Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 6, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page B:3


 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 6, 2021 


Our dog Molly is a major part of my family’s 
life and we love her dearly. She came to us when 
our close friend and neighbor, Frederick Alfaro 
passed away 9½ years ago. She first worked her 
way into our home (which took very little effort 
on her part as we would never have surrendered 
her to a shelter), and then went about working 

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 

her way into our hearts, where she resides and remains forever, the little rascal. 

Molly is a senior now, about 12 years old, we think. She has had some unique challenges since puppy-
hood, but with the help of her humans, she has proven to be a trooper in overcoming most of those 
challenges. There is one thing, however, that we have not completely overcome with Molly and that is her 
inability to relax in social settings with other dogs. 

That is why we are so grateful to have a dog-friend for Molly. His name is Boyd and he is the sweetest, 
kindest, most loving black lab you could ever hope to meet. Boyd’s human is our dear friend, Gerd who 
happens to be a natural-born dog lover and fabulous pet parent. She’s taught me so much about taking 
care of animals, as she has had many dogs of her own, and she was a pet-sitter herself here in Sierra 
Madre way before I came along. Indeed, she was a professional pet-nanny before the title even existed! 

Boyd is also a senior (13 years old), and he seems to really like Molly, in spite of her ill social skills. Boyd 
is the ultimate gentleman and host-with-the-most when we visit him and Gerd in his back yard after 
our Sunday morning walks. Both Gerd and Boyd have become near and dear to me and my family over 
the years. 

A few weeks ago, something very strange happened with Boyd. He went to bed behaving totally normal 
but when he woke up he was not quite himself. He was unable to stand and walk as usual. Every time he 
attempted to get up on his feet, he would lean to one side with his head tilted sideward, and just sort of 
fall over as if he had no control of his legs. It seemed he simply could not stay standing up on his own. 

As you can imagine, this threw us all for a real scare! As I tried to go about business ‘as usual‘ that 
morning, I found it difficult to fight back the tears. I kept picturing moments that Molly and I shared 
with Gerd and Boyd in the past -funny little gestures that he clearly enjoys exhibiting just to make us 
laugh. Countless memories that now felt so bittersweet and heavy in my heart emerged like a bubbling 
fountain. It was hard to stay focused on anything but Boyd and exactly what was going on with him. 

Later that day, while sitting on the floor of Gerd’s den with both of them, I was petting Boyd and trying 
my hardest to be an encouraging friend, all the while fighting back those tears and trying not to give 
in to my own sensitive feelings. Boyd was stoic, as he always is. Not a word was spoken between us 
regarding what felt like the obvious “elephant in the living room“ to me…the fact that this may very well 
be Boyd’s last day on earth. My heart was breaking and though Gerd stayed positive, as she always does, 
I‘m sure her heart was breaking as well. 

Gerd had called and made an appointment with Boyd’s veterinarian, for the earliest time they had 
available that afternoon. Meanwhile, she stayed close and did everything a loving pet-parent does to 
keep their four-legged friend comfortable when they are not at the top of their game. It all felt very 

That evening, after Boyd’s vet visit, Gerd called and told me she had very good news! Boyd was not 
ready to cross that proverbial rainbow after all. He did not have a stroke during the night, nor was he 
succumbing to any form of fatal heart failure. At last I felt like I could finally exhale! The vet was spot 
on when he told Gerd that Boyd was suffering from Canine Idiopathic Vestibular Disease, also known 
as “Old Dog Syndrome”. That was the first time I had ever heard of Old Dog Syndrome, although I was 
somewhat familiar with vestibular issues, having had my own experience with nausea and imbalance 
after a transcontinental flight several years ago. 

So, apparently when a dog (typically an older dog, thus the common name, Old Dog Syndrome), suffers 
with Vestibular Disease, there is a disturbance within the inner ear and middle ear. There are several 
scenarios that can lead to an inner ear disturbance, not the least of which is infection. But in Boyd’s case 
there was no infection. His nose was moist and cool, and his temperature felt normal to touch in all 
those areas on a dog where you would be able to feel a fever if there was one. This was confirmed by the 
vet later, during their visit. 

Ultimately, the vet explained that vestibular disturbances in senior dogs can happen rather randomly 
when there is no infection. The cause is not always clear. The good news is, it is treatable and much of the 
time it goes away without a trace! Boyd is doing fantastic today, after taking a simple over-the-counter 
motion-sickness medication. That was it! As I’m sure you can imagine, Gerd is on cloud nine now, as am 

I. It was quite a scare, but thanks to a vet who knew what was going on with Boyd and what needed to 
be done to help him, that kind canine is still loving life enjoying his walks, and bringing joy to all who 
know him. 
If the vet had not known enough to consider the possibility of Boyd having Canine Idiopathic Vestibular 
Disease, but rather had focused on the possibility of a stroke or heart condition based on his symptoms, 
the outcome of that visit may have been truly tragic for a senior dog of 13 years. That’s why I thought 
this was a story worth sharing with my pet-loving peers. I hope this article proves valuable to at least 
one pup parent in the future. I wish you all the best and send big hugs out to the adorable dogs in our 
community. Love and let live! 


During the spring of 2020, 


California was struggling 
with raging fires that seemed 
impossible to extinguish. As the forests 
were burning, Girl Scout Natalya Eastepp 
considered the role that bees play in 
pollinating the forests and wondered how 
long it would take bees to help restore the 
forests to their original state before the 
“This was especially sad to me,” explains Eastepp, “ because 
the forest and lake we vacation at caught on fire as we were 
leaving. I couldn't believe this was happening. I grew up 
skiing there in the winter and boating on the lake during the 
summer. The little town of Shaver Lake was evacuating due 
to raging fires. I couldn't get this out of my head.” 

Her concern for the environment led her to research the 
problem and she found that bee species are rapidly becoming 
endangered. Without bees, all species, including humans, 
would slowly go extinct because the bees pollinate our food 

This led me to researching solutions. Bees popped up on my 
search. Eventually, I learned bee numbers are declining at 
an alarming rate and are close to being on the endangered 
species list. 

“As I dove deeper into my research,” explains Eastepp, “ I 
learned that bees pollinate every third bite of food we eat. If 
bees become extinct we become extinct. My emotions started 
off as concerned and quickly went to panicked! Why weren't 
people talking about this important issue? This huge issue 
isn't being taught in the classroom, talked about on the news 

Natalya Eastepp next to one the mason bee 
nests, mounted atop the 4 x 4 post. She is placing 
larvae into the plastic tubes secured to the 4 x 4. 


Naomi is a 
beautiful calico,
with lots of white. 
You'll love her 
soft, soft fur, too, 
when you pet her. 
She is very, very 
sweet and polite! 
Naomi had a very 

loving home, but her owner passed away. 

Then she was adopted again but after a couple of years she was just returned because she 
developed IBS, which we are treating. Now Naomi is won-dering what happened to all that 
love and security. She will give you lots of love and kisses if you can make her your own, 
treasured little girl. 

Born 2011. Naomi will come vetted, spayed, tested negative, and microchipped. See more 
pictures on our Adult Cats page. Submit your application now at 

Pet of the Week

 Four-year-old Mars is such a friendly cat! Thisbeautiful fluffy kitty greets new people withhead bumps and loud purrs. He especially loveshaving his face pet. When you finish pettinghim, he’ll meow at you for more attention! Marsis so sweet and affectionate, and would love to be 
your shadow.

 The adoption fee for cats is $100. All catadoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, andage-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentaryhealth-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled withinformation about how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule anadoption appointment at
Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are availableevery Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 

phone calls or email. 

She chose to focus upon 
docile mason bee, native 
to North America, which 
pollinates some species 
of plants better than the 

To pursue this mission, 
Eastepp then hosted 
several bee awareness 
workshops, during 
which she spoke about 
the importance of bees 
and how easy it would 
be to save them. Eastepp 
reached out to Torrance 
Home Depot, who 
graciously donated Mason 
Bee nests. 

Eastepp then purchased 
680 bee larvae from an 
ethical Mason Bee farmer. 
Her project involved 
installing bee nests with 

or the radio. I decided something had to be done.” larvae to nature centers, parks, and universities in her local 
community and surrounding areas. 

Eastepp’s chose to take action, and created the Community Mason 
Bee Awareness and Population, the name of her Gold Award She began the nest and bee installations on Saturday, March 6th, 
project, which is the highest level achievement in Girl Scouts. 2021, and completed it all Saturday, April 17th, 2021. 

Eastepp provided nests to White Point and George F. Canyon 
(they wanted nests but no bee larvae). At Madrona Marsh Nature 
Center Native Garden, one nest with 68 bee larvae was installed. 
At Entradero Park in Torrance, one nest with 68 bee larvae was 
installed. The South Coast Botanic Garden requested nests 
containing 100 bee larvae. California State University, Dominguez 
Hills, received 1 nest with 50 bee larvae. The LA Arboretum in 
Arcadia received 1 nest that has 50 bee larvae. 

Eaton Canyon Natural Area in Pasadena received one nest with 
100 bee larvae. Vasquez Rocks received 2 nests containing 100 bee 
larvae. UCI Arboretum and Herbarium received one nest and 50 

Eastepp’s project began in August of 2020, and by the time she was 
finished, she clocked nearly 350 hours into the project. 

She has since also written a children's book about mason bees 
and has donated over 160 copies to schools, doctors offices, and 
nature centers. The book is titled “Poppy and Me” with illustrator 
Eliza Pasha, and can be purchased at “My hope 
is to inspire kids and adults to take action and do their part on 
this important issue. When bees thrive, we thrive,” she exclaims 

 According to Eastepp, “My goal is to educate as many people as 
I can on the importance of restoring the ecosystems balance by 
raising bee awareness and making our world more bee-friendly. 
After all, saving the bees allows them to thrive and, in turn, saves 
humanity and our world.” 

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