Na and the Beautiful Day

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Another “Tail” from the Shelter

It would be difficult to not be grateful for a day like today.

While walking the distance from my compact, 18-year-old car toward our shelter on Newland Street, the sun warmed my back and the ocean breeze held the delightful scent of sand and surf.

As I got closer to my destination, I could hear the dogs calling. And I thought about all of the unique personalities I have had the pleasure of getting to know in the past. Sweet souls who look up at me from the other end of the leash and are capable of all of the emotions we as humans feel—joy, pleasure, love, compassion and sadly, pain…all but hate.

I don’t think a dog is capable of truly hating another being.

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I looked over the roster, saw a new little dog had been brought in and I was intrigued by her name, Na. Two letters representing a small white chihuahua.

When I entered the pen area, there she was. The tiniest dog made even smaller because she was so pathetically thin.

I put my hand on the front of the pen; she came up to me and asked with her eyes to have a bit of attention.

They do that you know.

I don’t know if it’s telepathy or just a desire to be noticed, but it was plain that this sad little dog, with bones jutting out barely covering her frame, wanted to be thought of as special. As I opened the door, she shrank back.

I’ve seen this before, and it can usually be overcome by me entering the pen and sitting on the floor; talking softly and letting the dog see I mean no harm and might just be a friend.

The desire to be loved and have company usually always overcomes the fear of an unknown hand, and it was this way with Na. A strange name for a totally lovable, tiny chihuahua.

I was able to put the leash on her after a short while and opened the kennel door so I could take her out. Na evidently had never been on a leash and she really didn’t know how to walk on one. No problem! I have a method that never fails. I just kneel down about 8 feet in front of the dog and call them to me. Na immediately wanted to come to the lady in the orange volunteer shirt–me!

We did that for about 60 feet and, smart little girl that she is, started walking with me. Not in front of me and not by my side, but just behind my feet. Na is a natural follower.

She particularly enjoyed our time at the end of the Edison Access Road where I put her on my lap and told her how lovely she is, and how someone will cherish her again…She listened very carefully.

It is during these walks that I not only have an opportunity to enjoy the company of the dogs but also to breathe in the fresh air, the ocean breeze, the flowers, and watch the birds that frequent the area.

While Na walked slightly behind me, I saw the tiniest little hummingbird land on a telephone wire and along with me, savor the day.

And then there is the mystery bird.

Several times I have seen him, and I have come to believe that he is a vulture wrapped up in the body of a dove. This sweet looking ‘dove’ often flies after blackbirds and larger winged creatures while shrieking like a banshee! He does not sound like a dove and he doesn’t act like a sweet dove either…This guy has attitude.

Na and I stood watching him for a while and then headed back to the shelter where she is awaiting her forever home. She would love to find someone who will delight in making sure her thin little body fills out and the sparkle comes back to her eyes.

I wish I could include a picture of her, but there is not one available at this time. Let me describe little Na to you.

She is about 3 years old and white with a sweet face, resembling this precious love.

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Na is in the #1 kennel at the OC Humane Society on Newland Street in Huntington Beach.

It appears that she has recently been spayed. I can also attest to the fact that if you want a sweet little lap dog who wants to be at your side for company and love, she is your girl.

Please visit her at the shelter, hold her, and even take her for a walk. You won’t regret it. She will show you what love in a tiny package looks like.

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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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