By Julia Williams
Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.
The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.
In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.
My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.
By Linda Cole
PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) is a San Francisco based non-profit organization dedicated to giving support and aid to seniors and people with disabling illnesses that make it difficult for them to feed and care for their pets. The PAWS-sponsored Petchitecture is an annual fundraiser to benefit PAWS clients and their pets. Last year’s event brought in $225,000. Jason Izmirian and Michael Jennings, pet parents to the 2013 Petchitecture Dog Idols, Carmela and Chloe, had the winning bid of $7,800 on a prize package donated by CANIDAEfor the auction. Part of the prize includes being featured on CANIDAE marketing materials. I spoke with Jason to find out more about the “girls” and his determination to win the CANIDAE prize package.
“We thought a prize package that would showcase just how adorable our Ladies are made sense to us. We are fans of all natural, USA made food for animals and the CANIDAE prize package was a no brainer from our perspective. We also love PAWS and what they do for the San Francisco community.” Jason and Michael are San Francisco residents; Jason leads the Talent division of a software startup company and Michael runs Global Information Technology for a business networking company.
Their dogs, Carmela and Chloe, are Tweenie Dachshunds, a size in between miniature and standard. Carmela (dapple) and Chloe (black and tan) are also sisters. When Jason first saw them at a Denver breeder’s they were three months old, racing around and playing with each other. Jason explained, “Initially, we were only going to adopt one, but when I heard there were two available, I figured if we were going to clean up poop for one pup, we might as well clean up poop for two.”
About five years ago, Carmela became a special needs dog when a Lake Tahoe vacation turned into a scary and frantic trip home for emergency surgery after Carmela jumped off a chair and ruptured a disc in her back. Not knowing what to expect or how it would affect her future, Jason and Michael did everything possible to help her through rehabilitation. Jason was in between jobs and concentrated on Carmela’s needs. For six months he chauffeured her to water treadmill therapy and an acupuncturist, and worked with a therapist on her motor skills. “Our hope was she wasn’t going to need wheels to help her get around, so we are grateful her determination and ours got her to where she is today. She walks a little like a ‘drunken sailor,’ but she gets around,” said Jason.
My job has no formal Job Description – it’s just my job and I’m fortunate to just wing it at work. People are curious as a cat about what I do as an Animal Assisted Therapy Cat, so I’m gonna give you a real PURRsonal insight to my having fun on the job with the fantastic seniors at The ARC of San Francisco.
Commuting to my job on a San Francisco cable car is a good way to start my day, (of course I hum the Mice a Roni tune up and over the hills). Sometimes I visit little groups of 20 or a larger group of 55 seniors, all with mental or physical challenges. There’s so many meowvalous activities going on, and I purrticipate in them all!
When they sit in chairs at the activity tables, I purrfur to forego the chair to sit on their table, like the crafts table where I check out their balls of colorful yarns and great artwork they’re making. I might put my paw in the watercolor paints (I’ma an artisticat doing paw print paintings) or play hockey with their crayons.
Dominos at the game table are my favorito – just paw tap one and bamzatini they all go down! The clients giggle or say “Oh NO Guido!” Some days I join in card games – just putting my paw on the card they should select. So you see, my job can’t have a job description cuz I always changes what I do on the job.
By Suzanne Alicie
If you’re a pet lover, you’ve more than likely heard of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). This fantastic organization provides for the needs of companion animals to low income people with HIV/AIDS, other disabling illnesses and senior citizens. Volunteers provide essential support, educate the community and advocate for disabled individuals to have the right to keep service animals. PAWS is not just support for the health and well being of animals though; the organization also contributes to improving the quality of life for disabled individuals and their furry companions.
Thanks to the wonderful mom of Guido the Italian Kitty, we were able to get the inside scoop on some exciting news from the PAWS camp. Guido is a certified “Animal Assisted Therapy Meowster,” and PAWS is one of his very favorite organizations. Before I share their big news, I want to tell you a bit about the PAWS program and the work they do. I was lucky enough to be able to discuss PAWS with the President of the San Francisco organization, John Lipp, who filled me in on the details of PAWS and its presence across the country.