Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Good Evening Good News !!!! December 10, 2014

There comes a time in all lives that we will bring sadness to the ones who love us the very most.  We can only hope the joyful memories fill their hearts so full that there is little time for the sadness.  Walker loved everyone, and he asks that YOU wipe away your tears, and that YOU remember the joyful times with him.
Walker, a long time Rikki’s supporter and Alumni Spokesdog, went on to the Rainbow Bridge on 3 December 2014.  Walker, perhaps the calmest Treeing Walker Coonhound/English Pointer mix in the world, had a battle with lymphoma that he could not win.  He has left a legacy of courage and kindness to all who knew him.  For many years, Walker was a fixture at Rikki’s Refuge and could be found at Doggy Downs nearly every Saturday – to help with a tour, to cheer up the resident dogs, or just for a quick cuddlefest.
Walker didn’t always have a happy life. Apparently he was not very good at hunting, as any loud noise would startle the sweet boy.  He was left in the woods after the 2004 2005 hunting season, where he was shot in the back with a shotgun in an extra dose of cruelty.  Brought to the Shelter by his perpetrator, the wonderful folks at the Orange County Animal Shelter were able to save his life and patch him up. Once he was ready, Rikki’s Refuge took him in to give him save haven to heal his physical and mental wounds.  
In time, Walker was adopted by a Rikki’s volunteer, and the transformation from scared coonhound to polished Spokesdog was fast.  He began to attend many events in the central and northern Virginia area, and with his scarred back and sad eyes, he was able to charm many who stopped at the Rikki’s table. He served as a tangible example of animal cruelty and demonstrated how wonderful and forgiving companion animals are even after horrific treatment.  Many people have been moved by Walker’s story, and even years later remembered the sweet coonhound at events such as the Reston Pet Fiesta (picture below) and the Richmond Vegetarian Festival.  
Walker crossed the country several times with his adoptive Mom, but always remembered where he came from and visited the Refuge as often as he could. He battled cancer twice, with a bout of Mast Cell in 2012 and then Lymphoma in the fall of 2014.  Walker remained affectionate and loving through all of his trials and tribulations, and never turned down a pat on the head or a dog treat by one of his admirers. He was always the talk of the neighborhood when he hung out with his Reston dog buddies, the sweetest, kindest dog of the pack. He was strong and never showed his pain, even while losing his fight with cancer.  He protected his owner to the end – whether it was warning her of tornado sirens or of loose dogs in his Colorado neighborhood. Walker is a shining example of how animals positively influence and interact with humans, and was even featured in a story about how he helped a Veteran heal after his tour in Iraq. Walker’s star is shining brightly in the night sky now, especially over the Refuge he loved and cherished his whole life. 

Get a personalized letter for your child or any adult or child friend from Santa ~ a very special Rikki's Refuge Santa.  Choose from (4) special Santas!  For a $25 donation, you will be mailed (USPS First Class) a special letter addressed to your child/friend from Santa Opie (cat), Santa Kiki (dog), Santa Sir Chompsalot (pig), or Santa Emily (emu) with her elf, Mrs Peacock!

Once payment received, we will email you to get the personalized information from you so that we can prepare your child's letter!  HURRY and order your letter today so it will be there in plenty of time !!  use the Santa Letter drop down !!l

You can tell us to include any special message you’d like -- providing it won’t offend Opie’s ears - so let Santa Opie, Kiki, Sir Chompsalot or Emily send a special message to your special somebody !!

Will YOU be Santa’s Elf for the Animals ?
We need your volunteer help in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Falls Church !!
Pick your day, pick your shift !!!
Chose to wrap a gift
turn it into Fancy Feast real swift !!

Again this year Rikki’s Refuge volunteers will be gift wrapping at the Charlottesville, Frederickeburg and Falls Church Barnes & Noble to raise much needed donations for the animals at Rikki’s Refuge.

We have the following shifts in Charlottesville; please respond to Ron at if you can help in CHARLOTTESVILLE.
Friday December 12 from 4 pm till 9 pm
Wednesday December 17 from 4 pm till 8 pm
Thursday December 18 from 4 pm till 9 pm
Even if you can take a ONE HOUR shift your help will be appreciated and all the animals will thank you !!

contact Nora at to help out

contact Fred at

Just like Rikki’s, our Santa loves all species ....  If you can fit ‘em in the store ...  we’ll take their picture !!  Santa has already been visited by his favorite duck who comes every year !!   Opie and GGP and Timmy and Sylvestra went to see Santa on Sunday !!!  And they had a blast ....   photos coming soon ....   and YOU can even HEAR what GGP asked Santa for for Christmas !!!

Stop in the shop for fun and photos with Santa, to buy Gift Cards, and to find special treasures amongst all our new Christmas Items .... oh and don’t for get the Rikki’s Wear and the Rikki’s Magnets !!!  It’s all right there at Re-Tail !!!

Spend your Christmas with the Animals !!!   Visit everyone at Rikki’s, then hang out with the volunteers at the Life Center for a warm reception.  Tickets free to former Christmas Visitors and to Special Rikki’s Family Members !!!   RSVP your tickets here:

Well the Nature Hike party have finally been found.  After two weeks with no word from them, we just assumed they’d found Bigfoot’s nest .....  now they have reported back in and all are safe.  They tracked Bigfoot round and round in circles ...  luckily finding berries on the way ....  and they finally saw the civilization of Rikki’s and arrived safely home !!!

Come on New Years Day and try your luck ....  will you be the one to finally find Bigfoot’s Nest .... or will he elude you or will he lead you on a wild goose chase .....

Get your tickets here:

We’re reading Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss and will be discussing Chapter 2 of Part 1.  Join us for lively conversation, meditation and nums !!!    Opie, Timmy, Sylvestra, Riley and Yetti participate in the classes ........  so if youz got allergies to catz ....   I sorry but they are integral  members of classes at the Life Center !!

Are YOU ready ??

Start this music playing and start singing before you read any further ......

At Rikki’s, we are known for never doing anything in a small way.  And so for our 1297 critters of 22 species .....  12 Days of Christmas would never be enough .....  we present to you ....   the 28 Days of Christmas at Rikki’s ....  follow along daily ..... 

On the Fifth Day of Christmas  .....
Look What Came to Rikki’s,

Guinea Pigs a Gnawing,

Elderly Equines,

Burly Bossy Bovines,

Rabbits a Mating,

.....   a Chukar in a Cherry Tree!



Pick your species
make ‘em happy
click on any of the animals above to feed ‘em a meal

or click right here   F E E D   M E

At Rikki’s we don’t care who threw you out, who left you homeless, where you came from.  We only care about making your future bright and happy.  Will you drop a penny in our favorite cat’s hat this holiday season to make the days bright and happy for the 1297 animals YOU have saved !!!   Thank you !!

click on Vincent’s hat to make our dreams come true !!

today the cows, horses and guinea pigs fought over what to serve you
the cows won
hooves down

... with your support we’ve been able to save so many animals ... it’s only with your continued support that we can continue to care for them each and every day ....  Thank you for your kind and generous support for food, medicine, doctors, cleaning supplies ... and love !!

Without YOU

none of us would be here

thinking about what Santa might bring this year !!
THANK YOU !!!!!!
Your donations saved every one of us and will keep us all alive the rest of this year and into 2015 .... we pray.  Please HELP US as we stock our pantries for another winter at Rikki’s Refuge  !!!!   Take the Opie Pledge and promise to work each and every day to make the planet just a little bit better.  If the pictures of the animals you have saved in this issue have made you smile, please take a few moments to make a donation so we can keep them smiling!!! 


PS I want you to know something very important.  We always spend your funds very wisely and frugally.  We buy the basic necessities, we buy generic in bulk, volunteers drive many miles, donating the cost of gas, to get the best deals, we use day old produce, recently expired products, others left over construction materials and recycled products. 

We don’t need luxury, we don’t need the best ... we just want to save lives and create a world of happiness and contentedness.

When we can meet our basic needs, we are happy ... so very happy.

Thank YOU for making that happen.

Join us on
Rikki’s Web Site:
Help the Animals:
   our thrift store
   Location:  3503 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg VA 22408  
   Phone:     540-891-5300
   Hours:     10 am - 6 pm Monday - Saturday
              noon - 5 pm - Sunday