Even though this column already has a title, if I named my individual editions, todays column would be entitled: ECSTATIC and GRATEFUL!!
Those two words exemplify what I have felt over the last year and a half,
because of the kindness and generosity of so many animal lovers, and please
column, both a thank you and an update.
My first Thank You goes to the editors of the Gazette, for giving me your
gracious invitation to start writing this column in December 2012, and allowing
passionate voice for the voiceless, to have a literary venue with which to share preventive behavioral and physiological information. It is so great to be part of a paper that
strives to inform, uplift and serve all members of the community, in every age range.
Having a vehicle with which to share the magnificence of both animals and
animal lovers, and at the same time, work to prevent and resolve the number one
reason for animal abandonment and euthanasia, is truly an incredible privilege, and I thank you so very much for this great opportunity and for anyone wanting more
information about The Gazette you can find it at: www.marina-gazette.com
Prior to the Gazette going global, I was invited to share the incredible story
of my little blind-from-birth Pomeranian "son", with a spectacular website for
lovers called A Place to Love Dogs at: www.aplacetolovedogs.com . I had never heard of their site until October 2012, and they graciously posted his story in November
2012, and entitled it: "Vet Rescues Blind Pomeranian" under the "Dog Stories" section.
To have my son's story shared on such a cherished site, in addition to Youtube
and my own site, is such a gift because it provides not only warm fuzzies, but
multiple learning opportunities for people who may never have experienced a blind dog,much less a blind dog with a harem of seeing-eye cats.To see how beautifully they
love and care for one another, and overturn the myth that "cats and dogs don't get along" and that a blind animal can't have a thrivingly happy life and can't overcome and
prevail, in spite of any and all challenges, and can be relaxed, happy, and beautifully behaved, is an inspiration to all who see their tale. Included in this story, are Jazzy Rose
and the Rolling Joybuckets, that have continued his legacy of being professional Joybuckets, spreading love, joy and information.
Then in June 2013, the incredibly kind and loving people of the Mission
Mortuary, invited me to speak at their first-ever landmark event called: "The
Memorialization Service" which they exquisitely hosted, and was a very healing and compassionate tribute to the animals, and our eternal bond with them.
June 2013, was also a month where a magically synchronistic meeting occurred which I will explain a little later.
Then August, brought a wonderful invitation from another big community animal
lover, Cynthia Fernandes, co-owner of the oldest and most cherished bookstore
in the city of Carmel...called: The Pilgrim's Ways. Cynthia is also the host of Simple Life Radio which broadcasts on Saturdays at 4pm on KXRA 540am and each interview is
archived in a podbean cast. Cynthia is a great interviewer, and provided another terrific opportunity to spread the word about how we can help all animals by becoming great
animalparents. Anyone wanting to access the 8/3/13 interview, can access it by clicking on:
You can also find out about their wonderful bookstore and Secret Garden, by
September, saw another magical opportunity which will be discussed a little
later, and in October, an invitation to be an exhibitor, was issued by the
Church of the Monterey Peninsula and Pastor Paul Wrightman, for the First Annual Blessing of the Animals, a profoundly special event, beautifully supported and attended
by about 200 animal lovers and their four-footed, feathered and furred loved ones. To find out more about this great Community Church go to: www.ccmp.org
The organization that I have come to know and love over the last nine months
for their non-stop unconditionally loving commitment to our community members
that are both homebound and able to enjoy the center, is the Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula aka MOWMP, which owns and operates the Sally Griffin Active
Living Center. This organization was started by an enormously heart-based lady named Sally Griffin, forty-two years ago, and since her passing, has been under the
leadership of what I consider a dynamic duo. Viveca Lohr, has been the wonderful Executive Director of MOWMP for the last twenty-eight years, and Andrea Fuerst, has
been the unstoppable Director of the Sally Griffin Active Living Center for the last eight years. Together with a phenomenal staff, and team of committed volunteers, they are
truly an enormous treasure and dedicated to feeding the mind, body and spirit of all who cross their path.
For those of you who have read my previous columns, you know I have written
about this organization before,but I have now had the privilege of spending
time with them over the last nine months, and feel so grateful for them opening their doors to me, all thanx to a synchronistic moment last June.
I hadn't been in the building in over twenty years, and always thought it was for seniors 60 years(+), and I didn't qualify. Boy, was I wrong !!!
You know when you find some person, place or thing, that you are so happy to
have discovered, that you want to shout it from a mountain- top ?? Please
consider this column my mountain-top !!! I would not walk, I would RUN to meet the people and opportunities at the Sally Griffin Center, and I am astounded at everything
they do and do with such generosity of spirit !!
I have written how this magical moment happened in June 2013, but it bears repeating.
As I said, I hadn't been to Sally Griffin's in twenty years, because again, I
thought you had to be 60(+) to belong, but I stopped by in June, to drop-off
about my veterinary housecall practice as well as the wonderful home care agency I am affilated with: Abundant Personal Care Service. I synchronisticly met Andrea Fuesrt,
The Director of the Griffin Center, when she fell in love with my "kids" and behavioral assistants, Jazzy Rose and the Rolling Joybuckets. She asked me if I ever gave
presentations, and while we were talking, she noticed someone had accidentally spilled some water on the floor, and she immediately got on her hands and knees and wiped
it up. What she couldn't possibly know,was that her concern that no one slip and fall, couldn't have been more appreciated, because my brother had recently passed, from a
fall on the floor, which caused a traumatic brain injury, so her immediate awareness and action was profoundly appreciated.
Stamped all over Andrea's heart and DNA is: "I care, how may I serve ?" which
has been a lifetime commitment, because she also served in the Peace corps in
Ethiopia,where she met her wonderful husband Darby Fuerst, who also served in the Peace Corps.
Andrea knows what a hugely important role animals play in people's lives, and
so after a presentation in September, and several other get togethers, the
Lovers Hour has been born. You are all cordially invited to meet on the second Monday of each month at 11am, starting in May 2014, to come and get preventive information
to help you have the the healthiest and happiest four-footed family members. In April 2014, we will be meeting on the first Monday at 11am, and if there are any other
schedule changes, I will let you know here.
It is amazing to think that under one roof at Sally Griffin's, you can get
everything from Flamenco Dancing, to a produce market, to tai-chi, to creative
Alzheimer support, to great meals and movies, to ping pong to computer classes to fitness classes to Parkinson's support, to animal health information, to music movement
as well art displays and receptions, and the list goes on. It's more like what does the center not offer, because the plethora of what they do offer is so astounding, and all
done with incredible heart and kindness.
The goal of the center, is to have their place be an extension of your living
room, a true community home away from home, for anyone 18yrs and older. To
that a membership only costs $ 25.00/yr, is inconceivable,but so many of the offerings and events are open and free to the public, just like the Animal Lovers Hour, that their
focus is on serving and truly feeding the mind, body and spirit, rather than limiting or excluding, and it's that attitude that makes me truly grateful and proud to be able to refer
people to this outstanding peninsula treasure.For more information about this great organization go to: www.mowmp.org
I feel the way you keep an epidemic going is to pretend there isn't one. Thanks
to the aforementioned people, places and events opening their hearts and doors
to provide opportunities for information, education, empowerment and compassion, I believe this predictable,preventable and curable behavioral epidemic with animals,will
be a thing of the past, and that a great respect and quality of life will be the gold standard for all individuals both two-footed and four-footed.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU !!!!!
For More Information/Presentations/or Appointments, Contact:
Joann Marie Donahoe,DVM
Animal Care Clinic
A Veterinary Housecall Service
Areas of Special Interest:
Internal Medicine/Behavioral Medicine
Animal Aggression Prevention and Resolution
Feline Geriatric Medicine/Non- Anesthetic Dentals
Copies of "parenting Your K-9 Angel" Downloadable at:
Tosey Posey Warm Fuzzy Videos at animalparenting.com