Making a splash

My Thoughts

Dr. Bill AtwoodAugust 8, 2012 

The big question this week is what possible connection is there between Michael Phelps, NASA, and a local veterinary hospital? Within days we will have witnessed one making waves, one making tracks, and one making a big difference in this community.

Michael Phelps has earned the distinction of the most decorated Olympian of all time. 18 gold medals certainly shows that he has worked hard to represent this country to the world and he certainly has made many waves in the various swimming venues nationally as well as internationally. I hope he uses his fame to continue to inspire youngsters to pursue their dreams and to work hard to achieve those dreams. He needs to remind the kids of the old adage that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

On early Monday morning on the east coast and late Sunday evening here we saw that the folks at NASA and especially at JPL in Pasadena were able to land the rover known as Curiosity on the surface of Mars and it began sending back images almost immediately. They called it the Super Bowl of the space program as it will help keep some of NASA's work alive since the current administration has curtailed much of NASA's programs. This rover will certainly make tracks on the surface of the red planet and the information we will glean from this exploration will certainly enhance our knowledge of the universe.

This Saturday from noon until 5p.m. a local veterinary hospital, Hoof N Paw will host the first ever "Woof N Meow Luau." Hoof N Paw is putting on the event but the proceeds will go to help support the SPCA and the fine work they do. The dollars will also help build the much needed animal shelter for this area. They will make a difference with this event.

I have had many pets over the years and have even written about the puppies and the kitties that have graced my home. None of them were exceptional like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. They were just ordinary house pets who just were there to give love to us. They all have had one common trait; each has been a rescued animal. That means somebody abandoned them or tortured them, or did not care for them and they needed to be saved from a horrible life of suffering or even an early death. Animal care groups such at the SPCA have the programs available to rescue these animals, save them, and get them into loving homes. These folks volunteer the time but they need dollars to pay the rent, buy the food, pay for medicines and those other incidentals that all cost many dollars. They even help support the spay and neuter clinics.

That is where we come in. This Saturday we all need to stop by the Hoof N Paw facility on Highway 41 between noon and 5 p.m. and join in the Luau. Buy some of the food, play some of the games, sing with the Karaoke machine, get your pets photographed, and pay to throw a ball or two at Supervisor Tom Wheeler who has offered to sacrifice some of his dignity to sit in the Dunk Tank. It's a chance to help him make a real splash in the district.

The SPCA helps in other ways; such as conducting training for Therapy Dogs like "Katie" who is certified to help patients get better by visiting clinics and care facilities in the area. Her "people", Penny, gets her to and fro to help folks in the area but it is Katie who does the work and spreads the love which helps in the healing process.

The SPCA provides training for handlers and educational information so that people, especially children, learn about the proper way to care for an animal. One great measure of a society is how we treat others and how we care for our animals. We need to be humane in or treatment of non-humans.

Phelps made a splash and waves this week, and the rover Curiosity will make tracks on the surface of Mars. We can all make a difference this Saturday by supporting the efforts of the staff at Hoof N Paw who are sponsoring this "Woof N Meow Luau."

Help Tom Wheeler make a splash, help "Rover" make tracks and make a difference that any cat will tell you is just "purrfect."

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