Archive for February, 2014


The many global “Friends of LOKI” have countless stories of their own to tell.  Many are not of dogs, cats, birds and the regular animal companions that we all share our lives with.

Here, submitted by Barbara Ettles Carter, in her own words, is her story about an amazing little Raccoon with whom as she says “I wouldn’t have missed that for the world!”


Charlene, as she came to be known, was a tiny raccoon being baby when she was brought back from a feline hunting trip into the bush one fall day.  Born at the wrong time of the year, likely because her mother lost her spring litter of kits, she was “found” by Buster the Cat.

My husband who was digging the garden in preparation for the next year of planting called out to me to see what had arrived.  There she was, scrambling around at his feet and chattering several volumes of books of stories.  And there was Buster, sitting off to one side, having deposited her at my husband’s feet.

  Looking around, no mother raccoon being could be seen and given that winter was approaching and this little one was way too small to survive on her own for a winter, we agreed that she would be welcome to join our family.  “But only for the winter!”  I admonished.  “No matter how attached we get to her, she is a wild animal and belongs in the bush with the other raccoon beings being a raccoon.  She is not a domestic pet!” I said as I told myself every bit as much as I was telling my husband.

  We took Charlene to our vet, Brian, who gave her some shots to keep her from bringing rabies back to us since we lived in the rabies capital of Canada.  “You shouldn’t keep her,” he said.  “She will climb your drapes; she will eat your furniture; she will destroy your house.”  I reminded Brian that the last time I had taken one of the feline beings to him for an appointment, there were two baby raccoon outside his house, eating and drinking from the dog dishes.  “And where did they come from?” I asked.   “I found them on the road one night; their mother had been hit by a car and there they were.  What could I do?  I couldn’t leave them.”  “And neither can we.”  I said looking straight at him.  “Neither can we.”

Gradually, word got round and people began knocking on our door to see the raccoon.  People began to phone to see the raccoon.  My sister arrived for a visit and she was not so excited to see the raccoon.  She sat on the chesterfield most of the time with her legs pulled under her, looking warily at the little raccoon being.  We had to deliver coffee to her there on the chesterfield and she held the mug up high in the air, seeing that is how we had learned how to hold our coffee too with Charlene around.

  We learned a lot that winter.

We built her an eight by four foot pen in the basement where she spent the nights.  The days, she spent in the house with us.  My husband had surgery that winter and was off work most of the time and I stayed home to look after him.  As she grew – and grow she did with the nutritious food we provided – we learned that when people try to live with a raccoon, it is the person who must change more than the raccoon.  To live successfully with a raccoon, a person has to begin to think like a raccoon.

  She became a little argumentative about going in the pen at night.  And at 40 pounds she was becoming difficult to pick up – especially with teeth that gave warnings that being picked up was not on her agenda.  The solution was to give the teeth something to hang on to that was so precious she would not drop it when we urged that plump little body through the door of the pen for the night.  Marshmallow cookies – the kind with the pink marshmallows on top and lots of sweet coconut – were heaven to that little raccoon being. Another piece of raccoon gold was a grape – to be rolled around in her hand and felt with her fingers until – and I swear she did- until she would smile with anticipation.  Popping it in her mouth, she would hold it there and then crunch down with one bite.  Her little eyes would close with delight as the sweet juices flooded her mouth.  To this day, I swear she smiled!  She definitely was a being.

  But it wasn’t until the spring as we were preparing to release her that I understood fully how I felt about her.  We wondered how much raccoons knew from instinct and how much they learned from their mother.  We took her out for climbing lessons – just in case.  She didn’t need them.  She chose a beautiful maple tree and began her climb.  We thought she would merely go up a few feet and then come down.  Charlene had other ideas.  Up she went – 10 feet, 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, 100 feet and more.  Right to the top.  And there she clung to the uppermost twiggy branches, hanging on and looking ever so like a sailor in the rigging looking for land.  She swung back and forth in the breeze and my heart moved to my mouth.

“Charlene, come down!  Come on down right now!”

  Not a whisper of her chatter as a reply and she maintained her hold.  We realized we had a huge emotional attachment to our baby and we desperately wanted to bring her in for the night.

  “That’s enough, Charlene, come in!”  Still not a muscle moved.  “I think I know what to do,” I said to my husband.  “Be right back.”  I went into the kitchen and came out holding forth a pink marshmallow cookie.  “Look Charlene,” I called to her.  “Cookie! Your favourite.”  She looked down at us and began to descend.  And now we learned something new – raccoons descend from trees head first.  We were convinced she would fall on that precious little head but no – one foot lifted and moved and then another foot lifted from the trunk and down she came.

  I gathered her up in my arms, gave her the cookie and snuggled her tightly.  “I guess she doesn’t need climbing lessons,” my husband said.  The next day was a beautiful blue sky day with puffy white clouds.  Only little patches of snow remained on the ground and we decided to take Charlene out with us while we cleared some of the fallen branches from the garden.  I looked around and she was gone.  “Where’s Charlene?” I asked.  “I didn’t see her lately,” said my husband.  She was gone.

There were little footprints in the patches of snow going into the bush but then they disappeared in the leaves.  She was gone, without a look back.  And a feeling of emptiness was all that was left as I gazed into the woods.  Three weeks later, an early April snowfall blanketed the land.  My husband and I were doing dishes one night and he would look out the window in the back door every so often.  “What are you looking at?” I asked.  “Nothing,” he said.

“Hey!  What was that?”

Drying my hands, I rushed to the back door to look and just as I did, I saw something disappear over the edge of the deck and under, into the space beneath.  “That’s Charlene!”  I shouted.  “She’s back!”  I opened the door and up on the deck she came.   “Charlene!” said my husband.   “Where have you been?”

She chattered – obviously she had been on an adventure.  Despite the door being open, Charlene would only put two feet inside.  And she stayed like that – half in and half out – for an hour.  Finally, in she came and down to the basement she went.  She would have nothing to do with the pen and hefted her big rear end up onto the woodpile, preferring that to the confinement of the cage.  In a few days, after the snow had melted, off she went again.

We had been successful in returning her to her wild ways.  The bush is where she preferred to be.  Brian was right.  She ate our furniture.  She climbed the drapes.  She destroyed parts of the house.  But she also squirmed and chattered her way into our hearts that winter.  I wouldn’t have missed that for the world!

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With over 10,800 Face Book followers, and my request to have his “Friends” submit their own pictures of their companions, the album continues to grow daily. 

Here is a collage of just some of his “Friends”.  You can be sure there will be more collages to come.

Many of these precious souls, if not 99% of them are rescues who have found loving forever homes with dedicated “Guardians”

(For any overlapping pics just click the image)

Mabel VG       Sasha and Pampa Lynne Gavin Hi, Loki, my name is Lucky! I am a friend of Lynne and her cats Bruce and Tricksy! I was rescued as a puppy! ?????????????????????? Tanner, Bailey and Santa  thank you Jan Sir Urho    A Finland Friend Sheila Munroe-Stone Hi Loki. We are Miikka and Olivia. Sheila Munroe-Stone Hi Loki. My name is Mufasa. I'm a 16 year old Alaskan Malamute. Samantha Wagner rescued  Maggie a lab from Texas. Mary Eckstein  loves her Cavie   Daisy Mary Higgins Mj Ryan s beautiful Yukon My Towie! sadly no longer with me but she was an amzing staffordshire bull terrier! and was 13 when she left xx Patricia Standage-Connor Zak a rescue saved off the streets of San Antonio,Tx Pippin Evie and Willow rescues of Jeannine Colle Sonnier in Fort Collins CO Rescues of Vanessa Holmes Luckey    Baby is the pooch and Chai is a 7 month old beauty Riley  14 yrs old and going strong  Dee Pelletier Joanisse Roberta McIntyre was adopted by her rescue Dawn 7 yrs ago  Dawn is now 10 Marie Gannon This is Holly. We think she looks like a much smaller and older version of Loki with the ears1656067_10153768116755008_1328192690_n Acey 2 of Pam Rowland Furr family Luna  companion of Melinda Mel Smith Connelly Lucy and Ethel Lucas gets his tummy rubs Lucas and his female companion Lucas  submitted by Eva Murray Finn is cuddling up with his mom  Kimberley Purvis Phillips Gidget   submitted by Kathy VanNoorden Herman Grover sends big sloppy kisses from his family to yours xx   Linda Wilson Gallant Hi Loki from the divas trixie and Luna from Winnipeg Manitoba both my girls are rescue  Sylvie Nicole Oakes Jennie rescused from puppy mill living in N. Michigan with Chrstine Snyder Jennilyn Enteria-Tsai  Friends from the Philippines  Yahzi left Freaky right Keeper the sole surivor of a litter of 5  Thank you Leah Hermann Kodiak a loving soul rescued by Mj Ryan Lilli Belle Hi Loki, this is LilliBelle she is 10 years old and is your friend from NYC! Carol Ann Schwalbach Webb     Cheyenne  is Ben and Rodeos mom Carol Ann Schwalbach Webb      Brody the pool boy Carol Ann Schwalbach Webb        Tulabelle and Morgan Carmel and Mango insperable friends of Allan Abba Zunenshine Can't keep DIGBY waiting.  Thank you Christen Rynolds Fagan Buddy and Patches Bonnie C   China enjoying ice cream Ben says hello too... Im Rodeos real brother! Dusti   Bruce MacDonald OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA georgette Debbie Sobala Luiting Jimmy 2 Jimmy    Ella Kaarsemaker Suncatcher     Diane Blair Suncatcher 2 WP_20140130_005 Dawn Withers 1 Dawn Withers 3 Dawn Withers 2 Dawn Withers 4 Dawn Withers 5 Dawn Withers 6 Dozer Dawn Withers 7

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The loss of a beloved companion leaves a massive emptiness, a whole in our hearts that we believe can never be filled.  Sometimes we as caregivers need our own Guardian Angels, sometimes it is our lost loved one that comes to us with their own plans for our future.  Bruce is a very dear friend, although we have never met face to face, we share a love and commitment for all animals and in that our journeys never cease.  

This is an amazing story of a lost loved one doing just that.  Bruce’s Guardian Angel made sure that the whole in his heart would be filled.

In Bruce’s own words  “And, every morning she goes to little Magnum’s urn on the dining room table and rubs her head on it – she knows,”

Dusti   Bruce MacDonald

SPECIAL UPDATE!!! “….hi remember me from last night…I’m Dusti in case you forgot….”

“Well you see…..the other day I was sitting alone in my kennel just thinking about stuff when much to my surprise my guardian angel came…….he sat on my shoulder and said ‘well Dusti, I’m supposed to be on the other side of the rainbow bridge but there’s something I have to do before I can go…….I left behind the most loving person any pet could ever wish for and I have left a big hole in his heart…one he feels will never mend and so I need you to help heal this wonderful generous heart because without his light in the world…it is a much dimmer place ‘…..and so the plan was set…..in all my shyness I was to come to facebook and my guardian angel would lead him to me…in all his sadness he hasn’t spent much time on facebook but my guardian said he would do his part so long as I did mine ……and it worked. I couldn’t believe my eyes…..it was real…..this wonderful person that I’d heard about around the shelter……everybody whispering and talking that this person was coming to see me……oh my heart was pounding but then ours eyes met and a calm came over me and it happened…..I was giving my heart to a very special person and he was giving me his………his name is Bruce McDonald and think most of you know him from all the blessings he gives each pet posted on this page……how did I get so lucky….I will love you for all my days Bruce……and thank you to my guardian Angel, Magnum…its time for you to play over the rainbow with all the other furbabies that have passed…..I will continue to fill Bruce’s heart and help him heal and I will be here…safe for the rest of my days with Bruce……I couldn’t have asked for more”

All of us wish “Dusti” and her ‘Bruce’ a wonderful and amazing journey in their new life together.

  We must also not forget to  offer a very special Thank You to a very precious Guardian Angel by the name of “Magnum”.

Below is the link and as Bruce has said, they do amazing and wonderful work for the animals.


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With so much negativity regarding animal rescue, ie. we cannot save each and every one unfortunately, it is heartwarming to see a success story.  Unsung heroes exist among us, Angels, Guardians of ‘The Voiceless” without whom so very many innocent lives would be lost forever.  This is one such story below, there are countless others yet to be told.  In her own words, with the pictures she has provided:  This is Leroy’s Story.

Leroy is a survivor and yes he is truly “Lucky Leroy” joining the loving Lawson family which includes  Lulu, Leroy, Fatboy, Diablo, Luther and Lily.

Leroy the dude

“Leroy’s situation was the most life threatening of the many animals I have helped to rescue over the years and of the six that were meant to be my family forever.  He came to us in a strange and serendipitous way as many of them do.  A woman, who I did not know very well, approached me at our small town post office and asked if I could give her dog a bath and a haircut.  She had heard that I like to help people and their pets.  It is really only the pets I want to help, but don’t tell them that.”

 “I was very busy at the time (getting married) and said it would have to wait a few days.  However, her sister called and said the dog was in rough shape and that someone had been asked to come and SHOOT him.  We live on the very isolated island of Haida Gwaii and unfortunately, many people are still pretty backward about whose life has more value.  I told hubby to be to hang tight and drove there to see what was happening.”

 “It was not good.  It was very bad.  The woman had been drinking and looked pretty mean and hostile so I just asked where the dog was and tiptoed past her.  I found what looked sort of like a dog tied up on their uncovered back porch.  He was on a short leash hooked to the wall about two feet up so he could basically only move around in a two foot area.  I found out later that he had been tied there for about 3 ½ years.  Feeding him had consisted of giving him raw fish heads occasionally.  Did she think he had some yearning for rotten sushi?!?  He had no water on a very hot day and really didn’t even look like a dog, more like something that had crawled out of a swamp.  He was matted from head to toe and both his front and back legs were melded together so he couldn’t walk, just hop around a bit.  I cut the leash from the wall, wrapped him in a blanket I’d brought, gave her a few obscene gestures and words, then ran for the car.  A bath and a haircut indeed!”

” I took him home and called Dr. Don, our most awesome vet, only to find out he was away for the weekend.  It’s a small island and he is the only game in town.  I called some rescue friends and started frantically googling.  The most urgent needs came first; get him hydrated, warm and a little healthy food into him.  I cooked him steak.  When he seemed a little stronger, I started cutting away the giant globs of  his hair matted with mud, actual sticks and of course, his own urine and feces.  He was constantly shaking and his eyes would roll back in his head so we had to take breaks often.  When I finally got down to skin, I found oozing sores everywhere, ears filled with mites, bugs and fleas rampant, and blood clots were dropping from his penis.  This was a nightmare, but I was determined to give him some happy time, even if it might be short lived.”

 “Eventually I got him into a warm bath, medicated what I could, then just held him through the night, giving him bits of food and water when he woke up.  This had taken the whole day and much of the night so I eventually dozed off for a bit.  When I woke up, he was gone!  I yelled for my husband to tell me where the dog was.  I feared the worst.”

 Boy, had I underestimated this little guy’s strength and character.  Where did I find him?  Chasing my twin rescued kitty cats, Fatboy & Diablo. 

Fatboy & Diablo

He and Lulu, my first wee rescued mutt were CHASING each other. 

Leroy & Lulu

He was stealing toys from her box, running around with them in his mouth as though he’d just struck gold!  I asked my husband what we should call him and he said, Lucky.  Lucky Leroy it is, the newest member of he Lawson family.

 Not the last though…

 Luther and Princess Lily were soon to follow.

Princess Lily and Luther

The saga continues….

Thank You Leanne Lawson for this wonderful story. 

You are one of the ‘Silent Army’, Guardians of the Voiceless

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                             My Life with Buddy  (submitted by Bobbe Mc Intyre)

It was the morning of May 20th, 2011 that Buddy died.  He was 3 months shy of 12 years old and I loved him dearly.  Buddy was a wild bird, a Cedar Waxwing.

 Some people may say that he was “just a bird” , but to me, he was more than that.  He was a friend, a companion and a member of my family.

 It was a warm and sunny August day in 1999 that Buddy came into my life.  There had been a hurricane down south and we were getting the residual winds and rain here in New Hampshire.  The sun had finally come out and my neighbor Pete, had come over on his riding mower to mow the lawn for me.  I had just come back from a walk with my two dogs, Pepper and Patches, when Patches started sniffing the ground underneath the tree in the front yard.  Pete was just about to mow that section and Patches would not move!  He stood there until Pete and I came over to see what was going on.  There on the ground were two baby birds!  They must have fallen out of the nest in the tree and Patches seemed to be guarding them.  I picked up both of them and brought them into the house so that Pete could continue mowing.

 One of the baby birds had all his feathers and  the other had hardly any.  He probably just hatched not too long ago.  I placed some soft fabric in the bottom of a fish tank, gave them some birdseed and water,  and then went outside to see if I could find the mother bird.  There on one of the branches of the front tree, was a Cedar Waxwing who seemed frantic, like it was looking for something!  I felt that she was probably the mother so I went inside, brought the babies out and put them perched on the front tree.  With much interest, I stood back and observed.  She was indeed the mother bird and proceeded to feed the one with the feathers and totally ignored the one without.  I was surprised that this mother bird did not give any attention to her other baby.  Suddenly the mother and the older sibling flew off and left the other baby sitting on the tree all alone.  This little bird could not fly,  as he did not have his flying feathers grown in as yet.  I just couldn’t leave him sitting there as prey, so I brought him back into the house.

 The following weeks were good ones.  This little bird proceeded to grow and started looking like a Cedar Waxwing.  I would go out looking for worms, bugs and berries for him to eat.  Then came the day when I felt it was time for him to leave as they normally would migrate south for the winter. 

 I took him outside and threw him up in the air and caught him.  I did this a few times and it seemed the more we practiced, the more he understood what he was supposed to do in order to fly.  He would start flapping his wings on the way down.  It took a few days but he finally learned how to fly.  He got it!

 The day came when I was going to say goodbye to him.  I had only had him for 2 weeks at this point and had gotten rather attached, however, I knew he was wild and needed to be free.  I took him outside before I left for work, threw him up in the air and he took his maiden flight to a tree in the backyard.  I whispered ”God Speed” and left the house. 

 On my way home, I was thinking of that little bird that I had nurtured and let go and was happy,  but sad at the same time.  The weather had changed during the day and the air was cold, damp and raining.  I got home, walked out on my deck and there was that little bird shivering underneath my deck chair!  I walked over to him, picked him up and put him back in the fish tank for the night.

 The next day, I did the same thing.  Let him go and went to work.  This went on for 5 days!  He would not leave!  It was then that I decided he was going to live with me and because he had been my buddy for a few weeks, that was how he got his name.

 My dogs, Pepper and Patches, accepted him graciously into our home and made him part of the family.  The dogs would lay like bookends on the couch and Buddy would hop back and forth between each dog falling asleep on their heads while they slept.  Buddy had free run of the house and would stay only on the main floor.  We have a center staircase so he was able to fly around in a big circle for exercise.  His favorite perch was on top of the cabinet over the refrigerator.  If I didn’t know where he was, that would be the first place I’d  look and would always find him.

 When it was feeding time, the dog bowls would be put out in the sunroom and they would start to eat.  I would normally find Buddy sitting on the rim of their bowls pecking at their food , and they allowed it!  It was then that I started to think Buddy might be lacking in some nutrition so I took the moist dog food and chopped it up and gave him some every day.  He loved it!  This has been his basic food for most of his life.  He also loved, berries (any kind) , vegetables (softened and chopped) and most of all he loved orange juice!  He would hear me shaking the juice container and get all excited as he knew that whenever I poured myself a glass, I would give him some.  He would sometimes sit at the edge of my glass and bob up and down to take a drink.  It was fun watching him do this.

 There were things that I remember him doing that were so human-like that he made you forget that he was a bird.  He was a bird that acted like a dog that thought he was human! 

 One time, during the following summer, I was watching TV at night and had not put Buddy to bed as yet.  He had been sitting on my shoulder and it got very dark.  When I decided to go to bed, I realized that Buddy was still on my shoulder but he had gone inside the top of my shirt and had fallen asleep next to my neck!   It was only after I had turned off the television that I realized he was there.  I heard this almost cooing like he was snoring.  It was so charming and wonderful to know that this little wild bird trusted me enough to fall asleep on my body.  This was such a joyful moment for me.

 There was another time when I could not find Buddy at all!  He had been flying around the house and was not in any of the usual places.  I then told Pepper and Patches to go find Buddy and they immediately went downstairs.  They ended up laying down right in front of one of the bedroom doors and there was Buddy sitting on top of the door.  It was the first and last time that he ventured off the main floor of the house.

 There was something that Buddy did on a regular basis.  He would take a deep breath, stick out his chest and ruffle his feathers.  I know that all birds usually do this to let air get into their feathers, but when Buddy did this, I would call him” Fluffy Bird”!  It got to the point whenever I wanted to see him do this, I would say “do Fluffy Bird” and he would!  It seemed that he always responded logically to what I was saying to him which made me think that he did understand exactly what I was saying.

 There was a weekend back in 2004 when my Dad came up to visit from New York.  He sat down to read the paper in my sunroom and his friend, Buddy, flew in there to sit with him.  Buddy ended up sitting on the top edge of the paper while Dad was reading.  When Dad went to turn the page, Buddy would land on his shoulder.  I actually took a picture of Buddy on his shoulder and it looks like he was whispering a secret into Dad’s ear.

 As the years went by, we lost Pepper and Patches both to illness and it was just Buddy and Me.  A few years later, I adopted a female Boxer name Dawn from the local kennel and she immediately saw Buddy in his cage and went into this attack mode stare!  I knew that I needed to set her straight right away.  It was something that she did pick up quickly and then I knew that she realized  Buddy was part of this family just like her.  From that moment, there was peace with these two.  Dawn would lay on the floor right next to Buddy’s cage and ignore him.  He was older and I no longer was able to let him out as he was flying into walls!  After all, he was going on 8 years old when Dawn came into the house.

 Buddy continued to be my friend, my companion, my muse.  It was a good day when he ate his food, drank his water and took joy in splashing around in his bird bath.  I would take him out of his cage and put him in the kitchen sink and let him splash around.  As more time went by and he continued to live, I was amazed that he was still here.  I now know that it was my love and care and his knowing that I cared about him, that kept him with me so long.  Everyday, when I would take the cover off his cage, I would sing “good morning to you, good morning to you, good morning dear Bud-Bud, good morning to you!”  He would then start to chirp and know that a new day was starting.

Since he was much older at this point, I had to take the perches out of his cage as he kept falling off of them and I worried that he would hurt himself.  So his food, water and some flannel bedding were all on the bottom of his cage and he would hop around, still chirp and sing and respond to me every time I would walk into the room.  I made sure he was clean, fed and happy.

 On May20th,2011  I was getting ready for work and about to leave.  Buddy suddenly started to screech.  It was a sound that I had never heard from him before.  I went over to him, picked him up and in seconds, he was gone! 

 Buddy was buried in the front yard underneath a weeping cherry tree with a granite brick that marks his final resting place.  Inside the container I put a note:  Dear Buddy, I will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge when it is my time.  We will see each other again.  Love you always.

This whole experience with Buddy has made me realize how very smart birds are and I have developed a new appreciation for them in our world.  He may have only been “just a bird”, but he was truly my friend.

 Bobbe Mc Intyre’s picture of his canine “Patches” with BFF  “Buddy”



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