Keeping Warm – January Sanctuary Update

It may not really feel like it yet, but we are smack in the middle of winter in Connecticut. That means that the big issue on everyone’s tongues is keeping warm, whether it’s Lindsey throwing on a fourth or fifth jacket, or me turning down thermostats everywhere I can. So let’s talk about keeping bodies and hearts warm.

Gidget in her warm winter coat.

Keeping Warm
We’ve been at this work for several years now, and the issue of how to keep the dogs and cats having fun when the snow flies and the wind blows has been something that has led us to a number of creative solutions.
If you stop by here on a cold winter’s day, you’re likely to see our dogs walking about in an assortment of warm and stylish coats. Through the support of donations from our volunteers and the general public, all the dogs at the sanctuary have access to an enviable collection of coats and jackets to chose from, whether it’s tiny little Vinny, or big guy Cole. But even with a coat, an hour of activity in frigid temperatures can be a challenge. So we have set up doggie entertainment centers in our climate controlled supply storage area as well as in Laura’s Place, our human cottage next door. And of course, when all else fails, there’s always snuggling up in a blanket on the couch, a favorite of many dogs and volunteers.
Now on the cat side, being inside doesn’t totally eliminate the effects of a winter chill. Just spend some time in Draco and Neville’s kitchen and you’ll see how much winter can creep indoors. For them, we always make sure there are heated beds around, which you can see is one of Ripley’s favorite spots. And for those cats that are particularly into braving the outdoors, we even provide some heated outdoor houses on their catios. Whatever we can do to maximize their comfort, no matter the weather, is what we’ll do.


Heartwarming Goodbyes
As unfortunately happens sometimes, we had two very difficult goodbyes in January. If there were two quintessential oddballs, guaranteed to make you smile, among the dogs and cats, they were Henry and Chloe. Henry was a senior beagle on his third stay here at the sanctuary. He was blind, couldn’t hear well, and was experiencing some cognitive decline. He had suffered lots of bad luck in his life, but never lost his joy and sweetness, even as his illnesses began to overwhelm him. Chloe was also a senior with health problems. To say she was “quirky” would be an understatement. But she was exceptionally sweet, not only to humans, but also did well with other cats. Her sudden passing was a shock to everyone working with the cats. Now we could call these goodbyes heart-breaking, but I prefer to call them heartwarming. Both Chloe and Henry had fallen on hard times before coming to us, but we were able to take them in and give them exceptional care and comfort over their final days and months. They had the chance to be happy and to spread that joy to all the rest of us in the process. What could be better than that?


Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s that time of year when love is in the air. We know how much you love the dogs and cats here at the sanctuary, so we wanted to give you the chance to send them a little Valentine’s gift. Just click this link to our Secret Admirer Amazon Wish List, and purchase a gift for our furry friends. It will ship right to us, and you can even write them a little love note to send along. We so greatly appreciate your support and all of the help you give, keeping our dogs and cats feeling happy and healthy, and most of all…loved! Here’s the link:

All of the traffic in and out for January was on the cat side. Emmie and Jumanji both found wonderful forever homes with volunteers. Meanwhile, Stash, who has a ligament injury, arrived to dazzle us with his fabulous bandages.