Note From the Founder — December 2013/January 2014

jb tula 3At some point in our lives, we bought into the theory that we need “stuff” to make us happy. Surrounded by commercials, deals of the day, and celebrities telling us about the must-have products, we are made to feel less than if we are without. I admit, I do love to shop for nice things. But I currently subscribe to the philosophy that less is more.

Over the past year, I have been making a conscious effort to get more “stuff” out of my house. With a house full of kids, pets, and an office, there are piles everywhere. Stuff to be returned, stuff to be sewn, stuff to be donated, stuff to sign, stuff to mail, stuff to put away, stuff to clean, stuff to read…. Some days it feels like I may never catch up.

The interesting part is that what started out as a desire to clean my physical space slowly oozed into other areas of my life like lava. I began to realize how complicated I make things that don’t have to be.

My dog Tula seems to have known this forever. While we have not discussed it, I am pretty sure I know what’s on her holiday wish list this year: love, love, and love. That is all she needs. With love, she keeps her body healthy. With love, she plays and frolics in the yard with the leaves and snow. With love, she sleeps more peacefully than she ever imagined when she lived on the streets. With love, she has everything she needs. And with love, she gets love.

That is something animal advocate and media personality Beth Stern understands perfectly. Despite the fact that one day she must say goodbye to her foster kittens, she knows that they will grow up and be wonderful pets for other families because of all the love she invests in them—she is literally saving their lives.

If you can’t open your home to fostering, our editor, Laura Drucker shares her list for ways to give back to the animals this season. There is something to fit every budget.

It’s important to give back to the community and think of others during this time, but we also know it’s OK to have some fun, and gifts are a wonderful thing! This year our 14th annual Holiday Gift Guide is filled with items we find both beautiful and practical. These unique finds are sure to make both you and your pet smile.

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s really all about. Spending time with those you love, having some laughs, eating some yummy food, and falling asleep with a smile on your face. And one thing I know for sure: no one is happier each night than me and my giant, warm, goofy dog who loves to spoon!

May this season be filled with peace, love, and joy for you and those you love. Wishing you all good things for a happy and healthy new year ahead—JB



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