Janet Mika (left, with Frankie) and Rick Albin (right, with Clancy) welcomed donations from Danielle and Angelique.
Last week on Madra Avenue, Madra Dog was decked out in a green and red cap, oversized sunglasses with red frames, and a large red bow. The 30-inch-tall rottweiler statue belongs to Janet Mika. Since she placed it at the bottom of her driveway in 2012, it's become a minor celebrity and mascot for philanthropy.
Madra Dog's time-change outfit
Dogs and cats are the focus of Madra Dog’s 2017 holiday collection drive, which continues through December 15. Food and toys for dogs and cats will be distributed by Meals on Wheels after items are sorted and organized by the Helen Woodward Animal Center. The organizations collaborate on AniMeals, a program that started in 1984 and is now in 300 cities, said Debbie Case, Meals on Wheels San Diego County CEO. Meals on Wheels delivered meals to almost 3300 seniors, 160 dogs, and 120 cats during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017, she said on December 7.
Donors last week included Kris Jacobson-Dill and her daughters Danielle and Angelique. They brought a box of Meow Mix and bag of Blue Buffalo cat food.
Kris, whose red sweatshirt bore the greeting “Feliz Navidog,” shared a song that the trio sings when driving past the statue: “Madra Dog, Madra Dog, He'll be there in a hurry. Madra Dog, Madra Dog, You don't have to worry.”
Receiving the donation was Mika and her brother Rick Albin...also golden retrievers Frankie and Clancy. Friends Paul McGurgan and Jodi Bay, photographer for Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas were also there.
Following the 2013 campaign to recall former mayor Bob Filner, “We don't do politics now," said Janet Mika.
Madra Dog displays started after Mika bought two statues that Albin identified as rottweilers. He painted them, using his late dog Gracie as a model. One dog was placed at the end of the driveway, and Mika put a hat on it to mark the location of an August 2012 party. That led to displays including patriotic holiday tributes and a time-change reminder featuring Madra Dog wearing a yellow smiley-face mask. Mika said the other statue is used to try on costumes during display planning.
Mika said the “biggest response” was to the campaign to recall San Diego mayor Bob Filner. In August 2013, he faced allegations of sexual harassment. A petition drive was launched, and Filner resigned on August 30 that year. “We had the petitions; then we did the Madra Dog for Mayor [display]. People loved it.”
As for the 2016 election, she said, “We don't do politics now.”
Furthermore, there were changes to displays saluting sports teams. “He wore a crown when the Chargers won and a scream face [mask] when the Chargers lost. We no longer cheer for the Chargers.”
Madra Dog on St. Patrick's Day
Mika asked the public which football team that Madra Dog should promote instead. While Mika considered the Broncos, “the highest vote was for the Aztecs. We always supported them, but do more [in displays] now.”
Mika is often asked, “What gets stolen?”
In 2016, someone stole Madra Dog’s St. Patrick's Day costume. "Someone must have had a party to go to," Mika said. More interesting to her is what’s added to displays. Someone left a full bottle of tequila in a “festive Cinco de Mayo display.” People leave hats and put toy dog bones in Halloween pumpkins.
By the end of 2013, Mika’s entourage included flat Madra Dog a life-sized photograph of the statue. The image was inspired by the Flat Stanley Project and the books by Jeff Brown. Flat Madra Dog snowboarded in Utah, attended a Straight No Chaser a capella concert in Las Vegas, and posed with the Cardiff Kook.
Jodi Bay photographed the photo when it toured Rancho Coastal Human Society. The tour commemorated three-dimensional Madra Dog’s promotion of pet adoptions.