Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.
I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.
She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.
I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.
- by Janine Allen
(this pretty much sums up the day I met my dog)
Due to overwhelming popular demand and an influx of requests for photos of my dog (editors note: the previous statement is a blatant lie. I just have too many of these to not share them), I have decided to provide you with an absurd amount of fabulous mutt pictures. So, in a dangerous move which will surely put me at high risk of losing followers, please enjoy a brief photo compilation featuring my feisty little baby, Yanshoof:
Okay, that’s over. Are you still there?
I wanted to let you all know about an AMAZING event happening this Saturday in Los Angeles. If you’re anywhere nearby you should absolutely come out for it! It’s Puppy Mill Awareness Day, and in honor of all of the suffering puppies and dog moms, Last Chance for Animals is putting together a pretty fantastic day. It will include appearances by Mayor Antonio Villagairosa, Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer), Michelle Forbes (True Blood), and Debra Wilson (MadTV). I met Debra Wilson at the Animal Acres Gala last weekend, and I can not even tell you how amazing of a soul she is. I’m biased because she addressed me as “Goddess”, which of course made me happy.
Two-tier cages with soiled trays at a USDA licensed facility in Iowa
There will be a bunch of puppies and adult dogs for adoption. If you have been considering bringing a new dog into your home, this is the place to do it! It will also be an amazing opportunity to meet other animal lovers in the community. While the primary focus of these events is to of course raise awareness about the issue, there is certainly the added bonus of socializing with compassionate, like-minded people. If you aren’t up to date on the state of puppy mills in this country, here are a couple videos to watch:
From OPRAH’s special: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bx5jc_atNs
Humane Society undercover report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxY51QlpEG0&feature=related
If the conditions of these puppy mills moves you in any way, PLEASE come out to the festival on Saturday! More information can be found on the Last Chance for Animals Event Page here:
or on the Facebook event page here.
“Thank you for speaking up for me. You’re my hope and my only voice.”
Will I see you there??
Sorry for the non-vegetarians out there, this post won’t relate much to you- but for those compassionate animal/environmental lovers who want to keep spreading the beautiful word on your portable billboard (your body), here are a few of my recent fashion finds- many of these can be ordered in different styles/colors so check it out! God I want these all.
There you have it- now go shopping and send me pictures in your new vegan garb! T-shirts are a great way to intrigue and inspire people, and if you’re lucky they’ll ask you a few questions :)
I generally don’t get into too much detail on here about my personal life/career, but in case any of my followers (especially those who frequently read my vague, script-related tweets) are curious about what I’m writing, I thought I’d give a little explanation.
For about two years now, I’ve been working on adapting my Mom’s novel, The Olive Grove (originally titled Moghrabi’s Olives; link goes to my earlier post about the book), into a screenplay. It’s taken so long because I’ve had a variety of demanding jobs since then, working for production companies, at restaurants, and on film sets - so I often get sidetracked. The story centers around a Palestinian family, and because I believe it offers very important insight into the origins of a conflict that is so controversial and present in our daily lives, I have recently been trying to pick up the pace and get it ready to be sent out. I have a few friends/contacts in the industry who have offered to read it and potentially help it find financing, so I’m trying to finish this edit before those kind individuals forget their offer! Adapting a novel is NOT easy. I will probably never do it again. This has been an exceptional journey for me, however, because I am incredibly passionate about contributing to the eventual goal of peace, understanding and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. I took my first trip to the region this past June (if you go back through my archives you can learn more about that in the “The More I See The Less I Know” series of posts that I never finished…), and I believe now more than ever we need to be really having a persistent global conversation about next steps. Those of you who are curious about the conflict, interested in achieving peace, or just want to read a good story should absolutely check out the book:
-and if reading doesn’t strike your fancy, hopefully I’ll have a movie for you to watch in the next few years!!
My furry little writing partner, asleep on the job
This story begins in a way only an LA-based blogger could begin a post. Two hours ago I was sitting in the operating room of Dr. Robert Rey, surgeon to the stars and subject of the E! reality show, “Dr. 90210”. Before I go any further, let me clear up two questions. First: No, I was not there for my own procedure- I randomly ended up being asked to escort a friend of a sister of a friend to her surgery, because she flew in from out of town and knew nobody else. She was incredibly sweet, so I was happy to be there for her. And second: Yes, he actually wears sleeveless scrubs. Dr. Rey himself was hilarious and entertaining and everything you would expect from someone dynamic enough to have a TV show built around his life. As I sat there, listening to him explain what to expect with the post-procedure care, one comment in particular stuck out to me:
“Finally, and I wish I didn’t have to say this- well, I’ve been in the business for 20 years. I didn’t used to have to say this so clearly, but each year it becomes more and more important to point out because of the direction our country has unfortunately turned to. You have to avoid infections, almost obsessively. You should avoid crowds for the first few weeks after the surgery, because you can’t allow any foreign bacteria to enter your body. I say this because our bodies are now, more than ever, incredibly resistant to anti-biotics. This is because on American factory farms, rather than take the chickens and cows out of the piles of shit they’re living in and give them actual space to clean themselves and stay healthy, they instead pump them so full of anti-biotics that keep them alive until slaughter. Those anti-biotics have now accumulated in your bodies to the point where attacking infections is now extremely difficult. When I started out in this business, you could just give someone a dose of penicillin and knock the whole thing out, but now it’s become a full on battle.”
Hearing Dr. Rey say these words made me happy not only because it’s always nice to have a medical professional on your side (I don’t think he’s vegan but I’m sure he would at least agree with the fact that factory farming is destroying the health, environment, and well-being of our country), but also because I suspect he gives this same speech to the thousands of patients he sees. I’m sure some may not pay attention, but hopefully it strikes a chord in a few others. Perhaps a young mother comes in for a routine boob job and leaves having decided to feed her children differently so they won’t end up with same mutated insides as the rest of America.
Thanks Dr. Rey! Keep on spreading the truth.
In my experience, most failed romantic encounters leave you with a degree of sadness, a couple stolen oversized sweatshirts, and often a new appreciation for some previously unheard of bands/artists. I emerged last year relatively unscathed by a summer romance that left me with (in addition to the aforementioned things) a newfound love of the films of writer/director John Cassavetes. Among these brilliant films, the shining star for me has been A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974). Maybe it’s because of my undying love for Gene Rowlands. Maybe it’s because I’m obsessed with the idea that John Cassavetes so masterfully directed Gene, his wife, which I can’t imagine made for a traditional set atmosphere. Maybe it’s because in this day and age I’m so jaded by the abundance of predictable blockbusters and romcoms that I’m constantly thirsting for something of substance.
I’ve never been great at looking at a movie in its entirety and assigning credit to the director for its perfection. By that I mean, I wasn’t someone who looked at THE DEPARTED and thought, “Martin Scorsese obviously deserves an Oscar for this.” I would be a horrible member of the Academy. That said, I can’t help but see Cassavetes’ genius all over this masterpiece, especially as he wrote and directed the film. The relationship he designs between Peter Falk and Gene Rowlands is one of the most convincing and complex loves I’ve ever seen on screen.
Gene plays Mabel, a confused, eccentric, and quite possibly bipolar/schizophrenic (I’ll have to run this diagnosis by my psychologist roommate) housewife whose life revolves around her children and her husband Nick (Peter Falk). When Nick works late and misses a date night, Mabel’s psychosis emerges in a way Nick seems to have never dealt with before. It’s not a dangerous kind of crazy so much as an absolute inability to function normally in social situations, which leads her into many palpably uncomfortable scenes with her neighbors, family, friends, and even children. So uncomfortable that you spend the majority of the movie clenching your stomach muscles- the scene where she supervises her children’s playdate- yikes.
The film doesn’t follow much of a traditional plot, but rather it delves deeply into the relationship between two damaged, fragile humans. Cassavetes’ attention to detail is so astute and so impeccable. To put it simply- the film is truly a piece of art. Check it out, it’s on instant watch on Netflix!