25 November 2010

thanksgiving gratitude (and a plea for help)

thanksgiving is a day of gratitude- something that sometimes gets lost in the turkey, football and mindless gluttony; but this kick off to the holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on gratitude before the madness of christmas sets in.  so before i embark on this long-ass post, i'd like to thank each of you, and express my gratitude for the camaraderie and friendship each of you bring to my life everyday when you visit me here at m21.  this past year has had more downs than ups in many ways, so really, i am very grateful to you all.

thank you.

when i sat down to type this post, i wasn't sure where to begin- for the past few years at thanksgiving, i reran my original thanksgiving post about the things i was most grateful for, my little happy little furballs. the post was centered around my dear little girl mona, and without her here, it seemed silly to run it again, but to simply rewrite it with ted's name inserted seemed disrespectful to her memory, so that was out too. i closed that original post with a plea for anyone who could manage, to please express their gratitude for the abundance in their lives by opening their hearts and homes to a rescue animal; so today i thought i'd expand on that a bit and make my thanksgiving gratitude post all about our pet companions in need.  for thousands of years we've bred these sweet creatures to respond to human affection, and companionship, so to simply see them abandoned seems incredibly cruel and unfair.  they didn't ask for any of this, and the sad thing is their needs are so simple, and it is such an easy thing to save them, yet so many people don't even think of it.  i hope that together we can all make a difference, so in the spirit of being grateful for all we have in our lives, i'm asking you to view this post in the hopes of spreading that gratitude around to our four-legged freinds.
the pet penitentiary. they do their best, but it's awful.
this little guy will be adopted soon, but to seem him alone in a cage, even for one day, breaks my heart.
army of little lovers
a sign on this girl's cage said "been here a long time" and it shows- she looks so lost and forlorn.
this sweet old lab's bio read "owner surrender".  9 years old and thrown into jail for no reason, but still hopeful that everyone who passes by will show him a little affection.
today, i went to the south LA animal shelter to take the pictures for this post- i wanted to put a personal face on the tragedy of these poor abandoned creatures, rather then merely pull pictures from the esteemed  mind you, me visiting an animal shelter is like asking whitney houston to visit a crack house, with the advice of "girl, don't you pick up that pipe". i mean you know she is going to fail, and it was touch and go for me too, as i white-knuckled through.  in time, i'm sure i will bring home another little friend as i'd love to get richard a playmate- but the house has had enough personnel changes lately, so i don't think it would be fair to anyone to rock the boat anymore at the moment (on a related side note, does anyone know how many animals you can have before you cross the line from concerned to crazy?).
two calm older ladies, looking for love
this velvet furred pit puppy was covered in scars- either from scrapping on the street, or worse, but he was still full of love and affection for a passing human.
so instead of looking to adopt myself today, i wandered around, handing out doggie treats and shedding a tear or two, while taking pictures with the hopes that these sad little faces will guilt one of YOU into visiting your local pound to help a friend in need (yes- i freely admit to trying to manipulate you with these photos- my mother taught me very well on how to pull a world-class guilt trip, so you can also blame her ;-)
another owner surrender, in her new metal home, wondering what the hell happened?
it was very hard not to take this lady home- she started purring the minute i walked into the cat room, and didn't stop. another owner surrender, she was full grown at 2 years old, yet tiny as a kitten, weighing all of about 5 pounds.
if you can't adopt a pet in need, i'd ask you to celebrate the abundance in your lives by volunteering or donating to a local rescue group.  the group i got ted from, molly's mutts and meows, estimates that each of their adoptees costs them on average of $500-$700 dollars.  i'd say that seems low since when i got ted, he came fully equipped with a crate, leash, poo bags, and enough food to transition him from the high grade dog food fed to him by mmm,  to the even higher priced organic raw food he currently enjoys;  not to mention they paid for him to be neutered, microchipped, a vet check up including all his needed shots, a flea treatment, and a visit to the groomer, all before coming home to me!

these faces break my heart.
another sweet, expectant face
really, all these guys want is a little affection, some good food, and to be let out a couple times a day (or have a clean litter box).  so simple, and less of an investment in time and money then most of us put into eating out or shopping every week.  yes, it is a commitment, but very few commitments love you back, so it all evens out in the end.

a cute lil crack rock who i longed to take home
this crew even  stopped the fun they were having wrestling one another to try to get some attention from a passing human.
many of my readers already are knee-deep in animal love (i probably get just as many animal lovers as decorating fans 'cuz of the obsessive pet postings), so to you, i want to express an extra helping of gratitude today, and since our little friends can't thank you, i will... thank you. thank you very much.
this one looks like a movie star mutt- how did he ever get here?
and to everyone who read through this whole post and viewed every sad little furry photo without clicking away, thank you as well!  i hope if you can't take a lil creature into your own life, you'll at least spread the word to others to make adoption their first option when looking for a companion.

last, happy thanksgiving to everyone!  please spread the gratitude however you can to make the world a better place- for the humans and the animals.

with full stomachs, much love, and much gratitude,

christian, ted and richard


Concrete Jungle said...

Excellent are sooooo right!

Having five sweet children in furcoats all I can do is make a donation to our shelter here but I do hope more in your area can bring a furry baby home! Good work!

Suzy said...

They are all sooo adorable! I hope they all get loving homes and you have a great Thanksgiving with your little ones. I can't imagine my life without my two girls...if only everyone else felt the same way (or at least had their pets neutred so there were less unwanted animals in this world!)

Razmataz said...

I just lost my dog 2 days ago, and although I can't brign myself to get another one yet, I know my next one will be from the pound. I cried just looking at these faces.

Thankyou for this post.

jones said...

Hi Christian, This is a super and much needed post. As for limits: I think that I have reached mine with 4 beasties (3 adopted). My daughter brought her lab over over me to babysit while they are away (I always do) and he went nuts. The only addition was Luxie, a 9 lb. Bijon. Needles to say, Cole went home. And I knew that I had met my limit.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by your crew.

camdesign said...

oh my that made me cry...and cuddle our new cat.
2 weeks ago today we adopted a 4 year female cat from a friends daughter who had only had her for 2 months, she had been in 4 homes before that...ours will be her last home! Her name is Kocadon, she is the most wonderful little girl, I have been so busy with clients I have not had time to blog her picture, I will let you know when I do so you can see how pretty she is...
Have a great turkey day, Regards, Carol Ann

MaryBeth said...

I have never been to an animal shelter for the same reason I didn't want to read this post (I did read all the way to the end) because it breaks my heart. I know if I went I wouldn't be able to walk away. How do you chose one and leave the others... I hope because of this post each and every one of these lovely companions finds a home. Happy Thanksgiving.

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

This is such a thoughtful and at the same time sad post. Thank you for sharing this situation with us.
have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

(lump in throat) I don't know how you walked out of there without one. Such an important message. Just yesterday I had an email in my inbox of someone who is trying to find a home for their family member. They are moving into an apartment and can't keep their pet. What? That is not an option...would you give away your child? You have to find a place to live that will take a dog.

It makes me ill. This same person I have helped find a home for another animal just last year. They are not my friend any more. This is unacceptable.

I'd love to bring another into my house but at 4...I am officially a crazy dog lady and that is the city limit. I wish I could take in four more.

I have to say...three is easy...four gets harder. little rescue is living in my bed...she has decided that is where she wants to be at all times. The others get up with me....and follow me around but she has decided to just stay in the bed as much as possible.

I have to go in there and physically pull her out of bed to go outside and she does not like it.

She's a wild crazy girl but I think she's decided she wants to be a diva and just live in that bed. So crazy. But she also likes me to kiss and hug her all day she's forgiven

Happy Thanksgiving!

bazaarofserendipity said...

OMG you got me! Totally crying I want to save all of these babies! Its funny b/c I was just laying in bed with my mom talking about the latest doggy we rescued and saying how thankful we are that she isn't out on the street! I like you wish I could save them all! I know you miss your mona but Ted is so lucky to have you! xo

Happy Thanksgiving.

dicey1 said...

Okay, drying my face. Good thing I don't have mascara on yet.

This is a wonderful post and very dear to my heart. At the moment we have three rescues...a 105 pound mix who's crazy funny and talks ALL time, a shih tzu (said I'd NEVER have one) with personality to spare and our very furry toed cat. Hubby and I feel rescues are the way to go as there are SO many of them.

I appreciate you thinking of our furry friends in need.

Happy Thanksgiving

EAB said...

While I was reading this my little pug fell off the couch and hit his head while having a seizure. (He'll be ok, we are used to this.)He has fairly severe brain damage, blind in one eye, and epilepsy. The day I met him, I just knew that he was destined for euthanization if I didn't grab him. I love Special Ed with all my heart and wallet. Thank you for posting this today.


Oh my gosh...that was a hard post to read...and I had to go fast. For the same reason, I can not even go to Petsmart on Saturdays because of the adoptions. It just breaks my heart. I have 2 rescued Old English Sheepdogs. When I got them they were 3 years old and I asked her if they were house trained. She looked at me and said "they ain't never been in my house". I wanted to slap her. They are the best dogs. It cost me about 5 thousand dollars to get them healthy and trained. You are so right when you say they are defenseless. Thanks for this post because it is a reminder that we still have much work to do with animal rescue.

Bromeliad said...


I can't even watch the commercials where they plead for abandoned pets.

Sadly we throw animals away like we do our stuff.

David said...

You're a good man to post this Christian. Alex was a shelter dog, and I'm sitting here watching him, curled up in a ball wedged against his other dad at the other end of this sectional. We're so lucky we found him.

He's been an only dog since Memorial Day weekend and we've been thinking it's time for a friend. Rest assured our dog-to-be will be another rescue.

Ann said...

Oh they all look so cute...

And deserve love and a home:)

The Townhouselady said...

I'm thankful that there are people in this world like you who continue to fight the good fight for these furry angels.

I thank the heavens for my 4 indoor and 3 "garden kitties" every day. They never cease to bring joy, laughter and the occasional irritation to my life.

Have a wonderful holiday-
The Townhouselady

maison21 said...

thanks to all for reading and commenting- it's so nice to know that there is an army of animal lovers out there!

and a special thanks to all of you who've rescued. if there is a karma bank for good deeds, you've all earned extra special bonus points!

hoping your thanksgiving was fantastic!



Vickie H. said...

My dear Christian! What a wonderful post! As an animal rescuer here in the Dallas area for the last 8 years I just cannot thank you enough for this gentle, but very necessary reminder about the state of stray dogs and cats in the world we live in. I hope everyone who reads your words will forward a link to someone else they know who needs to read this message. And I would like to add this suggestion: please do not avoid visiting your pet stores on the weekend where the pet adoptions are held. Even though you may not be able to adopt an animal and take one home with you, those rescuers very much NEED your donations of money and/or pet food to help them do the work they do. So when you pass them on the way into the store and on the way out, please leave some money in their donation boxes. That way you can play a VERY important part in saving animal lives. If you need a tax deductible gift receipt, just ask them for one...they have them to give to you. Believe me, there is NEVER enough money to meet every need in animal rescue and we appreciate every cent that comes our way. Without your donations we cannot continue to save the lives of these sweet loving animals.

Christian, you are an absolute angel. May God bless you abundantly this holiday season and every day that follows! The animals need more voices like yours speaking out for them! Thank you so very much on behalf of rescuers everywhere and on behalf of the animals as well.

shiree segerstrom said...

Thank you Christian. We need more animal champions like you. Blessings, Shiree'

La Maison Fou said...

Those faces are so adorable!
It makes me luv my pet even more ( and I did not think that was possible )!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!