming.

It’s a fin chop. He wants another one.

I see a pal who was in the water when Mani was fatally attacked. Another, also present, was absent. He suffers post-traumatic stress. They worked on Mani for an hour before the paramedics arrived. It came first for one leg, then hit him again on the other. Had to be prised away from the teenager.

My pal cannot come to terms with it. The bite and spit, the “cautious” animal who had made a mistake and bore no malice; that means nothing to him now. All he remembers are the eyes of the boy. They were open, but lifeless, like the eyes of a fish pulled out of an icebox.

I can’t deny the frisson of death, the senses working overtime is a panacea, a cleansing rain, to what Rimbaud called the “horror of home”.

I’ll take this flight of fancy; this danger serrated with an Abrahamic edge over the vortex of tech addiction any day.

We paddle out because that’s what we do.

Amor Fati. Love of fate propels us onwards.

World tour’s legendary number cruncher Al Hunt is selling every single surfing magazine ever …

In the high time of surf mags I was receiving over 70 per month so no time to look at them. These days not so many in production and only two titles are …

This avenging angel function of the White shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the Orangutan.

Misanthropy is as old as the hills, from the moment we crawled out of the sludge hatred of our brothers and sisters has been a constant companion.

We all love a little revenge fantasy, from Cain and Abel to De Niro’s Trav Bickle who famously wished for a cleansing rain to rid the streets of “human scum and filth” revenge fantasies have offered succour to our sense of fragile aggrievement.

We all pine somewhere in our heart of hearts for an avenging angel to restore justice, no matter how misplaced that sense of justice might be.

Read any below the line commentary on a White shark attack story, no matter the source and it becomes perfectly clear that the White shark has become the post-modern avenging angel du jour.

“Cull fucking humans”

“Humans are a cancer on the Earth that needs eradication” etc etc – is the gist of it.

The latest attack is usually less than a day old before those comments are delivered with a misanthropic glee. This avenging angel function of the white shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the orangutan. In this world view the white shark is a way of being, a cypher, a means of understanding and taking revenge on a human created world gone mad.

Judge, jury and righteous executioner.

Despite the misanthropic undertone post-attack the focus of shark public relations is on rehabilitation of the image of White shark as violent offender. Jaws author Peter Benchley, as reaction to the fear unleashed by his creation, led the PR effort, declaring after the 2001 fatal White shark attack on Ken Crews: “I can say absolutely that the shark was not acting with malice towards the man; not with intent to do bodily harm…”

This omniscience into the mind of the shark is a curious feature of most shark writing, even those of a scientific bent.

The leading shark conservationist gals like Ocean Ramsey in Hawaii and Madison Stewart in Australia are expert in this linguistic trick, casually maintaining the White shark is cautious and curious and any bite is just an unfortunate mistake.

I don’t begrudge these gals their living as white shark experts, they are, as Beck sang on Mellow Gold, “goddesses milking the time for all that it’s worth”.

And if they can make a hundred fifty US dollars for a download on how to avoid shark attack, then that counts as an honest living in my books.

Intense contradictory feelings cloud my judgement on this issue. I’m down with the White shark as avenging angel, but I wish the target was soccer mums and not my pals.

Terrible thoughts, I know.

My bairn wanted a go out at the Point this week. There’s no-one down the inside section. The White shark has created space which I am happy to inhabit. Four wheeling, fizzing constellations of bait balls getting hit by meso-predators erupt in spray showers within a hundred metres.

The feeding frenzies slip in and out of the sand bank. In the near distance I can see half a dozen late migrating humpbacks, the sound of over-sized pectoral fins slapping the water arrives a half second after the vision. Situation normal for around here.

If you avoided surfing when bait or whale were visible you’d never paddle out.

My boyo gets the wave of his life.

Another one.

Looking back I am blinded by the glare. I hear screaming.

I can hear “Dad! Dad!”.

Blood turns to ice as I sprint paddle towards the screaming.

It’s a fin chop. He wants another one.

I see a pal who was in the water when Mani was fatally attacked. Another, also present, was absent. He suffers post-traumatic stress. They worked on Mani for an hour before the paramedics arrived. It came first for one leg, then hit him again on the other. Had to be prised away from the teenager.

My pal cannot come to terms with it. The bite and spit, the “cautious” animal who had made a mistake and bore no malice; that means nothing to him now. All he remembers are the eyes of the boy. They were open, but lifeless, like the eyes of a fish pulled out of an icebox.

I can’t deny the frisson of death, the senses working overtime is a panacea, a cleansing rain, to what Rimbaud called the “horror of home”.

I’ll take this flight of fancy; this danger serrated with an Abrahamic edge over the vortex of tech addiction any day.

We paddle out because that’s what we do.

Amor Fati. Love of fate propels us onwards.

Original Silver Surfer Actor Doug Jones Would ‘Jump at the Chance’ to Return in the MCU

Jones previously played the character in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which was not a hit with critics or fans. However, Marvel Comics …

Doug Jones would “jump at the chance” to star in a Silver Surfer movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jones previously played the character in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which was not a hit with critics or fans. However, Marvel Comics fans were beyond excited to see Norrin Radd on the big screen and were hoping that his spin-off movie was going to happen in the near future. J. Michael Straczynski was hired by Fox in 2007 to script the spin-off, but it never came into fruition.

In 2018, Fox decided to bring Brian K. Vaughan to develop the Silver Surfer movie, though it would later be gobbled up by Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Now, Marvel Studios has all of the previously owned Fox properties under their umbrella, which includes the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters. In a new interview, Doug Jones was asked whether or not he’d reprise the role of Norrin Radd. He had this to say.

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“If they were going to bring the Silver Surfer back to film, [if] it was offered to me, I would jump at the chance. I loved playing him. He was so heroic and angelic and Christ-like even. He’s the kind of superhero that I want to be in my real life. And beautiful. He had the best ass I’ve ever had on film. So if I could play him again, I would jump at the chance, sure.”

Doug Jones portrayed Norrin Radd in the Fantastic Four sequel, but his voice was provided by Laurence Fishburne. As of now, it’s not clear what Marvel Studios plans to do with the Fox properties that they recently acquired. The overall goal is to incorporate them, though only Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige knows how that will work out.

Ant-Man writer Adam McKay has said that a Silver Surfer movie is at the top of his list to make. “That’s the one I want to do. I would do anything to do Silver Surfer,” he said back in 2018. “Visually… You could do what the Wachowskis did with Speed Racer, with the Silver Surfer. At the same time, there’s a great emotional story in there, where a guy has to make the choice to save his planet.” A lot of comic book fans agree with McKay and hope that Kevin Feige has a solid plan to bring Norrin Radd back to the big screen.

As for incorporating X-Men characters into the MCU, it appears that Marvel Studios could be doing it in a subtle way. The Wakanda Files book was released earlier this week and it holds a ton of MCU info inside of it, including the insinuation that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch may have been mutants this whole time. It certainly looks like there is some retconning going on to bring the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters to the MCU. The interview with Doug Jones was originally conducted by Comic Book.

Topics: Silver Surfer

Kevin Burwick at MoviewebKevin Burwick at Movieweb

Kevin Burwick

New Winslow Town Manager Erica Lacroix dives into citizen, voting issues

New Winslow Town Manager Erica Lacroix dives into citizen, voting issues. Winslow’s new town manager, a native of Mount Vernon, reflects on her …

Erica LaCroix, the new town manager for Winslow, sits in her office Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW — As Winslow’s new town manager, Erica LaCroix is always listening. On her first day on the job last week, an upset citizen requested a meeting about a delicate situation.

In a busy schedule filled with a crash course in Winslow’s history, filing paperwork and getting to know the residents as well as the ins and outs of her new position, LaCroix took time for an person’s issue. That, she said, is what her job is truly about.

“Being able to spend time talking to that individual, working through his issue, just taking the time to listen to them,” LaCroix said, “that was kinda my very first day being thrown into the fire moment.”

A Mount Vernon native, the 49-year-old LaCroix took over for Mike Heavener, who retired this summer after 14 years on the job. After a negative coronavirus test, LaCroix started Oct. 15 and reflected on her experiences on the job in an interview Friday morning.

“Of course, it’s been a whirlwind,” LaCroix said. “There’s a lot of activity going on, and I think things have gone well under the interim leadership, but there is still a lot to learn.”

Winslow Public Works Director Paul Fongemie served as the interim town manager and helped with the selection process in which LaCroix emerged from a pool of 30 candidates. LaCroix is Winslow’s first female town manager.

Erica LaCroix, the new town manager for Winslow, sits in her office Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

After graduating from Maranacook Community High School in Readfield, LaCroix completed undergraduate studies at Michigan State University. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in animal science, she got a master’s of public administration from Norwich University.

LaCroix recently returned to Maine after living in Woodstock, Georgia. She moved to Winslow with her 15-year-old son, Dylan, and 12-year-old daughter, Elisabeth. They also have two cats, two dogs and a fish. “The van was full,” LaCroix said.

The family arrived Oct. 9 and the children are currently attending online school through the state of Georgia, but will soon enroll in Winslow Public Schools.

LaCroix has spent the majority of her time meeting with individual department heads and spending time talking to the Winslow Town Council and town attorney William Lee. One of those department heads is new, the police chief. Former Newport Chief Leonard Macdaid started full-time Friday.

LaCroix has also fielded a bevy of phone calls about absentee voting and the Lee and Marie streets rezoning saga. A potential rezoning of a parcel of land off Lee and Marie streets from residential neighborhood to mixed-zone use was postponed last meeting, which LaCroix attended but was not working yet.

However, she’s met or spoken with members of the council, Lee, Code Enforcement Officer Adam Bradstreet and residents with a goal of narrowing down the issue.

“I wanted to get down to the primary concerns,” LaCroix said. “People tend to talk, and a lot of emotion comes out. You need to get down to what are the one or two really root concerns that you have so we can try and look at those.”

The final decision is in the hands of Winslow’s Town Council. There is a special council meeting slated for 7 p.m. Thursday. However, action will not be taken until the regularly scheduled Nov. 9 meeting, because the law states a contract rezoning must be 13 days in advance of the meeting. The most recent council meeting was Oct. 13.

LaCroix has worked as an administrator in maintenance and operations, with budgets and other public works tasks. LaCroix worked for 18 years as a manager and administrator with the City of Lansing, Michigan; as a business analyst for the Virginia Department of Transportation; the chief of administration for the Chesterfield, Virginia, County Sheriff’s Office and as a business office manager for Otis Wood Agency in Canton, Georgia. LaCroix also runs a blog called Tips for Recycling, which is about green living.

LaCroix said her experience working as an administrator in law enforcement has helped her transition to the town manager position. Many of her other positions dealt with budgets, so LaCroix feels well-equipped.

“Understanding you’re going to get a lot of concerns from citizens that you have to address. You have to address them respectfully and try to understand where they’re coming from, because that’s your job,” LaCroix said. “It doesn’t really matter if you don’t necessarily agree. You still have to take the time to listen to those concerns.”

“Those particular positions that I’ve held in the past have given me a lot more time to deal directly with the public on concerns,” LaCroix added.

The coronavirus pandemic and upcoming Nov. 3 election also require LaCroix’s involvement. Although Winslow Town Clerk and Registrar of Voters Lisa Gilliam and Human Resources/Finance Director Tanya Groce are running the majority of the election process, LaCroix doesn’t have a direct role in the election.

However, she’s championing voter safety, both with coronavirus safety and ballot safety. She is also coordinating between the police department and town office to ensure a smooth election.

“Social media has a lot of rumbling these days,” LaCroix said. “People are on edge, and we just want to make sure that everyone feels secure, that there’s not going to be any kind of voter intimidation and that boundaries are going to be maintained with how many feet candidates must stand away when people are polling, and observers.”

Once things settle down, LaCroix looks forward to understanding what makes the town of Winslow move and shake, and getting to know the citizens and businesses in the town.

“I’m really happy to be here,” LaCroix said. “I’m looking forward to getting out around in the town and get a feel for the culture.”


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