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Holiday season heats up at Pets Lifeline

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Nancy King/Pets Lifeline

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Happy November, Sonoma!

Yes, it’s true, only 54 more shopping days until Christmas. Here’s a great gift idea: donate to the charity of your choice in honor of the gift recipient. It’s a fabulous gift and really inspires people to pay it forward. It’s easy and in most circumstances you can do it online. So for all your animal lover friends and family, try a donation to Pets Lifeline in honor of their passion.

I recently went to a memorial service for a very dear friend of the shelter, Lorraine Benson. She and her husband, Karl, wanted their legacy to be all about the animals in Sonoma Valley. While she was alive, Lorraine donated the money to us to buy the two temporary trailers and to completely renovate and outfit one for a medical trailer. This was a godsend and we are now able to take much better care of the animals and even do in-house neuters on our kittens and cats.

We are truly blessed to have people like Lorraine on the planet. Lorraine was one of our original “crafters,” a term we very affectionately use to refer to the women who worked at the thrift store that used to be on the property. The thrift store was the main source of income for the shelter for a very long time and Lorraine was known for transforming trash into treasures, a skill she was very adept at doing. At the memorial service, there was a table filled with small Christmas ornaments and other assorted craft items that she made. We all took one home with us. She was truly amazing and we will miss her.

We will be honoring Lorraine at our Santa Paws event this year on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Sonoma Community Center’s Andrews Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Taking pictures of your pets with Santa is pretty darn fun, but, with the assistance of the crafters, we have been including a Santa’s workshop for all who enter with custom made wreaths, ornaments and other gift items for both pets and people. You don’t need to bring your pet if you just want to do a little holiday shopping.

And as an extra bonus this year, the Sonoma Community Center’s Holiday Art Sale will be right down the hallway in Room 110, so bring your pets in for a pic (makes a great holiday card) and/or do some one-of-a kind shopping all before Dec. 1. Then just kick back and watch everyone else go crazy with their holiday shopping.

Registration for Santa Paws is open today online at petslifeline.org or at 994-4577, ext. 106.

But wait, there’s more. Tickets also go on sale today for our wonderful holiday party, Miracle on Eighth Street. This year we will be at the Pavilion at the the Lodge at Sonoma with a special holiday performance from Stephan Stubbins and Brooke Tansley of Transcendence Theatre’s Broadway Under the Stars. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing them sing, please don’t miss this very intimate performance.

For a bit of whimsy, we will also have a Holiday Pet Fashion Show. So if you have a Pets Lifeline alumni who has a taste for haute-couture and does well in a crowd, please contact me. There’s nothing more festive than dogs (and cats) dressed to the nines. This is our annual fundraiser and we do hope you’ll come out to show the love. Besides a great meal and some very unique entertainment, it’s a great way to support your only animal shelter in Sonoma Valley.

Speaking of animals, we have some awesome dogs, puppies, cats and kittens right now and we hope you will consider taking a shelter animal home for the holidays. We have big dogs (Doc and Bessie), medium dogs (Roxie, Maggie and Daisy), small dogs (Bonnie, Tito and Gus) and baby dogs (Selena, Zayne, Simon and Pink). Are you looking for an older mellow cat, a sweet kitten who still has some fire, but not a baby, or do you want a baby kitten? We have them all and they all deserve to be in a loving home. Are you in that perfect situation where you have been thinking about a pet and are now ready to go meet some? Come on down and visit. We’d love to see you, and if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, I am sure another shelter will. But please consider a shelter animal first.

Remember to be kind to all critters. Peace, love and paws.