Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 28, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 28, 2018 



Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

The first time I realized that dogs come in a 
wide variety of packages (aka: breeds) and they 
each have their own unique personality that 
may or may not match the package they came 
in, was when I was 5 years old and my paternal 
grandmother, whom we affectionately called 
Nana, came to visit from Florida.

 It was Spring of 1968, and Nana drove her spit-
shine Chevy Impala from Mount Dora to our 
house in Huntsville, Alabama all in a single day. 
She drove it alone, excepting the company of 
her dog, Terry-D. I remember my parents being 
worried sick about her making that drive by 
herself, but if you’d known my Nana you’d agree 
there was no talking her out of doing something 
she‘d set her mind to doing.

 My grandmother was one strong-willed 
woman. Endearingly so, I think. When she was 
a young lady, she was featured in a local Boston 
newspaper as being the first female in the state 
of Massachusetts to own and operate a used car 
lot. I’d be willing to bet she may have even been 
the first in the country to do so. Yes, Marie was a 
piece of work, greatly respected and admired by 
all who knew her.

 I remember looking very much forward to her 
arrival that Spring day. She would always come 
bearing gifts for us kids, which was no small feat 
considering there were seven in our brood, the 
youngest of which was me. I’ll never forget what 
my gift was that visit. She brought me a neat little 
leather miniature bowling bag stuffed full of shiny 
new pennies. There were 100. I thought I was the 
richest kid in town.

 And then, of course there was the anticipation 
of knowing that when Nana arrived, she would 
have with her that precocious Pomeranian. That’s 
right, Terry-D was a pouty, pampered, pedigree 
Pom-Pom, all full of pep and vim as my dear ole 
dad used to say.

 And, as if being the perfect specimen of a 
Pomeranian didn’t make him cute enough, 
Terry-D also happened to have been of the petite 
Pom persuasion. Yep, under all that stick-straight 
strawberry-blonde hair, were cankles (short for 
canine ankles) as tiny as toothpicks. Although I 
don’t think anyone ever bothered to tell Terry-D 
that. It seemed he deemed himself quite large, 
strutting his puffy stuff all about with a swagger 
that’d put John Wayne to shame.

 Now, at the time of Nana’s visit, our own family 
dog was a “mystery-mutt” we’d 
rescued from the local shelter. 
His name was Rex and he was 
my first love. By that I mean 
he was the first dog I ever had 
a meaningful connection with. 
He’d follow me everywhere 
I went, but if he ever got 
distracted from tracking my 
trail, I’d go find him and follow 
him everywhere he went.

` Rex was the sweetest, most 
loving pup you could ever hope 
to meet, but he wasn’t exactly 
what you’d call well-mannered. 
He was friendly enough, but 
he was a mischievous rascal, no doubt about it. 
Yes, my friend Rex was very much in touch with 
his inner wolf. Like they say, you can take the 
dog out of the wild, but you can’t always take the 
wild out of the dog. One thing’s for sure though, 
Rex lived life to it’s fullest. Among his favorite 
activities, the top two were rolling in the dirt after 
a bath and chasing the chickens in the back yard.

 Needless to say, when rambunctious Rex met 
nose-to-nose, up-close and personal with tiny 
Terry D for the first time, it was - as young folks 
today like to say - “ON”! Around and around 
they both ran, Terry D tearing first through the 
house, then out the back porch screen door and 
down the concrete stairs into the yard, around the 
rabbit cages and through the chicken coops with 
that raucous Rex hot on his tail the entire way.

 It was quite a scene, seeing that itty bitty blowfish 
of a dog, Terry D with legs spinning like wheels 
on their axes, eyes as wide as saucers, peering over 
his frail, furry shoulders at Rex’s enormous shiny 
black nose closing in fast on his fancy fur-pants. 
Rex gave it his best bolt, mouth fully agape and 
tongue flopping alongside his cheek, dripping 
with saliva from all the excitement.

 Without skipping a beat, my sister and I hopped 
to our feet and took chase behind Rex, hoping 
against hope to catch him before he caught up 
with Terry-D. I learned that day that Pomeranians 
can run pretty fast! Certainly faster than that 
cute (albeit clumsy) canine we called Rex. Good 
thing, too, because while Rex was a sweet dog, 
we weren’t too sure what might happen if he did 
catch up with teeny tiny Terry-D.

 Thankfully, Rex ran himself ragged and relaxed 
on the kitchen floor before he ever caught up with 
that poor Pomeranian, and by the end of Nana’s 
visit the two had become fast, forever friends. I’ve 
since seen similar scenarios, between I’ve owned 
over the years as well as those belonging to my 
clients, but none can compare to the race between 
Rex and Terry D and the amazement it brought 
to my young eyes that Spring day when my Nana 
came to visit our humble home in Huntsville, 


Have you ever 
said, “Today, I will 
meditate. I’m going 
to sit down, be 
quiet and clear my 
mind”? I have said 
this exact thing SO 
many times, but 
when I approach 
meditation this way, it is TOUGH. My body and mind 
want to do the exact opposite of being quiet and getting 
clear. My thoughts aren’t easy to turn off. So, I watch my 
thoughts and, boy, are there a lot of thoughts. Getting 
comfortable is also problematic in this approach. 
Some part of me always needs adjusting--my feet 
or knees or clothing. After about three minutes, I’m 
exhausted by the process. My body may feel a little 
calmer just from sitting still, but afterward, I don’t feel 
like my head settles down and I don’t notice a sense of 
quietness inside. This was the way I tried meditation 
for a long time. It was an earnest spiritual effort on 
my part since I was taking time to try it, but it didn’t 
produce the sense of transformation that I had heard 
from others. My experience changed when I applied 
technique to my approach. There are many methods 
and styles of meditation which do work well. However, 
it was the approach of the ancient tradition of Tantra 
that changed everything for me. Let’s define Tantra as 
ancient teachings that use and weave all the tools of 
yoga to create an experience of joy and transformation. 
There is no impure nature to this practice. There’s a 
focus on shaping each individual’s energy. The ancient 
sages of this method were so smart, they said let’s not 
resist the mind. Let’s give the mind jobs to do and keep 
it active. There’s breath practice, cleansing techniques, 
visualization of specific images, and use of sound, or 
mantra. This is a different approach from many styles. 
While doing these “jobs,” the mind becomes trained 
and focused. It actually reaches a deeper state of stillness 
and absorption. After meditating in this systematic way, 
the experience of stillness is profound. When I began 
meditation with a Tantric approach, my experience 
during the meditations was transformational. I also 
was able to establish a consistent practice. My mind 
felt calm, my body relaxed and I felt a deep internal 
connection. My awareness of breath and energy shifted. 
I highly recommend a structured approach such as this 
one. At the very least, apply a basic breath practice prior 
to meditation. Use the sound of the breath as a focal 


 Please contact me if you’d like to learn more and find 
some consistency in your own practice: keely@keelytotten.
com or find me at Namaste, happy 
breathing, and sitting. Keely TottenE-RYT 500, Local 
Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Grateful Meditator


Shirley is a sweet, gentle Chihuahua mix girl 
who wants nothing more than to be loved. She 
was picked up as a stray dog in San Gabriel. She 
is estimated to be about 7-years-old, and weighs 
around 10 pounds. Shirley is happiest cuddling 
on a friendly lap, soaking up some petting and 
massages. She has the most beautiful face with 
big soulful brown eyes, always with a smile on her 
face. Shirley loves going on walks to the park, and 
has shown an interest in playing. She is curious 
about other dogs and seems friendly when 
meeting them. Shirley is believed to have arthritis 
and a condition called “Luxating Patella” which 
is apparent when she goes for walks, although 
she doesn’t let it slow her down. This lovely girl 
would make a wonderful companion for the lucky 
person who takes her home. Come and meet this 
beautiful brown-eyed girl to see if she is a good 
match for you. Her adoption fee is $130 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. We are 
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: www.

Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, And Catering

Sweet and petite! 
& HONEY, age 
about 7 mos. 
These sisters are 
twins, and you 
can easily tell 
them apart by 
the little “cookie” 
mark on Cookie’s 
nose. They are 
so very loving, and will purr and roll around for 
your affection. They are playful and bonded girls 
that will be adopted together. Cookie and Honey 
are very social, and great with kids. These cuties 
are ready to find a loving family to show them how 
much love they can give! To learn more, call 626-
533-5554. See more of their pictures at http://www.

Walter Cailleteau, DVM Free Exam!
927 N. Michillinda Ave. For New Clients 
Pasadena, CA 91107 Bring this coupon to save! 
(626) 351-8863
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: