Monday, March 29, 2010

Like Attracts Like ~ by Deanna

Our critters have great karma. They exude love and contentment, confidently sharing their personalities. They draw to themselves the virtues which they embody. Why else would so many extraordinary people be drawn to the ranch?

One of the most consistent channels of compassionate and talented sanctuary friends has been Dr. Tom Wilson and his animal acupressure curriculum. I wish I could find adequate time to journal about the students, modalities, breakthroughs and healings that we experience regularly as a result of Tom's partnership with A Chance for Bliss. One testimonial can be found in Chico, our once frightened and anti-social epileptic Chihuahua. Chico is no longer found hiding in the bedroom, but often found partaking in outrageous play with Joy and Izzy. Not only that, but when Tom comes to visit, Chico is beside himself with delight, his entire body wagging as he vocalizes his love to Tom. Chico is truly transformed.

Dr. Tom Wilson Demonstrates on Joy
Doesn't She Appear to be Blissful?

There is one student in particular that we are privileged to spend additional time with lately as she travels from Elgin, IL, and stays at the ranch with us. Beth Taylor is co-author of Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats: Simple Homemade Food and See Spot Live Longer. Beth has helped us to implement some simple dietary changes that are making a real difference in our pack, especially those who were itchy and yeasty. Although Beth is not new to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), she was drawn to Tom's approach and teaching style. If Beth's traveling 2,000 miles isn't enough to demonstrate that Tom's classes are laudable, I urge you to read her testimonial.

Another expression of our kids' kismet revealed itself in the form of Karl Salomonson, shearer extraordinaire. We were referred to Karl by Peter Schofield when he relinquished Abby, Nina & Sophie to us before his move abroad. Karl utilizes acupressure techiniques when working with the animals and I was in awe of how relaxed they were for him. This video speaks for itself. Sally, Ray, Chrissy, Robin, Abby, Sophie & Nina were all given spa treatments on Saturday.

Karl brought another gift to us on Sunday. Woody has longed for a bird for quite a while and Karl's work arrangement is causing him to be gone for days at a time. It was with great enthusiasm that Noble was welcomed into the fold. While this isn't the greatest video, you get the sense that Noble is a happy and engaging little fellow. Woody is currently in search of a cockatiel mansion for his new buddy. Inexpensive is our goal (Craigslist!), but Woody's heart is set on large. If you have a spare, please let us know.

If you're not on Facebook, you might be surprised to learn that Homer now has his own page. Since shortly after his arrival, we'd talked about outfitting him with "Homie-Cam" to track his activities, but couldn't dedicate enough time to engineer a proper camera harness. We realized that Homer posseses more than his fair share of character and charm and his exploits would prove interesting. Then late last year we were befriended by Sockington, a well connected cat from Boston. From that point on, there was no stopping our gregarious pig. A worn laptop came up missing and next thing I know, I get a Friend request from a familiar face. A few staunch supporters are rallying for Homer to become a Presidential contender. I have no control over this pig and the accolades he receives from his newfound cyber-friends makes me nervous, frankly. Pigs are smart. Maybe too smart.

Thursday, April 1 marks the first month of our new Sponsorship Program. This program is vital to the sustainability of our work. For as little as $10 a month, you will receive a photo, a letter with ranch news and animal updates, and a special video link of an animal in the category(ies)you have chosen to sponsor. 500 sponsorships at just $10 will provide food and basic care for all of the animals that call Bliss home. Play a part in the animals' tremendous karma by becoming a sponsor today.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Marches On... Down the Runway ~ by Deanna

As quickly as Taylor appeared, Taylor has gone.

I was hesitant to announce the presence of such a young, frail bunny after having spent hours reading about young cottontails. The prognosis is universally grave. Taylor really responded to our care and became so animated and friendly that my hopes were high.

Last Tuesday night, after the rest of the house was asleep, my noctural buddy sat on my chest and gingerly licked and kissed my lips, nose and all over my face. I hadn't felt sheer joy and wonder like that in quite a while.

I was crushed that Taylor crashed so quickly (again predicted by wildlife care sites) and held the tiny being in my hands as life left at 2:55 Friday morning. There had been nothing but positive signs. I finished putting groceries away late and realized that the cage was unusually quiet. He or she left quickly in the midst of sincere adoration and pure love. It has taken me a bit of time to talk about it.

On a brilliantly lighter note, I am thrilled to announce that a Halo Salon and Spa in Roseville is hosting a Fashion Show on April 30 and the proceeds benefit A Chance for Bliss!

Salon owner Alexis Reynolds became familiar with our work through Stephanie, a friend who had hoped to place a horse with us. The blind and lame Appaloosa mare had been abandoned by her owner and left at a Penryn boarding stable. Though we were unable to take the mare at the time, we offered to pitch in to keep her fed and delivered a jacket to protect her from the rain. When a space opens up, this sweet mare has a home here and we are grateful to Stephanie for caring for her in the interim. The jacket was too small and when Stephanie dropped by to return it, Alexis came with her.

We are very honored to be chosen as recipient of the proceeds from this fun event and will bring a couple of four-legged fashionistas of our own.

The fashion show runs from 4pm to 8pm and culminates in the raffling of cool prizes. Beverages and snacks will be provided. If you would like to contribute an item or service to the raffle, we would graciously accept.

Hope to see you at Halo on April 30!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just a Little Blog... ~ by Woody & Deanna

An orphaned cotton-tail was found on Taylor Road and taken to Foothill Feed on Sunday, so Brad called Woody. Admittedly, the information on the internet doesn't sound promising, but little Taylor bunny drinks kitten formula just fine, exhibits regular nocturnal behavior and shows no signs of diarrhea. He or she has a gimpy left front leg.

We're taking it a day at a time...

Ides of March?? Bring it on!-- By Rachel

March is flying by and April is shaping up to be a busy month! Our Second Saturday open house this past week was a blast as usual. It was a little bit slower than last month, which gave us more time to spend on giving tours and getting to know new friends who dropped in to pay us a visit! It was a beautiful day, and the animals were all enjoying relaxing in the sun after the rain. At one point, no less than five horses out in the pasture were laying in a row, taking a nap and soaking in some rays. Valentine the baby goat also enjoyed his nap, but prefers to take it in a feed bucket. Watch out little man, or the horses might start getting ideas!

Next Saturday we will be supporting our friends from the Help to Recovery Program by marching with Team Easter Seals in the California Brain Injury Association's Third Annual Walk for Thought at William Land Park. Last year, we brought a couple dogs, and HTR was generous enough to allow us to share its booth. We are planning the same for this year. All procedes go to support brain injury services and prevention in the state of California. It is a great cause,and we hope to see you there!

The virtual ranch is up and running at full speed. We are now registered with EBAY Giving Works, so that sellers may choose to donate a portion of their auction sales to us. Thanks a million to the generous souls who have done that already-- we may not know you face to face, but we feel your love and support! Our spokes pig, Homer, is now on Facebook and Twitter! He posts regularly, so look him up under Homer Le Porc (French for 'the pig'). One of Homer's first missions is to help us meet our goal of 5,000 A Chance for Bliss Facebook fans by April 1. As of this writing we are up to 268, so our goal is lofty, but I have faith that our supporters will come through for us!

Why do we need so many Facebook fans by April 1 you ask??? Because we will be competing for a grant from Pepsi during the entire month of APRIL on their Refresh Everything website, and we need all the votes we can get! This grant would cover food for the animals for AN ENTIRE YEAR!! THATS HUGE!! You can help us win this grant by doing two things 1. Become a fan of A Chance for Bliss on Facebook, where we will be giving instructions on how to register to vote on the Pepsi website 2. Vote once a day every day throughout April, and encourage your friends to do the same. This is a great way to make a huge financial contribution without spending a dime.

Until next time, happy trails!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March marches on-- by Rachel

The end of February and the beginning of March have brought a steady stream of activity.

With the help of Cathy, our wonderful new web master, and Judy Bugas, our awesome volunteer, we have launched our new sponsorship program. This gives people the opportunity to sponsor one of four categories of animals for as little as $10 a month! This is the perfect gift for the person who has everything, or a great alternative for people who want pets but can't house them. Most of all, it is a great way to show love and support for senior and special needs animals, for the cost of about two grande coffees monthly. Sponsors will receive a letter about and photo of a different animal from their category each month-- what a great way to stay in touch and learn about the stories of the residents! Please see for more details.

We had a rare treat at the end of February. Dee made a big pot of vegan chili, and the board of directors along with long time sanctuary supporters and leaders of Mr. Bucher's Brainiacs, Larry and April, had the opportunity to share a meal and stories with some distinguished guests. Paul Castello and his wife Vikki privileged us with a screening of the video montage of his trip to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, which he organized as a benefit for the sanctuary. The images he captured are beyond words. The stories they both had to share left me gasping, laughing, and crying. They are both amazing individuals, and I know I am not alone when I say the time we were able to spend with them was truly a gift. Until next time, Vikki and Paul, KWAHERI and ASANTE SANA!

The lastest news is that last Sunday we participated in the Sacramento Horsemen's Association annual tack sale. We sold around 60 small donated tack items for a total of $570 dollars. In horse terms, that is about 40 bales of hay or about enough to feed one horse for about six months. Not too shabby! Thanks to all who have made tack donations, that make fund raisers like this possible for us.

Until next time, happy trails!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Valentine

On Tuesday February 23rd 2010, Easter Seals Superior California Help To Recovery Program took our monthly jaunt to A Chance For Bliss. It was an overcast day, but it was a fun trip nonetheless. You see Anthony drove the bus, Karen our R.N. and Jasmine our Rehab-aide rode shotgun. It was Karen and Jasmines first trip to the animal sanctuary.
When we got to the sanctuary we were greeted by Deanna and Woody. For the first time I can remember they had no work for us. It was great because we got to play with the doggies. I got to play with my new favorite dog Jill, I call her Chili-Dog. She just jumped on my lap and did not want to get off my lap for anything. We met a new baby goat named Valentine. She was only 13 days old. Heather fell in love with that goat; they could not be separated until we left. However, I did serenade Valentine while she was on my lap. The most memorable part of the trip for me, was when Jasmine our Rehab-aide told me about her weekend, she told me her boyfriend was trying to annoy her by saying Huh every chance he got. You see, that’s what I always do to everybody. Remember take a tip from the dogs, don’t pre-judge us by our skin color sniff our feet a little, then you judge what is in our heart.

Easter Seals Superior California
Help To Recovery