The Tall and Short of It


Autumn is here. The holiday season is fast approaching and as I walked to the shelter yesterday, I once again realized how lucky I am to live near the coast of Southern California.

We are experiencing a very toasty autumn, but as I looked out towards the ocean and saw the palm trees swaying in the breeze, I felt the warmth of the day made more bearable by the delightful coolness of ocean air.

The coastline was clear and the water reflected little diamonds of sparkling current.

My Mondays are special because I have the opportunity to spend time with some of my favorite friends.


Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash
Typically over the weekend there are more adoptions. And although that means some of my dogs are now in their very own homes, instead of missing them, I am grateful to the people who opened their hearts to an often confused and depressed little animal; an innocent victim of the variables of life.

Divorce, a change of residence, so many factors lead to that sad state but with the same end result. A once adored member of the family now without all of the familiar things that were depended upon and are no longer there.

Usually a resident is only at the shelter for a short while, but sometimes what should have at most been a month or so, the confinement seems to go on forever.

I tell myself that it is because “just the right” owner hasn’t come along yet–because it hurts me to see a life not fully lived and a beautiful soul left behind.

In the case of Hitch, his reality has been a life behind bars, in a pen, for most of his few years.

It is so incomprehensible to me that this amazingly sweet dog, who is so eager to please that he just shines when one of the volunteers praises him, has been languishing in his pen and is now our oldest resident. He has been in the shelter the longest of any dog in residence.

Hitch is a young guy and has so many more years to enjoy time with a “copilot.” He is simply a delightful, big-hearted dog; a beautiful, enchanting guy who truly wants to please you and is a gentle larger dog. Hitch has a great smile and a personality that doesn’t allow him to mope. He is joyful about being alive, even though most of his life has been at the shelter.

This beautiful boy would love for someone to give him a chance. He will prove to you that every second is precious and would love to share his positive attitude with you.



…And just as Hitch is the big and tall of it, Mrs. Appleton is the small and short of it!

Mrs. Appleton

This charming little girl has become a volunteer favorite. She is simply the sweetest, most lovable dog imaginable.

She walks beautifully on a leash and is very ladylike–no raucous barking, no impolite behavior. Mrs. Appleton would do well with a senior or someone who wants a well-mannered and totally lovable little companion.

When I look at her I can see a very interesting combination. Now, I am no expert, but I would bet that Mrs. Appleton is a cross between an Italian Greyhound and a Chihuahua.

I can see traces of my own sweet Italian Greyhound, Star, in her and I have to share with you that for the almost 16 years that wonderful little guy shared my home and my life, there was not one day that I didn’t marvel at his gentlemanly attitude.

Italian Greyhounds are wonderful dogs with hearts much bigger than their small stature.

Mrs. Appleton has the most interesting ears as well, large enough to hear every single well-deserved compliment. big-eared-cartoon-dog-1


Please visit her at the OC Humane Society and take this sweet little lady for a walk. She would make a lovely addition to your home and is waiting to hear from you!

oc 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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