Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 26, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, August 26, 2023 



This sweet boy, born 6/19/23, and 
his 3 other brothers (last week you 
met Baby Booboo), are being fostered 
with love and care. EARL 
is white with gray spots. He's the 
biggest and most advanced, really 
play-ful and active, independent, 
but loves affection and human 
interac-tion. See more pics of him 
and his brothers on our website’s Very Young page, www. Earl can be adopted with one of his brothers, 
but he can also be adopted separately if there is another 
young feline at home. Submit the application on our website 
for a chance to come and meet all 4!


How a description of a soft drink earned a trip to 

Sometime around 1964, or so, my mother showed me an ad in the local 
newspaper. You tell them why you like the drink Orange Crush and you 
can win a trip to Disneyland.

“Why don’t you try it?” asked my mother. “It’s just 50 words.”

My mother knew that I had an interest in writing so she naturally assumed that I would 
enjoy writing 50 words about a drink I never tasted in order to win a prize to the theme 
park that I found less than exciting.

“I’ve never even tried it,” I told my mother. “I have no idea what it tastes like.” 

“Your father can get you a bottle at the store. How about doing it, and I will mail it for 
you,” continued my mother.

I didn’t want to write 50 words about something I knew nothing about, but just to please 
my mother, and to practice my writing, I took my pencil and notepad and sat down to 
work. While the rest of the family was watching TV after dinner, I sat at the dining room 
table and began the painful process. 

“Crush is so good,” I started. “It makes me feel that I’m at the beach.” I halted, and then 
wrote more fragments and sentences, trying to sound as if I knew what I was talking 
about. “It’s such a delicate flavor, well-balanced, and so creamy.” I just kept at it and re-
arranged a few sentences. I was pretty sure I had 50 words.

My mother sat next to me to see how I was doing. My brother came in and sat across the 
table and asked, “What’s that?” My mother replied that we’d be going to Disneyland. I 
rolled my eyes in embarrassment. Of course I didn’t’ think we’d be going to Disneyland, 
at least not because of this contest.

My mother began counting the words that I wrote in my notepad. She counted twice. 
“That’s 51,” she informed me. “It has to be 50 or less. You have to take out a word.”

“Do you think they really care?” my brother asked.

I’m thinking that I won’t win anyway. Here I was, writing about something I’d never 

“Yes, I’m sure they care,” said my mother. I read and re-read what I wrote and I found an 
adjective to delete.

“OK,” continued my mother, “now rewrite it on this 3x5 card, like it says in the instruction.”

So I carefully printed my carefully-crafted 50 words onto the 3x5 card and was done in 
20 minutes. My mother assured me that she would mail the entry on the following day. 
Once I was done, I went back to watching TV for the rest of the evening, probably Bonanza, 
and I never thought abut my 50 words again.

My day to day routine of my life continued and I had absolutely no thoughts about my 50 
words, or Orange Crush.

Until a letter arrived at our home. My mother and older sister were jubilant. I was a 
winner! They shared this fact with the whole neighborhood. Everyone else was excited 
but I was puzzled. How could I possibly win. I will be exposed as a fraud. I was more 
confused than happy, and I’d still never had any Crush.

My family was far more excited than I was. My mother read and re-read the letter. I 
was going to go to Disneyland on a Saturday in about a month. I could take two friends 
and one adult supervisor. We were to meet at a local bus station and everyone would be 
driven by bus to Disneyland. We would all get one free meal. We had to agree that any 
photos taken of us could be used for Crush’s promotional purposes. OK, it was starting 
to look like this was real.

It was agreed that my brother Richard, our neighbor Jeannie, and my mother would be 
accompanying me. I was still petrified that I would get on a bus and people would ask me 
about the soft drink Crush, and I would not know what to say.

My mother did most of the prep work, telling my brother and I what to wear, and how to 
behave, and that we should all stay together.

Finally, the day arrived and everyone but me was excited. Yes, we were going to Disneyland, 
all expenses paid, but to me, Disneyland was the land where true excitement was 
always around the next horizon, with lots of rides and sense titillations, but very little of 
lasting value. Yes, I liked Tom Sawyer’s Island, but I found most of the rest of it a very 
pointless retreat from reality.

I was very silent as we all boarded the bus to Anaheim, and I was silent as other children 
sang songs on the way to Disneyland. My brother Richard seemed happy, and sang 
loudly with the other children. 

Finally, we arrived, and we did the usual Disneyland routine – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, 
Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s A Small World. 

I do recall that the food was great. I had a delicious sandwich with my favorite drink, root 
beer. And I never spoke to another child who had anything to say about Crush. We just 
all went our own ways, and then went home. I was curious if all these other “winners” 
actually drank and enjoyed a drink that I’d still never tasted. It actually came as a great 
relief as the day wore on that no one really cared if I ever drank Crush.

Finally, we all boarded the bus, and my father picked us up at the bus depot somewhere 
near Pasadena. Rick and Jeannie excitedly talked about what a fantastic time they had. 
My father asked me how I liked it, and I told him that I liked my sandwich. My father 
laughed. I supposed that he laughed because he figured I’d have something more interesting 
to report than my sandwich.

As the trip faded into a distant memory, no one ever asked me about the trip to Disneyland, 
and no one ever once asked me if I really liked Crush. I didn’t realize it at the time 
that no one really cared whether or not I really liked Crush, and no one cared whether or 
not I’d won the trip under fraudulent pretenses.

Within a week, we were sent a thank you letter and a small case of Crush. Everyone was 
very excited, and I finally drank my first Crush. I drank it slowly, trying to savor each 
sip, trying to see if its flavor was similar to what I’d already described. Yes, I liked it, 
especially on ice. It was smooth, better than most sodas, though not better than straight 
orange juice.

As for my tastes in soda, I don’t drink them 
much, but I still prefer root beer and old-
fashioned ginger beer.

In the years that followed, I became more 
aware of the power of words and their ability 
to shape reality and to move people to 
action. I then made a promise to myself to 
never again lie in order to earn some material 
gain, whether it was Disneyland, money, 
or whatever.

Pet of the Week

Dobby thinks it’s funny to stick out his tongue while getting 
his photo taken. He probably also likes to tell corny jokes, put 
a lampshade on his head or whatever it takes to get a laugh. Or 
at the very least, an eyeroll. 

 He may be a comedian at heart, but Dobby is also a sweet 
and sensitive dog. He’s just over a year old, and an active home 
would be ideal for this active border collie mix.

 Pasadena Humane volunteers have taken him on several 
field trips, and they’ll attest to his love of the outdoors. He is 
an avid hiker and explores whatever stream he comes across. 
He is also thrilled to go hang out at Starbucks afterwards and 
enjoy a puppocino. 

 Dobby is ready for an open-mic night at your house!

 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 VCA Animal Hospitals, 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 phone 
calls or email.


There’s a lot of sad news to go around, but 
this Vox story really breaks my heart: animal 
shelters are overflowing with abandoned 
dogs and cats again.

A few years ago, during COVID isolation, 
there was a surge of people rescuing pets 
from shelters to fill their homes with lovable 
furry creatures.

It was the heyday of abandoned animals 
finding homes, with more animals leaving 
shelters than coming in.

As people went back to work, however, some 
people decided they didn’t have the time or 
desire to care for a pet and sent it back to 
the shelter — something they should have 
thought through before they disrupted the 
pet’s life.

But there is another force that is driving 
people to abandon their pets: it has got way 
too expensive to feed and care for them.

High inflation drove up the cost of pet food 
20% year over year — for the simple reason 
that the ingredients to make pet food were 
also at record highs, as everything has been 
the past three years.

The inflation rate is down some in 2023, but 
the cost of services is not. That includes the 
cost of having a pet get regular checkups 
and care at the veterinarian, as well as the 
proper shots pets need annually.

CNN reports that a high percentage of the 
abandoned pets have serious medical issues, 
which can be very costly to treat.

My 2½ year old Labrador, Thurber, is healthy 
and fit as can be — but when he began having 
seizures, we discovered he suffers from 

That required trips to more than one veterinarian, 
including a skilled neurologist who 
specializes in pets, and also some costly lab 
work. Fortunately, I have a pet-insurance 
policy that made the roughly $800 vet bill 
bearable. Thurber got excellent care and the 
medication is working perfectly.

However, if I were struggling to feed my 
children and pay my mortgage and car 
payment, as many middle-class people are, 
would I have given my dog to a shelter to 
hopefully get it the care I could not afford?

The answer is no, never, for me — I’d take 
a second job or sell my truck first. I’m not 
kidding when I say if reincarnation was real, 
my dream would be to come back as my own 

But I feel sorry for people who are really 
struggling to pay their bills right now and 
the painful decisions they are being forced 
to make.

I wonder: Are we heading back to the pre-
WWII era, when the only people who could 
enjoy pets were the well-to-do?

Today’s pet-abandonment trend illustrates 
well what happens in the daily lives of everyday 
Americans because of the reckless government 
policies and spending that the Wall 
Street Journal reports have made the cost of 
everything, including our ability to care for 
our pets, unbearable.

But if you have the means and the commitment 
and love in your heart, remember 
that wonderful pets are waiting in shelters 
for you to bring them home — and if you 
cannot adopt, your donations are always 

If you are in financial straits and your pet 
needs basic supplies or even costly medical 
care, the Humane Society and other organizations 
may be able to offer financial assistance 
to help you keep your beloved pet in 
your home.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my pup is dropping 
his ball at my feet. It’s time to go outside 
for some exercise!

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