Thursday, April 28, 2011

4th Graders Celebrate National Poetry Month and Animals with Haikus & Acrostics

Fourth graders in Ms. Sherk's class at West Education Center regularly enjoy visits from Nigel.  In celebration of National Poetry Month they wrote Haiku and Acrostic poems about Nigel, their animal friends, and animal care. Here are a sample of those poems.  Enjoy!!! 

P-up, he's ready for action.
U-p and down he goes around
M-onkey business
P-imity pum, he crashes
K-iddin' around, he's just a joke
I-n his mini house
N-obody loves him live me
    by Kobe

A-fast runner
L-ots of energy
F-ools around
E-ats his treats
S-weet as can be
S-uper loving
  by Julissa
My Dog
Faithy loves to eat
She jumps, plays, runs, eats, and sneaks
As cute as can be
  by Damia

Cruelty is bad
Stop hurting animals -- now
Love animals now
  by Gaby

Smart, kind, yummy, fun
Likes to eat pears and apples
Run fast and play fair.
  by Amaya

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I used to love thunderstorms.  The bright lightening bolts illuminating the night sky followed by booming claps of thunder created natural entertainment -- that was until I lived with a dog who was deathly afraid of summer storms.  Ruth panicked so badly that, if no one was home, she'd actually break out of our house and race wildly in any direction trying to escape the storm.  Even years after Ruthie died, I have never been able to enjoy a summer storm like I did prior to living with a storm-phobic dog.  Ruth was a natural weather-caster.   Her internal Doppler radar system could predict a storm long before the first rain drop.  Blue skies did not fool Ruth -- if rain was on the way, she'd start shaking and hiding hours before the first rain drop fell. 

Many dogs are scared to death of storms.  And, unfortunately, according to a  2006 study conducted by Penn State veterinarians,  there is very little that guardians can do to comfort their anxious friends.  Holding a dog, contrary to popular belief, during a storm does very little, if anything at all, to lower the dog's level of anxiety.  The study concluded, that the only intervention, other than drugs, that might comfort a storm phobic dog, is the company of other dogs. Thunderstorm phobic dogs  living in multiple dog households were  not as anxious as storm phobic dogs who were living in only-dog households.   And, the dogs in multiple dog households seemed to recover from their heightened anxiety faster than those storm phobic only dogs.

With summer storm season approaching, people with fearful dogs may want to venture over to the League to visit with the many happy-go-lucky dogs who are anxioulsy waiting to help their potential fearful friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beloved Author Writes Dog Poems With Her Daughter

I just got a copy of Patrica MacLachlan (Sarah Plain and Tall and lots of other wonderful books) and Emily MacLachlan's sweet dog poetry book, Once I Ate a Pie, 13 dogs tell-all-poems and according to the sticker on the book, Dog Approved -- very high praise.  Print date is 2006 -- sorry I've missed this charming collection for five years.

Only 12 more days in National Poetry Month.  Here's the title poem.  Mr. Beefy writes the title poem.  Enjoy!
I am not thin, but I am beautiful
When no one is looking,
I steal tubs of butter off the table.
I take them to the basement to eat in private

Don't be shy -- is there a dog or cat that you can write a poem about?  How about writing a poem from that animal's perspective? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wonderful Willie!

Max & Willie
Nearly 14-years-ago, my friend Kathy decided to adopt a dog.   Not just any dog, but a special dog.  The dog had to get along with Rebecca, Kathy's four-year old daughter.  When Willie moved in there was no question who he would get along with -- Rebecca, and just about everyone else.  

Willie died tonight.  I know Rebecca, nearly 18, is sad, very sad.  I know, too, that her mom, Kathy, is hurting.  Willie was there through good times and bad.  He was the ultimate cheerleader.  If dogs could smile, Willie's grin would have been plastered across his face 24/7.  

Willie was a little under a year old when Kathy met him at the D.C. animal control facility.  I can't remember how he got there.  He was one of those dogs that made you wonder out loud how could anyone give up such a sweet little guy.   He loved Kathy and Rebecca with every bone in his body.  They loved him at least as much, if not more.  Willie was a little dog with a big, generous heart that, sadly gave out today.   We'll miss you Willie.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Responsible Animal Care Poem for YOU!

by Peggy Archer

Wobbles new people have surely
put tags on that collar by now.
In fact, Wobbles has probably
outgrown that collar
 and has a new one with tags.
 from the book Name that Dog -- Puppy Poems from A to Z

Tags for  his house number.
Tags for his phone.
Shot tags
shaped like a bone.
Tags for his dog license
one every year.
Jingle! Jingle!
Dog tags
tell you when he's near.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vote for Vixen!

Vixen lounging near her favorite
window in her forever home!
Only four more days to vote for the League in the ASPCA's Challenge to Save Lives grant opportunity.  Money awarded to the League will go directly to our adoptions program.  Help us place more wonderful animals in permanent loving homes.   If you viewed our adoptable dogs a few months ago you would have run across Vixen, a cute, fluffy Chow mix up.  Here's an update from her forever home!

[Here's] a photo of Vixen in front of her favorite window. It looks down on the street so she can watch the neighbors and their dogs pass by. Vixen prefers to be outside meeting them in person,
but watching them is the next best thing.

Thanks to Juanishia and all the other staff who took care of Vixen and helped my family adopt her. Vixen adds so much love to our lives, our happiness meters have all jumped up since she arrived.

Help the League jump start more happiness meters, please votes.  Post the link on facebook pages, email the link to friends and family, spread the word.  Click here http://challenge.aspcapro.org/vote-your-shelter

Monday, April 11, 2011

VOTE --ASPCA CHALLENGE! Read the Inspirational Update Below

Joia before she had a bed to store her toys!
I've been meaning to share this sweet story for some time now.  And, since we are deep into the ASPCA Challenge to Save Lives with just five days of voting left, I thought that today would be perfect to post a very happy story.  Enjoy! 

Two Month Update!   I adopted "Carmela" ... and I have come to learn that I did not rescue her but she rescued me. She truly is my best little buddy and it has been such a joy watching her personality develop and she has really come into her own. Matter of fact, her name is now Joia... Italian for Joy because not only does she have the cutest little way of jumping for Joy but she has brought me tons of it!

Joia has been such a blessing. We go to the small dog park and she has tons of fun playing with her new friends. She also has met a bunch of other dogs and has become quite the hostess in having puppy play dates at her new home. She is also in her second week of doggy school and is a star pupil- she picks up everything so fast- she is so smart and eager to please! She is fierce at tug of war and is very proud every time she "kills" one of her stuffed animals :) Her favorite toy is her tug of war rope and she likes to sleep with her pinky bear in the human's bed- she has a dog bed that is now just used to store all of her toys because she finds the memory foam people bed much more suited to her liking :)

I just want to thank you all for the wonderful work you do and let you know about TWO more lives that you have made better!

Friday, April 8, 2011

MAKE A DIFFERENCE -- Help Save Lives and Vote for the Washington Animal Rescue League!

Everyone at the League is working hard to qualify for a chance to win the ASPCA’s $100K Challenge, and we need your help. All you have to do is vote for the League online once a day, every day, until Friday, April 15. It only takes a second, and thousands of animal lives can be saved and improved. Just click here http://challenge.aspcapro.org/vote-your-shelter to be connected to the ASPCA's site.  If we are one of the top 50 organizations, we will be eligible to compete for $100,000 and place more animals in loving, forever homes. 
There's just one week left to vote.  Please ask your friends and family to vote, too.  Every vote counts!
Thanks so much for helping! Your daily click will help animals like Apple, Yogi and Achilles pictured here!