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Tag: animals (page 1 of 5)

backyard robins

Once again, our backyard has become a haven for spring robins. One attentive mother made a nest in the corner of our pergola by the
[singlepic=1191,350,350]rose bush. We’ve been watching her for weeks now, dutifully building the nest, sitting patiently, and now busy as heck flying to and fro to bring bits of worm and insect to her babies who sit there eagerly clamoring for more. They are very cute, and we are honored to have them as guests until they’re ready to spread their wings.

Each morning, Aidan runs to the window to sneak a peek and to see what new developments there might be. They are growing fast, and they’re getting louder. As we sat this evening beneath the pergola, the silence was broken repeatedly by a chorus of three hungry chicks as the mom swooped in to make a cautious delivery before swooping off again. I think we were making her nervous sitting so close to the nest, but I also like to think she’s beginning to trust us as mere curious but harmless humans.

earth scouts visit paws

Today our Earth Scouts group paid a visit to PAWS of Tinley Park. PAWS is a no-kill animal shelter dedicated to the protection of domestic animals. Our current Earth Scouts’ focus is to make a difference through participatory democracy–and through those means, together, we chose to focus our attention on animal welfare. Specifically, we are gearing up to take action against the unfortunate and cruel practice of puppy mills.

So, as a way of understanding the issue better and spending some time with the adorable creatures we are working to protect, we all took a trip over to PAWS. Susan at PAWS was most generous with her time. She guided us through a tour of their facility, talked to us about what they do, and let us spend some time with the animals. We all learned a lot–and just barely got out of there without adopting half the place.

The issue is a serious one, though. The problem of animal homelessness is on the rise. Lost, abandoned, and stray animals account for many of the residents at PAWS, but relinquished animals also make up a large number. Tough economic times sometimes means people can’t afford to keep their animal companions. Also, in this post holiday season, many of the animals come to the shelter as unwanted Christmas gifts. In April 2008, 49 dogs at the center of a puppy mill operation came to the PAWS animal shelter where they were cared for until offered for public adoption.

The 150 volunteers at PAWS give so generously of their time and energy to make such an important difference in the lives of the animals they care for–through providing foster homes, transporting animals for veterinary care, working shifts at the shelter itself, donating money and time for fundraising events, and so on. All of the Earth Scout kids want to lend a hand–to volunteer and work with the animals–but unfortunately volunteers need to be at least 14 years old. There are upcoming opportunities, though, to help out in fundraising events–skating parties, doggie washes, and other fun gatherings. Hopefully our scouts can lend a hand in these and other important ways.

Check out PAWS or your local no-kill shelter soon–especially if you are looking for a companion animal to love and provide a good home to. Put the puppy mills out of business! Don’t shop! Adopt.

who doesn’t like barn animals? (i admit it, i don’t)

Last Saturday we headed out early to spend the whole day at the annual South Suburban Cook County 4H fair at the Children’s Farm in Palos Hills. This is a day that Aidan was really looking forward to, and one that Mike and I were dreading. It is a long day–starting at before 9am and going until about 4pm. It is one were you are outside the whole time without much shelter from the heat (and it has been oppressively hot this summer). There is bad food. There is the smell of barn animals hanging in the humid air. And there are the politics–the spoken and unspoken rules, the cliquishness of groups, the tension and division among some members, and so on. So, it was a day Mike and I were really not looking forward to, but, despite this, we tried to put on a happy face and embrace the positive events of the day since it  was important to our little man.

All in all we ended up having a nice time. Aidan had fun displaying several of his items in the fair and receiving ribbons for his hard work throughout the year. He also had fun participating in the tug-of-war and the watermelon eating contest. We enjoyed the rocket launches (and the mysterious disappearances of a couple of rockets lost in the clouds). We saw an 8-week old lamb and got a kick out of seeing the goats all standing on a table staring in the same direction (think Men Who Stare at Goats but in reverse). We hiked some trails. We looked at interesting projects from all the 4H-ers participating in the fair. Aidan danced, lip synced, and played air guitar on stage with his friend, Natalie. The day was definitely a full one, and, in the end, we enjoyed watching Aidan have a good time. As always, it was fun just being there together as a family.

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