Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, September 8, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 8, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc



Amos and Zeppo are a joyful bonded 
pair who are looking for a family who 
is able to give them a home together. 
They are perfectly matched in size, 
energy, and playfulness, and they 
both have the same wiry coat – the 
only difference is that Amos is white 
and Zeppo is black. Amos is 3-years-
old and Zeppo is 4-years-old. They 
both love human companionship 
and enjoy playing with other dogs. If 
you see them in action, you will see 
how great they are with each other, 
happily going on a walk to the park, 
playing with toys, getting affection 
from people and just enjoying being 
together. Amos and Zeppo were 
originally brought to the shelter 
separately in 2015, but were adopted together to the 
same home where they lived happily for 2 . years. 
Their family had to move and couldn’t take the dogs 
with them. If you are hesitant to adopt two dogs, please 
consider the advantages, especially with a bonded pair. 
We know they already get along 
well with each other so there is no 
adjustment period. They are ready-
made playmates and entertain 
each other. They suffer less from 
separation anxiety or boredom 
because they have each other 
as companions.Please consider 
adopting these two happy boys 
together. In this case, two really is 
better than one! Their adoption fees 
is $130 each. If adopted together, 
they qualify for the “Buddy System 
Adoption Program” discount. Feel 
free to call us at (626) 286-1159 for 
more information. They currently 
reside at the San Gabriel Valley 
Humane Society located at 851 E. 
Grand Avenue in San Gabriel which is located off San 
Gabriel Blvd, north of Mission and south of Las Tunas 
Drive. To arrange a ‘Meet and Greet’, please stop by 
any time from 10:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday through 
Sunday. Website:

This week’s Happy Tail - originally printed January, 
2011 - is dedicated to my dear, late friend, Frederick 
Alfaro who exemplified what unconditional love looks 
like as manifested in his own life. Rest in Peace, Fred and 
thank you for being a person who really did love and 
let live.

 I will never forget the day I first met Molly. She had 
just been adopted by my neighbor, who fell in love with 
her the very moment he saw her. Fred called me when 
she arrived home, so I could be the first to welcome her 
to the neighborhood. Somehow I knew Molly would 
play a very important part in Frederick’s life, but I had 
no idea of what special part she would play in mine as 

 Frederick’s visit to the San Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society that day proved to be a life-changing experience. 
It had been a few months since he’d said goodbye to his 
precious pup, “Chelsea” who died of bone cancer, and 
Fred finally felt ready to adopt a new companion. After 
a walk down the isles between the fenced kennels, he 
asked if there were any puppies available for adoption. 
He was lead to another area where he stepped through 
the doorway and immediately locked eyes with a brown-
eyed babe who looked up at him with what could only 
be described as total desperation.

 Frederick didn’t even bother to take a closer look 
before he told the lady, “I want that one”. He later 
confided in me that he felt as though Chelsea was there, 
telling him to take that little girl home; “She is the one 
for you”. Chelsea had been the center of Frederick’s life 
for the past several years, and that would be a tough act 
to follow for sure, but his inner instincts told him he’d 
made the right choice.

 My first impression of Molly was that she had the 
most darling, honest face and an amazing ability to 
show her appreciation for having been invited to live in 
such a cozy home with a big yard where she could romp 
and play freely. I remember thinking that somehow 
that little dog was fully aware that she would be loved 
unconditionally for the rest of her life!

 Within a couple of days after her arrival home, Molly 
became very ill. The veterinarian diagnosed her with 
kennel cough and treated her accordingly. This was not 
great news, but with the proper treatment, there was 
high hope that Molly would recover and grow strong 
and healthy. Unfortunately, Molly did not respond to 
treatment as expected, and soon it became clear that 
there was something radically wrong with her. She 
was re-evaluated and re-
diagnosed with a much 
more serious disease…
Molly had distemper.

 Canine distemper is a 
contagious, very serious viral 
disease with ‘technically’ no 
known cure. The disease 
affects dogs and certain 
species of wildlife such as 
raccoons, wolves, foxes, 
skunks and ferrets. Young, 
unvaccinated puppies and 
non-immunized older dogs 
tend to be more susceptible 
to the disease. Molly had 
been vaccinated by the 
SPCA upon intake at the 
facility, but unfortunately it 
was too late. She had already been infected with the 
disease prior to being vaccinated.

 This news broke Fred’s heart. After the trauma of 
loosing Chelsea earlier that year, he was not ready to 
let go of his new-found friend. When I got the news 
about Molly’s true diagnosis, it was all I could do to 
hold back the tears. I have always been a praying 
person, believing that God listens and answers our 
prayers, but it had been quite some time since I had 
prayed. I was way over-due for a talk with my Creator. 
I guess sometimes it takes a traumatic experience 
to drive us to our knees. I did get on my knees that 
day and I prayed that God would grant a miracle for 
Molly. I thanked Him for people like Fred who are 
willing to care for the animals that others could so 
cold-heartedly discard. I asked God to let Molly live, 
for Fred’s sake, because he needed her. 

 Things got worse before they got better. There were 
moments when it seemed Molly wouldn‘t make it, then 
she would get stronger and show signs of recovery. This 
went on for several weeks, but with continued medical 
attention and consistent tender loving care, Molly did 
indeed recover and she grew strong and healthy just as 
we had hoped.

 A couple of years after Molly‘s miraculous recovery, 
Fred became extremely ill himself and sadly, he passed 
away after spending 5 weeks in a coma. During that 5 
weeks I spent a lot more time on my knees praying for 
yet another Miracle for Molly…of course the miracle 
was actually for Fred, but for Molly as well, because now 
she was the one who needed him. As it turned out, God 
had other plans for Fred’s soul, as well as for Molly’s life. 
Rick and I took her into our home where she became 
our own.

 Molly now lives a full, very happy & healthy life. She 
loves her house and yard, and she loves her humans. 
She brings smiles to the faces of all the neighbors who 
greet her during her walks. I don’t know what I would 
do without seeing that open, honest little face with those 
perky ears peering up at me each morning. I believe God 
did grant Molly another miracle. Perhaps not the one I 
had in mind, but God always knows what is best for his 
children, and I feel sure she is just where she is supposed 
to be, as is my dear friend, Fred. Sometimes when I look 
into Molly’s eyes I think I see Fred there, nudging my 
heart, letting me know that he’s doing just fine. Thank 
God for “small” miracles!


Meet adorable 
orange male tabby, 
LARKIN, age 1 yr. 
Larkin is a very laid 
back, very sweet 
friendly male, 
with a beautiful 
marmalade color 
and fur pattern, 
making him look 
like a little lion 
cub. This boy is 
pretty much your purrfect kitty. Please watch his 
video to learn more:
Then visit for adoption 
procedures. Larkin would love to be adopted with 
one of our other nice kitties, or maybe you have 
a resident cat who would like a mellow playmate. 
Larkin will liven up your home and bring you 
endless joy and cuddles! Of course, he will come 
healthy, current on vaccines, neutered, and 
microchipped. See more pictures, adoption info at



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges has been 
conducting course in 
emergency preparedness, 
wilderness survival, and 
self-reliance since 1974. He’s 
authored “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other 
books. More information from www.SchoolofSelf-, or calling 626) 791-3217.]

 Last month’s “little” earthquake (August 28) 
should serve as a constant reminder that we live in 
“Earthquake country,” and that larger quakes could 
occur at any time. A thousand years ago, even a 
major quake would not have been as devastating 
as one today, because back then there was none of 
the infrastructure of modern life. But things are 
different today. A big quake today damages a lot of 
the things that we take for granted: electricity goes 
out, pipes break, cracks appear in roads, buildings 
shake and fall, and people get hurt or die from 
debris that falls on them. 

 It behooves every one of us to understand how 
rapidly things could change, and to find ways to 
be more prepared should a big one hit.


 Sierra Madre residents are lucky that there is a 
very active CERT group which meets at least once 
a month in the Hart Building in Memorial park. 
The purpose of CERT is to train individuals in the 
details of being prepared individually, and how 
to work together in the aftermath of any major 

 You can learn more about Sierra Madre CERT 
group by checking them out on Facebook, or 
their web page at www.sierramadreemergency.
org. CERT means Civilian Emergency Response 
Training, so you can learn what to do in 
emergencies. The training is FEMA-sponsored.



 A major disaster is so disruptive that up to 
15% of the people affected “go crazy” because 
their entire psychological point-of-reference has 
been quickly taken away, and now they have to 
re-think everything. Studies have also shown that 
up to a full 70% of people affected by a major 
disaster become “zombie-like” and while they do 
not cause harm, they wander about in a stupor 
and don’t know what to do. The purpose of any 
survival training is to practice survival scenarios 
so you become a part of that 15% who usually 
makes quick, efficient, and appropriate decisions 
in the aftermath of an emergency.

 People who often do well in emergencies are 
military personnel and police and other law 
enforcement officers, since they are somewhat 
used to operating in chaotic situations. Homeless 
people – especially those who have been 
homeless for an extended period – might also fare 
better than the average citizen because they’re 
already living in a very temporary, semi-chaotic, 
peripatetic existence. Not all homeless people are 
taking drugs or drinking by the way, but those 
who do are their own worst enemies. A homeless 
person has somewhat, more-or-less, figured out 
how to sleep in a safe spot, how to find water and 
food, sometimes how to cook on the fringe, how 
to move about with little detection, how to find 
and use a toilet, how to get by on very little and 
nearly no electricity, and how to use trash and 
recyclables to meet most needs. I’m not extolling 
homelessness, per se, because it is not a viable way 
to live in this society. However, there are many 
lessons that could be learned from some of the 
more canny homeless people.

 Most people do not take the time to develop 
post-disaster skills because we all have busy lives 
with school, and family, and work, and all the 
pursuits that keep us so busy from dawn to dusk. 
Yet, there are plenty of ways to develop these skills 
without taking major chunks of time.

 Family camping trips are a great way to 
learn how to get by without all the modern 
conveniences. Another practice I’ve seen is 
creating an “earthquake camp” in your own back 
yard, where you cook on a stove with a fire, using 
plants from your garden for food, or stored food, 
and using water you’ve store. An earthquake 
camp should also have some sort of simple toilet 
(probably based on a five-gallon bucket) since 
drain pipes could break in a major earthquake. 
A little first aid station should be a part of your 
earthquake camp, and some sort of simple shelter, 
whether a tent or tarps. 

 And if you live in Sierra Madre, you really 
have no excuse to not come to some of the CERT 
meetings, so convenient at Memorial Park, on the 
third Thursday of every month. You’ll meet some 
great people, and you’ll have a good time learning 
these essential skills.

 When you actually put some of these skills into 
practice, you learn what deficiencies you might 
have in your planning and in your gear. Plus, you 
might actually discover that it’s a source of joy 
to try these skills with your friends and family. 
Expanding beyond our comfortable limits is 
always a good thing.

One of the main complaints 
in the Parsonage has to do 
with my procrastination. The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage often refers to 
me as, Sir Procrastinator, as if it was a bad thing.

Anything that needs doing in our house, my wife 
is the first one to jump up and try to do it. She 
fixes things before they are even broken. How she 
does that, I will never know. It is a wife thing.

 I, on the other hand, am slower than a politician 
trying to explain him or herself. For some reason, 
I was born in no hurry and that has been my 
motto all of my life. I am really not in a hurry for 

I take my time, relax whenever possible and just 
do not get excited about anything. I have found 
out that when I get excited about something and 
want to go fast forward, I always get into trouble. 
Trouble has become my middle name in this 

 As a child, my parents wanted me to speed up 
and get things done quickly. I never could figure 
out why. Very few things need to be done in a 
speedy order.

 I just do not have the energy, these days, to 
hurry up and get something done.

 Last year, for example, the doctor gave me a 
little package to take home that I was supposed 
to put in a personal “sample” and send to the 
company. Certainly, I meant to do it as soon as I 
got home. But I took the slow way home, stopped 
and got a delicious banana split. I can only get 
these banana splits when I am driving by myself, 
for the other companion in our home has strict 
laws about such “nonsense,” as she calls it.

 I actually enjoyed my “nonsense” very much.

When I got home, however, I had forgotten 
about the box in which I was supposed to put in 
my “sample” and send to the company. I put it 
somewhere and I just forgot about it.

 “When,” my wife said, “are you going to take 
care of that and send it in?”

 I almost said, “When pigs fly.” But because I 
was slow in getting that phrase out, it never got 
out. Of course, I am so glad I was slow in that 

 Sometimes being slow has its rewards. Some 
people say being fast has its rewards. I would not 
know about that personally.

 Several months went by. “Did you send that 
package in?”

 “What package?” I said.

 Then she reminded me of that package and 
that I had to send in my “sample” for the doctor 
had ordered it.

 Doctors! What do they really know? After all, 
they are only “practicing” medicine. When they 
get it to perfection, then maybe I’ll believe them.

Several mornings when I would get up, I would 
hear the question, “Are you going to take care of 
what you’re supposed to do?”

I really meant to do it, but procrastination is the 
name of the game I play. I do not mean to play it 
that way, it just happens.

 And it is not that I do not have a good 
memory. I do have a good memory in 
fact, I have locked several sections of my memory 
to save for when I get old. I will use that memory 
when I need it.

 “You know,” argued my wife, “you’re not doing 
yourself any favors by putting this off. Why don’t 
you do it today?”

 Finally, and I am not sure what motivated me to 
do it, but I did do the process and got my “sample” 
and mailed it to the company.

 My wife was happy when she heard that I did it 
and said, “Now, don’t you feel good?”

 I had to smile at her, but I really did not feel 
good. I really did not feel anything.

 Several weeks later, I got a letter in the mail 
from the company where I sent my “sample.” I 
was not sure what they were writing to me about. 
At first, I thought maybe something went wrong 
and I was in a lot of trouble.

 Slowly, I opened the envelope and found inside 
a letter thanking me and it included a $50 gift 
card. I could not believe what I just saw.

 I could not wait for my wife to get home so I 
could share with her my good news.

 I gave her the letter with the gift card and said, 
“I guess it really does pay to procrastinate.”

 She looked at the gift card and then looked up 
at me and said, “I did not know your ‘sample’ was 
worth that much money.”

 “Well,” I said rather sarcastically, “now you 

It only proved to me that sometimes 
procrastination does pay off. Sometimes when 
you jump into a problem or circumstance, you 
pay dearly for it. And sometimes, like my “sample” 
when you procrastinate you get paid.

 I then reminded my wife of what King David 
said. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and 
he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the 
Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

 Of course, the key here is not waiting, but who 
you are waiting on. I like to procrastinate until I 
really know what God wants me to do. Sometimes 
it takes longer than I figured, but when I wait, I 
am never disappointed.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 
34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage, in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-
4240 or e-mail The church 
web site is

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