An Act of Giving Generates Love and Likes

 


An Act of Giving Generates Love and Likes
 
By: Sheryl Wilde
Who’s the “World’s Cutest Guinea Pig”?  If you follow the latest celebrity animals on the internet (and who doesn’t?) you may already know these four-legged legends:
  • Boo the Pomeranian – touting two books, a calendar and a stuffed animal line, Boo has amassed more than 7 million friends on Facebook.
  • Grumpy Cat has racked up over 11 million YouTube hits, a Forbes interview, and a spot on The Today Show since her photo was posted on Reddit. Grumpy Cat also has a book and her own website.
  • Tillman the Skateboarding Dog is a droopy-faced bulldog with the soul of Tony Hawk.  Tillman holds the Guinness World Record for “fastest 100 meter on a skateboard by a dog” and starred in both an Apple ad and a commercial for Armstrong Flooring. His video has now been watched nearly 21 million times.
Well, the dogs – and cats – have had their day we say!  And who’s the newest celebrity animal on the block?  It’s a cream-colored cavy named Booboo – a guinea pig who already has over 17,000 followers on Instagram.
Now, some have called Booboo the “World’s Cutest Guinea Pig” but we beg to differ.  You see, Olive House has just adopted the most adorable guinea pig on the planet.
Sure the American Blonde, Booboo, is cute in her hipster glasses and has flowers in her hair, but Fozzy, our gentle, golden-furred rodent is much more than just fluff.
“Olive is the largest house on campus,” says Jennifer Velazquez, RC, Olive House.  “We have 13 residents and they are considered more medically fragile than all of our other Mountain Shadows residents.  Many are non-verbal and about half can’t eat on their own and require G-Tube feeding.”
Finding new and effective ways to serve the Olive House population, to connect with them, to enrich their lives, is ever on our minds at Mountain Shadows.  And when Fozzy, the white-nosed guinea pig was first introduced to our resident, Vickie, we knew we were on to something – something really good!
“Vickie is non-verbal and doesn’t interact with others much,” says Trisha Brodd, QIDP.  “When she saw Fozzy, she got so excited, she squealed and started laughing.  That was huge!  Now Vickie and Fozzy are best friends.  Vickie and all of our non-verbal residents love touching him and holding him.
“Johanna loves to sit on the recliner with Fozzy in her lap.  The residents and staff really care about him and have bonded with him.”
“My best friend for 20 years, Trina Manes, and her family, generously donated Fozzy to us,” says Stacy Sullivan, Director of Operations.    “He’s become our Mountain Shadows mascot.  It’s been really fun to watch the residents holding him, wanting to take care of him.”
“Fozzy was born to a family in Descanso and given as a gift to my parents,” says Trina.  “When my parents had to move, Fozzy became part of our family.  As the kids have become older, and more involved in sports and school activities, we had less time for him.  He is very social- he would talk to me every morning and gives great Eskimo kisses. I felt he needed more interaction and attention than we could provide. I struggled with giving him to just anybody though as he is a special animal.
“While sharing my pet woes with Stacy, she had the great idea of bringing Fozzy to Mountain Shadows.  She shared the new campaign “Because I care” and thought Fozzy could be incorporated into this idea. Fozzy would not only provide companionship for the residents but also encourage their participation by allowing them to care for another living being.

“It was a little bit of a hard sell to my children initially. But after visiting the homes and meeting some of the residents, we all knew Mountain Shadows would be a perfect fit for Fozzy.

“We couldn’t be happier with his new family at Mountain Shadows.”

“Fozzy was a little shy at first,” says Jennifer. “But he got used to all of us quickly.  Now he loves being held and he’s very spoiled.  He has his own fenced area outside where he plays in the grass.  We all give him lots of treats.  He absolutely loves bell peppers and grapes.  He doesn’t want to eat his guinea pig food anymore.  I think he’s gained a little weight.”
So, sure, Booboo is cute with her heart-shaped glasses and flowers in her hair, but Fozzy is all that – and so much more.  He wiggles his nose and makes Vickie laugh.  He purrs when Steve pets him.  He runs barefoot through the grass for Andrea as she watches from her wheelchair and squeals with delight.  And he chills in the La-Z-Boy with Johanna at the end of a busy day.
Fozzy makes everybody smile.
So move over Boo, and Grumpy Cat, and Tillman, and even Booboo too – because Fozzy’s the World’s Cutest Guinea Pig in our eyes, and the most loved too.
Help us raise awareness about Mountain Shadows and make our Fozzy the newest internet sensation – click on the icons at the beginning of the story to like, share, and tweet his story and pictures with everyone you know!
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th.
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Mountain Shadows Support Group 
970 Los Vallecitos Blvd., Suite 240 | San Marcos, CA  92069

Eagle Transportation: Making Christmas Wishes Come True

By: Sheryl Wilde
BAMM!
The shiny new Mercedes-Benz convertible crashed into the wall of Laurel Park house as Marquez squealed with glee.
BAMM!
The car hit the wall again.
Then, his eyes bright, lost in a world of his imagination, he revved the engine, screeching out a tight 360 with the remote-controlled car.
Many of you may know Marquez, who suffers from Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. He’s wheelchair bound but nothing can contain his free-wheeling, live life to the fullest spirit. He loves fast cars, baseball, and his older brother Maurice, who is afflicted with the same disease. The brothers were orphaned several years ago when both of their parents died within a month of each other. They were moved to Mountain Shadows soon after.
If all wishes came true, Marquez would be able to stand on his own, pick up the keys to a real Mercedes and walk on his own two legs to the car, then get in and DRIVE!
Unfortunately, due to the debilitating effects of Duchenne’s, Marquez will never be able to do a simple thing like drive a car. But that hasn’t stopped him from dreaming.
When he was a boy, like most boys, he played with toy cars and pushed them along the carpet mimicking the engine’s roar – VROOM! VROOM! And he dreamed of being free to drive – drive to his heart’s desire on the open road with the top down. And with his imagination on fire, he could almost feel the warmth of the sun on the back of his neck as he drove. He could almost see his girlfriend’s long blonde hair blowing gently in the wind as they cruised down the 101. And he would smile and laugh, and sometimes his heartbeat would even quicken as he played with those cars, because the story playing out in his imagination felt so real.
Like many young men his age, Marquez still dreams of sports cars and speed. In fact, when asked what he wanted for Christmas this year, he had but one wish – a remote-controlled toy car. It had to be remote-controlled because he can no longer get down out of his wheelchair to push the car along the floor.
Thanks to Eagle Transportation, his Christmas wish has been granted and Marquez is now driving in his dreams.
“I received a call from Marie Miltimore at Eagle Transportation a few weeks before Christmas,” says Janet Steen, Mountain Shadows – Riverside.  “She said they’d like to buy all of our kids something for the holiday. I was so excited for our kids! To me this is huge that someone who had never even seen our kids wanted to buy presents for them all. This rarely happens for our children. It’s truly a blessing.”
Truly a blessing, especially for Marquez, who otherwise most likely would not have received anything for Christmas.
Says Tom Holt, owner of Eagle Transportation, about why they contacted Mountain Shadows to make this incredible gift, “I love kids. I love ’em point blank. If my wife and I were younger, we would adopt every one of the children at Mountain Shadows. We’ve always been close to our own kids. We’ve devoted our lives to our kids to be honest. And we like to do it. A lot of people, when they have kids, take one big, fancy vacation each year. We do everything as a family – camping, desert riding, school activities, everything. We stayed active and involved with our children every day. And we enjoyed it.
“We started Eagle Transportation about 15 years ago. Since that time, we’ve grown into a multi-million dollar company that provides a wide variety of trucking and transportation services throughout the L.A. basin. We believe it’s important to take time out of life to make someone else happy, someone who can’t do it for themselves. I think if more people took time out to do this, it would be a very nice world.
“I’ll just tell you that I’m a very kindhearted person. Anyone would tell you that. I know I can’t take my money with me, so I try to share it and make as many people happy as possible. That’s probably why I’ll never be rich.
“We started doing this about 4 years ago. We have an army truck and it’s all decorated with lots of lights for Christmas. We started out caroling in the neighborhood on Christmas Eve. Then we started visiting Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in San Bernardino. We park the truck and play Christmas music for the children. Santa and his elves, my grandchildren, are there. We hand out lots of gifts. The kids really enjoy it. We learned about Mountain Shadows through Totally Kids.
“This year, Mike Rodgers and Brandon Myers of Hi-Way Safety in Chino partnered with us. Procast Products donated toys. They are all very loving people.”
“It was rainy and cold on the night Tom and Brandon delivered the toys,” adds Janet. “But as they were taking the toys off the truck, they were both smiling the whole time. I think Tom is a big kid at heart. He likes toys and he loves giving.
“Thanks to Tom and Eagle Transportation, all of our Mountain Shadows kids had a fun and great Christmas, especially Marquez!”
BAMM!
The Mercedes slammed into the wall again.
Marquez maneuvered it back to the center of the room, still lost in his beautiful dream – where his feet can press the gas pedals, where his hands can turn the steering wheel, where he can drive in the sun with the top down, feeling the wind dance across his thick black hair.
Thank you, Eagle Transportation, for making this Christmas wish come true for Marquez – and all of our children at Mountain Shadows – Riverside. Because you took time out to do this, our children’s world is a little bit nicer.
Tom Holt, you are a very kindhearted person. And we will tell everyone that.
To help Mountain Shadows residents like Marquez continue
to live more fulfilling and active lives, please click here.