The best birthday gift? Laughter. And that's what I shared lots of with Jerry and Ben. My birthday surprise was the sound of waves crashing on shore minutes after stepping into the dining area. Big waves smashing in and sand underfoot. Totally unexpected, and a total extra.
www.paradisecovemalibu.com/home is right on the beach, you sit at tables on the sand. I haven't been to the beach in years so the feel isn't often on my mind and I'd forgotten all about that ocean sound. I see and hear seagulls in parking lots and gazing from telephone poles in the San Fernando Valley, they somehow make their way over to here, but that water slapping at the sand, so unmistakable; familiar and forgotten. I was thrilled to behold waves curl up out of a greenish sea bottom and pound ashore, swells that splashed and sprayed. Calming rhythmic ridges of water followed. Happy Birthday to me. Thank you Mother Nature.
L O V E comes in all sizes.
When I came to New York City on my own, this small town girl stepped
outside of everything she knew or grew up with. The yellow brick road called.
David McCabe was a well known British fashion photographer so my sense that anything could happen elevated wayyyy high whenever I was in his world. He photographed Andy Warhol, famous models, celebrities and - - me. His bright blue eyes and flattering English way are gone now.
He passed away in March of this year.
Thank You for these photos David. Sail on.
Cats have kittens all year long but Kitten Season, usually twice a year in California because of warm weather,
puts an extra heavy burden on shelters and rescues. 80 - 90% of their cat and kitten intake happens during this time. Thousands of homeless kittens flood shelters across the country. Foster parents who can provide temporary care for these vulnerable little lives are needed even more desperately March - October.
Foster parents are the heart & soul of kitten rescue. An act of compassion, fostering for as little as two weeks, makes a life-saving difference for vulnerable kitten/teenager/adult cats and
helps save the greatest number of lives. Save more, euthanize less.
No matter your age, ability or resources, YOU can be a kitten season hero.
a litter of kittens with your neighbors, donate old towels and blankets to your local shelter, or share a post on social media from a group that’s looking for volunteers or adopters.
There’s not a person out there who can’t help.
In 2007 Pilot and I found a special place. Whatever you call it, Instagram has found it now. It's not a secret anymore. There was always edge-to-edge graffiti covering the cement square at the tip top end of the trail. But now, graffiti is splashed on rocks all along the way, small bits of wrappers and plastics ruffle the bushes, flutter through trees, wedge between rocks.
But still. The square peak is there, the view is there, so are quiet and solitude.
And Pilot, my partner girl for years of long-walk adventures, I still feel her there too.
Always with me, there and everywhere.
It's 2021 now and Jimmie's discovering trails travelled by Pi and I.
Jimmie and I revel in the joy of being out and about in the early morning. Just as Pi and I did.
I find peace in the simple.
What makes a morning moon look it's best?
Jimmie and a tree.
And so 2021 began.
An early morning walk on January 1, with Jimmie at Ahmanson.
Strong winds, crisp air, quiet and beauty as far as my eyes could see.
Wishing you and yours the peace & happy I felt this morning.
Watta way to start the day. A hike with my dog. Miles of smiles. Guaranteed.
Not sure which Jimmie loves more, a walk or the rope-tug afterwards.
And she shimmered. SHIMMER shimmered and shined so bright six women were drawn to her light.
Tana, Angela, Kathleen, Annie, Sue and Naida were moths to her flame.
SHIMMER first radiated up and out to my universe while standing on a grungy brown floor, beaming through the wire fencing of a shack-of-a-California shelter near the Oregon border. Being a pit bull with scars and scratches, adult and female, her doom was certain but for Tana. Shelter volunteers are the first line of defense for the defenseless. It was Tana's video and photo that triggered me to put the word out.
September 17 2011 Shimmer in the Del Norte Pound: http://youtu.be/ELP02b6apOI
SHIMMER became Beatrice. Her world changed.
But seeing her in Annie's garden, head up and eyes closed in peace,
it's the same head to the sky as in her shelter photo. Her essential self: heads up, hopeful.
After nine years cancer caught up with her but being surrounded by love and care for so long she reflected her light back up to the sky from a place of peace. Sparkling and shimmering to the end.
Shine on SHIMMER.
September 13, 2020. Goodbye to the last of the Vicktory Dogs.
Another legend has ascended.
Rest In Peace Shadow.
When the Bad Newz Kennels story broke something in me went white hot with rage. Revelations of the horrors visited on these innocents and remnants found of their hell on earth - nooses, chains, blood spatters, claw marks - the thought of their pain, their helpless terror pierced my soul. That fury would not go away and I didn’t know what to do with it. I channeled it into creating a comp of a book cover; for a book that never happened. I couldn't get enough of the story of these pit bull survivors; hours spent reading about them, searching for images of them, Photoshopping them into puzzle pieces shaped to make a ‘V’. Over the days and weeks of moving their faces from one spot to another resizing and cropping and color correcting each survivor to get the best ‘V’, the Vicktory sibling's names etched crevices in my brain and most will stay with me as long as I have memory.
Now that the last of the Vicktory Dogs has gone over the Rainbow Bridge, there won’t be updates for me to soak up. No more new videos or interviews to play more than once. But from time to time I will always reminisce over these beautiful dogs, tears will always come. Their brave hearts leave me with an ache in my heart and deep awe over their remarkable courage and unbreakable spirit.
Don't. Give. Up. You've got a reason to live.
These pitbulls overcame and conquered evil. They journeyed from victim to survivor to thriver becoming teachers of love and resilience; becoming ambassadors for the breed. Their stories have helped to change policies and law just by becoming the loving creatures they were always meant to be.
The game-changing legacy the Vicktory dogs leave is a shift in the public perception of dogs freed from fighting rings. They changed hearts and minds by showing the world that rehabilitation after trauma is real. Their valiant resilience cast a shadow coast to coast and other dogs now live because of the magnificent 47.
Judge the deed not the breed.
Run free you beautiful souls. Thank you for changing the world.
The Washington Post tracked down all 47 dogs rescued 13 years ago
to find out about their post adoption lives:
TOP TO BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT:
Alf, Audie, BONITA, CHERRY, Chuckie, CURLY, DENZEL, ELLEN
Ernie, Frodo, GEORGIA, Ginger, Grace, Gracie, HALLE, HANDSOME DAN
Harriet, Hazel, Hector, Iggy, Jhumpa Jones, Jonny Justice, LANCE, LAYLA
Leo, LITTLE RED, LUCAS, Makavelli, MEL, MERYL, MYA, OLIVER
OSCAR, Piper, RAY, Red, Seven, SHADOW, SQUEAKER, Stella,
Sweet Jasmine, Sweet Pea, Teddles, TUG, Uba, WILLIE, Zippy
Ballot measure Yes on Prop 2 (confinement of chickens, pigs & veal calves) changed my life. Much of what you see on My Story Tails comes from that change.
The People Have Spoken: YES! on Prop 2 - http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2008/11/prop2-victory.html