Animal Rescue of Fresno: Food For Thought

By Wendy Hunter

ham, n.  Meat from the leg of a hog that is often prepared by smoking or salting

Ham, n.  Boxer mix and current resident at ARF, sporting a burnt orange coat, squishy face, and spring-loaded legs.  

Yikes, is it really February already? Are there really Valentine’s Day chocolates for sale? Can there really be heart-shaped balloons, fuzzy teddy bears, sugary greeting cards, bad bubbly, and cheap chocolates just waiting to be swooned over? Geez, we just rang in the New Year five minutes ago, and now we’ve jumped right into the month for lovers, friends with benefits, and those couples lucky enough to have found the one person they’re willing to spend their lives with. You know, saps. Ha! Okay, I’m just kidding. It’s always fun being one of the few single people in the office. It’s a joy to watch all the inevitable bouquets of flowers and Godiva chocolate boxes as they’re delivered to squealing co-workers. It’s delightful hearing about all the dinner plans they’ve made, the restaurant of choice, and the anticipated post meal dessert behind closed doors. Eww. And if you think I sound jealous with envy, I assure you I’m not. It just reminds me of my years working at a local flower shop, and all the havoc that Valentine’s Day wreaked. For the rest of the world, it was a day of candy-coated kisses, but for those of us making hundreds of vases filled with mass quantities of red roses, it was hell. The only day that had it beat was Mother’s Day, followed closely by Christmas. Trust me, working with the spiky leaves of the holly plant is no picnic; there were many Band-Aids involved. And possibly some swearing…da**it!

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It's like trying to pin down a kangaroo on a trampoline. ~Sid Waddell

Now maybe you’re not a fan of sweet things, and prefer potato chips over chocolate chips. Perhaps Animal Rescue of Fresno can help you make the Month of Love a little saltier. How about a Ham who’s not an actual ham, but a bit of a ham” himself. Confused? I give you the magnetic mug of Ham, a dog whom I instantly fell in love with the moment I met him. I mean, c’mon, look at that face! He’s almost a dead ringer for the mangy mutt who gave Tom Hanks a run for his money in the hilarious film Turner and Hooch.  And if you’ve never seen that movie, shame on you. Get thee to your TV and find it. Ham is definitely Boxer material, with lots of energy for playtime, and even more stamina for clearing even the highest of fences. But that’s only because Ham is not a big fan of being left in a backyard all alone. This boy truly loves people, and craves lots of attention. Ham will eagerly give you hugs when you come around, and is happy to show how much he cares. He enjoys long walks, binge watching TV shows (Dr. Pol anyone?), and gobbling treats while watching football. Sorry, I don't know his team. One important thing to know about Ham is that he is NOT good with other dogs or cats. He only wants to share his love with one owner. How lucky would that person be? Maybe that person could be you?

 We don’t have children, because our dog is allergic to them. ~Anonymous

Well hello Marty, you are an adorable little critter. Marty is a senior terrier mix of an ice cream sundae with chocolate, caramel, and vanilla colors. He has very inquisitive eyes, is friendly and calm, and he loves going for walks. Marty is estimated to be about nine years old, and unlike many older dogs, he has great teeth. His owner used to brush his buckies every day, so he doesn’t have a lot of teeth or gum issues that many seniors have. Marty was adopted about nine years ago, but was returned by the family on advice from their physician, as the family has allergies. Now before we start judging people, let's remember that this owner took very good care of him. It appears they tried everything to keep Marty, but their health took center stage. People suffering from pet allergies have symptoms consistent with hay fever. This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. Coming into physical contact with pet dander can cause dermatitis, a skin rash, hives or trigger a person’s asthma. More serious symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. In extreme pet allergy cases, a severe reaction can occur, known as anaphylaxis, in which the allergic individual may experience itching, hives, swelling, respiratory distress, shock, perhaps even death. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

Marty is a sweetie, and a very good boy. He was housebroken in his former home, and used a doggie door, but he did have a few accidents. A solution to this might be a belly band, which helps with leg lifting. If you’re picky about dog hair, keep in mind that Marty was allowed to be on the furniture. That being said, my Cocoa dog sheds like there’s no tomorrow, but we have a couple of cute couch covers that are machine washable. You can find them anywhere on Google. Marty does not understand why he’s at ARF, so he will need to learn your routine to make sure he will be successful in a new home. He is a gentle soul, and you will fall in love with this cutie once you meet him.

Responsibilty, n. A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck, or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star. ~Ambrose Bierce

Now let me tell you a bit about Joey, a black and tan terrier mix, with a wiry mustache and eyebrows. Joey is about four years old, and ended up at ARF because his owner went into an assisted-living facility. 

Unfortunately, his owner did not make any plans for Joey, in case something should happen to him. Joey is brand new to ARF, and a little confused about what’s going on. His favorite food is chicken..surprise! He is very well behaved at the groomers, and he loves to snuggle. He wags his tail when he feels at ease, and he’s happy to share lots of kisses. We recommend a family with older kids for Joey, as younger children might startle him too much. He appears to get along with the ARF office cats, but he does chase them when they run. Joey will need a family with patience that is willing to let him decompress from all that he has been through. If you have some love and chicken treats to spare, come and visit this sweetie. 

If you need information on how to make sure your pet is taken care of if something happens to you, there are a couple websites below with lots of ideas. Remember, you can’t just assume that friends or family will take care of your pet, so be prepared. Aunt Gertie may love dog-sitting for Snowball over the weekend, but maybe not for the long term. Make sure your best friend has a place to go, in case you don’t; they deserve it.

If you are interested in adopting any of these deserving dogs, please complete an application at

If you're looking for a new family friend, come visit us at the Home and Garden Show March  1,2, and 3.

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.