Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For Senator Kennedy - a dog lover

I wrote the following blog last year, when the news of Senator Ted Kennedy's brain tumor first broke. Last night the Senator lost his battle with brain cancer. May his spirit fly free, up there in the starry skies.

From May 21, 2008:

Like so many others, I have been following the story of Senator Ted Kennedy’s health problems. I was stunned to learn his seizure was caused by a malignant brain tumor – he just seems like a man who would laugh off any illness that dared to enter his body!

My dear friend, Judy Ditfurth, was a flight attendant back when the Senator first went to Washington. She often worked the DC/NY/Boston run, which was frequented by many politicians, including Senator Kennedy. Judy said she always liked him – he was very friendly, never demanding…a nice person.

But here is what touched me about the Senator’s story -he was walking his dogs, Sunny & Splash, when the seizure occurred. The family members who visited him at the hospital included his four-legged buddies. And when he left the hospital this morning, his dogs were there to accompany the Senator home.

I didn’t realize Senator Kennedy had written a book about life in Washington DC from a dog’s perspective. It’s called My Senator and Me: A Dog’s Eye View of Washington D.C.

Senator Kennedy, I know that between your family and your medical team you are in the best of hands. But I think you may also be in the best of PAWS! I hope you, Sunny & Splash will be walking together for many years to come.

Chris Davis

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gabby and Roofus and Hope…oh my!

Thanks to Gabby, the tri-pawed 10 lb. Sheltie, there’s never a dull moment at Hope Marchbank’s home in Michigan.

Gabby, who is also deaf, apparently barks at everything she sees outside, so Hope always knows if the Sandhill Cranes are in the area or if someone has come by for a visit.

I love this picture of Gabby on guard at the door – looks like a bed made for a princess.

And then there’s Roofus, the little kitty Hope rescued from…you guessed it…the roof!

Don’t you just love his face?

Hope was telling me about the book
“Mutts Shelter Stories : Love. Guaranteed.”

The book is by Patrick McDonnell, creator of the Mutts comic strip. She was very enthusiastic about the book…so much so that a few days later a copy was waiting for me in my mailbox, courtesy of Hope!

This book is delightful, and I highly recommend it. You can learn more about "Mutts Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed." at

Thank you, Hope, for your kindness. I knew that any critter who came your way would be fortunate indeed, but now I see that good fortune extends to us two-legged creatures as well.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Michael Vick

If you’re an animal lover, you already know who this man is – a football player who was thrown into jail because of his involvement with dog fighting. I won’t list the details – they are too horrific to put into words.

He’s just been hired by the Philadelphia Eagles, after having spent a year and a half in prison. There is no question the man is under a very intense spotlight. I watched Michael Vick speak on TV. It was a clear, well-rehearsed speech that contained absolutely no remorse. He could have been selling floor wax, except THAT probably would have had more authenticity than what I saw.

I do believe in second chances, but not necessarily for the same opportunities that were available prior to conviction. The man tortured and murdered innocent animals. This must have come from some dark, deeply disturbed place in his soul. That doesn't go away after a short stint in jail, followed by getting your old job back. If he had killed a human being no one would be putting a football back into his hands.

I would have liked to have seen him walk away from sports and devote his life to speaking on behalf of all suffering animals, especially those poor creatures trapped in the unspeakable world of dog-fighting. Maybe then I would have felt that he truly understood the horror of his past actions.

I needed to see that he was willing to give up a career he (presumably) loved, knowing his sacrifice was nowhere near as great as the sacrifices made by all the animals who died agonizing deaths because of him.

This man may have talented hands, but what he did with them when he WASN’T holding a football should have kept him barred from ever playing the sport again.

Chris Davis

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I can get rid of those bugs for you, lady

That’s what the pest control man who knocked on my door the other day said to me. He pointed to the wasp nest in the roof over my front porch.

“I see you have a lot of spiders – I can kill those, too,” he said.

I smiled at him. Many years ago a wasp had built her nest above my front door. I asked her if we could make a deal – she and the kids could stay as long as they wanted to, as long as I was free to come and go in peace.

A silent agreement took place, and for the next several months I watched Mama and her babies. The kids eventually left the nest, but Mama stayed. She was there in October when I got up on a ladder and decorated the front porch with Halloween spider webs. She stood at the end of her nest and watched me.

She was there on Thanksgiving. I remember feeling very grateful for her presence in my life on that special day. And she was still there in early December. Was it possible she’d remain through Christmas?

It was not to be - Mama left before the holidays. I was truly sorry she had moved on – I wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas.

For years I’ve waited for another wasp to build her nest on my front porch, and this was the year. I was actually excited! Every time I water the plants on the porch I say hi to Mama, and tell her how fine those babies are looking. I don’t know how long she’ll hang around, but she’s welcome to stay as long as she wants.

“No thanks,” I told the pest control person, and I closed the door.

Lighthearted Press

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Mending Fences

Every so often a repair project comes up at my home that seems so overwhelming I find myself pushing it to the back burner.
That was the case with my 18 year-old fence – 300 feet of 5 ft. high fence that was on the verge of falling down my steep hillside.
Over the years there were many “plugs” added to keep animals in…or out…of my yard. Boards were nailed to the bottom and rocks were used to block up holes.
In many places openings were dug UNDER the fence to allow the feral cats into my yard so they could get to their food.
There were many special memories attached to this fence. I was reluctant to let it go, but in my heart I knew it was time to say goodbye. I found the right people, and this past week my decayed, moss-covered, chewed-up fence came down and a brand new one went up.
It’s beautiful – a perfect backdrop for all the trees in my yard. As the boards were being attached I went around the perimeter with the crew, digging holes and moving rocks so the critters who need access can get in.
I’m happy to say that all the creatures who come and go seem to have adjusted.
And so have I.

Here’s to mending fences!