Photo By Bryan Griffin

Mike Ruiz: Pectacular Birthday Celebration

By Tim Croatia

Mike Ruiz has a lot to celebrate this year, and he’s inviting you to party along with him! In addition to the gentle giant’s birthday – Ruiz’ 52nd! – he’s rejoicing the release of his latest photography work, the 2017 Pecs and Pups calendar. Join Mike Ruiz Wednesday, December 7, at Rise Bar (859 9th Ave) from 7 to 11 p.m. as he toasts all of his accomplishments with performances by friends Dyson, Megan Vice, Inaya Day. Music by Ultra Naté and Bill Coleman.

Ruiz’ relationship with Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, the benefactor of the evening, began four years ago, when he rescued his pitbull Oliver.  Learning that Oliver had been left for dead triggered a desire within Ruiz to work with more animals in need. For 2017, he had the idea to put his two passions – photography and pups – together.  The result is the Pecs and Pups calendar.

The dogs that appear in the calendar are all available for adoption at Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue and represent only a fraction of those in need. Ruiz hopes they shatter misconceptions people have about rescue dogs – that they are sickly or behaviorally damaged. “The reality is you are far more likely to get a happy, healthy dog from a rescue than from a backyard breeder,” Ruiz says.

Pecs and Pups is 15 months of perfection (there are 3 bonus months in 2018), and every dollar made from its sales will go directly to Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue.

Happy birthday, Mike Ruiz! Was it a good year? 
Overall, I’d have to say I had a really good year!
Did you experience any significant growth?
The only growth I observed was the hair in my ears.

Have you come to terms with the changing political tides? 
I have not come to terms with the political shift, and nor will I. I think this was a call to fight even harder and to never surrender to the ignorance and intolerance that has taken over this country.

How did you get involved with pet rescue?
I fell in love with a pitbull named Oliver who was being fostered by a friend of mine. His ability to change my mind about sentient beings outside of humans is testament to the power of all life on this planet. I’ve since decided to do my very best to give a voice to the creatures who lack one.

Whose genius idea was it to combine homeless pups with muscly men?
Mine, of course! [laughs] The two things that I love most are dogs and studs.

Who are the real stars of the Pecs and Pups calendar?
The real stars are the people who support the calendar by ordering one or more. Without them, none of this would have any real purpose.

Celebrate Mike Ruiz’s birthday and his 2017 Pecs and Pups Calendar @ RISE BAR (859 9th Ave.) on December 7 from 7 to 11 p.m. 
Purchase Pecs and Pups for $19.95 at

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