Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 31, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 31, 2018 


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Yogic Wisdom for 

Everyday Life


During a hike with one of my four-legged friends, 
a yellow lab named “Gus”, we were both enjoying 
the cool breeze and warm sunshine as we ascended 
up the hill, when we had a rather rattling encounter 
with a low-lying creature lurking in the grass.

 Like most dogs, Gus is quite a curious canine. He 
notices everything that moves around him. Whether 
it be a leaf falling from a tree or a squirrel scampering 
overhead across a power line, he‘s all over it. When 
he gets distracted by sudden peripheral movements, 
I give Gus a slight tug on his leash and tell him, “leave 
it“. I reward him when he responds accordingly, with 
a pat on the head and a “good boy”, just to get him 
back on track.

 Although birds, bugs and lizards are most 
often what we might encounter during our walks 
together, deer & coyote also appear now and then 
in the brush-covered hillsides surrounding the 
area where we walk. On this particular evening, we 
came across a creature that took us very much by 

 I’m not sure if it was Gus’s nose, ears or eyes 
that were first captivated by the elusive crawling 
creature. Perhaps it was a combination of all three. 
What I do know is that whichever of his keen senses 
kicked in first, he immediately snapped to attention 
and within a split second he changed his direction 
toward the object of interest.

 I looked over to see what had suddenly drawn 
Gus in and I saw what appeared to be a sagebrush 
lizard, which is a harmless reptilian we often see 
slithering over the rocks and through the dirt in our 
yards and on the trails. Some sagebrush lizards get 
quite large, and as adults they can develop a heavy 
coat of colorful scales and a broad head with shiny 
dark piercing eyes.

 Lizards are quite agile and they move very fast, 
which is why dogs and cats love to go after them. It’s 
all about the challenge of the chase. When Gus got 
close enough to this creature to scare it away, I was 
surprised to see that it did not move, rather it just sat 
still and held it‘s ground. It was then that I realized 
our new-found friend was not a lizard at all.

 My canine companion had just come face-to-face 
with a snake, lying low and lurking in the grass! 
Fortunately I managed to pull Gus away quickly 
before the snake made any swift movements, or had 
the opportunity to strike. When we were far enough 
away for my comfort level, I stood and observed 
it for a few moments.

 I wanted to get a good look at it’s color and 
shape, to figure out what kind of snake it was. 
Per my estimate, the serpent was about 25 inches 
long and at least an inch and a half at the widest 
point of it’s belly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see 
the end of its tail. All I could think was that Gus 
could so easily have been bitten, if I had not been 
paying attention and pulled him away promptly.

 Feeling fortunate that we had escaped what 
might have been a revolting development, we 
continued on our way and completed our hike. 
When I got home, I Googled snakes in the San 
Gabriel Foothills. Based on my memory of what it 
looked like, I determined the snake we saw was a 
Southern Pacific Rattler, one of the most common 
rattle snakes in our local foothills. Although its 
venomous bite can be lethal, this snake is not known 
to be aggressive. It just wants to be left alone to 
continue its quest for food and overall survival.

 While I was on-line, I also did a little research to 
refresh my memory on emergency procedures to 
follow, for rattle snake bites in the wilderness. One 
of the many important things I learned is that dogs 
that spend any time on the trails or back roads of 
our local canyons should receive a snake bite vaccine 
called Crotalus Atrox Toxoid. The comparative 
results of vaccinated dogs versus non-vaccinated 
dogs bitten speaks for itself. Trust me, if you ever 
take your dog on the local trails it is worth having 
him vaccinated.

 Another important precaution you can take to 
help avoid the risks and detrimental results of a 
canine snake bite is to pay close attention to what 
your dog is doing while you are out and about. 
Having had some basic behavioral training and 
maintaining control during a walk are also very 
important, as exemplified by my experience with 
Gus and the snake we met up with.

 If I had hesitated to call him back, Gus would 
probably have been inquisitive enough to aggravate 
the snake, in which case he would most likely have 
been bitten. If a dog (vaccinated or not) is bitten by 
a poisonous snake, immediate veterinary attention 
is imperative. In the case of a time-lapse between the 
biting incident and veterinary care, be sure to keep 
the dog well-hydrated in the meantime.

 If the dog is not willing to drink on his own, use 
a syringe to force fluids down his throat and keep 
him as calm as possible. Finally, and perhaps most 
importantly, do not panic! Stay focused and use your 
energy to handle the situation efficiently. The happy 
side of this otherwise daunting tale, is the fact that 
the rattle snake is known to be more passive than 
aggressive. I often say “Love and let live”, but in this 
case I say “Love, let live and leave it alone”. A snake 
will typically hide in lieu of striking, if left to itself, so 
if you and your dog happen to come across one, give 
it space and continue on your way.

Happy Spring by 
the way! I love the 
sense of hope and 
freedom of this 
time of year. 

 It’s a chance to shed the heaviness accumulated 
through Winter and move forward in a new way. 
Don’t be surprised if you are feeling heavy or have 
allergies or cold. This is common for Spring. Luckily, 
yoga and healthy lifestyle can help lighten the load and 
keep us healthy.

Here are a few guidelines to keep you inspired and 
light on your feet in Spring:

First, don’t forget exercise. Talk a walk FIRST thing in 
the morning. Now is the time to take a vigorous yoga 
class. Maybe sign up for the Mount Wilson Trail Race? 
More physical action and early waking is going to keep 
the body healthy and circulation flowing. Doing Sun 
Salutations at home is a great option to incorporate 
yoga daily. Try 5, 10 or 15 sun salutes with full breath 
and movement. This activity is also going wake up the 
mind and relieve dullness mentally.

Secondly, make a daily meditation part of your routine. 
In the hustle and bustle of the day, we need this quiet 
time as calming, centering refuge. This practice will 
help to balance out our emotions, provide a place to 
breathe, and create peace.

Third, make sure your diet is healthy, balanced, and 
regular. Skipping a meal is so easy to do when we’re 
working hard, but later on, our mood could suffer as 
a result. Food choices should be light, refreshing, and 
warm. Enjoy fresh cooked vegetables such as kale, 
broccoli or asparagus seasoned with garlic, ginger, 
and pepper.

And last but not least, clean out those closets and 
get rid of excess stuff. You might say why is this yoga 
teacher telling me to get rid of stuff? Accumulating 
stuff is attachment. By giving stuff away, we lessen 
attachment and free ourselves energetically for new 
experiences, thoughts and well-being. 

Enjoy your time shedding those extra layers -- literally 
and figuratively. If you feel weighed down by stuff, 
people, or responsibilities, ask the question: What can 
I do differently? Is there something I can give up doing 
that might shift things? Your answer may lead you 
into a blossoming, new-found freedom.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about yoga, 
meditation and holistic lifestyle: keely@keelytotten.
com Namaste, Keely Totten, E-RYT 500, Yoga and 
Meditation Teacher


Sweet Potato is a lovely 5-year-old American Staffordshire terrier girl 
with the most adoring facial expressions, a soft caramel and white 
coat and soulful brown eyes. This lovely girl has quite the tender 
disposition along with a funny and charming personality to match 
her darling looks. Sweet Potato was surrendered to the shelter by her 
previous owners. Although not much is known about her past, her 
sweet and funny personality is showing everyone what a great pup 
she is! She walks well on the leash, is learning how to play with toys 
and is becoming a little more active on her walks. She does, however, 
have a silly and a tad dramatic side to her. She has been known to 
stop in the middle of her walks and lay down on the grass or ground 
and just enjoy the moment! It is quite endearing to see her do this 
and very tempting to lay down next to her and just stare at the blue skies. If you are that special person or family 
who can appreciate her tenderness and silliness and would like to give Sweet Potato a second chance at a good 
life with a forever family, please stop by and meet this charming girl! Her adoption fee is $145 and includes spay 
surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free wellness exam at a participating veterinarian. Feel free to call us at 
(626) 286-1159 for more information. She currently resides 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 

Lori A. Harris


Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual



Events, conditions, and circumstances happen to 
everyone, what matters most is how we respond. It is the 
last week of International Women’s Month, and we honor 
Michaela De Prince, a world-class ballerina, once known 
as Orphan Number 27. 
She lost both of her parents to the civil war in Sierra 
Leone. She was born with vitiligo, a skin condition that 
leaves white patches on her body and people called her 
“the devil child.” When her parents died, her uncle 
left her at the orphanage, but no one expected her to 
be adopted. As Number 27 she received the smallest 
portion of food and the least desirable clothing. She was 
tiny and malnourished. It was hard for her to continue 
to have hope for a brighter future, but one day she found 
a magazine with a ballerina on the cover, and a dream 
was born. That photo, Magali Messac, a French prima 
ballerina, dressed in a tutu and en pointe looked beautiful 
and represented a possibility of happiness for Ms. De 
Prince. She folded that cover photo and kept it close to 
her body. 

 Eventually, an American couple adopted her and her 
best friend. The picture was the first thing she shared 
with her new mother. 

 She moved from West Africa to 
New Jersey and was soon studying 

 Her background makes her an 
unlikely candidate to become a lead ballerina, but she 
has done just that. She landed a prized scholarship to 
the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American 
Ballet Theatre in New York, and now she’s a principal 
dancer with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. 
She’s different, and she still shines. 

Her advice to everyone:

“Don’t be afraid to be a poppy in a field of daffodils.” Ms. 
De Prince was born Mabinty Bangura, then was Orphan 
Number 27, and now Michaela De Prince, international 
dance superstar. What might you accomplish, if you 
made an effort? What life awaits you, if you dare to 

 Lori is a lawyer and coach. She offers virtual 
workshops and personal coaching, learn more at www.

Looking for the purr-fect cat? Then here he is: meet 
BENNY! Benny is age 5, and is a very handsome, all 
black, shorthair. 
He’s super sweet, 
super loving, 
friendly, cuddly, 
healthy, and gets 
along with other 
kitties, too! He 
does have a very 
easy to manage 
condition called 
FIV+, but he 
does not need 
any meds for it. Give us a call and we will explain. 
Your search ends with Benny Boy!

 Adoption fee is $100, which includes neuter, 
microchip, exam & vaccines. See more pictures, 
adoption info & application on our website, www., and see Benny’s cute “Boyfriend” 
video at
adult-cats.html. Can’t adopt? Visit our website for 
our easy Sponsor A Kitty campaign.

Walter Cailleteau, DVM Free Exam!
927 N. Michillinda Ave. For New Clients 
Pasadena, CA 91107 Bring this coupon to save! 
(626) 351-8863
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