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

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 28, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc




Meet Betty DeVille models her distinctive black 
and white colored fur coat markings. It looks 
like she’s wearing a solid color designer cap with 
cat ears attached. She has the same name as a 
Rugrats cartoon mother, who has a nice but loud 
personality. Our Betty also was a loving mother 
to her two kittens named Phil and Lil. (Who are 
also currently available for adoption.) Betty has a 
calm loving nature, is friendly, and enjoys seeing 
new people coming to meet her. Melting into 
hands that massage her head and throat, Betty 
purrs with contentment. A lap is always nice to sit 
on when offered. If given a toy, she will show her 
sporting playful side which ranges from bat and 
pat to attack and toss, depending on what is being 
offered for her amusement. Whether it’s a still 
object, a flying teaser, or the laser dot, Betty takes 
the challenge. Her adoption fee is $99 and includes 
spay surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free 
wellness exam at a participating veterinarian. Betty 
is accepting visitors at Alhambra PetSmart, a San 
Gabriel Valley Humane Society adoption partner. 
For more information, call (626) 284-3390.

As owner & operator of Canyon Canine Dog 
Walking and Pet Sitting Services, I spend a lot of 
time hiking the canyons and strolling the sidewalks 
of our small town with my furry, four-legged clients. 
On any given day, during any of my many walks, I 
am likely to cross paths with lots of other dogs, and 
of the many dogs I cross paths with during a walk, it 
is rare that any two are very much alike.

 The plethora of colors, shapes and sizes inherent 
to a wide variety of dog breeds that exist today, truly 
amazes me. According to the American Kennel Club 
website, they currently recognize 192 pure breeds. If 
you add the list of un-registered breeds that have 
been officially named and propagated throughout 
the US and other parts of the world, the count 
comes somewhere around 210(+/-) canine breeds. 
That blows my mind! Especially since the noticeable 
differences from one breed to another, are due to 
nothing more than a .2% genetic differential.

 For the past two centuries, man has been 
asphyxiated with forming the “perfect” dog through 
the applied science of eugenics, the intentional 
practice of “improving” or somehow altering the 
genetic composition of a given population. In this 
case the population happens to be the canine, or 
what we dog-lovers like to call “Man‘s Best Friend“. 
What lead to the human’s insatiable desire to create 
the ideal dog? How did man come to rely on the 
modern-day canine to be his “best friend”? 

 While opinions vary as to how it all came about, 
extensive research & scientific studies have left little 
room for argument that the dog we are familiar with 
today, originated from the grey wolf (Canis lupus). 
The mainstream theory among most canine history 
research scientists is that man’s first one-on-one 
contact with the grey wolf occurred unintentionally. 
It is said to have happened circa 7000 BC when the 
human population began to grow, moving away 
from a primitive living, to occupy un-developed 
territories where they built dwelling structures and 
established unprecedented property perimeters. 
The grey wolf was already in residence in the 
natural pristine spaces where man first made claim 
to the land, therefore the interface between the two 
species was inevitable.

 Remains of the earliest known domesticated 
dog (Canis lupus familiaris) were discovered at the 
Jaihu archaeological site in China, dating back to 
the early Neolithic period (7000-
5800 BC). Needless to say, a lot of 
changes occurred between that 
time and about two centuries 
ago, when intentional breeding 
was introduced, resulting in the 
wide variety of dogs we know 
and love today. By the early 17th 
century, the dog had worked it’s 
way into being a major part of 
human life. In fact, without the 
dog I often wonder where man 
would be today. 

 During the earlier stages of 
canine breeding, the main focus 
was to develop a dog that would make life easier 
for the human. Hunting dogs helped keep food 
on the table, herding dogs protected livestock, the 
smaller, more precocious pups were put on pest 
control duty, and numerous other breeds served 
to protect the home and family. Then, around the 
mid 19th century, man’s effort to refine specific 
characteristics of the domesticated dog took a turn, 
and became focused more on aesthetic appeal than 
practical performance. And, oddly enough, by the 
turn of the 20th century the dog had morphed into 
somewhat of a fashion accessory; a symbol of social 

 While the dog has proven to be man’s best friend 
through centuries of change, ironically man has 
proven to be somewhat less of a best friend in return. 
Though the side effects of inbreeding were certainly 
not intentional, they have definitely taken their toll. 
One example of eugenics gone bad is apparent in 
the Dalmatian. Sometimes known as the “Firehouse 
Dog” and used as a carriage dog in it’s early days, the 
Dalmatian’s white and spotted coat are what set this 
breed apart from the others. However, it is the white 
beneath the spots that is directly associated with it’s 
tendency for blindness due to a gene that will not 
allow vitamin A to nourish the retina.

 Other examples of side effects caused by intensive 
inbreeding include hip dysplasia in larger breeds 
such as Labs & Shepherds, canine A.D.D. & O.C.D. 
in certain breeds such as terriers & herders, and 
eye, skin & ear allergies in numerous breeds such 
as bulldogs and hounds. Indeed, man has benefited 
from the efforts made to create the perfect pup, 
but a high price has been paid (by the pup) in the 

 But if there is a proverbial pot of gold at the end 
of the eugenics rainbow, it is this. Scientific research 
on how to reduce the side effects of breeding have 
had a double benefit to human society. By studying 
the problems that prevail as a result of canine 
eugenics, we are now learning how to treat some of 
the diseases that we humans fall victim to. So, the 
dog has done it again! In early days, it helped the 
human move from the cave to the castle, now it is 
lending knowledge that will benefit the human’s 

 That’s what I call a best friend, through thick and 
thin, from beginning to end.



Lifeline for Pets 
is in urgent need 
of foster homes 
for cats. YOU 
can make the 
difference for 
one, like Gigi, and 
others, who are 
too shy to take 
to adoptions but 
who can blossom 
in a loving foster 
home. There is no fee to foster, just provide food, 
litter, safety, and love. We take care of any vet 
expense. We really need you!! Call 626-676-
9505. ALSO, don’t miss our delicious restaurant 
fundraiser, Aug. 2, noon to 9, at Cabrera’s Mexican 
Cuisine, 655 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena. Just say you’re 
with Lifeline for Pets!



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



Performing her new “Social Graveyard” at Corfu


Looking out the living room 
window the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
sighed very deeply and said, “When will this stinking 
rain stop?”

 I chuckled to myself very carefully not to let it come 
up to the surface of my face to let on to anybody in the 

 She turned around and said to me, “I am just about 
done with all this rain.”

 With a fake grimace on my face I said, “I don’t 
know, but I’m done with it too.”

 I had to walk away at that point because I could not 
control the chuckles that were rising to the level of my 

 When I got some control of my emotions I thought 
to myself, this must be how Noah felt.

 Whenever it rains as it has been doing lately, I 
usually think of Noah. Only this time I was thinking 
of Noah’s wife.

 Listening to my wife talk about the rain, I could not 
help but think maybe this is exactly what Noah’s wife 
was saying to him.

 “Noah,” his wife said, “when will this stinking rain 
stop?” Then I can imagine her saying, “I can handle 
one day of rain or maybe two, but this is getting to be 

 After all, Noah’s wife was just like anybody else’s 
wife especially the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

 Knowing my wife like I do, I know she likes to 
be in control. From the moment she gets up in the 
morning until she goes to bed at night, she likes to 
be in control. When something is going on that she 
cannot control, then we have a different situation.

 Could that be said of Noah’s wife? This rain was 
coming down day after day after day for 40 days 
and 40 nights. Nothing had ever happened like that 
before. I believe Noah’s wife was a little frustrated with 
the fact that she was not in control with the rain.

 My wife gets up every morning with a large list 
of things she wants to accomplish during the day. I 
need to be careful because sometimes she has one of 
her “Honey-Do-Lists” for you know who. She is very 
productive in her day and she hardly sits down to rest. 
She is proactive all day long.

 When she decides to do something, she does it no 
matter what.

 Now, for the last several weeks it has been raining 
just about every day. She enjoys yard work and even 
mowing. Now with the rain, it has disrupted her 

 The fact that she cannot control the rain carries 
with it a little hidden giggle inside of me. She takes 
pride in planning her day and fulfilling her plan to the 
letter. She is in control of everything.

Everything, that is, except the rain. I know the rain is 
playing with her.

 Several times, especially this past week, the 
morning started out bright and sunny with barely a 
cloud in the air. When my wife saw that, she was very 

 “Finally,” she said almost hysterically, “I can do 
some mowing.”

 With that, she was laughing and very excited and 
prepared to go out to do some mowing.

 I think there was a cloud hidden somewhere 
watching for her because as soon as she got outside 
and got the mower running the rain started to come.

 With a great deal of haste she put the mower away 
and come inside to dry off.

 As soon as she was inside and got dried off a little 
bit, the rain stopped, the clouds faded away and the 
sun was shining. She looked out and with a big smile 
on her face said, “Finally, this rain is over.”

 She got outside, got the lawn mower out and ready 
to go and was mowing for five minutes and as I 
watched I could see that smile on her face. Nothing 
she enjoys more than riding that lawnmower and 
making the lawn look beautiful.

 Suddenly, I heard thunder in the distance and then 
came the rain.

 As quickly as possible, she put the lawnmower 
away and ran inside dripping with rain. I did my best 
to get out of her way because this was not one of her 
“Happy Moods.”

 For the rest of the day she was working in her craft 
room and I heard her under her breath say, “Rain, 
rain go away and never come back any other day.” I 
sympathize with her because the rain had kept me 
from doing some things I wanted to do.

 If rain is the only thing my wife cannot control she 
is a very lucky person. I, for instance, cannot control 
very many things in my life. I would like to, but it just 
is not in the cards for me.

 I cannot imagine Noah sitting in that ark for over 
a year not being able to control anything. That is the 
essence of what faith is all about. If I can control a 
situation, why do I need God?

 I need to exchange my pride for faith in God. 
It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses. 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean 
not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways 
acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” 
(Proverbs 3:5-6).

 The best things in my life are those that are beyond 
my control where I can begin to see God at work in 
that situation.

 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 

[Nyerges is the author of 
“Enter the Forest,” “Self-
Sufficient Home,” and 
other books. Information 
about his classes and books is available at www., or from Box 41834, Eagle 
Rock, CA 90041.]

 Sierra Madre’s resident musician Jane Fuller will 
be performing her latest song, “Social Graveyard,” 
at Corfu Restaurant on Saturday, August 11, 
beginning at 6:30 p.m.

 I met with Jane at Sierra Madre’s Pioneer 
Graveyard to ask her about “Social Graveyard” 

 “Haven’t you ever felt like you’re awake, alive, 
and seeking the truth?” she asked me. “But who do 
you talk to about this? When I’ve had this feeling, 
it feels as if everyone else is like the walking-dead, 
zombies or ghosts. That was the feeling and insight 
that led to this song,” she explained.

 You can see an instrumental version of 
“Social Graveyard Chill” on Youtube, posted by 
apexofthesoul, one of Jane’s bands.

 “The chill version has gotten the most hits,” she 
tells me, “and in that version, I show images from 
Sierra Madre’s unique Hallowe’en celebration where 
all the decorated pumpkins are put out on Alegria 
Street. I also sing in “transylvanian vampirian,” a 
language I invented.”

 Fuller, who performs with guitarist Mike 
Gallegos, calls their group Eventide Blend. Until 
very recently, she performed over the last 20 years 
under her name. 

 “But I want to express my music in a variety of 
genres,” she explained. “Mike and I are going to use 
a few band names for the different styles of music 
we play, and from time to time you’ll see new band 

 Fuller was interested in music from an early age, 
and began piano lessons at age 10. Eventually, she 
was given a guitar and she’s played it ever since. She 
began by playing guitar at Mass, and eventually, 
began playing guitar for the masses.

 When she went to college, she was majoring in 
music, but one day her father asked her how she 
expected to make a living as a musician. Her father 
suggested that with a music degree, she might end 
up with a job washing dishes. 

 ”Actually,” says Jane with a smile, “if I did get 
that music degree, there would have been jobs out 
there, teaching, etc. But I knew my dad was very 
concerned about my being gainfully employed 
with job security, and I changed my major to 
creative writing. My dad approved, telling me that 
you could get more jobs with a writing degree. And 
as much as I hate to admit my dad was right, I did 
get more job offers from my writing background.”

 Twenty-some years ago, Fuller began teaching 
elementary school, earned her teaching credential, 
and still teaches. She especially loves teaching 
students in the primary grades, and it has inspired 
her songs and her upcoming book.

 Fuller’s book project is tentatively titled “How I 
Became a Teacher.” She thinks that the subtitle will 
be “And Found Cost-free Solutions to Learning.”

 The book will cater to teachers, parents, and 
anyone learning something new.

 “When people say to spend more money on 
education, I think that the real solution to our 
educational problems is not spending more money, 
but to re-discover what teaching is all about. Of 
course the individual has to want to learn, but the 
teacher can be very inspirational in the goal,” says 
Fuller, who wants to pass along in her book many 
of the solutions for meaningful learning. 

 She has also built a film studio in her garage 
where she is making short educational and musical 
videos. In one You Tube video, viewers are in 
virtual nightclub where Jane is performing “I’ve 
Got the World on a String.” To view, go to the You 
Tube platform and then type in the song title and 
Jane Fullers Music in the search box. Also, watch 
her website for details at

 Corfu is located at 48 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd. in Sierra Madre. Reservations are highly 

 You can learn about Jane Fuller’s musical 
appearances at If you’re 
interested in her CDs, she suggests you go to CDBaby.
com to get a download or hardcopy of her CDs.

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