Friday, October 9, 2015


A few fun and heart-warming things that got me through the week:

Exhibit A:  If you don't add this Instagram (or Facebook) account to your feed, I'm not sure we can be friends. Pumpkin the raccoon fell out of a tree in the Bahamas when she was only a few days old. Her mother never came back and the local animal rescue couldn't care for her, so Rosie and William Kemp and their family, which includes two dogs, took her in as their own. You can imagine what ensued. Here are a few pictures, but for reals, go to this link and read the whole story and see them all. This story pulled me from the depths on Wednesday, these are some great photographs and I'm all about the inter-species love (and good people rescuing pets, including the two potcake dogs):

Seriously, that pose. Gets me every time. (EDIT: I JUST noticed that in that first picture, all the hardware has been removed from the cabinet doors and drawers. Had to laugh. Such must be life with a raccoon.)

Exhibit B: My friend Erin sends me these whenever she finds them online and they never fail to cheer me up and make me guffaw. These "honest animal names" are the internet hive-mind at its best. Apparently it all started when shark biologist David Shiffman decided to call out animals with #StupidCommonNames by asking fellow scientists to share the common names of animals that are misleading, weird, and just plain stupid. Of course, us common folk didn't want to be left out, so people of the non-scientific variety intervened and renamed some of our animals more appropriately. A snake? Nah, that's a "nope rope." People be funny.

Ok, so I may have gone overboard a bit on the photos with this one. I can't help it, they amuse me to no end. (Seriously, Prison Pony? Still laughing.) And if you truly think that's too many you may be in the wrong place.

Exhibit C: Here is one for the Kids Are Awesome files. There aren't many facts, like where this is taking place or who the boy is, but apparently a blind deer is wandering a neighborhood and a ten-year-old boy has taken it upon himself to walk her from patch of grass to patch of grass every day before school so she can find something to eat. Some neighbors have arranged for the deer to be taken to a wildlife preserve, but they also intend to talk to the boy's mother about how his kindness and thoughtfulness might be rewarded. Huzzah. And thanks to Bev for sending this one my way.

Exhibit D: This dad is pretty amazing. Philippe became a single dad to his daughter Emma when she was just 1. Because she had a full head of hair, he realized he would have to learn how to style it. He taught himself some pretty amazing feats of hair along the way and now has gone a step further. After receiving quite a few inquiries from other dads on the subject, he decided to get a group of men together to teach them what he knows. He reached out to a local beauty college, which agreed to provide a free space. Seven dads and daughters showed up for the first free class and Philippe is now holding more Daddy Daughter Hair Factory classes to teach his skills. So much good here I can't even measure it.

 Exhibit E:  Via Chris Holm, Bailey the dog adopts ten baby chicks. Without further ado:

Exhibit F: Anyone who knows me knows I am a ginormous fan of putting semi-dissimilar things together. Inter-species love/friendships, animals and people, kids and old people. Elyse knows me all too well and sent me this great item about a pre-school in a nursing home.  Sound crazy? Well, this nursing home in Seattle, Washington found it had great benefits for the residents and kids alike. Filmmaker Evan Briggs was so impressed he's made a documentary film about the project and hopes to bring more awareness to the topic. Below are a few pics and a preview of the film.

Exhibit G:  It has blown my mind the way the neighborhood kids have reacted to Bird. I've had dogs ever since I started living in my current home 20+ years ago. There have always been kids around and they have always enjoyed my dogs, but this is something different. They see us coming down the sidewalk and they start screaming "Birdy! Birdy!" Then they all stand in a group waiting patiently (while screaming her name) on one side of the street, while Bird waits on the other until I give her the signal to cross.) One told me the other day she wrote about Bird in her journal at school. Parents tell me that a working parent can hardly get through the door in the evening before hearing all about their exploits with Bird from the day. There's something about this dog.

The other day I decided to brush her out on the lawn (since our house is basically a concrete slab at the moment) and all eight of the main hooligans happened to come out around the same time. While I am fairly positive they would have zero interest in brushing a dog of their own if they had one, they started fighting about who got to brush Bird. So we had them take turns, ten strokes a turn, no fighting about giving up the brush or the fun would be over. They were all pretty good about it, though there were some epic counting shenanigans going on.

I was collecting the hair in a plastic bag so it wouldn't float all over the 'hood, and they wanted to know what I was doing. I explained and then made the mistake of telling them I sometimes put it out in a tree or bush for the birds to use as nesting material. So now half were brushing and the other half were frantically collecting hair. By the end of an HOUR, they told me they were not putting the hair out for the birds, but were instead going to make something for Bird. Oy. One 5-yo boy said, "I can sew it!"

I'm not sure what these little weirdos are used to sewing or doing with body parts, but I love them. In the end, I had to finish brushing myself, but Bird had the best-brushed back ever in the history of dogs being brushed. Who wants on the list for a dog-hair gift for Christmas?

They are all such great kids and they keep me hopping. And hey, they love my dog, they win my affection right there at the starting gate.

TGIF, y'all. Have a fun and peaceful weekend.

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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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