Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 26, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 26, 2022 

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 


Last week I was sitting in front of Mary’s Market when along came a couple I’ve know in 
town for several years. They are such friendly folks, it was easy to get to know them back 
when they used to live around the corner from us, and after they bought a bigger house 
down the road to accommodate their growing family, I continued to see them out and about 
and happy to say we’ve maintained a cordial, neighborly friendship over the years. 

It’s always a pleasure to cross paths with this cute couple, whose names will need to remain 
anonymous, for now. Let’s just call them “Mom” and “Dad” since that’s how they’re known 
in their home. We struck up one of those “Hey, how are ya?” kind of conversations that we 
Sierra Madreans are so famous for, and I took the time to pet their adorable dog. I asked 
when they got the pup, and they proceeded to share the sweetest story of how it happened 
that she became such an important part of their lives. 

It was during a walk home from getting coffee in town one day in February, 2013 that dad 
noticed a puppy running around loose on Montecito Ave. The poor thing seemed lost but 
she was friendly enough. She kept approaching him, so he picked her up and started knocking 
on doors, trying to find out where she lived. There was no collar, so no ID. She was so 
vulnerable. He simply could not leave her wondering the streets by herself. 

He went house to house until one lady answered the door with the phone to her ear. She’d already 
called Pasadena Humane Society. Apparently the little dog had been roaming around 
the neighborhood on-and-off for a few days. He asked to speak to the person on the phone, 
and was told no one had reported a lost puppy that fit the description. He gave PHS his address 
as the location where she would be, as he’d already decided he was taking her home. 

The PHS person arrived at the house and performed the scan, but no chip was found which 
meant the poor pup had to go to the shelter for 7 days, to allow ample time for the owner 
to call in and pick her up - standard protocol in keeping with CA due-diligence law when 
one finds a lost dog. It was hard to let the puppy go, as you can imagine. But the PHS people 
promised the couple if the owner did not materialize, they would have 1st dibs at adopting 
her. So off the little girl went to the shelter. She’d already made such a huge impression on 
the couple and their kids, there was no way they would miss out on the opportunity to make 
her their own. 

And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. After that “7-day stay” during which the 
family paid daily visits to see her, the precious pup finally got to go home with her new forever 
family where she has been loved, coddled and cared for ever since! The little cutie got 
off to a rough start, but she eventually embarked on a life beyond her wildest imagination 
and her family is over-the-moon to have her. I love pet adoption stories like this, don’t you? 

SO, let’s get down to the real focus of this week’s Happy Tail. 

Who wants to participate in a “GUESS THE BREED CONTEST”? All are welcome to join 
in on the fun. 

The lost pup in this story was about 6 mos. when she found her forever home, so she’s about 
9½ years now. The family has always wondered what breed(s) she is. In 2013, the idea of using 
DNA to determine a pet’s ancestry wasn’t so much a thing, but it’s practically the norm 
now and it’s exactly what the family decided to do. The kit was ordered, the sample submitted, 
and the results are in, but the envelope will not open until March 5th. 

NOW it is UP TO YOU to look 
closely at the photos, read the 
detailed description, and enter 
your guess as to what breed(s) 
you believe this darling dog is 
made up of. The participant 
who guesses closest to the actual 
scientific DNA lab report 
will win a real nice prize. It’s 
for real. No joke. READY? 


Be sure to take a good look 
at the 3 included photos. For 
clearer copies, go to this week’s 
Mountain Views News on-line 
issue at: 
and click on the Just for Best 
Friends tab. 


She weighs about 26 lbs. and is 
approx. 24” long (top of head 

to butt) with 8-9” legs and an 8” 
tail that curls up on her back. She 
has soft, sort of fluffy hair. Tricolored; 
black & white, freckles 
on legs and nose, beige eyebrows 
& points. 


Absolutely the sweetest, most 
charming little pup you could ever 
hope to meet. Not an aggressive 
bone in her body.
Awesome with kids and grownups 
alike. Great with other dogs, 


E-mail your “guess” entry to me: chris@ by no later than 
Wed., March 2, 6 PM.
I’ll confirm receipt of your e-mail within 
24 hours and add you to the list of 

 The actual DNA/breed ID results will 

be announced in the March 5 issue of 

Mountain Views News. 

The winner will be awarded a $25 gift certificate, compliments 
of Canyon Canine Dog Walking 


Seeing Double? 

These two adorable, 4 month 
old cuties are described by 
their foster mom as just "the 
sweetest kittens!" Named after 
Marvel superheroes, they 
are playful and loving, just 
as kittens are supposed to be 
when raised with love. To tell 
them apart, Thor has amazing 
dark stripes, and Ban

ner has the white nose. They especially like to wrestle and 
chase that laser light, and Banner loves to watch the birds at 
the win-dow. They are best buddies, and like to groom each 
other and cuddle together. Having two bonded kittens is very 
entertaining and they can keep each other company when 
you’re not around. Adopt these “su-per” boys and put the fun 
back into your life! Just submit your applica-tion at Lifeline 
for Pets: where you can see more 
pictures of Thor and Banner on our Very Young Cats page. 

Pet of the Week

 Nine-year-old Jenny is a beautiful orange tabby looking fora calm and quiet forever home. Jenny is a little bit shy, but hasbeen slowly and steadily making progress and coming out ofher shell while in our care. Now, she enjoys getting scratchesfrom volunteers, and also really loves catnip and silvervine.
Jenny needs a patient adopter who can let her get used to hernew home at her own pace. She has lots of love to give!

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

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA AnimalHospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane. 
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available 
every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phonecalls or email. 

from my Mother 


[Nyerges is an educator and author 
of such books as “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” 
How to Survive Anywhere,” and 
many more. Information about 
his classes and publications can 
be seen at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.

My mother used to tell us, “Quit your complaining!” 

Maybe we wanted something the family couldn’t afford. 
“Quit your complaining and go out and earn 
some money,” she’d tell us. We all learned to find creative 
ways to be youthful entrepreneurs because of my 

Maybe we were not happy with our meal. “Quit your 
complaining,” she’d scold us. “There are millions of 
people in the world who have nothing to eat. Nothing! 
Learn to appreciate what you have!” 

Maybe we didn’t like the clothes she bought us. “Quit 
your complaining,” she’d tell us. “Some people can only 
afford rags! And when you get your own job, you can 
buy anything in the store that you can afford. In the 
meantime, quit your complaining.” 

Maybe we didn’t like the show my father was watching 
on the television. We only had one television back 
then in our big family household, so everyone sat 
around the TV at night after dinner. If we complained 
about something my father liked to watch, she’d say 
“Quit your complaining! Don’t forget who paid for 
that TV, and who worked all day so you can sit here 
and watch any tv at all.” Yes, she said that to us! “And 
if you don’t keep your mouth shut and watch what’s 
on, you can go do your homework, or go wash the 
dishes!” she’d tell us. Usually, we all just laughed, and 
then pretended to enjoy watching what my father was 
watching, which was usually a news item. Slowly, little 
by little, I realized that watching what my father was 
watching was far more likely to enhance my education 
in world history and politics than Lassie, Bonanza, or 
Outer Limits. 

Sometimes we brothers had the audacity to complain 
that we didn’t have dessert after dinner. It took me 
many years to realize that only our friends in the upper 
economic classes ate dessert after every meal. And 
they coincidentally had far worse teeth, in general, 
than all my family. But any time we complained in 
any way about the food that was always on our table, 
my mother would say, “Quit your complaining! Don’t 
you know that people are starving this very night? You 
should be happy that you have anything to eat at all!” 
And I was. I was very happy. But this one must have 
sunk in somehow, because my mother began to teach 
all of us – all boys – my one sister had moved out early 

– how to cook cakes, and all manner of desserts and 
main dishes. At least two of my brothers because very 
accomplished cooks on par with chefs. 
My mother grew up at the end of World War I, lived 
through the Depression on a farm with her 6 brothers 
in rural Ohio, and then through World War II. She 
knew what it meant to stretch a dollar and to not waste 
things. She understood the value of waste not, need 

Though she was from the water-rich northeast, she 
would never waste water. When she needed hot water, 
she let the first water out of the tap run into a small 
bucket until the hot water flowed. When that bucket 
was full, one of us had to empty it outside in the little 
garden she had outside the kitchen. When we complained 
about what we thought was a pointless task – 
after all, why not let the water go down the drain like 
everyone else did – she said, “Don’t complain! And 
don’t tell me what other people do. We don’t waste wa

ter! Why should it go down the drain when we can use 
it to water our plants?” I could tell that she wanted to 
open up our young minds and speak to us about the 
ecology of water, and the necessity of water for humanity 
to live and to thrive, and she wanted to impart to us 
the universal reality of something that some call “karma,” 
meaning that you get what you earn, or deserve, 
and that if you waste something, you will, sooner or 
later, find yourself without it. My mother did sometimes, 
but not often, tell us in a somber voice about 
those who died during the Depression who had no 
food or water or the means to get it. Her small seemingly 
insignificant act of saving water embodied her 
deep philosophy that water was sacred, and it should 
not be wasted, ever. 

Once, one of my older brothers put his dirty boots on 
the kitchen table, and she yelled at him to “Get those 
dirty things off the table!” She never had to repeat that 
particular lecture because most of us were there, and 
several after-school friends were there. “Look,” she 
said, going into a serious tone. “The table, this table, 
is where we eat. It’s where we put our food. It’s a sacred 
place! Back home (referring to her Ohio farm), we 
didn’t always have food, but we knew what it meant to 
work for our food. Our food, our rain, our well-water, 
that was our life. We prayed for our life and sustenance, 
and we kept our part of the bargain by keeping the sacred 
attitude towards our food, and our treatment of 
food.” She paused, as if wondering what next to say to 
teenage boys. “So, this table is where we eat. We come 
together as a family. We pray before our meals, and we 
keep this table clean.” She paused and said loudly, “So 
that means NO BOOTS on the table, ever!” 

Growing up on a farm and seeing the thin line between 
life and death was a reality my mother always tried to 
impart to us. We could not complain about saving water 
because we should be appreciating what water we 
did have, and we should use it wisely. We could not 
complain about food because food was sacred and we 
had to be thankful for whatever we had, even if it was 
scraps. We could not complain about clothing – oh, 
what a vanity to complain about that. I grew up wearing 
my older brothers’ hand-me-down garments. 

We grew up with the growing ability to see potential, 
not lack. We slowly understood my mother’s perspective, 
and never (after the first time) asked her for money 
to do or buy something. We knew what she would 
always say: “Yes you can buy that! Go out and earn the 
money that you need.” 

After all these years, with the lessons from my mother 
very fresh, I bristle whenever I hear associates who do 
nothing but complain about this or that, especially if 
they have no constructive ideas. 

I remember talking to an immigrant to the U.S. who 
came here from Mexico, overcoming many hardships 
along the way. He told me something that seemed 
reminiscent of what my mother would say, “You 
Americans don’t seem to realize it, but most of you are 
millionaires by world standards. I don’t mean that you 
have a million dollars, necessarily, but you expect running 
water in every home, hot and cold. You expect a 
working flush toilet in every home. You expect electricity 
and gas in every home, so you have lights, heating, 
and a way to cook and you’re your clothes. I never had 
or expected any of those things,” this Mexican friend 
told me. And because he had lived with such want, he 
was far more deeply appreciative of all the expectations 
of American life, things that far too many Americans 
simply take for granted without due appreciation. 

Those fellow Americans who complain endlessly while 
living in a culture of such material abundance are living 
in the greatest mental poverty possible. 

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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