Archive for the 'Good Cause' Category

Running for Charity

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

My fellow ex-pat blogger Gary Denness, aka The Mexile, who blogs from Mexico City, is going to run the Mexico City Marathon 2009 this year and he’s raising money for charity in the process. The charity he’s chosen is Wildcoast which helps protect coastal areas of both the U.S. and Latin America.

You can keep up with Gary’s training on his special Maraton de la Ciudad de Mexico 2009 site. Good luck Gary! Drink lots of water and train hard. We all wish you well!

RAP Cancun Animal Rescue Web Site Launch

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I’m proud to finally launch the RAP Cancun Animal Rescue web site.

For those that don’t know, Cancun has a very serious problem with strays cats and dogs. In some parts of the city you see multiple street animals in a single block. The city of Cancun has few resources to combat the problem and doesn’t even have the money to humanely euthanize animals (from what I understand they electrocute the animals they catch).

RAP is working on the front-line to save street animals, to rehabilitate them and then help them find healthy, loving homes. RAP is also working hard to educate and support pet owners so that they understand how important it is to sterilize their pets.

Please visit the site, subscribe to the RSS Feed: http://rapanimalrescue.org/feed/ and, most importantly, please make a PayPal donation. RAP needs all the help we can give. I’ll keep you updated as I make changes and upgrades to the site.

My previous posts about RAP:

Rescued Puppy

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

I’ve written before about the wonderful work that RAP Cancun Animal Rescue is doing to rescue and rehabilitate street dogs in Cancun. RAP is also working hard to provide accessible preventive health care for pets in Cancun and so last week RAP’s clinic was the host location for Cancun’s first-ever free Spay and Neuter clinic. The Spay and Neuter clinic was co-sponsored by Cats and Dogs International (CANDi) and VIDAS, which is a wonderful organization that travels the world sterilizing animals. You can read personal accounts of the RAP Spay and Neuter clinic on Cancun Canuck’s blog and on CancunTom’s blog.

On the last day of the sterilization clinic I went over to RAP to help out, but my plan backfired when Darci, the president of CANDi handed me a puppy to hold. The puppy is a female who is about 2½ months old, she had been found in the street. By the time I met her Darci had already spent more than an hour picking fleas and ticks off of her. Well, you can guess the rest. I walked around for the next few hours carrying this puppy and I couldn’t leave her behind when it was time to go home.

We have not named her yet. We’ve got a list of possible names, but so far none of them has stuck. Sam, the pre-existing dog, is adjusting in fits and spurts to this little puppy. He’s really jealous that she’s getting so much attention, but he also likes her and has been playing with her quite a lot. It’s good to see him with a playmate, he needs that.

The cats are mostly just annoyed. My old lady cat, Grace (who is 17) is having the worst reaction, she’s decided that the puppy is a huge annoyance and refusing to eat much. Emma-cat has attached herself to the puppy and follows the puppy around and then sits and watches her, she’s fascinated although it seems a bit like morbid fascination if you ask me. Moopie and Lilah just think the puppy is stupid, which is an appropriate and expected cat reaction. The other cats are pretty much just avoiding the puppy. I’m sure all of them will adjust as the puppy calms down and gets used to the rhythms of the house.

Here are photos of the little girl.


This puppy is a girl of action, she’s hard to photograph when she’s awake because she doesn’t stop moving. She will settle into your lap, if you let her. Otherwise she’s a-runnin’.


Here she is sleeping, or rather just thinking about waking up. She doesn’t sleep for long periods of time, but she does that cute puppy thing of running around and then suddenly falling asleep in one minute.


And here she is chewing, which is her favorite thing to do. She chews and chews and chews and chews whatever is available. It’s a full-time job chasing her to make sure she’s only chewing on proper dog chews. (I think my shoes are history.) Right now she’s chewing on Sam, who is chewing right back, so that works. More puppy updates will inevitably follow.

All Steamed Up

Friday, August 1st, 2008

I’m mad. And sad.

I just went for a walk with Sam the tonto wonder dog. And during our walk we saw two stray dogs which both seem to need some kind of help or care. Both of these dogs have been hanging around the neighborhood for a few days. One is skinny and needy and young, but it has good healthy puppy energy. The other is older, has a collar and a limp and seems like she might be sick. This second one really concerns me, she’s not just lost, she’s ill.

So when we got home from walking the dog we went back out with some food and water and put it near where this second dog was lying down. She took off when we showed up. But I think she’ll return to that spot because I’ve seen her there a number of times in the last few days, she’s comfortable there. I’ll go back in a few hours and see if she’s eaten what we left for her. Pobrecita.

Cancun’s stray dog problem is out of control. I only saw two dogs in my neighborhood, but I live in a decent area. When you get into the poorer sections of Cancun the problem gets much worse. There are stray, limping, hurting dogs everywhere.

Every time I come face to face with a stray dog I feel so sad. And I get so mad at people here who do nothing. Worse, they don’t just do nothing, they get all ga-ga about how nice it is here. How can it be nice here when there are so many animals visibly suffering in the street? In my humble opinion, it can’t be.

In recent weeks I’ve made a commitment to RAP Cancun to help redesign the web site, and put it in English so that we can more easily solicit donations from English-speakers. We are also going to ramp up a campaign to encourage tourists visiting Cancun from the U.S. and Canada to adopt street dogs. Fortunately there is no animal quarantine between Mexico and both the U.S. and Canada, so adoption is a viable option.

If you would like to make a donation to RAP please let me know or contact Maria Alicia through their web site.

Climbing Iztaccíhuatl for a Good Cause

Monday, July 21st, 2008

My fellow ex-pat blogger and savior of turtles Gary Denness is going to climb Iztaccíhuatl to raise money for Wildcoast, a charity that works to protect sea creatures, including turtles.

Gary has put up a blog on which he will chronicle his fundraising efforts and his adventure, see it here: Climbing Iztaccíhuatl.

Iztaccíhuatl means “white woman” in Nahuatl and it is Mexico’s 3rd tallest mountain after Pico de Orizaba and Popocatépetl. Iztaccíhuatl is 5,230 meters (over 17,000 feet) high. For some perspective, the Peruvian town of La Rinconada, at close to 5,100 meters, is currently the highest permanent habitation in the world. When you reach 5,000 meters there is only half as much oxygen in the air as there is at sea level and proper adjustment to the altitude becomes very important.

Gary’s undertaking is very ambitious and I wish him good altitude acclimatization and lots of big donations! You can support Gary’s efforts by linking to his climbing blog.

Kittens Need a Home

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

The other day a woman stopped into my vet’s office and asked if the vet would take in 3 starving kittens that had eye infections. My vet said “no” but offered to treat their infections. The woman complained that none of the pet shops she’d been to would take the kittens either (obviously because they were sick).

Well, the woman walked outside the vet’s office and dumped the kittens in the bushes in front of the building and then she left. A little while later my husband, who was there helping the vet with some building maintenance, heard the mewing. The vet has been taking care of these kitties since then, she’s treated their eye infections, has successfully fattened them up and has neutered each of them. But now it’s time for them to find homes.

The two black ones are female and the orange tabby is male. If you know of anyone who might need a kitty (or 2 or 3) in their life please contact me asap.

This female was a skinny little thing when I first saw her, now she sports a belly.

This guy needs a bath but will be gorgeous when he’s cleaned up.

This girl is my favorite, she’s got a really sweet personality.

Here are the 3 of them together.

Please help save these kitties. My vet can’t keep them, she’s already got 6 six dogs that she adopted off the street (after nursing them back to health from various injuries).

A Trip to Tijuana for my Daughter

Monday, May 12th, 2008

My daughter’s school is really something. Today the kids flew from Denver, CO to San Diego, CA, then they took a van across the border into Mexico. Her 8th grade class is headed to Tijuana for a week.

They will be volunteering at, and also staying at, an orphanage there. My daughter says that they will, among other things, help build a wall. The concept of a bunch of rich American kids going to Mexico to work illegally as construction workers just cracks me up.

I’m sure the trip will be great, it’s a whole new experience for all of them. I’m glad to see the school pushing the kids this way. And I’m very glad for my daughter to see somewhere in Mexico besides the Yucatan, even though by all reports Tijuana is pretty skanky.

The school told my daughter that she wasn’t allowed to spike her hair with colored gel in case her colors could be mistaken for gang colors. What a thing to worry about.

They also told the kids that this trip was about total immersion, which means they weren’t allowed to bring cell phones. So no contact for a week…I will spend a lot of time this week wondering how things are going.

How Can You Resist Puppies?

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Remember the other day how I posted about Helping Cancun’s Animals? Well, I went over to the RAP facility last week and took photos of some of the puppies they have up for adoption now.

I couldn’t talk to RAP’s director, Maria Alicia, because at the time of our visit she was out saving the life of a pregnant dog that had just been hit by a car.

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
The RAP animal shelter door, a more permanent sign is on the wishlist.

When I was there they had about 20 puppies in all sizes and colors. They also had something in the range of 45 to 50 adult dogs (and I didn’t meet a single one that I didn’t like).

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
These two are part of a litter of 9 pups that were dropped off while I was there helping out one day. They are beyond cute.

The sole purpose of this post is to nag my friends and readers to help find good homes for the puppies and dogs currently at RAP. RAP needs to get their dogs adopted so that they can free up space to rescue more of the starving and injured dogs we all see everyday in Cancun.

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
Here’s one of their brothers, another cute one.

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
This little guy almost came home with me, I just love those eyes. But I need more land before I get more dogs.

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
These guys were really hard to photograph because they wouldn’t stop playing! Most of my photos of them are just a blur of cute puppy fur.

Ok, have I pulled enough heart-strings yet? Please do what you can to help. You know you want a doggie!

RAP Animal Rescue Cancun
This little guy was at the bottom of the pile of puppies, I finally got a photo of him when he managed to get out from under his siblings.

You can contact Maria Alicia to make an appointment to meet all the dogs and puppies she has up for adoption. Her number is (998) 206-0056 and she is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Visit the RAP Web Site
Visit the CANDi Web Site

Helping Cancun’s Animals

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

I want to spread the word a bit about two charities that are working together here in Cancun to rescue animals and help animals find good adoptive homes. The first is Respeta, Ayuda y Protege, which in English means respect, help and protect (it’s called RAP for short). And the second is called CANDi, which stands for Cats and Dogs International.

The two groups have teamed up recently on a campaign called Project Cancun under which they will be starting a spay and neuter clinic among other things. In the mean time the two groups are busy getting their new facility up and running. And they are also caring for more than 60 dogs they have rescued from the streets of Cancun.

Here are their web sites:

I will be writing more about these groups and this project in the future. In the mean time please send them lots and lots of money and volunteer to help them if you can.

Piddling for Charity

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

I just finished reading 3 Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School At A Time and now I’m resisting strong urges to give all my money to the Central Asia Institute so they can build more schools. It’s a truly inspiring book and it makes me want to do something effective.

Sometimes I get so pissed at myself that I didn’t join the Peace Corps when I graduated from college. It always seems like someone else is out there making a difference in the world. And me? What do I do? I give some money away here and there. I pick up a few starving cats off the street. It’s not enough. I’ve realized that I’d really like to get involved in something bigger, something that really does make a difference. I’m tired of piddling around.

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