About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Some of the adorable dogs in Tylertown

It is my fourth day at the Best Friends Animal Society temporary shelter in Tylertown, Mississippi.

Most of the dogs in "Pooch Alley" are such sweetie pies. Right now most of the dogs here are pit bulls, rottweilers, chows or some mix involving at least one of those breeds. I assume other breeds were fostered or adopted out of here first and these guys have been left behind.

I just finished playing with one little guy who keeps batting his toys under the fencing of his run. There isn't a dog in the run next to him, there are just about 15 toys. I retrieved a few of them for him tonight, but I am sure tomorrow they will all be out of his reach again. He just loves his toys, he throws them up in the air, pounces on them, and just has a grand ol' time with them.

Then there are the two adorable boys, a white Samoyed mix and and little brown dog, in one pen. They also love their toys and wrestling with each other. When I sit in there with them one tries gnawing on my hands and the other just likes to push his whole body into me. He is quite the leaner for such a little dog.

Most of the dogs are remarkably sane considering what they have been through. Of course, I am not seeing them in a home-like situation where they will probably have all kinds of bizarre behaviors. I hope not.


Pooch Alley

This is my third full day the Best Friends Animal Society temporary shelter for rescued animals in Tylertown, Mississippi. There is somewhere around 15 staff members (that I've seen, anyway) and between 20-30 volunteers here. Not an ideal situation, but things run amazingly well for an emergency situation. The place really relies on volunteers (I've been told that about 1500 volunteers have been through here in the past several months). There is no make-work. We do very essential stuff.

I�ve been assigned to "Pooch Alley" which houses about 80-some-odd (and yes, some are odd) big dogs. This area consists of runs with mostly one dog per run. Some larger runs have 2 dogs, and a couple very large fenced-in areas have 3 -6 dogs. Each dog gets its own "dogloo," which most of them seem to use (some timid ones rarely come out of them).

All the dogs have toys, and the first day I was here, we handed out new toys brought by one of the other volunteers. In one of the multi-dog pens there is a shy black setter who slinks away when someone goes into the pen. It was heartening to see him playing by himself with his new toy today.

Daily chores, starting at 7:30 am, include the following:
feed dogs
poop scoop
give water to dogs
wash and sterilize dog bowls
socialize with dogs

At different times, I have also:
walked dogs that are in the clinic (who stay in cages as opposed to kennel runs)
helped in the kitchen, cut vegetables and wash dishes
helped bathe a dog.


Heading to Tylertown

Tomorrow I leave for one week at the Best Friends Animal Society shelter in Tylertown, Mississippi, where I'll be taking care of homeless dogs rescued from Hurricane Katrina.
I am meeting up with two other volunteers at the New Orleans airport and we are sharing a rental car for the 2-hour drive to Tylertown.

I was thrilled to find out that the meals are strictly veg. Today I baked some breads for the volunteers and peanut butter biscuits for the doggies.

I have the week off from work and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the (usually dismal) holidays than taking care of dogs.


Puppy love

I received a holiday card from Visakha SPCA an animal welfare organization in Andhra Pradesh, India. I sent them some money and they sent me a hand-signed card. I was so touched by the image and the sentiments I had to start a blog to share them.

Good_Friends.jpgInside the card: Greetings from the humans who care for other species

Merry Christmas and a very happy & prosperous New Year

I located the source of the monkey/puppy image on the internet. It was published in a 2002 issue of The Tribune.

"A female monkey fondly cuddles a puppy at a shop in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Thursday. The pet monkey, bought from an animal trader, "adopted" the puppy recently and spends many happy hours hugging it. Hunting and selling of monkeys are prohibited under Bangladesh laws but they are seldom enforced.--Reuters"

Although the monkey seems to have a choke hold on the little pup, both have such a peacfully calm look on their faces that I don't think there was any real choking going on.
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