cause for paws, charitable giving, for a greater cause, helping friends in need

Cause for Paws

Just a year after “walking home” on the Appalachian Trail in 2000, Micah began having trouble with his vision and tingling in his hands and feet.   Soon after he was given a diagnosis…Multiple Sclerosis.  The last decade has brought on many challenges-Micah uses a wheelchair 95% of the time due to lack of strength and balance.  His sudden tremors and diminished feeling in his hands cause him to drop things.  His eyesight comes and goes, making him dependent on others for transportation.

No bones about it, MS really does suck.  But because of MS, Micah was partnered with his first service dog, a furry angel named Wiley.  Wiley did so many helpful things for Micah like opening doors, picking up dropped objects, carrying the groceries, turning on lights, pulling his chair, and fetching various items. MS is a tough disease, and having Wiley around helped tremendously not only physically, but mentally as well.  She had the ability to brighten anyone’s day with a nudge of her nose or a wag of her tail.

Wiley passed away suddenly almost two years ago, and while no dog could replace her, we are ready to start a new partnership.  Micah has been accepted as a client with Massachusetts based training organization NEADS   While the true cost of raising a service dog is over $20,000, clients are expected to contribute $9500. That’s where you all come in!  Contributions of any size  will help to bring a new service dog home and provide a sense of  independence and security that comes with having a furry sidekick to call your own

Thank you all for your support!

Tanya and Micah


Every day I saw Wiley at work with Micah.  Her eyes and ears were always trained on him, waiting for him to need her. Even if she had fallen asleep, she was on her feet the second she heard her name. Food would drop right under her nose and she wouldn’t budge, not unless Micah told her it was alright. She was there by his side at every moment.  When we would visit them at home, if she wasn’t right by his side, then she chasing after sticks or various stuffed animals that she had strewn across the house and lawn.  She was so full of energy that she would end up tiring YOU out playing fetch.  But, again, the second she heard Micah’s voice, she was back at his side, waiting for a command. She lived for him and made life, with his diagnosis, eons more manageable.

She was a damn good dog.

Micah’s need for a service dog didn’t disappear after Wiley passed away and the cost, as you have read, is not a small one. I am asking anyone that reads this to please consider donating a few dollars or, if you have tangible goods, make a donation to their auction to help offset their costs of bringing home a new service dog for Micah.

All information about their financial goals, auction donations, information about an upcoming fundraiser in Cambridge, MA, can all be found at their website: Cause for Paws.

animal refuge league, bake sale, charitable giving

Petable Obsession: Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

This is Mr. Jose Jones. Lover of dehydrated smoked chicken livers, maple syrup and french chevre. He came to live with us in the summer of 2005 after I harassed the Missus into getting another cat, a companion for Sophie.

It was a complete ploy to use her because it was really about me having another cat. Sophie was a good sport, though. She taught him to play tag until he refused to stop playing tag every waking moment…and, well, she put an end to his chasing pretty quickly. Now he chases sunlight and dust in our kitchen.

Admittedly, Jose isn’t the brightest of cats, but he sure is pretty. Yup..he’s our pretty, pretty boy who we wouldn’t have if not for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook, where he was adopted. He is, over the course of their 100 years in operation, just one of tens of thousands of kittens they’ve taken in with hopes of finding them a permanent home.

Like many shelters and refuge leagues, the ARLGP relies on the generosity of our community for financial and product donations, as well as the time of volunteers, to be able to feed, house, treat and care for the endless stream of animals that pass through their doors. They’re an invaluable resource in our community and could always use more help as the need to care for these animals never disappears. This Sunday, May 22nd, they’re hosting their Spring Fling Open House and Fundraiser.

Part of this fundraiser is a bake sale to help raise money for the shelter. I’m going to be whipping up a batch of sugary goodness and am asking my fellow bloggers (many of whom are pet owners) and readers to join me in donating a baked good to the sale.

If you’re interested in participating, this is the info that I received from Lynne of the ARL:

You could drop the items off Saturday afternoon at the shelter, or Sunday morning after 9 but before 10:30. If you could list ingredients that would help with people who have allergy concerns.

They’re also having a plant sale, to raise money to care for their older residents whose medical expenses are a little greater. If you’ve got a green thumb and want to help out:

If you’re unable to make something, they’re also, specifically, looking for items on their kitten wishlist (their Kitty Care-A-Van):

  • KMR – Kitten Milk Replacer – Canned or Powdered
  • Science Diet Dry Feline Growth Formula Food
  • Gerber Baby Food: Chicken, Lamb or Beef
    (or any brand that does not contain onion powder)
  • Snuggle Safe Microwaveable Heating Disks
    Soft Baby Blankets/Fleece for the Kittens
  • Cat Playpen/Kitty Condo (item # 9B7063)
  • Kitten-Safe Toys to Send with Foster Families
  • Scratching Posts and Scratching Boards
  • Paper Cat Litter

All donations can be brought directly to the shelter, which is located at:

449 Stroudwater Street
Westbrook, Maine

But, whether you can help this time around or not, you should still stop by this Sunday and see the amazing work they’re doing at the shelter. And, you never know, you might just find yourself bringing home one of their adorable residents. Rumor has it, they just accepted 50 puppies from Alabama and will have more than a dozen ready for adoption by Sunday.

charitable giving, donations, for japan with love

For Japan With Love

In the past week I spent:

  • $21 on take out coffee drinks.
  • $20 on cigarettes
  • $8 on Muscat grapes
  • $5 on organic 1/2 and 1/2
  • $7 on imported German Chocolate
  • $23 on dinner Wednesday(3/16) night
  • $12 on eggs
  • $8 on a reusable water bottle

Tomorrow, I am going silent for the day and sending a donation to Shelter Box USA. I know, that if I have money to spend on such frivolous things, I have money to donate to something with actual purpose. Let’s be honest here,with all that has gone on, and continues to happen in Japan right now, me bitching about a bad meal seems more than just a bit trivial.

I am asking you to please consider donating money to one of the many charitable organizations that are trying to get food, medical aid, clothing and other humanitarian aid to those affected by last weeks events in Japan.

Thanks to Fore Front Fashion for getting the word out there.