The Signal Tribune newspaper

Thoughts from the Publisher | Aug. 3, 2018

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Over the years Steve and I have had more than our share of dogs, cats, fish, reptiles and even a tarantula or two. Most of those pets have been rescues that came into our lives through one circumstance or another.

My life-long friend Becky (her birthday is today– see the poem I wrote for her on this webpage down below) lives up the street from us and knows what animal lovers we are. In a recent email, she sent me the following message that had been written by a friend of hers (who prefers to remain unidentified). I need to share it with you, our gentle readers. What a compelling story.

We went to the shelter looking to bring another little bundle of love home. Walking along the rows of kennels, this little Chihuahua mix caught my eye. I put my hand down so he could sniff it and, to my surprise, he reached through the slats of his kennel, grabbed my hand between his paws, held on and started licking my hand, then did the same thing to my husband and daughter.

He had been at the shelter for almost two months. We could not believe someone else didn’t want to take this sweet little guy home. We adopted him immediately but had to wait a few days to bring him home so he could be neutered. We changed his name to Stewie.

Once home, he fit right in with our other animals and immediately became the “caretaker.” Stewie is always checking on everyone and is constantly by our sides. He is so grateful for his forever home. He jumps up and down excitedly twice a day as we are preparing his food as if he still can’t believe his luck.

We adopted him in August of 2014. In November of 2017, Stewie started to sniff me really hard in one spot, was very insistent and did this daily for two weeks. While there is no history of breast cancer in my family and I did not feel a lump, I decided I had better get it checked out. Sure enough in that exact spot they found a tumor, and I was diagnosed with stage-1 breast cancer.

My family and I will be forever grateful to our little Stewie for saving my life. Without him, I would not have gone to the doctor and it may have been discovered too late. We saved him from the shelter, but really Stewie saved me! What a little hero.

I cannot say enough about adopting an animal from the shelter. It is such a fulfilling and heartwarming experience. They have so much love to give.

Save a life… you will receive so much unconditional love in return.

Linda M. Yarvis

“Ode to Becky Lou”
Happy birthday, Becky dear,
You’ve been my pal for years.
We love our wine for sure, no doubt,
And had our share of beers.
Now on this day I reminisce
I Love Lucy was our fave.
We loved her then, we love her now
She never would behave.
We’re all grown up and still in place,
Same street and neighborhood.
Signal Hill has been our town,
Do we plan to stay for good?
When looking back on memories,
They are so sweet, ‘tis true.
Those thoughts bring smiles forevermore,
And that’s because of you.
– Neena Strichart, 2018

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Thoughts from the Publisher | Aug. 3, 2018