May 5, 2021

Mom to Millions (and Daisy) with Donna Dees | The Long Leash #13

Mom to Millions (and Daisy) with Donna Dees | The Long Leash #13

Donna Dees is a high-powered publicity expert with an extraordinary career. Now she’s birthing the Million Mom March ... and her husband asks for a divorce. How’s she going to spin this to their young children? Enter Daisy the Divorce Dog … Donna’s best ever pivot.

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Donna Dees worked for U.S. Senator from Louisiana Russell Long. She was David Letterman’s publicist on the Late Show. In 1999, she was birthing the anti-gun violence movement that would culminate with the Million Mom March. Glamour Magazine named her Woman of the Year for 2000.

And right smack in the middle of all that, her husband asked for a divorce. They had two small daughters. How was she going to spin this??

The high-powered word magician leveraged her daughters' yearning for a dog. With no guarantee it would ease their pain, she told them the bad news: they were getting a divorce ... immediately followed by the good news: they were getting a dog.

The resulting search for the perfect dog proved all-absorbing. Her adventure of finding, adopting, and living with Daisy Don't-Call-Her-the-Divorce-Dog is twisty fun.

This is a soul-deep conversation about how dogs are the perfect companions for humans of all ages ... and about how we humans cope with tragedy.


0:00 Welcome to The Long Leash

02:35 On the Job PhD in Politics Working for U.S. Senator Russell Long

04:45 Publicizing Stupid Tricks and Trailblazing for Working Moms at The Late Show with David Letterman

06:20 Tragedy in LA Leads to the Birth of the Million Mom March

08:50  Personal Tragedy of Divorce – Can It Be Softened with a Dog?

09:45 Don’t Call Her Daisy the Divorce Dog!

10:18 Divorce Lawyers Leverage Daisy’s Vet Bills for Billable Hours

11:45  Telling the Kids the Divorce and New Dog News

13:36 Two Dogs. Which One To Choose? The Kids Decide, and Custody Is Arranged

18:55 Daisy Saves a Golden Retriever From Drowning … But the Kids Demand Proof

21:18 Leaving CBS After a Record-Long Career

22:36 Daisy Doesn’t Seem Well

25:05 Tuesdays with Daisy: Quality of Life for the Best Pup Ever

26:25 Goodbye, Wonderful Darling Dear Daisy

29:32 Next up for Donna Dees: Documentary Film Making

About Donna Dees

Donna Dees is a career publicity expert. She started on Capitol Hill with U.S. Senator Russell Long before joining David Letterman.

In 1999 Dees watched the coverage of the shooting at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center. It made her angry, and sad, and she vowed to use her skills to do something. Within nine months she had birthed the anti-gun violence movement ... and organized the Million Mom March on Mother's Day, 2000. Glamour Magazine named her Woman of the Year.  

Dees coauthored a book about her experience called Looking for a Few Good Moms: How One Mother Rallied a Million Others Against the Gun Lobby.

Dees recently ended a thirty-plus year career at CBS ... and is currently conjuring a documentary on creatives in New Orleans.

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