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!