Tesla’s Love is the blog for and about people who love animals. No one here cares whether it walks, crawls, swims, slithers, hobbles or knows how to fly, if there is a story about an animal that you love or loves you, this is the place to share that story. The story can be a tribute, a love story or a memorial. It can be about you, this truly is a site for people. Send your story and photos to teslaslove@gmail.com and we promise to post it here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Recipe for Holiday Disaster!

A Standard Poodle named Louise. Three large layers of a birthday cake to celebrate an 85th birthday. An author’s book signing. Car keys. The holidays. Disaster.

It should have been another December day.

I was going only 75 miles to my hometown to celebrate my father’s 85th birthday and sign books.

The car was packed with clothes, books, and props. My beautiful poodle Louise was sitting elegantly on the back seat. I had just picked up a confection masterpiece at The Mitchell House and Gardens, the business where I direct weddings. The splendid creation was to be part of a holiday celebration where my sister and I would honor our father, a World War II veteran.

One layer of vanilla cake spread smooth with gleaming white frosting. A second layer of chocolate cake also topped with the same frosting – frosting so calorie laden that the Surgeon General should require it to have a warning label, but so delicious! And one last vanilla layer with almond flavoring, topped with a magnificent bow made from red fondant icing. It was the icing on the icing!

Oh! But lest I forget one lovely detail: Each layer was circled with red velvet ribbon that perfectly matched the fondant bow. I hugged the lady who had baked the cake – Patsy, whom I call our “Cake Goddess.”

After leaving the wedding business, I realized that I needed gasoline. My mind racing ahead to all of the day’s events – sign books, take cake to hall where party was being held, leave Louise with Daddy, dash to mall for makeup, return home, change clothes … and on and on.

I got out of the car in the freezing cold on a day when even the Sunny South was soggy and awful. Just as I started to pump gasoline, I realized that I had left my handbag and keys in the car.

I turned around to open the car door. Louise, who panics when she can’t see me, had moved herself to the driver’s seat. She was standing on the handle of the door. As I reached to open the door, I realized: IT WAS LOCKED! Louise’s paw was pressed firmly on the electric lock, and I was out in the cold – literally and figuratively.

I went to each of the doors and the back of my SUV, hoping against hope, that one of them might be open. No such luck!

With only minutes to spare, I did what anyone would do – dash inside to call AAA and beg them to send someone ASAP. Immediately, the customer service representative asked, “Are you somewhere that you are safe?”

“Yes,” I replied, nervous about those three cake layers in the car with a dog that has a penchant for treats and has been on a diet because of eating too many “snackees.”

After a couple of minutes, the cheerful woman informed me that my AAA membership had expired in October. This was the same membership that my father told me that he had renewed for me, as he does every year, for my birthday. There was no point in arguing that detail, however, because all of that cake AND Louise were in the car. It was a dangerous combination!Fortunately, my credit card was in my pocket, and I re-upped my membership for $69, all the while begging the customer service representative to send the locksmith as quickly as possible.

I returned to the car to see Louise, whose beautiful face was pressed against the driver’s window. She kept pawing at the window. I stood there talking to her and trying to get her to move her paw back to the door lock.

In a few minutes, the convenience store attendant said that someone was on the phone for me. It was AAA cheerfully informing me that a locksmith was on the way. But then came the questions: What color is your car? We noticed that Dr. Petit did not renew his membership, either. Would you like to re-instate his membership for him? I was frantic. Minutes were passing. And Louise was still in the car with the cake!

“Dr. Petit is on his own,” I said in reference to my father, who shouldn’t be driving at all. “And as much as I would love to talk to you, I’ve got to get back to my car. My dog is panicked that she’s locked inside! Please tell the locksmith to hurry!”

I slammed down the phone and ran back to the car, continued talking to Louise, and became convinced with each passing minute that I was going to have frostbite and die before I could get in the car, much less get the cake – still in its glorious frosted state -- to the party!

One hour later, the locksmith arrived. He unlocked the car in no time. Louise was bouncing on the seat with joy that she could be reunited with her Mom, and I breathed a sigh of relief until ….I noticed the red “Door Ajar” light shining brightly on my dashboard. What could be wrong now? It dawned on me – maybe the back gate of the SUV wasn’t totally shut. I pulled off the four-lane road into the large parking lot of a florist. I parked the car, jumped out with keys in hand and hurried to the back of the car. But Louise, panicked that she was being left again, jumped across the back seat and into the back of the SUV where the cake layers lay. As I opened the back gate, I saw Louise coming over the seat.

The three layers of cake that had mercifully survived Louise’s large appetite now were prey to her long legs and large paws. I wanted to cry. Louise was heading out the back of the SUV – she would not be shut up in the car again without me. As I grabbed her leash, she pulled her head out of her collar and began running joyfully through the parking lot of the florist – only a few yards from a heavily traveled four-lane highway.

At this point, the cake was the least of my concerns. I tried not to show my panic as Louise dashed back and forth across the parking lot in exuberant glee. I kept saying, “Come on, Louise, let’s get a snackee. Let’s get a snackee.” The word signaling treats was music to Louise’s ears, and finally she came running toward me. I put my arms around her and quickly put her green and rhinestone Christmas collar around her neck.

At this point, people in the florist had begun running to the parking lot, as concerned as I was about the poodle that was loose and in danger!

“Bless her heart,” one lady said. “She didn’t want to get a shot.”

I stared blankly at her: What was she talking about? I looked up. Next door, a Pet-Med van was set up to give dogs their shots! The poor woman thought that Louise had escaped from the veterinarian’s needle! I had neither the time nor the desire to tell her otherwise.

If only it had been so simple, I wanted to say.

I waved goodbye to everyone standing in the parking lot and put Louise in the car. My knees and legs felt like Jello that had been left out on a holiday buffet way too long. I had no energy, no oomph! What brief vision I had of the cake as I was trying to grab Louise from leaving the back of the car told me that the damage wasn’t irreparable. I called my sister frantically. I told her about the disaster.

“Go buy some vanilla icing at the grocery store, and we’ll fix the cake when I get to Greenwood.”

Fortunately, Louise and I got to Greenwood without further incident. I changed clothes in the bathroom of the bookstore, put out my props and hoped to sell books. It wasn’t one of my better book signings. But I didn’t care! Louise was safe, I was warm, and the cake would be OK.

Later, my sister and I were able to repair the cake, even though a small area of the chocolate layer had fallen off. I simply treated the cake icing like glue and slapped the cake together again, turning the ugly area to the back. When it came time to serve the cake, I cut off the section that had fallen victim to Louise’s paw and smiled happily. My father was surprised and thrilled.

Guests kept asking, “Who made that wonderful cake?” I left the party with cake icing adorning my clothes. But who cares? It’s simply one more holiday adventure and another saga in my life with Louise!

Merry Christmas, Karen and Lady Louise

P.S. The photo was taken at the book signing, just a couple of hours after Louise locked me out of the car. Through it all, she was absolutely gorgeous and unremorseful, as any diva would be!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AARF gives animals something to bark about

And there is bound to be a happy meow or two too.

Amity Animal Rescue Fund, Inc. is working to bring holiday cheer to residents of Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge, Conn. who need help to feed their four-legged companion animals
AARF is aa non profit 501c3 volunteer organization, and is working on the project with the human service agencies in the Amity area.
Residents interested in obtaining additional information on holiday care packages should contact their town’s human services agency. All calls will be kept confidential.
For more information, call :Orange: 203-891-4788; Woodbridge: 203-389-3429 Bethany: 203-393-2100 Ext. 124.

AARF also is introducing a spay/neuter program for Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge cats starting Jan. 1.
AARF has partnered with several local veterinarians to offer a dramatically reduced rate of $65 per cat, which also includes a rabies inoculation. The program is for domestic and feral cats.
For information call 203-389-1996 or e-mail Amityarf@yahoo.com.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Is your dog smarter than an average 2-year-old?

She just might be

Think you know a lot about dogs? If you are reading Tesla's Love, you probably do. But it appears there is a whole lot people might not know about our faithful canine companions and the jury is still out on just how smart man's best friend really is, from a truly scientific point of view. We know we get incredible intuition along with doses of incredible love and affection, but dogs around the world also are learning to help people who suffer from myriad conditions, including anxiety, epilepsy and depression.

A story in Sunday's New York Times says, "over the last several years a growing body of evidence, culled from small scientific studies of dogs’ abilities to do things like detect cancer or seizures, solve complex problems (complex for a dog, anyway), and learn language suggests that they may know more than we thought they did."

Surprised? We're not.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is your pet a fraidy cat?

Haunted House Fundraiser for the Animals

Wags & Whiskers Animal Welfare group will have its annual halloween haunted house from dusk to 10 p.m. Oct. 31 at 242 First Ave. in West Haven, Conn.
All proceeds will benefit homeless animals.
For more information, check out the Web site at www.terroronfirstave.com or e-mail info@terroronfirstave.com.
Volunteers, hardware supplies and candy donations are being accepted.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The story of Adam and Eve's pets

Adam and Eve said, 'Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.'
And God said, "I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.'
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.
And it was a good animal.
And God was pleased.
And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.
And Adam said, 'Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.'
And God said, 'I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.'

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.
And they were comforted
And God was pleased.
And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, 'Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.'
And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.'
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.
And Adam and Eve learned humility.
And they were greatly improved.
And God was pleased
And Dog was happy...

And Cat didn't give a hoot one way or the other...

Editor's note: This little parable was sent by Bridget. As there is no indication where it came from, Tesla's Love is borrowing it, with a nod to the author, wherever the author might be. The photo of the doghouse, taken in Winchester, Conn., is courtesy of dear friend Daithi Houlihan Borges. It once was a house to a very precious dog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Your chance to help

The Wags & Whiskers Animal Welfare Group will hold a benefit night from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 at T.G.I. Friday's, 348 Boston Post Raod, Orange. Twenty percent of the evening proceeds (excluding alcohol, tax, and gratuity) will be donated to Wags & Whiskers Animal Welfare.
To help the cause, a benefit night flier must be presented. To obtain the flier or for more information, call Jim at 937-3642 or e-mail pounddogs@yahoo.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is your pet ready for its closeup?

You have a pet and you know it's the cutest of its kind. But pets are way more than just a pretty face and a new pet-themed film festival aims to prove it - possibly with your help.

Soul Friends, Inc, a statewide nonprofit psychotherapy and educational organization that helps at risk children with interactive activities, including therapy animals, will premiere its first pet-themed film festival from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 21 at Showcase Cinemas in North Haven. The charity is asking for submissions of short films that demonstrate how animals help people feel better.

“We regularly experience the healing power of animals in our daily work with children and adolescents,” Kate Nicoll, , executive director of Soul Friends, Inc., said in a statement. “By hosting this mainstream inaugural film festival, we hope to show the entire state of Connecticut what our clients have already learned…life is more enriching interacting with animals.”

To officially enter the Petflix Film Festival, pet lovers and aspiring filmmakers are encouraged to submit a video that is less than five 5 long, or within the 5-10 minute category.

An independent panel of judges will score the film shorts based on originality, cinematography, message and overall theme, the statement said. The top three entries from each category will then be screened as part of the two-hour film festival. Participants may submit more than one entry, the statement said.

“Besides seeing some of Connecticut’s new shining stars on the big screen, attendees will also learn about local animal rescue groups, animal sanctuaries and other non-profit organizations that promote and preserve the healing benefits of the animal-human bond,” Nicoll said in the statement.

The entry fees for a Petflix film short submission is $15. Tickets to the event are $5 in advance and $8 the day of the show. Visit http://www.soul-friends.org/ to register and for more information.

Soul Friends, Inc. has since 2003 "served more than 3,000 children impacted by grief, trauma, loss and/or social emotional challenges by integrating nature and animals in individual or group psychotherapy," the statement said. Services include interactive animal assisted psychotherapy, dog training for special needs children, equine assisted psychotherapy and crisis response therapy dogs, it said.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Best Bad Dog

By Melanie Stengel

Harlie was not a good dog, but then I doubt that was ever one of her aspirations.
A rat terrier of more than dubious pedigree, she was born in the barn of a dog warden in Sommers, Conn. Harlie's mother was one of about 70 dogs rescued from a breeder/hoarder.
After my son and I looked at a dozen or so equally adorable puppies, I asked the dog warden "Which one has the most personality?"
She pointed without hesitation, "That little brown and white one."
So began a 12-year relationship that often caused me to lament my use of the word "most" over "best."
I could spend hours cataloging reasons to exclude Harlie from the Good Dog Club, but here are a few lowlights:
Harlie was a thief. Pocketbooks, jackets hung on doorknobs (making the pockets accessible), anything on a low lying table, were all fair game.
I once reached into my jacket to pay for an order at Dunkin' Donuts and found that I had no cash. A wad of bills later turned up under the bed.
Harlie was destructive. Shoes, furniture, underwear, writing implements, and rubber bands, were all part of the Harlie buffet. I once made the mistake of leaving my purse on the coffee table (see thief) and came downstairs to find a small dog wearing a lovely coral lipstick smile, smearing a chewed up tube of mascara all over the beige sofa. I grabbed the cushion covers and raced to the basement washing machine.
When I came back, one foam rubber cushion had already been shredded.
Harlie was disobedient. Despite the training that comes with the installation of an invisible fence, Harlie learned that if she ran fast enough she could break out of the yard without getting zapped. For some reason she could not apply this principal to getting back in. In her last year of life, too old and sick to make a getaway, Harlie would carry her ball to the driveway, drop it, and watch it roll past the invisible fence line. She would then bark until I brought it back. Reverse fetch - a perfect metaphor for our relationship. (The spring after her death, a single sprig of Queen Anne's Lace grew where Harlie's ball crossed the invisible fence line. It has not bloomed anywhere in the yard since.)
Harlie jumped out of a moving car and passed me on the street (she rolled down the electric window), stole a co- worker's bag lunch, and generally behaved in a way that led my friends to (somewhat) affectionately refer to her as "The Dog from Hell."
If it seems that I'm maligning a creature who was never able to speak for herself, let me assure you that I'm forever grateful that I got to share my life with this 16 lb. "Terrierist."
What Harlie lacked in goodness she more than made up for with what I can only inadequately call a zest for life.
Because of her inbreeding, Harlie suffered from myriad health problems. She took daily medication for Addison's disease. She had major dental problems that required her to wear a plastic cone on her head for four months. In a typical Harlie move, the day that the cone was removed, she chomped on a rock in the back yard, breaking her healing jaw. Said jaw was wired shut, the cone reinstalled, and I had to feed her through a stomach tube for the next three months.
Yet, through all of this, she attempted to hunt squirrels.
Finally, Harlie developed a truly horrible condition know as protein losing enteropathy. After local vets were unable to determine the cause, she was transferred to an intensive care facility in Norwalk. When I went to visit I found her lying shaved, shaking, with IV and feeding tubes. Maybe I should have let her go then, but she rose, and with what little strength she had, walked to the open cage door and stood with her forehead pressed to mine. For another week she endured more testing as well as blood and albumen transfusions. Finally, with no conclusions or hope, I brought her home to die. That night we lay together on the family room couch. Sometimes I would doze and wake to check her breathing. At 6 a.m. surprised to find her still sleeping peacefully, I slipped away to the kitchen to make myself some coffee. I heard a thud and turned, expecting the worst. There was Harlie, standing in the doorway looking for breakfast. For reasons no one could figure out, Harlie recovered much of her strength and lived for another nine months. I was going through a very low point in my life, and maybe she felt that she needed to see me through.
Ironically, the night that I returned, feeling renewed, from a retreat in the mountains of North Carolina, Harlie suffered a relapse. The vet offered to keep her for the night, but his office was cold and a storm was coming. Harlie hated both cold and storms, so I brought her home. We sacked out together on the family room couch for the last time.
I've heard the saying that all dogs go to heaven. If there is a heaven, I hope it's true. Heaven needs a dog like Harlie. I picture a heaven full of "good dogs" (think golden retrievers) being about as boring as the human equivalent of folks sitting around on clouds playing harps. When I was a child, my grandmother told me that a flash of lightning was a brief glance into Heaven. Now I like to think it's Harlie dashing through the invisible fence.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Prison pups

In a doggone to jail tale, NPR is reporting that there is a prison program that teams inmates with pups, to teach the four-legged students skills such a bomb sniffing and how to be service dogs. Nearly 500 dogs have been trained in the program, the story says.
While prison is not a pleasant place, it's doubtful the pups find it anything but a place where they get a lot of attention, love and a good education.

Read the full story here

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cats rule

At least when it comes to their people

While Tesla's Love tends to be a little canine centered, there is no intent to give any other pet short shrift. Especially not cats.
Everyone knows better.
And now, thanks to results of a study published in the July 14 issue of the journal Current Biology, and our friend Pam Landry, who posted a story about this study on Facebook, we know for sure cats rule.
The study, according to the story Pam posted, taken from Yahoo News, found that household cats exert control "with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings of the study.
"This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore," the story said.
Sound familiar?
"Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries," the story goes on to say.
A lot of this purring results in the cats getting fed - can we blame them? And some veterinarians point out that cats living together without people rarely make sounds to each other, leading to the conclusion that cats might vocalize just to get us to do their bidding. And we do.
That's a good gig if you can get it - and might just beat having to constantly wag your tail.

Thanks Pam!

Wildlife can be a threat to pets

Losing a pet is always heartbreaking and for one Woodbridge family that pain is compounded by the fact that their dog, Teddy, might have been snatched by a coyote. The adorable 6-pound Yorkshire Terrier has been missing since July 6 and the Leibowitz family saw a coyote near their house that night. The local animal control officer says coyotes, fishers, bobcats and raccoons also are in the area and can pose a threat to pets, so he can't be sure what occurred.

Read the full story in the New Haven Register: here

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's a petapalooza

Pet Rescue: 400 dogs, cats up for adoption starting today in North Haven, Connecticut

Connecticut chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is trying to cut down on the 9.6 million animals the American Humane Association says go unadopted in shelters are euthanized in the United States each year.

Read the full story in the New Haven Register here

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Twain Tale of tails

A Dog's Tale
By Mark Twain

Chapter I

My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education. But, indeed, it was not real education; it was only show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room when there was company, and by going with the children to Sunday-school and listening there; and whenever she heard a large word she said it over to herself many times, and so was able to keep it until there was a dogmatic gathering in the neighborhood, then she would get it off, and surprise and distress them all, from pocket-pup to mastiff, which rewarded her for all her trouble. If there was a stranger he was nearly sure to be suspicious, and when he got his breath again he would ask her what it meant. And she always told him. He was never expecting this but thought he would catch her; so when she told him, he was the one that looked ashamed, whereas he had thought it was going to be she. The others were always waiting for this, and glad of it and proud of her, for they knew what was going to happen, because they had had experience. When she told the meaning of a big word they were all so taken up with admiration that it never occurred to any dog to doubt if it was the right one; and that was natural, because, for one thing, she answered up so promptly that it seemed like a dictionary speaking, and for another thing, where could they find out whether it was right or not? for she was the only cultivated dog there was. By and by, when I was older, she brought home the word Unintellectual, one time, and worked it pretty hard all the week at different gatherings, making much unhappiness and despondency; and it was at this time that I noticed that during that week she was asked for the meaning at eight different assemblages, and flashed out a fresh definition every time, which showed me that she had more presence of mind than culture, though I said nothing, of course. She had one word which she always kept on hand, and ready, like a life-preserver, a kind of emergency word to strap on when she was likely to get washed overboard in a sudden way--that was the word Synonymous. When she happened to fetch out a long word which had had its day weeks before and its prepared meanings gone to her dump-pile, if there was a stranger there of course it knocked him groggy for a couple of minutes, then he would come to, and by that time she would be away down wind on another tack, and not expecting anything; so when he'd hail and ask her to cash in, I (the only dog on the inside of her game) could see her canvas flicker a moment --but only just a moment--then it would belly out taut and full, and she would say, as calm as a summer's day, "It's synonymous with supererogation," or some godless long reptile of a word like that, and go placidly about and skim away on the next tack, perfectly comfortable, you know, and leave that stranger looking profane and embarrassed, and the initiated slatting the floor with their tails in unison and their faces transfigured with a holy joy.
And it was the same with phrases. She would drag home a whole phrase, if it had a grand sound, and play it six nights and two matinees, and explain it a new way every time--which she had to, for all she cared for was the phrase; she wasn't interested in what it meant, and knew those dogs hadn't wit enough to catch her, anyway. Yes, she was a daisy! She got so she wasn't afraid of anything, she had such confidence in the ignorance of those creatures. She even brought anecdotes that she had heard the family and the dinner-guests laugh and shout over; and as a rule she got the nub of one chestnut hitched onto another chestnut, where, of course, it didn't fit and hadn't any point; and when she delivered the nub she fell over and rolled on the floor and laughed and barked in the most insane way, while I could see that she was wondering to herself why it didn't seem as funny as it did when she first heard it. But no harm was done; the others rolled and barked too, privately ashamed of themselves for not seeing the point, and never suspecting that the fault was not with them and there wasn't any to see.
You can see by these things that she was of a rather vain and frivolous character; still, she had virtues, and enough to make up, I think. She had a kind heart and gentle ways, and never harbored resentments for injuries done her, but put them easily out of her mind and forgot them; and she taught her children her kindly way, and from her we learned also to be brave and prompt in time of danger, and not to run away, but face the peril that threatened friend or stranger, and help him the best we could without stopping to think what the cost might be to us. And she taught us not by words only, but by example, and that is the best way and the surest and the most lasting. Why, the brave things she did, the splendid things! she was just a soldier; and so modest about it--well, you couldn't help admiring her, and you couldn't help imitating her; not even a King Charles spaniel could remain entirely despicable in her society. So, as you see, there was more to her than her education.

Chapter II

When I was well grown, at last, I was sold and taken away, and I never saw her again. She was broken-hearted, and so was I, and we cried; but she comforted me as well as she could, and said we were sent into this world for a wise and good purpose, and must do our duties without repining, take our life as we might find it, live it for the best good of others, and never mind about the results; they were not our affair. She said men who did like this would have a noble and beautiful reward by and by in another world, and although we animals would not go there, to do well and right without reward would give to our brief lives a worthiness and dignity which in itself would be a reward. She had gathered these things from time to time when she had gone to the Sunday-school with the children, and had laid them up in her memory more carefully than she had done with those other words and phrases; and she had studied them deeply, for her good and ours. One may see by this that she had a wise and thoughtful head, for all there was so much lightness and vanity in it.
So we said our farewells, and looked our last upon each other through our tears; and the last thing she said--keeping it for the last to make me remember it the better, I think--was, "In memory of me, when there is a time of danger to another do not think of yourself, think of your mother, and do as she would do."
Do you think I could forget that? No.

Chapter III

It was such a charming home!--my new one; a fine great house, with pictures, and delicate decorations, and rich furniture, and no gloom anywhere, but all the wilderness of dainty colors lit up with flooding sunshine; and the spacious grounds around it, and the great garden--oh, greensward, and noble trees, and flowers, no end! And I was the same as a member of the family; and they loved me, and petted me, and did not give me a new name, but called me by my old one that was dear to me because my mother had given it me --Aileen Mavoureen. She got it out of a song; and the Grays knew that song, and said it was a beautiful name.
Mrs. Gray was thirty, and so sweet and so lovely, you cannot imagine it; and Sadie was ten, and just like her mother, just a darling slender little copy of her, with auburn tails down her back, and short frocks; and the baby was a year old, and plump and dimpled, and fond of me, and never could get enough of hauling on my tail, and hugging me, and laughing out its innocent happiness; and Mr. Gray was thirty-eight, and tall and slender and handsome, a little bald in front, alert, quick in his movements, business-like, prompt, decided, unsentimental, and with that kind of trim-chiseled face that just seems to glint and sparkle with frosty intellectuality! He was a renowned scientist. I do not know what the word means, but my mother would know how to use it and get effects. She would know how to depress a rat-terrier with it and make a lap-dog look sorry he came. But that is not the best one; the best one was Laboratory. My mother could organize a Trust on that one that would skin the tax-collars off the whole herd. The laboratory was not a book, or a picture, or a place to wash your hands in, as the college president's dog said--no, that is the lavatory; the laboratory is quite different, and is filled with jars, and bottles, and electrics, and wires, and strange machines; and every week other scientists came there and sat in the place, and used the machines, and discussed, and made what they called experiments and discoveries; and often I came, too, and stood around and listened, and tried to learn, for the sake of my mother, and in loving memory of her, although it was a pain to me, as realizing what she was losing out of her life and I gaining nothing at all; for try as I might, I was never able to make anything out of it at all.
Other times I lay on the floor in the mistress's work-room and slept, she gently using me for a foot-stool, knowing it pleased me, for it was a caress; other times I spent an hour in the nursery, and got well tousled and made happy; other times I watched by the crib there, when the baby was asleep and the nurse out for a few minutes on the baby's affairs; other times I romped and raced through the grounds and the garden with Sadie till we were tired out, then slumbered on the grass in the shade of a tree while she read her book; other times I went visiting among the neighbor dogs --for there were some most pleasant ones not far away, and one very handsome and courteous and graceful one, a curly-haired Irish setter by the name of Robin Adair, who was a Presbyterian like me, and belonged to the Scotch minister.
The servants in our house were all kind to me and were fond of me, and so, as you see, mine was a pleasant life. There could not be a happier dog that I was, nor a gratefuler one. I will say this for myself, for it is only the truth: I tried in all ways to do well and right, and honor my mother's memory and her teachings, and earn the happiness that had come to me, as best I could.
By and by came my little puppy, and then my cup was full, my happiness was perfect. It was the dearest little waddling thing, and so smooth and soft and velvety, and had such cunning little awkward paws, and such affectionate eyes, and such a sweet and innocent face; and it made me so proud to see how the children and their mother adored it, and fondled it, and exclaimed over every little wonderful thing it did. It did seem to me that life was just too lovely to--
Then came the winter. One day I was standing a watch in the nursery. That is to say, I was asleep on the bed. The baby was asleep in the crib, which was alongside the bed, on the side next the fireplace. It was the kind of crib that has a lofty tent over it made of gauzy stuff that you can see through. The nurse was out, and we two sleepers were alone. A spark from the wood-fire was shot out, and it lit on the slope of the tent. I suppose a quiet interval followed, then a scream from the baby awoke me, and there was that tent flaming up toward the ceiling! Before I could think, I sprang to the floor in my fright, and in a second was half-way to the door; but in the next half-second my mother's farewell was sounding in my ears, and I was back on the bed again., I reached my head through the flames and dragged the baby out by the waist-band, and tugged it along, and we fell to the floor together in a cloud of smoke; I snatched a new hold, and dragged the screaming little creature along and out at the door and around the bend of the hall, and was still tugging away, all excited and happy and proud, when the master's voice shouted:
"Begone you cursed beast!" and I jumped to save myself; but he was furiously quick, and chased me up, striking furiously at me with his cane, I dodging this way and that, in terror, and at last a strong blow fell upon my left foreleg, which made me shriek and fall, for the moment, helpless; the cane went up for another blow, but never descended, for the nurse's voice rang wildly out, "The nursery's on fire!" and the master rushed away in that direction, and my other bones were saved.
The pain was cruel, but, no matter, I must not lose any time; he might come back at any moment; so I limped on three legs to the other end of the hall, where there was a dark little stairway leading up into a garret where old boxes and such things were kept, as I had heard say, and where people seldom went. I managed to climb up there, then I searched my way through the dark among the piles of things, and hid in the secretest place I could find. It was foolish to be afraid there, yet still I was; so afraid that I held in and hardly even whimpered, though it would have been such a comfort to whimper, because that eases the pain, you know. But I could lick my leg, and that did some good.
For half an hour there was a commotion downstairs, and shoutings, and rushing footsteps, and then there was quiet again. Quiet for some minutes, and that was grateful to my spirit, for then my fears began to go down; and fears are worse than pains--oh, much worse. Then came a sound that froze me. They were calling me--calling me by name--hunting for me!
It was muffled by distance, but that could not take the terror out of it, and it was the most dreadful sound to me that I had ever heard. It went all about, everywhere, down there: along the halls, through all the rooms, in both stories, and in the basement and the cellar; then outside, and farther and farther away--then back, and all about the house again, and I thought it would never, never stop. But at last it did, hours and hours after the vague twilight of the garret had long ago been blotted out by black darkness.
Then in that blessed stillness my terrors fell little by little away, and I was at peace and slept. It was a good rest I had, but I woke before the twilight had come again. I was feeling fairly comfortable, and I could think out a plan now. I made a very good one; which was, to creep down, all the way down the back stairs, and hide behind the cellar door, and slip out and escape when the iceman came at dawn, while he was inside filling the refrigerator; then I would hide all day, and start on my journey when night came; my journey to--well, anywhere where they would not know me and betray me to the master. I was feeling almost cheerful now; then suddenly I thought: Why, what would life be without my puppy!
That was despair. There was no plan for me; I saw that; I must say where I was; stay, and wait, and take what might come --it was not my affair; that was what life is--my mother had said it. Then--well, then the calling began again! All my sorrows came back. I said to myself, the master will never forgive. I did not know what I had done to make him so bitter and so unforgiving, yet I judged it was something a dog could not understand, but which was clear to a man and dreadful.
They called and called--days and nights, it seemed to me. So long that the hunger and thirst near drove me mad, and I recognized that I was getting very weak. When you are this way you sleep a great deal, and I did. Once I woke in an awful fright --it seemed to me that the calling was right there in the garret! And so it was: it was Sadie's voice, and she was crying; my name was falling from her lips all broken, poor thing, and I could not believe my ears for the joy of it when I heard her say:
"Come back to us--oh, come back to us, and forgive--it is all so sad without our--"
I broke in with SUCH a grateful little yelp, and the next moment Sadie was plunging and stumbling through the darkness and the lumber and shouting for the family to hear, "She's found, she's found!"
The days that followed--well, they were wonderful. The mother and Sadie and the servants--why, they just seemed to worship me. They couldn't seem to make me a bed that was fine enough; and as for food, they couldn't be satisfied with anything but game and delicacies that were out of season; and every day the friends and neighbors flocked in to hear about my heroism--that was the name they called it by, and it means agriculture. I remember my mother pulling it on a kennel once, and explaining it in that way, but didn't say what agriculture was, except that it was synonymous with intramural incandescence; and a dozen times a day Mrs. Gray and Sadie would tell the tale to new-comers, and say I risked my life to say the baby's, and both of us had burns to prove it, and then the company would pass me around and pet me and exclaim about me, and you could see the pride in the eyes of Sadie and her mother; and when the people wanted to know what made me limp, they looked ashamed and changed the subject, and sometimes when people hunted them this way and that way with questions about it, it looked to me as if they were going to cry.
And this was not all the glory; no, the master's friends came, a whole twenty of the most distinguished people, and had me in the laboratory, and discussed me as if I was a kind of discovery; and some of them said it was wonderful in a dumb beast, the finest exhibition of instinct they could call to mind; but the master said, with vehemence, "It's far above instinct; it's REASON, and many a man, privileged to be saved and go with you and me to a better world by right of its possession, has less of it that this poor silly quadruped that's foreordained to perish"; and then he laughed, and said: "Why, look at me--I'm a sarcasm! bless you, with all my grand intelligence, the only think I inferred was that the dog had gone mad and was destroying the child, whereas but for the beast's intelligence--it's REASON, I tell you!--the child would have perished!"
They disputed and disputed, and _I_ was the very center of subject of it all, and I wished my mother could know that this grand honor had come to me; it would have made her proud.
Then they discussed optics, as they called it, and whether a certain injury to the brain would produce blindness or not, but they could not agree about it, and said they must test it by experiment by and by; and next they discussed plants, and that interested me, because in the summer Sadie and I had planted seeds--I helped her dig the holes, you know--and after days and days a little shrub or a flower came up there, and it was a wonder how that could happen; but it did, and I wished I could talk--I would have told those people about it and shown then how much I knew, and been all alive with the subject; but I didn't care for the optics; it was dull, and when they came back to it again it bored me, and I went to sleep.
Pretty soon it was spring, and sunny and pleasant and lovely, and the sweet mother and the children patted me and the puppy good-by, and went away on a journey and a visit to their kin, and the master wasn't any company for us, but we played together and had good times, and the servants were kind and friendly, so we got along quite happily and counted the days and waited for the family.
And one day those men came again, and said, now for the test, and they took the puppy to the laboratory, and I limped three-leggedly along, too, feeling proud, for any attention shown to the puppy was a pleasure to me, of course. They discussed and experimented, and then suddenly the puppy shrieked, and they set him on the floor, and he went staggering around, with his head all bloody, and the master clapped his hands and shouted:
"There, I've won--confess it! He's a blind as a bat!"
And they all said:
"It's so--you've proved your theory, and suffering humanity owes you a great debt from henceforth," and they crowded around him, and wrung his hand cordially and thankfully, and praised him.
But I hardly saw or heard these things, for I ran at once to my little darling, and snuggled close to it where it lay, and licked the blood, and it put its head against mine, whimpering softly, and I knew in my heart it was a comfort to it in its pain and trouble to feel its mother's touch, though it could not see me. Then it dropped down, presently, and its little velvet nose rested upon the floor, and it was still, and did not move any more.
Soon the master stopped discussing a moment, and rang in the footman, and said, "Bury it in the far corner of the garden," and then went on with the discussion, and I trotted after the footman, very happy and grateful, for I knew the puppy was out of its pain now, because it was asleep. We went far down the garden to the farthest end, where the children and the nurse and the puppy and I used to play in the summer in the shade of a great elm, and there the footman dug a hole, and I saw he was going to plant the puppy, and I was glad, because it would grow and come up a fine handsome dog, like Robin Adair, and be a beautiful surprise for the family when they came home; so I tried to help him dig, but my lame leg was no good, being stiff, you know, and you have to have two, or it is no use. When the footman had finished and covered little Robin up, he patted my head, and there were tears in his eyes, and he said: "Poor little doggie, you saved HIS child!"
I have watched two whole weeks, and he doesn't come up! This last week a fright has been stealing upon me. I think there is something terrible about this. I do not know what it is, but the fear makes me sick, and I cannot eat, though the servants bring me the best of food; and they pet me so, and even come in the night, and cry, and say, "Poor doggie--do give it up and come home; DON'T break our hearts!" and all this terrifies me the more, and makes me sure something has happened. And I am so weak; since yesterday I cannot stand on my feet anymore. And within this hour the servants, looking toward the sun where it was sinking out of sight and the night chill coming on, said things I could not understand, but they carried something cold to my heart.
"Those poor creatures! They do not suspect. They will come home in the morning, and eagerly ask for the little doggie that did the brave deed, and who of us will be strong enough to say the truth to them: 'The humble little friend is gone where go the beasts that perish.'"

Editor's note: This was sent by a good friend to Tesla's Love, John Jesus Crisis Burroughs. It is a story in the public domain and he thought us T-Lovers would enjoy it. Thanks John! http://crisisblog.crisischronicles.com/

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Darwin on dogs

Lassie like you've never seen her

We all know people created dogs. What Tesla's Love wants to know is: what role did dogs play in the evolution of humans? That's for another story.

Meanwhile, according to a statement from a place we all know and love, the domestication of dogs "played a strong role in shaping Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution."
And now and canine domestication is featured prominently in Darwin: 150 Years of Evolutionary Thinking on view at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, Conn., through Labor Day.
A statement by the museum says, "Darwin believed that our knowledge of “variation under domestication” offered strong clues to test his ideas about evolution. Since it was commonly known that the dog was descended from wild ancestors, Darwin connected what was known about how traits emerged and were passed on with what breeders did to refine the characteristics that produced such an astonishing range of breeds."
Further, "As Darwin noted, breeders “can largely influence the character of a breed by selecting, in each successive generation, individual differences so slight as to be inappreciable except by an educated eye. This unconscious process of selection has been the great agency in the formation of the most distinct and useful breeds."
According to the statement, Among dogs whose skeletons are featured in the exhibition is the Siberian husky “Togo,” a famous sled dog who led a team more than 260 miles to bring much needed serum to the residents of Nome, Alaska, during the 1925 diphtheria outbreak. Others are the Saint Bernard “Pythagoras Junior o’ Berncrest;” “Lassie of Dothayn,” a champion Scottish deerhound; “Papillon,” a toy spaniel; and the dachshund “Racker von Luitspoldheim.”

The exhibit features two films produced for the exhibition: "Darwin’s Revolution Comes to America" and "Darwin’s Legacy Today." The latter demonstrates great strides in evolutionary research and how its occurrence is much more rapid than Darwin ever imagined, the m useum said. “Whereas Darwin believed evolution was a gradual process, we now know that it can occur very rapidly, in fact in lock step with the environment,” David Skelly, exhibition curator and professor of ecology in the Yale School of Forestry, said in the museum's statement.

P.S. There also are two live specimens of the cane toad are on view in the exhibition. Anyone who has ever watched Steve Irwin knows the havoc the little hoppers wreaked on Australia. Also featured is the specimen, Hesperornis regalis, largely "responsible for Darwin’s recognition of Othniel C. Marsh, Yale paleontologist, professor and nephew of Peabody Museum founder George Peabody, for unearthing “most important evidence” in support if evolution. The specimen, a late Cretaceous “toothed bird” discovered by Marsh in Kansas, was one of the “intermediate forms” Darwin sought to link extinct lineages with those that developed into modern species," the museum statement says.

The exhibition is on view10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5-7 with children under 3 free. The Museum is closed July 4 but open Labor Day.

NOTE: The first photo is two of the champion dogs whose skeletons are featured in the Darwin exhibition: Lassie of Dothayn and Racker von Luitspoldheim. The second is of the toothed bird discovered by O.C. Marsh that was one of the “intermediate forms” Darwin sought to link extinct lineages with those that developed into modern species. Photos by the Peabody's own Public Relations & Marketing Manager Melanie Brigockas.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Truly important news

Thanks to Jim Vitelli, pet owners across Greater New Haven will be able to obtain low-cost rabies vaccines.

A low cost rabies clinic, sponsored by Wags and Whiskers, TLC, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday May 30, at Pet Supplies Plus, 471 Boston Post Road, Orange, Conn.
The cost is $10 per vaccine and pet owners should bring previous a rabies certificate to receive a 3-year booster. Cats must be in carriers and dogs must be on leashes. For more information, please e-mail or call Jim Vitelli at pounddogs@yahoo.com or (203)937-3642.

Take your dog for a walk!

You will be in good company and help a great cause

The 2009 Walk for Fidelco fundraising event will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16 at the Manchester Community College, Great Path, Manchester. More than 2,000 people and hundreds of dogs walked last year in support of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation and this year, an Honor/Memorial trail, complete with rose bushes, will pay tribute to special people and four-legged friends, organizers said.

The event is free and open to the public.

Fidelco is New England’s only guide dog school and has 53 Connecticut clients; 20 of whom live in the greater Hartford area. It also has clients in 33 other states and four provinces in Canada.

Schedule of events:
8:30a.m.: Opening Ceremony-Fidelco staff; clients and guide dogs; and The First Governor’s Foot Guard kick off the 2009 Walk for Fidelco.

10:15 a.m.: Foster families and training staff will demonstration the skills Fidelco dogs learn from puppy-hood to becoming guide dogs.

11:00 a.m.: Closing ceremony-Fidelco says “thank you” for taking a few extra steps to help men and women who are blind make great strides along the road to independence with Fidelco guide dogs at their sides.

For more information, visit http://www.walkforfidelco.org/

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A purr-fect way to honor the memory of an animal lover

In a tribute to The Purr Project‘s guardian angel, the group has created an academic scholarship honoring Suzan D’Antonio.
D’Antonio, shown, a veterinary technician and animal lover, died in March 2008. On her behalf, her family and friends donated almost $4,000 to the Purr Project.
Through the donations, The Purr Project was put on a totally different trajectory in a year that saw rapidly declining budgets, and service cuts, according to a statement.
To honor D’Antonio’s memory and carry on her work of caring for animals, The Purr Project, Inc. will grant a yearly $1,000 academic scholarship to eligible college students and incoming freshmen enrolled in a veterinary technology or pre-vet program. Named the Suzan D’Antonio Full Bucket Scholarship, after the New York Times bestselling book "How Full is Your Bucket?," the scholarship will be awarded to those who have demonstrated the notion of filling buckets and therefore giving back to animals who have no voice, the statement said.
The $1,000 scholarship is meant to "support the supporter" by being available for books, supplies, meal plans, and certain fees that many other scholarships do not cover.
Complete eligibility requirements are still being formulated but will be based on: a history of giving back to animals (filling buckets), need, and GPA, among other factors. Special consideration may be given to students who attend institutions regionally, but students nationwide are encouraged to apply.
The annual award will be granted for the first time in the summer 2009 for the 2009-10 school year. Applications will be available through most college and high school counselors’ office by May 11, online at purrproject.org/D’Antonio as of May 4, or by calling The Purr Project, Inc. at (203) 865-0878. The deadline for submitting applications for consideration is August 3, 2009.
The program will be administered by The Purr Project Foundation, a volunteer group that will also include members of the D’Antonio family. Donations to the foundation can be made with a credit card or Paypal through the Purr Project, Inc web site at www.purrproject.org, or sending a check or money order to The Purr Project Foundation. 843 State St. New Haven, Conn., 06511.
As with The Purr Project rescue group, The Purr Project Foundation is staffed by an all volunteer force therefore more than 90 percent of each donation goes directly to helping students.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Broadened Search for Beloved Pooch

Sadie has been missing since March 12.

By Marissa Yaremich
The Longman's heartfelt search for their missing Doberman, Sadie, recently brimmed beyond Connecticut’s and New York’s borders and into the Keystone State.
Hoping local Pennsylvanian animal lovers might unlock the mystery of their beloved dog’s whereabouts, the determined owners mailed letters to local veterinarian clinics out of fear the friendly pooch was “taken some distance away.”
The Longmans believe Sadie’s friendly and non aggressive personality might have helped her possible captor or captors lure the 18 month-old pup from their 30-acre property on March 12.
“We have done everything we can think of to get her back,” wrote owners, Stuart and Gayla Longman, of Ridgefield, Conn. “Please post this (flier) where your staff and visitors can see it and call us …if you find her. We will immediately make arrangement to pick her up and pay the reward.”
Sadie’s safe return reaps a $10,000 reward that inspired many exclamatory remarks from pet owners who read the letter posted on the Lost & Found board at veterinarian hospital, Hamilton Animal Care, in Wescosville, Pa., located near the central New Jersey border.
“How sad,” said one longtime cat owner.
“I hope they find her,” said another woman as she browsed the board.
“Now that’s love,” said an amazed receptionist upon reading the letter.
The Longmans assured recipients in their letter that the reward will be paid to any veterinarian’s office, shelter or individual who locates Sadie, who has distinct physical features.
Unlike most Dobermans, the family never docked the brown and tan canine’s ears or tail, opting instead to leave her ears floppy and tail long. The Longmans also described Sadie as a thinly built, energetic dog who bears an identification microchip implanted between her shoulder blades.
As of this week, Stuart Longman said via a brief phone call that the family had no new developments to share with the public to facilitate the search.
“We’ve only had one sighting in Connecticut,” said the owner, sounding dejected.

He perked up, however, upon learning the family’s letter and hopeful plea received attention outside their home state.
“Thank you,” he said.
Anyone who has information on Sadie, is asked to please contact Stuart of Gayla Longman at (203) 438-9006 or (203) 238-1105.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A letter to Bo

Dear Bo:

We are so glad you have a new home. Of course, you are adorable and we think you will make Malia and Sasha very happy. You will be their companion, the furry ball of love that makes them laugh and the companion to whom we hope the girls can turn when life in the limelight gets a little tough.
That's a big job for such a young pup, but we are betting you are up to it. The Web site for the Portugese Water Dog Club of America says you are, "an animal of spirited disposition, self-willed, brave, and very resistant to fatigue. A dog of exceptional intelligence and a loyal companion, it obeys its master with facility and apparent pleasure. It is obedient with those who look after it or with those for whom it works."
Wow. Since you also will love to swim, maybe you will get a dip in the White House pool. We hope so and if we lived there, you most definitely would.
One thing we don't want you to worry about is any bad publicity you might get. Sure, you're not from a shelter, but that does not mean you should not hold your head up high. Purebred dogs need love too. It might make headlines if you have an accident in the house but, hey, accidents happen and you're still a pup.
The one thing we hope you will remember, amid all the fuss about being First Dog, however, is that your biggest job is to be a family dog, not a star.
That means padding in to check on the girls at bedtime and then heading down to the Oval Office to check on the dad if he is working late. He has a lot on his mind and your soft presence at his feet could be just the thing when the literal weight of the world is on his shoulders.
Malia and Sasha's mom also is pretty busy these days and we recommend you don't dig in her new garden.
We also recommend you be ready to greet the girls when they come home from school - nothing says 'we missed you' more than a cold nose and kiss just after you get off the bus.
But once you get the lay of the land, we think all these things will come naturally to you. You're a kid now, but you will grow up fast. You'll stay cute and smart, but we think you will know exactly what to do: Surround the Obamas with love.

Editor's note: For more on whether Bo might or might not know he is First Dog, check out the story: here

Friday, March 27, 2009

Doggone it, that pet is cute

By William Kaempffer
New Haven Register Staff
NEW HAVEN — Think your dog, cat or goldfish is pin-up material?
If so, now’s your chance to see if Fido or Felicia has what it takes to appear in the East Rock neighborhood’s upcoming pet calendar, which will raise money to help the community fund the training of the Police Department’s two new narcotics sniffing dogs.
The contest is sponsored by the SoHu — that’s stands for South of Humphrey Street — Block Watch Association and is the brainchild of Lisa Siedlarz, the block watch president and Pearl Street resident.
"I made calendars of my own dogs," explained Siedlarz, noting that she would dress them in seasonal and holiday outfits. She said she thought a community calendar might be a good way to raise money for the police dogs, which has become a pet project for the group.
A February fundraiser at Christopher Martin’s restaurant on State Street raised $1,800. The Police Department this month received a $5,000 grant from Milk-Bone for the dogs.
Organizers Saturday will hold a "pet social and photo shoot" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cassidy’s Pampered Paws, 832 State St. People can bring their pets to socialize with each other and Nia and Orvis, the narcotics dogs. For $10, pet owners can get a picture taken of their pet to be entered in the calendar contest. People also can submit their own pet photos to lisa@sohunewhaven.org.
Then, sometime next month, there will be a three-day public judging — where people can cast their picks for $1 a vote.
Since it was created in 2007, SoHu has been one of the more active block watches in the city. Last summer, in a neighborhood beautification project, the group planted 44 trees on Pearl, Pleasant and Clark streets. Pearl Street resident Kevin Howe, who grew up in the neighborhood and now donates his well-appointed four-bay garage for meetings, credited that with galvanizing the area.
"One aspect of the tree planting is got people to come out and meet people," said Howe, who first suggested the canine fundraiser as a "way to help East Rock and help New Haven."
The group currently has 204 members on its e-mail list. About 40 turn out for a typical block watch meeting.
As for Siedlarz, she plans to enter her own two dogs, Bucca and Kali, in the contest, but vowed not to use her influence to sway the vote. "I think they can very much win on their own merit," she said.

Editor's note: This story is reprinted here with the permission of the New Haven Register, which can be found at www.nhregister.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Family offers reward for return of dog

The readers of Tesla's Love know the meaning of true love. Here's an example of folks who really love their pet. Read it here

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tesla's love goes on

By Elliott Storm

Hi. My name is Tesla, and you know something.....God made me for my innocence, as he made the angels to serve him...And for me to offer you my unconditional love, and supreme friendship.
What's more, I just wanted to thank you for loving me, and that is from my heart. Being that special part of your family gave me much pride. much happiness and loving you back was so. so easy.
When I left my birth mommy sometime ago, it made me sad, I cried, I was so scared, and when you picked me up and kissed me that first time I trembled. And oh how I remember you were their to dry my little doggy tears, thank you so very very much.
That first night I didn't know what I would do, where I was! Who are these little ones talking to me! Oh mommy, I was so frightened. And I know when I cried you felt my wounds, my spirit, and you did all you could do to make me comfortable.
When I whimpered I was calling you, telling you "I know you now .....You're my mommy and I love you so very very much."
Gosh it was fun to grow, to be one of your very own, to run, to leap, to play, and when my brother and my sisters played with me, I played back, I was home, our home, and when I was hungry you game me my nourishment.
Mommy I wanted to give you more, and when you looked into my eyes you knew I did.
When I was sick you cared for me, and when you were tired and sick, I was the to comfort you.
Mommy you taught me love, and I taught you mine.
I am gone. I'm in heaven. And when you look at my pictures, know my heart and my spirit is still with you. I love you mommy.

Editor's note: This beautiful piece, written by a Milford resident who knows a lot about loss and healing, recounts what beloved Tesla might have been thinking in her beautiful canine head. It also is clearly a message to Helen and Kiley about their loss and the love that always will be with them. To learn more about Elliott Storm, visit http://www.thesescarsaresacred.com/home.html

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shelter care

The Connecticut Humane Society hopes to garner votes in a nationwide contest that, if it were to win, would bring in $10,000 towards the expansion of its Waterford shelter.
The America’s favorite animal shelter contest is sponsored by Care2.com.
The project includes a complete renovation of the Waterford shelter and infrastructure, additional sanctuary cottages for the Companion Animal Sanctuary, establishment of a second Fox Memorial Clinic, a quarantine facility, pet cemetery, and a nature trail, society officials said in a release.
The Connecticut Humane Society "continues to be dedicated to a mission that has remained unchanged since it’s founding; to promote the kindness and humanity toward people, animals and the environment" the statement said. The progressive improvements its makes to the organization as well as the creation of vanguard programs such as the Companion Animal Sanctuary and the Fox Memorial Clinic, are all designed to serve the neediest members of the population, pets that have no other place to go, the statement said.
Go to www.cthumane.org/vote, to vote for CT Humane’s Waterford shelter. The contest deadline is Jan. 31.

No pause in caring for those with paws

By Patricia Villers

ANSONIA — During last month’s busy holiday schedule, Ansonia High School’s Student Ambassadors made sure no one forgot the needs of dogs in the city’s shelter.
The approximately 20-member group raised $135 in its first Paws for a Cause campaign to benefit the Ansonia Animal Shelter. The students also collected dog food and many blankets and fleece throws.
Student Ambassador President Penny Efthymiou, 17, said Thursday she was pleased with the drive’s success.
"I’m surprised how much money we collected," she said.
She said Angela Khan, 17, came up with the idea.
Khan said her family has three dogs. "I want to continue this next year," she said.
Any items that the shelter cannot use will be donated to the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, she said.
Efthymiou designed a dog paw on green paper that Student Ambassadors sold for $1 each to fellow students, as well as family and school staff. The donors wrote their names on the paws and students used them to create a paper Christmas tree on a wall in the school lobby.
Ansonia Animal Control Officer Jeanne Roslonowski picked up the donations Thursday accompanied by Dixie, whom she described as "the calmest one" of the five canines at the shelter.
"This is great," she said. "It’s because of things like this that keep our dogs (alive). They are in danger of being euthanized. We need donations to keep going."
Principal Susan McKernan expressed pride in the hard-working Student Ambassadors.
"While they are a small group, the Student Ambassadors do a wonderful job," she said. "Their efforts on behalf of Ansonia Animal Control showed their caring and consideration."
She also said she was proud of the students who organized the school’s food drive and collected hats, scarves, gloves and more to decorate a Christmas tree in the lobby. The items were divided between Birmingham Group Health Services, Inc. and the Howard F. Tinney Community Center, both in Ansonia.
The Student Ambassadors have other community projects on tap. Efthymiou said they plan to participate in the Bowl-To-Benefit The Umbrella, a program of Birmingham Group Health Services Inc. that assists domestic violence victims. The daylong event starts at 8:30 a.m. March 7 at AMF Lanes in Milford.
Patricia Villers can be reached at pvillers@nhregister.com.

Editor's note: This story, which originally appeared in the New Haven Register, is reprinted here with permission. The photo is by the Register's Arnold Gold. Both also can be seen at www.nhregister.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Another greyhound goes missing, this time in Newtown

Sighting a boost to greyhound search crews

By Nancy K. Crevier
Newtown Bee

Elwood, a 6-year-old black and white greyhound, has been missing from a Turkey Roost Road home since December 23.

Searchers have placed a live trap near the area of the only sighting this past weekend in hopes that the thin-coated dog can be captured and returned safely to his family. The hunt for Elwood, the black and white greyhound goes on. Local volunteers and searchers from the Greyhound Rescue andRehabilitation (GRR) organization out of Cross River, N.Y., We AdoptGreyhounds, and the Connecticut Greyhound Adopt organization have been seeking the dog, owned by Greg and Kara Pansa.

Greyhounds, unlike most other dogs, have only a single layer coat and extremely low body fat, making them more susceptible to cold weather than other canines. Elwood was not wearing a protective coat when he disappeared from his yard, and family and search members can only hope that the dog has found shelter. Four sightings over the weekend have raised hopes that the greyhound may still be in the immediate vicinity of his home, although three of those sightings were discredited, said local GRR member and volunteer Dawn Adams.

"One sighting in the Toddy Hill Road area could definitely be legitimate, though," said Ms Adams. "Any sighting is very helpful. "This week, the search has turned down the level of involvement,though.

"We are asking people to stay out of the woods and not call for the dog at this time," Ms Adams said, Monday, January 5.

"At this point, he has been missing for nearly two weeks and wherever he is, he is in survival mode, and scared."

The search groups are focused on keeping the greyhound in the area,and because the dog has probably become too frightened to respond even to its owners, a live trap similar to the Havahart trap, has been setout in hopes of luring the dog into it. "We are hoping to set up two more traps this week, too," said Ms Adams.

The trap is checked every couple of hours and baited with food, as well as items with the owners' scents and Elwood's own bedding. "We can only hope to capture Elwood now," Ms Adams explained.

Area residents are asked to keep their eyes open for any sight of the 80-pound, deer-like black and white dog. He was last seen wearing a blue collar, and has identifying tattoos in each ear.

"Do not call his name, and do not approach him, if you see this dog,"urged Ms Adams. "He is scared, and will run. Retreat quietly and call either 914-763-2221 or 914-403-0872."

Any information about the greyhound is greatly appreciated, she said.
Editor's note: this story was provided by Eliza Hallabeck. It is a reprint from the Newtown Bee, where Eliza is a reporter. Tesla's Love will print any story about missing pets. Send them to teslaslove@gmail.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The search goes on for Finnley

Distraught owner ‘amazed’ by public response to lost dog

By Bridget Albert
When Milford resident Kellie Roper brought her pet greyhound to Companion Animal Hospital of Milford on Dec. 29, she never expected she would be going home alone.
Roper adopted Finnley Nov. 1 from ReGap CT, a rescue group, and brought the dog to the animal hospital for dental work.
"When I first called to make an appointment for Finnley I asked if they knew how to handle a greyhound. They said ‘yes’ they did," Roper said. "Apparently they don’t."
She has not seen Finnley since that day.
Despite some sightings of Finnley in the Walnut Beach area, a widespread search and newspaper advertisements the animal hospital placed, the animal has not turned up.
"People I have never met have come from 1½ hours away, scrambling through brush and forest helping me look for my dog," Roper said.
"People in Milford have amazed me calling with wishes and prayers. It’s nice to know there is still such generosity left in the world," she said.
Roper said Finnley is black, with a gray muzzle, weighs 54 pounds and wears a pink/purple collar with yellow bones on it and might be dragging a leash. Roper also said the greyhound has a REGAP of CT tag, and that the dog is shy but extremely friendly and loves the sound of children.
Roper said she was told by hospital owner Dr. Kenneth Preli that veterinarian Dr. Dave Champaigne took Finnley outside after the Dec. 29 dental work.
"He said she became tangled in her leash and when (Champaigne) went to untangle her he dropped the leash and she bolted," Roper said.
Hospital administrator Rona Preli said when Champaigne went to pick up the leash Finnley "was probably disoriented."
"I was told he chased her into the K-Mart lot and jumped in a stranger’s car to try and follow her. He borrowed a cell phone and called the office and they evacuated the office and went looking for her," Roper said.
Rona Preli said eight of the office staff of 10 people immediately left to look for the greyhound and searched until 8 p.m. that night and for the next four days. Since then, she said, staff have continued to canvass the area, putting up fliers and talking to people.
Roper said the greyhound community, as well as the Milford community, have been extremely helpful, finding time to help her repeatedly canvass the beach area and put up fliers everywhere. Rona Preli said the hospital contacted area police and fire departments and animal control officials.
Roper said Milford Animal Control, which has increased patrols in the vicinity Finnley has been seen, has been "truly amazing."
Roper said before the dog was lost, Finnley had changed her life.
"She has made me take a step back from work stress and Ironman training. She has made me relax. She has been a wonderful stress reliever," Roper said.
Anyone with information on Finnley can reach Roper at (203) 506-4790.
Editor's note: This is a reprint of a story originally printed in the New Haven Register. It is printed here with permission of the Register.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One Cool Cat

On this cold New Year's Day with new snow all around us, Tesla's Love offers this story to warm your heart. Happy 2009.

By Mark Brackenbury

Bo was an outgoing, amiable sort, always there with a friendly head butt.
But he had his quirks.
He loved eating chicken and cold cuts on the counter in the kitchen, drinking from the faucet on the bathroom sink, sunbathing, and claiming the softest chair in whatever room his family was in. If he could have told the difference between a weekday and the weekend, he would have made a fine alarm clock: he woke us at 5:30 every morning, almost to the minute.
Bo was a polite little man, chirping what seemed like a thank you whenever we opened the door to let him inside. And despite claws that looked rather menacing when he opened his paws and stretched, he never once scratched anyone. Not that he didn’t use the claws to his advantage. When we weren’t paying sufficient attention to him, he would reach out and give a little tap on our face or arm, extending just enough claw to make his presence felt in no uncertain terms. He was death on sweaters.
In his younger days he loved walks with our golden retriever, Brandy. He scooted along behind us, his feet working furiously to keep up and his black tail straight in the air. In later years, after Brandy was gone, Bo would make the long walk down the driveway with me to get the paper, dawdling behind out near the road but then racing back to the front steps to wait on me. He also enjoyed racing up and down the hallway, sounding like a herd of horses, before stopping himself by sliding on the carpet runner.
He was less enthused about eating on the floor, drinking from a bowl, being cooped up inside and being alone. But the two things he hated most, cold weather and riding in cars, sometimes forced him to compromise. Particularly in his old age, Bo was something of a weather wimp, poking his nose into the outside air and quickly turning and scampering inside if he felt the slightest chill. Riding in cars was a major trauma - for Bo and us - because he always got sick within a few minutes.
Maybe his fear of travel had to do with how he came to us, which always remained a mystery. In the fall of 1990, Bo arrived along with a new refrigerator. As I opened the door for the deliverymen, there was Bo yelling at me from a big rock across the front yard. He seemed well groomed, friendly and unafraid, so he must have had a home somewhere. But despite our advertising and calls to the delivery company, no one ever came forward, and Bo was ours. The vet guessed Bo was about 7 months old.
He almost didn't make it much further.
The next spring, one of our teen girls was home alone after school and decided to do some laundry. As she opened the dryer for a moment to check on some clothes that weren't quite ready, the phone rang. She slammed the door, turned the dryer back on, and ran to answer the call. When she returned to check on the clothes 15 minutes or so later, Bo staggered out, dazed and bleeding from the mouth.
The vet said the prognosis was grim, that the key would be whether he could eat, which seemed a longshot given that his mouth was burned. This was on Good Friday. Saturday, we were losing hope because the vet said he showed no interest in food. Well, a quick trip to the supermarket for some sliced turkey changed everything.
By Sunday - Easter - Bo was back home.
We are not particularly religious, but wow, what irony. Other than a little droop on one side of his mouth, Bo was none the worse for wear. But he never – ever – hopped in the dryer again.
Bo lived to be 18, dying essentially of old age this spring. Of course, he had slowed down a bit in his later years. His attempts to jump onto the counter started coming up a bit short (he seemed embarrassed), and occasional hair loss because of a skin condition made him look a bit rickety at times.
But in other ways he never changed. He still woke us up at 5:30 each day, ate his sliced turkey or roast beef, and followed us from room to room. And he still stood at the top of the stairs yelling at us as we came home at the end of the day, annoyed that we were gone so long but happy to see us.
A cool cat, as always.