Tag Archives: animals

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals – Book Review

Published Date: February 22, 2022

Publishing Co.: St. Martin’s

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“The more you cry, the less you pee.”

That was the mantra Laurie’s mother instilled in her children. It might not make all the sense, but it was enough to force you to crack a smile and push through whatever it was that was bothering you. It’s a mantra that most of us could afford to take up in our lives. It was the mantra of a family forced into poverty by domestic violence and a neglectful father.

The Zaleski family was the kind of family that made you think of the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses.” They had the idyllic life. Except that behind the scenes, the husband was a serial cheater and became a wife beater. When the mother had enough, she packed up her kids and moved into a house on the verge of being condemned. With absolutely nothing but their mother’s ingenuity and determination, they made a shack into a home. One of their mother’s many jobs to make ends meet was that of animal shelter employee. Her heart the size of her attitude, she would bring home the animals that were going to be euthanized and nurse them back to health. Thus began, the original Funny Farm.

When I picked this book up, I thought I would mostly be in for numerous tales of animal rescues. While there is a plenty of those, the story of the Zaleski childhood stood out as the most fascinating part for me. I binged 130 pages the first time I sat down with it.

Anne McNulty was an amazing woman, who raised good children and saved numerous animal lives. The book is a great testament to her character and the continuation of animal lives rescued in her name by that of her daughter at the current Funny Farm.

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law – Book Review

Published Date: September 14, 2021

Publishing Co.: W.W. Norton Company

Pages: 308

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Are some species just dicks?”

A poignant question poised by the author. It’s rhetorical of course. Animals are just being animals whether humans enjoy it or not and this book is mostly about humans trying to stop them from inconveniencing them. Like the time some people tried to take caterpillars to court to get them off their property. It went as well as one would suspect if you had half a brain.

Humans have created a lot of the problems themselves. British immigrants to New Zealand missed their rabbit hunts back home, so they imported some. New Zealand doesn’t have any large predators, the rabbits, boinked like rabbits do and overpopulated the land. Humans then brought over stoats and cats in an attempt to take care of the problem only to ultimately be overrun by rabbits, stoats and feral cats. These imported species take up the habitat and kill the native species to the island. Now, it’s a race against time to save endangered species before they’re gone forever.

So, what I’ve learned here is that it only takes one nostalgic human to ruin everything and years and years of research to try to fix anything. Often, without any success.

The battle against nuisance species is a delicate balance. Back in the day, humans would happily slaughter any animal that was inconvenient or effected their livelihoods. Even to the point of extinction because how dare they? People are slowly becoming more cognizant to animal suffering. Less people want so-called nuisance animals harmed. Preferring relocation if possible. However, relocation doesn’t tend to work effectively according to research in Fuzz. Scientists are busy trying to come up with more humane (or less harmful) ways to manage species that get in our way or cause us problems. The results are years off but provide for a fascinating read.

And maybe, just maybe, take the time to remember to lock down your garbage properly so some bear doesn’t get euthanized for stealing your scrumptious muffins you didn’t finish. A little mindfulness goes a long way in saving lives.

This is my first Roach book. I enjoyed her writing style and extensive research. I’m sure I will check out her other publications down the road.

Goodbye, Sweet Boy

Just shy of 2 weeks ago, we had to make the decision to let our sweet boy, Ozzy, go. My heart is broken. This is the reason that I have not posted in almost a month. What we thought to be a pulled muscle from a fall while we were at work, turned out to also be a probable internal tumor that was leaking blood inside.

But I am not here today to focus on what went wrong, as much as I am here to convey a weak attempt at all that he meant to us. He was 13 years old. If you have followed me for a while, you’ll know that he had emergency surgery to save his life 5 months ago. We regret nothing about paying the money to do that because we got 5 more months of him being the happiest boy and making more memories with him. So much snuggling, a few more adventures and lots more pizza crusts.

We adopted Ozzy from the Flint animal shelter when he was 10 weeks old. He has been the joy of our lives ever since.

He was a once in a lifetime dog. He was a ride or die. We read SO many books together over the years. He was down to snuggle or adventure. He traveled like he was born to do it. Every stranger was just someone who didn’t know they loved him yet. (And they ALWAYS loved him once they took the time to meet him.) He was the most empathetic creature I’ve ever met. Sad? He’s got you. Angry? He knows it and gives you your space. Tired? Cuddle time. Excited? Let’s bounce around the house together.

I reread what I’ve wrote and all I can think is, this doesn’t do him justice. He was that amazing. I would look at him and my heart would swell so much that I had to rush over and kiss his forehead and squish his cheeks.

Our lives will always be emptier without him. At the same time, we were so damn lucky that he chose us, and we got to be his parents. We went through so much together in 13 years and created so many wonderful memories that we’re lucky to have.

His sister misses him.

His dad misses him.

I miss him.

I think we all will for every day that we have left on this planet.

Goodbye, sweet boy. We will remember you and miss you and love you. Always.

Birthday Boi

The goodest of bois has turned 13. He’s had a rough couple of months. Hopefully, 2022 will be a more relaxed retirement for him. Some animals you just know you’ll never have another close to in the future. He’s that once in a lifetime dog. From the streets of Flint, Michigan to his own house purchased with his golden years in mind, he deserves every single thing we can give him and we’re so happy that we’ve had 13 years with this handsome devil. I wish we could have 13 more. Happy birthday Ozzy ‘No More Tears’ Ozzdog! ❤

Conservation – Let’s Help

Something I don’t talk about enough is my passion for wildlife and environmental conservation. If I lived life over again, I would go to school for biology and find a career in some type of conservation. Sure, I could do it now, I’m not horribly old or anything, but now is not the time for student loans and school expenses. So, instead, I join conservation organizations fighting to help the planet and endangered animals. Currently, I’m a member of both The Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy. In fact, renewing one of my memberships is what made me think of doing this post.

I think most people may be under the impression that donating or becoming a member of these types of organizations is pretty costly. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t expensive, it’s easy to do, and honestly, it makes you feel good. A little bit of money to help make a difference in the world, is something most people can handle. And, it doesn’t even have to be a monthly contribution. With most organizations, a one time donation makes you a member and if you want to contribute monthly, more power to you!

To prove my point, here are just a couple of organizations and their donation rates:

The Sierra Club – $39 for a yearly membership. My renewal rate was $19 the next year. Plus, the renewal came with a sweet hiking bag as a thank you and I received a 2019 calendar as a holiday gift. You also receive a bi-monthly publication keeping you up-to-date on the work they’re doing and things going on the world that you don’t hear about on national news.

*Note, you can select with most places to not receive a gift at all. I like getting the swag to represent and spread the word of their missions.

The Nature Conservancy – Minimum donation of $15. My renewal rate was as little as $10 but for $15, I’ll be receiving some swankin’ reusable tote bags.

The Oceanic Society – You can do one time or monthly donations OR you can adopt an animal as a donation. Adopt a Dolphin: $40/year. Adopt a Humpback Whale: $60/year. Adopt an Albatross: $45/year

The Ocean Cleanup – Is an organization of engineers working to find ways of removing the mass amounts of plastic and garbage in the ocean. Minimum donation of $10.

National Audobon Society – Become a member for as little as $20. Birds are super cool.

World Wildlife Fund – Become a member for as little as $25.

By the end of the year I plan on joining another one of the aforementioned societies (probably Audobon), to make that a total of 3 places I contribute to. These are also great gift ideas for the animal lover/environmentalist in your life. Each group has the option to donate or purchase a membership for someone else.

So that’s my soap box preaching for the week? Month? I don’t normally do these kinds of posts so who knows, might become a regular thing.

If this isn’t up your alley, just help pick up garbage where you see it! Sure, you weren’t the loser that put it there but you can be the winner that helps keep the planet clean.

Flying Squirrels

Now not the actual flying squirrels with cute caped armpits, I’m talking about these chunky fucks:

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The Fox Squirrel.

Ozzy’s arch nemesis.

Yesterday, I got home from work and promptly took the dogs outside. One of these chunky fucks was apparently surprised by our arrival even though we were not quiet about it. The dogs tree’d him in the smallest tree in the yard. Mind you, this tree is still twice my height. There was no chance that the dogs could actually get to him. Despite this, I didn’t want the dogs harassing him. So ring around the tree I go, trying to grab Ozzy because once I wrangle him, Samus will follow. Dogs are fast though so this was not working. The whole time the squirrel is chattering his fool head off.

Finally, I stop, put my hands on my hips and kindly explain to the squirrel that he needs to shut the fuck up because it’s just keeping the dogs all riled up.

MOTHER FUCKER LAUNCHES HIMSELF AT ME LIKE I’M THE NEXT AVAILABLE GODDAMN TREE.

I scream the world’s most pathetic scream, which I think caused him to realize, “OH SHIT THIS IS NOT A TREE” and he lands on my foot and scampers off up a giant maple tree.

Now I am forever scarred by the image of a fat, brown fuck with tail helicoptering coming at me from above.

Fucking squirrels.

tznb3

A House Covered in Fur

It’s been awhile since any of my adorable critters have been featured on the blog. Not for any lack of cuteness but because they’re mostly featured over on Instagram. (I fully admit that Instagram is a lot more fun that I thought it would be.)

I’ll do a mini-intro for each pet for anyone new to the blog.

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Blanket thieving once again.

Zelda, our second pet together. (The first being a rat named Wednesday.) We’ve had a love/hate relationship. She likes to do bad things. But since we’ve moved to the house, we’ve seen a whole new cat. We now have a nightly ritual that if I’m not in our bedroom at the correct time, I hear persistent mewing.

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Snowed in.

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Meanwhile, this one likes to make snow angels.

Ozzy, our first dog together. We’re dog people, thru and thru. We adopted Ozzy from a high-kill shelter in Flint. Michigan when he was 10 weeks old. He was malnourished, dehydrated, had roundworms and mange. He’s the first animal that I nursed back to health and 100% the reason I got into animal rescue. By my own estimation he’s lab/chow/pit bull mix. He’s a big, laid back baby who kicks all the ass at cuddling.

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Brisk morning romp in the yard.

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Gaming with Dad.

Samus. Oh, Samus. We were planning on getting a second dog a year later than we did. My grandpa was dying, I was depressed, my husband decided I needed someone to take care of who couldn’t take care of themself so I wouldn’t dive further into depression. His irresponsible coworker at the time had a new litter of puppies. Inbred puppies. Mom had had one litter of puppies by a neighbor’s dog, they kept a male puppy and when he was old enough, he knocked up his mom. She’s 3/4 mini-Aussie and 1/4 Rottweiler. To top it off, mom stopped nursing the puppies at about 5 weeks and the people couldn’t handle the puppies cries so they locked them in a bathroom. One which, they did not clean and eventually threatened to throw them all out in the snow if the people who wanted one didn’t come pick them up. That’s how we came to have a puppy at 6 weeks old who shouldn’t have been separated until 8 weeks. She’s an adorable pain in the ass. She’s high energy of course but also has anxiety and OCD, along with severe trust issues.

Wild Magic – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars

This had been on my TBR pile for 3 years. My 15 year old cousin owned and highly recommended I read it. Since he’s pretty wise for his age, I did. He also told me that he had not been able to find the rest of the series so, guess what he’s getting for Christmas?

Here begins the tale of Daine. An outcast girl with the ability to talk to animals. (I was jealous at this point already.) With no family left, she and her trusty horse friend Cloud left her hometown to look for a new life. What she found was friends and an epic adventure. Creatures who have not existed in her world in over 400 years are breaking free of the realm they were locked away in. Some of them are good, a lot are bad.

Befriended by one of the world’s strongest mages, she begins to learn how to use her ‘wild magic.’ *cough* Book title *cough* They will need all the advantages they can get if they’re going to save their world.

There is nothing particularly special about the writing itself. This is also clearly a young adult fantasy. Despite those two points against it, I need to know what happens. I liked it enough that I must know the end results. Or at the very least, check out the next book. Here’s the best part of sharing books with a cousin into fantasy; since I bought him the rest of the books for Christmas, I now have access! Mwahahaha!

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