Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 2, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 9


Mountain Views News Saturday, May 2, 2020 


Dear Friends,

 With the developing news regarding coronavirus COVID-19, I wanted to take a moment to share 
how Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA is addressing the concern at our shelter, as well as our community 
programming and events.

 We are taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of the animals in our care, 
our staff and the community we serve by modifying our services. At this time, our Adoptions Center 
will be closed to the public - but if you are interested in adopting a pet you have seen on our website, 
we will be open by appointment only during our normal business hours. 

 We have also temporarily suspended the following activities:

 Community outreach programs (including our mobile outreach events). If you are a current event 
registrant, we will communicate with you directly regarding any changes, so please watch your 
email. Updates will also be shared on our social media pages and website.

 Humane Education activities which include our Kids Club, Animal Adventure Workshops, Scout 
Sundays, group tours, Sunday Morning Helpers, and Barks and Books program. 

Public spay/neuter and vaccine clinics

Dog training classes 

Pet Boarding, except in case of emergency.

 The following services will also be available by appointment only:

Reclaiming your lost pet AND Relinquishing your pet

Please limit calls to our Field Services Department to emergencies only. 

There have also been questions about whether pets can get sick from COVID-19 or if they can make 
us sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there is 
no evidence that companion ani-mals such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the 
virus that causes COVID-19.

While animals may not be at risk from this disease, we urge all pet owners to have plans for how 
to care for their animals in case of emergency. COVID-19 is no different, and serves as an excellent 
reminder to pull that plan together now if you don’t already have one. Click here for more 

Right now, more than ever, we need your help. We have a tremendous need for community fosters. 
As the virus spreads, the number of animals in shelters and rescues will continue to increase. At 
the same time, we anticipate de-creased interest and ability to adopt a new pet. So if you’re able to 
foster a dog, cat, or rabbit for the next several weeks, you could help give animals a break from the 
shelter and make room for more animals who are in need. For more information about fostering, 

Thank you for your support!


Or, Do You?

As a youth, I was taught to treasure my native 
language, which just so happens to be English. 
I was encouraged to learn as many words as I 
could, and use them as properly as I knew how. 
In retrospect, I realize how fortunate I was to 
have had parents and educators who instilled 
in me a strong appreciation for the value of the 
vernacular, though I can’t honestly say I’ve done 
it the justice it deserves.

In spite of the teachings I received as a child, to 
revere words and hone my grammatical skills, I recently realized how rarely I’ve questioned the meanings 
or origins of the many coined colloquialisms I’ve heard and used throughout my life. I’m referring to 
those idiomatic expressions that the parents used to throw - at will - into the middle of a lecture, hoping to 
convince us kids to be more responsible for our actions and ‘grow up‘!

You know, the ones that somehow snuck in from nowhere while the elders were sharing a wanton word of 
warning about who, or who not to befriend in order to avoid “getting in with the wrong crowd“. And there 
were others that came in the form of a nudge to do the right thing so as to keep from feeling the unbearable 
pain and remorse of “what goes around, comes around.”

Somehow, without even asking what they meant by what they said, or even looking up the meanings of the 
phrases they used, I knew exactly what they were attempting to convey. Their sayings were by no means 
conventional, in terms of the traditional use of the English language, but I understood nonetheless and 
it wasn‘t long before I found myself using the same slang phrases to make ‘important’ points of my own.

Among the culturally-connected catch-phrases that were passed down from earlier generations, many 
have become commonly used components of our modern day dialogue. Those less-than-conventional 
comments, whether comical or corrective, somehow wiggled their way into our verbal vocabulary without 
so much as a smidgen of scrutiny.

Some of my favorite ‘quip-quotes’ are those that involve animals (a real shocker, I know). For example, who 
hasn’t heard, “Don‘t look a gift horse in the mouth.“? Or, “It’s raining cats and dogs!”? Or, “A bird in the 
hand is worth two in the bush.”? The list goes on and on, of abstract adages that possess no literal meaning, 
yet, metaphorically they promise to offer an answer to just about every question in life.

One day, when met by a quizzical look on my granddaughter’s face upon my use of one of those obscure-
to-her phrases, I was inspired to learn the when’s, why’s, what’s and where’s of all the ’out-there’ idioms 
I choose to use, to avoid making a fool of myself by not knowing. So I looked up a few and my findings 
were quite enlightening. Thanks to a good group of “e-scholars” at , I found lots of 
interesting moral-based morsels that had me mystified in the past.

I’ll start with the “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” expression, because even though most folks already 
know what it means, my guess is that few are aware of it‘s origin. It made it’s first appearance in written 
English as part of John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the 
Englishe tongue, where it read: “No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth.” It is assumed that 
Heywood obtained the phrase from a Latin text of St. Jerome, The Letter to the Ephesians, circa AD 400. 
The intended message is, to not question a good thing when it happens, just as one should not check a 
horse’s teeth to determine it‘s age, if it performs well.

One of the more satirical sort of sayings that I never understood until I looked it up, is “A bird in the hand 
is worth two in the bush”. This one refers to medieval falconry where a bird in the hand (the predator) 
was a valuable asset and worth more than two birds in a bush (the prey). A citation of this phrase was first 
printed in 1670, in John Ray’s A Hand-book of Proverbs. The gist of this jocular jest is, it’s best to have a 
lesser but certain advantage rather than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing. Advice 
well taken by most, but not what a gambler wants to hear during a weekend in Vegas.

One potentially patronizing proverb that had me previously puzzled, is the old saying, “Don’t buy a pig 
in a poke”. Little did I know that this one is actually more literal than most. It’s a throwback from the days 
when pigs were commonly sold in town square farmer’s markets, and the advice offered is, don’t purchase 
a pig sight unseen. A poke was another word for a bag, and pigs were apparently bagged before going to 
market, so a smart buyer would ask the seller to expose the pig before making their purchase. The modern 
day message behind this strange yet savvy saying is, don’t buy into a deal before examining it closely first. 
Who can’t benefit from heeding this bountiful bit of advice?

I could go on forever, but due to space restraints I must limit my list, so here are a few more silly sounding 
sayings, along with their origins and meanings for your enjoyment:

“A leopard cannot change it’s spots.” - Jeremiah 13:23 - a being cannot change it’s innate nature.

“A fly in the ointment” - Ecclesiastes 10:1 - a small irritating flaw with the potential to spoil the whole.

“A fish out of water” - Samuel Purchas’s Pilgrimage, 1613 - Being in a situation that one is unsuited for.

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

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