One-eyed Charlie

Originally posted in 2013

As an animal advocate, I prefer to avoid consuming them. Instead, I’m perfectly happy watching cows and sheep graze the rolling hills of Marin. I pretend they’re able to do that until a ripe old age, whereupon they die in a pasture, fat and happy.

The truth is, there’s not much I can do for these particular animals except refuse to dine on them. Still, I find it frustrating to know I’m helpless to change their fate. Continue reading

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

 

 

Until Next Time, Mykonos

So we were in Mykonos trying to positively impact the lives of animals. It was challenging imagining what we’d encounter along the way since we don’t witness much animal suffering in Marin.

sausalito2

Sausalito, Marin County

mykonos harbor

Mykonos harbor

We prepared ourselves as best we could by talking with other rescues in Greece, doing research and meeting beforehand to organize and familiarize ourselves with what awaited.

Still, rarely a day passed in Mykonos without one of us shedding tears. Yes, the island is gorgeous but it harbors an ugly undertone that, frankly, is impossible to condone or dismiss. Unfortunately, animals in distress have become an accepted norm to many Mykonians. Continue reading

It’s All Greek to Me, Part 2

I have to warn you I’m writing this on 5 hours sleep over 2 days. I’m not a great sleeper since the wickedly strong grip of menopause found me. Also, I just returned from Greece on an animal welfare mission. So between that and jet lag, I barely remember my name.

who am I

Normally, I try to inject a bit of humor in my posts but this one may be different. One thing I know: it’s hard to find anything amusing when animals are suffering. I‘m just saying. But I promise our journey in Greece ends on an upbeat note. Don’t worry, you won’t be crying into your Sunday morning coffee as you read this.

Greece Mykonos

Beautiful Mykonos

Continue reading

Never Lose Hope

bucket-listMany of us have a bucket list. Don’t you? I certainly do. But then I’m a list maker. Today mine consists of 22 items, 8 of which I’ve already checked off.

These 8 include: Start a blog; Learn to snowboard (although it’s arguable I’ve accomplished that); Go on safari; Sky dive; Hot air balloon; Try gliding; Bike around Lake Tahoe (twice) and; See a Broadway musical. That leaves 14 activities yet to try.

Been there, done that

Been there, done that

Today’s post is about bucket list #12 — Get Arrested Advocating for Animals. I can’t say, however, I’m looking forward to being incarcerated, sleeping on a pathetically thin mattress and sharing a toilet with 3 other cell mates. Besides, I suspect jail doesn’t offer a vegetarian menu, so I’d probably starve to death. Continue reading