Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 1, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 1, 2018 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


Atom is majestic big German Shepherd boy. He 
is 5-years-old and weighs 100 pounds. He loves 
an active life, whether it’s enjoying a nice walk, 
running in the park, or exploring in our play yards. 
But don’t be fooled - he is never too busy to show 
his affectionate side by taking a break to share a kiss 
or two. On a hot summer day, he loves to relax in a 
kiddie pool. Atom is a smart boy and would benefit 
being part of a family who will continue to train his 
beautiful strong athletic body and smart mind. If 
you are a fan of German Shepherds, you must 
meet this handsome boy.Come fall in love with 
Atom. His adoption fee is $145 and includes neuter 
surgery, vaccinations, microchip and a free wellness 
exam at a participating veterinarian. Feel free to 
call us at (626) 286-1159 for more information. 
He 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 youngster growing up in the south, I was fortunate 
to have had many pets throughout my childhood years. I 
remember my parents letting our family dogs roam freely 
at will, knowing they would most likely wander through 
the woods in our back yard, head off to play with the 
neighbor‘s dogs for a bit, then eventually make their way 
home just in time for supper. That was such a privilege for 
us and our pets, and I imagine there are many locals here 
in Sierra Madre who have similar childhood memories 
of their own.

 Those were the days, weren’t they? With acres of 
undeveloped land, ample space between neighbors and 
way less traffic passing through our communities, the 
risks were minimal for a pet with a nose for wanderlust 
to venture out and explore the great outdoors. After all, it 
just seems natural for a dog, right?

 Well, unfortunately the open acreage and broad land 
gaps that used to exist between the homes in our local 
area have shrunk dramatically over the years, and few & 
far-between are the moments of silence without a vehicle 
passing swiftly by on our neighborhood streets. Let’s 
face it folks, for those of us who live in highly populated 
areas such as this LA suburb, the days of “free-range” pet 
ownership are far-and-away long-gone.

 Not only is it extremely risky to allow a dog to wander 
free these days, it is also against the law. Pet owners in 
Sierra Madre and other parts of Los Angeles County 
should know better than to think it is okay to let their 
dogs roam off-leash outside the boundaries of home or 
fenced yard. I learned my lesson several years ago while 
living in Hermosa Beach with my dog, Lady.

 Lady was a very friendly and social dog, so I was never 
concerned that she might hurt anyone - human or canine 
- and back then it never occurred to me that she, herself 
could be hurt. I lived two blocks from the beach and I 
loved letting Lady follow me on foot as I rode my bike 
down to the strand during the off-season months when 
there was minimal traffic and few tourists in town.

 One day I was riding my bike with Lady following 
behind when a police officer stopped and cited me for 
having her off-leash. The leash laws were new to me, so I 
was taken very much by surprise and quite irritated when 
I had to take a day off work to appear in court and pay 
a fine. That was the last time I ever allowed my dog to 
roam free. I admit it seemed ridiculous at the time, but 
I’ve since learned to respect the leash laws where I live 
and I suppose I’ve become somewhat of a compliance 
advocate, for the safety of the animals.

 While we all like to think our dog is smarter than most 
others, certainly smart enough to stay out of the street 
and respond promptly to a re-call command, it is simply 
an unsafe assumption that amounts to nothing less 
than ignorance. Notwithstanding the fact that our pups 
have come to be more like family members than pets, a 
domestic dog is still a creature driven more by instinct 
than taught intelligence, regardless of how much training 
he’s received.

 With all due respect to those responsible owners who 
invest the time and effort to properly train their pets, there 
will inevitably come that time - when you least expect it 
- when the canine will default to his inner instincts and 
behave accordantly. And the instinctual behavior of a 
canine is most definitely not aligned with the safety rules 
standards that we human beings know enough to live by.

 Think about it. Even a well-trained, very obedient dog 
harbors a tendency to chase a squirrel up a tree or a cat 
meandering by on the opposite side of the street, and 
when such playful prey makes it’s way into a dog’s field 
of vision, his instincts are likely to override the obedience 
training he may have had, prompting him to take chase 
after whatever it was that caught his attention.

 I’ve heard it said that you can take the dog out of the 
wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the dog, and I 
believe there is some truth in that saying. Protect your 
pets from the potential harm of fast-moving traffic. It 
only takes once being in the wrong place at the wrong 
time to end the life of a four-legged friend, so set your 
pet pride aside and take proper precautions. The risk is 
simply not worth it, and you’d have only yourself to blame 
if such a tragic accident should happen.

 In closing, I also want to mention that there are some 
very serious risks inherent to off-leash hiking on the local 
trails as well. I’m sure the members of our search and 
rescue team have stories of being called out to assist in 
locating and rescuing a dog that slipped off the side of the 
trail into a canyon or wandered too far and went missing 
in the forest. Again, it seems so natural to let a dog hike 
alongside us without a leash, but the fact is our pets need 
us to protect them. Please do the right thing on their 
behalf. If you love them, you’ll leash them.


This is the week 
to give back and 
help, starting 
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 
with “GIVING 
donations or 
adoptions will 
help us provide 
care, love, and 
more spaces for homeless dogs and cats, all of 
whom you can see on the pages of our website, 

 We have 2 ways you can donate: Either on our 
“Giving Grid,”
GGLL4P/, or on our Facebook page, https:// 
(You can also just send a check to LL4P, P.O. Box 
2002, Monrovia, 91017.) We would love you to 
participate. You’ll have a tax-deduction, and help 
us, too, so that we can continue to do wonderful 
things for homeless animals, like Lady Bug here. 
Lifeline for Pets is all-volunteer, no-kill, and 
receives no other funding. Thank you for anything 
you can donate!



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges is an educator 
and author of “Guide to 
Wild Foods,” “How to 
Survive Anywhere,” and 
other books. A link to 
his blogs can be found at www.SchoolofSelf- He can also be reached at Box 
41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041] 
The Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park is 
one of the local treasures where a vast acreage 
of river-bottom land grows wild north of the 
210 freeway, and north of the Devil’s Gate dam. 
In the wild acreage where children play and 
equestrians ride, the most common tree is the 
willow. Also found are stands of mulefat, as 
well as the occasional cottonwood and alder 

 Historically, this land was one of the village 
sites of the indigenous native people who lived 
on the bluffs surrounding the wash. Their 
cemetery located just to the south at the site 
of today’s Shelton Reservoir, at today’s Arroyo 
Blvd. and Coniston Street. Eventually, after the 
Mission era, water was taken out of the Arroyo 
to feed the orange and fruit plantations to the 
south. The Arroyo continues to be an important 
source for Pasadena’s water.

 After the Station fire, sediment filled in the 
wash behind the dam, and no sediment has 
been removed by the County for some 20 years. 
In fact, the County has the on-going authority 
to remove up to 25,000 cubic yards of sediment 
on an annual basis, with no fuss or hearings. 
Though it has not been done, that is an option 
that can be enacted.

 Now, as of last week, the first phase of a 
controversial sediment removal project is 
scheduled to begin. The project is controversial 
because of the larger-than-necessary scale 
planned by the County Flood Control District. 
Rather than pursuing a smaller footprint, and 
steadily removing soil with the least impact 
to the wild life, the plan is to remove 850 
truckloads of sediment a day for the duration of 
the more or less four year project. 

 I had to laugh when I was at a public meeting 
and someone read the County’s description of 
how 850 trucks traveling in and throughout the 
southern edge of Hahamongna would be done 
with no disruption to the local traffic (not to 
mention the noise, the dust, the fumes, the 
scaring away of wildlife). Anyone who lives 
nearby, or who travels through the area, knows 
that the project – involving about 90 trucks to 
and fro every day with loads of sediment – will 
be a nightmare of traffic, noise, and fumes. 
More on that later – go to the Arroyo Seco 
Foundation’s website [] to learn 
more of this issue,

 The obvious question has been asked: Why 
are the County leaders pushing this through, 
despite opposition from most environmental 
leaders, when a smaller project would be just as 
viable, over a longer period of time? The main 
answer is “flood control,” though the details of 
that are murky and speculative. For one, there is 
an underflow channel built a decade or so ago 
so that high waters will pass under Woodbury 
Road. Then the water flows down into the 
cement channel of the Arroyo Seco, ultimately 
to the L.A. River and the beach. Part of the 
“original sin” of all this is that the stream that 
once was the Arroyo Seco River is now a cement 
channel, designed to rush the water away to the 
ocean, with no chance for water to soak into 
the local water table. One argument is that if 
the water level flowing southward was ever too 
high, it could flood certain neighborhoods, 
such as the Busch Gardens area as the river 
passes through South Pasadena. Has anyone 
living today ever seen the water level rise even 
half way up the walls of the cement ditch? I’ve 
seen it up over half-way during one of the peak-
rain years, for two days. Is downstream flooding 
really a reason for the “big dig”? Whether there 
is a big dig or a little sustained dig will probably 
have zero effect on whether or not the cement 
Arroyo Seco will ever overflow its walls.

There is also the argument made that the dam 
is important to Pasadena’s water supply, but, 
in fact, the water supply is taken out of the 
Arroyo via a smaller dam and pipe about a mile 

 Another concern, of many, about this project 
is that the trees will simply and unceremoniously 
be chopped down and hauled away to the 
dump. Mostly willow, the wood is valuable to 
crafters, basket-makers, bowmakers, and herbal 
medicine crafters. Shouldn’t such individuals 
be invited in to the designated area to remove 
wood for their higher use than a mere dumping? 
Shouldn’t the County be thinking in terms of the 
highest use of resources? At the very least, we’re 
speaking of tons of firewood and woodchips?

 According to the man who followed in the 
footsteps of Charles Lummis, “The County 
Flood Control District’s sediment and habitat 
removal program is going to be devastating to 
Hahamongna, the most precious environmental 
zone in our region,” said Arroyo Seco 
Foundation Managing Director Tim Brick. 

 Next week we’ll look at the willow tree, one of 
the most common trees that will be cut down en 
masse in the Hahamongna basin.

Did you ever experience a 
time when you were right 
and had the evidence to 
prove you were right?

 I know that for me, it does not happen very 
often. In fact, I cannot think of a time that it really 
did happen to me. Well, until recently. I want to 
remember this incident as long as I live.

 The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was 
preparing for our Thanksgiving family get-
together. It takes her weeks to get everything 
prepared; she is so meticulous and will not allow 
anything to go wrong from her point of view. 
Everything has to be done just so.

 Experience has taught me during this time of 
the year to stay out of the kitchen! That is why I 
am still living to this very day.

 However, it does have its advantages. I can relax 
in my “man cave” and stay out of her way. I know 
that if I ever get in her way she always, without 
exception, has a job for me to do. I like working, 
but not under those circumstances. If she cannot 
see me, she cannot give me work to do.

 One thing she is most focused on are vegetables. 
According to her, there has to be a balance of 
vegetables and the greener the better.

 I, on the other side of the “I Do” aisle, have 
very little patience for vegetables. I was losing the 
battle for this vegetables war until recently.

 I was haphazardly watching the news one night 
when they came out with a very scary bulletin. It 
seems that a certain vegetable (I will not name 
it because I am not a vegetable person and a 
vegetable to me is a vegetable) was infected and 
giving people E. coli.

 When I first heard that news, I thought I heard 
it wrong. After all, I have been told all my life that 
vegetables are good for you and will not harm you. 
A healthy diet includes lots of veggies. Then they 
come along with this warning that you should not 
buy this certain vegetable.

 “Hey, my dear,” I cheerfully said, “come and 
look at this news report.”

 I love modern technology because by the time 
she got into the room the television report was 
over. Very nonchalantly, I pressed the rewind 
button and was able to replay that news report 
about a certain vegetable.

 I was as quiet as long as I possibly could be, and 
then I blurted out, “See, I told you, vegetables are 
not all good.”

 She gave me one of “those looks” and walked 
back into the kitchen.

 I grew up in a farm community in Pennsylvania 
and one of the sayings my grandfather had was, 
“When you have a cow you need to milk it.” And I 
was about to milk this for everything I could.

 I grabbed my coffee cup and went out in the 
kitchen to get another fresh cup of coffee and 
when I was there, I happened to mention, “I 
always knew vegetables could be dangerous.”

 She looked at me and then said, “That is only 
one incident and I’m not sure it’s even true.”

 “If it’s on TV it has to be true,” I spurted very 

 Then I had an idea burning in my head that 
I had been wanting to share with her for a long 
time but never had an opportunity. She is always 
getting on my case about my apple fritters, and 
how harmful they were to me. When saying that 
she was always staring at my fully developed 

 “There has never been,” I began as seriously as 
possible, “any news report that apple fritters are 
harmful to your health. Certainly, not like this 
vegetable on the news today.”

 She looked at me and smiled, but as I walked 
away, I could see out of the corner of my eye 
she was sticking her tongue out at me. It feels 
so good to be right about something and have it 
collaborated by the “TV news media.”

 This is a novel experience for me to be certain. It 
might be the only one so I plan to enjoy it as long 
as possible. During the next few days whenever 
we crossed paths I always smiled victoriously at 

 At our family Thanksgiving get together, I 
noticed that a certain “vegetable” was not on the 
table. You do not know how hard it was for me 
not to mention that. Every once in a while I would 
glance in my wife’s direction and smile. She knew 
what I was smiling about, but just let it go.

 I guess that is what married life is all about. 
Sharing secrets between one another.

 Every time I eat an apple fritter from now on, 
I am going to be smiling in remembrance of that 
“vegetable.” I am not that accustomed to victory 
and so I was taking advantage of it. However, I 
knew I had to be careful because sometimes 
things can backfire. I know this by experience.

 I was enjoying my victory at the time, and then 
I remembered what the apostle Paul said about 
victory. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us 
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 
Corinthians 15:57).

 God has for us victory that supersedes any 
victory we could have in this world. His victory is 
always through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage in Ocala. Call him at 1-866-552-
2543 or e-mail His web site 

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