Monday, November 21, 2011

Another anniversary!

Tomorrow, November 22nd, is my one year anniversary at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. It's been a wonderful experience, and one of the most fulfilling/frustrating parts of working there has been fostering shelter animals in our home.

I love my job and my coworkers (I think because they love their jobs too), and the work provides meaning to my life. Certainly, there are challenges and frustrating days (and patrons), but looking into their little faces reminds me of my purpose.

My first fosters - a litter of kittens named after Glee characters -

Emma Pillsbury


Jo Jo Ridgebottom

Fred (fostered him several times for various illnesses!)


Velma (wanted to keep her but she wasn't all that great with cats)

And finally, my current fosters - momma and puppies. You are all my witnesses - I will never foster chihuahua puppies again!


GretelHansel Rapunzel

And Snow White, the momma (we call her Buena because she's a good girl!)

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Anniversary : )

Towards the end of the summer, Aaron and I celebrated our one year
wedding anniversary. I am disbelief that a year has flown by so quickly.

In that time, we've both switched jobs, we put all new siding on our entire home, our furnace went out during the "great ice storm" of 2010, we fostered 12 animals from the Humane Society, and we've struggled with bad days, work schedules, and your typical squabbles and disagreement

In the throes of planning our wedding, we thought a lot about how to make the one day special while not losing sight of what makes a good marriage. It seems so crazy to me to be talking about such a serious topic at age 24 - Aaron and I have both admitted to one another that we never expected to be married so young. In some ways, we feel like little has changed since we were dating, but indeed they have.

Here's to many more years sweetheart!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I recently made a trip to Chicago for a training seminar for the software used by our shelter.

I came a day and a half early to visit my good friend Colleen. Transportation back home was a ride with my coworkers, but the trip down required some planning - so I took the megabus! My experience was positive, and I would recommend it to others.

Colleen and I visited the local botanical gardens - it was so beautiful!!!! Here is just one picture of the dozens of acres that are covered in gorgeousness. It was a very enjoyable day and a half to catch up and just relax.

Colleen was so kind to drop me off at the hotel where the conference was held, and I waited for my coworkers to arrive. Truth be told, the conference was not as helpful as we'd hoped : ( but we did bring back a few useful tidbits to use.

I found this trip to be pretty timely as I had named my most recently foster dog after a character (Velma Kelly) from Chicago, the musical. Isn't she cute?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's in a name?

A very ordinary looking, 7 year old cat was surrendered to the Humane Society of Indianapolis, so staff knew some good marketing of this cat would eventually find him a good home.

An employee suggested a cute name for the little guy: Leonardo DiCatrio

Within hours of becoming available, he was adopted. The woman who adopted him said that she was a huge fan of the real Leo, and was looking for a kitty. She decided to make a visit to the Humane Society to see if the cat was a good fit, and they got along purrrfectly. Check out Leo's photo on the below:

This situation got my boss's daughter thinking: were there other celebrity names that we could tweak? While watching the Indian's game for IndyHumane night at Victory Field (ok, so we didn't watch ALL of the game!), Audrey, my boss, and I started brainstorming, and here's the list we came up with:

Lil' Ro-meow
Pee Wee Furman
Pawton Manning
Dallas Bark
Jeff Saturplay
Pat Meow-cafee
Fur-ell Owens (Terrell Owens)
LePawn James
Charlize Furr-on (Charlize Theron
Justin Timberwoof
Shakitty (Shakira)
Tim McPaw
Meowly Cyrus
Gweneth Paw-trow
Austin Paw-ers
Brad Pawsley (Brad Paisley)
Brad Pitt (for a pit bull of course!)

Robert Meow-ny Jr.

Gwen stepawni

Woofie goldberg

Paul mccatney

Cat benatar

Kelly barkson

Joe Di Pawggio

Tiger woods (cat)

Tiger woofs (dog)

Stone cold steve pawstin
Danika Catrick (I actually know someone who has a cat with this name!)

Kitty Purry (Katie Perry, and fun fact: she actually has a cat with this name)
Meow-io andretti
Austin collie
Doggie depp
Jude paw
Sherlock bones
Kitty Knightly (Kiera Knightly)
Meow-io lopez
Apawlo ono
Shia LaRuff
Elijah woof
Hairy pawter
Pittny spears (for a cute little girl pittie)
Will Feral or Furrell
Collin feral or Furrell
Hairy-son ford
George hairy-son
Kitty Holmes
Oprah woofry
Charles barkly
Little bow wow Catrick Spay-ze
Pawtrick dempsey
Patrick spay-zey

Sissy Spay-cek

*****Note: Although these names are silly/fun, and their purpose is to draw attention to animals who may not show as well or may not be the top of the list for desirability, we screen all potential adopters to ensure that they are as serious as we are about the welfare of the animal

Also, I realize that the description of how Leo was adopted seems lightening quick, but animals must be medically cleared (including spay/neutering), tested behaviorally, and observed for a period of time before becoming available for adoption. ******

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pictures from vacation and a reminder of why I am grateful

Aaron and I went to Louisville, KY for vacation. Our mission? To visit some friends and get away from Indianapolis for a while to have some fun.

After we checked into our hotel, we visited some stopped by to meet our friends who had recently moved to southern Indiana. We went to dinner and got to see their beautiful new house.

We had a great time talking with them and visiting their sweet dog!

The next day, we went to the Louisville Slugger museum. Neither of us are big baseball fans, but this museum was actually REALLY fun! The batting cages were the best part.

By far, the best most exciting part of our vacation was taking a hot air balloon ride. HOLY COW. It was really cool! We grazed the trees while the sun began to set over the open fields. We could see deer running through the woods and people cooking out on their decks.

A few photos:

We also took a cruise on the Ohio River which was quite relaxing : )

The last night of our vacation, we ordered pizza, went to a comedy club, then had fancy dessert at the rotating restaurant in our hotel. Haha, I think the dessert cost more than our pizza!

We finished out the night by taking a walk and cooling off in the fountain outside the hotel.

I was grateful for getting away for a while, although admittedly, I had trouble relaxing. Taking a vacation, although not to an exotic location, reminded me that I am very lucky that my jobs allows me vacation time. I am also reminded that I am fortunate enough to be able to afford vacation. With so many people out of work, I am really just glad to have a job to take vacation from.

I just can't wait to take my next vacation : )

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New and exicting things that are on the horizon!

As most know, my husband and I have decided not to have children - this is not to say that we do not like children - on the contrary, we both really like children. One of the many reasons we are not having children is because we feel we can make a bigger impact on our community and our community's children without having any of our own.

Due to this life choice, I usually enjoy an opportunity to interact with kids whether it's offering to babysit for a friend or taking Angel to meet a group of kindergarten kids. That's why I jumped at the chance to volunteer at the juvenile detention center through Indy Pit Crew.

I went to orientation a little over a week ago, and I am STOKED! We will have the opportunity to provide a much needed break from the students' ordinarily strict schedules to discuss animal issues. Eventually, the goal is to bring a dog to include in the program, and I think I know a dog who just might be interested : )

I'm looking forward to showing the kids how wonderful a pittie can be as a companion and pet. My hope is that by talking to younger people, we can avoid issues like pet overpopulation, animal cruelty, and dog fighting. Most animal welfare groups consist of white women - do you think a practicing dog fighter is gonna give a rat's behind about what we have to say? Probably not, but teenagers might.

Unfortunately, I will not ever have pictures to show because of the restrictions of the facility and obvious need to privacy for the students, but hopefully I'll be able to give an exciting update about how the program is going.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why help animals? OR Shouldn't we help people first?

One discussion that I sometimes have with others involve the question: why should we help animals when there are so many people who are in need? This was not the topic of a recent discussion, but one that I have been thinking a lot more about since I started my (dream) job at The Humane Society of Indianapolis.

First, I believe that as humans, we have a responsibility to care for our earth, which includes animals. Excessive hunting and fishing can harm a delicate ecosystem, which is ultimately, critical for humans.

Beyond the biological reason of maintaining healthy wildlife, I think humans also have a responsibility to dogs and cats because we have domesticated them. A quote from a story called the Little Prince drives this point home: “Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

For my own enjoyment, I am glad that cats and dogs (and other animals) have been domesticated. I think they are wonderful companions; however, it is upsetting that as people, we have neglected to maintain an appropriate population that would negate the need to euthanize millions of animals each year.

Furthermore, we can help enrich the lives of people if we work towards helping animals. Animals who do therapy work can ease the physical and emotional pain of hospital patients, can be an unbiased and patient reading partner, or can help boost a person's self esteem. People who live alone can also benefit from a furry, four-legged companion as company. Animals can feel like family members!

For some, helping animals is their own way of giving back to those who seem to truly appreciate their good deeds. People have the ability (and sometimes the desire) to deceive others - and it can be hard to trust another person who says they are or appears to be in need. Animals tend to be a bit more straight forward in their non-verbal communication. Even those animals who are not friendly seem to appreciate the help they receive. As an example, I used to feed a colony of feral cats at my parent's house - the cats never let us pet them, but they came back day for the food and shelter we provided them and our family became very attached to the rag-tag group of cats.

For others, being an animal friend means helping right the wrongs that other people have done. Anyone in animal rescue knows that sometimes people can be cruel to animals through no apparent reason but to inflict pain and overpower someone vulnerable.

As a final point, I think that it is really important for every person to have an area that they are passionate about helping. Volunteering adds another dimension to an individual, and it is my belief that we should dedicate ourselves to a cause which will inspire the greatest push towards action. Fortunately, we as people are an exceptionally diverse group; we have people who care for the elderly, for children, for the disadvantaged, for the homeless, and of course, for the animals.

I certainly do not diminish the importance of helping people - I simply find that my talents and interests best serve animals, and I think animal welfare is an important cause that needs our attention.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beautiful poem

Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage Lest I forget,
There is so much to carry--so much to regret.

Hmm . . . Yes there it is, right on the top.
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss;
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave,
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough--for they didn't want me.
Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things--and take me right back?

Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage, To never repack?
I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see,
But I do come with baggage - Will you still want me?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

V-day is fast approaching!

Aaron and I never really had a specific anniversary date when we started dating, so we always used Valentines day because I wanted to bundle everything into one day of celebration (because I like to be practical of course). This year, we're celebrating 6 years together - I'm in disbelief! We've been together now for 25% of our lives, and I couldn't be happier that we ended up together.

We will be celebrating this year by going ice skating and our usual tradition: going to China Buffet. Nothing screams romance like chinese food, I know, but there is a good reason.

Aaron and I became acquainted with each other while we were in high school through show choir. We both participated in the musical our senior year, and we went out with our friends after practice one evening, which happened to be February 14. Now, we remember our first Valentines day by visiting the same restaurant (now with a fancy table cloth!) and talking about the early stages and evolution of our relationship.

If you had asked me then, I would never guessed that we would be married, own a home, working jobs that we both love, and living a fulfilling life together.

We'll be celebrating this year the Saturday before Valentines day because I have to work late on Mondays, but I can't wait for some designated time together.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Love Lucy

I got a call yesterday from a coworker in the shelter asking me to help a Spanish speaking client. Gladly, I accepted the call, and learned that the family was looking for their lost dog.

After they got instructions on the process, they visited the shelter, and they found their dog! I got another call from the family today, and they are now interested in getting their dog neutered (male dogs tend to run off when females are in heat) and getting him vaccinated.

I couldn't be more proud that my hard work in learning Spanish paid off!

Fortunately, German wasn't offered the year I tried to sign up. Fortunately, I enjoyed learning Spanish. Fortunately, our school had teachers that provided good instruction. Fortunately, my parents were able to help me go to Spain to study. Fortunately, I practice enough to be able to help the family and their dog.

Having Spanish speaking clients in the vaccine clinic inspired me to continue practicing my Spanish, and I'm so glad that I did.

Oh - and fortunately, I always wanted to know what Ricky said to Lucy when he was chewing her out : )

Monday, January 24, 2011

Role Models

I chuckled after I titled this blog post because of the immature, but popular movie. But onto the real post....

I recently realized how fortunate I am to know many admirable women who serve as role models for me in my career. I know these women through work, volunteering, and networking.

They are making an impact on animals' lives in Indianapolis in so many ways:
  • Spaying and neutering thousands of cats yearly
  • Beautifying a cheerless yard in front of Animal Control
  • Coordinating a food pantry, fencing projects, outreach events, and more
  • Transporting huge amounts of fence and then helping needy families install it
  • Trapping and transporting hundreds of feral cats
  • Shouldering the animal issues that matter at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control
  • Managing all of the Humane Society's operations and make it look easy
  • Rescuing, rehabilitating, fostering, and adopting out homeless and neglected animals
  • Planning the new spay/neuter center in Fountain Square that will sterilize thousands of animals yearly
These women manage households, raise children, have careers, and do all of these things simultaneously. I seriously admire these women and hope that I grow up to be as cool as they are : )