Gifting – December Sanctuary Update

Hi Everyone!

Last month I talked about feasting; taking in and enjoying the abundance of good things all around us. This month, I’d like to talk about gifting; the joy of sharing what we have with others. It can seem like such a small and simple thing, but it can mean so much to so many.

Of course, when you think about giving gifts, the first thing anyone thinks about is money. But that’s Susan’s area, not mine, so you won’t hear anything about that from me. I want to talk more about gifts of time, effort, cheer, and most of all, kindness. I am consistently amazed to see the lists of volunteers that get posted every day and the numbers I see coming across our reports. The amount of time our volunteers spend here, helping us provide the best possible cared for these special fur kids is an overwhelming gift. We would not be able to accomplish the kind of life changing work we do without it.

Alumnus Cole cozies up by his first Christmas tree

But there’s being here, and then there’s really being here! Not only are you volunteers coming to help out, but you’re really giving it your all. We all know how special these dogs and cats are, and the extra effort needed to care for them properly. Whether it’s special training techniques, extraordinary patience, or focused attention to detail and communication signals, our volunteers are always fully present and in the moment with our guests. It makes a world of difference in helping them recover from the lives they’ve come from on their way to the lives they have ahead.

Louie is in position to be wrapped up as the cutest present you’d want to open

But just as much as you all show up for the dogs and cats, you also show up for the humans here as well. There’s always smiles, encouragements, commiserations, and ready helping hands for each other and the staff. And the staff has been overwhelmed by the flood of sweet gifts that have been pouring in for the holiday. It means so much to us have your support, physically and emotionally, while we embark on this mission.

Scout saw Santa on Christmas morning!
Sophie enjoyed opening a gift from Santa Paws all by herself

What often occurs to me when I think about the giving I get to do in many aspects of my life, is that it’s an opportunity to be thankful. The reason I or anyone is able to give of themselves is because we have an abundance in our lives to give from. Not only is it a gift to have extra to give to others, it’s a blessing to have found those that need and appreciate what you have to offer.

So, for one last time in 2023, thank you so much for the gifts you all bring to the Our Companions Sanctuary! We appreciate you all so much!

Pearl is ready for a nap after opening all of her gifts

Rosie’s Roundup

Hi Everyone!

I’m sure you’re all getting so much meaningful and heartfelt sentiments these days from all of the family, friends, and other connections in your life this past month, including these sappy messages from Jon. So since there’s little I could add, I’m going to keep it simple.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

See you soon!


Unfortunately, we also have to take a moment and speak of a loss at the sanctuary this month. Reuben came to us, as so many do, scared and in poor health. He was suffering from diabetes that hadn’t been getting treated. However, with proper medical and social care, he quickly blossomed into a loving and vivacious cat that won the hearts of everyone who spent time with him. However, there was more trouble brewing and, after a downturn in his health, it was discovered that he had extensive cancer spread to multiple organs. We were able to keep him comfortable and help him pass peacefully with those who loved him around at the end. We cherish the time we got to spend with this special guy and will miss him very much. Thank you all for helping to fill his final months with love and fun.

And of Course…Adoptions!!

It was another great holiday season for seeing some very special cats go to their forever homes, including a few holiday miracles. Adorable kittens Merry and Pippin went home in December, followed soon after by Momma Paige. Sebastian House clown, Smudge, went home with our very own CEO, Susan, to join her kitty clan. And everyone’s favorite odd couple, sunny Penny and grumpy Niles, both with challenging medical care needs, went home together on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful holiday gift!

Good luck, Merry & Pippin!
Good luck, Smudge!
Good luck, Niles & Penny!
Good luck, Paige!

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

Jon Phillips

Sanctuary Director

[email protected]