CCPC Pet First Aid Classes for May through July

bandage on dog model

A successful bandage.

Since June 2011, Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation has sponsored pet first aid introductory and certification classes in Bridgeville and surrounding communities in the south and west of Pittsburgh, taught by Karen Sable of Pet Emergency Training, LLC. Although there is usually a charge for attending these classes, Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation offers these sessions free of charge in an attempt to offer families the skills they can use to help save the life of their pet.

Upcoming classes

Currently scheduled classes are listed below, but new opportunities arise all the time as individuals and communities express an interest in hosting a class. For ongoing dates and times visit the Pet First Aid Classes page on the CCPC website or call Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800.

The next certification class is June 2 in Bridgeville, most other classes listed are introductory classes. Read a post about the difference between the two classes and my post about the certification class I attended. See below for details of date, time and place.

You need to register for each session by calling Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800. Space is limited, and registrations are taken first come, first served.

INTRODUCTORY CLASSES

Sunday, May 20, 2012, Washington, PA
Washington Area Humane Society
1527 Route 136, Eighty Four, PA 15330
Introductory Class, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, Peters Township, PA
Peters Public Library
616 East McMurray Road  McMurray, PA 15317
Introductory Class, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

CERTIFICATION CLASSES

Saturday, June 2, 2012, Bridgeville, PA
Bridgeville Public Library

505 McMillen Street, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Certification Class, 11:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 22, 2012, Bridgeville, PA
West Allegheny Community Library

8042 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071
Certification Class, 12:00 to 4:30 p.m.

 

NOTE: Deb Chebatoris is a personal friend as well as the person who receives my cats for cremation, and is also one of my customers for design and promotion; I try to be unbiased.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Overheard in a Thrift Shop

discount store

Tuesday is Rescue Story Day, but it’s been a while since I’ve posted this poem about rescues and about life, literally written from a conversation I overheard in a thrift shop.  

Overheard in a Thrift Shop

© 2010 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Oh, look at this yellow lab painting, it’s so nice. I’ve always liked yellow labs. I have one now.

I don’t have a dog, but I wish I could.

Well, I always said I wouldn’t get a dog unless it was a rescue,
so I probably wouldn’t get a yellow lab,
but this dog came from a neighbor’s daughter
her brother had been feeding the dog—
she had twelve puppies.

Twelve puppies?!

Yes, and they all lived.
The owner put them all outside
and he probably never fed her right.
The boys found her and started taking her food.
Their sister found out
and went and told the guy she was taking the dog and the puppies.
He didn’t care.

Well, how did you get the dog?

Well, this girl, she was only 17,
but she knew right from wrong,
and she found homes for a few puppies and took the rest to the shelter.
She got the mother spayed and things were fine,
then she was killed in a car accident.

Oh, my!

Her father took care of the dog, but then he went to jail.

Oh, no. So did you take the dog?

I offered to keep the dog until he got out;
it’s a short sentence—
he’ll be out later this year.

Bless your heart!
Are you sure he wants the dog?

He already asked about her.
Think it has to do with losing his daughter.
I mean, she was only 17, and killed in an accident.

Shame.

I’m sure the cat will miss the dog too. They’re friends.

You have a cat too?
You sure got a full house.

Yeah, the cat belonged to my daughter-in-law,
she got him for the boys,
but after a year or so, the cat started to pee on the boys’ things,
they were going into puberty, you know,
I think it was that hormonal thing.
She tried everything, but the cat wouldn’t stop.
She gave him to a neighbor, an older man
who lived by himself,
and the man kept the cat in the basement with a litterbox and food and water.
Then the man told me the cat was getting some litter on the floor.
That’s okay, I told him, just sweep it up, it’s probably clean.
Then the cat started coming upstairs,
and he told me it was pushing his golf balls around.
That’s okay, I said, that’s playful.
Then he said the cat woke him up in the morning, he touched his nose to the man’s,
and I said, just give the cat to me.

Bless your heart! You are a soft touch.

Yeah, I don’t know how it will be when the dog goes,
but he lives close, I’ll be able to see her,
and I’ll be ready to take her back at any time.
At least I’ll have my cat.

This was a conversation between two people which I overheard, secretly taking notes, as I was browsing the overcrowded racks of a local thrift shop after dropping off some dishes for donation. The rhythm of a conversation between two people who know each other well and working in tandem, in this case the cashier and a volunteer who were unpacking and tagging things, has a rhythm of its own built on the familiarity of the two people, and can often sound like poetry, so instead of my initial idea for a short story based on their conversation, I wrote it up as verse.

Honest, open, unguarded conversation between two people is so precious.

I showed the cashier my writing later and asked if she minded if I published her story in this way. She was fine with the idea and told her friend, the volunteer. The cashier and I have since become friends.

cat rug

The cat rug (folded).

I was determined not to purchase anything when I dropped off my donations, but right inside the door was this feline-themed rug…and I was hooked. These are nice to have around the house, and often I use them in my displays at shows or festivals, indoors or out, especially if I’m on concrete. They also come in handy as donation items to benefit shelters and animal organizations. Since this one looks completely new, that may be its fate, my way of thanking the universe for giving me this poem.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Creating With Cats: A Clever Pillow, or Two

swatch from fabric

Detail of fabric, "Cats on Vacation" by Andover Fabrics.

Where do you suppose these two are going? Totally distracted during a conversation, I had to know what this fabric was all about.

I stopped in at Distinctively Different Decor & More yesterday to discuss business and fun with Bonita. As she was pulling swatches of fabrics and beaded trims for her current decorating and upholstery projects in her workroom, I really was distracted by this swatch laying quietly on the other end of her large worktable.

    "Cats on Vacation" by Andover Fabrics.

"Cats on Vacation" by Andover Fabrics.

Partly the combination of bright colors and partly the intriguing arrangement of the figures, the overall look reminded me of one of those colorful cotton tablecloths from the late 1940s printed with fruits and figures and things which I collect, but I also saw cats on it and had to know what Bonita intended to do with it.

tiger stripe envelope pillow

One of Bonita's envelope pillows with lots of trim binding and fringe.

Apparently, it will become two of her large stuffed sofa or floor pillows to add to the collection in her shop, The Studio, where she features gift items of her own creation plus those of other artisans, including me.

Aside from her other talents in textile design, sewing and upholstering, Bonita is the queen of pillows. And while she uses florals and textures and colors to create both simple and highly decorated styles, I always notice the animal prints, especially the stripes and spots as in this envelope pillow made of densely woven fabric that is dimensionally textured along the stripes, with coordinating satin binding around the sides and dense short fringe on the “flap”.

set of pawprint pillows

Pawprint floor pillows.

This flap closes with a wooden button that actually works as all of her pillows are made for use by people with pets and the covers are removable for washing. Bonita lives with six rescued cats of all stripes and colors.

This set of 18″ floor pillows in sturdy pawprint fleece is a little simpler, just a big stuffed square with a zipper closure on one edge, but all pillows are stuffed with an inner pillow that holds the filling so you don’t have the batting popping out when you open it to wash the cover.

decorated lamp

The animal-print lamp.

Detail of lampshade.

Detail of lampshade.

Animal prints aren’t reserved for only pillows as I’ve seen tablecloths and upholstered items come and go, and Bonita was also very pleased to present a project she’d recently finished that was in the planning stages for at least three years, a lamp that she’d custom painted to match the colors in the—yes, leopard print—fabric she used on the shade. For extra interest, this fabric also has a slightly “furry” texture that I couldn’t resist touching. She can’t resist the addition of satin binding here either as it softens the inner angles of the lamp base where the fluted curves meet.

In her support of rescued cats, Bonita also donates things she makes to shelter events, and always has a basket for pet food donations in her shop. It seems many of her customers are pet lovers as well!

donation basket for pet food

Donation basket for pet food.

You can visit Bonita’s website at Distinctively Different Decor & More.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Update: Sylvester Is In a New Home

cat on blanket

The new Sylvester, trimmed and brushed!

Melanie tells us that she has taken Sylvester the lovebug, the last of Dorothy’s Pets, to his new home.

Sylvester was taken to his new potentially permanent home yesterday. This is not an ideal adoption, but we’re going to monitor closely and provide assistance whenever necessary. His new person is 75 years old and lost her husband last year. She was looking for mainly provide foster care because she travels to California to see her family a couple of months at a time. Plus she was unsure if she would be able to manage Sylvester’s medication.

After meeting Sylvester she decided she wanted to try to make him a permanent member of her home and has already begun to make provisions to have him cared for while she’s away. She’s very open to us visiting whenever we have time and calling to check in to see how things are going. She also stated she will call me if she ever feels she needs help or feels she cannot care for Sylvester. I believe she will do just that.

She is a very kind and sweet lady who also seems to have Sylvester’s best interest in mind. I think she will do her best to make it work and with us monitoring things closely Sylvester will never be without anything he needs.

Melanie

photo of beagle

Cocoa.

And don’t forget…

Melanie has been working with Dorothy and her pets for nearly a year, all through Dorothy’s diagnosis and decline from brain cancer last year, and Dorothy’s death in February, all the while caring for her own 14 cats and three dogs. Anyone who has rescued animals knows what a toll this has taken on her time and her means. She managed to place three of Dorothy’s five pets; two of her cats were placed by the friend Dorothy stayed with in Ohio at the end of her life, read more in this post.

Now Melanie has another complication and a sad diagnosis with one of her own rescues. Her beagle, Cocoa, was just diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma, and she needs to raise money to help continue with Cocoa’s chemo.  Melanie has set up a new ChipIn account to continue with donations for Sylvester’s continuing care, and for others who would like to help this rescuer who has done so much with one of her own: http://dorothyspets.chipin.com/sylvester-and-cocoa.

A Foster Home for Sylvester

Sylvester Steps Out, Update on Dorothy’s Pets

Dorothy Must Finally Let Them Go: A Final Wish

An Update on Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

Chipin for Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

A Final Wish


A Quick Rescue Story With a Happy Ending

photo of dog on couch

Who could throw this dog from a car? Photo provided by the rescuer.

So quick that before I had a chance to write it up, the rescue found a home!

And this one was not a cat but a dog rescue. Not that I have anything against dogs, but there is only so much time and space to share stories, and I figure you are reading The Creative Cat because you like cats  so I generally stick with cats, though I know many people have both cats and dogs. But a good story is a good story, and that’s that. I had to share this one just to give us all a smile and to publicly thank someone who went out of their way to help an animal. Besides that, when I first looked at his photo I laughed because he looks like a Beagle with the wind blowing through his ears!

I’m sure all of us animal lovers receive e-mails all the time including the stories of rescued animals who need homes, and I received one yesterday with the story of this dog, plus the story of the person who rescued him.

On Sunday morning as I was heading to work, I saw a car slowing down and literally throw a dog from their door. They had slowed down considerably but the poor thing laid there. I did a u turn and went back because I wasn’t sure what it was. My first thought was a cat. I believe that the breathe had been knocked out of him because he didn’t move for a few seconds. After I realized he was alive, I convinced him to come to me with a sandwich that I had packed for lunch. He was filthy dirty and limped on his right leg.

I took him home and bathed him. Treated him for fleas and heartworms with the Revolution product. He actually didn’t appear to have any fleas on him. He was so loving and playful. He was no longer limping and was in our yard romping around like a young dog would do. I am guessing his age at maybe 6 months. At night time, we debated about where to put him but he jumped up on our loveseat and fell right to sleep. He laid on his back with his paws in the air. Very sweet. He did not mess in the house one time and actually a couple of times has scratched at the door to go out.

He has a very sweet personality. You can tell he is young, he jumps and plays with lots of enthusiasm. He loves tennis balls and ropes. I wish I could keep him but I currently have 4 cats and 1 dog. Two of my cats have gone into hiding! 

I decided I’d post him here anyway because I wanted to share her story. I e-mailed the author for more details on how he did with the cats since that’s something I usually check with dogs for adoption, and by the time she replied he had a home already!

Don’t we wish they would all end that way! Of course, someday people will no longer throw dogs and cats out of cars, and there won’t be any more homeless pets.

Photo provided by the rescuer.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


A Foster Home for Sylvester

cat on blanket

The new Sylvester, trimmed and brushed!

Sylvester the lovebug, the last of Dorothy’s Pets, continues to flourish, especially after his spa day where he was groomed and trimmed, all the while purring and kneading in happiness. Look, he’s even making biscuits with his front paws in this photo! He’s come a long way from the scruffy kitty with the open sore on his neck we met last fall who hid under the bed. I think he looks like a plush toy and he’s sounding more and more like a perfect loving companion for someone who is waiting for an only cat.

Sylvester still needs to find a new home in the next month. He is still staying at Dorothy’s home and Melanie visits him every night. She had initially decided she’d try integrating him into her household, but the logistics of 14 cats and three dogs is already complicated. Adding Sylvester’s natural shyness and multiple skin conditions resulting from diet and a severe flea allergy would not be the best conditions for his progress—both his personality and health might suffer and revert to where they had been, sad for a cat who’s come so far. Dorothy’s home will be up for sale in the next month, and Sylvester needs to find a home before everything is removed and strangers come walking through.

photo of beagle

Cocoa.

Another complication for Melanie with one of her own

Melanie has been working with Dorothy and her pets for nearly a year, all through Dorothy’s diagnosis and decline from brain cancer last year, and Dorothy’s death in February, all the while caring for her own rescued animals. Anyone who has rescued animals knows what a toll this has taken on her time and her means.

Now Melanie has another complication and a sad diagnosis with one of her own rescues. Her beagle, Cocoa, was just diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma, and she needs to raise money to help continue with Cocoa’s chemo.  Melanie has set up a new ChipIn account to continue with donations for Sylvester’s continuing care, and for others who would like to help this rescuer who has done so much with one of her own: http://dorothyspets.chipin.com/sylvester-and-cocoa.

Sylvester’s new profile

Here’s what Melanie has to say about Sylvester:

cat looking backward

Sylvester hanging out.

Sylvester is awesome! He’s approximately 5 – 7 years old and neutered. His owner passed away in February and he’s still living in his home, but once the house goes up for sale his future is uncertain. Right now me and my husband care for him every night.

Sylvester is incredibly affectionate. I cannot stress this enough. He loves to snuggle and makes a great lap warmer. He’s also very generous with his head bonks. He’s become more playful since we started caring for him. He loves feather and laser toys. He does this really adorable play hiss when he’s really excited. It’s hilarious. We just had him professionally groomed and the groomers loved him! She told me that as they were shaving his belly he purred and kneaded the entire time.

cat looking up

Sylvester waiting for love.

Sylvester does have some allergies and must be kept indoors only because he cannot be exposed to fleas. When we first began caring for him he was in a lot of discomfort and was scratching himself raw. We found a vet to work with and he’s done a complete turnaround. He’s healed and his care didn’t turn out to be nearly as expensive or extensive as we initially thought it would be. Plus he’s incredibly easy to care for and that really helps. He’s just an all around great cat.

We would like to see Sylvester placed as an only pet in the home due to his severe flea allergy and he must be kept indoors only, no exceptions.

If you would like to hear more about Sylvester please contact me. He probably only has about a month left before his home goes up for sale and he must be removed.

Watch a video of Sylvester in action!

Contact Melanie

Sylvester lives in Baden, PA. If you are interested in adopting or fostering him please e-mail Melanie.

Sylvester Steps Out, Update on Dorothy’s Pets

Dorothy Must Finally Let Them Go: A Final Wish

An Update on Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

Chipin for Dorothy’s Pets: A Final Wish

A Final Wish


Another Place for My Art: Distinctively Different Decor…

framed print of cat looking through lace curtain

Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Interior designer—and fellow cat rescuer—Bonita Farinelli and I met yesterday to consign a number of pieces of my artwork and prints to her Boutique at Distinctively Different Decor & More in Carnegie.

framed pastel of two borzoi dogs

Borzois, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

And you can have the chance to see it at her March Open House on Sunday, March 25, 2012.

Read more in this post on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.