Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, July 21, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 21, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Martha loves you already and you only just met her 
through her pictures! She’s craving an affectionate 
relationship with a family that gives her lots of lap 
time. Her silky brown and white tabby coat is a 
pleasure to brush and she rewards your affection 
with soft purrs. Martha is also fun loving, and her 
antics will entertain you. She will stalk and pounce 
on stuffed toys, often tossing them in the air. 
Dangling flying feather things have her stretching 
up and around to catch them. Even a hanging shoe 
string creates an opportunity to play. If you are 
looking for a beautiful loving cat to bring you joy 
and laughter, Martha is your girl. Her adoption 
fee is $99 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:


In all of my 56 years, I’ve never been a victim of 
a violent crime, nor have I been subpoenaed to 
testify as a witness in a case involving a violent 
crime and considering the statistics today, I must 
say I consider myself very fortunate to have 
escaped being among those who have. It has got 
to be the most difficult task a person could ever 
be forced to undertake; being put on the stand 
to answer questions posed by perfect strangers 
in front of a judge and jury, not to mention 
the perpetrator, while trying to cope with the 
experience itself.

 Few things would come as a true comfort to 
me, should I ever become the victim of a violent 
crime. However, one thing that does come to 
mind is that it would help to have a beloved, 
furry four-footed friend by my side to help me get 
though the awful ordeal.

 I am not the only one who recognizes the value 
of having the unconditional love of a kind and 
comforting canine to assist victims of violent 
crimes. Indeed, one particular lady played a 
major part in initiating the availability of comfort 
dogs to act as “animal advocates” on victims’ 
behalf, and thanks to her efforts the trend has 
gained momentum and spread to many states 
throughout the US.

 In an article written by Rebecca Wallick, a 
journalist for Bark Magazine, she relates the 
history of how the canine became a courtroom 
comforter in the state of Washington back in 
2003. It all started when Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, 
a prosecuting attorney in Seattle had an adult 
son who was seriously disabled with cerebral 
palsy. She went to Canine Companions for 
Independence (CCI) of Santa Rosa, CA to find a 
service dog for her son.

 At CCI, Stephens found a big yellow Golden 
Retriever/Lab mix named Jeeter, and a match was 
made almost immediately with her son. It was 
then that her son’s life changed tremendously for 
the better. Jeeter made it possible for Sean to open 
up to people when they’d approach to greet the 
sweet dog. This facilitated Sean’s ability to “give 
back” to others with Jeeter acting as his social 

 During Stephens’ time 
in training with Jeeter and 
her son at CCI, she saw 
other participants getting 
“facility” dogs (dogs trained 
to assist caregivers in various 
institutions), including autistic 
and otherwise seriously 
disabled children. Somehow 
this inspired her to consider the 
possibility of using facility dogs 
in legal settings, and because 
she was the Drug Court 
prosecutor she thought the 
dogs would be of great value to 
kids in recovery.

 As it turned out, Stephens’ insight proved to 
have a positive impact on numerous recovering 
kids. Jeeter became a mascot to many who came 
through her court. Then one day, a sexually abused 
boy was waiting in her lobby and immediately 
bonded with Jeeter who also happened to be 
sitting in the lobby at the time. The boy had been 
asked by the prosecutor to testify against his 
offender but he was afraid to do so.

 Stephens thought perhaps Jeeter could help 
facilitate the boy’s testimony if the dog would 
be allowed to accompany him to the stand. The 
judge allowed the dog to come to court and 
Stephens requested that everyone sit on the floor 
during the hearing so the boy could sit and hug 
Jeeter. Defense counsel, prosecutor, police officer 
- everyone sat on the floor, and it worked. The boy 
found the courage to tell them everything that 

 After the success Jeeter had with the abused boy, 
Stephens decided the King County prosecutor’s 
office needed to have a facility dog on staff to 
work with victims, and went about doing what it 
took to make it happen. King County has been 
using courtroom canines to comfort victims ever 

 Subsequent to the establishment of King 
County’s innovative approach, prosecutors in 
several other states followed Stephens’ lead by 
adding a canine comfort unit to their courtroom 
staff, with amazingly successful results.

 It never ceases to amaze me, what a dog can do 
for a human, if we are open to their help. From 
guiding a blind person down a busy sidewalk, 
to rescuing people trapped after a disaster, to 
relieving stress for the victim of a crime, or simply 
sitting by his master’s side within the four walls of 
what might otherwise be a very lonely home, the 
list goes on and on.

 We are blessed to have the unconditional love 
and affection of our four-legged friends. Be sure 
to tell your precious pups how much you love and 
appreciate them. Show them how important they 
are to you by giving them the quality care and 
love they deserve. Love and let live!


TUCKER BABY we call him!!!!! 
This is one fun loving little dude. 
Loves to play, loves every single 
cat in our rescue, loves all of us! 
He has simply blossomed from 
when he used to be extremely 
shy. When we first rescued him, 
he hid constantly, and once we 
put him in with our other kittens he learned the life 
of play, love and affection. Please adopt our super 
soft furred, handsome tabby boy, and give him the 
great home he deserves. He will provide you with 
endless entertainment and follow you everywhere 
you go. Even better if you have another pal for him. 
Tucker is only a year old. See adoption info, more 
pics and his video on our website. Contact us for 
a “meet & greet.” Tucker will come current on 
vaccines, neutered, and chipped. $100. Adoption 
info at



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



[Nyerges has written “How to 
Survive Anywhere” and other 
books. He leads wilderness walks 
to teach about the uses of plants 
and survival skills. He can be 
reached at www.SchoolofSelf-] 

 We’ve all been walking in the pristine wilderness and 
suddenly we see that someone left their beer cans lying 
around. Some of my hiking partners have uttered some 
pretty coarse profanities at the “modern barbarians” who left 
a pile of their aluminum cans for someone else to clean up. 
And I must admit that litter of any sort bothers me. After 
all, shouldn’t we all adhere to the rule of “If you packed it in, 
pack it out”? Aluminum cans are also so light, and can be 
crushed so easily that they don’t take up a lot of space on the 
hike out. 

 Don’t litter! Period. OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of 
my system, here’s another perspective. 

 Did you all see the movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy”? 
A bush pilot drops a soda bottle out of the plane and falls 
into the midst of some aboriginal people. They have never 
seen such a device before and they all use it for a dozen or 
so practical uses. As far as they were concerned, the gods in 
heaven dropped them this new tool to make life easier. 

 An aluminum can is another of those multi-purpose 
objects that can literally be a life-safer if you’re lost or 
stranded. What good is an aluminum can, you say? With an 
aluminum can – and a bit of skill and your Swiss Army knife 
– you can make a fire, purify water, cook, signal, and do a 
few other things! That makes the discarded aluminum can a 
“multi-purpose tool.” 

 Let’s take a look at the many uses of an aluminum can that 
you happen to find. 


I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about making a fire 
using the bottom of an aluminum beer or soda can, but it 
actually works. Well, it works if you prepare the can properly, 
and if you have a LOT of patience. The very bottom of an 
aluminum can is not a true parabolic dish, but when highly 
polished, it can be used to focus the sun’s rays to a point and 
ignite tinder. 

 To do this, you need to bring the bottom of the can to a 
high polish, typically using fine steel wool. You then point 
the bottom of the can towards the sun, and hold some tinder 
in the focal point. This takes patience, but you can do it. 


One of the most important skills in the back-country is 
the ability to purify your water. If you’re just out for the day 
without all your normal equipment, you might not have a 
water filter or purification pills. So just fill the aluminum can 
with your suspect water, and boil it over a fire. Boiling will 
kill any of the biological contaminants that might make you 

If the water has stuff in it, then by all means pour the water 
through a cloth first. 


If for some reason, you can’t get a fire going, or if a fire would 
reveal your whereabouts, you can use that aluminum can for 
a makeshift water filter. You will punch little holes into the 
bottom of the can, and you will cut off the top of the can. A 
variety of filter materials have been tested, such as packing 
the can with clean socks. 

 In experiments that were done in Great Britain by Stefan 
Kallman in the 1980s, he found that he could create a 
reasonable water filter with an old aluminum can. He cut off 
the top of the can, punched holes in the bottom, and added 
sphagnum moss to the bottom. Then he filled the bulk of 
the can with a blend of charcoal, peat, and more sphagnum. 
He added a thin layer of small pebbles to the top. These 
were ingredients that would be available in the U.K, but not 
necessarily everywhere. 

 Other filters could be clean sand, mixed with a bit of 
charcoal, or the already-mentioned clean socks (or other 
fabric that can be packed into the can). 

 A filter like this cannot be expected to be 100% effective, 
but it can help to remove some contaminants from the water. 


 You can also take the top off the can and use it as a small 
coffee pot or soup pot. Just punch two holes in the rim at the 
top so you can add a wire and suspend it over the fire. 

 Even if you don’t have your Swiss army knife for cutting 
the top off the can, aluminum is so soft that you could 
actually use a sharpened stick or stone for this job. 


 I have seen several versions of candle lanterns using a 
beer can, but the easiest is to simply cut two “doors” into 
the can, and set the candle into the can securely with a bit of 
hot wax. You then use the tab on the top to hang the lantern 
wherever you want it. The doors can be adjusted so that 
the light reflects where you want it, and to help protect the 
candle from the wind. 

 Another version is to punch a hole in the bottom and 
push a regular candle through that hole. As it burns, you 
periodically push it upwards. 


It’s easy to make an emergency signaling mirror from an 
aluminum can. Just cut a circle or a square from the can. 
Aluminum is soft and you can do this with the scissors on 
your Swiss army knife, or with any knife. 

 If you’ve ever used a regular signaling mirror, you know 
that it helps to have a little hole in the middle of the mirror 
to sight through. Cut a small hole in a rectangle of the 
aluminum through which you will attempt to observe your 
intended target. If the sun is in the ideal spot in the sky, and 
if the person flying overhead happens to be looking your 
way, perhaps someone will notice your signal mirror and 
hopefully someone will respond appropriately. Who knows? 

Your makeshift signaling mirror from the side of a beer can 
needn’t be round, but I would at least round off the edges of 
a rectangle so you’re not holding a piece of metal that might 
cut your hand. 


 You’re lost with nothing, but there’s an aluminum can. 
You can cut a piece of the aluminum and write a note 
on it for other people to read. You don’t need a pencil 
-- just find a thin stick to carve your letters into the 
aluminum. Then hang it in a prominent place for others 
to see whatever you need to communicate. The piece of 
aluminum will be shiny and will be more obvious than 
a paper note which might get blown away, or rained on. 
This is akin to the aluminum tags that gardeners use to 
mark their trees and other plants.


Our country, so it seems, runs on choice. The more 
choices we have, the better we like it.

 Most people in America pride themselves on the 
ability to make their own choices.

 “Freedom of Choice,” is the cry you hear all around 
our country these days. Yet, most people do not have 
the freedom of choice they think they have. Somebody 
is influencing the choices they make without them 
realizing they are being influenced.

 That is called marketing.

 The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were 
watching television the other night, trying to watch a 
favorite TV program. Finally, from an end of the room 
that was not my end, came an exasperated sigh. I tried 
to ignore it, but you know how that works.

 The exasperation seemed to accelerate and I knew 
that if I did not acknowledge it in some way, well, I 
think you know what would happen.

 It was in the middle of some commercial and so 
I turned to her and said, “What’s got you in such 
pain tonight?” At her age, I did not know if there was 
some medical something or other going on.

 “These commercials,” she moaned so painfully, “I 
can’t stand all these commercials!”

 I must say I was a little bummed out about all the 
commercials myself. I think every one-hour program 
is devoted to 30 minutes of commercials. Most of those 
commercials are for things I have no interest in. Or, 
they are played at a very inappropriate time.

 It never fails if we are having our supper while 
watching television, there are 79 commercials for 
diarrhea. Is this really a major problem in our country 

 Getting back to my wife and the commercials, I 
responded as cheerfully as I could, “Well, my dear, 
somebody has to pay for our television viewing 

 I felt a cold yet burning stare in my direction.

“Can’t they run those lousy commercials when I’m not 
watching TV?”

 Someone once said that silence is Golden and right 
then I cultivated a golden moment.

 Commercials are a way in which manufacturing 
companies influence our choices. Every product has 
100 different companies marketing the same product. 
I have not done too much research, but the little I have 
done, I discovered that the same company makes the 
same product but sells it under a different name.

 There are two categories of products. There is the 
name brand, which costs a fortune. Then there is the 
generic brand, which is only a fraction of what the 
name brand costs. It is the same product, made by the 
same company, but advertised by difference venues.

 This is where choice comes in.

 Some people choose the high-priced product because 
they think it is better.

Some of us choose the low-price product because we 
know better.

 One night as we were watching television, it seemed 
most of the commercials had to do with dieting of some 
kind. There were high calorie diets, low-carb diets and 
diet that really did not make sense to me.

Watching all of those dieting commercials, I did not see 
one that I would diet for.

 Every one of those commercials assumes everybody 
watching wants to lose 297 pounds. Personally, I have 
lost the same 5 pounds for over 30 years. I lose 5 
pounds and then by golly, three weeks later I find those 
5 pounds, at least they recognize me.

 Anybody can lose weight; it is all a matter of choice. 
Personally, I do not plan to lose any sleep because I 
cannot lose weight. I think it is going to be rather funny 
if when we go to heaven everybody is fat. Wouldn’t that 
be something? We plummet ourselves almost to death 
trying to lose weight and get to heaven and everybody 
is fat.

 It all boils down to choice. It all boils down to the 
fact that most people think they are making their own 

 Those of us who are on the husband side of the marital 
equation know we do not make our own choices. Our 
choices are made for us by our “better half.” Why do you 
think we get married?

 My wife is a great one for fruit and vegetables. Every 
day of our life is fruit and vegetables. To mix things up a 
little bit one day it will be vegetables and fruit.

She prepares the fruit and then invites me to make 
a choice. I am sure she did not see all of this in any 
television commercial; at least I hope she hasn’t. She is 
proud of the display of fruit choices she has for me.

 She is also concerned about my diet. Much more 
than I am. I do not think my diet is so important that 
both of us should be concerned about it. If she chooses 
to be concerned about my diet, that is her choice.

 I choose to be a little more cavalier when it comes to 

 Actually, and do not tell her I said this, but my fruit of 
choice is the humble Apple fritter. It has everything my 
heart desires and a few things my body desires, too.

 I like with David said, “Delight thyself also in the 
LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” 
(Psalms 37:4 KJV).

 It is all a matter of choice, that is, making the right 


 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 jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is

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