Apr 30, 2010

My Little Men

I just realized that I haven't posted so much as a single photo of either of my special boys since Easter and honestly, that is just unacceptable! I should be ashamed of myself, and I swear I most sincerely am. For slacking off on the job, you have my absolute heartfelt apologies.

There, I feel much better. How 'bout you?

Apr 27, 2010

Be Kind To Animals Week

The American Humane Society's "Be Kind to Animals" Week is just a few days away, May 2-8. The annual event was first created in 1915 as a way to encourage general compassion towards animals, but over time has become so much more. Every year, animal shelters throughout the country work during this time-honored week to raise awareness about animals in our homes and communities and to celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals. "Be Kind to Animals Week" is now one of the oldest special week-long observances in the United States.

While most of us adore our animals and ensure they live like royalty every day of their lives, there are so many more animals who are not so fortunate. If you're planning on adding another little furry baby to your family, why not pick a shelter cat or a dog rather than seeking out a breeder? Donate money or time to a local shelter, or even pet food or fleece blankets. And if these things aren't possible for you, you can express your love of animals by doting on your own babies a bit more than usual. Spend more quality time with your pet if your schedule is usually very busy, make sure your dog is microchipped so you can ensure their safe return to you should you be separated while out, and spay or neuter your pet so they live a longer and healthier life (as well as curbing the insane animal population explosion). Even a quiet moment sharing some treats together is a wonderful bonding experience. And you can also honor wild animals as simply as planting flowers that will attract birds and butterflies to your garden, making sure feeders are always filled, and driving very carefully (especially at night as this is when most animals are hit by passing cars).

By being compassionate and mindful in all we do, we can easily make every week "Be Kind to Animals Week" in our own little corners of the world.

Many thanks to indexjournal.com and americanhumane.org.
Photo courtesy of amyboemig on flickr.

Apr 23, 2010

Photo Contest

Several weeks ago I was invited to enter a photo of my boys into a contest for beloved animals, and the photo that the organizers had requested was one of Edison and Bram dressed in their spring finery for Edison's birthday, complete with flowered cowboy hats and boas. And although I'm not at all ungrateful for the invitation, had I entered on my own, that particular picture wouldn't have been my choice of photo.

So I entered my silly photo and then promptly forgot all about the contest until I received an email letting me know that the voting had ended and who had won. And guess what? Nope! My boys didn't win. In fact, they got a whopping five whole votes throughout the entire entry and judging period. That's right, you read that correctly: exactly five people on the entire planet voted for Edison and Bram.

But we don't mind one bit, do we boys? No, we don't, and that's because the photo that won and took home all the prizes more deserved the win, as you can clearly see above. And unbelievable-over-the-top-baby-bunny-cuteness aside, the story behind the photo is just as lovely. That little wild bunny had been seriously hurt by a cat and the woman who took the photo had rehabilitated her and then successfully released her back into the wild. That's a blue ribbon win any day, if you ask me.

"Sweet Dreams" courtesy of Rhonda Woods via STORYBRUSH.

Apr 20, 2010

Farm Sanctuary

The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York does wonderful work to save livestock and poultry from unwanted and abused lives. Years ago, when we first heard of them, David and I gave Griffin and a couple of other people fun little gifts from Farm Sanctuary. You'd donate a certain amount of money (at the time it was perhaps $15 a bird) to save a turkey's life at the holidays and in return you'd get a glossy photo of a specific turkey you had sponsored along with a little card with the bird's name and the story of how it came to be a resident in Watkins Glen. We thought they were great, as did Griffin, who insisted on putting his bird photo in a frame and displaying it on his night table. But the other people we had gifted with them were less than thrilled. In fact, one person snorted outright and cast it all instantly aside (nice manners).

Still, the Farm does wonderful things for countless animals and opens their doors to walking tours, retreats and conferences. And with a second shelter farm now open in California, they can save even more unlucky animals and bring their message of compassion to far more people. Both farms are located in idyllic country settings and if you're considering paying a day visit, are more than worth the trip. If you love animals, take a peek at Farm Sanctuary and all that their immensely big hearts have to offer, and if you're feeling especially generous, make a donation to help them in their work.

Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.

Apr 15, 2010

The Pleasure of a Dog

The great pleasure of a dog
is that you may make a fool of yourself with him
and not only will he not scold you,
but he will make a fool of himself too.

-Samuel Butler

Photo courtesy of albino octopus on flickr.

Apr 12, 2010

Another Vintage Chihuahua Manual

Apparently the early 80s was a time for not only ugly human beings, but dogs too, as this cover clearly shows. Two fairly unattractive chis and one almost cute one. You decide.

Chihuahuas by Beverly Pisano, 1983.

Apr 8, 2010

Newborn Rabbits

David called me on Saturday afternoon to tell me not to get my hopes up, but that he had offered my services of mothering some newborn baby rabbits, and to be perfectly honest my heart absolutely sank. He was visiting with a friend when the friend's very large and very hyper dog brought them an offering of a nearly dead baby rabbit, so young its eyes were still closed and only a few inches in length. The friend thought he knew where the den might be and so, after humanely putting down the poor suffering baby, he and David went to investigate with the dog eagerly leading the way. They found the nest with four still-living babies, one very dead one and the mother rabbit nowhere to be seen. After putting the dog in the house they erected a small fence around the den that would allow the mama rabbit to get back in to her babies, but keep the dog securely out. Not being sure whether the mother would reject the remaining babies as they smelled of both dog and humans, the friend said he would keep an eye on things and if the mother never returned would give us a call to come collect them.

Mercifully, no one called us, though I spent several days while waiting in a somewhat dread-filled fog. David seemed rather disappointed that we weren't going to be mothering the babies, but I was more than thrilled. After all, I've lived through one episode of caring for abandoned baby wildlife and it was anything but fun (see Noodles and Melvin, January 10, 2007). And being allergic to rabbits, I saw myself in playtex living gloves up to my armpits, breaking out in an itchy raw rash anyways and wheezing endlessly for the several weeks it would take of hand-feeding the rabbits until they were big enough to venture out into the wild on their own.

And though I would have taken them and cared for them regardless of my personal feelings, apparently this was another Easter miracle as it's now been six days and there are still no baby rabbits in my reluctant care. Hallelujah!

Photo courtesy of CoryGurman on flickr.

Apr 5, 2010

Easter Visit

The boys accompanied us on a day-long visit yesterday to see family for Easter. They visited with human relatives, some of whom they'd never before met, ate lots of foods they shouldn't have eaten and went for three separate walks in the warm sunshine: two through a lovely garden and one to a local park where they ran around in the grass and chased bumble bees. By the time they got home in the early evening, they were two very exhausted little boys who napped endlessly before bedtime, and then slept like logs in the their people's bed until nearly lunchtime today.

Apr 2, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue

On April 30, the US Post Office will have available for purchase books of 20 First Class Postage stamps called "Adopt a Shelter Pet." The post office, in conjunction with Halo Pet Food, is helping to save the lives of millions of unwanted pets. When you buy a book of the stamps, you'll be contributing funds to the 'Stamps to the Rescue Campaign.' You buy the stamps and Halo will buy food for one million shelter pets. The dogs and cats on the stamps are adorable and you'll be helping to keep some unwanted and unfortunate animals alive until they find their forever families. You can pre-order the stamps now through USPS.com or pick them up at your local branch when they arrive at the end of this month. Buy something as practical as a book of stamps and in the process, do something wonderful for an animal who deserves a happy life. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

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