Category Archives: animals

It’s the Little Things

French Bulldog

The magic of life is so easy to forget. I’m thankful for all the dogs that serve as reminders. The little things are truly the big things! And life is a divine opportunity to play and have fun.

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Hooray for Sophie Corrigan

Sophie Corrigan artist

Here I go again… sharing Instagram accounts. Today’s favorite is @ladyaxolotl. I found her account via @wolfgang224‘s account. And I’m so glad I did! Her work is a lot of fun. …Plus, I’m glad she’s a fan of leggings too.

sassquatch illustration

different is beautiful

axolotl illustration

gorilla illustration

sloth illustration

raisin illustration

bird illustration

llama illustration

pug mug

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No Longer Strangers: Richard Renaldi, Odd Couples, Unity & Us

Touching+Strangers+ Richard Renaldi

When I look around, I see more diversity. I don’t think this is just because I live in New York. I know what it was like here 20 years ago, and I feel like there is a closeness that wasn’t here before between living beings: various animals together, various people together, and various animals & people together. It makes for a beautiful landscape. I myself am the result of a mix of races, and I never felt more common or more accepted than now. I’m not saying there is not racism or speciesism. There definitely is, and it’s heartbreaking — but slowly healing and getting better.

animals unitedI saw the most wonderful movie recently. I saw it on Netflix (but you can watch the full movie on PBS for free I believe, via this link). The movie was called Odd Couples. It’s not referring to romantic partnerships, it’s about friendship partnerships. And it’s not about people, it’s about animals. Judging by the cover, it looks like a boring and odd movie, but I will tell you — it’s not boring and unityit’s a gem. Please see it if you can. It’s very heart warming, entertaining and inspiring.

This week I was telling a friend about the movie. He asked me if I knew the work of Richard Renaldi. I said I didn’t, and he told me I should check it out. That it too is about odd couples, but ones that the photographer brings together as art. Well, I did check the photographer and his work out, and it definitely is thought-provoking-mind-opening-awareness-raising art. Watch a CBS video of the artist at work with his subjects, click here to view. (PS, Richard Renaldi just finished his Kickstarter campaign. He attempted to raise 10,000 dollars to produce a fine art photography book titled Touching Strangers. Instead of raising the 10, 000 he planned on ….he raised 80,000 dollars. Obviously people resonate with this topic and want to see more of it in the world.)

odd couples animalsThe world is changing. The weather is changing. The unknown is becoming a known and widely discussed topic. People are questioning their lives and their future. It really is time to join forces. To realize living beings (animals, people, everything alive) are not independent of each other. They not only depend on each other, but thrive when they realize that they actually are each other — all spinning on the same planet, all relying on the same diversitycycles, all vulnerable to birth aging death, all wanting to feel good. When we realize this, we are free. Free of mental constructs, ingrained beliefs and genetic predisposition.

Let’s continue to open our hearts and expand our awareness. Let’s continue to leave behind old ways that no longer serve us. Let’s see and envision a new world. Let’s support those who are working towards creating  a united compassionate world. Let’s live it fully in our own lives more and more each day. Let’s have fun pushing boundaries. Let’s laugh and love while making the impossible possible.

[All photographs of people are by Richard Renaldi, all photographs of animals are not. I put the photos of animals & people in collage form just for this blog post, to enable the reader to see more than space would allow.]


Filed under animals, awareness, transformation, unlearning

Brooklyn is Badass

brooklyn badass dog rescue

There are many reasons why Brooklyn is badass. But here are two:

hilary benas dog photo1) I just found out that the dog rescue team I started volunteering with was in the news (video below). They deserve it! They are so badass & so awesome. Guess what their name is? Well it’s Brooklyn Badass Dog Rescue, of course. It’s an all-volunteer-run group that saved over 800 animals. Through them, I recently met Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training and got the opportunity to sit-in on one of his training sessions. I learned so much! I highly recommend him if you have a dog. Jeff works in several cities, but recently opened an office in Brooklyn. –Thank you, Brooklyn Badass Dog Rescue & Solid K-9 Training for making a difference and taking action. I am learning so much from you. I’m super inspired. :)

David Silverberg yoga brooklyn2) I just found out that my Friday morning yoga teacher David Silverberg was in the news (video below). He is super cool & totally badass. And so is his friend Gerald “Jerry” Koch, who could face up to 18 months in federal prison for refusing to testify in front of a federal grand jury (get the full scoop Here). –Thank you, David & Jerry for taking a stand and for making your voices heard (in Jerry’s case, not saying anything is a powerful way to be heard).

I’m so proud to live in Brooklyn. Who knows how long I’ll be living here, but after almost 20 years of living in this city, I can say that Brooklyn and its badass residents have made me what I am today (*scratches head* …not sure what that is, but whatever I am, Brooklyn in responsible in so many ways). –Thank you, Brooklyn!

-If you want to help by making a donation or adopting a rescued dog, visit Brooklyn Badass Dog Rescue.
-If you have a dog that needs training (or saving! Jeff Gellman works with very difficult dogs), visit Solid K9 Traning.
-If you want to help Gerald “Jerry” Koch in his plight for his (and ours!) constitutional rights, visit JerryResists.
-If you want to take David Silverberg’s yoga classes (he’s not your average yoga teacher), visit DouYoga or HoshYoga.

[Picture of David in his Namaste Tree Pose via BrooklynBoulders // Picture of rescued one-eyed pup via Hilary Benas // Picture of rescued tongue-love pup via Kate Black]

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