Monday, November 23, 2009

New Canadian Citizens!

I am so excited and proud to tell you that Thena, Pheobe and Ted arrived safely into Toronto's Pearson Intl. Airport after a loooong flight from Greece! The dogs did great and were met at the airport by Ted's wife, Dianne and her husband from Greek Animal Rescue Canada and other well wishers! Apparently the girls are settling well into their new safe, warm and VERY loving home!

We wish them well and hope they enjoy their first Canadian Christmas in the next few weeks!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Update From Greece........

After the TV crew finished their job interviewing Ted and me and making shootings with him and Thena II in the front yard, of the shelter, we left with the hope that we would find her in Loutraki. Giorgos was expecting us, another rescuer was on her way from Athens to Loutraki and behind my wretched Fiat the TV crew was following us :-) They wanted to make shootings of Ted searching for Thena I. Actually no one believed that we would find her, but we thought it was our duty to try once again.

We parked both cars across from the Casino and we walked towards the town, passing in front of the main entrance of the Casino, where we met a very friendly white with brown patches female dog who decided to join us. Peggy, maybe you will remember that short driveway at the side of the Casino, leading to the beach and to the back side of the Casino, probably a delivery entrance? There, on the beach we saw something that could have been a rock, or a plastic bag, or a dog curled up. Ted and I looked at each other and we walked towards the "rock". Ted was whispering ,"I think it is Thena, yes it is Thena". I stayed back fearing that I might scare the dog. The TV cameraman walked towards Ted and Thena, keeping a safe distance after my sharp "stay out of the way and don't scare the dog off".

It was amazing. Thena recognized Ted! At the beginning she was reluctant but didn't run off. She was looking at him, waging her tail reluctanly and as the seconds ticked by, she became all the more confident that "yes, this is him". Funny was the other dog who insisted on getting some treats from Ted and poor him, he was throwing pieces of dry smoked chicken he was holding as far as he could, to keep the female dog out of the way. Thena had come very close to him and he attached the leash to her collar and slowly, whispering encouraging words, he led her to the car. He was hugging her and petting her and she was in a bliss :-)

We helped her sit on the back seat, Ted sat next to her and we left Loutraki. We first passed by Kifisia and stopped at one of our vets who took blood from her and examined her. Heart, lungs, gums and teeth are perfect. She still has some small scars on her face and head and her front leg has healed by itself. The bone is a bit thicker where it was broken and she has a very slight limp. Minor case .... she might have some arthritis later in life. On our way to the shelter we passed by the lab and left the blood samples and when we arrived at the shelter we were all three wiped.

Peggy, the outcome is that Ted comes back home bringing to you two Thenas as a Christmas present :-) All worries are history and you can start searching for a name for the one of the two dogs :-) I am very sorry I didn't make more pictures, though I am a photograph freak. I was so thrilled that, though I was holding the camera in my hand, I didn't think of taking pictures. The first one is when Ted went close to Thena for the first time and the second female insisted on getting some treats; and the second is after the two of them sat in the back seat of my car and we were about to leave Loutraki.

Peggy, he sends happy greetings and he said, before you leave to pick him up at the airport, you should empty the car and remove the back shelf, otherwise there will be no room for the two crates of the girls.

Hugs from an exhausted but happy Vana :-)


Friday, November 20, 2009

Cute Sandals!

I just came across these eco-friendly ultra cute flip flops made by Planet Flops. According to the website they were created by Dr. Sylvie, a podiatrist in Beverly Hills, who wanted to make super comfy yet environmentally friendly flip flops. The flops are manufactured in Brazil and made out of natural rubber. "The harvesting of natural rubber occurs by harmlessly "tapping" into the tree to remove a milky sap from the bark. This does not affect the health of the tree". They come in very cute colours such as licorice, watermelon, blueberry and plum (just to name a few). The website also claims that the flip flops are recyclable once you can no longer wear them. My favourite colour is cherry (above)

Of course many of you know that flip flops are piling up by the thousands on countless beaches around the world. In Watamu, a small island off of the coast of Kenya, the Watamu Turtle Watch saves all of the flip flops that wash ashore and recycle them in various ways throughout the island. The picture below shows a volunteer at the program making them flip flops into a sign at their headquarters.

And according to Sea Turtles Forever, "1041 lost soles were collected out of our nesting area for the Lance Ferris Challenge. We could all stand to do some sole searching. I stated that I could probably find 1000 shoes in our nesting area, I hate it when I'm right. Lance Ferris was a leader in marine plastics research on the front lines of conservation".

I unfortunately saw first hand all the sandals, flip flops and high heels that had washed ashore in Tortuguero Costa Rica. Now I can feel a bit better purchasing the Planet Flops and knowing that I can recycle them once they have been worn and torn to no tomorrow!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Very Exciting Story From My Friend..............

"Well, it's been somewhat of a crazy week. Just to bring everyone up to date .... Ted Davidson from Kingston flew back to Greece on Monday, Nov 9th to look for a dog he formed a bond with back in September. This dog, who he named 'Thena', was not doing well on the streets as she's very timid and is stressed 24/7 by all that's going on around her. But, although very timid, Ted was able to befriend her for a very short time and she obviously touched him deeply. He didn't see her for a couple of days but in the very early morning when he was leaving for home, he spotted her hiding behind a bench. She looked as if she'd been hit by a car with her front leg injured and a few other scrapes. She let Ted sit beside her and pat her and put out her leg to him, as if asking for his help. The whole time she was trembling. It broke his heart but he had to leave.

Jump forward to November ........ Ted approached Tails from Greece Rescue to see how he could get back to find Thena. Even though I told him it would be very expensive and he may not even find her, as the dogs move to new areas once the people go away, he was persistent. So, Vana from the KAZ Shelter (the main shelter I rehome dogs for) met Ted on arrival at the Athens airport on Tuesday morning and they drove the +2hr drive to Loutraki and got him checked into a hotel. No sign of Thena until Thursday, the 12th. Ted was very disappointed not to have sighted her and wehn he finally did, unfortunately 5 male dogs wouldn't let them near her as she was in heat.

They had to give up. But, while pursuing Thena's rescue another stray dog befriended Ted and he decided to slip a collar on her. Fifi, the President of KAZ, drove to Loutraki to pick Ted and Thena II up and take them to the KAZ Shelter where they would have this dog vetted and prepared for travel with Ted on Wednesday, the 18th.

Thena II was not well; her white blood cells were high and she had a fever. Ted must have been wondering what he'd got himself into by this time but he didn't flinch and has been so comforting to Thena II during her treatment of antibiotics and IV fluids etc. He had his wife Peggy reschedule his return flight home for this Sunday, the 22nd as she needed time to get well before travelling. It was a tough few days for everyone but this morning she was much better. Vana said it was so cute .... Thena II was sleeping on the bed wrapped in a fleece coat and Ted was sitting at the foot of the bed reading his book!

Now, on Thursday, the 19th, Ted and Vana will go back to Loutraki to look for Thena I again, with the help of the man who feeds the strays. The Greek media (Skai TV) will be following them during their search. Poor Ted isn't too thrilled about all the media attention this has generated as he's a very quiet man.

If they're so lucky to get Thena I this time, she'll go back to the KAZ Shelter and be fully vetted to receive any vet care she might need before joining Ted's family here. And, here's hoping that Thena II keeps getting better between now and Sunday so she can travel with Ted. As well, Victoria, another dog from KAZ will be travelling with Ted to join her new family. And, although it's been very disappointing not to catch Thena I yet, she's actually made a difference to two other stray dogs --- Thena II would have died from her infection not being treated and Victoria gets to come to her new family without too much expense to the KAZ Shelter as she's travelling on Ted's ticket too, not as straight cargo (far more expensive). I've also attached a copy of some media attention we received."

Tails from Greece Rescue
Charity Reg'n #82538 8614 RR0001

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New Look!

One of my FAVOURITE organizations, Animal-Kind International, has just completely re-vamped their website and I wanted to give them the credit for it on my blog. I think it looks just fantastic! Animal-Kind International is run by an amazing women - Karen Menczer who wanted to make a difference for abused, neglected and dying animals from around the world. Through her non-profit and completely volunteer run organization, she supports nine animal welfare groups and shelters throughout the world. All of the shelters she supports are located in impoverished and high-poverty countries such as Botswana, Armenia, Honduras and Bosnia (to name a few). I am looking forward to visiting the Ugandan shelter and deliver supplies, toys, leashes and food when I travel to the country in July 2010. I am also hoping that I will have a few days to volunteer at the shelter and relieve the staff a bit. Please visit the Animal-Kind International website and support a wonderful organization that is in need of all the support they can get! Please read "Hope's" story it will melt your heart!


A Great Christmas Gift!

I had to bring my dad to St. Mikes Hospital today for kidney stone treatment and while I was waiting I decided to check out the gift shop. As I browsed all the usual baby blankets, housecoats and magazines I came across these awesome, funky looking little stuffed animals. Upon closer look at the tag I realized that they were made from 100% recycled plastic bottles! The brand is called "Fuzz That Wuzz" and is created by the Mary Meyer company in Vermont. I thought it was so cool and original so I purchased a little grey cat. The price was a little steep at $19.99, however I wanted to support such an eco-friendly item. If interested in finding out more please visit Mary Meyers website


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sustainable Gifts!

Now that I am 25, I am noticing that many of my friends are now getting married and moving into their own houses. I am so happy for them all but of course I can't help but wonder how many un-environmentally friendly and useless gifts they are going to receive for house warming parties, wedding showers and birthdays. I can't change everyones views but of course when it comes to my gift giving I feel as though I can make a difference. My best friend for 21 years, Melissa, had just moved into her new beautiful home with her fiancee Ryan. Rather than going out to Pier One or Home Outfitters and purchasing an item or two that they may hate and stow away in the basement or won't even go with their decor I decided to put together an eco-friendly gift basket full of essential items that they would need to buy and use regardless if they received them as gifts.

I decided to purchase a basket that was the same colour as her floors (espresso). I knew she could re-use it in a bathroom and fill it with rolled-up towels. I then filled the basket with the following:

Two 3x Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent by Nature Clean
One Fabric Softener by Nature Clean
Two Hand Washes By Method (one gel and one foaming)
One Toilet Bowl Cleaner by Green Works
One OMOP Wood Floor Care Kit By Method
And of course a bottle of wine to drink!!

I am proud of the basket I put together! I think it looked really cute, had no additional packaging/wrapping, it was full of useful/environmentally friendly products and also supported companies who really care about the planet. I hope this post inspires others to think about the gifts they purchase and that every-time we buy something we are voting for that product!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Babies Have Been Adopted!!

Yay!! My little "London Trio" have all found their forever homes and I couldn't be happier! Big Ben has been adopted by a wonderful McMaster University student who has been wanting a kitten for a very long time! By next week, Big Ben will be learning all about Biology and staying up late helping her new mom study! Big books may be in Big Ben's future for quite awhile because his mummy is going to be applying to Med School next year!! WOO HOO!

Windsor went home today with a wonderful young family. Mum is a veterinary assistant (bonus!), and he will be sharing his new home with two young girls, a daddy and a fun, furry doggy!! Couldn't have been any better for Windsor!!

Last but not least Chelsea went home last night with a wonderful lady who works from home!! How cool is that!! Chelsea will hardly ever be alone and will get all the attention she absolutely deserves!!

A big thank you to the three individuals who decided to adopt rather than buy from a petstore! A big thank you to PetSmart who had hosted the adopt-a-thon this past weekend!!

To view additional cats and kittens for adoption please visit Toronto cat Rescue


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Third Time's A Charm!

NBC’s “Green is Universal” initiative is kicking off its third-annual “Green Week” of environmentally-themed programming starting this Sunday! Color me surprised that this campaign is still alive and kicking three years after its launch.

The centerpiece of this year’s “Green Week” is the “Green Counts Here” campaign, a cross-platform initiative that invites NBC Universal audiences to make green count, by pledging to make small green changes in their daily lives. The sum of these pledges will illustrate to consumers’ the collective impact of their environmentally friendly actions.

Shows receiving the greening treatment this year include Heroes, The Biggest Loser, Community, The Office (Yes!) and 30 Rock (Yes! Yes!). The Jay Leno Show will feature Ed Begley, Jr. in the “Green Car Challenge,” as well as a green-themed “Jaywalking” segment and a green comedy piece with correspondent Brian Unger.

Of course, Green Week doesn’t just effect NBC’s programming, but all the networks under it’s NBCU brands. MSNBC will speak with Jeff Corwin on the release of his new book “100 Heartbeats”, The Weather Channel will air segments on climate change (giving John Coleman additional heart attacks in the process), Bravo will re-air environmentally themed episodes of shows like Top Chef, and even Martha Stewart will get in the spirit highlighting “green tips and gardening techniques that highlight the importance of cultivation and conservation.”

Get ready for the green peacock. Green Week runs November 15-22nd.

Taken from Ecorazzi

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Chance At All......


I feel for ALL the cats that are stuck behind bars at the Hamilton Animal Control but nothing gets me more upset than to see babies, some just 4 weeks old, that will NEVER have a chance at life simply because people did not spay and neuter their cats. It isn't fair!! It just isn't fair that these little angels have never known what it feels like to be in a warm home, cuddled on a bed or simply get a pat on the back. For example, here are Fonzy and Huckleberry who are waiting on a cold stainless steel cage. They do not know that Thursday night will be their last sleep and Friday morning will bring them death.


If by some miracle Windsor, Big Ben and Chelsea get adopted by Thursday night I will run out Friday morning and rescue these babies. In the meantime I pray a foster home or rescuer will come forward and save these two as soon as possible!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Feeling Frustrated!

I felt so frustrated walking around my work/schools cafeteria today during my lunch's supervision. Everywhere I looked there were teens drinking from or holding plastic water bottles. If that wasn't enough, maybe only one out of ten actually recycled the bottle......the rest simply threw it in the garbage without any thought. Of course me being the eco-freaka that I am, instead of glaring at them I would run over and explain that if they do have a plastic water bottle they should be recycling and an even better option would be to purchase a stainless steel bottle and filling it up with "free" safe and clean tap water!! Well I am sure this little talked = big embarrassment!! Hahaha oh well what can I do!?! I HAVE to help educate these kids on being more environmentally friendly. Thankfully I am very well liked at the school by all the students as I am seen as "cool" by them given my age, taste in music and nothing ever really gets me mad. They all keep me laughing all day long! I even had some naughty students come up to me last week bragging to me that they were going to throw 1000 balloons into the ocean to kill all my precious leatherbacks! Instead of getting angry I actually felt proud that I had gotten through to them in regards to sea turtles being killed by plastic and garbage floating in the ocean! Obviously I knew they were totally joking and trying to get my attention and these fifteen year old boys wouldn't harm a mouse!

In response to the amount of plastic bottles that are still being used, my high schools Green Team and I will be selling stainless steel bottles again this year just in time for the holidays!! We will be teaming up again with OneBottle which is a fantastic company based in Toronto dedicated to eliminating plastic bottles in out fantastic city! They personally donate $1 from each bottle sold to the World Wildlife Fund and my Green Team donates all profits to various environmental and conservation charities around the world! Last year we donated over $400 to Orangutans, Gorillas, Marmots and of course Sea Turtles!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Video!

This video is for all of those people who believe that
an outdoor cat is a happier cat:

Keep Animals Safe - The best home videos are here

I honestly can't imagine allowing any of my pets to wander alone outside and I always make sure that all of my foster kittens who are adopted are going to homes that will keep them as indoor cats only!!!

Please feel free to share this video on facebook/twitter or email!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ready To Go...........

My little kitten babies are now ready and up for adoption through Toronto Cat Rescue. These past four weeks fostering the "London Trio" (Windsor, Big Ben and Chelsea) have been a breeze compared to what I went though with poor Gisele. There have been NO sniffles, sneezes or lethargy and this is all because Penny at the Hamilton Animal Control kept the kittens out of the main shelter area for the night until I could rescue them.........and thank goodness for that!

Each day they have been eating and pooping TONS but I'm not complaining! As long as their happy and healthy thats all that matters!! Now its just thewaiting game.......waiting for a wonderful individual, couple or family to come forward and adopt one or two OR ALL THREE!!! YAY!!!

Featured On Green Blogs!

Very exciting news!!! My site was featured on the main page of "Green Blogs"! I was so happy to see this and I hope it introduced all of my thoughts and views to many different people!! Please comment on my posts if you have anything you want to let me know!! Thanks!