Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 12, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 12, 2022 



[Nyerges is an educator and author. His latest book is “Urban Survival Guide,” which includes a section 
on water: collecting and using rainwater, how to purify and store water, etc. It is available wherever 
quality books are sold, including the Store at] 

Yes, I collected and am now using some of the recent rain for my morning coffee. Here are 
some details from my recent “Urban Survival Guide” book: 

In planning your rain collection system, you simply need to observe the flow of rain off of 
your roof, and position your containers accordingly. 
Two things to remember in collecting rain:
1) Always wait at least thirty-four minutes after a heavy rain has begun before you put out your 
rain catchers. This allows most of the impurities to be washed out of the air, and most of the impurities to 
be washed off your roof.

2) Always cover the full containers as soon as possible to avoid breeding mosquitoes and other 
The performance of rain water collection systems over a forty-year period at thirteen California locations 
was detailed in Feasibility of Rain Water Collection Systems in California by David Jenkins and Frank Pearson, 
published by the California Water Resources Center, University of California, Davis. Quite consistently, 
it was observed, 88 percent of the annual California rain falls between the November to March wet season. 
The rain during this wet season is fairly well distributed, whereas the scant summer rain is highly variable 
with no observable pattern of distribution. 

The authors of this study pointed out that rainwater collection is certainly possible at most homes. However, 
when they factored in the cost of storage tanks or barrels, they concluded that storing rainwater might not be 
cost-competitive compared to piped water. 

Relying on the rain as your only or main source of water is possible if you’ve properly calculated your water 
needs and have adequate storage tanks. Of course, the weather must also be cooperative for you to achieve a 
goal of rain water self-sufficiency. 

I’ve never attempted to rely entirely on rain water. My concern is simply to save and use some of that freely 
falling water from heaven. I’ve rarely collected less than thirty gallons in a single storm, and, on occasion, 
I’ve collected as much as four hundred gallons of rainwater in a single downpour. That’s water that I can use 
without relying on the piped water that comes to me from afar. I have always felt that I should use all of the 
resources that fall upon my little piece of home, and I never wanted the rain that fell on me to be unceremoniously 
drain out of my yard and down into the city’s gutters. 

Let’s use an example that’s local to me. Even though Los Angeles County is defined as a “coastal desert 
plain,” it receives an average of 14.93 inches of rain each year. Once you know the annual rainfall for your 
area, you can calculate the potential for rain water collection in your area.
Calculating Rainfall for Harvesting

1) Measure your roof. And no, you don’t need to go up there. In most cases you can just walk the perimeter 
of the building, and you’ll find that the roof’s dimensions are the same. So, for example, the roof of my Los 
Angeles home was about thirty by sixty feet.
2) Thirty times sixty comes out to 1800 square feet. That is the total possible catchment area. Keep in mind 
that it’s rare that you can actually capture all the rain that falls on your roof.
3) Next, an inch of rainfall on a square foot of surface area yields .623 gallons. Multiply .623 gallons by the 
number of surface square feet of your roof. In my example, I would multiply .623 x 1800, which equals 1,121. 
This means that for each inch of rainfall, my roof could potentially collect 1,121 gallons of rainwater! 
4) Since the average annual rainfall for Los Angeles is 14.93 inches, I then multiply my roof’s potential yield 
times the inches of rainfall. 1,121 gallons times 14.93 inches annually, and we come up with a potential figure 
of an incredible 16,736 gallons. That’s quite a bit of water that can be harvested and used for your landscape, 
drinking water, or other uses. How far would that water last you? Let say your household of two people 
use two hundred gallons of water a day. (Does that sound like a lot? About one hundred gallons a day is the 
residential average in the US. People tend to use way more water than they think they’re using.) So if you 
divide 16,736 gallons by two hundred, you get about 83 ½ days, which is almost a quarter of your annual 
water needs. 

Imagine if your best friend need urgent medical care and you just 
couldn't afford it? Imagine if there were a place where you could 
actually get help! 
Meet Sam Bernardo and 
Ryan Boyd, cofounders of 
Free Animal Doctor, Inc., 
are working hard to save 
lives in Sierra Madre and 
beyond. These two animal 
lovers and Good Samaritans 
are saving pet lives daily 
through the clever charitable 
programs Free Animal 
Doctor has developed over 
the past 5-6 years. 

Their mission is to keep pet 
families together when facing 
a pet health crisis, the 
family cannot afford. They help to match donors with pet families in need by using their online 
crowdfunding platform ( to raise funds to pay for the cost of critical veterinary 
care for sick or injured animals. To date, they have raised $1.4M and helped over 1000 pets; 
and the number of pet fundraising campaigns and donors is steadily growing. 

As if this is not enough, they do more. Free Animal Doctor acquired a mobile surgical unit, now 
parked at Santa Anita Park, where they offer a limited range of surgical procedures at very low cost: 
spay/neuter, tumor removal, and hernia repair. To date, they have spayed/neutered nearly 1,600 dogs 
and cats, removed 14 tumors, repaired 18 hernias, and vaccinated over 300 animals. Their clinics are 
always full, with a waiting list; and the demand is growing. 

Now this inspired team is taking on their biggest challenge yet. They have begun development of a 
non-profit Free Animal Doctor veterinary hospital scheduled to open in late 2023. The new hospital 
will provide a wide range of life-saving surgical procedures and treatments at very low cost (or no 
cost to families when funded through the online crowdfunding platform). Plans for the new hospital 
are already underway. Free Animal Doctor is looking to raise money to pay for the cost of building 
the facility and needed surgical 
equipment, estimated at $700,000. 

This team is dedicated to saving 
pet lives and helping pet families. 
Their success demonstrates that 
the community is benefitting from 
their ingenuity and service. If you 
want to donate to the Free Animal 
Doctor New Hospital Fund, 
please visit www.freeanimaldoctor.
org and click on the Donations 
drop-down menu or send a check 
to Free Animal Doctor at 70 E 
Montecito Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 
91024. Donations of any size will 
be appreciated. 


Jewell is a beautiful, 
short haired 
tuxedo sweetie piewith the cutest little 
black nose and 
gorgeous green 
eyes! Jewell was a 
homeless mama 
with babies when 

a kind neighbor took her and her kittens into 
safety. Her babies were all adopoted but Jewell 
was left behind. Understanda-bly, she can be a 
little on the shy side, and take awhile to trust 
people, but now she welcomes affection! She is 
loyal and so worth the patience that you invest 
in her. One of her favorite things to do is stand 
up, stretch and greet you when you get home. She is playful and likes to run around 
and play with her toys. She has a great appetite and isn't picky about food. This pretty 
and petite girl is ready to set down some roots in a loving home of her own. Jewell is 
spayed, up-to-date on her vaccines, microchipped, and combo tested negative for FIV 
and FELV. Born 1/2021. See more cute pictures of her at, click 
on More Cats. Call 626-533-5554 to apply. 

Pet of the Week

 Bucky is a three-year old Siberian Husky who isready to be your best buddy. His happy grin can’thelp but make people smile, and he basks in all theattention he draws from everyone around.

It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through hisstomach. The way to Bucky’s heart is through buttscratches. It’s his favorite thing in the world! He isvery content to be the recipient of all the scritchesand scratches that you can manage. Of course, he’s 
also a fan of treats, so don’t forget about those!

 Buddy recently got to be an office dog for one ofour staff members, and he had a great time! Hereally enjoyed looking out the window and watchingpeople walk down the sidewalk. He also enjoyedgreeting everyone who walked down the hall in frontof the office. Bucky probably has a future career inhospitality! 
If you’re looking for an extrovert who is ready for any party, Bucky’s your guy.

The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter,
microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.
New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCAAnimal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to carefor your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoptionappointments 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 phone calls or email. 

Friends turned on friends. 
Family members spoke ill of 
other family members. Strangers 
on social media wrote posts 
that are unprintable in most 

That’s what happened 21 
months ago when I asked people 
for advice on what to name 
my new puppy.

At First, His Name Was Willy 
During the eight weeks they 
nurtured my puppy and his 
eight siblings, his breeders, 
Mike and Maryanne, gave each 
of them a temporary name. 
They named my future puppy 

He wasn’t the smallest in the 
litter, nor the largest. He wasn’t 
the best looking, nor the worst. 
He was the most laid back, 

 Whereas some of the pups were 
clearly Type A personalities — 
bossy and demanding and way 
too smart, energetic and alert 

— my guy was sleepy and silly 
and happy to stand back from 
the pack. 
“Willy” really was a good name 
for this pup and I was tempted 
to keep it.

 But I had always had a name 
in mind for a puppy that I had 
stumbled upon decades earlier. 

A Thurber Carnival

 When I was in the 10th grade, 
in 1978, my best friend Ayresie 
and I found a paperback book 
on a shelf in his basement that 
had the cover torn off.

 I’d later learn the book was 
called “A Thurber Carnival,” 
a collection of observations, 
short stories and, best of all, 
funny cartoons, produced back 
in the 1930s and 1940s by the 
famous New Yorker magazine 
humorist James Thurber. 

The cartoons and captions 
were offbeat and original. Ayresie 
and I laughed out loud as 
we thumbed through the book 
looking at them. Homework 
soon beckoned for Ayresie — 
unlike me, he was a dedicated 
student and went on to graduate 
from West Point — and I 
agreed to go to the local library 
with him so he could research 
a paper. We took “A Thurber 
Carnival” with us.

 Ayresie didn’t get much work 
done though because I kept 
pointing out the funny cartoons 
and captions and reading them 
to him. We laughed out loud 

so often we got repeated 

warnings from the librar

ian to “keep it down.” 

Then I came across a 

short story called “The 

Dog that Bit People.”

 It’s about one of the many 
dogs that Thurber, a life-long 
dog lover, especially loved, eventhough this dog had a penchant 
for biting people.

 The dog’s name was “Muggs.”

 “There was one advantage 
to being a family member,” 
Thurber wrote, “Muggs didn’t 
bite family members as often as 
he bit strangers.” Ayresie and I 
laughed so hard at that line the 
librarian finally kicked us out.

But I didn’t care, because that 
moment transformed my life.

James Thurber’s mastery with 
words and humor inspired me 
at that exact moment to become 
a writer. Thurber shares 
his love of dogs throughout 
“A Thurber Carnival” and his 
other books, which I have read 
over and again. His humorous 
and affectionate drawings of 
the many pups he shared his life 
with are pure joy.

 His writings and sketches 
would eventually leave me with 
another thought:

If I ever get a dog, I’m going to 
name him “Thurber.” 

Passions Run High

 “Thurber! You can’t name him 
Thurber!” shouted my otherwise 
soft-spoken sister, who had 
named her own dog “Snowball.”

 “What the heck kind of name 
is Thurber?” said my friend, 
Griff, who has a Jack Russel 
named “Chip.” “You need to 
name him a short, manly name 
like ‘Sam’ or ‘Jake’ or anything 
but a goofy name like ‘Thurber,’ 
you imbecile,” was the gist of 
the posts strangers left on my 
social media feeds. 

Though some of the comments 
I was getting could be considered 
rude and belligerent, they 
were not without merit.

 According to The Scotsman, 
“Max” is the most popular name 
for male dogs on the planet.

 That is followed by nine other 
top names that include “Charlie,” 
“Buddy,” “Rocky,” “Jack,” 
“Milo,” “Toby,” Leo,” “Rex” and 

 Though I love all of these 
names, I wanted to give my pup 
a more original name — one 
that related back to the very 
funny writings of James Thurber. 
“Muggs,” the name of the 
dog that bit people, was one I’d 
considered. “Now you’re talking,” 
said Griff. “‘Muggs.’ I dig 

 “ ‘Muggsie!’ ” said my sister 
Lisa. “You have to name him 
something cute and ‘Muggsie’ is 
perfect.” But I didn’t want to 
name my dog after a surly mutt 
who bit people.

 I had considered “Rex,” too, 
since Thurber and his brothers 
had given that name to one 
of their many dogs. But when 
it came right down to it, I had 
known what I’d name my future 
pup since that day in 1978 
when Ayresie and I got booted 
from the library. 

I Named Him “Thurber”

 Despite my over-thinking and 
indecision, I kept coming back 
to the name “Thurber.”

 I’ve always loved the sound of 
the name — the soft “thurrrrr” 
followed by the decisive 
“brrrrrr!” Besides, my pupshared the warm, lovable look of 
many of the dogs James Thurber 
affectionately sketched.

 As I said, he was unlike the other 
pups in his litter. He was content 
to sit in the background, 
observing his litter mates — 
much as his human, a writer, 
prefers to do. Truth be told, I 
thought it would be pretty fun 
to probably have the only dog in 
the world named Thurber.

 So naming him after one of 
America’s great humorists was 
definitely the way to go.

 I called Mike and Maryanne 
and asked them to call my pup 
by his new name, and to do so 
immediately. “ ‘Thurber’ it is,” 
said Mike. (Share comments 
about how you named your dog 
at this blog link: www.ThurbersTail.

 But He Wasn’t the Only Dog 
Named Thurber When Thurber 
was nearly 18 months old — 
as he blossomed, his name most 
definitely reflected his inquisitive, 
playful, silly nature — my 
Uncle Bert called me. 

“Your dog isn’t the only dog to 
go by the name of ‘Thurber,’ “ 
he said. “He’s not?” I said, a 
little disappointed.

 “In the 1960s, a famous singer 
gave one of her beloved dogs the 
very same name,” Uncle Bert 
said. “Which famous singer?”
When he told me, I laughed out 
loud. She is one of my favorite 
musicians of all time: Janis 

 According to a New York 
Times article, she was a dog 
lover throughout her life and 
also named one of her beloved 
pups after the great humorist, 

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