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!
A man and his dog paddleboard in Hanalei Bay on the island of Kaua’i in Hawai’i.
The surf on most of the north shore of Kaua’i was rough when my husband and I visited there in late February and early March 2014, but the waves on the north shore’s Hanalei Bay were not as wild as the rest of the coast. I’m no expert, but Hanalei Bay seems a good place to surf. It’s shallow, there’s a great pier and a nice beach with lots of parking. Plenty of people of all ages were surfing and paddleboarding, including this man and his dog.
While a crowd of us on the pier watched the action, I heard someone say that this man has a website. I didn’t catch the name, and I couldn’t find any information when I searched online for Hanalei “surfing dog” and “paddleboard dog.” Maybe someone can help me and link the website in the comments? (Check the comments for updated information on Keoni Durant, the Kauai Carver, and Milo the Surfing Pomeranian.)
A man and his dog paddleboard in Hanalei Bay on the island of Kaua’i in Hawai’i.
Several major films were shot at Hanalei Bay including: academy award winner “The Descendents” along with “Soul Surfer,” “South Pacific,” “Miss Sadie Hawkins,” “Pagan Love Song” and “Honeymoon in Vegas.”
Other north shore of Kauai film locations include Limahuli Gardens in Hanalei, featured in “Jurassic Park,” and Honopu and Kalalau Beach on the Na Pali Coast, featured in “King Kong” and “Pirates.”
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.
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.
One of the fun activities at the Strutt was the Dog and Owner Lookalike contest.
I don’t have my own mutt, but I was tempted to borrow Loki to participate in Wayside Waif’s 20th annual Strutt With Your Mutt on Sept. 25, 2010, in the Brookside area of Kansas City, Missouri. Loki would have been so excited to strut with so many dogs, as many as I’ve ever seen in one place at one time. There were dogs practically as large as ponies, and small dogs that could fit in a purse. There were dogs in every size and shape and color. The dogs were very well-behaved, amazing since there were so many people and dogs in close contact. They even knew their manners when food was served.
Dachshunds of every color!
More than 1,200 people participated and $100,000 was raised, making this year’s Strutt the most successful ever, according to Wayside Waifs. Wayside Waifs is a no-kill animal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, and places 6,000 cats and dogs every year into “furr-ever” homes. In addition to the strutters, more than forty volunteers helped out, and four corporations offered their help, too. Click here to learn more about Wayside Waifs. You can also “friend” Wayside Waifs on Facebook for a lot more information and updates and check out Wayside Waifs on YouTube and Twitter. Check out my previous posts on Wayside Waifs through my blog search engine.
Instead of Loki, I brought a camera to capture the strutters as well contests featuring the dog and owner lookalikes, costumes, tricks and best canine kisser. There is also an ongoing “hot tails” contest, Wayside Waifs’ second annual virtual fund-raiser. Vote for your favorite “hot tail” by clicking on Wayside Waifs Hot Tails contest. Voting ends on Oct. 21, so don’t just sit there on your tail. Get out your credit card to decide who’s wagging the hottest tail in town!
I’m not playing favorites, but here’s a blog featuring one of the candidates. Banana Abby. (Ok, maybe I have a favorite, although they are all adorable and deserve to win. I voted for a dog whose name rhymes with Not Rockets. Remember, Wayside Waifs gets all of the money to take care of those homeless dogs and cats.) Don’t click on the links until you have looked at the whole blog, because the links don’t open in new windows.
Annie, the Grand Marshal, starts off the Strutt.
Strutters visited the Wayside Waifs mobile adoption van.
Chris Cakes Pancakes attracted a lot of business. Proceeds went to Wayside Waifs.
Owners and candidates for "Hot Tails" line up on stage. How can you not vote for every one of these hot dogs -- and one cat.
This little dog doesn't have his upper paws, but he knows how to do the macarena.
Strutters relaxing in front of the stage.
Best costume candidates.
Breakfast al fresco.
These puppies awaited adoption at the Wayside Waifs mobile adoption van at the Strutt With Your Mutt. At least two puppies found their "furr-ever" homes that morning.
More than 1,200 people participated in the 20th annual Wayside Waifs Strutt With Your Mutt.
Lots of water for dogs and people.
Performing tricks for the crowd.
Strutting in style.
The Kansas City Royals baseball mascot Slugger has a treat for a very attentive dog friend.
Competitors in the owner and dog lookalike contest.
Strutters at the end of a very successful Strutt With Your Mutt event.
A dog hitches a ride for the macarena.
Wayside Waifs president Cynthia L. Smith does the twist with her dog.
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. )
It didn't take a forensic scientist to figure out who chewed these items.
We’ve had cats for almost twenty years, but that experience hasn’t prepared us for a puppy! The adorable Loki is visiting for a while, and she has definitely made her presence known.
Loki, the chewmeister, trying to look nonchalant after I find the results of her latest chew fest.
Every day I discover some pile of torn rubbish on the floor that was formerly one of my very valuable mementoes. It started very innocently with catalogs and sections of the newspaper, but then Loki discovered she had a taste for vintage photographs. Yes, I should have locked up these items. We’re in the middle of some minor renovations, and desk contents and other items are in boxes. Loki knows how to knock them over or root into them to select the delectable fading views of my ancestors, bypassing the modern photographs. Other items that have met her teeth are a wedding invitation, address book and a roll of masking tape, all stolen from my desktop. She found a loose piece of quarter-round woodwork trim in the kitchen and chewed both ends. She has pruned all of the indoor plants. Thankfully, we were able to move the plants outside before they were completely chewed to the roots.
An invitation and a piece of woodwork trim both fell prey to Loki's incessant need to chew!
But she’s so cute. Who can resist her when she jumps on the sofa, places her head on your lap and looks up at you, adoringly?