Friday, May 8, 2015


Another Friday has rolled around, hard to believe it's May already. What follows are a few good things I saw, read, or heard about this week. I hope one or more of them lift you up as they did for me. Thanks to Elizabeth White for continuing to pick up an oar and pass along some great articles, including this first one:

Exhibit A:  Elvis Summers and Smokie McGee had struck up a casual friendship since Smokie started stopping by his apartment most morning to collect recyclables and chat. When Elvis discovered Smokie had no shelter whatsoever - not even a tarp or cardboard box - he took it upon himself to build her one. He spent about five days and $500 dollars building a 3½ by 8-foot mobile house to give Smokie a safe space to sleep. He also started a GoFundMe page to "build tiny houses for homeless women, men, children, U.S. veterans and families who are homeless." We need more Elvises in the world.

Exhibit B: Every time I turn around, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is doing something nice for someone. Whether it's playing catch with a bullied youngster or surprising a fan in the hospital, he seems to go out of his way to take time out to do the little things that mean so much. On top of that, he's one of the hardest workers I've ever read about. He's quickly becoming my favorite active football player. This time out, J.J. noticed that Ashlee Sanchez had tickets to J.J.'s charity softball game on a day she was supposed to work. She tweeted the following, saying "If only J.J. Watt can write me a letter to excuse me from work...because I already have tickets for the game and I can't miss it!"

J.J. saw Ashlee's tweet and took the time to write a note to Ashlee's boss (see below), acknowledging he had "no authority" to excuse her, but noting that she was willing to drive 5 hours to support the cause and help raise money, which, in turn, "is going to change the lives of many kids. So if you'd excuse her, that would be pretty cool. Thanks for your time." What a supremely cool dude.

Exhibit C:  I found this simply hilarious. Poor dude goes to Paris and tries to take an optical illusion pic of himself with his finger at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Fails miserably. Asks the internet for help to "Photoshop the Eiffel Tower under my finger." Internet explodes accordingly. People can be so funny and creative, I wish they used their powers for good like this all the time. A few of my favorites:

Exhibit D: I'm a sucker for do-gooders. These two stories are about doing good to help animals get home or find a home. First, United Airlines provided a free first class flight home to Sam, a 10-year-old Yorkie who had been separated from his family and on the road for four years. He was ultimately found over 1,000 miles away and the family couldn't afford the cost to fly him back. Way to go United (it's not often we hear nice airline stories, is it?):

Along these same lines, I wanted to highlight the work of Wings of Rescue and Pilots 'N Paws, which are non-profit organizations consisting of pilots who volunteer to fly dogs facing euthanasia to places where there is a shortage of adoptable pets, giving them a shot at a home and a new lease on life. And when I say "volunteer," that includes their time, their planes, and their fuel, none of which is cheap. One shelter in Idaho has "ordered" a planeload of dogs every month, saving over 1,000 in the past 16 months. Pilots 'N Paws boasts over 5,000 pilots who have worked to fly 75,000 animals to new homes over the past 7 years. Huzzah.
Exhibit E: Good god, I almost forgot the goat vine!

ObligatoriesThis week, you're getting Bird AND nephew shots. Nephew is on vacation in Florida, so the cute is pretty epic:

As for B, she graduated with honors from Extreme Recall class this week, kicking ass on the gauntlet, which required her to run the length of the auditorium from the trainer to me when called, while each side of the aisle (which got narrower on each round) was packed with toys, treats, other dogs, owners with treats, and good smelly trash. She was last in the round and was like a prizefighter, getting all amped up before going into the ring, I could tell she knew what to do and just wanted to get out there and do it. Fortunately and unfortunately, she LOVES going to class, so we started a new round of advanced dog this week.

She also shows great patience with the neighborhood hooligans, who want to pat her, steal her ball, throw her ball, and put all kinds of bugs on her just to see what will happen (I won't keep you in suspense, nothing happens). I thought my dog Jake was unbeatable with kids, but she's making a run at the crown.

With all that, it is no wonder I indulge her in the evenings and and play couch death match as she insists on lying on top of me and gently pats my book out of the way should I try and catch a few paragraphs when I'm supposed to be scratching. The trick is to lull her to sleep and then not breathe:

We had her studio shots taken last weekend, a dogly tradition of mine. Some of you may have seen she was Dog of the Month, which was pretty nifty and gave me a chance to see a sneak preview of a shot before all the proofs are out:

She's pretty awesome, I've gotta say. Keeps me going, that's for sure.

That's all for this week, gang. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Rhonda Hicks said...

Thanks again for making me smile :) I love it all, but I'm a sucker for kid and dog pics, as you know. Those of your nephew and brother are the best. I've looked at that one with his eyes closed over and over. And over.

Jupiter was moved from Texas to Tennessee by volunteers from Pilots 'N Paws. I never knew just how many people volunteer to move dogs across the country (for nothing in return) until he came to us.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Wow! That's so cool, I don't think I knew that about Jupiter! (Did I?) Did he go to TN because that's where the specific rescue was? TN doesn't seem like a place that would be short on rescues. It's a pretty cool thing, makes me wish I was a pilot. Oh who am I kidding, no it doesn't.

As for A, those eyelashes, right?!

Rhonda Hicks said...

The eyelashes and everything else. Perfect.

I thought I told you about J, but I know it's been since February ;) Blackjack Rescue in TN rescues catahoulas from high kill shelters. They rescued his mama (Blue) from a high kill shelter in Nacogdoches, TX and she had 9 puppies. The pups were all flown to TN. Mama Blue is living happily in TX, and Jupe and his siblings are all over the country thanks to volunteers that drove them to their forever homes.

Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf said...

Your dog is so beautiful!! I really love your strictly positive posts. No matter how my week has gone, I can come over here and smile. :)

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Thank you so much, Monika, comments like that keep me going. I appreciate you stopping by! Got all of the picture proofs last night and goodness, Bird is pretty, but I have a great photographer. I could look at them all day. And just might! Have a great weekend.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Yeah, you certainly can't expect me to keep a thought in my head for almost three months. We're down to minutes, here, Rhodie. That is really cool, I knew they were spread out but didn't realize how and how far. When we retire we can remodel a UPS truck and take rescues cross-country. :)

Julianne - Outlandish Lit said...

oh my god, you post this on twitter right when my computer can't do my final projects. THANK YOU. these are all delightful and made me cry a little less

Laura Benedict said...

Oh, my gosh. So much smiling! I love every one of these. I saw the Eiffel Tower pic piece earlier this week and I laughed about it all day. And Bird's portrait--completely adorable!!! ( <-- See. I even went mad w/ exclamation points.)

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Oh, NO. I'm so sorry, that's horrible. As if finals aren't stressful enough. Sending positive vibes that it all gets worked out. Keep me posted!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

That bit just killed me. People are so funny. Like you, I laughed and laughed. It was good for what ailed. me. You and your !!!. You can get away with it. :)

Marisa @The Daily Dosage said...

I should just have a scheduled comment about how I want your dog every Friday when you post this! And I'm soooo relieved to see there are other tech/photo challenged people like me still circling the web...even though those photo shopped pics are still too hard for me to do!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

I should start renting her out, she's the best. And I hear you on the Photoshop angst, I hate that program with a passion.

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


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