Saving Artie

I wonder if you’re one of the few humans unaware of the touching 14 minute ESPN video about the stray dog that followed an extreme sports team during their competition in Ecuador. You gotta see this. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean right this very second. I promise the link will follow, otherwise you’ll click on it now and your eyes will well with happy tears, rendering you unable to read the rest of my blog. Therefore, I’m selfishly making you wait.

Arthur and team

Arthur and his Swedish teammates

I’m into cat rescue now but canines were always my first love. Now I’m an equal opportunity lover. I don’t discriminate among 4-legged, furry creatures…love ’em all. So when a friend sent me the video, I had to forward it to our volunteer feral cat feeders to remind them that, although in a different way, they too are saving lives through their acts of compassion for these sentient beings.

bumpersticker

A day later, Michelle, one of our volunteers, emailed to say she and her hubby, Denis, were considering getting a dog and this video confirmed their desire. It just so happened I know a gal, Kathy, who does dog rescue in Tijuana, Mexico. She’d just texted me photos of a black Labrador living on the streets. (Nothing new in Tijuana; there are hundreds.)

Tijuana dog

So when Kathy asked if I knew anyone who might consider adopting this neglected and abused dog, I said, “As a matter of fact, I do.” Michelle and Denis immediately opened their hearts to the idea of rescuing the emotionally shut down Labrador from his traumatic life as a Tijuana stray. Besides, their sons had been wanting a black Lab. Was this meant to be, or what?

In Tijuana, stray cats and dogs are viewed as vermin. They live and die in the streets, mostly ignored, starving, often stoned, kicked, even burned alive. Kathy, who has saved 107 animals there, adopted two of those burn victims. Only their scars divulge their past as they are now happy, well-adjusted dogs.

Kathy's Tijuana dog

Burn survivor, Tesla, loving life with Kathy

Kathy and dog

Kathy at home with one of her 11 rescues

Anyway, I won’t depress you with the details of what this sweet black Lab went through. Suffice it to say Kathy spent over $2000 on vet bills and organized the 11 people it took to help him cross the border and complete the 549 mile journey to his new home in Northern California.

Denis and Michelle

Denis and Michelle meet Artie

Because the dog in the ESPN video was given the name King Arthur, Michelle and her family decided their new pup deserved the same; Artie for short. Initially emotionally closed off, Artie slept a lot. Void of energy and appetite, he mostly kept to himself.

Artie's first day

Artie’s first day home

Gradually, as he realized these people are now his family and won’t hurt him, Artie let his guard down. He was introduced to toys and quickly developed favorites.

Artie settling in

Lovin’ his ducky

He discovered the warm comforts of a sofa (his new favorite spot).

artie on sofa 2

He looks forward to daily walks with other canine neighbors.

MIchelle and Artie 2

Off to meet his buddies

Artie even likes the family’s 2 indoor cats. Talk about a perfect fit.

Recently Michelle thanked us for bringing Artie into their lives, saying, “We couldn’t possibly be happier. He’s really a dream.” But I’m sure it’s Artie who’s most thankful. It’s only been a month since being home, but his transformation is astonishing; his spirit is back. There’s a spring in his step, a brightness to his eyes. Artie knows he’s safe now and above all else, adored.

And what could be better than that?

Artie and the boys

TV time with Denis, Tanner and Dylan

As promised…

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18814225

 

 

A Nearly Perfect Cat

So I have this foster cat, Winter. Seems I’ve had her forever. Sometimes 21 days feels that way. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I am. But give me a break. The cat is both adorable and a pain in my keister. Well actually, more like my shoulder. Or my arm. Or my neck.

I’ll explain…

Winter

Winter is as you’d imagine — mostly white with blue eyes the color of Tahoe sky on a brilliant January day when the sun shines on pillowy blankets of snow, all sparkly white and beautiful. But sometimes it can be too bright if you’re not prepared for it…kinda like my foster.

CA15498

You’re probably wondering what I mean. Then again, maybe not. The thing is, Winter is wonderful 97.5% of the time. Probably the most loving cat I’ve ever fostered. But she has a tendency that might make her adoption a bit, shall we say, difficult.

Winter’s MO is that she’s a big hugger. Never seen anything like it. She jumps onto the arm of my office chair to wrap her arms around my neck. Winter then proceeds to nuzzle my face with what I interpret to be adoration. What can I say? She loves me. Never mind that she’d love anyone sitting in this chair. Continue reading

Don’t Leave Home Without It

I can’t believe I’m old enough to say this but back in the day, whenever I left the house, I didn’t have a cell phone in my purse. That’s because they weren’t invented yet. Unlike today, I was able to function just fine without staying connected every second of every day to every human being I know. If I needed to talk to someone, I waited until I got home to dial them from our rotary phone.

beige phone 2

Yep, my family had a dial-up phone ages ago. Now don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t around in the day of switchboards like on the Andy Griffith Show where Andy has to ask switchboard operator, Sarah, to ring Aunt Bee for him. Please, I’m not THAT old!

andy griffith

Anyway, our phone was beige with a long coiled cord that stretched from the kitchen nook into the dining room, where we sat and gabbed. But for many years prior, the cord was only 2 feet long so we had to stand to talk. This was also the day of party lines. Know about those?

party line rules

Party line suggestions

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Creatures of Habit

habit quote

We’re all creatures of habit, don’t you think?

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m sure some unique souls out there don’t have routines, but I don’t know of any. Do you? I do, however, know myself and my animals. I can predict what they’ll do even before they do it because, well, it’s habit.

I’m no exception with routines. For instance, in the shower I first wash my hair, then my body. Wouldn’t occur to me to do it in reverse. Without fail, I put on my left sock before my right. I floss my upper teeth before my lower. It’s a habit for me to forget my bags when I grocery shop. Every. Single. Time.

shopping bags

Forgotten in the door of my car

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Welcome to My World

I slept three and a half hours Friday night. This is not particularly unusual for me. That’s partly because ever since menopause my body says: Who needs sleep? Why waste all that time with your eyes closed when they could be open? That’s what my body says to me and unfortunately, I usually listen.

So Friday night (actually early Saturday morning), I was sound asleep, having finally dozed off somewhere around 12:30 a.m. watching Stephen Colbert. Then one of the dogs started whining at 4:00 a.m. It was my Greyhound, Nellie.

stephen-colbert

Nellie happens to have the bladder of a camel so I know at that hour she was simply bored and wanted to go outside to eat poop off the hill, keeping me waiting at the back door until she has her fill. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not exactly psychic. I know Nellie eats poop because she returns chomping on it. Anyway, I didn’t fall for her whining this time and told her to go back to bed. Trouble is, now I couldn’t do the same.

My mind started thinking of my ‘To Do’ list for Saturday and it was a long one. So I read a magazine for a half hour, hoping it would bore me to sleep. But it didn’t. So I watched a program I’d taped. Then I watched another. By 7:00 a.m. I was still awake but starting to doze off. That lasted until 7:30 when the animals decided they’d had enough rest for the night and it was time for me to rise.

rise-and-shine

And so our morning routine began…

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