What Am I Doing Here?


Another “Tail” From the Shelter

I truly never know what to expect as I walk to my volunteer job at our local animal shelter in Huntington Beach, California—and I guess I really could write a book about my experiences.

Sometimes I approach the door and hear roosters offering their morning salutations; because they are often confiscated from unsavory situations and find themselves no longer having to fight to survive. Often there are little bunnies sitting in our pens, hoping to find someone who will treat them kindly and offer them a safe harbor to live out their years. At times I watch our volunteers bottle feed kittens so tiny that without supplemental nourishment, they would not survive.

Once, when returning from a walk with one of our fuzzy-faced pups, I was greeted by the sight of two people holding a large knapsack and talking to a shelter attendant. I heard the words, “No, we really can’t take that sort of animal here,” so of course my curiosity was piqued.

The little dog I was walking was also apparently wondering what was in the sack and ventured forth to take a sniff, only to be rewarded with a huge, unworldly growl that sounded neither canine nor cat-like.

I later found out that the people had a 9-foot Egyptian Monitor Lizard in the sack, and their explanation of why they had it was, “it was such a cute little baby when we saw it at the pet shop 10 years ago”….


I think a little forethought is a good rule when viewing a possible new addition to the family!

Well, today I walked down the shelter aisle looking for the first dog to release from the confines of its pen to take outside for a walk and cuddle session when I saw, Zephyr.

My first reaction was, “Oh my gosh, what in the world is a little guy like you doing here?!”

Zephyr is the tiniest, sweetest little Japanese Chin I have ever seen.

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He is regal, adorable, and utterly scared to death among the larger and louder dogs.

He honestly doesn’t belong in the shelter, but will be the perfect companion for a senior or very sedate person who wants a quiet, gentle, little lap dog. He is a small, snugly bundle of love and affection, although right now he is so frightened he is often shaking.

I want so much to get him out of the shelter and into someone’s arms. Please share his story with anyone who is looking for a beautiful, quiet, tender lap dog. He is a royal treasure!


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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