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“When the world says, “Give up.”  Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”  Anonymous

The past few weeks have been surreal. Here at the Jersey Shore, we do have tales of two cities and then some. Some areas of our counties look like, “What storm?” but turn down into countless waterfront neighborhoods and you will see areas that I have been told by those who have served in Iraq as well as FEMA reps that look like something they have never seen in all their experiences.

I apologize if at times this post seems like I am just sitting down to write in a stream of conscious style…but, I am. Last week as well as this, I am substituting  for an art teacher who lost a lot in the wake of Sandy. Our home was just inches from being flooded and was spared the wrath of a tree that hung ominously over our home during the storm. My art studio took on 2 feet of water, but many of my neighbors were not as lucky, many ended up evacuated from their homes and staying with us for a time and then we were all evacuated for a couple of nights during the ensuing Nor’easter. In Brick Township alone, 7,000 homes have been severely water compromised and are in need of renovation and 130 are totally…gone. Each day finds us trying to help someone somewhere with collected funds or the offering of a place to stay or rest.

In my last post I wrote about the effects of kind words and acts. Disasters bring out the best and the worst in human beings. Each day I deal with those who make themselves useful with genuine offers of help as well as those who make insensitive comments without knowing what has gone on here. I have developed a new appreciation for those suffering from the barrages of Mother Nature at any given time.

But let’s get back to another “Tail of Two Pretties”… Rachael Ray vs. Kelly Ripa. I realize I have been busy reaching out to humans, but I have not forgotten our Companion Animals. On that note, I want to say that I have recently been hard on the cast of the Live with Kelly and Mike Show because of Kelly’s stereotypical remarks regarding Pit Bull during National Pit Bull Awareness Month in October. People still ask me if she ever acknowledge those she hurt with her remarks, my guess is no (please update me if I am wrong…we were without power of 12 days).

But let us commend another talk show host who is a true friend of our canines…a woman who walks the walk and barks the bark, Rachael Ray. Rachael, an owner of a pit bull and a champion of the breed, donated $500,000 dollars to open an emergency sanctuary for our four-legged victims of Hurricane Sandy in partnership with the ASPCA.

I realize many have issues with organizations like the ASPCA and some criticized Rachael, I hear, for spending “so much” for animals. It is her money and all I can say is that in helping pets, she is embracing the powerful bond between human and animal and helping living creatures that do not have voices of their own. She truly embodies the spirit of National Dog Week unlike that other show who actually put on the dog, so to speak, in their salute to NDW last September which they referred to as “Bow Wow Week.”

In some courses of Dog Obedience Training, we are told to ignore the negative and award and applaud the positive. I would like to applaud the action of Rachael Ray and I hope she can really work with the friends of National Dog Week in the future to show what a responsible celebrity is truly capable of. In fairness, I am sure Kelly Ripa and other celebrities have donated funds and time to help local victims of the Super Storm, and many other charities, but I do have a very long memory…sort of like most dogs and we always know who is really their for us in action and deed. I am certain this story is not over.

I am also aware that Rachael Ray is no stranger to the power of pittis and their strength (before someone brings that up) having experienced and incident with her own pitti who went after another dog. My late Portuguese water dog, Hooper, loved humans but was no friend of her own kind and had her share of incidents truth be known. Pit bulls, like most strong breeds, require a loving, enlightened and firm owner who takes the time to train and work with their dog to bring out the best in them.

I thank all who have reached out to my husband and me during what has been a very down time. Our spirits are flattened, but not crushed. We will all dig our way out. If anyone wishes to help, please feel free to contact me at

Happy Thanksgiving.



"Is it dog week yet?"

"Is it dog week yet?"

Michelle Mongelli and Wheezey

Pike, at Geiger Key

Hooper in the Keys

Hooper in the Keys

“Two Culprits” by Steven Hall

Logan & Koda


DJ Goes to Westminster

Zac and Cooper

"Look daddy, I can fly!"

“Hooper” – Best in Snow

Pita in Matt’s Garden

Hooper with cousin Roxy, Summer 2009

Me and my “Hoop”