Hooray for Hollywood

Who is that cute girl in the picture? My mom. The photo is over ninety years old. In this picture, Mom reminds me of that little girl with freckles in the old movie clips of the “Little Rascals”, the one who made funny faces and always wore a hat.
Striking this pose with one of her cats and Bobbie, the smartest of all border collies according to Mom, this picture shows her love for her 4-legged friends. Can you imagine life in 1925? There wasn’t a bit of Hollywood glamour found in rural living where Mom was raised. Even though she made friends with the dog Bobbie and her many cats, animals in those days were considered necessities rather than companions.
Dogs helped hunt, watched over the livestock and protected the homestead. Cats were on duty to keep the rodent population down in and around the barn. Usually dogs and cats lived outside and slept in the barn. They were seldom allowed inside the house. Their diets were also a lot different from today's pets that have a choice of gourmet meals made especially for them by pet food companies. Rural pets in the old days ate table scraps and an occasional squirrel or rabbit. It wasn't until many years later that pet food evolved into a huge business.
Today, pet owners cater to their dogs and cats. For example, television and film star, Dick Van Patten originated Natural Balance® food for dogs and had this to say in a magazine ad about the special formula. “As a pet parent, I believe it’s important to have food I can trust without a doubt. That’s why Steve and his team test every single batch of Natural Balance® before it gets to your dog’s bowl.”
I couldn't help but wonder if Steve pictured in the ad is Dick Van Patten’s son. Pets are definitely a family affair. Actually, people have evolved, whereas pets remain the same. In recent times we brought them indoors and welcomed them to the family. Some kids and parents take their dogs everywhere—shopping, to weddings, picnics, school events and more. Today's dogs and cats are regular members of the family and Hollywood helped bring about this change.
In popular movies, pets were always part of the family. Look how Lassie lived inside the house with the family. Rin-Tin-Tin lived and worked right alongside the soldiers. In 1957, Walt Disney brought to the movie screen, the epic and bittersweet movie “Old Yeller”. This movie was about a dog raised in pioneer America. While probably not the producer’s intention, I found that this film brought about awareness in the importance of rabies inoculation and neutering or spaying pets. Old Yeller secretly sired one litter of pups with the neighbor’s dog. Because they were discovered after his heartbreaking death, these pups made a happy, welcomed scene! This wonderful dog’s legacy would live on!
It was tinsel town that placed our true feelings up onto the screen. Filmmakers displayed our love of pets on the screen as the real-deal in our lives, not just something of make-believe! No longer were they a mere ‘necessity’ to keep the farm going, dogs and cats were now considered an important asset to almost every household.
So, one might thank Hollywood for giving our pets the invitation to live along side us– the way they should have been from the beginning. My mom knew – too bad my grandparents (and others like them) just didn’t get the picture!


Spring Health Fling

The Spring Health Fling was a success, contacts were made for adoptions and other networking! It's not always about numbers!

Thanks to all the businesses who participated:

Also, thanks to Bonnie Pugliese...we have some wonderful pictures of that cold, cloudy Sunday.

LuLaRoe Representative, Shana Martz (2nd from left) and models

Why Dogs are Superheroes

by Suzanne Hibbard Nuzum

Superhero Zeke!
There are people out there who call themselves “dog” people, and then there are those who just don’t quite understand. I am most certainly a “dog” person. As dog owners, we have a strong responsibility to take care of our dogs. They rely on us for everything and humans are considered the caregiver.

While all this is true, I think that we lose sight of the care that our dogs provide us. For me personally, the feeling I get each time I come home and am greeted by my dog is pretty fantastic. In fact, I would take it one step further and say that I think dogs have pretty amazing powers, otherwise how can a lick on the face, wag of the tail, and snuggle be so mood altering?

Dogs seem to have the power to turn things around. We all have bad days, but coming home to a dog that waits all day to see you is pretty incredible. How can your troubles not disappear when you are encountered by so much pure joy and love?

Truth is…we are not the only caregiver. Dogs are much more insightful then they get credit for. It’s been said that dogs not only feed off our human energy, but also, they have the ability to react to our energy. Sometimes, it is as though they know what we need more than we do.
Suzanne and Zeke
The power of dogs also extends to forgiveness. As humans, we could learn a lot from the way dogs forgive. Sadly, there are so many dogs out there that have been victims of abuse and neglect by humans, yet they harbor no hate. They want nothing more than a second chance to give all the love in their hearts. They do not turn their backs on the world. They still have hope. It is for these reasons that whether or not you are a “dog” person…I challenge anyone to say that dogs are not superheroes!




Time Goes On

Again, I have failed to faithfully write here. I just don't seem to have enough to write in words, but certainly that's not the case in talking. I can talk as the day is long, although writing is somewhat more difficult for me.

Mom, Dad and Me at the Marina several years ago
There's always the question...what would be interesting for people to read? I know I am very finicky about what I read, just don't want to get too smart for my own britches! Gosh, I think about clich├ęs that my dad used to say, "your eyes are bigger than your belly!" Of course, that's when I was a kid, now my belly is enormous and my eyes are just little slits! haha!

I guess that's what's so difficult for me, writing about things that are worthwhile to others. But then I don't write for the benefit of others. I write down what is on my heart. I am in my own world and reminisce a great deal. As many do, I miss my parents. There isn't a day goes by that I don't say or see something that makes me think of my parents. That's only natural. However, it doesn't make the days any easier to go on without them. So I cling to the memories!

So, if you don't see words written here, it's not because I don't have anything to say. It's because I cannot find the words to write.

Time goes on, but I keep reflecting on the past...

Special Needs Section

Not too long ago I found myself categorized as "special needs"! Whether I like to admit it or not, I am and I am there to stay.

It was at a Beth Moore conference in Cincinnati that I realized I am not the same as the other ladies. Although one of my friends is "special needs" too and I don't think she likes to be referenced in that way either. (My friend, if by some miracle if you're reading this, I do care for you and don't want to offend.) On our way to the conference, it was misting a little and the walk was about 6 blocks. Parked right outside our hotel was a horse-drawn carriage. Six of us decided to go with the ride to the arena.
Ladies from Berea on way to US Bank Arena for Beth Moore Conference
I'm so glad we did. It was fun! Although I did have images in my head of the horse being spooked, rearing up, and running wildly through the streets of Cincinnati! Glad our horse Dolly was a 15-year-old veteran and was relatively calm. She had a nice stride, pace and clippity-clopped along very nicely. I had to wonder if she liked her job! Poor thing!

After we arrived at the US Bank Arena, we had to walk up quite a bit of steps and that made me and my friend dizzy! My friend counted the outside stairs. There were 59 stairs! Then, inside, more stairs! As we were walking up the auditorium stairs, about half way, the lights went out! I grabbed for the edge of the chairs so I could keep my balance and still had difficulty making it to my seat. It was about 30 minutes into the conference after Beth Moore came out that I decided...this is NOT going to work. Where we were sitting I could hear loud voices, but couldn't understand a word being said, even with wearing a hearing-aid. So, I decided to leave! Yes, I texted the leader of our group and said I was taking a cab back to the hotel. Well, when I went out to the main hallway, an usher told me a cab would cost about $10. She directed me to the outside ramp and pointed to where I could catch the shuttle and it was only $1. Well, I decided that I'd do that. When I walked down to the stop, I waited and waited. In addition, to the wait, it was raining, not hard, but steady. I decided I'd start walking. I knew the direction to downtown, but I didn't realize what I'd encounter along the way. Three teenaged girls come out of no where and one shouted, "Oh, look, there's a five dollar bill!" Sure enough there it was in the gutter. Gosh, you would have thought she won the lottery she was so excited. I couldn't help but wonder if they were homeless runaways. Anyway, I kept my focus on finding my way back to the hotel. Our hotel was the Homestead Suites and only had been opened a month. It was located in the old Cincinnati Enquirer building which I thought was fascinating. I love the lobby and entryway. Wish I would have gotten a few pictures, but didn't really think about it until the trip was over.

I made it back to the hotel and was I drenched! But I'm glad I did what I did it despite everyone saying that was too dangerous for me to walk alone. I didn't feel that way although it certainly was an adventure. Dinner was in my room consisted of a Snicker candy bar, a bag of Doritos, and a bottle of water, $6! Oh well, I enjoyed the seclusion and watching closed-caption TV. Now, that's my kind of evening!

Next morning at the conference, it started all over again - although the lights stayed on and one could see clearly. However, we were still going to be up quite a ways. So, my friend and I went out and sat by one of the event vendor's table. A police woman was close by and I said we were going to be out here the entire conference. She said, "you paid for the conference and sitting out here, not being able to see and hear what's going on?" I said, "yes, I can't hear well and my friend and I both don't do well with heights." She then went over to one of the coordinators for the event and explained the situation and he put the chairs inside the first ramp out of the way so we could see and hear pretty well. It was fine, until we got up to go to the restroom. When we came back, our chairs were gone. My friend decided to stay out and sit next to the vendor table until it was time to go. I walked down to the nearest elevator that took me on the main level. As it wasn't as crowded like the night before, I saw a couple seats, but they had signs on the backs. Before I went over to them, I saw a lady from our church seated with her cousin. She was in an area that was so much better than our group had. I talked with her for a while and told her about my situation. She said, "there's two seats!" "They look like they might be reserved." I said. When I went over, the sign read, "Reserved for special needs!" I thought well that's me! I sat down and took the one sign off and turned to show my church friend what it said...she gave me the thumbs up! I sat there the entire time and heard most everything that was said! Thank you, Lord!

Special needs is nothing to be ashamed of...when you think about it, we all have special needs and our Lord provides! I'm so thankful. I thought maybe too I should check into serving the homeless...I thought that was why all that happened the way it did. Lo and behold, on the second day of the conference, I met a lady from Middletown who gave me her card...she has a ministry for the homeless. Amazing!

It's Easy for the Big Ask

Well, it's been a few months since I've written. I hope you didn't miss me too much. The last few months have been busy. We had our P.U.P.S. Spring fundraiser which wasn't too bad...could have done a bit better, but it was a great and fun experience! No, it wasn't a 5K run, but a small business conference to help raise funds for animals and people who love them in this county. Thought a business fair would be a different thing to do...anyway, that one's over and now it's time to move onto the next project.

Here's my big ask: to bring Mike Rowe & Freddie here for our fall fundraiser! Yes, I've been dreaming that Mike and Freddie would tote our marquee for our biggest fundraiser of the year! Wow!

Here's my open letter to Mike & Freddie:

Please come to Clark County, OH, home of many cows, cornfields, and free-roaming cats! We are a quaint town that offers some cool stuff too like the Westcott House and Hartman's Rock Garden. And Freddie would love our new Central Bark! Mike, you would too! You'd being staying the night at our Courtyard by Marriott that showcases our downtown nicely. And, if they don't let Freddie stay, he could be pampered by Wags N Wiggles or treated like a king at King's Kennels. We can do it up right for you! Do you think you can make it?

I tried calling your agent and he just gave me the run-around and said, "Well, Mike's a busy guy and doesn't accept speaking engagements much anymore because of his new TV show, but for this type of gig, the fee would be $250,000!" What? No, Mike...say it ain't so! I know Freddie would want you to reconsider. His animal kin and the people who love them wants you to remember your humble beginnings, back to the lean days, when you had 8 minutes to give a impromptu about a No. 2 pencil. It's that day that lead you to stardom. That's the Mike we want! Ah, come on, Mike, do it for Freddie! We can even make it on a Friday for Freddie!

Somebody's gotta do it! God knows it's no dirty job, just a big easy! Hope you accept our invitation!

Be Kind to Animals

My mom, Alice, with her cat Deanie and dog Bobbi
Be kind to animals! Everyone knows that, right? Most all people I know are kind and compassionate and want what’s best for an animal or pet. However, many don’t give a second thought to abandoning a pet or giving it to anyone who will take it off their hands. Be sure the person really wants a pet and is willing to go the extra mile for it. It’s quite a responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

The love of animals in our family I am sure is no different than many other families growing up in the 50’s. I remember our first family dog just vaguely. It was a Cocker Spaniel named Dusty. I don’t remember her too well, but Dusty was an adorable dog that  was especially close to my sister. When Dusty died, our family got another Cocker Spaniel, Duchess. Duchess is the one dog that I bonded with and I remember her as my best friend. That’s the way it should be, right? Of course, animal lovers know this. But, what about others who may not have grown up with a pet?
Duchess and Me
If they never experience the bond of a pet, how sad that is.
A friend from facebook posted this the other day: "I would like to apologize to Shelly H., and Carolyn Hayes... I have had a pet dog for over a year. Did not think I could care about an animal the way I do. My ex would not let us have one. What a mistake on my part. So to these ladies...I truly apologize. Hope you forgive me.” I couldn’t think why he was apologizing to me or Shelly. He said I must had forgotten about our argument. Argument? Evidently, we were ‘discussing’ how pets give us unconditional love and he argued that pets were just animals and should not be treated as an equal to a person. Well, maybe they shouldn’t be treated as an equal, but pretty much! I had to laugh! Now he realizes what we were trying to explain, just love this story!
Our society is so different now than when I was growing up. I recall our Duchess was free to roam our neighborhood (she’d never wander far) and everyone knew where she belonged. She would follow me to school and go back home on her own without getting lost or bothered by anyone. She even knew to look both ways when crossing the street! Amazing! Oh, my, those were the days! Now, dogs are micro-chipped, kidnapped, and endangered, just like our children today. It’s not a kind and safe world!

All of our Pets Uniting People Society board members are great animal lovers and that is shown everyday in their lives. We want everyone to look at a pet the way we do, but, unfortunately, they don’t. That’s why there are rescues and sanctuaries for pets that some people no longer want. It’s true that circumstances arise in our lives where we cannot care for a beloved pet anymore. When this happens, please seek out a caring rescue or a person who is willing to help in locating a home for your pet, work on this together. Give your precious pet every opportunity to enjoy the rest of its life even if it is without you. They deserve that!

Our Boojee
My husband and I are both pet lovers. However, when we lost our precious Booger several years ago, we knew that we wouldn’t have another dog, but we needed a pet in our lives. Just one, that’s all. One is all we can afford and care for properly. We both made this decision together. About three years after we lost Booger, we decided upon a young cat that we named Boojee. She’s everything we wanted in a pet, and more! Perfect!

My message is this. One I’ve repeated before. So, here’s the thing…to say, “Be Kind to Animals” is like telling my husband “be nice and bring me roses!” If you have to tell someone to do it, the mindset is just not there! Here is a picture depicting this message. And, there is another reason why I love this picture. I love this picture because it is of my mother when she was a child. It shows to me that she loved animals too. My artist friend Ann (http://www.maggierossdogs.com) placed the add-on “Be Kind to Animals” onto the picture. I thought… oh, how perfect it is! 

Although our “perfect” world is yet to come because, then, there will be no need for pet protection groups such as ours. There will be no need for “education, awareness, and responsibility in animal welfare”. Until that day, we have God’s word to live by. Even though many are not listening, God mandates us to be kind to animals. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT) We are to be good stewards of what God gives us and “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground”. (Genesis 1:28 NLT)

Also, the Bible says: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10) Scripture is given to us to live out our lives and bring honor and glory to God. We cannot live by one verse alone, must take the Bible in its entirety.

I am pleased that I can help Pets Uniting People Society in the ways that I do. Once this 501c3 designation was a Christian publication titled: “Family Journal Magazine”. It was during those years that my relationship with the Lord began. Oftentimes, I find myself wandering off His path and into how the world sees life. I cannot do this anymore. It’s His way or no way.

So, please think twice before obtaining a pet and always think and be kind to animals (and people)! It’s the only way to be in life!

My reflection: Be kind to animals 
Another old "Be Kind to Animals"