Little Brandon was not more than eight years old. He was a young man. Brandon was watching television when Sarah McLachlan’s plea to help animals was on television. Brandon did not know why but it made him cry in a way he had never cried before. Sarah McLachlan did not fully come out and say it but Brandon for the first time had a feeling as to what happened to animals that did not get adopted. He called his father who was at work after he finished crying.

“Yeah Honey, I’ll be home in a few hours, how are you doing?” said Mr. Stevens.

“No Dad, its me. I just had a question.” Said Brandon.

“Okay, what is it?” asked Mr. Stevens.

“I just saw something on television and I started crying and I don’t know why I did it but I called you when I know you are buys at work. I just wanted to know what happens when a puppy or kitten doesn’t find a home?” asked Brandon inquisitively.

“Brandon, that’s a big question. I can’t really talk about it now. I’ll talk to you about it when I get home.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“They get killed don’t they.” exclaimed Brandon.

“Brandon, like I said that’s a big question and I am going to make sure we talk about it when I get home.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“When are you going to come home today?” asked Brandon needing vital information.

“No, I have one more case today but after the case I’ll cancel this thing I have and I’ll come home and talk to you about it. It really is a big question so I wouldn’t even want to talk to you about it over the phone. I have to go now but know for certain that when I get home we’ll have a long talk about what you asked me.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Alright Dad, but I know why this is such a big deal. I know. I know.” uttered Brandon.

“Just don’t make any assumptions until we have our talk.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“I just wanted to talk to you Dad.” Said Brandon.

“We’ll talk. I just have this really important work that I do that I need to get back to. I love you Brandon.” Said Mr. Stevens wishing he was at home, instead of torn at this moment in his life between work and home.

“I love you too, Dad.” Said Brandon describing how he felt at that moment.

Brandon’s Father Mr. Stevens hung up the phone. Brandon after his father broke the connection just looked at the phone that was in his hand and knew a big talk was coming up, maybe the biggest he ever had with his Dad. He knew what Dad was going to tell him. He knew that his Dad was going to tell him that something terrible happened to the animals that never found a home. Brandon did not know what happened to the animals yet but he knew it wasn’t good. Why would that woman on television be pleading with everyone that watches television to help those animals and why would she be so sad if nothing bad happened to those animals. Why did they need homes so badly if nothing bad happened to them, Brandon thought to himself.

Brandon went online and he went to Bing.com and he typed in “puppies” to the place where you type in words. Apparently you can buy a puppy. Brandon did not know you could buy a puppy. He became more sad at the thought that if some puppies could be bought then maybe some puppies do not get purchased and he just wanted to know what happened to the puppies no one bought.

Brandon then typed the word “kittens” into the place where you type words on Bing.com and he found that you can buy kittens too. Brandon was having thoughts that he never had in his young life before. He was beginning to ask his first big question. His first big question was what happens to puppies and kittens that no one ever bought or paid for and gave a home to. Brandon pulled out his notebook and started writing. He wanted to make certain he had his question for his Dad just right.

“Dad, what happens when puppies that do not get bought. I mean, when they do not find a home. Dad what happens when kittens do not get bought? When kittens do not find a home what happens? What happens to the animals no one wants? The woman on the T.V. was playing the saddest music and the animals looked so sad. It was the saddest TV I have ever seen dad. What happens to the puppies and kittens that no one wants?” wrote Brandon to himself, to his father, and to no one in particular.

Brandon’s small hand was tired from writing so fast. He had the first rush of confusing thoughts that he ever had. He just did not know what to think. He was thinking maybe there was a place for the animals that no one wanted. Maybe there was a place that the animals could go and play. Like a zoo for small animals. He had been to the zoo for big animals. Maybe there was a zoo for small animals. That had to be it. There had to be a zoo for small animals that he had just never been to yet. A zoo for the puppies and kittens that no one wanted. Maybe there was a zoo for puppies and kittens. 

Chapter Two

Brandon was outside shooting hoops in the driveway of his house when his Dad came home. When Brandon’s dad got out of the car. Brandon threw him the ball. Brandon’s Dad was surprised and dropped his briefcase and caught the ball. 

“Nice pass.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Let me see you shoot the ball.” Said Brandon.

“It’s a tough shot.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“I want to see if you can make it.” Said Brandon.

Brandon’s dad squared up and took the shot. It went right in after it bounced off the backboard.

Brandon ran over to his dad and high fived him. 

Brandon’s Dad went over and picked up the ball and passed it back to Brandon.

“Brandon, let’s see if you can make a shot from right where you are.” prompted Mr. Stevens.

Brandon squared up and put his arms to work and followed through the right way and made the shot.

Brandon’s Dad stood underneath the rim and picked up the ball again. 

“Lets shoot hoops while we talk. You called me at work today didn’t you?” consoled Mr. Stevens.

“Yeah I did. I shouldn’t have. I just saw something on TV.” Said Brandon.

“No. You asked me a hard question. “ fathered Mr. Stevens.

“Was it a bad question?” inquired Brandon.

“No. It wasn’t a bad question. You saw something on TV that made you feel sad. It made you think.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“I looked online and you can buy puppies and kittens?” said Brandon.

“Yes you can.” affirmed Mr. Stevens.

“How much do puppies and kittens cost?” said Brandon.

“Not much.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“So everyone can have a puppy or kitten if they want.” responded Brandon.

“That is true but not everyone wants a puppy or a kitten. They can be difficult to take care of.” In response stated Mr. Stevens.

“Is that why we do not have a pet?” said Brandon.

“Well, we just never talked about getting a pet. “ responded Mr. Stevens.

“I’ve always wanted one.” Said Brandon.

“I know.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Do you think I am old enough to take care of a puppy?” said Brandon.

“Yes.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Dad, what happens if no one adopts a puppy or kitten?” said Brandon asking the hard question he wanted an answer to.

“I think you are asking me what happens if a puppy or kitten never finds a home?” said Mr. Stevens.

“I think that is what I asked. I just want to know why the woman on television was so sad, what didn’t the woman on television say?” Said Brandon.

“She was sad because she knows what happens to the pets that never find a home.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“What happens?” said Brandon.

“Well most of the animals find homes.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“What happens to the ones that don’t?” said Brandon.

“Well, something sad happens.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“What?” said Brandon.

“Well the animals that never find a home get put to sleep.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Sleep.” Said Brandon.

“Yes. Sleep.” Said Mr. Stevens.

Brandon had taken a few shots by now and his Dad was extremely impressed with how many times he had made the shots. Brandon was good at putting the ball through the hoop from really anywhere.

“Dad, when they put an animal to sleep, does it hurt?” said Brandon.

“No.” said Mr. Stevens.

“Why was the woman on television so sad?” asked Brandon really wanting to know.

“Because putting animals to sleep is a very sad thing.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Then maybe more people should try and help the animals find homes.” In response, said Brandon.

“Absolutely. That is what the woman on television wanted you to know. She wanted you to know that you can help keep animals from being put to sleep if you give them a home.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Can we help animals?” said Brandon.

“We could talk about adopting one, I have to talk to your mother first though.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“I would take good care of it.” Said Brandon.

“I know you would.” Said Brandon.

Chapter Three

Brandon’s mother woke him up the next morning so that he could do his school studies.

“Brandon, make yourself some toast and have a bowl of cereal.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“It’s early mom.” Said Brandon.

“I know its early, its always early this time of the morning. It was this early when I woke you up yesterday and it’s going to be this early tomorrow.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Give me a minute. Ill see you in the kitchen in a few minutes.”said Brandon.

“Just don’t make it too many minutes.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

Brandon laid in bed for not too many minutes and got his mind together before he got out of bed and perked up a little bit as kids can do. 

“I earned 13,000 points last week at school, mom.” Said Brandon as he was walking into the kitchen.

“I earned a Master’s Degree.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Mooooom, you know I’m not as smart as you.” Said Brandon.

“It’s okay honey, one day you might be but you need at least four million points to say you are as smart as me.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Mom, do you think I’ll ever be ready for Udacity.” Said Brandon.

“ABSOLUTELY!” said Mrs. Stevens.

“I’m going to need a car one day so that I can turn it into a robot.” Said Brandon.

“Well, you need a lot more points before that happens, and a lot more days.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Did Dad talk to you about yesterday?” said Brandon.

“Yes he did and I don’t know.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Mom, we can save an animal from being put to sleep. We should listen to that woman on television. She knows a lot about animals.” Said Brandon.

“I know. I understand this but it takes a lot of work.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“I’m here all day when I am not at gym or at Mike’s house. All we would have to do is open the back door and let it run outside in the yard and then let it back in. I would be in charge of that. I’d be the door opener for the puppy and you and dad could get the food and I would be the person in the family that feeds the puppy. “ said Brandon.

“I’ll give it some thought. I sort of noticed that we made it through eight years without a pet. I was sort of hoping to make it through another ten.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Mom. Think about this. We can stop an animal from sleeping. We can entertain it.” Said Brandon.

“Did your father explain to you what being put to sleep means is?” said Mrs. Stevens.

“Sort of, it’s like when a bear hibernates or something.” Said Brandon.

“I don’t know if I should tell you or not.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Tell me what?” said Brandon.

“Let me make certain you know all of the facts Brandon. When you put an animal to sleep. It doesn’t wake up.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“You mean ever?” said Brandon.

“Basically.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“WHAT!?” said Brandon.

“Calm down.” Said Mrs. Stevens.


“I don’t know. A lot?” said Mrs. Stevens.


“Well, Brandon, you should know that sometimes the pet population isn’t in line with the people population.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“I don’t get it.” Said Brandon.

“When there are more we’ll say puppies and kittens that need homes than there are people to give them homes, when there are more animals than there are homes for animals, the animals that no one wants to take care of. Get put to sleep.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“No.” said Brandon.

“No. What?” responded Mrs. Stevens.

“That’s not right, that couldn’t be true.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“It’s why the woman on television was so sad because she knows the truth.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“I am going to create a web site that lets all of my friends know this.” Said Brandon.

“Now Brandon, what do you think that website is going to do?” said Mrs. Stevens.

“It’s going to let my friends know to adopt something. Something that’s going to be put to sleep.” Said Brandon.

“Brandon. There are a lot of facts in life and one of the facts in life that I just shared with you is sad. A lot of the facts in life are very sad. There are a lot of sad facts in life but maybe I can talk with your dad about getting you a pet because maybe it’s time you had something to take care of.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“How many can we adopt?” asked Brandon.

“We can talk about adopting one.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“If we adopt one, how many will be put to sleep that we don’t adopt?” asked Brandon.

“I don’t know.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

Brandon sat silent. He had made his toast and was eating his cereal. He was thinking about what he was going to do with his website now that he knew a new fact about life. 

Chapter Four

Brandon had finished his Khan Academy courses early that day. His mother was at work. 

Brandon called his friend Mike at around noon. 

“Mike.” Said Brandon.

“Brandon?” Said Mike.

“Yeah it’s me.” Said Brandon.

“Mike my mother told me something this morning.” Said Brandon.

“What?” said Mike.

“My mother told me that when an animal is put to sleep it doesn’t wake up.” Said Brandon.

“That’s not true.” Said Mike.

“My mother said it was a fact.” Said Brandon.

“Do you think my parents are going to put my dog to sleep?” said Mike.

“No because it has a home. She said only the animals that didn’t have homes were put to sleep.” Said Brandon.

“Well, then maybe we could build a website that helps animals find homes.” Said Mike.

“How is that going to help? We can’t build a website that has money on it.” Said Brandon.

“What if we set up a stand outside the playground where we sold lemonade to raise money.” Said Mike creatively thinking.

“Raised money for what?” said Brandon.

“We could raise money to pay for puppies and kittens to be adopted so that it made it easier for them to find homes.” Said Mike.

“Mike, our friends might want to help.” Said Brandon.

“Maybe.” Said Mike.

“Did you finish your Khan Academy classes?” said Brandon.

“Yeah I did.” Said Mike.

“How many points do you have?” said Brandon.

“I made 4500 points today.” Said Mike.

“I made about 3000 points today.” Said Brandon.

“You made more points than I did the other day.” Said Mike.

“I tried really hard.” Said Brandon.

“Brandon, we sold lemonade before.” Said Mike.

“What if we just did it again but this time gave the money to our friends to help them give animals homes, maybe our friends that don’t have pets could help us find animals homes.” Said Brandon.

“The playground is always busy.” Said Mike.

“How many puppies and kittens do you think need homes?” said Brandon.

“Dozens.” Said Mike.

“So we need enough money for them to find homes.” Said Brandon.

“I guess.” Said Mike.

Chapter Five

Brandon picks up his journal and starts writing. He has a mottled journal that his grandmother gave him for his birthday. The journal is the place where he keeps all of his notes for his Khan Academy homework and it’s also the place where he writes things. Brandon likes to write. He writes stories and poems and he writes ideas for websites that he thinks would be fun to make when he is better at making websites. He also draws pictures in his journal and when he fills a journal up his mother gets him a new journal. He needs about one journal for every class that he takes on Khan Academy and he fills them up quickly with his hand.

“I sold lemonade before. It wasn’t hard. If I can help something find a home that is what I want to do. How hard could it be to find a puppy a home? Why would anyone put an animal to sleep? Why wouldn’t the people that are putting the animal to sleep bring it home to give it a home? Who would do such a thing?” wrote Brandon.

When Brandon had finished writing, he went outside and got his basketball. He started making shots at the basket and he missed some shots and he made some other shots.

His neighbor Dorothy came over and she asked him to pass her the ball.

“Brandon, throw it here.” Said Dorothy.

“Catch!” Said Brandon.

Dorothy stood further back in the driveway than Brandon had and took a long shot. She made the shot. 

Brandon was surprised.

“That was a hard shot.” Said Brandon.

“Mike sent me a message.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah.” Said Brandon.

“He said the two of you were going to start another Lemonade stand but that this time you were going to use it to help pets find homes.” Said Dorothy.

“We just talked about it. Do you think we should do it?” said Brandon.

“Yes!” said Dorothy.

“Well would you want to help?” friended Brandon.

“I’m really good at drawing. I could make the sign.” Said Dorothy.

“Do you have lemons.” Said Brandon.

“I could get them. You have a cooler. I know Mike has a table.” Said Dorothy.

“That’s all we need isn’t it.” Said Brandon.

“We need something to put the money in too.” Said Dorothy.

“We could put it in a pencil box, I have one of those.” Said Brandon.

“We’ll bring that too.” Said Dorothy.

“My parents told me that they put animals to sleep that don’t find homes.” Said Brandon.

“I’ve known about that.” Said Dorothy.

“They never wake up.” Said Brandon.

“We have to do this. If we can help even one animal find a home, we can say we did something.” Said Dorothy.

“You know, the playground always has a lot of kids and parents.” Stated Brandon firmly.

“That’s where we’ll do it. The same place you and Mike sold Lemonade before. I’ll help this time.” Said Dorothy.

Chapter Six

Brandon, Mike, and Dorothy on a steaming hot summer day when school is out tell their parents that they are going to sell lemonade again. The three of them meet up Bising’s Playground with the table, the heavy large jug of homemade lemonade and of course the pencil box for the money they were hoping to make. There is a basketball court at Bising that the other kids are competing in basketball on. There is also a jungle gym that some other kids are having fun on. 

Brandon, Mike, and Dorothy the three of them know one thing. Their friends are going to be thirsty. So they set up their stand and start selling Lemonade for fifty cents a cup. Their friends start coming over slowly at first not noticing they had set up a stand but after word gets out that there’s cheap lemonade, since it’s so hot everyone comes over and waits in line to get some of the lemonade. 

One of the kids that is waiting in line reads the sign. The signs says that the money is going to stop animals from being put to sleep that can’t find homes.

“I don’t want the animals to be put to sleep either. There was a woman on television that made me so sad. I started crying.” Said the girl.

“I saw it too.” Said another. 

“Me too.” Said another.

“Here take all of my money, just let me get some lemonade when I am thirsty.” Said a fourth.

The kids started talking.

A parent came over.

“What are you kids doing?” said the parent.

Dorothy very astutely explained, “We are raising money to save animals from being put to sleep that can’t find homes.” 

“That’s very noble of you.” Said the parent.

“What does noble mean?” asked Mike.

“It’s means really good.” Said the parent.

“Do you think that maybe you could tell some of your adult friends about what we are doing?” said Brandon.

“I’ll send out a tweet right now.” Said the parent.

The parent sent the following tweet to her actually quite long list of followers that she had steadily became a reality over the time this parent had her Twitter account.

“Kids having a fundraiser at Bising Park to help find homes for pets. Make sure to come.” Was the tweet.

She went over and told the other parents and then they retweeted the tweet. This tweet made it’s way all through North College Hill, quite quickly.

Chapter Seven

A couple dozen parents and their children came out on this hot day in the summer to meet these kids that were raising funds for the animals that were in need of homes. How often are kids under the age of ten raising funds for something?

One of them was a reporter for the local Community Press, that was always interested in stories developing locally. She got the tweet and thought it was at least worth looking into as a special interest story.

“Would you three like to be interviewed for a story.” Said the Reporter that thought some young people , younger than ten were raising money on their own for a cause, was interesting.

“YES! YES WE WOULD!” said Brandon, Mike, and Dorothy.

“Alright, let me get out my note pad.” Said the Reporter from the Community Press.

“What are you doing for the record?” said the Reporter with very much officialness.

“We are selling lemonade to raise money to help people give animals homes so they don’t get put to sleep.” said Brandon.

“Puppies and Kittens should be able to find the homes they need to keep from being put to sleep.” said Mike.

“My family has a pet, we aren’t putting our pet to sleep, so we want the rest of the animals to be saved from being put to sleep too.” Said Dorothy.

“You know you can make a donation to the SPCA and they can lower the cost of adopting an animal or even several animals.” Said the reporter.

“That’s what we want to do.” Said the three children raising money.

“Mind if I take a photograph.” Said the Reporter.

“Would you?” Said the kids.

“Alright stand right here to the side of your lemonade stand and I’ll make sure all three of you are in the newspaper for being as noble as you are.” Said the reporter.

Brandon asked the reporter this.

“Why doesn’t the zoo take care of all of the animals?” asked Brandon.

“Well, the zoo is a place for exotic animals right now, it’s not a place for pets. That’s what the shelter is for. The shelter is like a zoo for pets that lets you take the pets home if you want to adopt the pet.” Said the Reporter.

“I know but they don’t put the animals to sleep at the zoo do they?” said Brandon.

“No, no they don’t.” said the Reporter.

Mike then said, “Then the zoo should take care of all of the animals that don’t have homes.” 

“Well, maybe I’ll add that in my story. That one of you said that the zoo could help out in finding homes for animals. It’s a modern idea.” Said the reporter.

“Why is it a modern idea?” said Mike.

“Because it’s never been done.” Said the Reporter.

“The zoo has never had an exhibit for pets?” asked Dorothy.

“Nope.” Said the Reporter.

Chapter Eight

“Brandon.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Yeah Dad.” Said Brandon.

“I got a retweet that you and Dorothy and Mike were at the playground today raising money to help find homes for pets.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“Yeah a reporter came out and talked to us.” Said Brandon.

“That happened really quickly.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“I know one of the parents sent out a tweet and it was retweeted to their friends and a bunch of people showed up to buy lemonade from us. We sold all of our lemonade and some people gave us money that didn’t even want Lemonade.” Said Brandon.

“How much money did you raise?” asked the very interested Mr. Stevens.

“I’ll show you.” Said Brandon.

Brandon went to his room to pick up the fundraising box. Dorothy and Mike thought that Brandon should take the money home with him since it was his idea.

“Here is all the money we collected.” Proudly stated Brandon producing a box of more donation than he was aware of.

Brandon’s mother counted through the money and she saw some checks, and she saw a lot of cash. She counted it all up. She even needed to get a calculator to count the money.

“Did you count this?” asked Mrs. Stevens.

“Not yet.” Said Brandon.

“There is nearly five hundred dollars here in checks and cash.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Do you think that’s enough to help a pet find a home.” Said Brandon.

“Absolutely. You yourself will be able to have any pet you want with this money.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“I mean, will it help a pet that won’t be coming home with us to find a home.” Said Brandon.

“Well, I don’t know about that.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“We wanted to raise enough money so that all of the pets could find homes.” Said Brandon.

“There’s not enough money in the world for that to happen.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“What do you mean?” said Brandon.

“Well, it is not always about money.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Doesn’t everyone want a pet?” said Brandon.

“No, Brandon, everyone does not want a pet.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“People would rather let animals get put to sleep then give them homes? Is that true?” said Brandon stumbling down a path of questions that his parents wanted to be as painless for him as possible to come to terms with.

“Unfortunately, yes.” Said Mr. Stevens.

“That’s not fair at all, what did those animals do to anyone?” said Brandon.

“They didn’t do anything Brandon. Sometimes things are just the way they are.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“But they take care of the animals at the zoo. They don’t put the animals to sleep at the zoo.” stated the young Brandon.

“That is true.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

“Then why do they put pets to sleep if they don’t put zoo animals to sleep?” asked Brandon.

“Well, I don’t know, do you know honey?” stated Mr. Stevens.

“No, I don’t know.” Said Mrs. Stevens.

Chapter Nine

Time passes. Lots of time passes. Years pass. He never forgets that time where he first learned what it meant to be noble was. To be noble was to do something good. Brandon grew up. He graduated from the Khan Academy and North College Hill High School. He went to the University of Cincinnati and studied Biology and learned everything he could about animals and how to take care of them.

While at the University he interned at the Cincinnati Zoo. He became such a good zoo keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo that after he graduated from the University of Cincinnati, they hired him to be a zookeeper.

After taking care of the penguins, and taking care of the lions, and taking care of the otters and the flamingos. Brandon thought back to that day he Dorothy and Mike, two people he kept in touch with through the years, raised some money for the animals at the SPCA.

Brandon called Mike the same way he had over a decade earlier.

“Mike.” Said Brandon.

“Brandon?” said Mike.

“Yeah, this is Brandon. Its been a couple weeks I know. I’ve been busy.” Said Brandon.

“What’s up?” said Mike.

“I was thinking today about that time we raised some money for the SPCA when we were kids.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, that was a good day. I think of it from time to time.” Said Mike.

“Well, something that has come up recently that might interest you has come up at the zoo. Maybe, just maybe you could help me with something. “ asked Brandon to his old friend Mike.

“What’s up?” responded Mike.

“There was this one moment that stuck in my mind, I don’t know if it stuck in yours but it stuck in mine.” Said Brandon.

“What’s that?” said Mike.

“Why can’t the zoo have an exhibit for pets?” Said Brandon.

“Well, the zoo usually only has exhibits for exotic animals as well you should know since you work there.” Said Mike knowing the type of person Brandon was.

“I know, but it just recently came up at work that they are looking for pitches from the zookeepers and other people really everyone that works at the zoo.” Said Brandon.

“What’s this about?” asked Mike wondering where this was going.

“Well, I have been informed that the Cincinnati Zoo has been gifted some land from an anonymous donor out in Mason. They have two options, they can sell it or they can expand. Selling the donated land would make the zoo a lot of money up front but the zoo honestly might be interested in developing the land into a satellite zoo of some kind where they can expand their operations. It’s being considered an open symposium that is coming up where anyone working at the zoo can discuss openly their ideas for the land since everyone working at the zoo would be affected by the expansion.” Said Brandon.

“Alright, what’s the pitch?” said Mike.

“What if for once they housed a petting zoo for animals that can’t be given homes from the SPCA?” said Brandon.

“You mean realize that vague dream we had as children?” said Mike.

“Basically.” Sad Brandon.

“Have you contacted Dorothy about this?” said Mike.

“I haven’t talked to her in a while.” Said Mike.

“I just talked to her a few weeks ago and she’s still planning events.” Said Mike.

“Do you think she would be interested in this idea.” asked Brandon.

“I think she would. The question is, would the zoo be interested.” Said Mike.

“I’ve talked with zoo keepers before, and they have said that it’s a novel idea but that it comes down to space. The downtown location just does not have space for this type of exhibit … BUT … with the donated land it might be possible.” Explained Brandon.

“Well, its about decisions and sales and the pitch. You know I’m great at pitches.” Said Mike.

“I know. How are things at the dealership?” asked Brandon.

“I’m still at a point where I am picking up the paces on selling cars but if you are on my lot. I speak your language.” Said Mike.

“I mean you’ve always been better at talking to people than myself. You’ve always had a lot more confidence too when it comes to talking to people that you just met.” Said Brandon.

“I know it’s something that I’ve always been comfortable doing. It’s why I went into sales.” Said Mike.

“The idea of some kind of an exhibit for domestic animals isn’t so far fetched when it’s quite common to find a petting zoo for farm animals. ” Said Brandon.

“I mean it’s kind of a hard idea to get, since the zoo, and you again are more aware of this than myself, is typically for exotic animals.” Said Mike.

“Well, as I am imagining I can envision a petting zoo for all of the types of animals that you typically find at the SPCA and to give it that exoticness, it would be the numbers of animals that would be the exotic element of the exhibit. How often do you get to see thirty dogs in one place from a safe distance? As an act of community outreach we could have an exhibit at this new location that has yet to be developed where quite frankly animals that have not been adopted and that normally would be put down could be placed in the care of the Cincinnati Zoo and we could be a home for these animals that people just for whatever reason can’t find a home for and because of the numbers it would be as exotic and interesting as any exhibit at the zoo?” Said Brandon.

“What I like about it is that it would be entertaining and that it could be a successful petting zoo if you haven’t thought of that. I also like the idea that it would be great Public Relations for the Cincinnati Zoo because it would be solving a problem, the same problem that we in our own way were trying to address as kids.” Said Mike.

“Maybe you could help me with my pitch? The symposium at the zoo is in a couple of weeks and I’d just like to go over it with someone at least once before then.” said Brandon.

“What would you want my help with?” said Mike.

“Just keep me from working on it alone. Help me with the persuasive element of it.” Said Brandon.

“I guess I could help with that. I don’t know how much use I would be though.” Said Mike.

“I just need an audience.” Said Brandon.

“For the novelty of it, we should contact Dorothy.” Said Mike.

“I haven’t talked to her about it. Didn’t send her an email or anything.” Said Brandon.

“You should do that. This could be something that completes a day that we experienced years ago.” Said Mike.

“That would be special wouldn’t it.” Said Brandon.

“I think it would. It would be that noble thing that we heard talked about back then.” Said Mike.

“So how about this, it’s Monday right now. Are you free this Friday night, Saturday night, or Sunday night?” said Brandon.

“I’m free Friday and Sunday night. Saturday night I have plans with someone.” Said Mike.

“Alright, how about this. Ill see if Dorothy is free Friday or Sunday Night as well. Its been a few months since I called her, but a week is plenty of time to make time to meet with some school friends isn’t it?” said Brandon.

“I think so, plus it’s not like we don’t keep in contact through the social, we just haven’t been in the same room together for at least a year at this point.” Stated Mike.

“You can make it this weekend?” said Brandon.

“Yes.” Said Mike.

“Alright. Well then I’ll keep talk to you before then just to confirm and hopefully Dorothy will be there too. If the three of us got together, maybe had some drinks, that would be good times.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, yeah it would be. Hopefully Dorothy can make it. It would be good to see her again, if not, we can work on this pitch.” Said Mike.

“I’ll see you this weekend.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, sounds good.” Said Mike.

The two of them go through the process of hanging up the phone.

Brandon goes through his contact list and calls Dorothy.

“Hi, Dorothy?” says Brandon.

“Yeah. What’s going on Brandon?” Said Dorothy.

“There is something going on at the zoo.” Said Brandon.

“What’s that?” said Dorothy.

“It hasn’t hit the press yet, but the zoo has been anonymously donated a piece of land that it has to make a decision on. It has to either sell it for funds or put it to use as an extension of the downtown zoo.” Said Brandon.

“Really?” said Dorothy.

“Yeah. Apparently they are asking for ideas from all of the employees at the zoo. I am one of their youngest zoo keepers and they know my intentions of making a career out of it. It’s sort of something that that is preliminary but they just want to know the thoughts of their employees on the matter. I talked with Mike just a few moments ago and I asked him for some advice and to maybe get together this weekend and I wanted to call you for the same reason.“ said Brandon.

“How is he? And what did he think of what you said?” said Dorothy.

“He is good. Said he would be interested in coming over this weekend.” Said Brandon.

“Alright, I might be free this weekend.“ said Dorothy.

“Remember back when we were kids and we had that lemonade stand that we used to raise money for the animals. Remember how we made the news and how maybe one or two animals found homes that otherwise wouldn’t have? “ said Brandon.

“Yeah, we made the paper for that. That was the first time I was in the newspaper actually. Taught me some things.” Said Dorothy.

“Well, the zoo is collecting ideas for what can be done with the land. The board of the zoo is collecting ideas from all of the zoo employees about what to do with the land that they were not expecting to receive. They received it about three months ago but they just let us know last week. There was some paperwork that needed to be finalized before they reached out to the employees to ask what people thought could be done with it.” Said Brandon.

“What are your immediate thoughts?” said Dorothy.

“That they use a portion of it to give homes to unwanted pets. It could be an exhibit with a couple dozen number of animals in it where the pets can have a permanent home and have some kind of life.” Said Brandon.

“You think they would go for that? Doesn’t the zoo typically only deal in exotic animals?” said Dorothy.

“That would be the whole point, it would be an exhibit that lets people know that we are surrounded by nature. It would be a place where kids and adults can come and observe how dogs and cats spend time with dogs and cats in exotic numbers.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, I’ll get together with you and Mike this weekend. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I just think you need a great presentation to make it happen. Have you ever talked about when we raised money for animals when we were young?” said Dorothy.

“I’ve told a couple of the other zoo keepers, the ones that I see the most often. They loved the story and think that working in the zoo might be a life long calling for me.” Said Brandon.

“You could let the zoo know that you have a professional tie with an event planner that could come up with some creative ideas for promoting the successful exhibit. I would do some planning work pro bono for you since it would just be planning and I wouldn’t be doing the actual work. I could draw up some inspiration for you to add to your presentation. I have a large online footprint that depending on the event I can draw upon to make some real magic happen with.” Said Dorothy.

“Thank you so much. This weekend Mike is free Friday night and Sunday night. I was wondering if you were free Friday or Sunday night for a brain storming session to help me develop my pitch. “ said Brandon.

“I’m free on Sunday Night.” Said Dorothy.

“Then we can meet Sunday around 9ish” said Brandon.

“That’s fine.” Said Dorothy.

“Alright, I’ll let Mike Know.” Said Brandon.

Chapter Ten

Brandon is in his apartment and he is drinking some hard lemonade that he is drinking because he thinks Dorothy and Mike will think its quaint. He knows no one really drinks hard lemonade. He just thought it would be cool to have some hard lemonade to drink that would be symbolic of the of lemonade they sold to raise awareness as children. It was a corny gesture but it was one that he didn’t feel too corny to make. Plus he thought hard lemonade actually tasted pretty good if you haven’t had it in a long time. It was a decent choice to make for drinks that night as he wanted to provide something for them sharing their time and intellectual resources with him to get this presentation right.

Brandon spent the week in his usual exhibit. He looked over the penguins. Since he was a child he loved penguins. Once he first saw a flock of penguins scampering around on the ice he fell in love. It was his love of penguins and his many visits to the zoo during his high school years that inspired him to become a zoo keeper in the first place. He thought it was fulfilling work. He loved animals. So looking after them for a living was a joy for him. It was something that fit him.

There was a knock at the door and it was Dorothy. She was about twenty minutes earlier than she said she would be which was refreshing for Brandon. When you set up a meeting it’s the waiting for people to show up that takes the longest amount of time. 

“Brandon, its good to see you.” Said Dorothy. 

They gave each other a big hug.

“You too, Dorothy. How is everything, how is the event planning?” said Brandon.

“Even planning is event planning. I just did a suare for Genuine Products and it was a big corporate affair. They wanted crystal on every table that fit within a the budget that wasn’t small but when they wanted their theme to be crystal I don’t think even with the size of the budget they allotted me that I would have to do some serious research into getting the right adornments. I did something special for them though. I did some research online and used my company’s reputation to make some magic happen. I got in touch with a certain cola company and explained to them the theme of the event and that it would be a beautiful surprise if I could could obtain roughly 200 bottles of their crystal branded cola.

They said that they did in fact have some in stock and that they could forward it to me but that since it was not available to the public per se that they would have to charge a premium to me to make this happen.

I took a hard look at my budget and sacrificed two or three minor elements so that I could include this lovely take home that people would probably find novel. Crystal Cola. It was a throwback as everyone attending would remember the short lived product but to have it at the Crystal Event would be really special it would take a crystal event and make CRYSTAL if that makes sense. It’s just a way that I thought I could go out of my way within the budget to make the event for Genuine Products special for them, it was an anniversary event and I wanted to out do myself. So I reached out and pulled a string I invented. In the future I might try and do that more often. Invent strings that can be pulled, instead of sticking to all of the strings I am used to pulling to get my work done.” Elucidated Dorothy.

“That is extremely impressive, are their any cola’s left?” said Brandon.

“Not really.” said Dorothy.

“Then those cola’s must have been truly appreciated. If you had some left maybe people would not have been as impressed as you would have thought. “ said Brandon.

“The crystal cola for the crystal event really impressed people and everyone I talked to wanted to know how I got this rather obscure product. Not all but a lot of people did not even open the cola, they brought it home with themselves as a collectors item. Something about nostalgia that makes everyone feel something inside.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah, nostalgia isn’t even something you can feel until you get to a certain age. Like cartoons, I think the first time I ever even knew what it felt like to feel nostalgic was when a friend of mine in college sent me a link to the actual Duck Tales thematic opening. I was floored. I was flooded with what I could only describe as nostalgia. I had heard the word before but I never knew what it was until there I was watching Scrooge jump into his vat of coins that to this day I am certain is not actually possible but in a cartoon, eh.” Said Brandon.

“I’ll be honest with you, I am also quite certain you cannot dive into coins but cartoons are where the all is possible.” Said Dorothy.

“Well, let’s sit down.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, your place is always nice every time I see it.” Said Dorothy.

“I keep busy.” Said Brandon.

“When is Mike coming?” asked Dorothy.

“He said he was coming around 9ish.” Said Brandon.

“Well that’s not long from now. It will be good for the three of us to get together again. We don’t do this enough.” Said Dorothy.

“Life, eh?” said Brandon.

“Life.” Said Dorothy.

“Would you like a drink?” said Brandon.

“Hard Lemonade? What because we’re adults now?” said Dorothy.

“You get it. Hopefully Mike will too.” Said Brandon.

“You could be an event planner if you wanted to be. It’s little things like this that makes for a successful event.” Said Dorothy.

“I didn’t know that.” Said Brandon.

“Well, now you do.” Said Dorothy.

“Well thank you.” Said Brandon.

“If you think about it, an exhibit is like a never ending event. Its meant to give a special experience to everyone that encounters it.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah, that’s true.” Said Brandon.

“From what I know about zoo exhibits, they are meant to give an experience to everyone that encounters them.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah. That is what an exhibit is. It’s a manicured long standing showcase that provides insight into the showpieces which at the zoo are of course the animals.” Said Brandon.

“You want to make the pitch that this new land that has been donated gets used for the purpose of housing for lack of a better way of putting it, pets?” said Dorothy.

“Basically. I mean to be coarse, if it was like the TJ Maxx of the the local animal world. Where TJ Maxx takes into it’s inventory clothing that didn’t make it off the rack at the retail location this would be similar to that, where animals didn’t make it out of the retail locations of the SPCA , we would provide a service that allows for those animals to live out their full lives and maybe even experience something more special than they would experience at individual homes. The zoo could be approached from time to time for adoption of the animals and as I am envisioning it now this exhibit that I am wanting to pitch would be a place for the public to see the exotic in the seemingly ordinary. Maybe to present the idea that animals are each exotic in their own right. “ said Brandon.

“I like it. It’s sort of halfway between an original idea and applying something that’s always been done to some animals that no one has looked at a certain way before.” Said Dorothy.

“I think Mike is at the door.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah, that is probably him.” Said Dorothy.

Brandon gets up and goes and answers the door and Mike is standing there with a bottle of top shelf whiskey.

“I thought I would bring something to drink. Dorothy its great to see you again.” Said Mike.

“Its great to see you too.” Said Dorothy.

Mike and Dorothy hug and Brandon and Mike shake hands the same.

“Hard Lemonade? Since we are adults right?” said Mike.

“That is exactly what Dorothy said.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah well, I brought some whiskey since we are adults but I’ll have some hard lemonade.” Said Mike.

“What’s been happening?” said Dorothy.

“Life man. Life’s been happening. The cars are moving with the right sales touch, and if you treat people the right way you can get some extras thrown in there that people were not expecting to think of needing. With cars being as option rich as they are now, a lot of times people don’t even know what the options on a car are. I kind of over time have developed this list of options that assuredly most people have never heard of that time and time again people unexpectedly discover that yes actually I would like those options and no I did not know the car came with those options. Its halfway between informative selling and pressure selling. Im light on the pressure though but when someone is encountering new information for the first time, invariably they are at least interested and I let them know that those are the options that make all of my customers happy. “ said Mike.

“Yeah, you are a car salesman.” Said Brandon.

“Damn right I am. No finer business to be in.” said Mike.

“When was the last time you had Crystal Cola?” said Brandon.

“Ages ago. Why do you ask?” said Mike.

“Because I told him it was the centerpiece of my last event truth be told.” Said Dorothy.

“How the hell’d you get Crystal Cola?” said Mike.

“I did my job , that’s how.” Said Dorothy.

“Did you try it?” said Mike.

“I didn’t think to ask that, did you get a taste yourself Dorothy?” said Brandon.

“I did.” Said Dorothy smirking.

“Well, how was it?” said Mike.

“It was amazing. I wasn’t expected to be amazed but I was. I am certain though I was only amazed because of the fact that its been fifteen years since I had it. “ said Dorothy.

“Theres none left is there.” Said Mike.

“Theres not.” Said Dorothy.

“You would be surprised, throw a 24 Pack of Crystal Cola into a car deal and it could mean the difference between someone walking out and sticking around to put pen to paper. I kid you not. I love stuff like that. “ said Mike.

“It’s unfortunate.” Said Dorothy.

“What is?” said Brandon.

“That they let me know, it could only be a one time deal. What’s unfortunate is that you can’t even get the Crystal Cola. The only reason and they let me know the very only reason they were letting the deal happen was because Genuine Products had a certain reputation with them and that and they had to confirm this that it was their actual Crystal Anniversary. They let me know they received a lot of bad press for their Crystal Cola and they weren’t happy about that but that yes, they kept inventories of evey flavor they had ever created in one of their warehouses.” Said Dorothy.

“It was worth the effort then to procure it?” said Mike.

“Yeah I don’t know why they got the headache they had in the press years ago. I don’t remember that. I loved it then. I love it now and everyone at the event thought it was some kind of miracle to see it again. The effect by one of my fellow event planners was called the ‘wave of nostalgia’ it was the only way to describe the way people felt about it. Genuine Products was genuinely impressed. “said Dorothy.

“Brandon, you have a pitch coming up?” said Mike.

“Yes.” Said Brandon.

“What do you have so far. Give me the short and sweet of it as short and sweet as you can get since that’s important.” Said Mike.

“Puppies and Kittens finding a home with the zoo.” Said Brandon.

“Never been done before as far as I can tell. Have you ever heard of that before Dorothy?” said Mike.

“No I have not.” Said Dorothy.

“What about you Brandon, have you, since you work in the zoo, ever heard of that?” said Mike.

“No I really haven’t.” said Brandon.

“Have you done research into finding similar offerings by other zoos?” said Mike.

“I have and I don’t think anyone’s doing it.” Said Brandon.

“Alright, am I to understand that the Cincinnati Zoo is a LEADING zoo?” said Mike.

“Yeah it is.” Said Brandon.

“Alright you’ve got that going for you. If they weren’t a leading zoo I’d say you’d have no chance in hell to even get this idea into a set of ears, to put it shortly.” Said Mike.

“Leading organizations look for ways to continue to lead.” Said Dorothy.

“That makes sense.” Said Brandon.

“This is what we were really working on back at Bising Park when we were selling lemonade. This is what we were really trying to do. We didn’t know it at the time but when we were trying to save a couple animals from being as I later came to discover the meaning, from being euthanized, what we were really interested in was having all of the animals saved from being euthanized. “ said Dorothy.

“Is there anything wrong with that?” said Brandon.

“Maybe.” Said Mike.

“Let me here your maybe.” Said Dorothy.

“There are violent animals.” Said Mike.

“Is that all you got though?” said Dorothy.

“Basically.” Said Mike.

“Alright, then what about this. It won’t be a petting zoo. It could be a petting zoo but animals are unpredictable.” Said Brandon.

“Yes they are.” Said Dorothy.

“Would you want two exhibits for domestic cats and dogs or just one exhibit for the two of them?” said Mike.

“I mean realistically there would be two exhibits, one for dogs and one for cats.” Said Brandon.

“I like it. The zoo takes the dogs, puts em over here.” Said Mike.

“And the zoo puts the cats over here.” Said Dorothy feeding off of Mike.

“I mean that is typically how a zoo works.” Said Brandon.

“How many dogs and cats can you expect to have in each exhibit?” said Dorothy.

“That’s the problem but at the same time that’s the interest factor. I typically work in the penguin exhibit and I just notice from time to time that it’s the exhibits that have the most animals that get the most attention because there is the most to see. I’m thinking the major selling point for the public mind you would be to have as many cats and animals as possible in each separate exhibit. Theres a problem though, bringing the animals back into their cages at night. The more animals there are to be housed at night the greater the more work it takes and work takes people.” Said Brandon.

“Well how does that work with the penguins. You have a couple dozen penguins. How do you get them all in their cages for the night.” Said Dorothy.

“Well I’ll be honest with you. We don’t cage the penguins separately. They don’t really have the ability to fight each other or to be violent so we just take care of them in a group for lack of a better way of putting it but the dogs and the cats that we are talking about would be able to bite and scratch and that might take some special clothing and care to be taken by zoo keepers to work with.” Said Brandon.

“Well, you have a cat house at the Zoo. The cats are indoors in their exhibits all day. What if you pitched the idea that they housed the animals in not an open air exhibit but one that gives them space and serves the purpose of being an exhibit and a housing at the same time. I don’t know I don’t work at the zoo and I only know what you tell me about how it works but there has to be a way to handle these dogs and cats from the SPCA so that the zoo can take care of them.” Said Dorothy.

“What are the politics involved in passing house pets to the zoo? I mean when we were younger if we had gone to the zoo and there was an exhibit where we could see some what 40 or 60 medium sized dogs and some 40 or 60 medium sized house cats roaming around and playing and the such that would have been amazing! I would have loved that. Then to kids that don’t have pets and never really grew up with pets those house pets at the zoo would be exotic to them. I also think that the zoo could benefit from this new location by maybe being a place that if they would be interested could be a place that lets animals become adopted as well. Is there a reason why the zoo can’t act as an agent of adoption? Could the Cincinnati Zoo expand it’s brand and at this place where this new land was donated, wouldn’t it at least be a pitchable idea to suggest tying the zoo closer to the community and allow it teach that domestic animals are exotic somewhere, which they are.” Said Brandon.

“I think you are asking two people that aren’t involved in your field for information that you need to be the expert on. “ said Mike.

“I know, I was just speaking out loud. This is just a unique opportunity for the zoo, one that doesn’t come along quite often.” Said Brandon.

“Have you heard it discussed what other zoo keepers are interested discussing as a use for the land?” said Dorothy.

“One idea is to use it as safari space. Its actually a really popular idea. To use the space to give some of our bigger animals space to roam around more freely. If there was a local safari space where people could be driven through the space and observe our larger animals in various enclosures that could be driven through that is actually one that most people are in favor of.” Said Brandon.

“Have you asked any other zoo keepers about your pitch or have you only talked to us , because we don’t work at the zoo we can only help you with your pitch, you are the one that has this idea that needs to get it through to your board and you work with the zoo, what is the typical response to when you talk about this with other zoo keepers?” said Mike.

“We should have asked you this earlier.” Said Dorothy.

“There is this one guy, old guy. Guy that’s been there longer than any board member. This one guy that kind of took me under his wing. Guy named Frank. Frank sort of in conversation lets me know the zoo’s history and how he has seen it change over time. He loves the idea. When I approached him and discussed my idea for a domestic animal exhibit he’s the one that let me know that it makes perfect sense and that with the amount of land that was gifted that there is no reason not to try something new. Thing is when I discuss this with the younger zoo keepers that are a little bit older than myself, they don’t seem to excited about it. They ask a lot of questions that let me know they don’t think that’s the business the zoo should be in. That the SPCA exists for a reason and that the zoo is by its very nature interested in exotic animals. Frank’s opinion is that animals are animals, each is as exotic as the next. They are all interesting as hell. As he puts it. Frank’s behind the idea 100% but he’s like the only one that seems to be in favor of this concept. It’s why I called you two. You’re like my two best friends that I have known the longest and you’re both really creative and I was just hoping to get some insight into what you thought could be said to sell this idea.” Said Brandon.

“You got this long time employee on your side. “ said Mike.

“Yeah.” Said Brandon.

“Does he know any of the board members?” said Mike.

“He’s good friends with the head of the board.” Said Brandon.

“Then what you need to do is tomorrow talk to this guy. Let him know that you talked to some professional friends of yours and that some ideas were fleshed out for an intitial pitch. Before any architectural plans were drawn up or anything that an initial pitch was developed for bringing in domestic animals under the zoo’s wing and that it’s been decided it’s a great idea. “ said Mike.

“Have you been told when the zoo is going to go public with its new land holding?” said Dorothy.

“They are going to release that information to the press after they make a decision as to what they are going to do with the land.” Said Brandon.

“Alright, then you can’t drum up outside support for your idea so its on your pitch to convince them.” Said Dorothy.

“How about this. What if we drew up a Google Document and when did you say the presentation for pitches was from inside?” said Mike.

“It’s in two weeks for initial formal ideas from within the zoo.” Said Brandon.

“Alright, we’ll draw up a Google Document, send invites to me and Dorothy and over the next two weeks we can help you brainstorm all of the ideas that you need to develop your pitch. “ said Mike.

“is there a time limit on your pitch? “ said Dorothy.

“Not really. The board put out a call to all of the employees of the zoo to come up with ideas as to what to do with the land donation and since it’s a unique opportunity they are reaching out to people to see what people think. It’s a formal survey is what it’s being billed as.” Said Brandon.

“Spend some time with this Frank , and maybe let him know that you are taking this really seriously and that you are planning your career around zoo keeping and that you really want to get someone’s attention when it comes to this idea.” Said Mike.

“Dorothy, like you said. Frank seems like your strongest ally. The idea of reaching out to the SPCA and the Humane Society even seems like a strong one. It’s a shame you can’t create more public awareness about this idea so you have to make the magic happen but please understand that boards sometimes collect input even though they already have a pretty good idea of what they are going to do. I mean this is an opportunity that you have to give your presentation but if its not in the long term vision for your employer it might just get listened to and not acted on.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah. Don’t lost heart if it doesn’t resonate with the current board members. Just remember that if this is your career, you have to really have seniority to make a major change like this. Don’t get discouraged if this idea of yours gets paid lip service and isn’t given its full due. If that makes sense. Im new into my career and I have pitched a couple new ideas to my employer at the dealership and its not always how great the idea is that gets things done sometimes there are other factors to be considered. From to time I suggest different ways we could do things and sometimes the idea resonates and sometimes it doesn’.” Said Mike.

“Yeah but sometimes something new is exactly what people are interested in. The bringing together of the zoo and domestic animals might be just something that your board needs to hear so that they can think it over. It would be a new point of contact between the zoo and the zoo’s brand and the public. They get a certain amount of people coming to the zoo right now just to see the animals. I imagine they would get more of the public involved with them if the patrons of the zoo could see something new. New is not always a bad thing. Sometimes new is exactly what is needed at just the right time and this land donation, maybe with the right pitch, if you let them know about your past and how a long time ago you thought of this and it gave you direction in life and embedded your pitch with emotion and testimony from an event that happened a long time ago. It could very well be that you get the attention you are wanting to make a dream come true.” Said Dorothy.

“It seems realistic to me. The thought that the public could come and see something familiar in an exotic light such as seeing dogs in large numbers or domestic cats in large numbers would be the core draw. It would have to be the numbers of the animals that would be the draw and the Humane Society and the SPCA would be organizations that could see to it that we provide a public service to the community by being a place where domestic animals that couldn’t find homes as puppies and kittens found homes as adults which is around the time most animals don’t get adopted from what I understand. Euthanasia of animals when its just matter of them not having been able to find a home is the most tragic part of the entire process. If the zoo could find a home for these animals that were just looked over , it could be something really special.” Said Brandon.

“That’s the pitch.” Said Mike.

“That’s the right note to hit.” Said Dorothy.

“What?” said Brandon.

“Make sure there is emotion in your voice when you are giving your pitch. Not needy emotion but confident emotion. Let them know you think that the draw would be something familiar in an exotic light. That’s the perfect way to put this because that’s what it is isn’t it Dorothy.” Said Mike.

“That’s what I am thinking myself. Just make certain you say ‘something familiar in an exotic light’. It’s just what needs to be said. “ stated Dorothy.

“Let’s take a break.” Said Mike.

“I mean this is great conversation.” Said Brandon.

“It’s better than average conversation. It’s about something real.” Said Dorothy.

“We rolled the idea over several times and thought it through. For an initial pitch this is the right kind of conversation to be having.” Said Mike.

“What’s the two of your love lives like?” said Dorothy.

There was a sort of mild pause to the conversation at this point.

“Come on , it’s a fair question.” Said Dorothy.

“I’m seeing someone that I met at a local coffee shop.” Said Mike.

“What’s she like?” said Dorothy.

“She’s great. We have a lot of common interests. Shes in sales, I’m in sales. She deal in reality. I deal in cars. We handle similar styles of block of money so we know what it’s like to be dealing in high pressure sales. On our first date we took a car ride through the city and she discussed it in a way I have never really heard it talked about before. As a real estate agent would she gave me the insight into different neighborhoods and she playfully gave me her real estate pitch on the neighborhoods we drove through in between us talking about our disparate lives.” Said Mike.

“That sounds like a great date.” Said Dorothy.

“I’m not really seeing anyone. I was just in a relationship about six months ago and she got a job in another city and we knew we couldn’t make it work so we said our goodbyes.” Said Brandon.

“What about you Dorothy?” said Mike.

“Me. I’m more the match maker than the one to be matched up with someone. I introduce people to each other over and over at my events and from time to time the people I introduce to each other hit it off and they decide to meet outside of the events I plan. From time to time people let me know that serendipitously I introduced people that really enjoyed each other’s company and I’ve been told I’m responsible for at least two engagements. I haven’t heard of any weddings I’ve been responsible for but I have heard I was responsible for two engagements.” Said Dorothy.

“I imagine you develop an eye for chemistry between people in putting your events together.” Said Brandon.

“Yeah. I don’t know if it’s that or if it’s I’m just always finding the people that look like aren’t involved in a conversation and introducing them to other people that are not involved in a conversation at an event. I try and act natural about it but that’s what I am usually doing once the event has started. Noticing the people that aren’t engaged in conversation and finding a reason to get them involved in a conversation with someone.” Said Dorothy.

“That sounds like a great way to keep an event cordial.” Said Brandon.

“I don’t know if everyone does it that way, but it’s the main way I try to keep everyone involved at the function. It’s a way for me to make sure that as many people as possible have at least one meaningful conversation at my events. I want people to feel more than not left out, I want them to really meet someone that is of similar interests.” Said Dorothy.

“Dorothy, it’s never come up and lets not talk about it now, but please send me your standard rates to my email address and I’ll pass along your details to my manager. We could always use a great event at our dealership to interest our clients in just keeping us in mind as their number one car dealership. It really is about getting as many people through the door as possible and making certain they have a memorable experience. “ said Mike.

“Yeah. We could have our people talk to our people and see what happens.” Said Dorothy.

“Pass me another one of hard Lemonade would ya, Mike?” said Brandon.

“I’ll have on too.” Said Dorothy.

“Yeah, to the both of you.” Said Mike passing Brandon and Dorothy Hard Lemonade bottles and as their arms accidentally touched while grabbing the bottles from Mike they just sort of looked at each other, they looked at each other for a moment like Mike wasn’t in the room, for just a moment. They didn’t say anything they just, for a moment, noticed each other in this conversation, in this room, in this setting, after everything that was discussed, they just, noticed each other, and it was the briefest of moments but they both knew that each other noticed the other noticing the other.

Mike didn’t notice them noticing each other because it was just a moment.

Chapter Ten