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Monday, September 4, 2017

Texas Proud...


I lived in Houston for four years after college, and as a native Texan I have been gutted by the devastation that Harvey brought to my home state and the city I once called home.  My constant thoughts and prayers go out to all of south Texas and Louisiana and to every single victim of Hurricane Harvey.   My sympathy and condolences for all that has been lost.
To the readers and followers of my blog who have been affected by Harvey...  I hope and pray that you, your loved ones and your homes are safe.  I am so sorry for all that you have gone through and all that you have lost.  My heart breaks for you.  I send you my love.  I would love to hear from you personally in the comments or in an email. xxo

My niece, Liz Ann, and her husband, Jose, both architects and owners of mak Studio in Houston, were thankfully spared the wrath of Harvey at their business and home and have been volunteering with the Red Cross since the moment the water started rising.  I am so proud of them both.

I simply have no words, as I can not imagine the horrors of the hurricane nor the aftermath of the destruction.  I am proud of how Texas and Houstonians have rallied together, but not a single bit surprised.  Texas is Texas and hell, or high waters will not take it down.  
Like you, we have made donations, but so, so many need our help.   
If looking for a place to give here are some thoughts...

If donating to the Red Cross keep in mind that many companies are matching donations - Michael Dell and Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, come to mind, but there are many others (if you know of any please name the matching companies in the comment section), so find one that doubles your donation and donate through them!

If you are looking for a different fund raising effort you should check out Houston Texans JJ Watt's foundation.  He is has set up a 
and to date has raised over 18.5 million and counting for the victims of Harvey.  There is now a petition to rename a Houston freeway after him! He's a good man. His flood relief fund will give directly to the people of Houston.  Yesterday 10 semi-trucks of donated goods came from his home state of Wisconsin to bring supplies to the people of Houston HERE  (I 💓 this video.)

This is a wonderful list provided by PNR of many different links to how you can help those affected by Harvey 

Now, to my heart of hearts.....

I have been so very touched by all the photos of people carrying their dogs (cats) through feet of water refusing to leave them behind.  And then heartbroken, but grateful, to see the photos of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc. being rescued by rescuers.  There is a special place in heaven for you people.

This video is from the facebook account of Noeline Duffet Hartel.  This is her son, John, and two of his friends, Kyle and Dylan, rounding up stray dogs on the streets of Houston.  This mama raised a good boy.  Bless them.

I have had several people ask me (knowing I was from Texas) to suggest places I would recommend to donate to the dogs (cats/pets) that need our help.
Here are but a few shelters/rescue groups I am familiar with that are working non-stop to save and rescue dogs (cats.)   I know there are many, many more so please share info in the comment section of any other Harvey relief shelters needing donations.

wonderful organization rescuing hundreds of dogs from Houston

Harvey Disaster Animal Fund

Best Friends Animal Society

 the rumors that the SPCA is euthanizing dogs are NOT true HERE

 For my Austin area readers...

Image result for yard bar austin tx

I wanted to share with you that Yard Bar (the owner Kristen, also an architect,  is a best friend of my niece Liz Ann whom I mentioned above) is having a donation drive to support the pets and pet owners displaced by Harvey throughout the month of September with the goal to fill this container!

Yard Bar is located at 6700 Burnett Road and is a restaurant, bar and dog park all in one!💓   (I can not tell you how much I want to take the girls here and have dinner- the food looks amazing- and drinks!!  I am so jealous Austin has this!)

From Kristen per her Facebook page here is what's needed: 
Food - Dog and Cat, dry & wet
Blankets, towels, linens
Small litter boxes
Clay cat litter
Small silver bowls
Poop Bags
Leashes, Slip leashes & Collars
Disposable paper ID collar
DAPP and Bordatella vaccines
Flea treatment - capstar, bravecto, frontline spray
Antibiotics - amoxicillin, convenia, cephalexin
Unflavored pedialyte
Wound care supplies
Irrigation solution
Medical gloves
Work gloves
Hand soap
Hand sanitizer
Dawn dish soap
Mosquito repellent - a lot.
2 gallon hefty ziplock bags
Heavy duty garbage bags
Human snacks! Volunteers gotta eat.
Bottled Water
Make a donation and receive a $5 off coupon for dining at YB.

DRINKS & Smirnoff Matching Challenge
Enjoy any Smirnoff cocktail or our "Underdog" cocktail in the month of September and Yard Bar will donate $2 of your purchase to Harvey Relief.
Our goal is to raise $2,000 and Smirnoff will MATCH for a total gift of $4,000.
This event and donation drive is in the very early stages. Please check back for updates soon and SHARE SHARE SHARE!
Do you know someone with a specific needs for our stuff. Distribution partners are welcome. Please email what you need, by when, and who can pick it up.

love to you all,


  1. I just KNEW I would see a post from you. . .between the devastation in Texas and the abandoned and/or stray animals. . .two subjects dear to your heart. Prayers are going out to all affected by the storm. Proud of my home state, NJ, for welcoming some of the animals from shelters to make room for "residents", to be closer to their owners.

    1. You know me well!:) Yes, I have heard that NJ has taken in a lot of Harvey pets- that is so wonderful of them!

  2. What a wonderful post and tribute to Houston. I live in Magnolia and while we had over 30 inches of rain, we thankfully did not flood. I have lived in Houston since 1979 and have been through many storms and hurricanes but nothing like Harvey. I too, have always known how Texans and especially Houstonians, rally to the aid of their neighbors. But this has been something else altogether. The spirit of giving and helping is something to behold. Neighbors helping neighbors and total strangers alike. We will get through it and come out stronger on the other side. Thank you for listing such great options for donating. So many have lost so much.

    1. That is amazing Michelle that y'all had 30 " but didn't flood. Thank goodness your home was spared. You know that my Magnolia was dumped in Magnolia, Texas yes? Hence her name. I wonder what her baby looks like now. Someone picked up her one baby and left little Magnolia. Don't know how they could have done that. It was like leaving behind a million dollars- she is a jewel.

  3. This has been such a heartbreaking disaster, while heartwarming to see Americans band together to help fellow Americans! We have donated and my prayers are with the affected area during the lengthy recovery.

  4. Joan & Dan, Sister Poochies too:
    This has been devastation from
    Hurricane Harvey, as I have relatives
    in Houston and the surrounding towns.
    Our prayers are with them, we will
    Rescue Road Trips, have left to go
    to Houston, they are going to rescue
    Forgotten Dogs of the Fifth Ward!
    Thank goodness No Pets left behind
    since Hurricane Katrina!!

    Thank you, for all the information.

    Also, Please keep State of Montana in our
    thoughts and prayers as over a million
    acres on fire!
    Love ya pics!
    Karen & John
    In memory of Tank and Tanner

    1. Karen & John, Thank you for this. I will add Rescue Road Trips to the list. I didn't know they were going to pick up dogs from the Fifth Ward. What many do no realize is that on any given day prior to Harvey that there were 8-10,000 stray dogs on the streets of Houston. It is the same number range foro Dallas and I would imagine San Antonio also. Heartbreaking. We need to FIX the problem, not just bandaid over it.
      Yes, the fires in the west are devastation. Prayers for that part of our beautiful country too.
      Again, my sympathy and condolences for the loss of both Tank and Tanner within months of each other. That is a huge loss to bear and I am so sorry. xxo

  5. much older sister susanSeptember 4, 2017 at 9:59 PM

    Wonderful post Joanie! I am so glad, but not surprised, you posted this!!

    1. thank you... and thank you for your help on it;) and also for your donations to Yard Bar. Vince would have wanted his things to be shared with dogs that need so much... xxo

    2. much older sister susanSeptember 5, 2017 at 5:13 PM

      I know Vince would. We miss our big boxer boy every minute of every day!

  6. Thank you Joan ~ from Houston, TX. I moved here from Oklahoma when I was 25 years old which was 26 years ago. It is my home and I am devastated for it. My husband and 10 yo daughter and 13 yo (rescue) Siberian Husky live close to one of the reservoirs. We luckily did not get any water in the house. My husband is a hydrogeologist and ran calculations against our house elevation and determined we would be ok so we dammed up our house for good measure and rode it out. My daughter, the Husky and I got in our pantry at least 5 times for tornado warnings. (I think there were 17 tornado warnings in total for the Houston area.) Our neighborhood has an app that was an absolute lifesaver for info regarding looters, etc. Harvey was just so different from Ike ~ I think we will be dealing with PTSD for a long time. Thank you for your help and your continued prayers as we help our friends and neighbors rebuild. We are #HoustonStrong. Hugs, Cathy Wyatt

    1. Cathy, It is so good to hear from you- thank you for writing. I am so grateful that your home was spared. PTSD, for sure. I'm sure even gentle rain will be hard to bear for a while. Houston Strong indeed! xxo

  7. As can happen in tragedy, the love from fellow humans has been glorious and beautiful. I was a military brat and we lived in of many diverse locations. My sil and bil. Live in Fort Worth. Their Japanese gardens are incredible. The corporate world is jumping in so whole heartedly also. 157 million last I heard. Home Depot Foundation matched funds to 1M. Just so much love from every direction. Debbie in NE TN mtns.

    1. hi Debbie, thank you for your comment and for mention Home Depot. I will add them to the list.

  8. Thank you so much. I needed the information because we so much want to help but to make our funds go as far as we can to get directly to the people (or animals) in need. My hearts and prayers go out to all the victims and also all those that have helped in all the different ways.

  9. Great post Joan. Love those boys rescuing the dogs. I read this about what Walmart is doing to help. Walmart is also pledging to give X2. Here's the article. God bless. Vikki in VA

  10. Thanks for sharing all of this information, Joan. My heart breaks for Houstonians too, especially having just moved away from there only a few short months ago! Our home there flooded back in 2015 and I can't imagine going thru it all again. Sending our love, prayers, and donations to Houston.
    ~ Miranda

    1. I can only imagine how close to home this hit for your heart Miranda. Glad you and yours are safe.

  11. I'm in upstate NY where my husband and I care for 35+ stray/barn/feral cats so we are pretty tapped out when it comes to spare funds but I did just now make a donation to Austin Pets Alive. I could not have been certain of a place's trustworthiness without the endorsement of someone like you, so thank you for putting this information out there. I'm so grateful that during these emergencies there are people who remember the animals need help too. --Catbird Farm

    1. Wow, 35+ cats and you still made a donation... that is so wonderful of you. Austin Pets Alive is a great rescue.

  12. These poor people and their beloved animals have been in my thoughts and prayers every night. Thank you for posting this helpful information Joan. xoxo Peg Allegretto

  13. Although I'm living very far from you all (in France) my heart is breaking reading all those terrible news. I too am praying for the 'victims' on 2 or 4 legs and I am amazed by the truly über-generosity of the American people. There ARE good things and good people all over the world.
    JUst hope that you all get back on your feet, that you're helped and overcome this awful time. I hope that you all heal in time and that you may keep an open mind and thankful heart, all the same. Hugs to all of you and cuddles to your pets too. Xoxoxoxo Kiki

    1. Kiki, I loved your comment. Such a true statement that with everything that's going right now "the ARE good things and good people all over the world." We all need to keep that close. xxo

  14. Dear Joan, Dan, and the girls,

    This is such a heartfelt post. We are heartbroken for all those devastated by Harvey, including all the sweet animals. Thank you for letting us know of a way to help { a little} from afar. You are truly a dear and caring person. xoxo Robin

  15. Thank you....I live in Kingwood, TX,north of Houston and many of our neighborhoods are destroyed. It is so sad but the outpouring of support from all over the country has been awesome!

    1. So sad and sorry for all that has been lost. I can imagine the emotional toll this is taking on everyone. Positive thoughts and prayers to you and yours. xxo

  16. The people of Texas are truly strong. I wish them a speedy recovery.

  17. With so much time passing by, I guess your
    not coming back to this blog. Will be truly missed !

  18. Love the post. I'm sending prayers to all the affected and I'll continue helping and donating for these wonderful causes.

  19. Oh how sad you do not blog any more.

  20. What has happened? I really miss your posts. Why have you stopped?

    1. Just life! I've been blogging for almost 9 years now and sometimes I just take little breaks. Thank you for you concern!

  21. Hi Joan,
    I am writing to you from our new house in Pinehurst, TX up the road from Tomball. We were flooded with a foot of water, while we were enjoying our time in NH. Our rescue poodle Zoe has been so confused, but we have finall moved into our brand new house and are settling in. I was lucky not to be there during the actual flood, but the aftermath has been hellacious. Our local library in Klein, museum, and churches were under 5 feet of water. Worst experience of our lives, and we lived through Enron. We were so lucky compared to other people. And, did you see in NH Magazine this month the feature on my summer town, Washington, NH. Looking forward to May. Hope you, Dan and puppies are well.
    Holly Rigby
    TX and NH

    1. OHmygosh Holly, I am so so sorry. I can not imagine how traumatic it must still be. NH awaits your return! I will look online for the article about Washington- thank you for telling me about it!

  22. Hey Joan,

    You will LOVE this video about a shelter in KY that did make-overs for all the dogs! (If you don't trust the link, just do a search at youtube for Puppy makeover Mabe);_ylt=AwrDQ2qG5nVaiwUA_BE0nIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWc0dGJtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMQ--?p=youtube+video+puppy+makeover+Mabe&vid=f47bc0b257d4dcec3f4f203d18ae5ff5&

  23. Joan,
    I hope everything is OK with you and yours and your not blogging is because wonderful things are happening.

    1. hi Cara, thank you for your concern. Yes, all is well I am just taking a wee break from blogging. xxoj.

  24. Thanks for sharing all of this information, Joan. My heart breaks for Houstonians too, especially having just moved away from there only a few short months ago! Our home there flooded back in 2015 and I can't imagine going thru it all again. Sending our love, prayers, and donations to Houston.

  25. THANK YOU, SO MUCH JOAN, for sharing your story & pictures of Dan's last flights before retiring.
    It was great to hear! You made me feel like a family member.
    I'm SO pleased to hear that you are all well and enjoying life!


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive and read it. joan