Critter Chat – March 29,2017

In 1996, national animal organizations established seven basic policies for every animal shelter. Over 20 years later, I am not sure what organization led the way, but they were printed in the January-February 1996 Animal Sheltering Magazine of The Humane Society of the United States. Shelters were encouraged to consider these basic essentials of their […]

Critter Chat – February 15, 2017

cat in storm drain

The way I look at storm drains has significantly changed over the past 25 years.  More cats and dogs than we ever wanted to know about use these storm drains to safely go from place to place, and to get a little bit of perceived security.  I am not exaggerating when I say that more […]

Critter Chat – February 1, 2017

IMG_6610

(Critter Chat is published bi-weekly by the Chatham Star Tribune. See the original article here.) One Saturday evening recently, I received a call from dispatch informing me that a citizen had found a small dog he thought was a Yorkie. He took the dog to the shelter and put him in our after-hours area. The […]

Critter Chat – January 18, 2017

(Critter Chat is published bi-weekly by the Chatham Star Tribune. See the original article here.) Our beloved maternal grandfather, Dada, was a talented organist and once taught Shirley Temple’s daughter piano lessons. He was a kind, gentle man who had a wonderful sense of humor. Dada was also a worrier. He was a big-time, bona […]

Critter Chat – January 4, 2017

Marie Bushley small

A few months ago, a very tired-looking Marie Bushley brought neatly folded newspapers to the shelter. She brought sad news about a recent diagnosis, and all we could do was hug her and cry with her. Several of us attended her funeral on December 29, and the words spoken there were a wonderful tribute to […]

Critter Chat – December 21, 2016

When my sister and I were children, we would write letters to Santa. In fact, our mother still has a section of the Manhattan, Kan., newspaper that printed lots of letters from our classes in Northview Elementary School. We laugh now because my letters and even my whispers to Santa as I sat on his […]

Critter Chat – December 7, 2016

Until the mid-1990s, the shelter had never had a mascot animal because the thought had been that all animals would be happiest in a private home. As a result, staff members knew that they should try to have some emotional distance from their favorite shelter animals if they did not adopt them. One day, though, […]

Critter Chat – November 22, 2016

Many years ago, a skeletal dog was found as a stray and brought to the shelter. Even after all the horrible sights we have seen at the shelter, this one profoundly affected us. The dog, a brown hound mix, had to be carried into the shelter and then into a veterinary clinic. She was so […]

Critter Chat – November 9, 2016

By the time you read this, we will have survived a presidential election; maybe our nation can begin to heal and unite once again. In a bi-partisan kind of way, let us relax a little and take a brief look at some of the many pets that have occupied the White House in former years. […]

Critter Chat – October 12, 2016

Last week as I parked my car at the shelter, I saw a woman standing at the front door. She was crying and held a cat in a blanket as she would have held a human baby. As I asked her if I could help her, she said she had called the day before and […]