Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dear Santa.... A Home for the Holidays would be Appreciated -- Greatly!

A cat chowing down in front of you is a very good sign.  That means the cat is super relaxed and does not feel threatened by your presence.  At least that's what I think it means.  Munch, a staff favorite, ate his entire breakfast in front of me.  I was trying to get a photo of his sweet face, but I got tired of waiting for him to finish eating.  He wasn't even bothered by my cajoling and moving his dish from side to side to try to get the shot I wanted.  This patient guy has been waiting for a forever home for sometime.   I never did get the picture I wanted, but Munch did finish his kibble.   It would be great if he could move out and eat all of his meals  in a permanent home,  if not by Christmas...at least by the new year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Best Way to Spend a Snow Day -- With a Book & a Cat!

Snow days make excellent reading days. That's how I read Yona Zeldis McDonough's the Cats in the Doll Shop (Puffin 2011) book from cover to cover and recommend it to any third, fourth or fifth grader who cares about animals and is interested in life from long ago.  Maybe that's too narrow.  Anyone who enjoys a good story -- one with suspense, conflict, family and cats -- should love this book.  Especially if they are able to sit with their own cat on their lap (in my case Merl) and read it in one sitting.  Readers will root for Anna, and her immigrant cousin Tania and worry about Ginger Cat and Plucky.  Readers may wonder about Plucky's leg -- while the kitten's leg appears to "fall off" in the story, more than likely the broken leg became lame and the little cat managed fine without being able to use it.  Readers will undoubtedly  want to report the mean mustachioed man to the authorities and testify at his animal cruelty trial.   The story is set in the early 1900s.  Life was much different then for people and animals.   Be sure to read the timeline at the end of the story. An interesting addition to the timeline would have been the establishment of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), on April 10, 1866 in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow, Sleet and Slush Makes for Messy Paws and a Short Walk!

Yesterday's storm closed some schools, delayed openings at others, and created a slushy mess for dogs who enjoy their daily walks.  Nigel loves to romp in piles of the white fluffy stuff.  But what fell yesterday must have felt like cold pins and needles on his bare feet.  After passing just a few houses  Nigel was raising his left front paw and hobbling like he was trying his best to finish a three-legged race!  Once home, we bathed all four feet in warm water and dried him off and spent the majority of the day inside wishing for a real snow, one with lots and lots of measurable inches.   And, we may get just that.  TOMORROW!
Nigel, not exactly thrilled with the
results of the December 8th storm.
No one should be out in the cold or snow for any length of time.    Humane officers work around the clock.  Report any cases of animals left outside to your local animal control or humane agency.  You can also do your part to help keep animal companion safes during winter storms.  Choose to put out "Safe Paws" or kitty litter rather than salt to help melt snow and/or create traction on sidewalks.  And, get in the habit of bopping  on the car hood before getting in and going for a ride.  Car engines make warm sleeping spots for cats left outdoors.  Remember, animals, like us, may enjoy playing in the snow for a short time.   But, for the most part, the best place to be a cold wintery day is inside. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Weathercasters Trump Santa

WARL's holiday open house has been postponed until Sunday, December 15th.    Drink hot chocolate, bake cookies and keep those animal companions warm and safe inside.  Let it snow!!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow -- but Not on Sunday!

 Santa is scheduled to stop by the Washington Animal Rescue League on Sunday, so dogs (maybe a cat or two), kids, and even adults can deliver their Christmas lists in person.   He reports that he will have no problem trekking in, even if the predicted wintery mix makes mush out of our city streets.  After all, Santa resides in the North Pole and, I just happen to know that  he has access to a Subaru!  It may be, however,  that some of the folks who might bring their dogs and kids to the event have a harder time making it across town.  Be sure to check with the League Sunday morning to see if Santa can postpone his visit to another, perhaps dryer day. 

The bitter cold wet weather predicted  for this weekend is a reminder that it is DECEMBER after all -- even if the thermometer read 68 degrees yesterday.  December, and the months that follow are COLD.  Be sure to take cold weather precautions with your animal companions.  Keep cats indoors.  Walk dogs a reasonable amount of time -- don't leave them outside unattended.  Put a coat on your dog if you want,  but the main thing is to be aware of the temperature.  If you are cold, your animal companion probably is, too!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful to work with so many wonderful adults and students who care deeply about animals.  Linda H., from our behavior and training department, introduced visitors from the  Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington's Clubhouse 14 to Casio, a very young pup.  The students were calm and nurturing; and in just seconds, they had this little guy eating out of their hands!  The puppy, the last of a litter of five, loved snuggling with the students.   The fluffy spaniel mix should be in his new home for Thanksgiving.   For those who are left behind, incredibly devoted and nurturing WARL staff and volunteers will be here caring for the cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pipe Cleaners as Cat Toys and ART!

Cats love pipe cleaner toys.  Trolling on the web this morning I found someone who creates animal art out of pipe cleaners.  If you haven't seem California based artist, Lauren Ryan's, polar bear and other critters,  check them out --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j3cY3dPk2U.   I was amazed and inspired.  I picked up a pipe cleaner and made a wiggly worm and tested it in the cat room. Neither Piper nor Mau Mau were particularly interested in playing with the toy or admiring my artistic skills They  both, however, are extremely interested in  finding forever homes. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PAWS Provides Assistance in Tacloban

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society PAWS is on the ground in Tacloban providing disaster relief.  Updates on the devastating conditions and the group's efforts to help survivors from the deadly Typhoon Haiyan are reported on www.paws.org.ph/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tis the Season for Everyone to Limit the Junk Food!

This is Enchantment.  He is one big dude!   Enchantment has no self-control, especially when it comes to chowing down on junk food.   And, that's apparently what he did in his previous home.  He ate and ate and ate.  An overweight cat is not a healthy cat.  Our medical staff has this sweetie pie on a diet -- nothing but, bland, low calorie food for him.  And, exercise -- he's suppose to get plenty of it.  For right now he is living in one of my coworkers' office.  That way, he has a little more space to stretch out and move.  Hopefully, someone will adopt him soon.  Preferably, someone with stairs in their home.  Up and down steps several times a day would be great exercise for this portly guy.  Enchantment has a very pretty face and four snow white boots.  He loves to be brushed.  With a little help from his WARL weight loss coaches, we believe  that, before long, he'll be modeling a lean new look that will keep him healthy and happy in his forever home for years to come. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Altruism for Animals

In  just one week three groups of students showered the League's animals with gifts.   It started when Beth El Synagogue's kindergarten class collected $$, linens, and paraphernalia  for the animals.  They also created bold works of art that brightened staff's day.  A Junior Girl Scout troop toured the shelter later  in the week.  They brought lots of homemade toys for the animals.  And, yesterday, Temple Shalom families made their annual pilgrimage to learn about the League's mission.  They carted in two huge boxes of congregation-made toys and other things for the animals.  Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dog Toys!!!!!

Nigel approves of the many toys that were distributed in the kennels yesterday to all of the dogs who love squeakers , squishies and cuddly plush animals.   Don't the toys look like they could have come right out of the stuffed animal aisle at Toys R Us or off of my daughter's bed?  They could have.  They are all "kid" toys that our wonderful volunteer, Kathy, miraculously converted into dog toys.  
She took off the swallowable eyes and accessories, opened them up and added squeakers and cracklers to their stuffed bellies and limbs, before sewing them up and christening them dog-ready .  Some of the totally recycled dog toys have three or four squeakers, others have squeakers and empty water bottles.    The menagerie of bears, bunnies, frogs, and other critters made for hours of fun for shelter dog.  Nigel, on the other hand, preferred a quiet nap on his bed in my office.  Creating dog toys out of discarded stuffed animals would be a GREAT project for scout troops, service clubs, and religious classes looking to help the animals at the League.  Toys with beans don't work, but those toys packed with cotton and batting can be made dog-ready by anyone with a needle and thread!  Thank you Kathy!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Things I Learned on the Way to Other Things

I don't remember what I was looking up.  I think it was, "when is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month,."  But during my search I found this headline, Diver’s sea creature find is ‘discovery of a lifetime'. The l18-foot-long oarfish was discovered Sunday afternoon by Jasmine Santana, a marine science instructor at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. The article described  the oarfish was dead but its slender, snake-like body was intact, another reminder that the world is a very big place inhabited by many wonderful and unique creatures.   I don't expect to see an oarfish in real life, but I did see a moose a long time ago. He was a gigantic, magnificent fellow.   The typically, slow-lumbering moose weighs in at more than 1,000 pounds, a few reaching even 1,800-2,000 pounds.   Once a fairly common resident in a number of U.S. states the moose, also known as the largest deer, may not be such a common site in the future.   Another article I stopped at  was a New York Times piece, Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/science/earth/something-is-killing-off-the-moose.html?_r=0,  The article claims that many factors are contributing to the rapidly declining moose population, including climate change.     The article  reminded me of a book I read when my daughter was little, A Moose for Jessica, the true story of a cow who falls for a moose!    People traveled to Vermont from all over the world to see the cross-species love-struck  couple.  By the way my search did lead me to discover that,  October  IS  National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month and we have lots of great shelter dogs waiting to be adopted. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Left & Lonely!

It was nearly 90 degrees Sunday afternoon.   I decided to seek refuge from the heat in an air-conditioned movie theatre in downtown Silver Spring.  This poor pup, dressed in his best black-terrier coat,  was not getting a reprieve from the beating sun.  He was tied to a lamp-post while his person, presumably,  as reported by a bystander,  went to have lunch at the corner Panera.  The dog tugged and whimpered.  One passerby brought him a bowl of water, another stroked him for a bit and tried to calm his anxiousness with soothing words. Several people knelt down and gave him a quick pat before continuing on.   I watched as  a small crowd of people asked each other what should they do, and wondered, What if the dog wasn't a cute little Toto-look-alike?  What if he was a big, strapping pit bull lunging to get free? I also questioned why would the dog's person think that, being tied to a lamp-post in summer-like heat, on a busy road, would be an enjoyable outing for a dogRegardless, a cute terrier or a stocky pit bull, a tied up dog should not be approached, better still a dog should not be tied up, and especially never left tied up and unattended.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kitten Energy

Getting Ready....

I am not getting much work done today.  That's because I have a temporary office mate.   Little T.R. moved in for a few days.  He might not be a teeny tiny kitten anymore, but he is a long way from adulthood.  This little guy is all about playing.  Tennis balls, pipe cleaners, cat toys, pens, pencils, computers!  Yes, compuuuuuutzzzzzzzzers.   "No, no, T.R., go find something else to do, " I say.     He's happy to play with a pipe cleaner, tennis ball or cat toy for a minute, but .... Oh, no -- he's back.   qqqqqqq111111111111111111111111111111.  "Great typing T.R., how about eating a snack?" I ask.   Working in 30 second intervals is not very productive.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Contributing to WARL is a Congregation Affair

When students in St John's Episcopal Church's  youth group decided to help the animals they were asked by Music Minister Adam Graham if they wanted to organize a drive to stock the League's Rescuers' Food Bank or  collect linens, treats and toys for the shelter animals --  they decided to do it all.  Church services during the summer included a student appeal requesting donations for The Furry Family Drive.  The congregants complied.  On Saturday, September 21st, Music Minister Adam Graham, student representatives, and parents packed two cars with bags of linens and an assortment of toys, treats and food.  On top of that, they presented the League with a $200 check to help provide animal care.   And, that's not the end of their effort.  The group is exploring additional ways to help the animals, including possibly scheduling an adoption event at the church.  Music Minister Adam Graham is a  good advertisement for adopting a shelter dog; his beloved Bella was a WARL adoptee 4 years ago.  THANK YOU ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH families for helping your furry friends at the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Donny and Jules Update

Wow!  It's been  awhile since Donny & Jules moved from my  office to their forever home.   Their well-trained guardian  reports that the dynamic duo are just dandy and enjoying these pleasant pre-autumn days on their "catio".   That was NOT a spelling error, a  screened-in patio, inhabited by cats, is naturally a catio!    I opened  the picture of  Donny lounging on the table and Jules investigating a porch-plant, and wondered if it would be presumptuous of  me to invite myself for an afternoon tea visit.  In my book it doesn't get any better than hanging out with two laid-back cats on a securely screened catio,  sipping tea and munching chocolate chip cookies.  "Hello, Donny & Jules' perfect person, what are you doing this afternoon?"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th!

One of the many striking black cats adopted from WARL
My Gladys
Friday the 13th, often considered bad luck, only happens twice a year.  Black cats, almost always available for adoption in animal shelters, are  considered bad luck in some cultures.  But, did you know, that --
  • Black cats were thought to bring good fortune in ancient Egypt.
  • Black cats are considered lucky in many Asian countries, and England too.
I've been lucky to share my home over the years with two black cats.  Sidney, my very first cat, convinced me that black cats brought neither good luck nor bad,  but provided endless hours of entertainment.  She loved to retrieve (unlike Nigel, my Labrador RETRIEVER).  Her bad luck was personal, she suffered from a fatal brain tumor when she was not quite 10-years-old.  Gladys, my second black cat,  started out with bad luck of her own ---scraggly, and barely a year-old, she was reportedly chased up a telephone pole by a teeth-barring dog and stayed there for more than a day until she was rescued by an animal control officer.   She came to live with me as a foster and reigned as queen of her castle for nearly 18 years.  I was lucky to have been loved by them both.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Love to Draw Dogs!

Jennifer Lipsey's book, I Love to Draw Dogs!  will turn even the most crayon-phobic, stick person creator into the next Lucy Dawson.  Who is Lucy Dawson you may ask?  Ms. Dawson illustrated the book, Dogs As I See Them in 1936.  Her dog illustrations were popular in England and the United States.  The sketches are now considered collectible art.  Perhaps young artists,  who follow Jennifer Lipsey's dog drawing instructions to create little dogs, big dogs and "even skating dogs", will one day have their works in the collections of dog lovers everywhere!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Camper Pup Happy -- Muddy Paws & All -- in Forever Home!

Hurrah!  We heard back today from one our camp puppies' forever guardian.   She wrote,
Thank you for your letters about Brandy, I was so happy to read about the pup's early training and glad to learn he had such great teachers.
I changed the pup's name, as both of you suggested, and he now goes by "District." He loves to take early morning long walks.
I am very lucky to live right across from where I work so we get to see each other for lunch. He is doing very well with his crate training and has almost mastered the come, sit, down and stay commands. He likes to romp around in the dog park but he often gets muddy so I have to wash his paws in the tub (see pic)!
In the afternoons we like to walk down to the waterfront where we see a lot other pups and humans.
Thank you again for your letters and I hope you like the pictures!
Allegra, puppy formerly known as Brandy,
and Ariana sit for their camp portrait
What a nice September morning email.  I'm sure District's trainers will be thrilled with the update.  Hope we hear an equally favorable report from this lucky guy's brothers and sister.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to School

Pups begging to go to camp
It's official.  Summer is over.   Well, maybe NOT according to the calendar -- summer doesn't officially end until September 21st -- but along with school starting, camps ended at the League.  Four adorable Labrador retriever mix pups, Basil, Bonzo, Brandy, and Bama quickly moved into their forever homes shortly after completing  Caring Kids -- Training 101 -- Camp, Session 2 .  Their eight camper/trainers did a wonderful job giving the foursome the basics.   They, like students returning to school, need to keep practicing their newly learned skills.   We are hoping to get progress reports from their adopters soon. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Everything you wanted to know about bats, and more -- right here http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/bats-are-in-danger-and-they-could-use-some-help-from-kids/2013/08/08/a253a5a8-f497-11e2-a2f1-a7acf9bd5d3a_story.html.

Save Lucy's Leslie Sturges is one of the bat people in the know quoted in the Kids Post article.  She is also one of the speakers who visited the League's Caring Kids All About Animals camp earlier this summer.  Campers not only got to see a big brown bat (really very little) up close, but they learned about what they can do to help save bats.   Visit Save Lucy at www.savelucythebat.org.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Temporary Neighbor Smiles for Photo Op

Actually, I really don't think the little guy is smiling, I think he's slightly perturbed.  Well, maybe really angry -- and hungry.  But, hey, he now gets a fighting chance at life including a smorgasbord of chopped mice and other opossum-friendly foods before being released to a more appropriate environment.  The motherless  infant opossum was brought to City Wildlife.  He'll be fed and cared for there until he can be safely released.  City Wildlife, http://www.citywildlife.org/,  the District's first ever rehabilitation center, created to provide critical care for sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals, officially opened its doors last week.  City Wildlife, our new next door neighbor, is located at 15 Oglethorpe Street, NW.   Animals, like this baby opossum, are received 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.    Check out City Wildlife's website for information on how you can make the area a safer place for all animals.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Is this a Happy Face or What??

Friday marked the end of our third Caring Kids Summer Camp session.  Only one more week of camp left, Dog Training 101- session 2, starts next Monday, August 12th.   Shortly after that it's back to school.  The mild weekend weather reminded me of those upcoming September days, when summer is definitely winding down and fall is on the verge of settling in.   It was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.  Nigel enjoys cooling off in ankle deep water.  Ever cautious, he refuses to venture out past the shoreline.  Not all Labrador Retrievers are swimmers.  Nigel is a wader.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Update on the First Caring Kids -- Dog Training 101-- Camp Graduate of the Summer 2013

Puppies grow up so fast!   Barely a month ago the pup, now named Rosie, was learning the basics, in-between snuggles, in Caring Kids-Dog Training 101 Camp.  Now, her new family reports she's already doubled in weight and is "doing great, loves running outside, and meeting new people".    They also asked us to thank the camper/trainers for letting them know "how much she likes peanut butter from a Kong!"   They sent lots of wonderful pictures, but I particularly love this one, of the growing pup sitting, demonstrating the very first thing she learned in camp.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Caring Kids Camp 2013 Highlights Creatures Great and Small

All About Animals Camp campers loved visiting with  the cats and dogs housed at the shelter, but they also delighted in meeting other animals like the box turtles and gecko that Dr. Pricilla Joyner from Pender Veterinary Center brought to camp.  Both turtles had been injured and neither could be released to the wild.  The gecko, a former patient of Dr. Joyner's, was constantly being treated  for eye infections.  At one point the reptile's guardian said that she couldn't care for the Leopard Gecko any longer, and that's how Dr. Joyner adopted her little buddy.  Dr. Joyner not only sees small  exotic creatures at the hospital, but she helps to care for large, potentially endangered wild animals living at the Smithsonian's science centers.  Many campers are interested in becoming veterinarians.   After Dr. Joyner's visit, they learned that if they are at all interested in caring for, and studying, a large assortment of animals, they better be prepared for many, many years of education.  Several eagerly said that they were up for the challenge.

There are two more weeks of Caring Kids Camp scheduled for this summer. Animals and Art runs July 29- August 2 and Dog Training 101 is set for August 12-16.  All sessions for 2013 are completely full.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Emmaly's Efforts Help the Animals!

Emmaly not only held a successful lemonade and cupcake sale (5 dozen yummy treats were bought), raising $152.50,  to benefit the animals  temporarily housed at WARL, but she collected a treasure trove of  items for the cats and dogs including bags of towels, blankets, and toys, cat  and dog food grooming supplies, and leashes.   Lynn, Emmaly's friend, and WARL volunteer stopped by the neighborhood stand to purchase a treat and pose for a brief photo op.  Thanks Emmaly!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The One and Only Ivan -- A Must Read

Katherine Applegate's award winning novel, The One and Only Ivan captures the reader from the very first three word sentence, I am Ivan. The first page, titled hello, is no more than three sparse sentences, I am Ivan.  I am a gorilla.  it's not as easy as it looks.  The entire 300 page novel book is sparse, like Ivan's like -- a mighty Silverback gorilla, captured in Africa as an infant who endured nearly 30 years in a sparsely furnished roadside mall exhibit.  A money maker for the mall owner.  The empathetic work of fiction is based loosely on the real life  gorilla who was captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo and then spent 27 years alone in a cage at a circus-themed mall in Tacoma, Washington.  Eventually, a public outcry, including hundreds of letters from kids helped find that Ivan a home at Zoo Atlanta.  The gorilla  died at  in 2012 at the age of 50.  The novel, The One and Only Ivan ends with the introduction of the gorilla to other gorillas in the zoo.  I wouldn't call it a happy ending, but a better ending to a truly a heart-wrenching story.  I couldn't put the book down. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lab School Pentagon is a Cat Room Favorite!

When Ms. Eleni Krasnias students visited the Washington Animal Rescue League they were interested in the elaborate scratching posts that were in the cat room.  The replica of the Capitol building, along with a lounge chair and football helmet were commissioned by Animal Planet for the Too Cute kitten window in the League's lobby.  Ms. Krasnias said to her students, I think we could make something like that.  And, create something the did.  As soon as the large pentagon was placed on the cat room floor, Fellini went to town sharpening his nails on all five sides of the structure.  He was not happy about sharing the pentagon, but part of living in a communal cat room is learning to share. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dog Toys!!!!!

I couldn't believe my eyes  when I arrived at the League this morning -- the dog toy elves left  bags and boxes full of wonderful brightly colored fleece toys for the dogs  in the shelter.   All sizes of tug toys -- some for small dogs, some for medium dogs, and extra long and think toys  for big dogs. Tug toy games may be played by two dogs or a person and a dog.    The fleece braids are fun to play with and easy to wash -- a perfect toy for the shelter and for at home.  I have to do a little research to find out who were the very generous and industrious elves.  I want to thank them, very, very much!

Friday, June 7, 2013

June is Adopt-A-Month and boy, do we have great cats to adopt!  We have kittens, too, but it's Adopt-A-Cat Month, not adopt a kitten.  Some really terrific cats have been here awhile waiting patiently.  I think it's time that they move to their forever homes.  Meet Aida.  She has learned to sit and give a high-five during her stay at the League.  If someone is looking for the perfect cat with dog-like qualities, here she is.  And, Carmen Jones!   Wow, she's a sweetie.  And, she's also got some exotic lineage that accounts for  her extreme intelligence and read-to-play attitude.   I was told she looks like a Turkish Van Swimming Cat.  Truth be told, I'd never heard of such a breed, so I looked it up and sure enough the description fits Carmen Jones perfectly.  From her coloring, to the texture of her fur, to her "love me" exuberance, I'm  convinced that our cat room cutie is a Turkish Van cat.
June is the perfect month for Aida and Carmen Jones to move from the League's shelter to their new digs.  They are both spayed, up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and ready to go.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Coconut Clusters -- Yum Yum!

Nigel waits for the "Take It"
signal before scarfing down the
Coconut Cluster.  He gave the treat  
4 Paws Up.

Everyone needs a treat now and then.  The students in Ms. Chambers' 4th grade class at West Education Campus measured and mixed ingredients and then assembled and bagged Coconut Clusters for every dog awaiting adoption at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  The healthy treats were a big hit with the pooches, including Nigel.   You can make the no-bake goodies at home.  Check out the recipe the students used at http://www.dogtreatkitchen.com/easy-homemade-dog-treats.html.  Perfect summer activity -- NO BAKING needed!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Busy Students Make Time for the Animals

I was invited to visit Newport Mill Middle School's Green Club and Student Government yesterday.  I knew that the Montgomery County, Maryland students were collecting linens for the animals and I figured I'd carry out a bag or two.      After my visit a half dozen students packet my car with boxes and bags of the donated goods. 
We have lots and lots of puppies right now, which means we use lots and lots of linens.   
This is a busy time of year for students -- especially middle and high school students -- with exams and end-of-the-year activities.  Obviously, not too busy to think of the cats and dogs at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  Thanks Newport Mill Middle School Green Club and Student Government members!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Be Kind, Prevent Dog Bites

So, this is National Dog Bite Prevention Week -- there is a week or day to commemorate  everything.   Be Kind to Animals Month started out nearly 100 years ago as Be Kind to Animals Week.   I'm a little perplexed by both of these celebratory events  -- Be Kind to Animals and Dog Bite Prevention should be every day, all day, 365 days of the years.  
If we are kind to animals, train them well, make them integral parts of our family and if we don't tease , taunt,  or frighten dogs (and cats), we can be kind to animals while preventing dog bites! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kudos to the Lafayette Elementary School 7

When the League received a check on school letterhead,  I thought that there must have been a school organized event that netted $225 for the animals.  But, then I read further and learned that the money was raised by seven very compassionate and proactive Lafayette Elementary School fifth graders.  Torin, Anaily, Iona, Claire, Emma, Miranda and Daniela created  Animalicious (check out animalicious.webs.com) as a way to help animals.  And, according to Anaily, it all started when she decided to make a piggy bank for her sister!   Lots of cute piggy banks are pictured on the group's web site.  The girls were eager to acknowledge the help and support of their awesome art teacher, Ms. Laurie McLaughlin. The friends also sold cookies at school basketball games to raise money the animals, and they  are planning more events that will benefit the animals, including an outdoor movie night! 

Visiting the girls was a great way to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week.  Thank you, Anaily, Torin, Iona, Daniela, Miranda, Emma & Claire, for caring and working to make the world a better place for animals!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

E. L. Haynes Public Charter School 5th Graders Surprise Me With Their Gratitude!

The saying,  a picture is worth a thousand words, does not adequately describe this photo of Nigel admiring a framed thank you photo, colorful notes of appreciation, and a jug of money collected for the animals at the League.   Actually, when the fifth graders at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School presented me with the plaque highlighting their trip to the League, I was totally speechless.  Not only was the thoughtful  gesture totally unexpected, but the fifth graders in Mr. Goff's health class and Ms. Hutchins' math class have demonstrated kindness to animals (and to each other) all year long.   I've written about them several times highlighting their posters proclaiming kindness and their letters to the president asking that animal issues be taken seriously.  Caring about animals comes naturally to this group of soon-to-be middle schoolers.  I am really going to miss them next year.  But, as I tell them, they make my job so much easier -- I know that each and every one of them are life-long advocates for  animals.  Spreading the word is what will make a difference and these kids are all about making a difference!

Nigel, obviously, was doing his best to read every comment! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boy Panther Doing Quite Nicely!

Minke Macan lounging & posing.
There's only one thing better than watching an animal go home, it's getting an update from that forever home. 

It is well-documented that I am total mush in the company of big, hunky male cats.  The cat, formerly known as Mickey, and now and forever known as  Minke Macan, is one of those cats.   Immediately upon meeting the panther-looking cat, I was fantasizing about him moving into my house, sleeping on my bed and putting that troublesome little Charlotte in her place.  He paraded around Kitty City like he owned it, and gave head-nudges that could nearly knock you over.  And, just two weeks ago he moved to his forever home -- not mine -- and has settled in quite nicely.

His new family gave him a fitting name.  Minke Macan means "Boy Panther" in Indonesian, they reported.  Minke is the last in a long line of palace cats (miniature panthers) from the Islamic kingdoms of Java. Minke's family came to the US as part of a trade mission in the latter part of the 16th century. Minke has now settled into daily life consisting of taking over our lounge in full stretch, chasing our feet in bed and leaping to his high perch on top of the scratch tower. His adoptive parents look forward to many years of love and affection with our own royal panther.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Second Grade Teacher's Love of Poetry Made a Lasting Impression on Me!

Miss Payne recited--
I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one
but I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one.

 National Poetry Month 2013 ends next week. 
Share a poem today.