Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, November 3, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 3, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc




Kendall was named after a 
model and she is definitely 
a star whose graceful moves 
illustrate why human models 
are said to do the catwalk 
down the runway. Kendall 
wears her grey tabby coat 
with striking orange torbie 
accents in a style all her own. 
Massages and brushing of her 
silky fur are appreciated and 
rewarded by soft purrs. Her 
vivid green eyes command attention, yet Kendall 
doesn’t let her beauty go to her head. She remains 
a soft spoken girl with a mild and friendly 
temperament. Given the right incentives, Kendall 
can be quite the entertainer. Especially when 
moving objects such as toys, laser dots and flying 
feather things are offered to her. She prefers her 
play to be with humans but has 
been known to keep herself 
busy tossing toys, even if no 
people are around. Kendall 
will add a touch of beauty 
to any décor and a spark of 
fun and joy to her forever 
family. Please come to Meow 
Manor and meet Kendall. 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:

I have a darling dog named Molly who is content at home 
when her beloved humans are away, but it hasn’t always 
been that way. When Molly first came to live with us, 
she’d literally loose it every time we attempted to leave 
her at home, even for a short period of time. I’d never 
before had a pet that was afraid to be left home alone, 
so I assumed I was among a limited few who had to deal 
with such a scenario. I soon learned that the problem is 
far more common than I’d thought.

 Typical signs of the canine condition known as pet 
separation anxiety include constant under-the-fence 
dirt-digging, scratching at doors, windows and walls, 
incessant whining or howling, destructive chewing, 
urinating or defecating indoors during the owner’s 
absence, and effusive frantic greetings upon the owner’s 
return. My Molly displayed every one of these behavioral 
traits from the day I adopted her, and it was quite 
disheartening. The poor girl was terrified of being home 
alone. What causes a typically easy-going, confident 
canine to become over-the-top anxious and frantically 
fearful when left alone?

 There are numerous theories as to why domestic pets 
fret in the absence of their humans. Among the most 
agreed upon reasons is the animal may have experienced 
some sort of trauma in the past, leaving an imprinted 
memory that resulted in a lack of trust in the humans’ 
promise to return. Another possible cause is that the dog 
was, indeed abandoned and left to fend for itself, perhaps 
coming close to the point of starvation before finally 
being rescued and cared for by a forever friend.

 I found one story in an on-line post about an adult dog 
that lived in a comfortable home with a loving owner for 
many years. The dog had access to the house and yard all 
its life and there had been no history of trauma, but when 
the owner suddenly passed away in the house, the dog 
was trapped inside. A week went by before a neighbor 
became concerned that there had been no activity next 
door, and decided to investigate.

 Ultimately the family was contacted. They came and 
rescued the dog and, of course dealt with all that went 
along with loosing their son. One can only imagine what 
that poor dog went through while staying by his master’s 
deceased body in the meantime. From that day on, the 
dog was in full fear anytime the family attempted to leave 
him alone. No wonder.

 What can be done to help heal the rooted reasons for 
pet separation anxiety? I learned quite a lot in my quest 
to do what I could to help Molly get past her fear of being 
alone. Most importantly, the 
animal’s emotional needs must be identified, validated 
and met. Paying lots of undivided attention to a fretful 
pet is certainly in order from the start. In fact, positive re-
enforcement techniques for any pet should include tons 
of TLC and plenty of petting.

 Special treats for good behavior can help as well. Up-
lifting verbiage such as “I love you”, “You are so precious 
to me” and “I am very proud of you” should definitely 
be included in a regimen of healing the heart of a pet 
suffering from fear of abandonment.

 Animal psychology research has proven that certain 
terms of endearment can have a very positive impact on 
domestic animal behavior. Even if you are pessimistic 
about talking to your dog, why not do it anyway? It might 
lift your own spirits to speak words of encouragement 
out loud even if no one else understands what you are 
saying. ‘Those in the know’ also strongly encourage 
calm greetings upon return home. The tendency is to 
be excited and use high tones when returning home 
after time away, but experts say that can exacerbate the 

 In addition to these common-sense relationship 
remedies for comforting pets dealing with “left-alone 
syndrome”, there are products on the market that can 
help lower the level of anxiety. I purchased a natural 
stress-relief pet product for Molly called Rescue Remedy. 
Using that, coupled with a consistent regimen of leaving 
her at home for short periods of time, and gradually 
increasing the lengths of time we left her, proved to be an 
affective process for positive progress.

 Another purchasable product designed to help 
minimize pet separation anxiety is what they call a 
calming collar. There are a few different brands of 
calming collars out there. I never pursued this means of 
resolving the problem with Molly because we were able 
to make good progress with the Rescue Remedy and 
regular regimen of coming and going over time. But I 
have heard good things about the collars, so it might be 
worth a try.

 I wish the best to any pet owner out there who 
happens to be dealing with a pup that is afraid to be 
left alone. I know it’s not easy, but with lots of love and 
patience, I know from experience, it gets better. Our 
pets are a lot like us. We humans want to feel needed, 
loved unconditionally and, certainly, safe at home. Well 
guess what? So do our furry, four-legged friends. Love 
and let live.


Meet AVA & 
LOLA, age 2 yrs. 
These bonded 
sisters are soooo 
sweet and loving! 
They are easily 
held, and love to 
be pet and sweet-
talked. They will look at you with the most beautiful 
eyes, willing you to love them. Ava & Lola are being 
fostered at The Cats Pajamas, where you may call 
to arrange a Meet & Greet, 626-449-1717. Our 
“Twofur” Offer is a great savings, as they will come 
current on vaccines and health exam, spayed, and 
microchipped. See more pictures and adoption info 



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges is the author of 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” 
“Foraging California,” 
“Extreme Simplicity,” and 
other books. He also leads 
outdoor field trips. He can be 
reached at] 

 James Ruther is a diverse man. Day job, working 
for the Edison company, he’s also quite an authority 
on knives and knife-sharpening, as well as several 
other bushcraft skills. One day, after we both finished 
a class about outdoor survival skills in the foothills 
of Pasadena, Ruther showed me a wooden spoon. 

 “That’s nice,” I said. I liked it, and it looked a bit 
different from the many wooden spoons I’ve seen 
over the years at thrift stores and novelty stores. 

 “Yeah, and I made this one,” he continued. 

 “You made it,”? I replied, looking again more 
closely at the spoon, turning it over in my hands. 

 “Yes,” said Ruther, “and I made it mostly from this 
knife.” He pulled out a Mora knife and handed it to 
me, which I also examined. 

 Since I’d initially thought the spoon was something 
cranked out in a factory woodshop operation like so 
many others, I paid it little attention. Now that I 
knew this was individually carved, I examined it 
more closely, and saw the character that an assembly 
line product would not have. 

 “What kind of wood did you use?” I asked. 

 “Ash,” he replied. “I use ash for most of my spoons, 
because it’s so common, and relatively easy to carve. 
Also, because the ash trees grow like weeds, no one 
minds if I trim a few branches and use them for 
making spoons.” 

 Ruther gave me that beautiful spoon, and 
eventually I attended a spoon-carving class that he 


 Here’s how the class went. 

 Once everyone is present, Ruther shared the 
basics of knife safety, and the importance of always 
handing a knife to another person with utmost care. 
He also emphasized that you always carve AWAY 
from your body and fingers. This sounds easy, but 
sometimes, to get a certain cut, you have to be very 
creative to not cut towards your body, and Ruther 
showed many of these methods. He also described 
the “blood circle” for safety. If you a standing too 
close to a person using a knife, and that person 
accidentally moves his knife in your direction, you 
might get cut. You’re within his blood circle. To 
know if you’re too close to someone, Ruther held his 
knife out horizontally from his body, and defined a 
large circle, front and back. If you’re within that 
blood circle, you’ll get cut. 

 Next, his class took a short walk to find and collect 
suitable woods. Ruther pointed out that just any 
wood could be used to make a spoon, even dead 
wood on the ground, though it’s more desirable to 
use fresh sound wood. Oak is excellent, but harder 
to carve. Willow is abundant, and easy to carve, but 
might be a bit too soft for some applications. Ruther 
likes alder, ash, and other woods; that day, his 
students all collected pieces of ash wood, about a 
foot long and a few inches thick. 

On our way back to our tables, we observed many of 
the other trees and Ruther described some of their 


 Ruther guided each student to take their section of 
ash, and to first split it, by batonning it with a sheath 
knife. Then, they decided which half would be used, 
and then the cut part of that piece of ash was 
flattened with the knife. 

 Next, the shape of the spoon was penciled onto 
the flat side of the wood, and careful carving began. 

There were various techniques of wood reduction 
which were shows to take the piece of wood to a 

 For example, a saw was used to reduce some 
sections, such as to make the spoon part round. 

To cut away the excess wood which would become 
the handle, the section would be sawed perpendicular 
to the handle, at various points, so that the unwanted 
wood could just be chiseled away. 

 Then, it was all slow but careful carving. The 
hollow of the spoon was carved with curved carving 
knives which made it much easier. However, the 
hollow could still be done with an ordinary knife, 
with much more care. 

 Finally, the spoons were sanded with sandpaper. 
Or, as woodscraft master Paul Campbell used to 
teach, the spoons could be “sanded” with a small 
rock, abrading little by little until the desired 
smoothness is achieved. 

 “What happens if the spoon breaks?” a student 
asked Ruther. He smiles and responds, “Oh darn, 
you’d have to carve another!” Taking a more serious 
tone, Ruther says that to discard a biodegradable 
wooden spoon is not a problem, and is infinitely 
better than discarding a plastic spoon into a land fill 
that would take 100 years to decompose. “It’s smart 
for the environment,” he says, adding that if you cut 
from overgrown invasive trees, it’s really a form of 
weed control. “It’s always a good thing to learn to 
make something rather than buying something, and 
this produce no waste.” 

 Ruther points out that your second spoon will 
always be a better spoon than your first, because 
you’re still figuring things out on spoon number 

 To learn more about Ruther and his classes, he can 
be reached at

At times, I have to do some 
errands for the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 
It’s not that I like to do these errands, but I have 
learned this is one secret to getting along with her.

 The errand she had for me was to go to the Mall 
and pick up something she had ordered. In my 
own way I tried to finagle out of that errand, but 
the more I finagled the more insistent she was. So, 
I decided to finagle no more.

 As the pop song says, “I have a million reasons 
not to go, give me one reason to go.” I tried to play 
this on her and her response was, “Because I asked 
you to.”

 You just cannot get any better than that. I know, 
because I have tried.

 Since I do not go to the mall that often, I thought 
I would stop in at a coffee shop and have myself a 
cup of coffee and just chill out a little. Taking my 
coffee out in the main area of the mall, I sat in one 
of the lounge chairs and watched the people go by.

 As a young person, my favorite author was 
Ernest Hemingway. In one of his books he says 
that the important thing for a writer is to, “listen, 
listen, listen.” I tried to practice that throughout 
my life so I thought here at the mall would be a 
good opportunity to do just that.

 It was rather noisy, but I tried my best to listen. 
Some of the things I heard I wished I would 
not have heard, but that is the price you pay for 

 In my situation, I could not hear much of a 
conversation, but the little that I did hear I tried to 
figure out what they were trying to say. I know I got 
some things wrong, but I laughed very discreetly 
at some things I heard.

 Halfway through my coffee something struck 
me that I never thought of before.

 So many young people and children were racing 
through the mall. I did not know there were that 
many children on planet Earth. They were running 
and laughing and whatever else they could think 

 I just sat back and watched. I tried to listen, but 
there was so much noise I really could not listen so 
I watched. Here these young people were having 
the time of their life. They were laughing and 
joking among themselves and just having a good 

 Occasionally I caught the joke and laughed to 
myself, but most of the jokes I did not understand. 
I guess that has to do with an age difference.

 It was right after Halloween and so a lot of 
the gibberish in the mall had to do with the 
Halloween spirit. I thought several were dressed 
for Halloween, but realized that that is exactly 
what they wear every day.

 I saw one young girl wearing blue jeans with 
so many holes that they really lack purpose. I was 
later to find out that you buy these blue jeans with 
all the holes in them. Moreover, the more holes 
they have, the more expensive they are.

 When I was young I had blue jeans with lots of 
holes, but I earned every one of those holes.

 My spirits were beginning to rise and I was 
enjoying my visit in the mall. Do not let that get 
out, I do not want anybody to know I was having a 
good time, particularly, you know who.

 It seemed the more I watched, the more young 
people and children flooded the mall. And, the 
laughter rang from one end of the mall to the other 
with me in between.

 As I was enjoying this little episode, a thought 
snuck into my mind. I must confess that it is a rare 
occasion when a thought actually comes to my 
mind. This time a thought did come to my mind.

 What I wanted to know was, why were all of 
these kids happy? Why were they having so much 

 Don’t they know how miserable the world is 
today? Don’t they know how sad and horrific 
things are on the outside? The hatred, the anger, 
the putrefaction of the world as we know it.

 Quickly my smile turned upside down and I 

 It then came to me. These kids in the mall having 
a wonderful time were not all caught up with what 
is going on out in the world. Their world is a world 
of fun and excitement. It is only the “old geezers” 
that know about all of the terrible things going on 
in the world. The young only see the good.

 In pondering this, I asked myself a very serious 
question. Why in the world did I grow up?

 Why couldn’t I have stayed young and naïve and 
only focused on having a good time? If I had stayed 
young, I probably would not be so depressed by 
everything that is going on “out in the world.”

 In pondering this, I thought of what David once 
said. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have 
I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed 
begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).

 I can appreciate what these young people see, 
but they really cannot appreciate what I have seen 
through the years. That is simply, God always takes 
care of his people.


 Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship. He lives with his wife in Silver 
Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or 
e-mail His web site is www.

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