It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: animal rescue

Week 52-The Final Countdown, Day 4-Reunited

So it’s the last night we’re here in good ‘ole NC, and I’m so excited to see all my girls!  I’ve seen a few of them here and there over the past 5 days, but tonight is going to be like a mini-reunion!  There was a group of about 8 of us who were super close in high school, and stayed that way even though we went our separate ways for college.  They are the type of girls that I love with all my heart, and I know that no matter how far apart in distance we are, we’re never more than a phone call away.  We’re all grown up now, or at least we’re suppose to be, but I’m so thankful that we take the time to reunite and reconnect. 

I can hardly stand being separated from my friends, so I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to be parent separated from my child.  Reunite International was created in 1987 to help parents who are trying to navigate through the legal nightmare of international parental child abduction.  They provide information and support to parents, family members, and guardians who have had their child abducted or are afraid their child may be at risk for abduction.  RI is also there to talk to and give practical advice to a parent who may have abducted their own child.  RI is also dedicated to raising awareness about international parental child abduction on a global level.  RI works closely with government agencies and other organizations to formulate quick resolutions that are in the best interest of the children when abduction does occur.  RI is able to provide support to parents when they need it the most.  The closest thing I have to children right now are my dogs, and I would be heart-broken if something were to happen and I was unable to see them on a daily basis. Nowzad Dogs is a charity that was created in order to rescue stray animals in Afghanistan and Iraq that soldiers have come across in their everyday lives.  Afghan and Iraqi dogs and cats spend most of their days just trying to survive.  ND knows they can’t possibly rescue every stray dog in those two countries, so they are also trying to educate the locals on animal welfare.  ND gives hope and new homes to numerous dogs that someone else has just totally forgotten about.  A few soldiers have even been reunited with the animals they took the time to care for and nurture while they were deployed.  I don’t know how anyone could say no to adorable little faces like the ones below.

So cute!

Reunite International Donation

Nowzad Dogs Donation

So here’s to being reunited!  There are very little things that compare to hugging the neck of someone you haven’t seen in way too long.  You can be played every 10 years, or impromptu, but you’re always a chance to catch up on the latest.  Everyday life may try to keep us apart but you will have none of it!  There’s no place like home, and there are no words to tell someone you love how much you’ve truly missed them, cause we’re reunited and it feels so good!

I love a good reunion!

Week 28-When I grow up… Day 2-Veternarian

Now this is something I know a little bit about because I really did want to be a veterinarian when I growing up!  I’ve loved all animals, with the exception of snakes and spiders, from a very young age.  I did everything I was supposed to along the way to ensure my acceptance into a top rated vet school, and then I discovered research and never looked back.  I still have dreams of performing surgeries and delivering tiny, adorable animals but luckily I can do all that without a DVM and the hefty debt that comes along with it.  I’m so thankful for that dream that led me to the place where I am today, the animals I’ve encountered along the way, and the people who have changed my life.

I’ve already professed my love of Oprah several times on here, but I’m also a big Ellen fan.  She is like wine, she just keeps getting better, and more charitable, with age.  One of the charities that she talks about all the time on her show is The Gentle Barn.  She has even adopted several animals from TGB and shared their amazing stories on her show.  TGB has rescued over 130 animals from severe abuse, neglect, or even slaughter.  This next part is my favorite.  After the animals are rehabilitated they become “ambassadors” to help children who are healing from abuse.  The interaction that the kids have with these special animals teaches them about kindness, compassion, and a respect for all living things.  Ellie and Jay Weiner run TGB and were inspired to start this awesome place because they had both grown up feeling alone, invisible, and even misunderstood.  Animals provided comfort and friendship for them when the other people in their lives couldn’t.  Love, trust, courage, and forgiveness make up the core of Ellie and Jay, The Gentle Barn’s mission, and the message they try to teach to the children who visit them.  Charities like TGB are the reason I write this blog everyday.  Another great organization that shares the mission of TGB is Animal Place.  They are unique because they solely rescue, provided sanctuary for, and adopt farm animals which is a group that can often be lost in the shuffle compared to cuddly kittens and puppies.  They are also a humane education center for the public to learn about ways they can support animal rights like becoming a vegan.  AP has a sanctuary that is 600 acres for rescued animals to recover and relax into their new life, and a 60 acre ranch that serves as an adoption center.  Either way I think it’s pretty safe to say that these animals are living in the lap of luxury.  A little compassion goes a long way.

The Gentle Barn Donation or Pick your favorite animal to sponsor like Ellen!

Animal Place Donation

So here’s to you veterinarians!  You are the aspiration of so many young people who love animals as if they’re a part of the family.  You get the cool job of delivering precious baby animals and nursing those who are sick back into health.  Plus it just sounds fun to call yourself a doctor.  Go ahead try it.  Maybe Cosmo Kramer was onto something when he said he’d take vet over a M.D. any day.

That's my motto!

Week 14-Food Shows, Day 2-Rachael Ray

Go Rachael Ray!

Most people either love or love to hate the very popular Rachael Ray.  No matter what you think about her cooking, innovative lingo, or talk show you have to admit that she uses her fame for good.  She puts as much love into the charities that she supports as she puts EVOO into her pans.  She is an advocate for healthier eating for families and protecting/rescuing/improving the lives of pets in need.  I’m thankful for her down to earth personality, easy and delicious recipes, and the way she cares about the world we live in.

In 2006 Ray founded her own non-profit with the help of Bill Clinton called Yum-o! The three core areas of Yum-o are cook, feed, and fund.  Seems pretty obvious but if the first step is teaching  families to cook meals that are easy, affordable, delicious, and nutritious.  The family that cooks together, stays healthy together.

RR and Isaboo

Plus what parent couldn’t use an adorable little sous chef in the kitchen?  As a part of the “feed” principle Yum-o has partnered with Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger in America.  Yum-o also realizes how important it is to invest in future chefs and other food service careers, and helps provide funding for cooking education and scholarships.  It is so important to teach children that cooking is fun so they will continue the habit as they spread their wings and leave the nest. Even though RR doesn’t have any kids, her dog Isaboo is definitely a part of the family.  That’s why she created her pet friendly charity Rachael’s Rescue, and her all nature dog food, Nutrish.  A portion of the proceeds from her Nutrish line go to help organizations like the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League America, and Bad Rap.  RR also supports America’s VetDogs which helps veterans who have served our country honorably live with both dignity and independence.  Starated by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in 2003 AVD has helped thousands of disabled veterans, deployed service men and women, and their families.  There are a ton of great animal welfare charities out there, but Rachael picked some good ones to highlight and make it easy for us!  Thanks RR!

Yum-o! Donation

Rachael’s Rescue Donation (pick your favorite charity to support!)

So here’s to you Rachael Ray!  You are a hard working, recipe cooking, talk show hosting, magazine producing beast of nature!  There are kids out there reaching for a hand full of almonds and apricots instead of Doritos and M&Ms because of your message.  Some people may not like the words EVOO, yum-o, or stoup, but I bet they like the words giving, thoughtful, and charitable.  Thanks for being who you are, and supporting what you believe in, no matter what.

Week 7-Animals, Day 6-Donkeys

Seriously adorable

Yes, you read that right, it says donkeys.  Viva la Mexican Mondays!  I mean where would Mexico be without it’s burros?  Plus we started packing the first of our belonging into boxes today.  If we lived in the wild wild west back in the day we would probably being using donkeys to haul our stuff from point A to point B.  I also think that donkeys are under-appreciated in general and deserve a shout out.

There was a professor in my department who had a pet donkey.  In fact he loved that donkey so much he had a sweatshirt made with her on the back and wore it at least once a week.  No lie.  I think the Peace Valley Donkey Rescue doesn’t sell sweatshirts but they do save abused and neglected donkeys.  PVDR is the largest donkey rescue in the United States with locations across the country.  There’s even a rescue facility in Pollocksville NC!  PVDR also works hard to educate young people about how loving and intelligent donkeys really are, and research donkey nutrition and parasite control.  PVDR has saved over 1,500 donkeys since they started in 2000.  Noah’s Ark in Georgia strives to help abused, unwanted, or orphaned animals and children.  Jama Hedgecoth founded NA in 1978 hoping to build her own “ark” to protect kids and animals from the floods of abuse and neglect.  NA cares for over 1,000 animals on a daily basis and provides rehab for the surrounding communities.  Plus some of you might have seen the video the bear, lion, and tiger all sharing a house.  Not your typical family. 

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue Donation

Noah’s Ark Donation

So here’s to you donkeys!  Some people may call you a jack-ass but I call you the movers of the 19th century.  You make up half the genes of a mule, and you are the mascot of the democratic party.  You and an over-sized sombrero make for a quintessential photo-op in Tijuana.  Thank you for always being there to give us a hand.  I mean a hoof.

Week 7-Animals, Day 2-Squirrels


The snow may have stopped falling yesterday but the cold temperatures are sticking around here in NJ.  So with Scott headed back to work today it was a stay-inside-read-a-book-and-lay-under-the-blanket kinda day.  Luckily we have two windows in the back of our apartment when I can periodically check the status of the outside world.  It is also a bonafide squirrel playground.  So today as I was reading The White Queen, I was thankful for the amusement our neighborhood squirrels provided for a little while.

I think my love of squirrels had to begin while I was an undergraduate at NC State in Raleigh, NC.  There are squirrels everywhere around campus, and have become eerily accustomed to people.  And who can forget the internet sensation of the overly dramatic squirrel.  Luckily there are people in NC who take their squirrels very seriously.  The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission helps to protect gray squirrels, northern flying squirrels, fox squirrels, and red squirrels.  NCWRC is also in the business of teaching educators about the tools they can use in their own classrooms.  Project Wild help teach children that it’s never too early to start becoming responsible citizens of our planet.  If we don’t teach our kids to love the squirrels who will?  We need more people like Birgit Sommer, who is the director of the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in Texas.  RWR’s website tells you exactly what to do if you happen to find a baby squirrel or a baby opossum.  Since 2004 Brigit and RWR have been rehabilitating wildlife and returning them to their natural habitat.  As you may have guessed running a rescue center ain’t cheap, but every little bit helps.  Even as little as $10 would help provide fresh produce for two days to feed all the orphaned animals.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Donation

Rainbow Wildlife Rescue Donation

So here’s to you squirrels!  You are adorable and incredibly fun, especially on a cold snowy day.  You get those chubby little cheeks in the fall when you’re storing all kinds of goodies for the winter.  If you’re orphaned or hurt you should be rescued and rehabilitated just like the rest of the wildlife out there.  I mean who else is going to provided hours of mindless entertainment and pick up all those acorns on the sidewalk?