How My Great Dane and I Got Cheated By a Fake Charity


The Honeybee and Dusty share a tender moment.

Well, I’ve been moonlighting again for American Express’s cleverly titled Currency blog.   I know.   But this Christmas the Honeybee decided to ask for the first seven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.   No, not on Blue-ray DVD — she wants the whole cast to perform it live in our living room, and that ain’t cheap, folks.

Anyway, earlier this week I shared a learning experience from my younger days that just goes to show that, sometimes, I really can be as dumb as I look.   Here’s a preview…

Back in my bachelor days, Saturday afternoons were intended primarily for recovering from Friday night club-hopping and allowing me to recharge my batteries so I could go out and do it all over again later that evening.

I’ll never forget one of those lazy Saturday afternoons in particular, not too long after I bought my first house.   My Great Dane, Dusty, was by my side and we were both napping on the living room couch when a couple of hard raps on the front door jarred me from a gentle slumber, and set Dusty off as Great Danes are wont to do when a stranger comes a-knockin’ .

Before I go any further, let me just say that Dusty was not only a faithful companion and one of the best dogs I ever had, he was also quite possibly one of the largest Danes in America at the time.   Dusty was huge even for a Dane, weighing in at 175 pounds.   In fact, despite his massive weight, Dusty was actually a bit on the thin side only because his frame was so large.   Dusty was so massive that   every time I took him out for a walk cars would routinely pull over and people would ask to take a picture with him.

Back to my story…   Anyway, upon opening the door I was greeted with a big friendly smile by a man wearing a t-shirt that had the name of my local fire department on it.   He was also carrying a large fireman’s boot in his hand.

“I’m with the fire department and we’re collecting money to buy gifts for needy children during the holidays.   Would you care to make a donation?”

As he said that he raised the boot in his hand and it jingled — presumably with change from the donations of my neighbors.   Although I was still only half-awake, I couldn’t help but notice the boot had a couple of ten-dollar bills conspicuously hanging out of the top.

Now back then I rarely donated anything to charity but, for some strange reason, on this particular afternoon I felt as if it would be bad karma to let the fireman leave without giving him something.     I mean, how could I turn my back on needy children during the holidays?

So I gave the friendly and appreciative fireman ten bucks and sent him on his way.     With the fireman gone, I was only too happy to resume my Saturday afternoon nap; unfortunately, my mind wouldn’t let me…



Dusty with yours truly, back when I was too poor to afford a decent pair of jeans. (And, yes, I used to have hair.)

Okay, if I show you any more, American Express will have to cancel my credit card.   So for the rest of the story, as well as tips on how to do as I say and not as I do, please drop on by the Currency website and leave a comment there — I get $23,000 from American Express every time somebody writes in to say something about my article.   Actually, not really, but I can dream.   There I go again, off on a tangent.

Oh, and if you happen to know how I can get in contact with the agents for the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, please, drop me a line.


  1. 3


    I left a comment over at the other website so you can earn millions. Anyway, I forgot to mention that I love those pictures. Your dog weighed more than anyone in my family!

  2. 4


    Oh man! Such a bummer. I think people that scam people pretending to be a charity are particularly desperate. My heart breaks for them, however, it’s still so so WRONG!

  3. 5

    Pamela says

    I love Great Danes! We had one when I was growing up. The sad thing is they don’t live very long. Seven is old age for a Dane and most people are lucky if they can get theirs to live for 8 or 9.

  4. 7


    @FirstGen: Absolutely! I was a Little League president for a couple seasons so I know what I’m talking about. Ask those Little Leaguers for their credentials and if they can’t produce them, make a citizen’s arrest! 😉
    @Wait: It is depressing, but we just need to be careful we vet the solicitors (whether it is in person, or by email, samil mail, or telephone) before donating.
    @Everyday: Thanks, Kris for the comment. Too bad I don’t get paid for comments. Dusty outweighed me too! He was great on a leash though.
    @Jenna: Well said.
    @Pamela: Sadly, Dusty made it to seven and then died of old age. Danes have the best personalities, they are just big old friendly babies who think they are lap dogs. Their short lifespan is a BIG drawback to owning them though. That’s why I eventually chose to go to a slightly smaller dog.
    @Sam: HUGE poops! LOL But they were easy to spot and easier to pick up. Is that too much info? Probably is.

  5. 8

    Corina says

    Its just so unfortunate that there are charities out there that desperately need funding. But due to experiences of imposters and fake charities the underfunded yet highly in need charities tend to suffer.

  6. 9


    Aw, he looks so sweet, I would almost put Dusty in my lap. :)

    It’s sad that we have to be so suspicious. The scam I got sucked into was magazine subscriptions to help former gang members keep away from crime. I wrote the check and nothing came in the mail, and the number to complain didn’t work.

  7. 10


    I cannot remember how much El Carino and I “lost” to a very worthy (?) charity when we bought that beautiful USA flag (that was too flimsy to hang) back in the last century! You were (and still are) a groovy looking guy!

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