July 2002
Edited by: Jill Nuciolo



  Soon after moving into my house in 1993, I noticed this beautiful all gray
cat in the neighborhood. A very friendly cat, I would once in a while find him in my garage and assumed that he "belonged" to someone. It was not until the following summer that a neighbor told me this cat was a stray and that neighbors were feeding him but none were taking him in - not even during the winter. As fall approached I started keeping my garage window open and he would often come in. Well, I soon named him Humphrey and that was it. The vet told me he was 5 or 6 years old, has asthma and had been neutered.
Humphrey has the sweetest disposition, I will always wonder how he became a
stray. Although he now has a number of health problems, he still enjoys
going out into the back yard (he can't jump over the fense), lying in the
sun and watching the birds.


      My name is Chewy -- short for Chewbacca - maybe you can see the resemblance. I turned 11 years old last month and I live in West Irondequoit with my "parents", Bob & Lynn. I have numerous nicknames, such as "fluffernutter-head", "flooper-do" "fluffy-face", "fuzz-ball" and "flea-bag" (that last one comes from my daddy, Bob!). They call me pretty much whatever name comes to mind at that moment, and, being a Chow-Chow (after all, we are known for our independence), I don't answer to any of them.
I spend my days surveying the backyard for signs of wildlife. The squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and this time of year, baby woodchucks, entertain me throughout the day. The mommy woodchuck recently had 3 babies. They are so tiny, I don't usually even see them until they stand up on their hind legs so that they are taller than the height of the grass. We have a neighbor two houses down who has an enormous vegetable garden in the backyard. The garden is fenced off, but that doesn't keep the woodchucks from burrowing under the fence and stealing some veggies. My mommy also brings extra veggies out to the woodchuck babies for them to feast on, in the hopes that this will keep them out of the neighbor's vegetable garden.
When I'm not watching the woodchucks, the squirrels provide hours of entertainment. They chase each other around the bases of our trees, and often leap from one tree to another in mid-air. My mommy and daddy are amused by the sight of me sitting in the backyard under the tree, with my neck craned straight up, mesmerized by the squirrel circus going on overhead. Sometimes I think one might actually lose its grip and come tumbling down to my feet. If that did happen, I'd probably bolt away in the other direction, being so surprised by my good fortune to come face to face with one of these little daredevils.
The major source of entertainment aside from all these critters is the deer. They frolic and play in groups of 2 - 7 in the backyard and tease me to come join them. I would, but mommy and daddy keep me on a lengthy run to prevent any potentially dangerous run-ins with these guys. I think if I weren't on the run, I might just join one of their clans, and become the Ugly Duckling of the deer family. Of course, then mommy and daddy would miss me terribly and I couldn't do that to them!
So, that's just a quick glimpse into my life. I hope you've enjoyed it, and that you get to enjoy the wildlife you see in your own backyard.



Happy July 4th
to all!

      Its that time of year again when most of my fluffy buddies are not to thrilled about. I know the fireworks & firecrackers are noisy & scary but thankfully it only happens for a short while & then its over for another year. Just be careful that I don't hear about any accidents because kittys or doggys got in the way of the human fun! I won't have much time to see any of the festivities because I got loads of calls to come & visit many of you over the holiday! I' so excited-I can't wait!
     We have lots of new buddies to welcome this month. I met a really nice dog-Shaq & his Mom Penny. Actually I have talked to Shaq & waved often at him as he lives across the street from Diamond & Chewy. Shaq is a Newfoundland & weighs about160 lbs !! He is sooo huge but just as big of a sweetie as he is in size. Penny was telling me all about how Shaq is a certified therapy dog & goes into nursing homes & hospitals to visit with lots of people. Poor Shaq tho with all that hair does not much like the summer. I will also start visiting soon with Jack, Jill (hehe), Ted, Sundance, Harvey, Cleo, Lili & Fluffy (another hehe) !! They are all cats who are happy in the home with Karen & her family! I can't wait to see how long it takes me to remember who is who in that house ! I visited with a very nice kitty who's name is Kitty while Kathy took a nice vacation & Kitty & I had a lot of fun! SinJin & I spent some time together this past weekend getting ready for when Karen & Ted take their longer vacation soon! I had lots of fun with SinJin even tho he did yank me down the street during our walk! And finally last night I met Gudjy & Beau, 2 very beautiful cats that I am really looking foward to spending time with when Susan & her hubby leave town! Beau's favorite toy is a robot kitty! I think he believes that it is a real kitty!!
     Sadly we must say goodbye to Minnie this month. After 16 years Carolyn & Ken were very sad when Minnie went to Rainbow Bridge but we know she will be there waiting & has lots of friends to keep her company.
     Now that summer is here besides the dangers of the fireworks we all must be careful not to allow our pets to become over heated either. I know I travel in all kinds of weather with Max in the back seat but I always take lots of precautions to keep him safe. They only take a few seconds of time & sure are worth the little effort when I know he is safe. I make sure I carry plenty of cold water for us both, I always try to park in the shade, & when it's really hot I leave the air conditioner blasting while we are traveling between houses so the truck gets very cold & then leave all the windows open while I am out. If I stop at the store where I can't leave the windows open too far for the safety of other shoppers then I leave the truck running & the windows closed. Of course that's easy for me to do since I don't think anyone would want to get in the truck with Max! but you could do it also & simply lock the car making sure you have a spare set of keys with you! For dogs who are staying outside please be sure they have lots of water in a no-spill container and an ample shady area where the dog can be out of the sun. It doesn't take long for the sun to heat up a place to a dangerously high temperature causing heat stroke or death in our pets so please take the few minutes to check that your pets are safe.
     Wow- I just read a great email from Deb who is camping with Scott on the Apalachian Trail ! I've been having my own fun with Binx while they are gone but it sure sounds like they are having a fantastic time! Here's part of what she wrote:

   "We already saw a deer by our tent site and she wasn't even scared of us! We set up our tent and she just kept grazing. So we figured, what the heck, got our
camera's and approached her (I don't like tampering
with wildlife). She didn't mind at all and we got
real good close-up shots of her. Then we went hiking
and just after getting back in the car and driving
away from the trail we saw a bear and her cubs! Seems they are most prevalent here!!!
   Last night we stayed in the cheesy capital of America
...Natural Bridge. There's this natural rock
structure that is used and shaped like a bridge and this
entire town is centered around that one natural
wonder. "

     Doesn't it sound heavenly?? They have been sleeping in a tent! On the ground!! hehehe No way I would do that unless I was guaranteed my hot shower at some point! When I went to Africa of course we didn't have any hotels but I did stay in a tent! OK-so it was permanately attached to a concete slab! I also did have my hot shower-as long as you took it before or after dinner since the fires used for cooking also heated the water lines! Thanks Deb & I hope you don't mind that I shared part of your story with all our other buddies.! I was a little stuck on what else to write about & then here comes your email & I was so entranced by your wildlife sightings !
     Until next month I hope all my buddies stay safe & happy! It won't be long until I see many of you! I'm very excited & hope you are too !!!


JILL & the Fluffy Gang

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