• Diane Rose-Solomon

Diane's Diary #16: Would You Fly Into a Hurricane?

Updated: Sep 20

Note: This is Excerpt #16 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-15 here.

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Hurricane Dorian was headed straight for South Florida in August 2019, just when I was scheduled to be filming Kaitlyn and her family and Canine Commandos. (Please see DD 14 and 15 if this is your first time reading this blog.) Erin, Kaitlyn’s mom, was calling me daily with lightning reports.

It sounded ominous.

Everyone was nervous.

South Florida was boarding up, and it was clear that we weren’t going to be able to film Kaitlyn and her family as scheduled. While I was disappointed, it would have been inconsiderate and potentially unsafe if I attempted to film. It just seemed best to cancel.

However, Virginia, the founder of Canine Commandos, had spent the last few weeks jumping through hoops to arrange for her class to do the dog training program at the shelter. They weren’t originally scheduled to be at the shelter that date, but to accommodate my travel schedule, she had gotten all of the approvals.

And while the hurricane was headed straight for South Florida, at that time it wasn’t headed toward Melbourne where they are. It didn’t make any financial sense for me to fly all the way across the country to film a mini-documentary, but we had already committed, and Virginia had bent over backward to accommodate us.

I knew I had to figure out a way to film Canine Commandos.

I called Mike and Theresa- my crew contacts in Florida who live in the Melbourne area. We agreed that it would be a bad idea and unsafe for me to fly into a hurricane (other than storm chasers, who does that???). But if the hurricane wasn’t in their area yet, could they still film it?

They said, “of course!” We agreed on a budget, and they hired a camera operator to film the project in action.

While it upset me that I wouldn’t be there witnessing the program in person and making sure we captured everything I wanted to capture or seeing my friend, Virginia, (it had been years) it made the most sense for them to film without me. I created a list of interview questions we wanted to ask the participants and Virginia, and gave them to Theresa, our producer.

I had never worked with Mike and Theresa before and had no idea what to expect. Well, it turns out I had nothing to worry about.

As soon as they were done filming, Virginia called me and said, “They were so nice and professional.”

Phew and Yay!

And then they sent over the footage and it was AWESOME! They captured some really great moments and the interviews were sensational.

If you are unfamiliar with Canine Commandos, they are a non-profit group in Florida that brings 6th-grade students to the shelters to train dogs. Not only does it help the dogs become more adoptable, but the kids are doing community service and service-learning, and learning to be more empathetic humans.

Do you agree that our planet can use a few more empathetic humans? I sure could have used more empathetic classmates when I was a kid.

If you have not yet watched that mini-documentary, it was released in June and you can find it here.

I’m not going to leave this post as a cliffhanger about filming Kaitlyn’s family because I’m writing it chronologically. So, yes, I did reschedule my trip to Florida to film.

BUT, I attended a conference in between filming Canine Commandos and flying to Florida and it was better than I could have imagined.

Tune back in next time to find out about that conference, why I went, and what made it so special.

**NEW Mini-doc now live!**


If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch our latest 3-minute mini-documentary, here’s a link:

https://www.animalmagicfilms.com/watch-now

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