The Greatest Hits of 2018: ARF in a Nutshell

by Wendy Hunter
Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF shares with KRL their animal rescue adventures every month. You can learn more about them on their website.

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
- Lord Alfred Tennyson

Well, the gifts have been given, the eggnog is empty, and by the time you read this, the fireworks and fizzy bottles will have popped in a sparkling frenzy. Your cranky relatives have taken the A Train home, and your house is finally basking in the glow of peace, heavenly peace. Boy, your Aunt Madge gets worse and worse every year, but don’t worry, I’m sure that candle wax will come right out of your Persian carpet.

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animal rescue
It’s hard to believe an entire year has blown by once again, racing through our lives faster than eight reindeer pulling a sleigh across the moon’s shimmering glow. Faster than a 5-year-old can rip through a pile of presents with fudge covered fingers. But nothing’s faster than a pack of ARF dogs scarfing down kibble with delightful abandon on Christmas Day. Whoa, slow down there kids! I don’t know about you, but the holiday season just seems to sneak up, and then it’s gone before you even get a chance to break into that gigantic popcorn tin. Dang, that’s good stuff. Whether you’re looking forward to the New Year or not, it’s coming at you, buzzing with the anticipation of what it may bring. Hang onto your hats kids, and brace yourself for another 365 days of stupid selfies, ridiculous fashion trends, harebrained politicians, guns galore, and Facebook fails. We may have lost the amazing Anthony Bourdain this year, but he left us with a big taste for adventure; bring it on 2019…

It was another crazy busy year at Animal Rescue of Fresno, with more ups and downs than a seaside roller coaster. We were happy to get so many deserving dogs adopted, sad to lose some of our own furry friends, and always thankful for the ARF family with whom we shared so many memories. It’s true that emotions run high when an adoption takes place, and it doesn’t matter if it’s at our facility, or someplace like Petco. When onlookers see an owner snuggling up to their new family member, you can feel their happiness spread around the room like a cozy cashmere blanket. For dogs like Cooper, Sapphire, Evee, and Yoda, love was everywhere. Our Sundays at the new Friant Petco are very rewarding, and we volunteers enjoy our time together there. The employees are gracious, our space is perfect, and the dog treats are plentiful. Oh, and did I mention there’s a Pieology right across the parking lot? Oh, yeah. Speaking of Pieology, they hosted a couple of fundraisers for ARF this year, which were quite successful. It’s really a win-win situation; we get a few dogs adopted, and they get lots of hungry people in their shops. Because, well, it’s pizza…cheesy, gooey, delicious pizza. Dang, that’s good stuff.
animal rescue

animal rescue
For some creepy crawly fun, you can’t beat a weekend out at the fairgrounds for the Reptile and Pet Expo. And even though it’s not for everyone, ARF attended both the spring and fall dates, adopting out some lucky dogs who found their forever homes. Dogs like Licorice, Riley, and Masha who left the building with big smiles on their faces. Sure, there are slithering snakes and cockeyed chameleons, terrifying tarantulas, and bobbing bearded dragons, but that’s no big deal. You can’t frighten an ARF volunteer because we’re not really afraid of anything. We live for thrills. We live for danger. We live for laundry. If you’re brave enough to stick your hands into a pile of smelly, poopy, rain-drenched dog blankets, then a 12-foot python probably isn’t going to scare you. Now running out of bleach on the last load, well, that’s petrifying. Naturally, The Home and Garden Show that ARF participated in didn’t involve any 8-legged insects, but something even more sinister: kids with balloons. Ugh, nothing panics me more than a wandering toddler with an overfilled ball of latex tied to his wrist. It makes me nervous. It makes me tense. It makes me edgy. Oh, and did I mention that a popping balloon horrifies me? Oh well, guess I’m just a cowardly lion after all, but I’d still take a python over that popping. I don’t think either one of those would faze little Flint because he found a family to call his own, and nothing else mattered that day. Well, that and the fact he won’t have to share his food bowl with a yard full of yappy mutts again. Yup, you guys don’t get my chunk of the good stuff anymore.
animal rescue

You wouldn’t think a business named Camping World would be the kind of place to set up for dog adoptions, which is exactly what I thought earlier this year. That’s until I stepped foot into their welcoming waiting area, and was surrounded by some of the nicest people I’ve met in a while. Everyone on that floor bent over backwards for ARF, and doted on those dogs like they were their very own.Their store has a wonderful selection of doggy toys, clothes, beds, and of course, camping gear. Luckiest dog of the day? Juno, who was adopted by a lovely lady that had just purchased a luxurious Mercedes-Benz motor home, and decided, hey, why not get a travel pal too? With their matching red sweaters, this dynamic duo will be hitting the proverbial road in style. As Charles Schultz once said, “In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” Or in Juno’s case, it’s HOW you travel…now put in Beethoven and fetch me a Milk Bone. And speaking of travel, the good folks at Subaru invited us to their annual Share the Love event. Hanging out in a giant “fishbowl” was a great way to showcase our dogs. Two of them, Tea and Cassie, actually went home to the same family, which was a double delight. Motivated by a sugary doughnut rush and caffeine, we volunteers congratulated each other with jittery excitement. Speaking of java, did I mention Subaru’s impressive coffee machine? It made all kinds of fancy drinks. For research purposes only, I made numerous trips just to watch it foam and froth. Dang, that’s good stuff.
animal rescue

animal rescue
For Animal Rescue of Fresno, that’s just a handful of events we had on our calendar in 2018. Other noteworthy fundraisers were Art Hop at Casa de Tamales, a Paws 4 Metal concert at Fulton 55, Method of Escape’s grand reopening, a massive yard sale for Heaven Can Wait, and ARF’s annual Breakfast Buffet. In addition, we made several trips to Oregon, transporting hundreds of dogs to our good friends at SoHumane, where just about all of them have been adopted. And let’s not forget our unforgettable Holiday Boutique in December, where not even gray, rainy, cloudy weather could dampen the spirits of our vendors and visitors. A big thanks to all who came out and withstood the wrath of Mother Nature, just to support the ARF dogs. For each and every one of you who adopted a dog this year, made a donation, came to our events, or just stopped by to thank us for what we do, we appreciate it more than words can say. It is because of YOUR giving hearts that we are able to continue doing what we love, and that’s saving lives.

You might remember in my last rambling article, I mentioned we were fostering an ARF dog named Cocoa at our house. You might be wondering how that whole situation panned out. Well, wonder no more, as Miss Cocoa has been officially adopted by yours truly, and now has her forever home. Saving a life feels pretty darn good. In return, Cocoa saves Dad’s spot on the couch for him, nice and warm, just like her namesake. For such a good deed, she’s rewarded with a tasty Beggin’ Strip. Dang, that really is the good stuff. Cocoa wishes you all a very Happy New Year!
animal rescu

Animal Rescue of Fresno is located at 4545 E Dakota in Fresno, CA

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.