Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week of 8/24/08 Humane Happenings

Ed & Camille Pronovost

In December of 2006, because of the efforts of Camille Pronovost (who spent a couple of weeks at Desert Haven Animal Refuge with her husband Ed on their way from Connecticut to their seasonal work camping station in Arizona) The Sierra County Humane Society’s weekly newspaper column “Humane Happenings”, went on line here at

The Desert Haven Animal Refuge web log, or “blog” for short, is the way for our supporters world-wide to keep up with the news of the Sierra County Humane Society. Over time, we added an occasional “Featured Pet” and tributes to some of our beloved companion animals that crossed the Rainbow Bridge; we also included letters from readers, photos of DHAR and its volunteers, and more. From the positive comments that we are receiving on an on-going basis, the blog is proving to be an efficient way for us to share information with animal loving folks from all over.

If you have never visited us on line, we invite you to do so. Join us in making our cyber-space more community-focused and interactive. Do you have a question or concern about pet issues? Write to us at You are also welcome to comment on anything we write in Humane Happenings. Give us your input; share your own experiences regarding situations involving companion animals, that you feel may be informative to other animal loving folks in this area. At the bottom of each post, click on “comments” to write a note and to read what others have written.

Soon after her visit to Desert Haven, Camille also volunteered to be the organization’s web master. She maintains the Society’s web site at
http://www. We urge our computer-oriented readers to check it out. It’s professional, full of interesting photos and it is updated regularly. The web site also has a link to the blog and to our Petfinder list of companion animals available for adoption, either directly from Desert Haven or from the Adopt-a-Pet Referral program offered to local folks by The Sierra County Humane Society. Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro regularly updates the Petfinder section of our web site and his on-going efforts are greatly improving the adoption rate of local companion animals.
This week’s Wish list: priority one: Dog and Cat food, dry and moist - Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven - Volunteer helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop - We welcome any piece of furniture our readers wish to donate, either to be used at Desert Haven or to sell at Paws & Claws thrift shop. We can be contacted at 575-894-2778 or 894-1694 for more information.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Once I was a Lonely Dog

Submitted by Robbin Brodsky, Desert Haven volunteer

Once I was a lonely dog,
Just looking for a home.
I had no place to go,
No one to call my own.

I wandered up and down the streets,
in rain in heat and snow.
I ate what ever I could find,
I was always on the go.

My skin would itch, my feet were sore,
My body ached with pain.
And no one stopped to give a pat
Or to gently say my name.

I never saw a loving glance,
I was always on the run.
For people thought that hurting me
was really lots of fun.

And then one day I heard a voice
So gentle, kind and sweet,
And arms so soft reached down to me
And took me off my feet.

"No one again will hurt you"
Was whispered in my ear.
You'll have a home to call your own
where you will know no fear."

"You will be dry, you will be warm,
you'll have enough to eat
And rest assured that when you sleep,
your dreams will all be sweet."

I was afraid I must admit,
I've lived so long in fear.
I can't remember when I let
A human come so near.

And as she tended to my wounds
And bathed and brushed my fur
She told me 'bout the rescue group
And what it meant to her.

She said, "We are a circle,
A line that never ends.
And in the center there is you
protected by new friends."

"And all around you are
the ones that check the pounds,
And those that share their home
after you've been found."

"And all the other folk
are searching near and far.
To find the perfect home for you,
where you can be a star."

She said, "There is a family,
that's waiting patiently,
and pretty soon we'll find them,
just you wait and see."

"And then they'll join our circle
they'll help to make it grow,
so there'll be room for more like you,
who have no place to go."

I waited very patiently,
The days they came and went.
Today's the day I thought,
my family will be sent.

Then just when I began to think
It wasn't meant to be,
there were people standing there
just gazing down at me.

I knew them in a heart beat,
I could tell they felt it too.
They said, "We have been waiting
for a special dog like you."

Now every night I say a prayer
to all the gods that be.
"Thank you for the life I live
and all you've given me.

But most of all protect the dogs
in the pound and on the street.
And send a Rescue Person
to lift them off their feet."

Dedicated to those that make a difference in the lives of animals, everyday! Thank you for all you do.

Week of 8/10/08 Humane Happenings


Wired hair terrier Benji is now the newest resident of Dog Town at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. This well-mannered little guy is looking for a forever home and can be seen either at or at the Refuge on Tuesday morning, when the sanctuary is open for visitors. We can also be reached at 575-894-2778 to set-up an appointment.

The Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, taken over recently by Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro, is becoming an important tool in the adoption opportunities available for the local domestic animals in need of a new home. Stan handles the program in a very efficient manner and his efforts and dedication continue to result in a successful adoption rate. Aside from keeping a list of the animals available for adoption through the program, he also lists them on the Petfinder web site for DHAR, which gives them a better chance at being adopted into homes that may otherwise not be available to them. Folks who wish to adopt a new furry family member directly from the owner should consider contacting Stan at 575-895-5551.

Sharon at the "new" Paws & Claws Thrift Shop

Old and vintage items seem to be very much in demand at our new thrift shop these days. Consequently, we have reserved a special section for them. The wall sign “Vickie’s Vintage” (Vickie resides at Desert Haven) is self explanatory. Deb Peters, our former work camper-turned-permanent-local-resident recently came up with this great idea of using the name of some of our animal residents to guide customers to the section of their choice at the relocated Paws & Claws thrift shop. “Maxwell’s Den” displays ample supply of designer and select men’s clothing and shoes. “Miss Bessie’s Boudoir” displays a large selection of items that a woman may want or need. The new signs make it easier for our customers to locate specific items and at the same time advertise some of the dogs and cats at DHAR. The smiles the new signs bring to our customers’ faces are well worth the efforts that were involved in making them. Thanks, Deb, for this great idea.

We at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws thrift shop are very fortunate this Summer. Of course we still need more helpers at both locations, just as we do every summer when several members of our volunteer crew take much needed vacations, but the helpers we have at this time are very special. We appreciate our work campers Sharon & Terry, John & Kathryn, Jerry, Ron, Freddie, Linda and Erin, also our local volunteers Stan & Robbin, Deb, Gene, Diana, Dolly, Judy, Ginny, Bootz and also Eliana. Then there is our Web Master Camille who works with us from Florida, Diane who, all the way from her home in Hillsboro, sorts, prices and packages the donated craft and sewing items for display at Paws & Claws. The list continues with Carol and Kimberly who, because they both hold full-time jobs, work with us directly from their home and make themselves available as much as they possibly can.

Desert Haven is growing and consequently requires a growing number of volunteers as well. Some are working directly with the non-human residents, others are part of the administrative crew that keeps a business running, be it for profit or non-profit. The newly relocated and spacious Paws & Claws thrift shop, the major fundraiser for the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven, requires more helpers now. We need the extra volunteers to stock the shelves with all the new and interesting items that are dropped-off daily. Any animal loving individual wishing to be an integral part of this labor of love in progress is encouraged to contact us at 894-2778. You can also visit our web site at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bud & Scotty Cross the Rainbow Bridge

Scotty kisses Erin

Bud (left) and Scotty (right)

Good Bye Bud & Scotty

from Eliana:

I have some very sad news to report from Desert Haven. Two of our little guys, Bud and Scotty, died recently after they were bitten by a rattlesnake. It happened during their play ground activity in the Old West. They didn't know enough to stay away from the 2-2 ½’ rattler. Bud bit the snake, a battle ensued and Scotty rushed in to aid his brother. They both got bitten several times in the face.

Linda & Freddie rushed them to the Hot Springs Animal Clinic within 1/2 hour of their bites. The vet treated and released both of them to us that same evening, telling us they would be alright. Dr. Cardwell told Linda that he had not given them anti-venom (because it costs too much to keep that in his clinic) but that he gave them antibiotics and that the swelling would go away sooner or later and that they would be OK. So we took them back to DHAR. Linda stayed with them off and on during the night. The poor little guys were in a lot of pain all through Tuesday afternoon when, while we were working at the thrift shop between 2-4PM, they both died, approximately 26 hours or so after they were bitten.

Bud & Scotty were buried together at The Old West, with their toys. We had a memorial for them. We will have a large plaque for them, with both their names, on "Pooch Hill.” Bud and Scotty were with us since their birth at DHAR three years ago and were loved like our very own pets.


“Bud Brown”
“Scottie” (yes, just Scottie)

Born: November 2005
Departed: July 22, 2008
Bud and Scottie were born to an abandoned mother who was brought to the refuge starving and pregnant. They resided at the Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Williamsburg, New Mexico their entire lives.

Though neither was “gainfully employed” by most standards, both had jobs to do while here. Bud worked as a “Background Investigator” for DHAR, skilled in deciphering human personalities. Scottie pursued more “liberal” interests, seeking self-expression in a variety of way

Both met their match in a deadly rattlesnake.

They are survived by their mother, brothers, and sisters-all from Williamsburg.

Arrangements: A private service was held at “Pooch Hill” in the “Old West” section of DHAR at 7:30 a.m. July 26, 2008.

Officiated by: Desert Haven Animal Refuge and Sierra County Humane Society


from Stan:
I never really got to know Scotty well, so I am only writing about Bud. Bud was a friend of mine, and I am already missing him very much, especially
when I do my volunteer work at DHAR.

When I first met Bud about a year and a half ago, he didn't immediately run up to me and lick me just because I was a person and a potential friend. It took a few weeks for our friendship to solidify, and that made our friendship deeper and longer lasting than it otherwise might have been.

Bud always wanted to be the first dog to greet me when I arrived at Desert Haven Refuge in the mornings. He would position himself in the corner of his pen which was the closest he could get to the path I would follow when I first entered the Refuge. He then would wait there for me to pass, so he could welcome me with about 25 licks and a big smile in his eyes, and I, of course, gave him some significant petting and scratching at the same time. Bud was very affectionate towards his friends.

I believe all dogs are fairly intuitive when they meet someone new. An otherwise friendly dog will growl at a person, if the dog senses anything "bad" about the person. Bud's skill in this regard was unbelievable. Several times he knew a person had some very bad traits, and he tried to consistently avoid that person. All the people there thought he was crazy, until the day came when the person publically unveiled his bad side. Bud's ability to distinguish between "good" and "bad" people was truly extraordinary.

It's always a sad time when a good friend must leave you. Bud will be missed and thought of a great deal.

from Deb:

Bud Brown was not cuddly. He wouldn’t sit still for that. But when he loved you and respected you, you knew it. And if he didn’t, you knew that, too. Bud was an excellent judge of character and had a 100% accuracy rate. We knew there would be trouble if Bud said so.

Bud wanted to be a big dog. But his parents were heelers, one blue, one red, so he was resigned to being medium-sized. He fought that every step of the way, challenging his brothers and other dogs when he wasn’t busy “intellectualizing.” He had a big heart, though, and a very expressive face. Tiny furrows would develop over his eyes when he was nervous, and laugh lines would appear when he smiled. Ron and I called him “Budwig von Fuerstenberg” and imagined him with a shock of hair and a monocle, like Sherlock Holmes, always busy detecting and deducing. And we loved him for all of it.


Scottie was a rebel and an individualist. Keenly aware that he looked different from his siblings, he was constantly trying to prove himself. Rules did not apply to him. He was a dog’s dog, an adventurer. And it was this very spirit that took him from us. Jeannette came to visit one day after a trip to California with news that a rich movie mogul in L.A. saw a picture of Scottie and was interested in possibly adopting him. We were so excited for him, laughing and imagining him floating in the pool on a raft. That did not come to pass. If it did, Scottie would have life today.

I miss them.

Jeanette with Bud & Scotty

Eulogy – Funeral 7/26/08

To: Bud, “The Psycho Dog”
Scottie, “The Rebel”

I’ll never understand how the same keen senses you shared
regarding people
simply escaped you
in the midst of “pack mentality”.

Why is it that we always seem to fear
that which we don’t have to
and fight that which we should fear?

I’ll always respect you for your dignity
and grace—
and, most importantly,
for your integrity to be,
Just who you are-

Rest well, my friends,
and play hard—
No more fear-
No more restraints

Be free as the wind that flows through this Refuge-
This Stopping Place-
As you journey
On to places
We can only dream of.
-Linda Estavillo

Scotty and Steve

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

The Placita

Depending upon the time of the year, there is always a new wrinkle to the spin of our universe. Now that the desert has absorbed all of the much needed rain, she is rewarding us the only way she knows how: beautiful wild flowers. What politically correct nonsense! They are just weeds that cause us to sneeze and track goat heads all over. The work campers at Desert Haven have added weed patrol to their usual animal patrol.

Our thanks go out to Annie and Richard and Bill and Mary Jane for their recent donations to Desert Haven. Anyone can sponsor an animal, either cat, dog or birds, by making pledges of food or money. Visit us and pick out your animal. They will love you for it. Tuesday is an especially great day to do this and join us for lunch at noon. Our other regular donors are Charles Nissem and Jessica Diehm. Every month they bring us cans and Bullock’s receipts. It’s wonderful to be on the receiving end of someone’s To Do List.

Eliana setting up a display of good china at Paws & Claws

The trend these days is “Going Green.” That’s basically what Paws and Claws is all about. Through your generous donations, we are able to recycle discarded items from one person, and ease the strain of someone’s pocketbook, or help them purchase a hard-to-find item at a minimal price. We didn’t know how really trendy we were until articles started appearing in newspapers and magazines showing how to re-decorate your house with used items or decorate your landscape with innovative yard art. Come in and see our Vintage Corner full of antiques and other collectibles. You never know how great one of these items might look in your home or yard. Perhaps you would like to volunteer to sort through our wonderful donations or help someone find a bargain. Come by and see us.

This week’s wish list: volunteers to help a few hours a week at Paws & Claws, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers, an administrative assistant, a vet tech, and pet treats. To contact us, please call 575-894-2778 or 575-894-1694, or visit us at or

Friday, August 1, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Judy, Eliana, Jo & Ron

Just when you think the world is almost perfect, along comes another change. At Desert Haven on our usually busy Tuesdays, we have been enjoying the tireless diligence of our administrative assistant Judy. It seems that Judy would like to do some traveling starting in September. That means we have yet another opening for an industrious individual who would like to do computer work and correspondence.

If you have been to the new thrift store, you know how busy we are sorting through all of your wonderful donations and waiting on customers. We really need volunteers. If you can spare a few hours a week, you will certainly be rewarded by knowing that you are helping all of the animals that end up in our care. It’s also a great chance to make new friends and have some fun. If you feel that you could help us in either the thrift or the office, please contact us.

We also want to thank all of you who continue to donate. Please put your offerings in the drop off box on First Street, or bring them around to the store during store hours, Wednesday through Saturday.

Don’t forget to bring us your Bullocks’ receipts. This year’s campaign ends July 31, and they need to be in the shop by August 6. Anything dated after July 31 is invalid.

We lived through the remnants of Dolly and are now back to our almost perfect desert weather. A little monsoon in the afternoon never hurt anyone. Some seem to think that the excess rain brought out the snakes. One of our Desert Haven extended families was affected. Stan “The Man” Brodsky is our Pet Finder guru and dog care-giver and his wife Robbin is a Paws and Claws volunteer and resident gardener at Desert Haven. Their dog Annie was bitten by a snake last week. They live between Hillsboro and Lake Valley. Annie was taken to a vet in Las Cruces and will be on IV and antibiotics until her release. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Annie. Remember to walk heavily and carry some kind of stick. You don’t have to be in a remote area to take precautionary measures. Those critters sometimes show up in residential neighborhoods also.

A big “thank you” goes to Eliana Aubin and Robbin Brodsky for donating the succulents that are sold at the thrift store. Anyone else who has small plants that they would like to donate, please do so.

This week’s wish list: volunteers to help a few hours a week at Paws & Claws, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers, an administrative assistant and a vet tech. Pet food and treats, especially canned cat food are also on our list. To contact us, please call 575-894-2778 or 575-894-1694, or visit us at