Monday, June 29, 2015

Have You Ever Wondered What the Dalai Lama's Cat Would Say? Check Out This Novel

Every once in a while you come across a book that engages you so much that you can feel the emotions of the characters.  It’s a little embarrassing to say that this has happened to me with a feline protagonist.  His Holiness’s Cat (also called HHC or Snow Lion among other names) is the Dalai Lama’s cat living with him in his quarters in Jokhang.  Snow Lion was saved when two young boys were selling her and her littermates to make a small profit.  They were all taken too early from their mother, and Snow Lion was particularly vulnerable and weak.   Snow Lion tells her story in The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. David Michie has also written other fiction including two more books about Snow Lion (I love series) and several nonfiction books about Buddhism.

From her perch in the Dalai Lama’s chambers Snow Lion observes the Dalai Lama’s meditation practice and his interactions with people from all walks of life as they flock to him.  Snow Lion learns more than anyone could ever learn about Buddhism without becoming a monk herself.  And, Snow Lion has the additional experiences of going to CafĂ© Franc down the street each day where she observes even more of life in a Buddhist-friendly environment.  Snow Lion’s observational skills are exceptional.  And her writing is fantastic.  In fact, sometimes you even forget that it is a cat that is writing this fictional story and you wonder how much of it is true.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New Bill in Senate to Bring Home Retired Combat Military Dogs

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon has just introduced a bill to bring retired military dogs home to the United States.  Those of us who have a strong bond with our pups can only image the intense connection that a military dog has with his/her veteran handler and how important it is for both dog and veteran to reconnect.  The Military Working Dog Retirement Act of 2015 would require the Department of Defense to pay for the dogs to come home when they retire from their combat role,  including if they are injured. 

The Department of Defense estimates that there are roughly 2,000 dogs currently working in the armed forces.  They are used to sniff for roadside bombs and other explosive devices.  They put their lives at risk for the US, the least we can do is bring them back in one piece.  As it stands now, the handler is the one who has to pay to have the retired dogs returned home.  This bill would make sure that a lack of money does not prevent the retired dogs being brought home safely.    

To read more about dogs in the military and this bill click here.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kinder-preneurs Help Feed Needy Animals

A kindergarten class in Crystal Springs has created a program where they melt crayons to form beautiful shapes and exchange them to collect food for the pets of people receiving Meals on Wheels.  

Their mission statement is learning through helping as a team.”   They are soaking up learning like sponges.   They have even created their own commercial to promote the program.  Since February, they have collected over 150 pounds of food for the pets.  To see these wonderful kids in action and learn more access the video at this site: