Animal Rescue of Fresno: Time Flies, Father Time, and Doing Time

 By Wendy Hunter

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. —Oscar Wilde

Hello boys and girls, and welcome aboard Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times, as we are not responsible for any accidental appendage loss. Ah, the carnival, with its endless supply of cotton candy, corn dogs, and cocktails in giant souvenir cups. Craving a frosty rum punch? Here’s one in a ridiculous cowboy boot with fruit skewers and a tiny umbrella. The grub is good, but let’s not forget the stomach-churning excitement of strapping into The Scrambler, The Drop Zone, and The Twister. You might want to wait on the food and beverage until afterward. Gulp.

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My newly found rollercoaster is The Wake Up Call, but you won’t find it on the Midway, amidst the water balloons and ring toss. You’ll find it at your friendly Emergency Room, conveniently located at the hospital of your choice. To wit; I recently visited Kaiser for a routine parts check, when they discovered my blood pressure was off the charts. It wasn’t just high, it was skyrocketing at breakneck speed into outer space. And since I haven’t been to the ER enough lately with my mom, it was my turn to don the gown of shame. After some blood work, an EKG, chest X-ray, and a BP lowering IV, I was deemed fit enough to go home. I’ve never experienced the terror of riding The Zipper, but in those few hours, I bet I ran the same gamut of emotions only the brave have. From panicked to petrified to promising the big man upstairs ANYTHING. In the end, they found nothing wrong, and I was instructed to double my meds. These days, Mom and I are locked in an epic battle of who can get the better daily BP reading. Getting old is super fun!

ZEAL, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. —Ambrose Bierce

Mojito and Paloma
Yup, there’s nothing like serving time in the ER to get you thinking. And there’s nothing like stepping on the scale at your doctor’s office to really get your blood pressure going. You know the machine I’m talking about, that gigantic steel monster built big enough to hold a Great Dane. You explain about the cheeseburger combo lunch, and the fact you’re retaining water, but they only laugh and roll their eyes. You slink away in defeat knowing Nurse Ratchett is thinking, “Nice try, fatty, you are now a water buffalo.” Damn french fries. And so I’ve decided to make some changes in my sedentary lifestyle, like getting my butt up early in the morning to walk my roly-poly mutt. As the saying goes, if your dog is fat, then…well, you know.

For ages I’d been taking Cocoa out every day, then for some reason, I completely stopped. Soon, I was just a big pile of procrastination on the couch. There’s really no excuse for not taking your dog out; it’s one of the best exercises, it doesn’t cost anything, and your critter enjoys it, too. Just don’t forget the poop bags, and your neighbors will thank you instead of cursing your name. I guess the only really good reason to stay indoors, is when it’s North Pole freezing cold, and both you and your dog have icicles growing on your nose. If you whisper “walk” and Mitzy snuggles back into the duvet, then you’re on your own. Or, you can throw in the towel and join her under the covers. 

Dear. I hope that when you are very, very old you can look back and say "Heavens. That was a lovely life." —Pam Brown

Oliver and his new family
Speaking of frosty chills, did you happen to attend the Fresno Home and Garden Show last month? Did you bring your umbrella and trench coat? Did you wander into the Pet Expo building? Well, that’s where Animal Rescue of Fresno was located, tucked into a little corner where the winter wind blew. We brought lots of adorable puppies, and to say the least, they were very popular. Because we were right next to a very busy door, we were inundated with hundreds of interested dog adopters. There were so many people, I had to step away at times, just to catch my breath. I’m not prone to claustrophobia, but you can only cram so many adults, baby strollers, and rambunctious youngsters into one spot before you reach your breaking point. Let me out!  

Although our space was small, at least we had tons of storage. There was a great big unused section of the building behind us, and we were able to store all our stuff. And we have a lot of stuff. We’re talking kennels, blankets, potty pads, hand sanitizer, food, water, toys, and treats. Plus, it was a quiet area for new pet owners to fill out applications and take pictures. Also, it provided a private space for us to microchip dogs without the public watching. It’s a simple process, but some dogs tolerate it better than others - and so do some people. 

ARF always does very well at the Home and Garden Show, and this year was no exception. We adopted seventeen dogs to some amazing families, and it was a fantastic time. It’s so hard NOT to get attached to our pups because all of them really pull at your heartstrings. I was secretly rooting for Madeline, and am thrilled that she will go on to live a long and healthy life. And whenever a senior dog goes home, it’s always a delight. Mary charmed all of us, and we were hoping others would feel the same way. After getting a fancy new topknot of a hairdo, she was handed the Golden Ticket! 

Thanks to all who visited our booth, and spread some love and joy over our dogs. I don’t know what was sweeter, all the kids who found new best friends or the “works” cinnamon roll I had. It’s a tough call, but since there are no photos of me with frosting all over my face, we’ll go with the kids. Hmmm, unless there are some wayward Polaroids floating around out there. Gasp! 

Everyone is the age of their heart. —Guatemalan proverb

Just a few weeks after great success at the Home and Garden Show, ARF packed up once again, and headed over to our local Lithia Subaru dealership. It was time for the annual Subaru Loves Pets event, and the wonderful employees at Lithia welcomed us with open arms. They really are the most gracious people and treat us ARF volunteers like gold. Since 2008, Subaru and its retailers have donated over $42 million to national and local organizations, making a difference in the lives of almost 350 pets. Subaru and its retailers partner with shelters to make sure their road ends in a loving home. Lithia also sponsored a wish list drive for the many items ARF uses on a daily basis. Six lucky dogs found a new family, including Clifford, our “big red dog” and overall sweetie. 

We appreciate everyone who came out to the event and adopted a pet. And if you just came out to look at the cool cars, thanks for coming by and saying howdy to the dogs. To all the amazing folk at Subaru, the great work you do for shelter animals is, without question, absolutely admirable. ARF thanks you! 


Animal Rescue of Fresno

4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726
Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF since 2014. She grew up in Fresno and has been an Office Assistant with Fresno County for 7 years. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.