Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Opus, our new columnist...

Our friend Opus appears in this week's issue...check out the whole issue by clicking here!

by Opus, our Night Life Columnist

Night Light

I suppose you’re wonderin’ what I could possibly have to say that would be of any interest to people normally accustomed to chatting about their high bred cats or their low bred dogs or what have you. Consider me the voice of reason. No passion for chew toys, no excessive slobber for treats. No senseless jumping up and down just because you managed to find your way home again after a few minutes absence. No total loss of class or decorum when catnip is anywhere in the vicinity nor any desire to shred your drapes or drop upon you while you’re unsuspecting from a high shelf or the refrigerator. Never once have I coughed up something you would consider “unattractive” on your pillow. Nope. Just reason with a touch of common sense, mixed with the cool head of country and a bit of southern sanity (though I am sure there are those of you who would consider the latter an oxymoron – your opinion of course). For now I’ll ignore the comments regarding me as a “giant rat” or “future roadkill”. This from members of an “advanced species”? Please. Losin’ your fur and having to work your whole life in something referred to as a “rat race” to stay warm because of it, doesn’t seem to put you ahead on the “advanced” curve to me. OK, so I won’t call you “hairless apes” if you refrain from the “giant rat” comments. I’m a marsupial and a rat should be so lucky. And by the way, I have never known any self-respecting rat to get himself involved in a “race” of any kind so you might want to reconsider your terminology on that one as well. If you want an honest opinion, just ask. I might take a minute or two to consider all angles, but when I do get around to an answer it’ll be straightforward – unless of course that sweet smell of grubs under a nearby log happens to distract me.

*Yawn* What the heck? Oh, it’s her again. Makin’ those “kiss-kiss” sounds she loves so. And from a couple of tail lengths away right in my face! Does she really think when two opossums are strollin’ around in the wild we talk to each other that way? Still, I reckon she feels better about talkin’ to an opossum if she fusses a bit. You know you would think it was unexpected to find me here, that I wouldn’t have made the most of the convenient cat door the humans installed in the basement door, (supposedly for the cats of course). Then they put down cat food! Not such a bad life and as long as she’s smitten with me and thinks I’m cute I might just as well sit back and let her. No harm done. Still, I’d suggest eattin’ some compost to freshen her breath if I thought she’d listen. I figure’d openin’ my mouth and showin’ off my awesome teeth would impress her and back her off, but no she just said “oh, yes, yes, I know you. You’re big and tough and I’m impressed.” Hmmm…call me suspicious but I don’t think she meant it. Might be because after mom was hit by a car, and my siblings and I were found, this crazy lady helped raised me. Read the rest of Opus’ column on our blog!

Back then I wasn’t my resplendent 7lbs and I could fit in her hand with plenty of room left over. When I was old enough and ornery enough she let me loose here in the woods near her. This sure is a crazy place. Still, good compost bin, and it’s cozy enough here in the winter nestled amongst the boxes marked “holidays”. Speakin’ of festivities, that reminds me of my duties. As soon as she fills up the cat food dish and heads upstairs I had better top off the tank and get out on patrol. I feel it’s my honor to pay her back for her kindness by diggin’ appreciatively and enthusiastically in the day’s new discards in the compost bin and then liberatin’ the house trash from the confines of that stretchy plastic stuff that seems to grow around it. She seems to be afraid of that stuff since she puts it out in the garage and sometimes even in a tightened, metal can with a special, clamped lid. I have no fear of the stuff and even find a tasty scrap or two for my efforts to “wrassle” it loose. I am sure she appreciates how much effort I put into figurin’ out the lid and climbin’ in to do a proper job. Sometimes I even have to stoop to enlisting the help of one of the local masked night marauders. With all things considered I’m proud to say I don’t quit until my job has been done to the very best of my abilities. I’m back in bed by the time she figures out how dedicated to her I am and starts smilin’ at just how thoughtful I have been. Still, I am not one to ask for recognition or bask in the glow of the spotlight (reminds me too much of on-comin’ headlights actually. *shudder*) of her gratitude. Nope. I am a simple mammal with simple needs. Still, a chicken bone would be a nice bonus….

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Next issue coming soon...

...and Our Place to Paws will soon be debuting our new Web site at Stay tuned. In the meantime, here's a preview of one of the reader photo spotlight pictures that will be featured in our next issue: a Black Browed Albatross, photographed in Antarctica by R. Carras of Long Island.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Homes needed for Ohio Pets

A family in Ohio is desperately seeking homes for five lovely cats and two sweet dogs whose owner recently passed away unexpectedly after a massive heart attack. For more information, visit this link. You can also email:

Friday, February 16, 2007

Animal art studio debuts new Web site

Dey by Dey Studio in North Carolina, offering beautiful pet portraits and wildlife prints, has finally launched their new Web site! Artist Peggy Dey is one of the most passionate animal lovers you'll ever find, and she has contributed to so many rescue efforts over the years. Her portraits always get rave reviews. To visit the new Web site, Click Here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Editorial from our New Issue

Below is the editorial that appeared in our new issue, emailed today.

Barbaro: why loving him made sense, and still does

The past few weeks have been tough for those of us who loved a very special racehorse named Barbaro. I was one of those fans you’ve been reading about in the news – during Barbaro’s eight-month fight to recover from a broken leg at the Preakness, I checked for updates on him daily, and followed every report with hope. My dream, like the dream of many others, was that Barbaro, who was only three years old, would heal and go on to live a happy, peaceful, and long life in green pastures.

People are debating in the media whether or not it makes “sense” that so many people cared about Barbaro. After all, there is so much pain and suffering in the world, why care about the loss of one horse, a horse you never even knew?

I would ask a different question: does it ever make sense not to care when any animal, whether it’s a champion racehorse or a newborn kitten, is injured and fighting for its life?

We are all inspired, every day, by courage or greatness. An Olympic athlete who wins a gold medal inspires us to exercise a little harder. A person who rises from poverty to achieve great things makes us believe a little more in what we can accomplish. A cyclist who conquers cancer makes us feel braver in the face of illness.

We are also touched by innocence. Why? Maybe because we were all innocent once, and time tends to take that away from us.

Barbaro was both a great, courageous champion and an innocent young horse. We wanted to see him conquer what turned out to be insurmountable odds, and live. Perhaps if Barbaro had walked triumphantly out of the hospital one day, whole again, something in each of us would have felt whole again, too.

We wanted a miracle, a happy ending. And we were heartbroken for Barbaro when he – and we – didn’t get one. But we did get something else -- a chance to care.

And that makes perfect sense to me.

Photo credit:

To read the full February 14 issue of "Our Place to Paws" click here

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rescued puppies ready for adoption!

The rescued holiday pups that we've talked about before -- and their mom -- are now ready for adoption in North Carolina (or anywhere someone might want to drive or fly them to!). Click on the flyer below to make it larger for more information. The next issue of "Our Place to Paws" will be sent out on Valentine's Day this week!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Another rescue appeal

Two Black Labs Need A Home - URGENT - Please help, pass on.

The owner has terminal cancer and can't care for them anymore. He'd really like to find a home for them while he's still able. He's heartbroken and hopes to find a family who can take both together. If anyone who knows someone who may be interested, please e-mail me orpass this on.

Details: Pure-Bred Black Labs, Male, Adult, Neutered, and up to date on their shots. They are about 4 years old, housebroken and very well behaved. Darling Hunter and Fame are two gorgeous brothers, who find themselves needing a new home now that their owner has become too ill to care for them. They are truly wonderful dogs. The owner's grandchildren can crawl all over them and like typical labs; they just lay there and love it.

They would love to keep these two boys together if possible; they are the best of friends. Please contact me ASAP if you can help!

Thanks.....Jane Block, Vice President, First Morris Bank and Trust, Morristown, NJ,
Tel: 973-644-5411; Email:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Take care of animals in cold weather!

It's bitter cold across parts of the United States right now, and we should all take a moment to be sure that the animals in our care are safe and warm. An article titled "Deep freeze threatens animals" from the Fond Du Lac Reporter in Wisconsin -- where it definitely gets cold! -- offers some tips.

(Click here to read the article)

Monday, February 5, 2007


It's easy to make cat toys that your kitty will love using just a few things you have lying around at home. Today we'll offer a sneak peek at the Kids Corner column that will appear in our upcoming February 14th issue.

Click here to learn how to make a quick, easy, home-made cat toy and fill it up with catnip!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Link to our last issue

If you'd like to read our second issue, click here.

Our content is ever-evolving...comments from readers are appreciated on how we can both bring a smile to your face with a "light touch" and help animals with our work at "Our Place to Paws."

Friday, February 2, 2007

Uplifting words from a veterinarian who knew him

Dr. Kathy Anderson addresses Barbaro Fans at the Tim Woolley Horseracing Web site.

Couldn't have said it better

As we work on our next issue of "Our Place to Paws" and begin the development of our Web site, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has been supportive of our new newsletter and our effort to develop a fun, informative venue to talk about -- and hopefully help -- animals.

I also wanted to note this quote about Barbaro, which I felt captured it very well for those of us who so deeply felt his loss this week. Perhaps we don't forget about world issues, but we do reach out for hope, and the innocence, courage and companionship of animals helps us do that.

"When world affairs and people's foibles become such a burden to endure, people reach out to comfort themselves through hope. Although Barbaro will be missed, Americans had - for eight months - the opportunity to root for a miracle and forget about war, politics and Barry Bonds."

Steve Ranson,
Lahontan Valley News

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Fur Ball in Vermont

The Addison County Humane Society in Middlebury, VT, is hosting a Fur Ball dinner and dance to benefit homeless animals on March 17, and they've asked "Our Place to Paws" to help them promote the event.

Click here to see the poster. I hope any area friends can attend! It sounds like fun!

And remember, to subscribe to the free e-newsletter "Our Place To Paws," click on the link on this site or email

One more note for today...a gentle nod to brave Barbaro; we hope he is running free.