Living On Noah’s Ark, or, Life As An Animal Rescuer…

“If we were to talk about something like Noah’s ark today,
where the best qualities are preserved, it would not be
one ship, but a multitude of small boats.”

~ Alexander Kluge ~

Since Blossom joined our crew here, there are more animals than cottage, and one person to twelve animals. Yesterday I told my friend Jeff that I was going to put a sign on the front door that said, “Noah’s Ark: Bring Large Animals Around Back.” I’m expecting the giraffes, the zebras, and the Indian elephants to arrive just any minute…

As I sit here now having my “morning latte” at 1 p.m. (It is a bit of a feat to get all of the animals cared for and settled and get a shower upstairs while hearing a cockatoo screaming downstairs because you have momentarily stepped out of sight, while a worried looking pug sits an inch from the shower absolutely certain that you are being killed in there.) The shower worries the pugs no end. They can all come in the bathroom with me to watch me go potty, but when I step into the shower and close the dastardly shower curtain, there’s just NO TELLING what horrors might be happening when I am out of sight. I find myself talking non-stop to the pugs, hoping not to get shampoo in my eyes, and singing LOUDLY so that Blossom can hear me and calm down so as not to wake the dead in the nearby cemetery. Life is never dull at Dragonfly Cottage. Taking a shower is not the restful pursuit it once was. Sigh…

This is but a “Bird’s eye view,” into the life of one who has committed her life to loving and helping the little ones. Just now Blossom is swaying back and forth and swinging her head around reminding me very much of Stevie Wonder, whom I adore, playing the piano and singing. She keeps saying “Hi Bird,” and you’d better answer right back or she is liable to start screaming. Writing a single sentence here that has a chance of ending up sounding half-way intelligent is a task I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage!

Of course there were the days of Cloudcuckooland (The name comes from Aristophanes play, The Birds, in 404 B.C.), the non-profit shelter I started and ran, taking in disabled and unwanted parrots and other domestic birds, but I had help then. Now I live with 12 animals who are my family, and like any family, we have our quirks and idiosyncracies. Reflecting on why I do this I always come back to what an odd person I really am, and with all of the work and any and all of the problems we may encounter, these animals show me more unconditional love than I would otherwise ever know in my life. And for those who doubt that this might be true, let me give you an example.

Friday night I was in a very bad way. I sat in my big, oversized chair and curled up crying. As always Sampson, one of my three rescue pugs, was up on the arm of the chair, leaning in against me. Moe, my 13 year old lab-doby mix (from the Humane Society when he was but a wee puppy…) was on the ottoman with his head in my lap. Henry, the grey parrot, flew over to me and sat on the other arm of the chair. Just sat. For once didn’t want to play, didn’t try to get into any trouble, just sat near me, watchful, and didn’t move. The other two pugs were on the floor very near my chair. They all knew that I was hurting and lonely and afraid and worn out and such an outpouring of love I have never felt. Fur and feathers all around me. Soft noses to kiss, fur to snuggle, and beaky kisses by a very serious grey parrot looking at me deeply concerned made me realize once again just why I do this.

In the quote at the top of this entry, Kluge was absolutely correct. We can no longer save the animals two by two with an ark, it takes people around the globe to do what needs to be done to save the animals, whether the domestic “pets” (… a word I never use. I call them my animal companions or even my family of animals, which they surely are…) that have been abused, neglected, abandoned, or raised in the dreadful puppy mills like some commodity to be sold for a few bucks (Don’t get me started! And I am not talking about reputable, caring breeders.), or Greenpeace who helps safeguard our ocean animals, or PETA who works so hard to stop animal testing and other unimaginable cruelty, as well as all of the other wonderful animal rescue organizations around the world. We can no longer, in good conscience, figure that “someone else” will take care of it. No, an ark won’t cut it anymore, we do indeed need a multitude of small boats and we can’t stop fighting for them and doing what needs to be done. It is this that I have committed my life to, even when I waver because I am so exhausted and Blossom won’t stop screaming, or poor little Sampson, my beloved “Velcro Pug,” who came to me so afraid of being left he literally attached himself to me and never let go, need me when I myself am exhausted. We cannot stop. We do not have that luxury as long as there is an animal in need, even when it’s not convenient. I have always done this but the recent lessons with Blossom have tipped the scales. I don’t just rescue an animal or three here or there, this is now my life, the heart of my life, and so it shall remain.

I imagine Noah, in that wonderful story, watching the animals go two by two, and am grateful that those in his time never imagined what the plight of animals would be in the future. But we know now, and there is no rest or stopping as long as there is a single animal in need. Each one, reach one. (Or twelve, however many you can!) Or donate money or time or any kind of help you can to the rescues of your choice.

Right now Blossom is happy. She is ripping apart and destroying the big pine blocks and toys there for just that purpose. Sampson is between my feet asleep, and the other pugs are snoring here and there. The rest of the parrots have settled into their quiet time and I, at long last, sit here sipping my latte and sharing a few moments with you.

I laughed the first time someone called me “Mama Maitri,” but it seems a rather fitting name just now. They all look at me with such love in their eyes. Such trust. It is humbling. And so I will continue on, all the days of my life, working in my fiber art and writing around the wee ones, for the live beings come first, and here there are twelve lively beings to keep me pretty busy!

I have created a poll for fun for those involved in animal rescue that you will see in the sidebar. We need to help keep each others spirits up. This work is not always easy, but I know none of us would have it any other way.

Yes, each one, reach one. Do whatever you can. They are depending on us, and we can’t let them down.

Deep Blessings to all who have opened their hearts to rescuing and loving these precious animals. There is much work to be done.


If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. All three of my pets are rescued. The worst case was the kitty that was thrown out the window of a moving car and landed at the edge of the road and my driveway. It took weeks to get him straightened out, but he made it and is a wonderful cat!

    I have also rescued two sheep and one goat.

    Rescued animals make the best pets! Denise

  2. Lovely article

  3. Your life there reminds me of my own life when my babies were, well…babies! Only my babies came one at a time. It is hard, but knowing you are doing good helps to make it a cottage of LOVE! And what is LOVE, if you do not give it away. Thank you for doing good things.

    I have just found your blog…through BlogCatalog (thanks for being my friend)…and wanted to say I also very much love your fiber work…the yarn you show is so yummy looking!


  4. Inspiring! yes, our animals are all rescued and life is “interesting” LOL! Would we have it any other way? We don’t have a choice.


  5. Just wanted you to know that I think your blog is wonderful. Handmade creations and animal rescue all on one page! I have done a few beaded dogs, which you could see on my website, but while I was workin on The Divas (a portrait of 4 sheepdogs), I mentioned animal rescue a few times. I think it is very important. Keep up the great work! Cheers from Boston! 😀

  6. Your story reminds me of some South Africans I met outside Melbourne. They have so many animals in their home, they remind me of a vision of the the ark. A pet rat even wanders around and stretches out on the coffee table. It can be quite a shocker for unsuspecting guests…

  7. Maitri, what a touching story. Your writing is beautiful and funny–even without the pictures I can conjure a cozy, loving picture of your little cottage.

  8. Yes really touching. Loved reading this story.

  9. Its really terrible that so many animals are “homeless”. When they are small and cute they are wanted as soon as they are older they are given away. Really sad…

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