Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 30, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 30, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc



Gumdrop is a friendly and athletic two-year-old 
American Staffordshire terrier. She is a young lady 
with light brown and affectionate eyes, a chocolate 
coat with a creamy white chest and bouncy floppy 
ears. Weighing 50 pounds, this sporty girl has 
plenty of puppy energy for playtime and outdoor 
activities, yet she also does well on a leash. Gumdrop 
will need a safe enclosed home and may be 
best suited for a one dog family. She will be the 
perfect addition to a fun loving and active family. 
If you are looking for a spirited, sweet dog to join 
your family either at home or in long hikes up in 
the hills then please stop by and meet Gumdrop! 
. 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 Sunday. 

As a young child, I was terrified of any bug or insect I came 
into contact with, particularly those that I knew could bite 
or sting me. I’ll never forget the first time I was stung by 
a bee. Or, to put it in more specific terms, the first time I 
was stung by an entire swarm of bees. I was five years old, 
and I knew very little about how nature works. I had yet 
to understand the creeping, crawling, flying creatures that 
lived outside the four walls of my comfortable home.

 The angry bee attack was my own fault. I had spent the 
morning obnoxiously tapping on my parents’ bedroom 
window, knowing there was a bee hive beneath the sill 
outside. I had been aggravating them as they flew to and 
from their nest, so I’m unsure why it came as a shock to 
me when I stepped out the front door a little later, to find 
myself covered with angry bees. Several found their way 
into my t-shirt and proceeded to plant their tiny, needle-
like stingers deeply into the delicate skin of my neck and 

 I immediately panicked and began yelling for someone 
to come and rescue me. Within moments my mother 
yanked my t-shirt off and took me back into the house 
where she applied a mixture of baking soda, peroxide and 
milk to the welts where the bees had stung. Meanwhile my 
temperature rose and I became quite queasy. I don’t know 
which was more swollen by the end of that fiasco; my face, 
from crying so hard, or my back, from the numerous bee 
stings I’d sustained.

 Eventually the raised, rosy-red marks went down and 
my fever subsided. I remember being amazed that my 
mother knew enough to use a homemade concoction to 
draw out the poison those bothered bees had injected into 
my skin. As it turns out, my loving mother had all kinds 
of alternative health care remedies up her sleeve. Good 
thing, too, since she had seven kids to keep up with.

 To this day, I’m unsure why I felt the need to pester 
those poor bees. Maybe I got some sense of satisfaction 
annoying them from within the safety of my home. 
What I didn’t know was that those bees had no desire to 
terrorize me, they were simply going about the business 
God created them for; to work hard, 
breed freely and protect their nest. It 
wasn’t until later in life that I learned 
about the purpose of bees and the 
important role they play in nature, and 
I was finally able to let go of my fear.

 Bees only attack as a response to 
aggravation. It is not in their nature to 
do so at random. So many aspects of life 
depend on the bee’s persistent activity, 
so it is important that we humans 
leave them alone and allow them to go 
about their business. Another thing I 
didn’t know back then is that a bee can 
feel the vibration of fear being emitted 
from a human, much in the same way 
a dog can smell fear or danger.

 The best thing to do if you happen to come into contact 
with a swarm of bees is to remain calm and back away 
slowly. If you handle the situation in this manner, bees are 
far more likely to ignore you and continue their work than 
to become aggravated and attack. If you become fearful 
and react with loud noises or sudden movements, they are 
likely to respond with aggression and give chase. For bees, 
it’s all about being left alone to complete the task at hand.

 Now that I know a little bit about bees, I’m able to relax 
and enjoy watching them do their work with no anxiety 
or fear. It is a fabulous feeling to sit calmly, feel their 
vibration, hear their buzzing and observe them as they fly 
about doing what they were created to do. This lesson in 
nature came with an additional bonus, above and beyond 
the fact that bees no longer sting me.

 Somehow, understanding what makes bees “tick“, and 
learning to trust them not to attack, has helped me come 
to a higher level of understanding about life, in general. 
Getting to know what bees are about has taught me to 
relax and let all of nature do it’s thing. Every creature has a 
purpose, even the ones that seem scary. A little knowledge 
can go a long way. Certainly this approach to life beats 
living in fear and causing a disruptive ripple in nature‘s 

 There are so many lessons to be learned from the many 
creatures we share our lives on earth with. If we are willing 
students, all the other creatures can teach us how to be 
better human beings. Perhaps the proverbial “birds and 
the bees” story that we’ve historically attempted to tell our 
children during adolescence has more substance than we 
might have expected.

 I believe that to achieve a true understanding of one’s 
own purpose, one must learn to tolerate and be respectful 
of all other life forms. As I like to say, “love and let live“. 
Relax, and enjoy your surroundings, fear-free. Even if this 
ideology doesn’t resonate with you as it does with me, 
you might find yourself way less likely to get stung by a 
buzzing, bothered bee if you give it a try.


Lifeline for 
Pets presents 
for adoption: 
sweet, loving, 
beautiful male 
feline, born 
9/2017. What 
a fun name for 
a fun boy! So 
friendly and 
sweet & loves loves loves to cuddle with you. 
Call 626-676-9505 or email to arrange a Meet & 
Greet. Adoption info is on our website. Please 
SHARE! He really needs a HOME! Cheetos will 
come current on vaccines, neutered, and chipped. 

Call 626-676-9505 or email us at info@ for more information. See 
more pictures and adoption information on our 
website, DON’T MISS 
his adorable video:

 Good news: Baby Krissy is adopted.


I loved Chris Leclerc’s quotes about animals! Some I’d heard but some I hadn’t! All good to hear again. 
May I add a couple more?

•“Time spent with cats is never wasted” by Colette (Sidonie Gabrielle Colette)

•“ If you touch me you’ll understand what happiness is.” song, “Memory,” from Cats musical by Andrew 
Lloyd Webber

So true!

Darlene Papa

Lifeline for Pets



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder





[Nyerges is the author 
of such books as “Self-
Sufficient Home,” “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “How to Survive 
Anywhere,” and “Guide to 
Wild Foods.” He has been 
teaching self-reliance skills 
since 1974. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle 
Rock, CA 90041, or]

 At one time, life stretched out like eternity, like the 
last scene from “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly,” where 
you knew there were winners and losers and fools, 
and you hoped desperately that you’d be a winner. 
Well, at least a good guy. That’s the perspective of a 
child, seeing the world through simplistic eyes, black 
and white, good and bad, right and wrong. That’s 
good, really, but as Mark Twain once noted, there 
is enough good in the worst of us, and enough bad 
in the best of us, that we should quit pretending and 
start working together. At least Twain said something 
like that, and what he meant was that only in movies 
and childhood dreams do we ever get to see absolute 
clarity which doesn’t exist in the real world.

 In childhood, I assumed that the older bodies also 
contained minds that were more developed, and 
advanced, and therefore more objective and mature. 
I assumed that parents were the fair arbiters of 
disputes and that elected officials took those positions 
because they cared about the good of the people they 
represented. I believed in the Jimmy Stewart world of 
“It’s a Wonderful Life,” even though I never found it.

 I believed that there must be a sanctuary of sanity 
somewhere where people practiced lives of sanity and 
non-prejudice, and where fraud and cheating were 
unheard of. I lived on a farm for awhile right after 
high school, and I felt that perhaps there, in the rough 
existence where your work resulted in a very tangible 
result that supported your existence, it was hard to 
cheat and defraud, and the folks had pride in their 
skills, their sense of community, and their honesty.

 Could the urbanization of the world be part of the 
culprit in our fall from grace? Perhaps. 

 But it’s still no excuse. Even if I never found 
Shangra-la on earth, I have not stopped believing 
in the principles by which such a place must exist. 
For example, you must keep your word. Yes, printed 
papers are OK for poor memories, and for those 
who are inclined to twist the words later to mean 
something else from the original intent. But when 
you twist your word, and bend your word, you bend 
your very soul, and you dis-integrate your very 
integrity. That’s why my father always said to keep 
your word, that a person is only as good as their 
word. Even in middle-class Pasadena, my father 
knew that there was an ineffable something about the 
giving and keeping of your word. In Shangri-la, you 
would always keep your word.

 In my vision of Paradise, there would be work, 
but the god that we all trusted wouldn’t be money. 
Money, or some version of it, seems inescapable for 
daily commerce and for converting your work and 
time into a medium of useful, recognizable exchange. 
But in Paradise, money would naturally be a tool to 
assist others to get their own enterprises going, and to 
provide for the common good. People would not be 
obsessed by money and would not be driven by the 
desire for money. Killing for money would be unheard 

 Work must have a tangible result, within the 
framework of a goal. A person must naturally feel 
uplifted by doing one’s work, and when one knowingly 
works at a menial and pointless job to fulfill someone 
else’s desires and goals, it’s hard to feel uplifted. 

 Of course, bits and pieces of this Shangra-la exist 
right now, everywhere, in most people. I believe that 
everyone has an innate desire to find rightness, and 
even fairness, and everyone ultimately recognizes 
the objective reality of the Law of Thought, that what 
you think and what you do has ramifications that are 
scientific result of those specific thoughts and actions. 

 If you inwardly believe in the possibility of a 
Paradise on earth, you must start to grasp those 
principles of living and thinking that lead to Shangri-
La. And though you must do so personally, on your 
own, it is fortunate that there are others, if you can 
find them, who are also seeking a higher road. 

 Shangri-La is not a place that you find, but rather, 
a place that you earn the right to be a part of, by the 
evolution of your thought and actions. What does that 
mean? What must someone do? Again, the answers 
are everywhere, hidden in plain view. They go by such 
names as learning to think, separating feeling from 
emotions, distinguishing empathy from sympathy, 
learning to use words precisely, working hard to see 
world events objectively, and not subjectively based 
on your personal cultural bias. It means learning the 
practical value and living the precepts taught by all 
the great Way-showers of history, from all cultures. 
Ever heard of the Golden Rule? That’s a good place to 
start. How about the 10 Commandments? Another 
good starting point.

 One winter night during high school, my friend 
Nathaniel and I bicycled into a little side canyon of the 
Angeles National Forest, and we made a safe little fire 
in our campground and talked about the meaning of 
life and how we thought that civilization might fail. It 
had never occurred to us that we are barely civilized 
now, and we only believe we are “civilized” because 
of our material wealth and technological toys. We 
bemoaned the fact that society is on the fast road to 
uncivil barbarousness, and wondered what could be 
done, and what should be done. 

We always toyed with the idea of becoming hermits 
and hiding out in a cave somewhere, but both of us 
were way too social to live out our lives in a cave. 
By whatever choices we made, we felt that everyone 
should be a good example, and no one should 
assume that there is no hope for the future. Our 
civility, our culture, our sense of civilization, after all, 
is an internal concept that we first keep alive inside 
our thinking. Once that flame is bright within, it 
is proper to share with others, and attempt to be a 
part of the solution to the many problems we see all 

We had just started our vacation, or so I thought, 
when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, 
“Hurry up; it’s time to go home.” 

 I have been married to my wife for almost 46 years 
and during that time, she has always teased me and 
tried to get my goat. My goat has long been gotten. 
So, I thought she was trying to tease me about our 
vacation time. 

 As she said that, I noticed she was packing her 
suitcase. That was just strange. She is really going all 
out to fool me into thinking it is time to go home. I, 
however, know better and cannot be fooled even by 

 I laughed most heartily and said, “That’s a good 
one, but you can’t fool me. We’re on vacation.” 

 When she was planning the vacation, it took 
her quite a while to convince me we were going on 
vacation. I get so caught up in “life,” that I often do 
not realize I need to take a break every once in a 
while. However, when I take a break, I Take a Break. 

Looking at me rather strangely, she said, “Our 
vacation is over and we need to go home.” 

 “But, I thought we were supposed to be on 
vacation for a week. Why do you want to go home 

 “Oh, silly boy, we have been here for a week and 
our time is up and we must go home.” 

 All I could do was just stare at her. I honestly 
thought we were only halfway through our vacation. 
Where does time go when you are trying to relax? 

I started the vacation with only one plan and that 
was to do nothing. I was just beginning to enjoy 
this “Nothing Plan” and needed a few more days to 
perfect it. 

 I guess I do have some of an obsessive aspect to 
my nature. When I start something, I don’t want to 
stop until I have finished it. That’s just a philosophy 
that I have had since I was a young boy. Why start 
something if you are not going to finish it? And, why 
start something new until you have finished what 
you had been doing? 

 That is why planning a vacation is so difficult. 
Whatever I am doing at the time I am obsessive 
about finishing it before going on to the next project. 
If I am working on a book, I cannot stop until it is 
finished and sent to the publisher. That is just my 

 “Well,” my wife said in a more joyful mood, “we 
did have a wonderful time here on our vacation. 
Don’t you agree?” 

 I had to stop and process that thought. Certainly, I 
agreed with her on that level. Where I disagreed was 
that it was over. “Yes, we sure did have a good time, 
but I have a hard time believing it’s over already.” 

 She just laughed at me and finished packing her 

 When on vacation, I usually do not take my watch. 
I do not want to know what time it is. Lunchtime is 
when I’m hungry and close to some restaurant. Nap 
time, is when I’m tired. No schedule. Just enjoying 
the moment I’m in at the time. 

 For my wife, vacation time gets her best planning 
schedule. Most of that schedule has to do with thrift 
stores. Every day in our vacation, she visited several 
thrift stores and brought back what she thought 
were “goodies.” 

 I have learned long ago that when she is excited 
about one of her “goodies,” I join in her excitement. 
Most of the time I have no idea what it is, but what 
does that have to do with anything? 

 “Look what I got,” she says as she burst into the 
hotel room, “and I only paid $3 for it. Wasn’t that a 

 I once made a mistake along this line. She came 
back with one of her purchases and I quickly pulled 
out my wallet that had $26 in it and said, “Look 
what I saved today, $26.” Trust me, I never did that 
again. She responded by saying, “Great, you can buy 
supper tonight.” 

 Vacation time means different things to different 
people. Years ago when I discovered what it meant 
to her, it made my vacation time all that much better. 

 I was begrudging the fact that our vacation time 
was over and slowly started packing my suitcase. I 
hope I got enough rest during this vacation. I am 
not sure you can get enough rest on any vacation, 
but at least I tried. 

 Driving home from our vacation, I could not 
help but think of that wonderful verse in the Old 
Testament. “Can two walk together, except they be 
agreed?” (Amos 3:3). 

 Working together doesn’t mean you are dressed 
alike or you have the same likes and dislikes. 
Walking together means, you’re going in the same 

 Her likes happened to be thrift stores. She knows 
everything there is to be known about a thrift store. 
She knows every thrift store within a 100-mile 

 Me, I know relatively little about a thrift store. If 
they have a shelf with some books on it, I will take 
some interest. 

 Driving home, she gave a detailed description of 
all the wonderful purchases she made at those thrift 
stores. It made her happy and therefore I was happy. 
That is what it means to “walk together.” 

 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 www.

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