Author: Jennifer Vanderau

I am your four-legged friend and I am here for you. I’m the head you pat when you get home from work. I’m the one who takes you through the neighborhood on walks every day. I’m the fur that dries your tears when something bad happens. I’m the wet nose against your cheek to make sure you’re awake in the morning. I’m the eyes to help you navigate when you get me from the Seeing Eye Club and I open up the whole world for you and I’m so happy to give that to you. I’m the one who senses…

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I have begun to realize that one of the most precious commodities we have is time. Think about it. Our time on the planet is finite. Time in a day is only 24 hours. As I get older each year seems to pass more and more quickly. I spoke just recently to someone I haven’t heard from in a number of years and when I asked him how old his beloved pup is now, he told me 14. I said how on earth did that happen? I think she’s only 8. He said, no. She’s 14 now and time has…

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The first thing that made me realize something was amiss was the white ball of cotton in front of the door when I opened it. I knew immediately it was batting from a pillow – the stuff they put inside to make them fluffy. I also knew immediately that it shouldn’t be on the rug by my front door. It should be inside a pillow. I looked about a foot and a half further down the foyer and, lo and behold, I found another piece of fluff. Indeed, there was a whole trail of them in what appeared like some…

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Let’s talk about smiles. It’s surprising the power they have. In fact, there are many, many meditative practices that involve the simple smile. I say simple because my mind thinks of it that way, but when you realize the benefits of the facial expression, it’s really anything but. Ancient philosophers have known the benefits of a smile for centuries. And in more recent years, a study in Psychological Science discovered that smiling lowered the pulse and allowed people to recover much faster after stressful activity. I know it may sound strange, but take just a second or two and think…

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Easter is early this year! As a result, so is our Easter Hound Hunt. We hold it on Palm Sunday every year and that’s March 24 this year. We send out the dogs to hunt for Easter eggs! It’s so much fun. Registration starts at 1 p.m. and the hunt begins at 2. We hold it behind the shelter on Letterkenny Road West in Chambersburg. Here’s the deal. We fill TONS of plastic Easter eggs with dog treats and spread them around the grounds behind the shelter. When we holler “go,” the dogs – on LEASHES – take off, looking…

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So, listen. I have been a fan of the Marvel movie franchise pretty much since Robert Downey Jr. showed up in the Iron Man suit in 2008. Good heavens, how has it been that long ago? I swear the older I get, the more time gets away from me. In addition to Iron Man and Thor and Cap and T’Challa and the Guardians of the Galaxy and Bruce and Dr. Strange and Ant Man and Spiderman, I am also quite enamored by Captain Marvel. The idea of getting back up after life knocks you down is a concept that has…

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I am so incredibly excited to be able to tell you that the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter’s Cabin Fever Music Fest raised more than $12,000 for the animals in our kennels! You could have knocked me over with a feather when we figured out the totals for our event that night. We had it on February 24 in the Orchards Restaurant and it was so much fun. The five bands, Jill Fulton Band, Soleil, the Negley Brothers, Cameron Molloy Band and Club Medics donated their time and talents to help our animals and I just cannot get over how GOOD…

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One of the toughest aspects of having an animal is often the moment we have to say goodbye. Our animals don’t live as long as we do and for many of us, it can be an incredibly devastating loss. I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years who, after they suffer that kind of loss, can’t bring another animal into their home. They just can’t open themselves to that kind of heartache again because the pain is just too much. While I don’t necessarily understand it, I respect their viewpoint. A lot of people aren’t able to put…

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You know, I’m starting to worry that we humanize our pets too much. Don’t get me wrong, humanizing animals is kind of what we’re all about at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. We want pets to be a part of the family. We like people who think of their animal as another kid in their home. Heck, I love those stickers on the backs of cars that show a whole family – Mom, Dad, the kids and the pets. I think it’s a great message to send. However, it’s also important to remember that they’re still animals and really aren’t…

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My name is Bitzy. I didn’t get the name when I was made. I only got it once I came into the home where I live with my best friend, Boomer. He’s a Golden Retriever and we are inseparable. Yes, I’m a dog toy named Bitzy. It was tough for me to wrap my stuffed head around at first, too. I was made to be a dog’s best friend, but in the factory and then in the store, I had heard a lot of awful stories about how many dog toys don’t make it or don’t last. They maybe get…

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