Manotas: Another “Tail” from the Shelter


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This morning as I walked from my car to the animal shelter, I realized two things. One, is that I am the luckiest person alive to be living in this beautiful, oceanside city; because although the day started out chilly it slowly morphed into glorious warm sunshine and two, I had an inner feeling of joy just thinking about the sweet animals waiting for me at the shelter. They are so honest. They are happy to see me and are not embarrassed to show it.

Some of the animals are a little reticent. They came from places that didn’t offer them a gentle hand or a warm caress on their cheek.

Funny thing though, their joy is just waiting to be released and as soon as they realize that the volunteers are there to calm them down and offer acceptance and warm hugs, they are only too happy to return those blessings.

They harbor no malice and are as honest as babies. Once they trust you they turn into pure joyful spirits, and this is honestly what warms my soul as much as the southern California sun.

Our Manotas is still sitting in his pen awaiting a special kindred spirit who is able to see what this sweet boy’s eyes have difficulty perceiving.

As you know, Manotas has very little sight but what he does know is that he loves people. Maybe even more than a sighted dog, this little man with dim eyesight has the sweetest heart I have ever been witness to. Amazing, too, is what he showed me the other day.

I was preparing to walk him outside the front gate and down the Edison Access road when he sensed another person about 20 feet away. That person is one of Manotas’ favorite volunteers and he made a beeline for him!

My thought is that because his eyes aren’t as heightened as his other senses, he is more sensitive to stimulus that the eyes can’t see but the heart can feel.

I also noticed just how pretty he is; he honestly looks like a big, 24-pound teddy bear! So cuddly that it’s hard not to stop every few feet to kneel down and hug that sweet little man and that, my friends, is what he lives for.

We now have a sign on his pen proclaiming that he is a volunteer/shelter favorite—a dog so deserving of a great home that we all are hoping that is exactly what he finds.

And our Manotas has the most upbeat attitude. He is not depressed as many longtime shelter dogs sadly become. Instead he serves as an inspiration to all of us. His message is loud and clear. “Be happy, life is good–grab the joy out of every minute and don’t be afraid to show it.” We don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be perfectly lovable.

If you have a little extra time, please visit him at the Newland Shelter in Huntington Beach–he will teach you some very important lessons about life.

manotas shelter info

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Having lived these good many years, (71 to be exact), has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I value most. Family, good friends, and the precious pets that have shared my life  have enriched me as a person. I’ve evaluated what is most important to me and what lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve determined is that I want to leave this world a better place for having lived here. It is one of my deepest desires to be able to help those who have no voice — because animals have always played an important role in my life. They were constant friends when the world around me was changing.  One, (a small parakeet named Petie), accompanied me when as a child my family moved across country twice, (New York to California and back again)-I can still see Petie in his small travel cage sitting on my lap as I explained to him where we were stopping for the night and feeling that his company as well as my dear parents were all I needed to feel safe and secure. My pets were with me in good times and bad, often being the consistent non-judgmental voice my heart needed. Although I spent my working years as a commercial artist, both teaching the craft at a local college and in my own studio, it seems that in my later years it is by painting with words that I am now able to reach out to people, and it is my joy to do just that. I hope my stories help to connect people to kindred souls that wear fur on their faces but are just as capable as we are to feel great love in their hearts.  Rescue animals particularly deserve another chance at a happy life and it is my honor to bring their stories to light and hopefully be the catalyst that joins two different species on their journey. The connection we share with our pets is like no other, There is no need to be anything other than who and what you are. No amount of money or privilege will impress them as much as your kindness and attention. I do know that in the final analysis, life is good and most people honestly want to do the right thing. If that includes opening their home and heart to another living being, then my purpose is accomplished. I hope in some small way I can contribute to that greater good. Bio- Born in Middle Village, New York- 1945 Mother to a wonderful son, Michael who truly would be a cherished friend even if we weren't related--and fortunate in meeting my kind and thoughtful soulmate, Burt, in later life- I am blessed indeed. Retired teacher/ Orange Coast College/ former owner and operator of a commercial art business in Huntington Beach, California.
 Lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the art field where I was often quoted as saying, "You mean I am being paid for something I love to do?!"

 Interests: travel, enjoying local points of interest, movies, volunteering at the Newland Animal Shelter and writing about the wonderful personalities I have been honored to meet there, both human and furry-faced, and generally enjoying the retired life.


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