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Busy Summer – August Sanctuary Update

You often hear about people who look forward to summer as a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy time floating by. I have no idea who these people are, and they certainly aren’t among the team of us here at the Our Companions Sanctuary, who keep pushing forward to do more and more for the dogs and cats and humans in our world, no matter what season it is. We had a very busy, very productive, and maybe just a little bit hectic summer here, so I’d love to take a moment to show off a little of what we’ve done.

After the burst of gardening frenzy we had last summer, we wanted to keep the momentum going with using various plants not only to beautify, but also make practical improvements to, the sanctuary. Over at Jane’s Place, we continued the work of adding cover and enrichment to the cats’ outdoor catio area. We planted various evergreen shrubs, rhododendrons, and an ornamental maple around the front and side catios to help the cats feel covered and secure, and to attract some entertaining wildlife. Over by the Memorial Wall, we planted more shrubs that will eventually serve to guide a stone walkway, while creating even more of a visual block between Love Shack, where some of our most challenging dogs live, and much of the traffic and activity nearby. The other major landscaping project was something long awaited by those familiar with walking the dogs in the summer. We planted six trees to provide shade for those walking up the main path from the cottages to the older play yards. Of course, they’ve got some growing to do before they become effective in their job, but, as I once heard, you don’t plant trees for today, you plant trees for tomorrow.

Now you may have noticed above that I referred to the “older” play yards. To top off our progress this summer, we built three new play yards. These are to serve three purposes. First of all, with 15 dog living at the sanctuary, trying to share two play yards wasn’t quite working out. But more importantly, as the population of dogs we serve continues to include more and more under-socialized and shy dogs, having places for them to go that are closer to their “home” cottages, where they can build relationships with the new humans in their lives under less pressure, became increasingly necessary. And lastly, one of the new structures, Serenity Play Yard, was equipped for some specialized activity we are in need of. It is being set up with equipment for the physical rehab work we find ourselves doing with our post-surgical dogs, as well as being equipped with cat-safe fencing at the top, should we have any cats that would enjoy some more outdoor time (I’m looking at you, Ralph!).

Yes, it has been a busy summer here, but all this work is so worth it when you get to see the dogs, cats, and of course the volunteers, getting to enjoy an even more enriched and healing environment here at the sanctuary. I thank all of you who support and help out with creating and maintaining this lovely facility.

The cat team has had a couple of really special adoptions in August. First, our special old man, Hedwig, went home! He was dropped on our doorstep over a year ago. And even though he was a senior kitty and never the healthiest cat, he was such a love bug. We’re so happy he gets to finally go to a forever home. We also bit a fond farewell to Ethel this month. Then, to fill us back up again, we brought in two terrific trios: the kittens in Jane’s Place, Sugar, Spice and Cinnamon, and the crew in Sebastian House, Reeses, Nutmeg, and Maxwell.

Over with the dogs, we ended the month with sending our fluffy duo, Max and Pippa, off to their forever home!

Thank you all so much for whatever way you support us and our mission. We couldn’t do it without you.