This is the AARF logo, which shows three animals on a yellow life raft: a small black and white kitten, a larger brown dog with a collar and a small black and white dog. Grey clouds suggest an urgent need to find good homes for these animals. Floating on blue waves suggesting the Caribbean sea that surrounds Anguilla, the raft shows that these animals have a protector in AARF and its supporters. Finally, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, representing hope for these deserving animals.

AARF Newsletter 2010, Quarter 3

Volume 10, Issue 3

July–September 2010

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

—Albert Schweitzer

Introduction

This newsletter covers the third quarter of 2010. Some highlights: Last April, AARF turned 10 (we celebrate with a look back), we have a great new logo and shelter sign, dedicated volunteers attacked the shelter in order to clean it up and reorganize it, we made it through Hurricane Earl, we continue our Education Program, we have great goodies for sale at the shelter and, of course, we have many Thank Yous to mention.

Finally, we have some wonderful Happy Tales (we call them Happy Tails) to share with you.

Feedback about this newsletter is always appreciated; please use our contact us page.

Administrative note: images with a border around them may be clicked to see an enlargement.

AARF Turns 10

Founding Father Dr. Patrick Vanterpool in a photo from AARF's very first newsletter

Our shelter office is at the front door of Morlens

AARF Celebrates 10 Years!

In September of 2000, a group of people with the hope of improving the lives and the care of companion animals of Anguilla joined together — and the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF) was created.

Veterinarians, Drs. Berglund, Tyhe and Vanterpool along with many other animal lovers had all discussed the need for such an organization at one time or another, but up to that point were faced with obstacles including lack of community interest and timing. But with that successful meeting in September, AARF was born.

In the beginning, the group was called the Anguilla Animal Rights Foundation, but within a few weeks dissension within the newly formed group arose when the soon to be opened Dolphin Discovery became major news. This situation was resolved when a separate group organized to deal with the dolphin issues and those who preferred to focus on the welfare of homeless and stray companion animals renamed their group the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation.

In the first year, by-laws were drafted and AARF was officially registered under the Friendly Societies Act. On March 29th 2001, AARF’s web-site was launched and right after that, regular newsletters were published on a regular basis, and the organization was off.

AARF’s main efforts focused on pet health and animal welfare via programs covering spay/neuter surgeries, adoptions and education. Funding for these programs have never come from government or grants, but rather from many donations given by generous supporters, including many local businesses. We also hold various fund raisers to help with our budget. To this day, AARF remains 100% unpaid, all–volunteer driven.

Before AARF, Morlens Veterinary Hospital (opened in 1996 and owned and operated by Dr. Patrick Vanterpool), had been caring for and bearing the expense of homeless and injured or un cared for animals of Anguilla. In July of 2002, AARF was able to begin to reimburse Morlens for some of the expenses of boarding/feeding, surgeries and drugs used to take care of homeless animals.

Spay and Neuter

AARF began keeping records of spay/neuter surgeries in 2003. We have always known this program to be critical to the welfare of the island population (after all, the population and land area are are pretty much constant), and the organization has worked (doggedly) to get surgeries done and to educate the public about the subject.

In those early years, many different approaches were tried. One great success story highlights a particularly creative effort: after a free spay/neuter clinic sponsored jointly by funds from AARF, Puppy Angels and The Pegasus Foundation, 110 dogs and cats were successfully neutered or spayed over a 3 day period in July of 2003. Now, partnering with the Morlens Vet Clinic, surgeries occur on a regular basis.

In fact, since those early efforts, over 1300 surgeries have been completed at a cost of over $60,000 dollars!

Adoptions

AARF has always promoted the adoption of healthy animals, feeling that offering a pet that has been examined and given initial vaccinations benefits the animal as well as the new family.

Before AARF, unwanted puppies and kittens were often abandoned in the bush to die or become feral, or were inhumanely killed. Adopted animals were often not examined for health or vaccinated, and animal life spans were disturbingly shortened as a result.

As the public has become more informed about animal welfare, AARF has seen an increase in surrenders, as well as those requesting spay or neuter surgery for their pets or asking about vaccines to protect against Parvo and distemper and medications to protect against heartworm or the control fleas and ticks. With this change in attitude, which the organization considers a huge measure of their success and hard work.

In the early years, before getting the shelter, many animals were brought to the people at places such as supermarkets. It was felt that if people could see and touch the animals, they might choose to adopt. Many weekend events were held thanks to volunteers and the permission of the supermarkets. Albert Lake and Best Buy supermarkets were common venues. Puppy Angels also partnered with AARF in the early years to send homeless puppies to New Hampshire in the USA where homes could be found.

In November of 2005, an adoption fee was introduced which included the first set of vaccinations and worming for an adopted puppy or kitten and free spay or neuter surgery when the pet reached the age of 6 months.

In recent years AARF has been much more successful in finding on island homes for most of the animals that come to our shelter, because the Shelter (more on that later) is now well known as the place to come to adopt a pet. It's even becoming known as the place to bring in unwanted animals to put up for adoption. Any unwanted or injured animal is accepted free of charge by the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation, although a donation for their care is gratefully accepted.

Alls this is far better than the supermarket approach, because people coming to the shelter have made the decision to adopt versus an impulse adoption.

But AARF wants to make it clear that tourists are encouraged to adopt a dog or cat and take their new companion friend back with them to the USA or Canada. Island dogs and cats have a unique look and some great personalities. In fact, we like to say:

Adopt a warm and loving part of the Caribbean and take him or her home with you!

Many have done so, and, now, back home, have a part of Anguilla wagging a tail, nudging or purring every day. How great is that?

And it turns out that the process to adopt and take a pet back to North America is easily done! Anyone interested is encouraged to contact the AARF Shelter at 476-2731 or email us for more information. We talk about the process on our web site as well.

As a matter of fact, in the first quarter of 2010 alone, ten puppies were transported to new homes in the USA. Kittens have been adopted too! We thank the individuals who met and fell in love with what otherwise might well have been an unwanted animal while on vacation. We get regular photos and videos of these lucky animals, and try and try to spread their stories through the Happy Tails sections of our newsletters.

To date, records show a total of over 1200 adoptions!

Our Shelter

The AARF shelter — a longtime dream — became a reality in January of 2008 with much excitement by a bevy of shelter volunteers! Dr Vanterpool generously provided AARF office space in his hospital as well as a room to keep the homeless animals. And since that time he has also given AARF additional space for a cattery to house our cats and kittens separately from the puppies and adult dogs. AARF, in return, purchased and installed at Morlens an x-ray machine to be used for diagnosing and treating all Morlens patients.

Morlens staff and AARF volunteers are available between the hours of 8 and noon and in the afternoons Monday through Friday (the clinic closes from noon until 2.30 p.m.). And on Saturday mornings, the clinic and shelter are open from 8 until noon.

A large addition and updating of Morlens Veterinary Hospital was begun at Morlens in 2008 and is still in progress. Hospital features include a dedicated ICU unit, isolation ward, operating theater and treatment and exam rooms.

The hospital was described as “one of the best in the Caribbean” by a recent visitor from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), of which AARF is a member society.

Education

On the Education front, AARF's idea was that presenting programs on animal care and humane animal treatment to the students would have a positive impact on the children and community. At first, it was difficult to break into the education program, but persist ant appeals to the Education authorities were made. That early groundwork paid off and today AARF has excellent support from the Anguilla Education Department. Education volunteers today are welcomed into the schools; they even bring their companion dogs along to present interesting and worthwhile topics to the children.

Budget, Donations and Fundraising

AARF has also seen a dramatic increase in annual expenses. One major bump in expenses is due to the care of animals at the shelter which increased by over 30% last year – our most successful year! Clearly the shelter, success stories, education and word of mouth are working: the shelter is becoming the go to place to adopt, fix and surrender animals. All this means the animals and their human families are better off. But that means higher expenditures are needed.

The budget for 2010 is projected to be an all time high of over US$39,000. To meet these expenses, AARF benefits from generous donations that come from dear friends of AARF who fellow animal lovers. We have a fund raisers that are made possible by the donations of prizes and household goods. And we have change boxes in various Anguillian stores.

AARF holds a hugely successful yard sale, an outdoor "garage sale" right on the beach at Roy’s Bayside Restaurant. At the sale, used goods in very good condition are arrayed in racks and tables for deal seekers of all sorts to nab. And the prices are outstanding for goods that often cannot be found on island. We get regular donations throughout the year of household goods such as adult clothing, baby clothes, linens, books, kitchenware, electronics, computer supplies, games, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, furniture, art and more. Anyone wishing to help us with donations can take them to Anguilla Techni Sales in North Hill. AARF volunteers at the shelter will be happy to take donations as well.

Whereas we used to save goods all year for one giant flea market event, we now hold a timely sale every few months. Each event is eagerly waited for; we'd say essentially mobbed. And why not? There are fabulous goods and the prices are right.

With the public’s willingness to donate and attend and continued monitoring by the fundraising committee each sale will have different merchandise from the previous event.

Roy’s Bayside Restaurant, owned by Roy and Mandy Bossons, huge supporters of AARF, is home for our yearly bingo fund raiser and now also the venue for our yard sales – these fundraising projects, with other new exciting events planned, will hopefully help us to meet our expenses and continue to provide assistance to the animals in our care.

We also receive donations and help from many of the tourists that come to our beautiful island who have sent the following comments:

“AARF does a great job. We came to Anguilla a long time ago before AARF and we really saw a difference after AARF was around for a while it’s a really wonderful organization! I wish all the islands had such places.” Scranton PA

“I was lucky enough to be in Anguilla over the holidays. I met a woman who told me about your organization. I am so glad there are people like you in Anguilla”. Dayton, OH

Please check the AARF web site www.aarf.ai to find out more information on our fundraising events or how to donate.

Spare Change Drive

One of our many spare cash collection boxes

Our "Spare Change Drive" is ongoing so please don't forget to drop those extra coins and cash at one of our locations. We really appreciate your donations!

The change box proceeds go to our Lehigh Fund, established in memory of David Johnson, an AARF member and foster parent.

This very important fund assists financially with spay and neuter surgeries for pet owners who otherwise could not afford it.

This saves suffering and reduces unwanted litters, and allows a family to keep a healthier pet that otherwise might suffer greatly (or worse).

Bob Turner created these donation boxes for AARF and the WISE project donated 6 more boxes. Thank you very much!

The donation boxes are located at the following establishments:

  • Straw Hat
  • Anguilla Techni Sales
  • Ashley's Grocery Blowing Point
  • Ashley's Pet Shop
  • Barrel Stay Restaurant
  • Bartlett’s Collections
  • Best Buy
  • Christine Fleming's Mini-Mart
  • Fat Cat
  • Foods 95
  • Geraud's
  • Irie Life
  • Lake's Grocery
  • Morlens Veterinary Hospital and AARF Shelter
  • Roy's Bayside Restaurant
  • Straw Hat
  • Tropical Flower
  • Un Amore
  • Wallblake Airport

Thank you to all the businesses that have agreed to support our cause.

AARF Web Site

This year, a new and updated design of the web site was completed. With the updated web site, quarterly newsletters and weekly shelter bulletins showcasing AARF Shelter animals for adoption, as well as email (aarfinfo@aarf.ai) and even a Facebook page, one has easy access to all that is going on within this very busy organization.

We've Come a Long Way in Ten Years

AARF’s success is measured not only by numbers, but by our relationship with the community and sharing our commitment to make life better for the animals. It is also about education in the schools and in the villages that make this our home. We recognize that the people that are adopting and taking the responsibility of having their animal spayed or neutered to stop the cycle of unwanted puppies and kittens are our most valuable asset – their example to others and knowing that a companion animal has touched someone’s heart, makes all our hard work worth every second! AARF and Morlens Veterinary Hospital continue to work together as a successful partnership. We are grateful to Dr. Patrick Vanterpool who served as the first President of AARF and to all those on his staff in the past years who have supported AARF. Without the dedication of the shelter volunteers, the AARF Executive Board, Dr Vanterpool, Dr. Rommel and Dr Abi Umali, and the public, AARF would not be able to successfully function as a place of care and rescue for the unwanted puppies/kittens/dog and cats of Anguilla.

As we celebrate 10 years of hard work, along with our successes, we remember also our tears for the unwanted ones that have come to us – happy tears for those that we found homes for and tears of sadness for those that unfortunately we did not.

We would like to thank all of you have who have adopted, donated, volunteered, played bingo and shopped – you have helped AARF become a viable and successful part of Anguilla.

As AARF continues with our programs still focusing on education, adoptions and spay /neuter surgeries, we hope that our dedication will inspire you to join us with a donation of your time or financial support. We are grateful for either!

Suzie Donahue is the current President of AARF, co-manager of the AARF Shelter and coordinator of the Spay/Neuter Program. She and her husband Steve retired here in 2001 from Ellicott City MD.

In April 2001, AARF published its very first newsletter. April of 2010 marked the passage of ten years. That's 70 in dog years; we haven't calculated that in volunteer years. We thought this would be a great time to honor the past ten years of love and labour with a few thoughts.


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We have a new Logo

Our new logo looks similar, but has an adult dog instead of the old goat (no webmaster jokes, please)

Our sign outside Morlens

We decided we needed to update our logo in order to have it better represent our focus on dogs and cats. We loved the old logo particularly the imagery of rescuing animals floating on a life raft, the sun denoting light, warmth and hope and the calm blue waters.

And we wanted to keep that, while modernizing the logo to be more accurate and to work well with web and electronic communications.

So we contacted the original designer of the logo, Jackie Wavrunek. Jackie had done the original logo in 2001, so asking her for a redesign from another AARF supporter from the founding days felt right.

Jackie graciously redid the logo, changing the goat to a dog and adding a collar. We now have two versions, one with the web site and email text at the bottom and one without (for times when the text would not show up properly).

And, fortunately, the new logo arrived as we were in the process of ordering a new sign from Ron's to put outside the shelter. Now, it's easy to find us and the sign sports the current logo.

Jackie Wavrunek now has a design firm in Alabama, with a web site at jacquelyngraphics.com. You can see other graphics she did for Anguilla and for other clients. Seen the "goats rule" graphic? That's Jackie's.

A full service graphics designer, she can design logos, line art, color art, animation, advertising, brochures, even web sites. If needed, she can also write copy.

We'd like to point out that Jackie has also done a lot of volunteer work for rescue groups and spay clinics in the USA, as well as for environmental groups. She is our kind of person!


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Shelter changes for the better: Cleaned up and Reorganized

Volunteers reorganized and made the Shelter a much better place for the animals --- and the volunteers

A massive cleanup on August 1st took place at the shelter and Morlens clinic. As a result, AARF was given access to a new and much larger room for the dog shelter area that gives the puppies and older adoptees more room to run and play. The canines now also benefit from much better lighting and air flow.

This gives better separation for our cat area, who have their own feline space (as cats are won't to say "cats rule, dogs drool", or something like that.

The move also afforded Morlens and AARF patients a separate and quiet surgery recovery room. And it gave us additional storage for our supplies.


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Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl hit Anguilla on August 30, 2010 and caused roof damage to some homes and hotels, flooded buildings, knocked down power lines, fences, eroded beaches and, as might be expected denuded gardens and vegetation. Earl was an angry Category 2 hurricane as it passed close to Anguilla and in fact grew to a Cat 3 a short while later.

And on Earl's heels, lurked Fiona (following Earl's track until it veered just a bit further north and east at the last moment) and other storms. Click on the photo at the right (or this link) for all the details.

All in all, besides the hurricanes and storms, the rain was intense. One source reports that August can bring about 4.5 inches of rain. This August? Try 17.35! And most of that was on…August 30th. An astounding 14.66 inches (source: Anguilla Weather Site)!


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AARF Yard Sale

Happy shoppers love our yard sales

Our yard sales continue to work very well for us, now that we are having them several times a year, each time on a Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until about noon. This is one of those events for which getting to the event at opening time (or slightly before) is highly suggested for shoppers. The good goodies get snapped up very early on.

We are happy to report that even in the slower times of the year, the sales are popular. Our Saturday, July 17th sale turned out nicely.

Many thanks go to of Roy and Mandy and Roy, who allow us to use their nice covered space at their restaurant in Sandy Ground. They even show up with coffee and help with munchies.

We continue to receive donations of quality secondhand goods such as clothing, shoes, electronics, toys, books, housewares and more.

Come to our sales, meet volunteers, shop for great stuff and enjoy the beach setting at Roy's. Future Yard sales have been scheduled for December 18, 2010 then regularly, generally quarterly after that (here are upcoming dates). Yard sales are on Saturdays and go from 8 until about noon. Here are directions.


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Thank Yous

This quarter, AARF again received many wonderful donations of funds, supplies and other goods (some of which caring friends haul here in their luggage!) and we'd like to send special thank yous to them. Many of the donated goods just can't be found here, and the monetary donations have helped us with adoptions, spays and neuters, and food for our puppies, kittens, dogs and cats.

Annie, Suzie and Marvin S.

Kay, Suzie and John S.

To protect internet privacy, we choose to use initials.

Thank yous go to: Jessica B., Bud and Kathie B., Jane C., Sandra C., Kay and John C., Linda E., Stacia and Jack F., Ken G., Sue and Ray H., Jan K., Christine R H., Paul and Ann S., Jim and Kate S., Marvin and Annie S., John S., Ariane St. C., Charlene and Matthew T, Jackie W.

It helps the volunteers to know that we have so many near and far people who love our animals and appreciate our work. It really helps us to "keep on keeping on". Thank you again. All donations go 100% towards the welfare of AARF animals.

Just to list some of the great gifts we got this quarter:

  • Collars
  • Leashes
  • Animal toys
  • games
  • Portable water bowls for dogs
  • Bathing suit tops for the yard sale
  • Towels (used towels are great for the shelter; we bathe a lot of puppies!)
  • Office supplies for the shelter office: pens, loads of pencils, rubber bands
  • Medical supplies
  • Jars of change (those really add up!)
  • Bicycle (which will be raffled off)
  • Carriers
  • Laptop
  • Two baby gates
  • Transportation costs paid for Milo the ultra cool kitten and Angie the cute puppy

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Education Program

In addition to AARF's school visits Penny Hope–Ross and AARF President Suzie Donahue have embarked on an innovative and thorough education campaign designed to spread the word about pet care, diseases, treatments and more.

Suzie and Penny decided to use the country's main newspaper, The Anguillian as a delivery vehicle and they have written a series of articles that appeared regularly in the paper. These articles covered a wide range of topics of interest, including:

  • Distemper
  • Why neuter or spaying is necessary
  • Parvo
  • Can goats and dogs live in harmony in Anguilla?
  • Erlichiosis
  • Fleas, ticks and mites
  • Hurricanes and Pets
  • Skin Diseases in Cats /Dogs
  • Heartworm
  • Doggy communication
  • Cat Communication
  • Dogs as pets
  • The importance of Vaccinations
  • Pet First Aid

And they have more articles in mind. Excellent job and big thanks to Suzie and Penny!

We will revisit these topics over time to keep these and concepts fresh in people's minds.


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Shelter Goodies for Sale

Leashes, collars, toys, carriers and more

We have a nice inventory of things you need for your pet, and they are right at the Shelter. Things like leashes, collars, pet toys, carriers, bottle bags, hats, shirts, even bookmarks. Traveling and need a carrier? Ask us if we have one for you.

Want to hit the grocery stores, but hate the idea of having to use those plastic bags? Our sturdy beverage bags hold bottles, cans, stalks of celery and whatever else you can put in them.

How about an AARF hat or shirt? A bandana for your dog?

The shelter is a great place to start looking for goodies. Other nice places on Anguilla sell AARF clothing. We appreciate their support, so please check out the inventory at:

  • SeaSpray (near the roundabout leading down to Sandy Ground; it is by the smoothy stand and used to be called Bartlett's)
  • ZaZaa

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Happy Tails

We always have happy tales for our newsletters. In some cases, when things looked bleak, the AARF team was more than uplifted by fabulous "saves".

For this newsletter, read on for a special story.

Milo the Comical Kitten (See the Movie Below for Proof)

Milo in foster care

(with Sally and Mark)

was affectionate and

great fun to be with

Foster kitten Milo,

executive office

assistant and general

anti–productivity tool

Make that thirsty

executive foster office

assistant

Milo snuggles with

Sally

Milo playing around on

the floor

Printer peekaboo game

Milo came from Sandy Ground with other kittens. Early on he was cute and active and an obvious very special kitten. We knew we needed to find him a very special home. After a fun stint of fostering with Sally and Mark, where he proved to be affectionate, very social, very fun and a comical kitten who liked to "help" out around the office. By helping, we mean lounging around, attacking the printer when it printed, drinking water, and wanting to play kitten games. Of course, Mark and Sally made sure to satisfy every request.

Anyway, we finally found someone (Heidi) who wanted him.

Problem is, she was in the U.S. midwest, so we needed a way to get him there. The logistics of trying to pull this off are beyond hard. We needed someone going from Anguilla to Madison, Wisconsin!

By a stroke of luck, Heidi's friend Mary was here on Anguilla for a wedding and better yet, was headed back to the Madison area and she offered to take Milo. Perfect!

It was to be a long trip, but Milo took it well, even though it took two days, different airports and multiple flights.

First, off, Mary collected Milo at Blowing Point and ferried him to Sint. Maarten for an overnight stay at Mary's Boon (we've covered Mary's Boon before; it is pet friendly, right near the airport and on the beach).

Sally and Mark sent him off with a dog collar (thinking it was more secure than a cat collar for Mary to get a good grip while going through security) and a leash. Remember, the pet needs to be in the passenger's arms going through the metal detector while the empty pet carrier goes through the X-Ray machine). And that is loud and intimidating for some people, much less tiny kittens.

That part went well. Mary said that he was a perfect gentleman and great travel partner. He made a fort of all of the pillows at Mary's Boon on the overnight and slept with her. He was well-behaved all day and didn't mess in his crate. Mary tried to take him out and put him on the pad in Miami, but he wasn't interested.

On next leg, the flight from Dallas to Madison, Milo was crying (this was to be a long day), so she took him out and fed him some food from her hand and put him back. He started to cry again, so she took him out and snuggled him. Until she felt the wetness! Poor little guy had held it until then! She was a good sport and said, "After raising three kids, what's a little cat pee?" Considering that Mary has never had a cat in her life and was worried about traveling with him, he won her over!

Milo is like that.

Finally he got to Madison, and Heidi takes over with more details:

I took him home and showed him the litter box where he went right away, good little guy. He had a bite of wet food, but was more intent on exploring my condo. At one point I went looking for him and could not find him anywhere! My place is not huge and I am pretty neat, so I could not figure out for the life of me where he went!  I was searching high and low in my bedroom when I finally saw his cute little face peaking out from behind my bed pillows. Right now he is happily playing with the wand toy that I bought him. Thank you again for your help getting Milo to Wisconsin! We are such suckers for Anguillian animals!

And later, this update from Heidi:

Milo and I are the best of friends! He is just so cute and affectionate. He has already found his favorite "places" in my condo and is settling in well. He had his first trip to the vet yesterday and we are in the process of deworming him, so he had to sleep in my bathroom last night. 

We visited my parents' house last night and he had a wonderful time watching the birds and the rabbits from their back porch. He is VERY curious about our little black labrador Ella and pretty much followed her around for a good hour, totally fascinated. Ella is absolutely terrified of cats, so she spent the hour trying to nonchalantly hide from Milo. Ella stays at my house a good amount when my parents are out of town, so we're going to keep introducing them and hoping for the best!

Heidi, Milo and Mary

shortly after he reached

Madison

Milo checks out the

mysterious outside

Milo stalks the dog


 

And, sure enough, Milo wins everyone over.

Milo is great! He has nearly doubled in size in the last month. I am over at my parents house right now and he and my dad are napping on the porch together. He gets to visit when I stop by for lunch and my mom and dad love him. Our black lab Ella has discovered that he is really fun to play with, so she follows him around and he bats at her face. It is so funny to watch.

Here is a short (30 second) movie showing Milo and Ella playing toy. Guess who the toy is?

(This is the same movie in different sizes; choose the right one for your viewing device and network speed.)

Movie starring Milo and Ella, the black Labrador (medium size, 6.6MB)

Movie starring Milo and Ella, the black Labrador (small version, 3.9MB; good for iPhones)

Movie starring Milo and Ella, the black Labrador (tiny version, 348K)


And just recently:

I was just thinking of you and thought you might like to hear how Milo is doing now that he has been my special cat for four months. I swear I don't know how I got along without him before! He is officially neutered and de-clawed, which is such a relief that I can let him out on my porch without worrying about finding him eight feet up high on the screens. His lack of grip definitely doesn't prevent him from jumping and climbing on pretty much everything. His new trick is to climb up on my dresser in my bedroom and then leap from there onto my bed - he does this when he is very serious about me getting up for the day. My dad says that he usually only sees Milo at eye level.

We have our little routines - all dictated by the prince himself. He usually wakes me up at 5am every day to snuggle until I kick him out of the room, at which point he waits for my alarm to go off in an hour, which he knows means I'll be awake. He then has a kitty party for the rest of the morning - my bed is usually littered with cat toys that he brings up with him, and he also LOVES to chase his tail. Once he calms down he retires to his cat carrier to sleep. I'm not kidding - I've bought this kitten every kind of cute cat bed imaginable, but he refuses to sleep in any of them and will only sleep in his carrier!

He is the clumsiest cat I have every come into contact with. :) He regularly runs into windows, doors, and falls off of things. He also spends more time standing up on two legs that down on four. He even walks on two legs - my parents cannot stop laughing. Milo and I go to my parents' house every Sunday for Sunday night dinner where he gets to play with his "big sister" Ella the black lab. They actually really like each other!

Milo is obviously a very very smart animal - my parents think he is the smartest pet they've ever seen. He communicates very easily and meows often when he wants to say something. Thanks to you, Milo is doing very well and is happy at his home in Wisconsin! Thank you again for all of the work you do for these wonderful animals!

Some more photos:

Heidi and Milo

Milo likes it as a two-legged animal

Milo snuggles

Milo in the garb of an Anguillian crayfish!


We look forward to more Milo and Heidi family antics.


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On a Lighter Note

Finally, with Christmas coming up, some pet humor.

The Twelve Cats of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas when I brought home my tree

  • my 12 cats were laughing at me.

On the second day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the third day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the fourth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the fifth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the sixth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the seventh day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the eighth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 8 shattered ornaments
  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the ninth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 9 chewed through light strings
  • 8 shattered ornaments
  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the tenth day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 10 tinsel hairballs
  • 9 chewed through light strings
  • 8 shattered ornaments
  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the eleventh day of Christmas I saw beneath my tree

  • 11 broken branches
  • 10 tinsel hairballs
  • 9 chewed through light strings
  • 8 shattered ornaments
  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands and my 12 cats laughing at me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas I looked at my poor tree

  • 12 cats a-climbing
  • 11 broken branches
  • 10 tinsel hairballs
  • 9 chewed through light strings
  • 8 shattered ornaments
  • 7 half dead rodents
  • 6 fallen angels
  • 5 shredded gifts
  • 4 males a-spraying
  • 3 missing Wise Men
  • 2 mangled garlands
  • and my 12 cats laughing at me.

—Author unknown

 

A Puppy's Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Seven scraps of wrapping paper
  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Eight tiny reindeer fragments
  • Seven scraps of wrapping paper
  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • My wreath in nine pieces
  • Eight tiny reindeer fragments
  • Seven scraps of wrapping paper
  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Ten Christmas cards I shoulda mailed
  • My wreath in nine pieces
  • Eight tiny reindeer fragments
  • Seven scraps of wrapping paper
  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • Eleven unwrapped presents
  • Ten Christmas cards I shoulda mailed
  • My wreath in nine pieces
  • Eight tiny reindeer fragments
  • Seven scraps of wrapping paper
  • Six yards of soggy ribbon
  • Five chewed-up stockings
  • Four broken window candles
  • Three punctured ornaments
  • Two leaking bubble lights
  • And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me

  • A dozen puppy kisses
  • And I forgot about the other eleven days.

—Author unknown


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