In All Fairness……..

Published 3:15 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

I enjoyed myself thoroughly at the Upstate Special Olympics this year. There were so many very special athletes in attendance…so VERY many…I thought the Ceremonial Opening Parade would never end! These special athletes brought joy, hope, and determination along with them, and their enthusiasm was contagious. One little boy was having a major melt down and I went over to cheer him up.&bsp; He certainly forgot his troubles, at least momentarily, when a cold wet nose was presented, up close and personal. I mean, that is what a therapy dog is all about, right?

The Special Olympics renews my spirit in so many ways, I feel&bsp; humbled before these incredible humans (well, as humble as I ever get, I suppose). I have never walked away from these games with anything less than the greatest respect and admiration for the&bsp; athletes, their teachers, and their families.

I was invited (and was thrilled to attend) the Foothills Humane Society&squo;s annual fund-raising event, the Animal Fair on Sunday, May 3, as the &dquo;cultural attache&dquo; (go look that up in the dictionary!). What an amazing event! It rained cats and dogs (haha) for the first 15-20 minutes or so,&bsp; but after that the weather was perfect. The&bsp; food smelled delicious but not ONE solitary person gave me a bite…not very humane, in my opinion! This year, the

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Animal Fair was held at the Cotton Patch, and I would have loved to have been free to explore this beautiful place.

There were many animals present (although I was the only one walking about doing meet and greet duties). Matthew Lytle&squo;s reptile display included many interesting-smelling snakes,

including a very large yellow boa that made me just a little bit nervous, although she was beautiful and as tame as I am. I think. And he had a real live dragon too! He and his helpers were kept busy answering everyone&squo;s questions, and I learned a lot about snakes.

Wild at Heart is our local wildlife rehabilitation center, and they do a lot of educational outreach and teach respect for wildlife. They had an amazing display there, including a Barred Owl named Locket. I did not see Locket at first, but Locket certainly saw ME. When I finally looked up, there was a very penetrating stare being aimed at me…..hmm. I am fond of chasing birds, much to my humans&squo;&bsp; dismay, but not when they are looking at me like that!

There were some miniature cows and horses that smelled pretty good from a distance, and at the bottom of the hill they had an exhibit that included a very large rabbit, a turtle (this one was a lot bigger than the ones I see in the woods around here), and some baby goats and baby pigs.&bsp; When the lady went to feed the babies I guess she wasn&squo;t fast enough for their liking, and the baby pigs squealed like they were being attacked! At the first squeal I froze; at the second, I simply had to go make sure they were alright.&bsp; My human insisted on accompanying me and since she can&squo;t run as fast as I can, it was like dragging an anchor, but I did get down there and smelled the piglets thoroughly and we all touched noses and wagged tails. Cute little things, and smart, too.

Unfortunately, I was forced to have a bath for this event, and the&bsp; crew at Landrum Vet (who are personal friends of mine) apologetically washed all the great smells out so I was really clean. They really outdid themselves and I will forgive them. This time. I honestly tried to behave, although they KNOW I don&squo;t like any pulling when they comb me out!

This Sunday is Mother&squo;s Day!&bsp; In addition to honoring and remembering Mothers, and wishing every Mother you know a happy day, it is also a good day to plan to spay and neuter your pets!!



P.S. Please if you are looking for a dog or cat to adopt, please go to the Foothills Animal Shelter on Little Mountain Rd. and check the dogs and cats out! They always have some wonderful pets there waiting for their very own home! They are open seven days a week.