July 5, 2008

Tippi Hedren at Bodega Bay

I got back to Bodega Bay — the first I've been on the Sonoma Coast since my back surgery. I couldn't jump or run fast. I sniffed. Cool sea air. Other animals. Seafood smells coming from the Tides Wharf restaurants. Pelicans belly-cans. The wharf is a five-star sniffin' dogstination.

I love the ocean. The photo below is of me on a favorite beach just north of Bodega Bay.

Tilin corgi at Bodega Bay
I love having my head stroked by Tippi Hedren at Bodega Bay. The photo below is of the actress being nice to Bullseye, the Target mascot dog, at an American Film Institute 40th anniversary event. She was nice to me, too.

Tippi Hedren with Bullseye
Ms. Hedren was at Tides Wharf on July 4th signing photos and talking to humans. She comes often to this famous film location where Alfred Hitchock made the 1963 classic The Birds. Tippi Hedren is the movie's star. She's also Melanie Griffith's mother and "den mother" to many animals.

I sat down on the rug right next to Ms. Hedren at her Tides table. She and her assistant asked dog-ma about my surgery when they saw I'm missing fur on my back. You can't see me in the photo below 'cuz I'm behind the table.

My buddy Jack corgi squeezed in next to me at the table. Usually shy, he didn't want to leave Ms. Hedren's side once she started scratching his ears. He and I know this is the kind of scratching and stroking you get only from a real animal lover.

Years ago, Tippi Hedren started Shambala Preserve and Roar Foundation in southern California — not to make pets out of lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and other exotic cats, but to protect them, to rescue them from mistreatment and neglect. Elephants too. Shambala is a true sanctuary, a place that doesn't breed, buy, sell, trade, or use animals commercially.

Ms. Hedren talks to the public about the problems of exotic pet ownership and advocates for legislation to protect big cats. She and dog-ma talked about the costs of caring for animals — a million dollars a year to care for the Shambala cats! — and the impawtance of spaying and neutering pets. These humans worry about how animals will fare in a tougher economy.

I'll wade into the political waters anytime with humans who want to limit private exotic animal ownership.

Dog-ma has BIG reasons for supporting Ms. Hedren and others who help with exotic animal rescue and accredited sanctuaries. She says, "Few individuals, no matter how well meaning or rich, succeed in providing a safe haven for wild or exotic animals. Individuals apparently have a hard enough time trying to take care of domestic animals, including farm animals. . . ."

No comments: