Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, July 14, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Heritage is a sociable young 
guy who comes forward to 
greet visitors to his room and 
politely asks for their undivided 
attention. He settles into a lap 
clearly with a plan to spend the 
day and likes to have his soft 
brown and white tabby fur coat 
gently brushed. Play time calls for 
dangly strings that snake across 
the floor. The laser dot seems to 
bore him. Maybe because he’s 
smart enough to know he can’t 
catch it. Or maybe he’s waiting 
for a larger play room in his 
forever home that will give him 
more space to run after it. The word “heritage” can 
mean an inherited or established way of thinking 
or feeling. Heritage inherited 
such sweet genes that, even when 
laying down resting his paws form 
a heart. Heritage is feeling ready 
to give and receive love. Please 
come to the Alhambra PetSmart, 
a San Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society adoption partner, on 
Fremont and Commonwealth 
to meet Heritage. The adoption 
fee is $99 and includes neuter 
surgery, vaccinations, microchip 
and a free wellness exam at a 
participating veterinarian. Feel 
free to call us at the San Gabriel 
Valley Humane Society at (626) 
286-1159 for more information. Website: www.


One of the many unexpected, and perhaps 
undeserved gifts that I have come to receive from 
the pets I get to pamper, is the feeling of inner 
peace their presence brings to me whenever we are 
together. You‘re probably thinking, “Oh boy, here we 
go, right off the bat this story is sounding pretty deep 
and introspective“, and that’s probably because it is.

 Of recent months, I have been much more mindful 
of what’s going on “inside” myself while I am out 
walking my canine clients. This relatively recent 
increase in inner-self-mindfulness has turned out 
to be an awesome asset for me. It proves particularly 
valuable at times when I feel somewhat surrounded 
by the chaos that can occur on the outer surface of 
every day human life.

 Making a pointed effort to maintain some 
semblance of serenity within, while moving through 
a busy day has helped me stay happy, regardless of 
any noisy commotion that may erupt around me. 
I’ve been told I’m a sensitive soul. I’m not sure what 
that means exactly, but I imagine it has to do with 
my tendency to be overly vigilant with regard to 
loud noises, bright light, extreme temperatures and 
spatial invasion - all of which happen to be inherent 
to living life in southern California.

 Thankfully, I have lots of dogs who take me for 
daily walks out and about where I am subjected to 
what I may perceive to be intrusive stimuli, so that I 
am forced to adapt and become accustomed to it. For 
this I am grateful, because if there is one thing I have 
learned about myself it is that, left to my own devices, 
I will avoid situations that take me out of my comfort 

 OK, enough about my strange sensitivity. I’ll move 
on now, and get to the point of this meandering 
tale. There is something very therapeutic about 
the silence I share with the pets I spend time with. 
No one among us feels the need to fill the air with 
senseless chatter. It is a luxury; that unique quiet 
time, during which I often engage in introspection 
and more recently, I use the time to listen for the still 
small voice of God.

 I know without a doubt that God speaks to me 
through other people, through the animals, through 
nature and sometimes His thoughts even come to me 
from within. While on a recent walk with a couple of 
pups, I experienced a few of what I like to call “God 
thoughts” that really stuck with me, so I decided to 
share them in this week‘s Happy 

 The air was very still that 
morning, as were the leaves on 
the trees and other fauna that 
“Patches“, “Puck” and I passed by 
during a walk around their block. 
But one plant caught my eye as we 
walked by. It stood out among the 
others because its long, frond-like 
leaves were tossing to-and-fro for 
no apparent reason. I thought 
it quite mysterious that with no 
wind whatsoever, the leaves of 
that one plant would be dancing 
while all the others remained unmoved.

 I found it remarkable enough to mention to a man 
I saw doing yard work nearby. He smiled and said, 
“That is probably because a gopher or mole is below, 
gnawing on the roots.” Now, I hadn’t thought of that 
before but it made total sense to me. Immediately 
the thought followed that there are many things in 
life that I’m either perplexed by or make erroneous 
assumptions about, because I am unable to see the 
whole picture.

 Indeed, there are many instances in life wherein my 
view is very limited, and I would do better refraining 
from making rash inferences based on what limited 
view I do have. My eyes see and perceive only those 
things that are within my field of human vision, but 
there is so much more going on beneath the surface.

 To take that thought to a deeper level, much of 
what goes on in life happens outside the perimeters 
of my limited capacity to, not only see, but to truly 
understand. There is definitely a bigger picture - a 
back story as it were - only a portion of which I 
have been made privy to. That little plant brought a 
great amount of insight to this humble human that 

 During another walk last week - this time with 
Vinnie, a sweet senior female husky - I saw my 
friend, Carolyn who also happens to be one who 
listens for God’s voice in her life. We had a quick 
visit that could easily have fallen fate to the waste of 
meaningless chatter, but instead turned out to be a 
thoughtful moment of fellowship between two like-
minded ladies.

 I can’t remember exactly how the conversation 
started, but it ended with me sharing a metaphoric 
morsel that came to me a bit earlier that morning 
during the silence of walking with Vinnie. I told 
Carolyn that I often pray for patience, and after 
that prayer I have learned to brace myself for a life 
challenge that will require me to be just that - patient!

 It‘s like when someone places a new plant in their 
yard. They want it to grow and sprout beautiful 
flowers to be enjoyed by all who see them so they 
pray for the flower to grow, and low and behold along 
comes a storm! But who prayed for a storm? Nobody. 
The storm was the answer to their prayer, because 
without the storm the flower would not grow. And 
that’s how it goes…there’s a lot we don’t know in this 
life - thank God, He does!


This is 
BASIA, age 7, 
Basha & means 
Barbara). She’s 
our beauty 
& a Siamese 
mix. Just look 
at those big 
baby blues and 
that gorgeous, 
latté creamy 
fur! Basia will be shy at first, but our patient 
volunteers know that once she knows and trusts 
you, she will come out of her shell and be right 
next to you, getting treats and pets! This may take 
some time in a new environment, but Basia is well 
worth the effort. She loves to play with the feather 
wand. Basia would be most suited to a quiet, 
patient home. She would do well being the only 
“princess” in the house; however, she is friendly 
to other, younger cats. Basia’s been waiting a long 
time for a true home--please don’t pass her by. 
See adoption info, more pics and 2 videos on our 
website. Contact us for a “meet & greet.” Basic will 
come current on vaccines, spayed, and chipped. 
$100. Adoption info at 
Good news: Baby Krissy has been adopted.



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder





– Don’t Just Read About Them


An old saying more or less 
defines my life, “What we 
learn from history is that we 
don’t learn from history.

 When I was younger, I assumed that the older 
I got, the smarter I would become. I have not 
achieved that at this point in my life. It gets so 
tiresome to repeat the same mistakes over and 
over again.

 I do hope though, that this will change 
somewhere along my life. I am hoping it changes 
before I die.

 I was reminded of this flaw in my personality 
several weeks ago when the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage and I spent a little bit of vacation 
time at St. Augustine. Someone had given us 
tickets for several nights in a bed and breakfast.

 We spent the whole week just enjoying 
ourselves. I should correct that though. I spent the 
whole week reading and meditating with my eyes 

The other side of our relationship went to all the 
thrift stores in the area. She would leave right after 
breakfast, stop back for lunch, then spend the rest 
of the day until suppertime going from one thrift 
shop to another. How she can do this for days on 
end is beyond my wildest dream.

 Several times, she asked if I wanted to go with 
her, but I declined this most gracious invitation. I 
remember the last time I took her up on that offer 
and we bounce from one thrift store to the next 
thrift store. They all started to look alike after a 

 It only takes me five minutes to thoroughly 
examine the thrift store, while my wife takes two 
hours to go through bit-by-bit every aspect of that 
thrift store. Every thrift store in the area knows 
her by name at this point.

 I, the lazier part of the marital equation, chose 
to stay in our room and just relax. I am just as 
addicted to relaxation as my wife is addicted to 
thrift store shopping. I am not certain who suffers 
the worst addiction.

 To be honest, she has gotten many wonderful 
deals at some of these thrift stores. Whenever we 
need anything, she knows exactly which thrift 
store to go to and she can barter them down to the 
very bottom. How they make any money on her 
shopping I do not know.

 Every once in a while I suffer this awful 
nightmare. I wake up sweating and breathing 
really hard.

 The nightmare is that we have opened up our 
own thrift store. No dream can get any worse than 

 I never tell her of these nightmares because I 
do not want to plant any ideas in her head. I lean 
strictly away from that idea.

 In spite of all of this, I still have failed to learn 
anything from history.

 My wife had spent most of the day visiting these 
thrift stores, and also buying things from these 
thrift stores, and had come home and we had a 
little bit of supper in our room. I assumed we were 
in for the evening.

 I wish I would know when to keep my mouth 
shut. As we were finishing our casual supper, 
I said something that I now regret very much. I 
said, “Boy, it sure would be nice to have one of 
those lap desks so I could use my computer while 
I’m sitting here in the bed.”

 I did not mean for this to be a point of discussion 
just a casual observation, that is all.

 Then I took it a step further. “Have you ever 
seen any lap desks in the thrift stores that you 

 If there is anything I could ever take back in my 
life, this would have been one of them. I did not 
know how serious the subject was.

 “I don’t know,” she said most enthusiastically, 
“but I’ll go and find out right…”

 Before she could say the word “now,” she had 
gone out the door and shut it most soundly. The 
rest of the evening she was visiting thrift stores all 
over the place. I was afraid, very much afraid, that 
she would actually find one and bring it back.

 I suppose they are to be found in thrift stores 
somewhere. But I just meant it as a passing bit of 

 Four hours later, she returned and was very 
much excited. She had found something she had 
been looking for, for a very long time. It was a very 
eloquent teapot with 6 cups and saucers to it.

 “Look what I found,” she said most excitedly. 
“I’ve been looking for this and we can use it at 
our next lady’s tea.” According to her, this tea set 
matches the one she had back home. She was so 
excited about it.

I would not say anything, but I think she forgot 
why she went to the thrift stores in the first place. 
Now I have learned something from history, and 
that is not to remind her of the lap desk that she 
was going to look for. To this day, I have never 
mentioned it.

I like what the wise old man in the Bible said, “A 
time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep 
silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

 There is a time to “keep silence” and it is a wise 
man who knows when. That may be why people 
say that silence is golden.

 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

[Nyerges is the author 
of “How to Survive 
Anywhere,” and “Enter 
the Forest.” Information about his books and classes 
is available from Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, 

 In the “First Aid” chapter of How to Survive 
Anywhere, I address specific simple ways of 
dealing with the common medical emergencies 
that one can expect in the aftermath of a major 
disaster, or if lost and hurt in the woods. What 
would you do if a major earthquake struck Sierra 
Madre tomorrow?

 Also consider that it is not only the physical 
accidents that we need to be concerned about in 
the aftermath of some disaster. In studies that have 
been done of the survivors of major disasters, the 
following conclusions have been made about the 
mental state of the survivors. Approximately 15% 
made quick, appropriate, and efficient choices and 
actions which were well-suited to their safety and 
security. Another 15% “went crazy,” making wild 
irrational choices and even getting hurt as a result 
of their “losing it.” 

 The rest, about 70% of the survivors – a full 
majority – neither went crazy nor did they 
make wise and efficient choices and actions, but 
rather wandered about somewhat zombie-like, 
spaced-out, in a state of stupor and shock, simply 
not knowing what to do, where to go, what to 
think. This shocked majority tends to be passive, 
but will take orders from someone who seems to 
be in control and who seems to know what they are 
doing and why.

 The point: None of us wants to be a part of 
that majority, and definitely we don’t want to be a 
part of that “crazy 15.” No one would want to be 
wandering around Sierra Madre Blvd. in a dazed 
state of mind. 

 What can we do to ensure that in a time of 
disaster, we find ourselves in that 15% category of 
wise, appropriate, efficient actions? None of us 
reallyknows what we will do until we are actually 
tested in difficult, stressful real life conditions. It 
is impossible to predict what you might do when 
you are seated comfortably in your home drinking 
a warm beverage. The only way to expand our 
mental and physical limits is to actually put 
ourselves into situations where we can discover 
more about ourselves during situations of less 
sleep, less food, more work. 

 People in the military often get that 
experience. Some survival schools offer these 
experiences. And anyone (with a group of friends 
and supporters) can regularly plan such trips 
with the express purpose of expanding limits, 
learning how you will react in times of stress, and 
attempting to make the right choices when it is not 
easy to do so.



 Some of the practical information that you 
can learn in classes includes emergency first 
aid; I encourage everyone to take the Red 
Cross Emergency First Aid course, and learn how 
to deal with everyday first aid problems. 

Other useful class topics includes firearms 
instruction at a range, home vegetable gardening, 
and canning. Many skills can be practiced with 
friends, such as how to purify water, repairing 
common plumbing and electrical problems 
that might results from an earthquake, simple fire 
drills, and basic camping skills which might be 
useful in the aftermath of an earthquake.


 Consider enrolling in classes where you can learn 
about wild foods and very basic survival skills The 
schedule for the classes I teach can be seen atwww., or write to Box 41834, 
Eagle Rock, CA 90041. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: