Love Is In The Air – February Sanctuary Update

Hi Everyone!

Whether you’re still riding the wave from Valentine’s Day, or looking ahead at spring romance, it’s definitely a time of year when love is in the air. Of course, at the sanctuary, everything revolves around love. But just as in our human relationships, love with the dogs and cats at the sanctuary doesn’t always look like it does in the movies. While there are plenty of doggie kisses and kitty purrs to go around here, there are many more times when love can look a little more unusual. Maybe it looks like sitting quietly in a corner while a new shy cat watches you from a high shelf. Or it could look like helping a dog learn patience and focus instead of wild abandon in the house. Whatever we’re doing with the dogs and cats, it’s always about giving whatever we can to help them be the happiest and healthiest they can be.

Ralph is looking quite dapper in his bow tie – perhaps preparing for a date…?

Loving Wallace and Totti has never looked like the typical feline snuggle fest many would expect. Wallace and Totti lived for many years in a small house with far too many cats. The cats were unhealthy and under-socialized when authorities stepped in to remove them from the situation. A special housing situation was set up for the cats to be rehomed, but Wallace and Totti were among the last few who still hadn’t found a home when time had run out for the special housing. We stepped in and took them in, not knowing if we would ever be able to get them comfortable with the human activity at the sanctuary. We were patient and respected their boundaries, giving them lots of space. They learned the routines of when and where their food would come around and made friends with some of their kitty neighbors. And most importantly, they learned that we would never force them into a situation they weren’t comfortable with. Today, loving Wallace and Totti often looks like saying hi and chatting with them from a distance while you walk by and they watch from a comfy chair. Sometimes it looks like teaser toy time with a long wand toy. It always looks like food and churu treats, and occasionally even looks like some gentle pets. This pair has made some astounding progress while they’ve recovered here. And while they may never be snuggly, I’m sure that’s love in their eyes when they’re looking at you…and the bowl of food you’re bringing them.

Sometimes love is lots of work, and lots of negotiation. That’s the case with Miel. Miel came to us having suffered some extensive trauma. She had been injured in a household accident that left her unable to use her back feet properly. And whether it was from emotional or physical damage suffered, Miel also displays some significant behavioral dysfunction. But that all just meant more love would be needed to give her the best life we could. After extensive rehabilitation work, Miel experienced a nearly miraculous recovery. While she doesn’t walk totally correctly, and her feet often still require special protection and care, she moves about on her own and lives a life of long walks and field trips to local parks. And while physical affection is largely off limits with Miel indoors, we have found ways for her to entertain herself solo in the house, and she still gets to soak up lots of her favorite neck scratches when she is wearing her muzzle and out in the world. She has a very small and specially selected group of friends at the sanctuary, but they would do anything for her (myself included).

Miel and her buddy Montana love to explore the world together
Miel and Lucas have a special friendship

Something that love always looks like at the sanctuary is sticking with someone to the end. We lost our dear Mojito this month. Mojito had a serious heart condition that, while it didn’t seem to affect her carefree lifestyle, posed an ongoing threat to her health. While in many animal welfare settings, such a diagnosis would have meant that there would be no place for Mojito, she had a home here with us, including the best care and lots of love. Unfortunately, she suffered a sudden catastrophic heart event sometime overnight, and was gone when we arrived in the morning. While it was not entirely unexpected, it was a shock, and we are deeply mourning her loss. But the love she got and the love she gave, even with odds stacked against her, is all a part of what we do here.

That’s what love looks like at the Our Companions Sanctuary. It’s not what many may picture when they think about loving the dogs and cats in their lives, but it’s what our furry friends need and it means the world to them. And someday when we get to deliver them into the arms of a forever family, that family will know exactly what it takes to love these special souls.

Jill is lucky to have sweet Bella as her valentine this year!

Rosie’s Roundup

Hi Everyone!

Do you know what I love? Sharing a meal with someone special. As many of you know, I’m not big on eating alone. But put a warm and caring person beside me, and it changes a bowl of plain old food into a perfect dining experience. It’s just one of the many quirks that you volunteers know about me, and all of the guests here at the sanctuary. It could be where the right and very wrong places to pet Bella are, or it could be Keiko’s love of a good brushing, even when she doesn’t want you touching her. The sanctuary volunteers are always so caring and patient when interacting with us and all of our unusual needs. And we so appreciate it! Thank you all so much!!

See you soon!


And of Course…Adoptions!!

A bunch of our residents found their true loves this month. Crazy canine Daisy went home this month, as did special kitties Krinkle, Palmer and Dior. New arrivals in the cat cottages were Sabrina and Cassie.

Welcome, Sabrina!
Welcome, Cassie!
Good luck, Krinkle, now Mabel!
Good luck, Palmer!
Good luck, Dior!
Good luck, Daisy!

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]