Get Out & Give Back: Puppy Love at Fashion for Paws

by WL Author

Chip McFly went from homeless to having his own Facebook fans when he met MIX 107.3FM’s Tommy McFly at last year’s Fashion for Paws.

By Jane Hess Collins

Thanks to Fashion for Paws, Chip McFly now lives a dog's life. (photo courtesy of Tommy McFly)

Thanks to Fashion for Paws, Chip McFly now lives a dog's life. (photo courtesy of Tommy McFly)

Chip is one lucky dog. The beagle/Australian shepherd mix (as far as we know) was foraging for dinner in a dumpster behind a Whole Foods in November of 2008 when he was found and taken to the Washington Humane Society.

Chip spent the next four months at the shelter, hoping for the chance to be man’s best friend every time someone new walked in the door. Then, when one of the shelter volunteers took Chip to the 2009 Fashion for Paws, he fell in love.

Tommy McFly didn’t expect to meet his dogmate when he agreed to model for last year’s Fashion for Paws fundraiser for the Washington Humane Society, but he’d always been a dog person. “Growing up I’ve always had dogs for as long as I could remember,” McFly recalled. When he moved to Washington, DC in 2006 he spent two years visiting animal shelters and searching online sites for just the right dog for him.  Nothing clicked, but McFly was optimistic.  He knew he’d know it when he saw it.

McFly was admittedly nervous about hitting the catwalk (pardon the pun) the evening of Fashion for Paws. And then, right before the show, it happened.  He remembered, “I saw one of the Humane Society volunteers with this little brown and white dog and I knew. Chip and I locked eyes and I knew immediately that he was my dog.”

Was it really love at first sight?  “Absolutely,” McFly said.  “I bent down and I was petting him and he kissed me and we’ve had a great time ever since.”

The following day, McFly said he couldn’t stop thinking about Chip. And by the end of the day, he’d driven to the Humane Society shelter on New York Avenue, filled out the paperwork and Chip had found his new home.

A year later, man and dog are doing just fine.  At 35 pounds, “Monster Chip” eats everything in sight. “He keeps me out of trouble,” McFly admits. He and Chip have survived a few moves and a few road trips, and Chip has tagged along on a few of McFly’s professional appearances. “He’s such a good companion dog, he’s up for anything,” bragged the proud owner.

Chip has his own fans too. “Chip has been a constant topic on my show. People love Chip more than me,” McFly confessed without a trace a jealousy. “When I put a picture of Chip on Facebook I get a bajillion comments. When I put a picture of me or a celebrity on Facebook I get four. People love Chip.”

This year’s Fashion for Paws will be held on April 10 at the Embassy of Italy. All proceeds go to the Washington Humane Society. Chip, with McFly’s help, even created a website for the event.

McFly admits that, “You don’t realize how much work goes into it, but the love you get from a dog is so worth the work. He’s totally made my life happy.”

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