This cute tabby cat is enjoying a pile of towels in her kennel.
In January, to start out the New Year, stores often discount bedding and towels. It’s a marketing strategy called a “White Sale,” when bedding used to be all white, to jump start sales after the Christmas shopping season is over. I don’t remember ever buying bedding or towels in January, but it is a good time to do an inventory of your old towels and sheets. I keep a lot of old towels for cleaning rags, more than I need, so I donate some to Wayside Waifs, the animal shelter, where I volunteer. Animal shelters have a constant need for towels that are still in good condition. The towels are placed in the kennels to give the animals soft, cozy bedding. Old blankets and sheets are also needed. Contact your local animal shelter to see how you can donate. Wayside Waifs has a large bin in its entryway for donations, for example.
An old towel is also wonderful for people. In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” author Douglas Adams championed the importance of always having a towel with you when you travel the galaxy. I always carry at least one towel in my car on my earthly travels. It’s been very useful many times.
I love photographing animals. On a recent trip to Peru, I saw hundreds of dogs, so my camera got a real workout.
We saw many kinds of dogs, including this Peruvian Hairless dog (shown above) posing on a street in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), the village at the foot of Machu Picchu. We saw many dogs wearing clothes, but few wearing collars or on leashes. Most wander freely, but seem to have homes or territories they return to. We often saw dogs sitting in the doorways to shops (and sometimes a cat inside) and at the front door of houses.
An ancient breed, the Peruvian Hairless Dog is the national dog of Peru. The dogs were kept as pets during the Inca Empire, but their history goes back even further. Depictions of Peruvian hairless dogs appear around 750 A.D. on ceramic pots and were featured on ceramic vessels in several Peruvian cultures. The Spanish conquest of Peru nearly caused the extinction of the breed. The dogs survived in rural areas, where the people believed that they held a mystical value. There’s a photo of another Peruvian Hairless dog in a shirt in one of the photos below.
Gray-Striped Dog in Cusco, Peru
Photograph by Catherine Sherman
We saw this dog near the main square (Plaza de Armas) of Cusco, often sitting in the grass. Here his coloring blends in with the ancient Inca stonework.
Dog Waiting in Front of Blue Door, Cusco, Peru
Photograph by Catherine Sherman
A chihuahua shows off her fabulous dress as she stands in the doorway of a restaurant in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. Isn’t she a cute little diva?
A Peruvian Hairless dog, the national dog of Peru, wears a shirt to protect his bare skin. He stands on a walkway along the railroad tracks in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu.
A man and his sportily-dressed dog rest on a street in Lima, Peru.
I think these are police dogs in Lima, Peru. Here they are resting, but a few minutes later they were all awake and standing by the policemen.
Look at this cutie pie on a street in Ollantaytambo, Peru. You can see an example of the ancient Inca stonework in this town, where an Inca emperor had an estate.
Here’s another dog photographer, capturing this dog who has just gotten a drink at a dog watering fountain in Cusco, Peru.
A hairless chihuahua sports a camouflage jacket on a street in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu.
A hairless chihuahua in a camouflage jacket watches a man with a wheelbarrow on a street in Aguas Calientes, Peru, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. There are no roads to Aguas Calientes, so most goods come in by train and are wheeled around.
Most dogs we met in Peru ignored us, but this dog was friendly and stretched out in a greeting at the entrance to the ruins of Machu Picchu. He didn’t seem to want food, which is good, because I didn’t have any. He was at the entrance both days we went to Machu Picchu.
A man has a German Shepherd on a leash while the puppies obediently follow across a street in Cusco, Peru. You can see another dog lounging inside the shop just beyond.
Dogs meet up on a street in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
A woman takes her fashionably dressed dog for a walk in Cusco, Peru.
This friendly Shar Pei dog patrols his corner of a market in Ollantaytambo, Peru. The Shar Pei, which originated in China, is considered one of the most rare dog breeds. Its name derives from the Cantonese words “sand skin” and refers to the texture of its short, rough coat. As puppies, Shar Pei have numerous wrinkles, but as they mature, these wrinkles loosen and spread out as they “grow into their skin”. Shar Pei were named in 1978 as one of the world’s rarest dog breeds by TIME magazine and the Guinness World Records. The American Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1991.
A dog sits in front of a shop in Ollantaytambo, Peru.
I took the following photographs from our van when we drove from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, so I apologize for the marginal quality. I really could have taken photos of dogs all day, and wished we could have stopped.
A dog waits at a doorway. On the wall and light pole near him are political posters.
A dog in Cusco, Peru.
A little white shaggy dog sits on a sidewalk in Cusco, Peru.
A dog watches cars and trucks go by on the highway from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru. (Taken from my car window.)
Dogs dig in trash bags along a highway near Cusco, Peru.
Not to leave out cats, here is a link to my son and daughter-in-law’s photos of the cat park in the Miraflores District of Lima, Peru. Some of the about 120 cats descend from a pair that city authorities introduced in the late 1990s to control a rat infestation. Others were abandoned. You know you can’t resist clicking on this link!
This dog is happy about this sign on Bakoven Beach in Camps Bay, South Africa, which says “Dogs Allowed at all times. No lead needed.”
These photographs are from a week spent in beautiful Camps Bay, South Africa, in January 2013. Camps Bay, a suburb of Cape Town, is nestled against the Atlantic Ocean side of Table Mountain, a sandstone mountain range that runs southward the length of Cape Peninsula.
Lion’s Head rises dramatically to the north of Camps Bay. Shown in the foreground are the rocks of Bakoven Beach.
Dogs and their owners enjoy the rocks of Bakoven Beach in Camps Bay, South Africa, which is a suburb of Cape Town.
The Twelve Apostles range forms the backdrop of Camps Bay, South Africa, and are part of Table Mountain on the Cape Peninsula.
CLICK ON THESE THUMBNAIL PHOTOS OF CAMPS BAY SCENES TO SEE A FULL-SIZE IMAGE.
Two years ago I fell in love with a puppy named Loki. Among the many blessings I have in my life to be grateful for, I am thankful for this little dog. Loki is probably partly a pitbull. No one really knows. A man was kicking Loki on a street in Huntington Beach, California, when she was rescued. She has a pitbull face, but the short splayed legs of a dachshund. She’s the sweetest dog in the world! She loves loves loves everyone.
Loki may be moving to New Hampshire soon with my daughter and her husband, which makes me sad. I’ll sorely miss the three of them, but I’m happy to have been re-awakened to the wonderful world of dogs.
Do you have a dog or cat or other beloved animal companion in your life? I have two white cats, who are loving company and keep me well-covered with white hair.
This is my new favorite song. It rocks! It shows great views of the Seattle area. Plus the message is important, too. I know that I’m just preaching to the choir here, because you all pick up after your pets. But you’ll enjoy the song.
I love dogs. And so that everyone will love dogs, we need to make sure that scofflaws clean up after their dogs so the poop doesn’t wash into the water supply. My daughter and son-in-law’s apartment complex provides poop bags on posts with trash cans around the grounds. It’s a great idea!
Now, for a song about keeping cats safe inside and birds safe outside!
So many happy people and happy animals at the Adoptathon at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri! Now, we absolutely, positively need to find a home for Virginia!
Most cats and kittens at Wayside Waifs find a home within a week or two of being made available for adoption, but Virginia hasn’t found a family yet. Life at Wayside Waifs is pretty plush, but it doesn’t take the place of a “furr-ever” home. Here’s what I wrote about Virginia previously. “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus…”
In the top photograph, Grace (left) stops to gossip with Virginia (on the chair) about the newest feline residents at Wayside Waifs. In the bottom photograph, Virginia waits at the door, hoping her "fur-ever" family will finally appear.
This is a slideshow of cats at the emergency tornado shelter annex in the care of the Joplin, Missouri, Humane Society. As of June 3, 2011, nearly 1,000 pets had been rescued and almost 300 had been reunited with their families. The shelter is caring for animals whose families are currently unable to house them along with those animals who are missing from or have lost their families.
In Joplin on May 22, a powerful EF5 tornado killed at least 138 people and injured more than 900 people, some critically. It also destroyed or damaged about 18,000 vehicles, more than 8,000 homes and 500 commercial properties, which was about 30 percent of the town. Among the buildings damaged was a hospital that employed 1,700 people. The tornado was the deadliest single tornado in more than sixty years in the United States.
The YouTube slideshow above includes photos published by Joplin Humane Society on June 1 to give the public an inside view of the facility’s cattery section. Thanks to Life With Cats TV for the information. For links on how you can donate click on Joplin Tornado Cats.
Wayside Waifs is a Kansas City, Missouri, no-kill animal shelter. Staff members and volunteers from Wayside Waifs helped with the animal rescue and brought some of the animals who had already awaited homes in Joplin before the tornado to the Wayside Waifs shelter.
On June 1, the Joplin Humane Society director detailed the massive operation that took place. Below are excerpts from that letter. Many of the people helping were also dealing with the loss of family members and their homes and businesses.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their offers to help and words of
encouragement. Many of you have offered assistance and asked what you can
do. Here’s an update:
Our shelter was not hit and we are intact. The ASPCA (I will refer them
here on out as the A) had their emergency response team on the ground THE
NEXT MORNING! One of JHS’s benefactors owns the property next door and
there are three empty warehouses. I called them and they were more than
willing to allow the use of those warehouses…
We just put the third warehouse into use to house the animals. There are pictures up on our facebook page which can be found by going to our website:
At my and the A’s request, American Humane Association (AHA) deployed a team to help us out at the emergency shelter and at JHS so my staff can rotate a
day off. HSUS teams are also here at our request. PETPOINT sent a team out
immediately and they are taking care of all of the documentation of the
almost 600 animals we have received since Monday. We are at real time in
putting pictures up on our website. I’m guessing it will hit 600 today. We
have reunited more than 150 pets with their families.
Petsmart Charities sent two tractor trailer loads of supplies and equipment
so the emergency shelter could be set up and we are prepared to handle up to
1200 animals. We have everything from goldfish, hermit crabs, birds, boas,
33 chickens, rabbits, you name it!
We called regional shelters to empty the JHS (Joplin Humane Society) shelter
of adoptable animals so we could use ours for tornado victims. The triage
center is at JHS and we have had an army of volunteer vets taking care of
injured animals. JHS is also the hospital ward.
We are contracted with 17 municipalities and already intake about 12,000
animals each year so the surrounding areas keep bringing in more animals who
are not tornado animals. We are continuing to send them out to other
shelters as their stray hold expires.
We are so grateful to all of the national groups that have responded, all
the local groups who have helped, the food and supply companies that have
equipped the operations and all of the wonderful people who have offered and
actually come in to help. We are humbled and so appreciative.
I think we have enough supplies at the moment. Truckloads of food have
arrived along with sheltering supplies and droves of volunteers. We are
opening a food and supply bank for families affected by the tornado. What
we need now is money for medical supplies and equipment.
Some wonderful, anonymous person sent a swamp cooler for the warehouse.
That was met with applause as the warehouses are heating up. We have lots of
industrial fans but warm air is warm air.”
The director, who lost a step-daughter to the tornado, asked “So many in Joplin have lost so much. If you pray, please
pray for them.”
June 17, 2011, update on status of animals at the Joplin Humane Society, from the AP:
900 pets still homeless after Joplin tornado
By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER and JIM SALTER
The Associated Press, June 17, 2011
JOPLIN, Mo. | Hundreds of dogs and cats peer out from their cages at the Joplin Humane Society, some with cuts, infections and broken bones from the deadly tornado that turned their lives, like those of their owners, upside down.
Since the tornado, the Humane Society has found itself overflowing with animals, with about 900 now calling the shelter home — three times its usual inventory. One way or another, the pets became separated from their owners in the chaotic aftermath of the May 22 twister that tore through this town, killing 153 people. In some cases, the owners — scrambling to find housing for themselves after 7,000 homes were destroyed, leaving nearly one-third of the city’s 50,000 residents homeless — have simply given up their pets.
But the Joplin Humane Society is determined to find a home for every cat and dog. To that end, it plans an “Adopt-a-thon” the weekend of June 25-26, when animals that haven’t been claimed by their owners will be given away free to good homes, after being spayed and neutered.
“The reality is, a lot of these people aren’t in a position to come get these animals,” said Joplin native Tim Rickey, a field investigator for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “They’ve lost everything.”
Executive director Karen Aquino said it’s not that the Humane Society hasn’t tried to find the owners.
“We feel we’ve exhausted every avenue to get the word out,” Aquino said. “We’ve placed 250 yard signs. We have posters at food and donation distribution points, public service announcements on radio and TV, ads in the newspaper — everything we could think of to let people know their pets might be here if they’re missing.”
To handle the additional cats and dogs, the organization fixed up two vacant warehouses next to the shelter into air-conditioned kennels. A gravel parking lot outside a former used appliance store has been converted into an owner’s waiting room, with plastic chairs and Polaroid snapshots of unnamed animals stuffed into thick three-ring binders.
Aquino said none of the pets left homeless by the tornado will be euthanized.
“If all of them aren’t adopted, we’ll start looking to rescue organizations and ways to get some of them to larger cities, where they have a better chance at adoption,” she said.
More than 100 volunteers from across the country, many from other shelters, are in Joplin helping out — cleaning cages, providing veterinary care and exercising the animals. On most days, a half-dozen veterinarians are at the shelter tending to the wounded.
The work is exhausting, the plight of the animals sad. But spirits are buoyed by good news, such as the recent story of a cat found alive by its owner 16 days after the tornado.
“We’ve heard some amazing stories,” Aquino said. “Animals are pretty resilient.”
When Steven and Debbie Leatherman found their lost dog, Sugar, at the shelter, her back legs were paralyzed. Someone had apparently dropped off the 10-year-old cocker spaniel after finding her in a drainage ditch and about to drown. The University of Missouri said the Leathermans’ son, Daniel, drove the dog to its veterinary hospital in Columbia, where veterinarians performed spinal surgery that gave Sugar back the use of her legs.
But some owners, such as 47-year-old Linda Head, still haven’t been able to find their pets. Since the storm, Head has been looking for 2-year-old Isabel, a Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix, and 5-year-old Puddles, a cockapoo.
Both dogs hunkered down with Head, her 23-year-old son and a third dog, Max, in and around a bathtub in their home that was obliterated by the tornado. Head lost Puddles when the dog jumped through the shattered window of a car as Head’s son was driven to seek medical care. Max also jumped out in the tumult, but he turned up nearly two weeks later at a Kansas veterinarian’s office. Isabel hasn’t been seen since the tornado, though Head’s hopes were briefly buoyed when a neighbor thought he saw the dog running loose. He was mistaken.
Head visits the shelter twice a week, hoping her dogs will turn up.
“Honey, when I left here the first time, I bawled all the way home,” Head said during a recent visit to the shelter. “I’ll bawl all the way home today, because I don’t have my buddies.”
My mushiness over animals has increased exponentially since I started volunteering at an animal shelter. I was already a big sap before I started work at Wayside Waifs.
I know it’s just a drop in a very big bucket, but I’ve donated money to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support. The link is at the bottom. If you’re on Facebook, search for “Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support”. It provides updates on the work it’s doing.
Some people may ask: “Why bother with animals when so many people are suffering in Japan?”
Here’s what Scott Simon of NPR had to say on March 19, 2011:
A news crew from Fuji TV saw a couple of dogs this week, lying in the wreckage of Mito, Japan.
A dog with brown and white splotches seemed to hover over one with gray, black and white splotches. Both dogs looked grimy. The second dog didn’t seem to move.
When the dog with brown and white splotches came toward the crew, they thought it was warning them to stay away. But it returned to the other dog, and put a paw on its head.
Then they understood: the dog was sticking by his friend, and asking for help.
Japan is a nation of pet lovers. Most families have a dog or cat, birds, a rabbit, or other pets in their apartments.
When I covered Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, it seemed that the commonest reason people who stayed through the storm gave for refusing to evacuate was, “I couldn’t leave my pet.” But earthquakes strike suddenly. People can get stuck at work, school, or in panicked transit, leaving pets to fend for themselves.
Among the thousands of volunteers who have been mining the rubble of the earthquake are Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, who look and listen for dogs and cats among the ruins.
To those who might find such relief work frivolous when so many people are hungry and homeless, Animal Rescue and Support says, “. . . helping the pets in Japan is to help people. All of us who are animal lovers can relate to what it would feel like to be reunited with a pet after a disaster.”
The dog with brown and white splotches and his friend with gray, black and white splotches were rescued, and are in a veterinary clinic in the Ibaraki Prefecture.
Kenn Sakurai, the president of a dog food company, who has been among the volunteers, says on Facebook:
“. . . The one which came close to the camera is in the better condition. The other . . was weak. . . But please know that those two are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and we need help.”
I noticed another, smaller story this week. An 11-month old Tibetan mastiff puppy named Hong Dong, or Big Splash, went for 1.5 million U.S. dollars in China. Tibetan mastiffs are massive, fluffy status symbols there. Hong Dong has been raised on beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber. His breeder told Britain’s Telegraph, “He is a perfect specimen.”
The million-dollar puppy that’s been fattened with abalone, or the grimy dog with brown and white splotches who stood over his friend until he found help: which do you think of as a perfect specimen?
To help the Japanese people, you can give to the Red Cross and The Salvation Army. This is the link I used to donate to The Salvation Army in Japan. Salvation Army Quake Relief.
Below is a photograph I took in 2002 of The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan. The Japanese people have a long tradition of strength, beauty and endurance, and they will re-build. Below the photograph is a translation of the Japanese in the video.
UPDATE: CNN and the UK Telegraph have both reported that the dogs have been rescued since the footage aired, and are both receiving veterinary care; the more seriously wounded dog is at a clinic in the city of Mito, while the protective spaniel-type dog is receiving care at a shelter in the same town.
Here is an English translation of the voiceover exchange between the two reporters in the clip (translation courtesy of Toshiyuki Kitamura):
We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
He has a collar. He must be someone’s pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
The dog is protecting him.
Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
I can’t watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.
Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
Yes! Yes! He is alive.
He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
Oh good. He’s getting up.
It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It’s just amazing that they survived through this all.
The adorable dogs performing in this video are all rescue dogs. Thanks to Wayside Waifs for posting on Facebook.
My daughter’s wedding is now a happy memory, so now I’m almost back to my regularly scheduled activities, including photographing cats available for adoption at Wayside Waifs. Today will be the first time I see the newly completed cat palace!
Click on the link to Wayside Waifs to learn more about this wonderful no-kill animal rescue shelter in Kansas City, Missouri.
Loki realizes that golf balls don't taste as good as they look.
I woke up on Sunday with a bed full of golf balls. How did this happen? A pile of rawhide chews I can understand, because Loki the dog hides them everywhere, but how did Loki get these golf balls? Then I saw Bones the cat slink by. Aha!
Bones was briefly top pet -- until Loki joined the household. Bones is plotting ways to return to the top by taking advantage of Loki's love of chewing.
The golf balls are strays from the nearby golf course (some of the balls got pretty darned close to the house!) and sit in a corner on the counter, awaiting use as practice balls. Bones sits on the counter, pushing the balls over the edge, one by one. Bones thinks he has finally found a way to get rid of this usurper animal, who is staying with us for a while. Bones knows we may forgive Loki for chewing up toothbrushes, wood trim and even priceless family photographs, but golf balls? Never! (Sorry, Bones! Loki is forgiven again…But, Bones, I promise you extra head rubs. )