Category Archives: Thoughts and Ideas

Maybe they do, maybe they don’t….

It has been researched and documented, supposedly, that dogs do not remember things. That they live only in the moment.

And some days I tend to believe this when Evie gives me that “I am so bored and sad” look an hour after I take her for a special drive to the beach, or somewhere else that was just for her. A place where we had a grand time playing and she was so happy. A few moments when I was a proud mom watching her have fun and knowing her life is good.

Then there are the times that I know this supposedly proven theory just cannot be true. Times when she remembers people she met just once many months, or even years, before. Or when she cowers going to a place that she was scared of at some other point in her life for reasons known only to her. Or when she absolutely knows where we are going in the car based just on the curves I take, or the type of road we drive.

I do not mind so much that she does remember things because that is natural, but it makes me rather sad to think that the happy memories we make only stay with me. Perhaps this is all part of what we do as pet parents of animals who needed saving, or in general. Maybe it really is all about us in the long run. Maybe that momentary joy is what we need to reassure us that we have made a difference so that when they give us that sad pathetic look we do not feel so badly.

Wonder what they would say…

To kill or not to kill…

The “no-kill” debate has been rolling around the welfare world and the world in general for many years now, and there is still nothing but talk and opinions to show for it.

In my humble opinion, there is no black and white answer to this dilemma as the world stands today. There is no real regulation or oversight of the welfare/rescue world as a whole and too many emotions rule everything!

If people continue to not spay/neuter and dump their animals on the streets and in shelters, there will never be enough space or adequate and proper facilities to keep them forever. What good is keeping all of them alive if they are confined to cages for their entire “no-kill” life? I have seen what happens and it is not humane. Humane can only be determined and solved if enormous changes are made on many levels, and that will never happen for so many reasons, which is incredibly, incredibly sad.

In my humble opinion, there ARE things we can start to do, but they would need those regulations and oversight, and simple laws in general. And with the government and politicians much more interested in what humans think of them than remembering what being human really should be about…none of these things could ever happen…no matter how simple they are.

As with much in our society, there are many people with opinions, many people with good hearts and many people who just don’t care about anything. That is what makes our world our world…and, yes, that is also very, very sad for us all because it leaves all of us going round in circles with nothing ever really happening. It is like a perpetual hampster wheel of movement with nothing to show for it.

In 100 years when we are all gone, it will be the same. How depressing is that for us all.

Happiness…

Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to feel like they have a life worth living. And everyone wants to have a reason to smile.

For some, those want’s and feelings come easily as they find family, career and the many things those have to offer complete them. For others, such as myself, it is much more difficult.

As I sit here tonight I could be out meeting friends and enjoying meaningless conversation and silly fun. Instead, I am here writing this after a long day working on this new website. And even though I could be out doing what most people probably think I should be doing on a Friday night, I am content because I have accomplished a lot today in regards to what I care about. And that makes me happy.

It reminded me of the feeling I get every time I have spent a day covering a welfare event, or the countless hours I have spent rescuing and working with strays in one way or another. Or, the smile that I always have on my face, and in my heart, after doing something animal-related that I know was important. A smile that I usually can’t control, and a feeling of happiness.

Probably the only time I ever really feel completely happy and that my life is definitely worth living…

Writing and Community Outreach…


Life can be difficult sometimes when you have a brain that wants to do many things and is never fully at rest until you do so. Sometimes that can lead to a vicious circle… sometimes it can lead to good things.

In my case it has been a struggle because all, or most, of my ideas and desires have been big and my mind only so capable of going to step Z from step A. I was given the ability to think big and plan, but the process in between seems to get lost. Maybe it is just because a mind is not always capable of going in different directions and making each one successful…or, so I am told:)

One thing I have learned in my old age is what I can compromise on and what I really want to do at this point. Or, should I say I have learned what I would want to do if I had only one or two desires to choose from at this time.

I have a strong interest in outreach and the world as whole. I have found that I love to write and that has taken the place of my artwork from years ago. I am told that I am good at what I do and have insight and the heart to make a difference.

Now, what I want to do is find a way to combine my writing and outreach and make that difference in a new way. Examiner.com aside, I want to be part of something and finally find my home…

If you happen to know of an animal organization, paper, magazine, etc that could use someone like me…please let me know:)

Donations…a study in psychology

Even after many years in the non-profit world, I am constantly amazed, and sometimes shocked, as I open donations.

More often than not, they are sent back with money and I know that they are doing so because they care about the cause. There are people who send monthly, and there are some who have been donating for years. Many are senior citizens who note that they are 80 plus years old and apologize that they cannot give more. Each one, the type of people that every non-profit hopes to reach, and are thankful for.

But, it is the others than continually amaze me. Some are sent back with clippings from other organizations or religious pamphlets, some are sent back with nothing but the paperwork we sent them, others are sent back with a very nasty note such as Fu$% Yo#. And, yes, there are even some who send back the card with 5 cents included….and a nasty note.

It takes more time to do these things than to just throw out the appeal, but there is a definite point to what they do. I continually ask myself what IS that point? Is it because they need to make a point? Is it because they feel they have the right to express themselves because we are a charity? Is it because they do not trust anyone anymore?

This process is, at times, a study in human psychology. And honestly, there are times that I worry that one day one of the donations will contain something harmful to me. That alone makes me wonder about the world and the lengths that people will go to to express their opinions.

In the meantime, I will devote my time to concentrating on the people who care and hope that every non-profit and charity out there does the same. We are nothing without them.

Animal people vs people who like animals

Sometimes the difference between real animal-people, those who naturally have a connection, and those who just like animals, is very obvious.

I have often been told over the years that animals are nice to me that are never nice to anyone, and it always surprises me as I would have never thought these particular animals were unfriendly. In the veterinary hospitals where I worked, I was always the one that got sick animals to eat when no one else could. Perhaps it is because they sense something in those of us who genuinely care and understand.

Tonight this revelation made me smile yet again as I sat with my body half way in a carrier petting the girl that I had just trapped a week ago. She has been through hell the last few months living on the street and in a crazy situation for a few days before I got her back from her spay. Last night I took her to my neighbors house and set her up in a big crate with a bed and lots of food. She was very stressed and so I wanted her to have a quiet and calm place to rest for a few days while I figured out what to do with her. My apartment is anything but calm with a crazy kitten running around.

I was not sure what I would be dealing with when I visited tonight and was not surprised when she hissed and growled at me when I first opened the cage door. Knowing that food is always a good offer of friendship, and that she would remember that I had been feeding her for a few weeks before she was tricked into the trap, I made a tasty bowl of fishy food. As I slowly showed it to her over the edge of her safe box, she glared at me with distain and fear. Food may be good, but she was in no mood.

Without thinking I did what I have done so many times over the years and talked to her. I showed her the food, moving it closer and closer, and let her sniff. She was very hungry and it was not long before she devled into the bowl with vigor, all the while watching me through the corner of her eye. As she ate I moved closer inside the cage and touched her head slowly. She jerked back and hissed and then went back to eating.

Ten minutes later she was letting me pet her as I continued to speak to her slowly and softly… and a few moments after that a wonderful sound of purring was heard. Her posture relaxed and she was tempted to roll on her back and show me her belly…so tempted. Her head moved into the palm of my hand and the look of distain turned to calmness and perhaps a little love…I like to think:)

In the meantime my neighbor had come in and was sitting on the floor a foot away from her, watching the process. His mouth hanging open because he said she would not do anything but hiss and lunge at him through the cage and he was not sure how to deal with her.

He likes animals…

Do you have any experiences that made you know that you are an animal-person rather than a person who just likes animals? Evie and I would love to hear from you!

Olivia1

The more eyes the better…

Anyone who truly cares about something and making a difference knows the frustration of not being able to do so on a grand scale. It just occured to me as I was helping post things to the board here on the site that anyone who visits the site and sees all the posts about animals in urgent need may learn something and be moved enough to want to take action…and they may then pass that on to someone else and so on, and so on…

So, all we can do is try and try and try again…

If Only…

If only I had a few months off of work, paid of course, to work on the million animal projects already started and in my head. If only I had the extra money to make things happen that I want to do and ultimately to help on a big scale.

If only I had the ability to focus on one big idea and make it happen.

If only the animals would give me more space on this couch I may be able to do just that!
If only…

IfOnly

Always room to learn…

I have been involved in welfare since shortly after beginning in the veterinary field in 1997. Since that time I have helped people find homes for their pets, rescued many off of the streets, fostered, spay/neuter clinics, community outreach, come up with original fundraising items, covered stories for rescues and shelters, witten a book about the welfare world and much more.

But, during most of that time I was lucky enough to have access to resources most people do not. I had all the veterinary help I needed: cages to hold animals, wholesale costs…and so on. When I wanted to pull an animal off of the street I could do so easily and without the urgency that most people experience when trapping, etc. I could take the time to work with an animal who may not have been immediately adoptable, and when ready, find a good home.

So, as I sat on the ground in my neighbors yard a few hours ago, listening to her tell me how to use a new and fancy trap, I felt somewhat embarassed. But, also amazed at what the woman knew and how much she does for the cats in our community. The few roaming around while we talked were reminders of just how dedicated she is.

I found myself eagerly absorbing all the directions and information she gave me and a little nervous about what I was about to do. After all, it was my first time actually using a real trap instead of patiently stalking as I have often done. The cat to be rescued is a very, very pregnant girl who suddenly showed up down the hill from me in my apt complex and is living in the gutters among the cars. I have been feeding her on a schedule the last 10 days to get her used to me and a time to be fed…just so I could catch her. Of course, none of the other million people who actually live by her were going to do anything.

As I crawled under the bush, trying to avoid the sharp dried holly leaves from poking further holes in my knees, I spotted the perfect place for the trap. When done I called her and, of course, she did not appear. Nothing is that easy for me. After a few moments of waiting I knew she would not come so I decided to walk the block and come back.

About half an hour later I arrived back at the bush and saw a flicker of paws pacing back and forth and a smile broke out across my face. Success! Well, to my surprise the cat staring at me was not my girl but a big Tom Boy, and he was not happy. The feeling of success quickly changed to, oh crap, what now!?

So, I called the woman and told her that I did indeed have a cat, but it was not the one I wanted. To my surprise, she said no problem, they all need to be fixed, so bring him up. And so I did. The very large hill seemed even more difficult to hike up as I attempted to carry the trap and a heavy, very upset cat in the afternoon heat. By the time I got to her house, both the cat and I were panting. I put him under the shaded table and sat next to him. We both looked at each other and I told him I was sorry, but it was for the best.

Tomorrow I try for the girl and hope that she has not yet had her babies. Tonight I go to bed with a new appreciation of trappers and their plight. We all have things to learn…

bigboy

6/26/12 – SUCCESS!! Tomorrow she gets spayed and vaccinated. Then, a loving home is needed ASAP. Anyone out there who is interested, please let me know:)

Olivia

Fires and lives…

As I watch the videos and see the photos of the fires in Colorado, right where I used to live, I am reminded of how the animals fled before. How the horses on the ranch became distraught before being caught by their owners and taken home. Of how I watched the fire and smoke come up the mountain and the air turn dark over days.

I remember being evacuated and having to watch the red and golden flames shoot up from the mountain and wonder if the house…any of the houses…were going to be there after the fire stormed through.

I remember months after, walking along the back of the ranch with the dogs high above the house, and smelling the smoke and seeing the blackened trees and ground. I remember how silent it was because the animals were all gone. As far as they could run, slither, fly and scamper. But, then a small baby bear was found by a neighbour wondering lost and alone. It was saved and taken to a safe place. That was a good feeling.

It reminds me of how those of us who are trying to save lives in our own way each day watch the many animals come through our lives like a fire out of control. So many not saved, but the ones who are will always be strong because they made it through.