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Pigs & Pugs Gratitude

Last Thursday, on National Pig Day, Pigs & Pugs Project hosted a film screening of The Last Pig. It was our first big event since transitioning over our programming from Tranquil Teens to Pigs & Pugs and I was a bit nervous.

We had two special VIPs joining us, Charlotte of Life with Pigs and Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, along with some other amazing people in the animal rights world.

I rarely practice speaking and am more of an “off the cuff with some planning” kind of gal, but went over my opening about 10 times before Tim and the pups had had enough. I think Belle even rolled her eyes at my final attempts.

While practicing the film introduction, I couldn’t get through it without crying so you’ll see in the video below I simply state its name, no context. Truthfully, the film speaks for itself and ever since I first heard about the film and interviewed the filmmaker and farmer in 2015, I’ve been deeply moved. Like I was as a child with ET and Where the Red Fern Grows and a teenager with Gorillas in the Mist.

When your heart is so connected to a cause (pig sanctuaries and pug rescues), you want to be a good representative.

I had stickers, postcards, reusable bags, and large foam boards splashed with our logo (which I believe is absolutely adorable).

I brought twinkle lights to the event and the bar manager graciously explained they didn’t have any extra outlets. #havetwinklelightswilltravel

I packed pig figurines to display on the vegan hors d’oeuvres table.

Tim designed pink VIP signs with a pig outline for the VIP seating.

It’s all about the details.  And the message.

After the event, I received an email from a participant  who wrote:

I’m super-happy I came to your event!!!  Originally, I was not sure I wanted to.  Just as people have an aversion to being around vegans, because it makes them feel uncomfortable, so too, do I typically have an aversion to seeing films that I know will tear up my insides!  That said, this is the first time I’ve ever watched a video of this nature and I know that was important for me.  Also, I was very impressed with Gene’s breadth of knowledge (i.e., farming, genetics, cooking, and legislation!!!!)  Woah!!!

My takeaways are that I want to give up eating any fish at all, I would like to be more vocal about animal-rights causes, I would like to support farmer’s markets, and I would like to be more like you and Gene (i.e., contribute to a greater good more often). 

Overall, thanks again!  Keep spreading this important message!  After all, we humans are just like pigs, if we could just get past that mental electrical fence we created… perhaps the rest of the herd might follow… 🙂

That email made the months of planning and effort with my board totally worth it. It brought a huge smile to my face. THAT is why we will host events and work to raise awareness.

Next, we’ll turn our attention to our next event, Yoga + the Animals (already half-full) and to adding more content to our website, donating more micro grants to pigs and pugs in need, and continuing the search for a tiny farmette to call home.

Thank you for helping us create a more compassionate world. May all beings everywhere be happy and free. Bisous. x

One week from today . . .

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.—Anne Frank

When I transitioned from Tranquil Space last summer, I shared that I wanted to focus on growing a nonprofit I co-founded, Tranquil Space Foundation (TSF).

Since 2006 TSF designed and offered a Tranquil Teens program to over 600 girls and created an 8-week facilitator’s toolkit {download for free} with an amazing group of volunteers. We also donated over $30,000 to like-hearted organizations that supported women and girls.

As that project came full circle and my focused turned to animals, we transitioned to something new that I’m honored to put my heart into—Pigs & Pugs Project!

Next Thursday, on National Pig Day, we’re hosting our first Pigs & Pugs event, a film screening of The Last Pig at Washington, DC’s Atlantic Plumbing Landmark Cinema. We’ll have special guests Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary and Charlotte the pig with us.

If you’re able to join us in-person or in-spirit, I’d be so grateful!

You may recall my 2015 podcast interviews with the filmmaker, Allison and farmer, Bob—I believe it was the first time I lost my composure on the podcast. The story of this film is eye-opening, beautiful, and emotional.

Pigs & Pugs Project hosts events to raise awareness such as next week’s film screening of The Last Pig and Yoga + the Animals at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary in June. We also donate to pug rescues and pig sanctuaries in need. Check out our blog for the latest micro grants. It’s a joy to be part of these animals’ transformations!

Watch for a shop page with Pigs & Pugs Project goodies (like TranquiliT’s new compassion tee) plus a resources page to learn more about pigs and pugs coming soon. It will also have a list of pug rescues around the United States plus pig sanctuaries! If you have any additional ideas, please share.

Please follow along and join us in spreading compassion. Bisous. x

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Gaga for Gizmo

Adding Gizmo into the mix has been a whirlwind of emotions. We’re so in love with him and incredibly protective already. What Gizmo wants, Gizmo gets.

Last night Tim showed me his new three dog feeding system. Mookie first because his bowl doesn’t skid (has a rubber bottom) across the floor when he’s eating and he gets twice as much food (he’s nearly twice their size), so he takes longer to eat.

Next, Belle on the pink dog bed in the kitchen to keep her bowl from skidding as she eats.

And finally Gizmo gets fed in a bowl pressed up against a bin for leverage (aka no skidding), I laughed aloud. Really, this is our life?! A well thought out system to prevent skidding bowls.

We’ve all adjusted since last week’s drama and are slowly settling into a routine that involves different walking schedules, equal attention allocation, various meds, and doctor’s appointments. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However, on Saturday we got sad news. Gizmo has cancer. He has a fatty mass that was thought to be benign. But after our vet ran a pathology report, we found that the large mass on his side is actually cancer. We have an appointment with a cancer surgeon specialist first thing Monday morning (their soonest opening) and look forward to exploring options.

My hope is that it’s low grade and hasn’t spread, of course. Either way, we’ll do all we can to make sure he’s happy and healthy as long as possible.

It’s been a tough blow considering we’re still mourning the loss of our beloved first-born, Louis, who died from brain cancer and madly in love with this guy. He truly is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. And, truth be told, I think he likes me more than Tim. Thank god!

Tim joked that I was going to keep adopting until I got a pug that liked me more! Belle is obsessed with Tim, I’m mostly chopped liver despite flooding her with love (and cute clothes). And Mookie, well he’s in his own very special world. Same with Jackson the cat.

Gizmo caught my attention on Homeward Bound’s Instagram account in November and I kept sending his photo to Tim and Mom. Finally I broke them down to at least coordinate a meeting with him. (Pssst, I have a formula in case you’re interested!).

The rest is history. He now sleeps in our bed and we’re head over heels for this one-eyed, 10-year-old boy who walks like a crab and snores like an old man.

I clearly fell in love with Gizmo on Instagram for a reason. Truly gaga for Gizmo.  Bisous. x