Julie wouldn't sit still.
"No, no, no, you can't do that," Brandi Navarro said softly as Julie, a white shih tzu, wiggled on the grooming table at Shaggy Waggle, 7927 E. 21st St.
Eventually, Navarro sweet-talked her into submission and finished trimming Julie's coat.
"I never would have thought I would be grooming dogs," said Navarro, who started working full-time at Shaggy Waggle early this year through Pets Helping People (PHP)'s Muddy Paws program.
"I'm really proud, and I feel really important to myself and others," she said.
With the motto of "pets helping woman inmates shed their shaggy past," PHP trains incarcerated females from the Turley Correctional Center, Drug Court and Women in Recovery at the Muddy Paws pet grooming business, 2234 E. 56th Place, to be kennel technicians
To help PHP continue its work in the community, it will hold the third annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Glenpool Conference Center, 12205 S. Yukon Ave.
For a while, Navarro was "in and out of trouble," she said. In one case, she sold two Lortabs to an undercover cop and landed in jail for three months before going to Drug Court.
Oklahoma's female incarceration rate is double the national average of 65 percent, according to information provided by PHP. The 2012 FY Annual Report for the Department of Corrections shows Oklahoma at a rate of 121 per 100,000 women, which is slightly down from 2011.
"The state needs to deal with the reintegration of these women into society, and PHP is helping to address this crisis," said Katheryn Pennington, a PHP board member and volunteer.
Graduates are employed in local businesses, support their families, pay taxes and participate in society, she said.
"Investing in the graduates is an investment in the future," Pennington said. By learning a trade, these women have the dignity of supporting themselves and their families, thereby preventing repeat behavior.
Each class rotation is 40 hours each week for four months at a cost of $7,000, Pennington said. Training is provided at no charge to the trainees. Plus, PHP utilizes rescue and shelter dogs to teach grooming techniques, which increases the chances for pets to be successfully adopted in a loving home.
The program is expanding, too. Proceeds from the Oct. 24 event will go toward a new grooming and training room at Muddy Paws.
Paws for a Cause is the only fundraiser of the year for PHP, said board member Joe Worley, executive editor of the Tulsa World, who served as the organization's first board president. He will be honored at the event, and the future grooming/training room will be named in honor for his late wife, Myra, a faithful PHP volunteer and ardent animal lover.
"(The event) has allowed the organization to expand, and it allows another chance for so many women who are willing to work for it," Worley said.
So far, PHP has experienced no recidivism among its 84 graduates, Pennington said.
When Navarro first came to Shaggy Waggle, she was shy and didn't talk much, said Dexter Stroud, who owns the grooming business with Dwynne Cook. The owners have four PHP graduates in their shop.
"If it helps them out, it's worth it," Stroud said.
Eventually, Navarro grew more relaxed as she became more proficient in her new skills.
"We all love Brandi," Cook said. "She's awesome."
Navarro loves them right back and their four-legged clients, too.
"I'm happy, clean and sober, and feel like I have a purpose in my life now," Navarro said.
For more, visit muddy-paws.org
Paws for a Cause
This third annual fundraiser for Pets Helping People (PHP) will include a dinner, testimonies from PHP graduates and a short program with Dr. Laura J. Pitman, deputy director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Joe Worley, executive editor of the Tulsa World, will be honored, and a new grooming and training room at PHP will be named in memory of his late wife, Myra Worley. Another highlight will be a silent auction, items for which will be provided by folks like The Canebrake, Hahn Appliance Warehouse, Lynn Taylor Photography, Jack Wills Outdoor Living and Melton Truck Lines, who donated two American Airlines tickets.
Proceeds benefit construction of PHP's new grooming and training room.
Event details: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, Glenpool Conference Center, 12205 S. Yukon Ave.
Sponsors: Champion Tulsa World, Bob and Cindy Peterson; Purebred Charles and Katheryn Pennington, Roy and Barbara Peters, Mike and Kate Beatty, Scott Lowry Law Office; Love My Mutt Wickman Chemical, Yorktown Builders LLC, Austin Technik, Dr. Lauren Davied
Tickets: $75; tables available from $750
One of my favorite fundraisers since moving to Tulsa in 1998, this fabulous event features a lunch-time fashion show and an evening style event. This year's festivities include a special appearance by Colleen Sherin, women's fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, which has partnered with Oklahoma Project Woman for the event.
Event details: Oct. 28 11:30 a.m. lunch; 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. auction Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st St.
Attire: lunch business; dinner black-tie (Or pink tie, considering the cause.)
Chairs: Shelly and Alan Armstrong; honorary Mollie Williford
Sponsors: Mollie Williford, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Charles and Peggy Stephenson, Bank of Oklahoma, The Barnes Family Foundation, Williams, Susan and William Thomas, Jill and Robert Thomas
Tickets: lunch, $150; dinner, $2,500 sponsorship for two seats; sponsorships up to $25,000 (Anne Bogie, email@example.com)
For more: 918-834-7200
Art of BBQ
The first day of this event will feature a showcase at Legends Dance Hall & Saloon of local restaurants offering their take on barbecue, plus local breweries highlighting their creations. Other highlights include local music, an art auction and dance performances. That's followed by a VIP after-party at Back Alley Blues with local DJs and live music.
Day Two will include an OU-Texas tailgate party, as well as food trucks, live music, kid zone, artist booths, wing-eating contest and live art demonstrations.
Proceeds benefit the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa.
Event details, Oct. 11: 6-10 p.m. Legends, 514 E. Second St.; 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Back Alley Blues, 116 S. Elgin Ave.
Event details, Oct. 12: 9 a.m.-midnight Elgin Avenue from First to Third streets, Second Street from Detroit to Greenwood avenues
Sponsors: Title Fowler Toyota; Bank of Oklahoma, Crossland Construction Co., McGregor Insurance Group, ONB Bank, Mad Chicks, Blue Ox Dining, Hooter's
Tickets: $35 Friday, free Saturday
For more: tulsaartofbbq.com
Halloween dinner and costume party
The Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America "You know, the ones in the white, blinged-out fezzes," I was told are hosting this frighteningly fun fete, complete with live DJ, karaoke and dancing. In keeping with the Halloween theme, dinner will consist of "Road Kill with Maggots" (baked chicken and rice), or you can choose "Worms and Blood Sauce" (spaghetti and meat sauce) plenty to eat and drink. Other highlights include prizes for best, worst and most original costumes.
Event details: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, Akdar Shrine Temple, 2808 S. Sheridan Road
Attire: Halloween costume, if you wish (White-sheeted ghosts should be careful when eating Worms and Blood Sauce.)
Tickets: $10 single, $15 couple
For more: 918-616-3161
‘Telling Amy’s Story’
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS/Call Rape) and Verizon Wireless will host a screening of "Telling Amy's Story," a documentary about a young mother who died at the hands of her husband as she was trying to leave their abusive relationship. The documentary includes an introduction by "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay. Preceding the screening will be a reception highlighting the I Stand initiative to help raise awareness of domestic violence.
Event details: Tuesday, Oct. 8 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. screening Philbrook Museum of Art's auditorium, 2727 S. Rockford Road
For more: 918-749-7941
Scissortail Street Competition
This two-day inaugural event kicks off with an opening night featuring a skate demonstration, free skate lessons, midnight ride, local DJs, battle of the bands, the first round of a 10-team contest and live street-art demonstration. The event will also feature vendor booths and local food trucks.
The next day, skate and street-art competitions begin in the morning and continue all day. The finals of the battle of the bands will occur at night, followed by a performance by local band Society Society.
Proceeds will help fund Blue Ox Dining's community building effort, Rise & Shine, which held its first neighborhood cleanup effort in the Pearl District this summer.
Event details: 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, Oct. 11, and 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, Oct. 12, Third Street between Frankfort and Greenwood avenues
Sponsors: Blue Ox Dining Group, Quickie Mart, Joe Momma's, Okie Tone Records, The Dog House, Vans Core Skate, DC, Globe, Volcom, Knowledge Skateboards, Endurance Skateboards, Red Bull
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483