Neighbors: Pets enrich our lives

Hello neighbor.

As I write this column early on Monday morning, I am thinking about two great resources we have in this area: the 12-town regional dog shelter in Turners Falls and Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.

Imagine the love waiting at both of those places — animals who have been lost, abandoned or surrendered, ready to offer their new human pals so much unconditional love and loyalty.

Take time to check them out. So many of the animals waiting to be adopted have never known the comfort you could provide them.

The reason I mention this is because I will be joining my daughter Christina and son-in-law Oliver tonight to say “goodbye” to our beloved Kayla.

To us, Kayla has never been “just a dog,” but a very important member of our family for a dozen years.

Technically, she is my daughter’s dog, but she has certainly brought more than one smile to the rest of us over the years.

She saw Christina through high school and college. She was one of the ring bearers at her wedding in 2011. And, she welcomed the twins, Owen and Travis, home last September.

I have watched her decline over the past few weeks and until today she has always been able to muster enough to protect those babies when anyone entered their home.

She never lost her herding instincts, so I’ve always imagined her, sometime in the future, rounding up Owen and Travis, when they start walking, to make it just a little easier on Mommy and Daddy. Christina’s other dog, Hunter, will have big paw prints to fill.

Yes, some of you reading this will say “it’s not worth having a pet,” because they are with us for such a short time. I’m guessing many don’t want to feel the pain we will surely feel tonight, and for some time to come.

Others will say that “dogs are just dogs,” and that they don’t understand the emotional attachment some, like us, have to their pets.

No matter, pets teach us so much; sometimes more than we can learn from anyone or anything else in our lives. You just have to watch, and listen closely.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Regional Dog Control and Adoption Center is located on Sandy Lane off Turnpike Road in Turners Falls. To contact the shelter, call 413-676-9182.

Dakin, which has facilities in Leverett and Springfield, can be reached at 413-548-9898 or 413-781-4000. Also visit:

Find yourself a furry friend and I guarantee your life will never be the same.

COLRAIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY will open its 2013 season on Thursday with a business meeting, potluck supper, and a talk with Civil War aficionado Richard “Scooter” Aldrich, which will all begin at 6 p.m. with the potluck. The meeting will be held at Joan McQuade’s home on Main Road in Colrain.

Scooter, who will be dressed in uniform, will talk about his great-grandfather, who served under General Meade in the Union Army. Scooter is a very interesting and engaging man — I wrote a feature about him several months ago — who knows quite a bit about the Civil War era.

For more information, call Belden Merims at 413-625-2003.

CLINICAL AND SUPPORT OPTIONS AND GREEN RIVER HOUSE will host a spaghetti supper on Thursday to raise money to support the 25th anniversary celebration of Green River House.

The dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Moose lodge in Greenfield. There will be raffle prizes.

Ticket are $7 in advance and $8 at the door. Children 12 years old and younger are $4.

For more information, contact Danielle Barron at 413-772-2181.

THERE WILL BE A BONE MARROW DRIVE at the Town of Montague Public Safety Complex at 180 Turnpike Road in Turners Falls on Saturday from
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’d like to “pay it forward,” like I’m always talking about, stop by the complex and find out if you are an eligible donor. As the organizers say, “The cure for blood cancer looks exactly like you.”

This local drive came out of an unfortunate diagnosis one of our neighbor’s in Greenfield, Jessica Delgado, received recently.

Jessica went to Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s emergency room for a cut on her foot and left in an ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield with a diagnosis of leukemia.

You have to be between the ages of 18 and 44 to be a donor.

For more information, visit:


On April 20 at 1 p.m. Montague Soapbox Derby participants will march in the Franklin County Spring Parade that starts at Sheffield Elementary School on Crocker Avenue in Turners Falls. The parade will make a three-mile loop on the hill in Turners.

There were 700 people who marched and 4,000 who watched the first parade in 2011. I’m sure organizers would love to see even more of you this year.

Anyone who has a soapbox cart and wishes to be in the parade should contact Mike Muller, race director, at 413-320-5336.

For more information, visit Montague Parade on Facebook.

GREENFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY will hold a storybook character scavenger hunt beginning April 16, where children can spend school vacation finding 10 storybook characters hiding around the children’s section of the library.

Children may get their clue sheets from the Kids’ Desk in the library, and once he or she has found all 10 and written them on the clue sheet, may claim a prize at the desk.

The hunt is free and open to the public thanks to Friends of the Greenfield Public Library.

For more information, contact children’s librarian Kay Lyons at 413-772-1544, ext. 5.

OUR NEIGHBORS CHARLENE AND DENISE CHOLEVA are holding a “Keep Smiling” fundraiser for their Relay for Life team at St. Kazimierz, 196 Ave. A in Turners Falls on April 21 from 3 to 6 p.m.

The gift basket fundraiser — there will be more than 100 available — will raise money for cancer research and cure. Tickets, which may be purchased at the door, are $10 per person.

THE ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY AND POETRY READING of the Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest is approaching fast.

On April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Capen Room at Stoneleigh-Burnham School on Bernardston Road in Greenfield, winners of the contest, and others, will celebrate National Poetry Month.

The adult winner will receive stewardship of the Poet’s Seat chair, with his or her name being placed on a plaque, which lists all previous winners.

For additional information, contact Hope Schneider at 413-772-0257 or Cynthia Snow at 413-625-0105.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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