A Note

Volunteering at the dog shelter has been occupying way too much time as of late. I’ve been scratched and nipped, I have felt uncomfortable, sad, angered, frustrated… but I also have felt love, hope, joy, excitement, and happiness. Cleaning up dog excrement may be far from glamorous… but it is completely honest. Opening gates and leashing dogs you don’t know or trust can be nerve wracking the first times you do it, but if no one walks the dogs, what chance to they have of not going mad, or finding homes? Heck, even most of America’s most hardened, incarcerated, criminals get an hour of yard time a day, and most of the dogs at the shelter did nothing wrong, they just happened to get lost, misunderstood, old, under-trained, or circumstances changed in their owner’s lives that forced them to give them up…

When I volunteered yesterday, I was delighted to have received a thank you note and picture of two elderly dogs that found a new home a few weeks back… I was also elated to have a terrified dog want to spend time with me (in her kennel) wagging her tail the whole time… I was overjoyed to see video of a dog that was too scared to come out of her kennel walking around and moving freely in the yard after one of the key volunteers carried her there. 

It really is a tragedy that so many shitty people are in the public spotlight, humans who are the furthest thing from positive role models in my opinion. Most of the time doing “good” work is thankless. At the shelter, 95% of the time we never hear from the people that we help or see pictures of the happy dogs in their new homes. [Though maybe I’ll start implementing a new idea I just came up with… creating fantasies of receiving letters and pictures directly from dogs who I feel like I may have helped improve their lives while at the shelter or by finding them a new home.]

We all matter. Everyone. All creatures are part of the greater WE. I grew up being told that WE are all God’s creatures, and that we should treat others the way WE would like to be treated. WE should treat others the way WE would want others to treat OUR mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends, or pets. Have I failed at this at times? Unquestionably yes, but we/I are/am flawed, and today and tomorrow are new opportunities for all of us to become better.

Regardless of whether or not WE receive thank you notes, WE can all choose to make a positive difference, to matter, WE can choose to help, to improve the lives of people in and out of our communities, or animals, whether it is when WE are being paid to do jobs, when WE are volunteering, or even when WE are just walking down the street.

It really does cost nothing to be kind and decent, but it really is worth so much. Thank YOU for every selfless, positive, and amazing thing you have done in the past, that you do today, and that you choose to do tomorrow.

– Quiche Out

“It All Fades Away,” (September 29th, 2018).

“It All Fades Away,” from The Bridges Of Madison County.

Memorial for Ron Snyder (September 29th, 2018). So many talented singers, and lovely words spoken.

Clifford Bell produced, Michael Collum on baby grand piano, Marc Saltarelli video, Andrew Appel tech, and Tom Kiesche with the vocals.

Ron was a special person, always a joy to sing with, a super talented pianist and a wonderfully supportive friend. It was an honor to sing at his memorial, and always a pleasure to sing with him at any venue. He was the first pianist that I sang with at an open mic, the pianist of my first few cabaret shows… Lots of great memories and songs… and some posted on YouTube which feature is playing.

Link: https://youtu.be/wuRO_2ZaBZ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuRO_2ZaBZw

♥Reward for Kindness♥

Volunteering at a Los Angeles City shelter has been illuminating in many ways. There have been challenging, trying, sad, happy, and rewarding times. I have witnessed both the best and worst in humanity. I have got to meet more amazing dogs (and cats) than probably most people will meet in a lifetime.

Learning more about dogs and watching their behavior in the kennel has taught me a lot more about humans and our behaviors, our supposed wants, our definite needs. We all want security, trust, and to feel safe. We all react in different ways when those needs are not met… and others make snap judgments about us instantly based on their perceptions, needs, wants, and quick assessments.

This past Saturday, the “Clear The Shelters Event,” was declared an enormous success. Unofficially, I’ve heard that the shelter at which I volunteer, collectively got 29 cats, 36 dogs, and 1 rabbit out, to hopefully the great homes. A total of 66 animals! On Saturday, I personally had a direct hand in 5 big dog adoptions, and loved the personality and disposition of each dog I introduced.

Sunday was a different story for me, every person I chatted with or introduced a dog to seemed to be just window-shopping. One particular lovely couple, though they seemed to really like one of my favorite dogs, after a 30-minute meet and greet, they told me they’d be back in a few weeks.

“Honestly, I hope he’s not here in a few weeks,” I stated. “No offense. But I hope someone comes in an hour from now, crazy about him, and takes him home. A couple weeks for this guy is a long time, and he’s already been here too long.”

They understood my meaning… it was about a love for the dog, not an insult to them.

Anyway, so Sunday was beginning to feel like a waste of time… Though I was able to get some long-timers out of their kennels, walk them, show them, allow a few of them to run around, or jump in a pool.

But just before I was about to clock-out for the day, I saw the white eyes of a black shadowy dog. I stopped. Did a double take. Looked at his kennel card. Whoever this particular black boxer mix was, apparently had been AVAILABLE for the past 15 days… and yet for some bizarre reason, although I had probably passed by his kennel at least 50 times in that time period, I had never noticed him.

I re-read his kennel card, and everything seemed okay for me to take him out and get to know him.

I opened the gate to leash up the sweetest, calmest dog.

When he exited his kennel, I finally got a good look at him… Absolutely gorgeous! And still calm, he didn’t panic, race, pull, or seem to notice the other dogs.

We walked past several other key volunteers and staff members, and NO ONE, not one of them knew the dog either… “Where was he?” “Who’s that?” “He’s stunning.”

For some reason, of which I may never be aware of, that particular dog had been passed by ALL OF US. Had I known of him a day earlier, within a minute of meeting him, I just knew I would have been able to get him out the day earlier, and 67 might have gone home that day.

Perhaps he had been hiding in the back of his kennel, and today, just before I was going to leave, while I was wondering why I had volunteered that particular day, maybe he sensed something from me and stepped forward. Or maybe he was near a real loud barking dog that always distracted attention from him… I truly don’t know. What I do know was he was AMAZING. Trained. Sweet. And EVERYONE commented about how beautiful he was. He was incredibly skinny, so possibly he had been hiding, terrified… (Video link of him at bottom of post)

I spent some time with him, knowing he just needed to be seen outside his kennel and within a half-hour we had bonded. He had more pride in his step, and he sat with me and pleasantly met everyone who passed by. Unfortunately there just weren’t enough people looking for dogs.

Before I went I made sure to highlight him to the other volunteers who were there, and sent out a blast to some key big dog volunteers that weren’t, promising the dog he wouldn’t be there long now that several of us knew about him… but that he had to do his part to and not hide in the back anymore.

Anyway, like magic, just a couple hours after I got home, I got a text from one of the volunteers, just letting me know that he introduced the dog to his new FUREVER FAMILY and he was going HOME ♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡.

Go team!

It made all of Sunday worth going in…

We don’t know how we will affect people or animals, and we’re not always able to see or hear the results… Sometimes we just have to trust that good actions lead to good things, that kindness may not be rewarded instantly, but ultimately may connect to bright shinny happiness for others. While television and society constantly highlights, rewards and glorifies some of the worst, dishonest, narcissistic, selfish, environmentally damaging, and corrupt human behaviors… somewhere right now, someone is doing something unselfish and beautiful… which the effects of that symbolic pebble tossed into a metaphorical pond may send ripples of kindness, love and joy to others for years and years to come.

BTW was it ironic the sweet black dog’s shelter name was Zorro, not because of his color, but because he could obviously hide in plain sight?

– Quiche Out

As always, please feel free to share, repost, forward, or comment on this or any past and future posts.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Please microchip your animals, the shelter is stuffed with strays that belonged to someone convinced their dog or cat would never run away. Every day someone is walking around in tears aimlessly hoping to discover their lost animal, like a needle in a haystack. Don’t be that person. Microchip your animals and keep information current. It’s quick. Inexpensive. Easy.

Read here for more info about microchipping… http://www.laanimalservices.com/general-information/microchipping/

Information about volunteering at one of six LA City Shelters…
http://www.laanimalservices.com/volunteer/

Video of Zorro on our first meet up…

Video of Henny in the pool, from Sunday

Video of Loki, chilling, from this past Sunday

View this post on Instagram

Loki loves chilling on hot days. #A1704650 Please help Loki find his happy beginning by sharing or reposting THIS POST for him or COME ON IN to meet him! ——————– All North Central animals come spayed/neutered, microchipped and current on all their shots (including rabies). North Central LA City shelter; 3201 Lacy St., Los Angeles, CA; 213­-485­-5767. ———————#viking #vikings #play #playboy #AdoptThisDog #ShelterDog #AdoptDon’tShop #SaveHim #SaveYou #MansBestFriend #Lover #northcentralanimalshelter #shelter #hero @northcentralshelter #dogsofinstagram #dogs_of_instagram #instadog #losangeles @furanimals17 @pitbullsofinstagram @pitbullsoflosangeles @losangelespitbulls #playpull #tugtoy

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Watch It (When You Want)

If you wanted to check out that movie, “I’ll Be Watching,” but don’t have the Lifetime Movie Network … my parents actually discovered you can rent it/buy it through Vudu.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/details/Ill-Be-Watching/972227

– Quiche Out

WARNING: newer actors and models

For decades I have warned newer actors about being careful of what contracts they sign. Doing nonunion commercial work that requires you sign a contract in perpetuity (for life) can pay a little in the short run, but more damaging, it may hurt future earnings for ALL ACTORS AND… that little job take you out of doing a larger better paying job later.

Imagine if years ago Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep did an in perpetuity spot for a car company… then became famous. The company could run the hell out of that spot… for decades and those actors would probably receive no extra money, EVER! Also, future employers might not want to hire you because you get known as the actor from that spot or you have a conflict forever.

Or like this example…

Models doing modeling for a stock photo company. Agreeing to sign over their rights to their image, with no control over who uses it and for what.

https://hillreporter.com/fake-walkaway-ads-feature-images-of-people-from-shutterstock-4319

I suppose there is one or two people in the world who actually enjoy having their image attached to anything and not being compensated fairly… but for most performers/actors I know — we would like to be compensated justly for our work and know ahead of tome what we are helping to promote or sell.

I’m just saying… be smart and protect yourself. Last thing I would want is any political party putting words I never said into my mouth by using my image.

– Quiche Out

World Premiere August 3rd!

Letting you know of a WORLD PREMIERE

What: I’ll Be Watching (formerly titled The Purple Rose)

When: Friday, August 3rd at 8:00 PM

Where: LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK

Read the full poster… find my name. BTW Not “family friendly” or for young children.

– Quiche Out