Writer ~ Editor ~ Creator

Writer ~ Editor ~ Creator

Entertainer, Humanitarian, Author, Lover but most importantly, Kenji's Human

Friday, July 16, 2010

I've Saved 6 Lives. How About You? ~ Part I ~

I was put to a challenge well not exactly. It was 'suggested' by Be the Change for Animals, http://btc4animals.com/ to blog today (okay yesterday) about a cause near and dear to my heart. At least I think that was the request. I am more than happy to blog about the adoption of animals as I have numerous experiences in various types of adoptions and rescues.To date in my lifetime I have been involved with the adoption of 3 dogs and 3 cats. I admit I am more of a dog lover and am allergic to cats but I will help any animal in need. My first story begins when I was five or six years old.

One rainy winter afternoon, I can remember my father driving my brother and I to our Mother's office. I remember pulling up in the driveway in our Mustard colored Pinto full of anticipation. My Mother's boss Flora (can't believe I still remember her name) had found an abandoned puppy sitting on a doorstep across from the office. When she knocked on the door and inquired about the pup she was told it was a Christmas gift they did not want so they put it outside! What the !!!! Even as a child I knew that was wrong. Their poor decision became our opportunity.....now he belonged to us.

I named him Muffin and he brought us years of enjoyment and love. My heart continues to go out to all rescues that care for unwanted pets. I really like Muttville http://www.muttville.org/ as they rescue, foster and support senior dogs. Senior dogs statistically are among the least desirable dogs to be adopted.

Our second dog we adopted from a shelter. My parents let me pick out a puppy. I fell in love with a litter of Old English Sheep dogs and chose the one that did not want to wake up. I wanted to name him Nappy because he liked taking naps. At my parents suggestion I chose another name Napoleon, 'Polo' for short. Hey, Polo's were in at the time so I got my nickname from the current trend of Ralph Lauren attire. Polo lived many years and was a great guard dog. In all honesty the most he would probably do is lick someone to death.

Polo was fortunate because when he was brought to the shelter, he was a puppy. Typically, puppies always get adopted. Unfortunately, there are many, many pets that are not adopted from shelters and are often euthanized. When choosing a shelter, I recommend supporting the shelters that do not euthanize animals. They are far and few between but I hope one day soon all shelters are no-kill facilities.

My current fur baby Kenji, was (for a large fee) rescued from a puppy mill. I did not realize it at the time, but as I left the woman's house I discovered many litters whimpering in her garage. I was very upset at the discovery and did everything I could to get her shut down. She had been circumventing the system for years and at the very least was banned by the AKC for papering dogs.

Puppy mills are notorious for deplorable conditions for both the sire (dad) and the dam (mom) and the puppies.  If you are unsure if the puppy you are adopting is from a puppy mill, (although I highly recommend a shelter or rescue) ask to see the pups parents. All reputable breeders will produce the parents or make arrangements to do so as this is not an uncommon request. Next time I will use the Shih Tzu Rescue http://www.shihtzurescue.org/as/contents/about.shtml. This rescue keeps dogs until adopted and will keep those that do not find homes allowing them to live out their lives at the facility.

I cannot end this blog post without a little education as I love to teach in addition to entertain. According to the Bill Foundation website over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from over 1,055 facilities across America. (National Counsel on Pet Population Study)

An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. That's one about every six and one half seconds. (The Humane Society of the U.S.) Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from illness or injury before dying. (Doris Day Animal League)

When you are ready, whichever way you decide to adopt whether it be a shelter, rescue or if a lost abandoned animal finds you.............please rescue an animal rather than supporting a breeder. If you cannot provide a home to a homeless pet, can you perhaps volunteer your time at a shelter? Donate money, even if its $10? How about donating items? Did you know shelters are in need of food and bedding such as towels, bathmats and even the pet bed she outgrew? What about Fluffy's toys she no longer wants? Please think outside-the-box if you cannot adopt but if you can, please help.

The Fur Babies of the world thank you for your time and consideration.....Kenji is giving me the stink eye....better sign off.

......to be continued in my next blog...........my rescued cats.........oh the suspense!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Ferris Wheel

My life is like riding on a Ferris Wheel. As I sit up high looking down below with the wind whispering through my curls, my heart pounding with my adrenaline rushing. I have mixed emotions ranging from fear to excitement. As I cling to the safety bar, knuckles turning white I rev up the courage to peer below. Looking down I can see all the wonderful rides. Some look dangerous yet exciting while others seem safe and fun. So many possibilities and opportunities it will be hard to choose. I am eager for my current ride to end so that I can start another.

As I look around I see kids rocking their cages scaring their friends, a couple kissing and a small child crying from fear. There are many distractions and yet I still day dream. I remember being in Paris riding the largest Ferris wheel in the world Le Grande Roue de Paris. This Ferris wheel was a replacement to the first wheel built in 1900 for the World Exhibition. It was later demolished and the passenger cars were so large they were used as homes for French families in the region devastated by the World War. The second wheel was larger than the first which was 100 meters. It was an amazing experience to be up so high and to see breath taking views of France such as the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Elysee.

Back to the U.S. ......... as I peer down from atop, all the people are small like ants scurrying around. Fascinated by their movements, I can't wait to get down and check out all the fair has to offer. My first stop will be the cotton candy stand and then maybe I will have a carmel apple or perhaps a funnel cake {so overrated; deep fried dough nothing like my Grandmother's 'wondas' (Zeppoli) dough tied in knots, fried and covered in powdered sugar}. Mama's confections were even better than the fried sugary dough served in brown paper bags served at the North End St. Joseph's Festival in Boston. Give Mama's a try and let me know what you think.

~ Mama's Recipe ~ 

8 1/2 oz - All purpose white flour
1 - Egg
3 1/2 oz - Sugar
3 1/2 oz - Unsalted Butter
Touch of Vanilla Powder
Pinch of Salt
Shortening for frying (Crisco is my favorite)
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling (we use a baking shaker)

Prepare dough and allow to rise overnight.
Roll out using a rolling pin on wax paper dusted with flour.
Use a pizza wheel (or pastry wheel for jagged edges) to cut into strips not too thin or they will burn.
Twist the strips by rolling and then tie into knots. 
Deep fry until golden approx. 30 minutes, allow to cool.
While the knots are still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serves 4

My life parallels a ride (and all of the distractions) on a Ferris wheel. Daily I encounter many opportunities and I want to experience each one. I always find positivity and humor even in the worst situations. I created this blog to share my colorful opinions and experiences, the majority of which are funny, unique and rather entertaining. My goal is to teach readers something new, to invoke thought, to put a smile on their face and to make them  laugh (or at least giggle). Please follow my blog as I journey through this carnival of life.