Dog rescued from hoarder's fire inspires Safe Humane Chicago concert

Ira Goodkin and his dog Claus. The dog was one of 8 saved from a hoarding situation and fire last summer.

Ira Goodkin and his dog Claus. The dog was one of 8 saved from a hoarding situation and fire last summer.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

A song.

An event.

Or, a special pet.

For pianist Ira Goodkin, all three have inspired him for a special concert next weekend that will raise funds for Safe Humane Chicago. Classic Connections will be at PianoForte Studies and Foundation at 1335 South Michigan Avenue.

The idea for such collaboration came about through Goodkin’s own passion for both music and his “Zen dog” Claus. “My connections to Claus and to music are two of the deepest in my life. They help me to reach the best parts of myself,” said Goodkin.

The whole story started to unfold last summer when a Chicago fire fighter spotted a fire in a home in his own neighborhood. When fire fighters entered the home, they found poodles everywhere. In all, there were 22 dogs in the house.

Neighbors and fire fighters worked together and were able to save 8 dogs. The dogs came into the care of Safe Humane Chicago through their Court Case Dogs program. One of the dogs rescued in the fire was Claus. He was adopted by Goodkin and his wife Marie through Chicago Canine Rescue a month after the fire. (See more in the video below.)

“It has been such a joy to see the bond that Ira and Claus share,” says Cynthia Bathurst, Executive Director of Safe Humane. “I am thrilled that we can highlight that bond between humans and animals by drawing on another essential bond: music. This performance truly brings our mission to life.”

Claus has been an inspiration for Ira Goodkin's music. A concert on Sunday benefits Safe Humane Chicago.

Claus has been an inspiration for Ira Goodkin's music. A concert on Sunday benefits Safe Humane Chicago.

What better way to unplug and escape from this never ending winter than with a beautiful concert! Goodkin will present selections from Chopin’s Etudes in tribute to the collaboration and community integral to the mission of Safe Humane Chicago, and as a testament to the enduring bond between human and animal. The concert will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and tickets are $75 in advance. The concert will be followed by a reception.

Safe Humane Chicago works throughout the Chicago area to create safer, more humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals. Through education, advocacy, and second chances, Safe Humane focuses on youth leadership, collaboration with the criminal justice system, and helping at-risk dogs and at-risk youth.

PianoForte Foundation has a somewhat similar mission - the organization uses concerts, festivals, competitions, education and out reach to promote piano music to a diverse audience. The organization focuses on the close connection between the audience and artist...another reason why Claus and Ira's story resonates so well for this event.

Fire poodles from Safe Humane Chicago on Vimeo.

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Filed under: Pets

Tags: dog rescue, Dogs, pets

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    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

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