2016-06-23 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Eleven years ago this week I hung up my red pen and retired from teaching. So many diverse shelter rescue requests and/or dog and cat events happen each day I still wonder how I juggled both roles, and how I ever found time to teach. You will see an Afghan Hound thread in the partial list of pet vignettes from last week:

*Casting call conflict: An agent offered my Edgar Afghan Poe a spot in a Pedigree commercial. They needed a blonde Afghan who would sit with his back to the camera while a little girl brushed his long hair. Then the camera would zoom in on the dog’s face. Edgar is too nervous for show biz, so I suggested my Afghan goddaughter “Jasmine” in NJ. You may recall she was a rescue but is now a certified therapy dog. We drove to Alabama in December so Jasmine could perform in the Birmingham Ballet’s performance of “The Muttcracker.” (See Beacon “Pets” 12/17/15.) She would be perfect; she loves kids.

“C.B.” (aka “Cry Baby”), assistant Babylon Shelter tour guide “C.B.” (aka “Cry Baby”), assistant Babylon Shelter tour guide Jasmine’s mom Annette was thrilled until she heard the filming date. She had just booked a shoot with Universal Studios for the same day. Jasmine will be at Liberty State Park to model items in the press bag for the upcoming film “The Secret Life of Pets.” How do you spell “disappointed”? Another LI Afghan friend will be bringing her platinum blonde “Thomas” to the Pedigree commercial.

*Judge is running out of time: Last Hope gets all sorts of hotline calls. A PTA mom from a Baldwin school phoned to ask if someone would judge a school-wide writing contest. Students in grades K-5 wrote letters from homeless pets. There would be one winner per grade. I said I’d be happy to do so but she’d have to mail the entries to me first class or faster. The last day of school is Fri., June 24. As of today (Sunday) I have not received the letters. This reminds me of the year I had a student teacher who showed up unannounced with a whole watermelon and no knife, as my class was getting ready for dismissal on the last day of school. It was the pits.

“Khalessi” is running for mayor of Eastsound, Washington. “Khalessi” is running for mayor of Eastsound, Washington. *Rodney Dangerfield’s professor: While walking my dogs, the boss of a landscaping crew asked me if Edgar was an Afghan Hound. He laughed, saying Afghans look like people. I mentioned that many folks told my late Afghan “Alan” he was a clone of Howard Stern, even though Alan was much better looking. The man replied Edgar reminded him of Rodney Dangerfield’s teacher in the movie “Back to School” which brings us now to IMDb (the internet movie database). Sally Kellerman, better known as “Hot Lips” in the movie “Mash,” was the blonde professor. Yes, there’s a resemblance, but Edgar’s domino coat has better highlights, and his are natural.

“Khalessi” during her hometown Summer Solstice ceremony “Khalessi” during her hometown Summer Solstice ceremony *Madame Microchip: As predicted in Beacon “Pets” 5/26/16, right after 400 microchips were mailed to my house, I began spending a disproportionate amount of time setting up chips for kittens about to be spayed, delivering the chips to six animal hospitals, recording the numbers and then calling adopters to register the chips. As a teacher I could multi-task while marking papers, whereas microchip numbers require my undivided attention.

Last week we had a microchip marathon for adult cats at Last Hope. When a lady visited with her recently adopted dog, I ran out of the cat room to grab her so we could microchip her dog. His “personalized” microchip just happened to be in the medical room.

*Radio oh, no: Wednesday morning Last Hope was supposed to do an interview and video with an adoptable dog for the Shark 94.3 arranged by Last Hope volunteer Sarah who’s doing a college internship at the station. I postponed it because I thought I had a doctor’s appointment and then proceeded to show up at the appointment two hours early. This is what happens when you do too many microchips and cannot multi-task.

*Assistant tour guide: While waiting for all of Girl Scout Troop 513 from Albany Avenue School in Lindenhurst to convene at Babylon Shelter for a tour, I heard a kitten crying from the back. The tiny tabby was with his sister but he wanted attention. “C.B.” (aka “Cry Baby”) became my assistant tour guide. He never made a peep as he kept the girls’ attention. When we got to his cage, his lonely sister was crying so we switched to “Ms. C.B.” to help with the rest of the tour. Troop 513 brought generous supply donations and made hand-knotted blankets for the shelter cats.

*Khaleesi mayoral campaign: “Khaleesi” is a female Afghan, rescued as a living skeleton in August 2014 from a pound in Okinawa. (See Beacon “Pets” 10/16/14.) She had heartworm, mange, open wounds and many parasites. Through expert fostering in Okinawa by Doggies, Inc., the promise of life in the US by Afghan Hound Rescue of Southern California plus financial support and prayers of Afghan lovers world-wide, Khaleesi made a miraculous recovery, and is now the cherished pet of the Hildreth family on Orcas Island in northern Washington. She is also a local canine celebrity in Eastsound, her hometown.

Right now Khaleesi is in the midst of a tough mayoral campaign for charity against three other dogs and a turtle. Khaleesi’s Facebook page- “Queen Khaleesi of Okinawa, the Hound that United the World” - says it all. On Saturday she was the central figure in Eastwood’s Summer Solstice ceremony. Although she is leading now, the lead keeps changing. I’ve been promoting Khaleesi’s campaign on my Facebook page and as an administrator for Afghan Hound Club of America Facebook.

You buy votes by donating to Orcas’ Children’s House, an early learning center. Vote as often as you would like. Online votes via PayPal cost $5 (tax deductible) each at http://mayor.daystarwest.com/. Voting ends 5 p.m. EST on July 2. Please- Khaleesi HAS to win. Meanwhile, I have many microchips to go before I sleep.

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