While I was preoccupied with learning more about
Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, and the ancient Roman festival of Lupernalia,
I overlooked a contemporary observance
for the week of February 11th through 17th:
"Random Acts of Kindness Week."
photo courtesy of morguefile.com
According to the Foundation's web site,
this week is the time to increase one's acts of kindness and civility.
Their suggestions range from something as simple as giving a larger tip to a waiter
to volunteering somewhere or donating food to a local animal shelter.
Acts of kindness are a great idea any time of year.
Nothing says more about a culture than how it treats
the most vulnerable among its members, including the animals
who live under its stewardship.
As I write, I am surrounded by five very small pekingese,
each sleeping peacefully in the sun,
content after a full meal and some crisp fresh air and exercise.
But each did not start out that way.
I thought I would share two of their stories here
in hopes that readers will include Potomac Valley Pekingese Club
or their own local animal rescue groups and shelters
in acts of kindnesses for this week and the rest of the year.
Wylie Po Zhong Qi September 2009
Wylie Po Zhong Qi was near death when he was turned into a local shelter.
He was malnourished with sores all over his body.
He had not one hair on the top of his hindquarters.
His tail was sparse, his eyes dull.
He didn't have the energy to walk down to the end of the driveway.
I had never seen such a thin dog.
Wylie was one of the many pekes rescued by
the Potomac Valley Pekingese Club rescue group,
a 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization
dedicated to the rescue of abused, abandoned, and neglected pekingese.
Over the years, they have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of pekingese.
Their volunteer board and rescue directors, and the compassionate veterinarians
who give their time and expertise,
all work tirelessly to save these small dogs
who want only to curl up next to a human who loves them.
The stories of how these small dogs end up needing rescue are often horrific.
The violations of their spirits and physical health are often unbelievable.
But these little dogs are resilient and with help they achieve their birthright:
to be the most faithful, loving, and loyal companions,
devoted to the safety and protection of their owners.
This is how Wylie came to live with us.
The moment he crossed the threshold, Wylie behaved as if he had come home.
Sometimes a dog just knows.
This is Wylie today with his sister Liliang Xin:
Liliang Xin and Wylie Po Zhong Qi 2012
Liliang was a backyard breeder dog for the first 3 years of her life.
That means she was kept outdoors in a small cage
with no protection from the elements.
If it rained, she got wet. If it snowed, she got ice stuck to her paws.
If it was hot, she sweltered without even enough clean water to quench her thirst.
She was heartworm positive, caked in her own feces,
terrified of every sound, every person, every thunderstorm.
Like many pekes, she had eye problems and had to have one removed
because it had been damaged so severely it began to atrophy.
After Lily's rescue, she lived with her beautiful foster mom Shanyn,
who took great care of her until the day we adopted her.
After three years with us, Lily has blossomed.
Her fears and anxieties lessen all the time.
She loves to play with a stuffed chipmunk, and loves her food.
No longer a prisoner, she is a princess:
Liliang Xin 2011
Today, Lily will even voluntarily roll over 90% of the way on her back to get a tummy rub.
Healing takes time, so we know she'll relax the other 10% of the way eventually.
She no longer cowers when people approach,
no longer runs to hide at every new sound.
You, too, can help a loving animal
that has been broken and battered and help it heal again.
The Potomac Valley Pekingese Club needs good foster homes for the pekes they rescue.
They need adoptive families.
They need financial contributions to help pay for veterinary care.
Although there are many random acts of kindness one can choose,
why not help turn this:
Ju Li 2010
Ju Li 2011
Margaret Mead once said:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Go to www.potomacpekes.org to see how to help.
And for daily updates on the work of Potomac Valley Pekingese Rescue,
and also send a friend request on Facebook to
Potomac Valley Pekingese Rescue at
Please share today's Still Waters blog
on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GooglePlus, or StumbleUpon, etc.
It's one small random act of kindness accomplished with just a quick click.