Local notes on quilts, dogs, pears and more

Mooreen Morris of Soroptimist International of Hood River writes:

“The lucky winner of the 2013 Harvest Quilt was Jean Hoodman of Forest Grove.

“I want to thank everyone for their help and support in promoting the 2013 Harvest Quilt. The businesses involved: Waucoma Bookstore, Curves and Hood River Sew & Vac. You can’t have a piece of art like a handmade quilt without the talent of the quilters — so a big thank you to everyone involved in making the quilt and, of course, the Columbia River Gorge Quilters Guild and E.T.C. (Every Thread Counts) in Hood River.

“A big thank-you to the staff at the Chamber for all of their assistance; for understanding what the tradition of the Harvest Quilt is in the valley and also for allowing us to be part of the Harvest Fest. I really don’t know how they pulled off such great weather for the Harvest Fest, but I know that it made the entire weekend a huge success.

“Soroptimist Int’l of Hood River had the privilege of escorting the quilt around the Gorge in the past months. We were fortunate enough to make over $2,500 to help further the education of women and girls in the area.

“The 2014 Harvest Quilt is in its beginning stages so if you are interested in participating stop by E.T.C. for all the information.”

Jennifer Clark and Jim Patterson, of Hood River, write:

“This letter is about a dog named Fuji.

“He was rescued after years of appalling abuse and neglect. (If you Google “Fuji Hood River dog” you will find his picture and story.)

Our family adopted him a little over a year ago after reading about him in the paper. He was old, had some health problems and had been available for adoption for many months. We thought of it as a kind of service project; something we could do for an unfortunate being that had nothing to give in return.

We were so wrong.

It took several months, but somewhere along the way, he shed his past.

He learned to trust us. His chronic health issues resolved. He learned to play and to rest with ease. He found his voice (after months of unnatural silence, ingrained in him by the abuse that he endured).

He wasn’t perfect. He couldn’t see very well; he couldn’t hear; he was terrified of lightning and the flash of a camera. He had a loud, irritating bark. He was always underfoot; he harassed our cat; he grabbed treats with such gusto that we had to use a spoon lest we lose a few fingers.

Yet he was the most endearing, lovely, sweet, tolerant and patient dog we have ever known.

Whether you are looking for a pet or already have a few, consider adopting a homeless animal. It’s a bit of a gamble. You might get one that has annoying qualities or behaviors. But you are also likely to get an animal that will blossom once they have the security of a home where they are taken care of.

You might get lucky and have your life changed by an animal like Fuji, whose resilience amazed us every day.

He was open to the possibility of good things, despite his wretched past. It was such a pleasure to watch him enjoy his life.

Fuji died earlier this month. He gave us much more than we gave him.

We want to say thank you to all the people who helped him along the way: the folks who rescued him from his terrible life, animal control and law enforcement, Hood River Adopt A Dog, his foster parents, many veterinary professionals, and interested community members.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Laura Makepeace. Her skill, creativity and enduring compassion make this world a better place.

The Gorge Windbags Toastmasters Club received this update from South Africa from club member Doug Newcomb:

“Fellow ‘bags, Greetings from South Africa, where I just delivered the keynote for the Car Conference 2013 at the Johannesburg Auto Show. The 45-minute presentation — which some of you witnessed a rough version of earlier this year (and which I recycled and retooled for this event) — was VERY well received.

“Great experience, beautiful country and I can say I went the distance to deliver a speech.

“Hope to see you soon.”

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