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Summer 2011 - Special Project: The Contest


Bill Ellis' Summer 2011 Special Project, The Contest

If you've been around B&B for a while, you should have noticed we are fortunate have an extremely talented artisan by the name of Bill Ellis in our midst. If you've been paying attention, then you know by now that his razors are highly coveted and very rare. Lastly, if you've been poking around in the General Razor forum, you might have noticed his thread "Summer 2011 - Special Project." Well it is finally time to let the games begin.


Contest Rules: Qualifications to enter.

  1. Anyone can enter the contest. However, Bill donated his skills and time to make this strop and is giving it away to help raise some money for B&B and Dog Town, an animal sanctuary. In that spirit, if you enter the contest, we'd encourage you to become a contributor to B&B and/or DogTown.
  2. If you contribute to Dog Town $20 or more, please forward me a copy of your receipt. My email address is [email protected] (that isn't a typo). In return, you will get a "Dog Tag."
  3. Veterans can enter whether or not they contribute.
  4. Moderators, Stewards and Admins are expected to enter (these are Bill's rules)
  5. Entrants must be straight razor users.
  6. Winner must agree not to sell strop for five years.


Contest Rules: Your Entry

From Sunday 8/14/2011 at 7.00 PM to Sunday 8/21/2011, this thread will be open to accept your entry into the contest. The entry iis simple. Tell us your best dog story in 150 words or more. I don't mean explain why "Where the Red Fern Grows" is your favorite dog story (though it is a great dog story). We want to read your best dog stories. Over the course of the week, Bill will randomly assign numbers to each qualified entrant.



Interlude: A Pitch for Dog Town

That is my dog, Calvin. He's got a pretty good life. He sleeps, he eats, he plays and repeats as he desires. I'd like to see him in the water more but he's safe, well fed and loved. Alas, not all dogs have it so good. Those dogs rely on shelters and humane societies for their basic needs. One of Bill's favorite's is DogTown. As part of this contest, we'd like to strongly encourage you to donate, sponsor a pet or give one a birthday present. It isn't just tax deductible, it is good for the soul.


Contest Rules:Choosing a Winner

Sunday August 21st at 7 PM EST we will choose the big winner. I or another moderator will use random.org to generate a random number. The entrant who's assigned number is closest to the randomly generated one wins. So that's it. A couple of donations, a good dog story and some luck are all that stand between you and this one of a kind Bill Ellis strop. Let's hear your dog stories!

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This was a fantastic idea and a great cause. I'll be entering soon.

Great picture of Calvin by the way.
Wow. OK, my dog story isn't really the stuff they make movies about, but somebody's got to be first I guess. I don't have a dog these days (uprooting the family every couple years + an allergic wife = not conducive to dog happiness), but my most beloved pet of all time was Silver. He just kinda showed up one day, not long after my 11th birthday. Ragged-looking mutt, no identification of any kind. He was friendly & well-mannered, and my brothers and I instantly began the "Can we keep him?" routine. Well, of course, he was obviously somebody's pet, although he looked a mess, and my dad convinced us that the only right thing to do was to find his owner. We put up flyers & posters everywhere, called the ASPCA and brought a picture of him down there in case anyone showed up looking for him. White, with random gray & brown spots all over, for some reason we started calling him Silver (looked a lot like Spuds McKenzie, although those ads didn't come along until the year after he died). The guy at the SPCA told us that there were a lot of pets that had been abandoned as a result of evacuations all along the Gulf Coast due to the hurricane that had recently come ashore (I believe it was Frederick), so after a couple weeks he had pretty much become part of our family. My mom didn't really like dogs, but even she liked this guy. He was just so well-behaved (house-broken, too, which I'm sure was pretty weighty in the decision to let us keep him). The vet told us he was probably about 8 yrs old (I can remember hearing Lorne Greene's voice in my head "That's 56 for you & me".) I always said we adopted him, but it was just as true the other way around. He was just a good friend, kinda seemed to know when I wanted to play or when I just wanted to sit and sulk. (He would silently commiserate.) One of my favorite memories was of going to the beach during the summer. Silver liked to run in the water when we'd run down the shore, and he'd always stop and patiently wait for us to catch up before taking off again. He slowed down quite a bit as he got older, and the squirrels he used to chase determinedly got free reign of the pecan tree, but he would always come plop his head on my lap when I'd sit down to watch TV, and just quietly watch along with me. He passed away the summer after I graduated from high school, probably close to 14. Never had another pet that was as close a friend or companion as Silver. Thanks Bill and B&B, for bringing some of those memories back.
What a fun contest!

I don't have a dog, so no good dog story. Dogs OF a story, maybe.

Made a contribution anyway. Don't need the dog tag. Unless you care to attach it to a dog.


Staff member
The dog I grew up with was named Yoki. He was named by a Japanese friend of the family. Yoki was born a year before me, and from the time I can remember he was referred to as my older brother.

It wasn't like these days, with parents disinfecting everything and worrying about the germs on their children. My father actively encouraged me to share my ice cream with the dog. Called me mean when I wanted to keep it all for myself. I can't say it hurt me much, and I don't get sick very often even now, so a healthy dose of dog germs when you are a small child probably does something to boost the immune system.

Yoki was a black shaggy thing, a fair bit of poodle, and something else mixed in, God know what. But he thought he was a person. I really don't think he identified with being a dog at all. In his mind he was part of the family. Truth be told, he was probably a fair bit smarter than a lot of the two legged members of the family. Learned quicker, anyway.

He could do all sorts of great tricks. Walking on his back feet, jumping through hoops, but I think his best trick was called “Wait”. You would take a dog treat and balance it on his nose while saying “wait....” He would just sit looking at the food, all cross eyed, until you told him “you can have it now!” Then he would flip the food into the air and snap it up. One day I was playing with the dog in the yard and doing this trick. Through a window I saw my younger, two legged brother sneaking into my bedroom. I ran inside to give him a whooping, forgetting all about the dog who was half way through his trick. I walked back into the yard almost ten minutes later to find the dog, still sitting with food on his nose, waiting to be told he could have it. I wonder how long he would have sat there for?

Well he got old, well over a hundred in dog years. He was nearly blind and only had three teeth left. Smelled quite a lot. Got out of the yard one day and got into a fight with a German Shepherd. Then he only had one tooth, the other two being left in the other dog. He was a tough old thing.

We had other dogs later, but none like him. The others were cool, but they were just pets. None were quite like my older brother.

($20 on the way to the pooches)
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Some years ago, I was sitting on the grass in a small park eating a sandwich. College town, bunch of folks hanging around, one of whom was this girl playing stick fetch with an excited Border Collie. Dog was apparently there on his own and when the girl had to split, he seemed kind of lost - kind of let down - running around with the stick trying to engage someone to play. No takers. Park was thinning out by now.

Dog sashays by me with the stick and of course, I am eating and don't take the bait. He circles again, his eyes trained on me, apparently with no interest at all in my food. I don't bite. He then walks ~10 feet away and drops the stick directly half-way between me and a large maple tree before turning and sneaking around behind the tree to hide!!

Last thing I remember was watching that dog peeking out from behind the tree to see if I was making a move for the stick!!! Wish I was that smart... :laugh: :letterk1:

I love dogs.
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First, Thank you for the contest.

Second, THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT ABOUT DOGS!!!! I can't wait to read all these stories!!!!

Third, My favorite puppy memory from growing up.

I grew up in a rural town in Connecticut on a fair bit of property. There were seemingly endless woods, a pond in our front yard, and a field in the back for me to explore. No stone was left unturned. One fall when I was about 7 years old my mother told me we were going for a drive and to get in my dad's truck. It seemed odd as my mom never drove his behemoth but she explained that we were to pick up some building supplies and needed the truck. An hour or more later we arrived at a house in Stafford Springs, CT. What could we possibly need from all the way up here I remember thinking. A woman greeted us and walked my mom and I around to the back of the house to a shed and when she opened the door damn near a dozen chocolate lab puppies dumped out and came running towards me!

It was heaven on earth. I don't think i knew i needed a dog until that moment but there was no question, I was about to pick out my new best friend. One puppy wasted no time promptly plopping herself down in my lap and passing out. Another literally ran in tight circle around me jumping on me or the puppy in my lap and licking/nibbling on me. How was I going to choose between these two adorable little girls? I didn't have to. In a surprise move (even a surprise to my father) my mom secured her spot as all time best mom by telling me we were taking both of them!!!!

This was in late October so my brilliant 7 year old self named them Tricker and Treat. They were wonderful dogs. I used to sit on trash can lids in winter and they would pull me around in the snow by their leashes. They would find and deliver to our deck all sorts of presents from the woods, Live box turtles, dead rabbits and squirrels, even a whole deer leg once (not sure where that came from). I couldnt have asked for better pets to grow up with. They lived to be 14 and 16 and are sorely missed.

I'll end this rant with some exciting news. My girlfriend and I just moved into a new apartment and for the first time in 3 years we found one that allows dogs!!! We have a friend who breeds labs and are planning on bringing home two Fox red lab puppies in a few months!!!

Cheers and thanks again for this great opportunity to share fond memories of friends long gone :)
Great stories so far everyone!

Please don't consider me for the strop as I don't shave with straights but I made a donation to Best Friends Animal Society who runs Dog Town and wanted to share a story about my younger brother's dog, Henry, a chihuahua, that passed away about five years ago.

My mom had purchased Henry from one of her co-workers when her dogs had pups as a birthday present for my brother. One time, my family was away and I stayed behind to watch Henry. During that week, Henry didn't want to do very much. All he'd do was lie on my brother's waiting for him to come home.

After a while, my family moved out of state. On the last day we were packing everything up and getting ready to fly, we had to put Henry in a pet carrier. We got out his carrier that my mom had also purchased from her co-worker and it hadn't been used in years and, apparently, there was an old dog biscuit which had been in one of the pockets all these years. Henry smelled it and started sniffing and pawing at one of the pockets so my brother reached inside and pulled it out. Of course, Henry started to go nuts trying to get the treat. My brother sat on it to keep it away since we weren't sure if the biscuit was still good and Henry started to paw and dig at my brother's legs like crazy trying to get at it. I remember all of us were laughing as we were playing keep away with the treat.

I don't have a picture of Henry on my laptop but I'll post one in several days when I get back home. I'm looking forward to getting my own dog sooner rather than later.
Bill, I'd like to thank you for bringing Dog Town/Best Friends to my attention. Soon after we began working on this contest, I became a monthly donor.
Here is my boy Brodie...he is now 8 1/2 years old...he is a Shepherd/Collie mix.

Here's my story:

When my daughter was born, I wasn't quite sure how my 75lb dog would react to having a little fleshy loud and annoying thing around. Considering he and our other dog (25lbs Pekingese/Bichon mix) were the only things besides my wife and I in the house. However, from day one, and to this day, he has never once done anything aggressive towards the kids (short of a little growl when they approach him while eating). I think my daughter was just able to walk (10-11 months) and she waddled over to him, fell onto him, catching herself by his ear and fur and skin, then falling to the ground without injury. Brodie's reaction was to brace her (as if trying to help her stand back up or at least fall gently) then lay down around/next to her and lick her as he would a puppy. He has always been very protective and loving towards both of our kids, and for that I love him. He also came from a rescue at 6 weeks old.

*he wouldn't stand still for a photo
I would like to share a story about one of my favorite pets i have ever had the pleasure to own. One day when i was 16 years old, i was at my brothers house, and we were grilling out o his back patio. We just fired up the charcoal grill, we went back inside, (leaving the sliding glass door wide open), i went to use the restroom, he went into his bedroom to get something. The bathroom and his bedroom share a common hallway, and is accessible to the kitchen area. Im sure your asking yourself why am i sharing all these unrelated details? Well, this is the story of how i met "Tiny"........

After finishing up in the bathroom, i decided to head into the kitchen and finish preparing the food. My brother is still in his room at this point. Once in the kitchen, i see this extremely large, dark brownish colored animal, standing on its hind legs, sniffing food off the TOP OF THE REFRIGERATOR! !
After several seconds of standing there (felt like minutes), i quickly turned, ran back down the hallway, screaming "THERES A @%# $%&&#, BEAR IN THE KITCHEN!!!"....... I run into my brothers room, screaming "get your shotgun, get your shotgun!!!!" He looks at me with a very wary eye, but without hesitation grabs the 12 gauge pump shotgun from his closet, racks the slide and briskly walks out of the room and down the hallway, with myself following with a 1957 s&w highway patrol .357 magnum in hand........when he finally lays eyes in it, he quickly says, "thats not a bear", i ask, well what the heck is it then?? He says "i think it is a pony".....lol We were botb mistaken. As it turns out, upon leaving the back door open, a 220 pound english mastiff had made its way into the house.........now, neither one of us ever seeing such a breed of dog in person, you can imagine the confusion, right??? Long stoey short, he quickly became a member of my family, with his own oversized dog dish outside the door with the name Tiny on it, to his 220 pound couch/lapdog mentality. Makes him easily one fo the most missed pets of my life......That dog truly had a beautiful, tenderhearted soul........i hope u enjoyed reading my story.
on a side note, i wanted to donate to the dogtown site, but i cant figure out how to do so. I really would like to win that strop too.
I don't have much of a unique story, but when I was growing up our family had a miniature Schnauzer named Macky. If you're not familiar with the breed, they're somewhat small dogs but pretty tough little guys, looking sort of like a grey-ish Scotty with a bit longer legs.

Anyway, I was pretty young at the time so what I remember most was how Macky used to march with us in the various small town parades that came up a couple of times a year where I grew up. The catch was, all the kids were part of a costume contest and we'd enter in the "Pets" division with Macky. My grandmother was a great seamstress and made us our costumes every year including one for Macky. We've still got pictures of one year where we did an American theme with me and my brother dressed as Uncle Sam w/ top-hats and beards and my sister as Betsy Ross. We're all riding along in a small red wagon, and pulling the wagon is Macky! He dragged us the whole way through the parade (with my father walking him) while wearing his own red, white, & blue striped costume and miniature top hat. I think we won some kind of prize that year, but I really don't remember. Eventually Macky got old and died of heartworms and my parents never had another dog after that. I guess maybe we just felt like nobody could ever take his place.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE assign me a number...and when I have more time later today I will write a story!

........Your transaction has been approved.

Thank you for your generous gift of $20.00! Thank you for helping us to create a world of No More Homeless Pets...........
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Gents, since Bill intended for this contest to benefit Dogtown and B&B, would you be so kind to post if you are a new contributor to B&B or have upped your contribution as a result of this contest?
I have done work in the past at the county dog shelter walking dogs out in the yard area. It's just about always that the smaller dogs get all of the attention so I usually take out the big dogs. Some of them can be a bit of a workout trying to handle them because they are undisciplined.

Every so often throughout the year they'll have a period where they let the dogs run loose in the yard. The dogs love it. They'll do the typical doggy interactions and play, but there is always a moment where they all seem to come together in a pile with a THUD! And then they separate and carry on.
Gents, since Bill intended for this contest to benefit Dogtown and B&B, would you be so kind to post if you are a new contributor to B&B or have upped your contribution as a result of this contest?

Perhaps the rules aren't clear enough. To enter, is a new contribution to the B&B expected, even if one is already a contributor?
Perhaps the rules aren't clear enough. To enter, is a new contribution to the B&B expected, even if one is already a contributor?

Contributing is not a requirement to enter the contest but it is strongly encouraged. If you have already contributed, I believe you could contribute again if desired.
I have already contributed twice this year lol...and now to the dog town too....so I think I am gunna have to pass on another contribution!
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