Thursday, September 03, 2015

Good Morning Good News !!!! Welcome to September, 2015

It’s back to school time !!

Me and Timmy, we turn-ed BIG FOUR this Summer !!!

Sylvestra didn’t come with no birf certificate, but she’s bout as smart and me and Timmy, well not quite, she’s a girl ya know ... heee hee hee ....  but mom said she’s gonna be BIG FOUR too and so wez all go to skoolz together.

Wez get to go to Head Start now ... so mom, she said we could take the summer off ... no readin and no writin all summer ...  we could just work on the farm here ....  but ya know what?  Workin on dis here farm is REALLY workin !!  It be real hard.  Yes it is !!  So wez tired and ready to go to skoolz !!    Well most of us !!

Iz No Wanna Go Skoolz !!!!

Duke had a birfday too and he turnn-ed NINE !!

He’s a really big guy now.  He’s still gettin lost walkin down the big long driveway to the skoolz bus ... but now me and Timmy and Sylvestra can help him. 

I hopez your summer was as citing as ours !!  

There’s so much to do at Rikki’s !!! 
We never get bored !!! 

Oh, that’s Grace Kelly.  She had to go to the doctor.  She broke her leg.  It’s a really bad break.  And she’s not a young lady.  The docs have been very worried it wouldn’t heal. 

But after six weeks in the cast just a little bit of bone growth was starting to show in the x-rays. 

I had to drive her over the river and thru the woods and cross the mountains lots of times to get more x-rays, and get the cast changed.  She hasn’t liked all of this.  And she’s had to live inside the barn all summer so she doesn’t run and doesn’t get the cast wet or real dirty ....  and she hasn’t liked that.

She wanted to roam with everyone and eat fresh grass .... sometimes she gets grass clippings when da hoomans are mowing ...  but mostly she gets hay in the barn. 

She’s had a friend in the barn with her all the time, cuz she was scared to be alone.  So a different friend would come in and stay for a while.

Did you know that it’s just cuz of YOU that ladies like Grace Kelly get to stay alive?  It’s been really expensive taking care of her.  And YOU have been the one there to help her, and all the rest of us too.

Grace Kelly needs to see the doc a lot, and she needs a new cast every month and special nums to help the bone grow.  If Grace Kelly wasn’t here and if YOU didn’t care and love her just like we do ....  I think she might not have had this chance to get well.   Thank you ....    If you want to help her out .... you can click on her picture and give her nums or help her pay her doctor bills.  We go back for another cast change next week.

I gotz to admit ...  National Donut Day just might a been my favorite day all summer long !!!!!

Of course the peacocks were in full bloom and strutted around letting everyone know how beautiful they are.

And the pigs wallowed !!! 

Wilbur says there’s no place like a muddy place !!!

Petunia always gets the biggest mud hole

Louise wallows in bliss

All these pigs, and more, have had a second chance all cuz of YOU !!!!   
Just click a pic to help them out !

And of course there are chores that have to be done every summer ....

Like shearing sheep

Who’s Next? 

Don’t make fun of my new woolcut -- you’re gettin one too !

Is that my FRIEND in there?

In Summer, shade coverings go up everywhere .....

Oh you give me trampoline to play on !!   A nice sun deck to snooze on !! Thank you, hooman !!

Lots more bath time and grooming ....

And lots of hooman work time.
There’s always lots of projects going on.

Remember the Office Trailers we’ve bee talking about for ages and ages ???  Well guess what ....   thanks to a few very very hard working hoomans .. they’re all DONE !!!  

Electricity hooked up, hvac working, skirting up .......    Yahoooo   All legal and ready to use !!!
And there’s a work party scheduled in September to come out and tear up carpet and put down vinyl, and to paint and caulk windows and put on a roof coat ....

Another volunteer built a bench overlooking Rainbow Bridge complete with lovely wind chimes .....   and a great place to sit and remember friends who’ve moved on to the next plane.

Would YOU like to do projects at Rikki’s? 
They can be big or small ....  washing dishes ....  or roofing .... and everything in between.  Let us know if you’d like to help out ....

Summer is just a good time to hang out with friends.

The Vincent D. Memorial Life Center is our Educational Facility. 
Our volunteers are thinking up more and more wonderful ideas for this space.  Education is really important.  We like to offer programs for kids, for adults, for everyone.  Humane education, basic first aid for your pets, managing your animals in an emergency, Kitty Litterature to teach kids the love of reading, animal friendly cooking classes, self improvement and so much more ....

Is there something you’d like to teach or share to help make the world a better place? 
Let me know we still have lots of time slots open for you to share your talent. 

We also travel to camps, scout groups and bible classes
in the summer so us spokes animals can teach kids about kindness and compassion for everyone .... no matter how many legs they have or how long their ears are.

And we travel all over to events and festivals
to meet and greet and hopefully spread the word about kindness.

It takes lots of hooman volunteers to help us aminals get to events ....
and there’s before the show prep work to do, travel, setting up, manning booths, talking to the public, caring for the animals at events, and getting us home.  If you’d like to help us ... just ask !!!   We NEED you !!!

It’s so much fun !!!!   Come to events and sing along with ME !!!

Have YOU taken MY pledge?

Sylvestra did .... and now she’s an official Spokes Kitty too and gets to travel to events.

And summer time is lots of hard work

Supervising hoomans to spread grave and make the driveway nice after the winter weather

Doing lots of mowing ....  

Unloading trucks full of nums !!!!   Yippie !!!!   
You can help and make sure there are always enough trucks of nums to feed us all by clicking

Washing dishes ....

And somebody is always slackin and just hanging around ....

Peek a boo .....    you not gonna get me out there washin dishes with them dawggies ....

Ash arrived this summer.  He tested positive for feline leukemia.  He’s real healthy and we hope he stays that way for a very long time.  We have special houses for the kitties with leukemia.  They can run and play and have friends and fun ....   Sometimes they don’t have a long lives as kitties without leukemia ... but even if they don’t ... it makes us really happy to know that everyday God gave them to be on this earth is fun in the sun and they weren’t just killed in a shelter who could not adopt them out.  

If YOU agree with us and would like to help them .... 
just click on Ash and you’ll see how !!!!

Mom and me gotted in the paper !!!!

Don’t you think she looks like she gotz a fat butt in this picture ??  I think she need diet too .... 
I gotz a good summer shape .... and it’s called ROUND ....  so there !!!
Iz just more of me to love !!!!

We like summer time cus it’s Jungle Time !!!

Gee why do we have so many black cats? 
To save their lives !!  Did you know that many shelters don’t even try to adopt black cats out?  So much superstition about them still abounds.  It’s really silly.  Black cats are just like the rest of us.  But the little black kitten in a litter will often never get chosen.  We think it’s really important to spread the good word about black cats !!

Wait a minute ....   how’d YOU get in here in OUR jungle ?

Test driving Uncle Paul’s new tractor !!!!    He moved from the city to live near Rikki’s last year and he’s learning the ropes of being an Orangite !!!  See his nice new tractor?  He brings it over to Rikki’s to help out with chores!!!

Boomer looks out wistfully wanting to roam the woods  .....  he and Jack earned running rights ....  but then blew their curfew ....  they ran off to visit neighbors on the next street over ... and that’s just not safe ... so no more running rights for you ...  sorry Boomer. 

Duke, with the help of his friends Dennis and Crystal,
have been running a booth at the Minute Man MiniMall for years.  Well guess what?  Duke got a new and improved bigger and better booth !!!  So he’s expanded The Duke Thomas Peabody Shoppe.

It’s located in the Culpeper Minute Man MiniMall, at 746 Germanna Hwy, Culpeper, VA 22701, That’s right at 29 & 15 & 522 & 3 ... the big interchange as you’re coming into Culpeper. 

Stop in and you'll find all kinds of goodies selected JUST FOR YOU and just for this shoppe .... antiques, cool animal things, and special Rikki's things !!! Hope to see you soon, Duke

We stock outstanding items!  
And YOU can visit Monday thru Saturday 9 am - 6 pm and on Sunday noon - 5 pm.   We appreciate donations too !!!!!   But cuz of the set up there, you can’t just leave donations at the shop.  Contact us at to arrange drop off or pick up, or bring to Rikki’s Life Center, 21410 Constitution Hwy (rt 20), Rapidan VA 22733 between noon and 2 pm on Saturdays during Donation Drop off, or leave at our Fredericksburg store Re-Tail, 3503 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, 22408.

We love to hear about Rikki’s alumni

Here’s Calvin and Rose who now live in Pennsylvania.  Did you know we have an adoption room at Re-Tail in Fredericksburg?  And you can meet other adoptable animals at Rikki’s Life Center.

Summer time is for Visitors .... 
           and we love visitors ...

Riley looks out a window of a bed room at the Life Center waiting for this weekend’s visitor !!  Rooms are available for out of town guests and volunteers who are visiting.  The entire facility can be rented for weddings, family get togethers and more !!!  

We LOVE our summer time Slumber Parties !!!

And I’ve been busy too !!!

I’m working on teaching hoomans how to eat Animal Friendly !!!

Can you believe Rikki’s Refuge has been here
                SEVENTEEN YEARS !!!!!

WOW all the lives you’ve made it possible to save .... 
       all the animals that have called Rikki’s Refuge home. 

And to think, almost every one of them would have been killed if YOU hadn’t made it possible for them to have a place called HOME ....   called Rikki’s Refuge !!!

Thank YOU !!!!

Looked who joined us this summer ...

Milo joined us after someone rescued him from a pet a zoo as a sick and injured baby.  Soon they realized it wasn’t much of a life for him to live all alone in a small fenced area.  So he come to Rikki’s Refuge where he gets to eat leaves and have other goat friends.  At Rikki’s Refuge we believe nobody should have to live alone as one of a kind. 

This is our sweet, tri-pawed boy, John Kitty. If you remember, he came to live at Rikki's Refuge early this year after being hit by a car and living in pain for some time. Once with us, his leg had to be amputated and the real recovery began. We are happy to report that John Kitty is THRIVING! He is sweet, stubborn and definitely has a mind of his own and we wouldn't have it any other way!

We were there for John Kitty because you were there for us,
won’t you help us save more animals in need,

To read John Kitty's early store with Rikki's, read this blog posting:

Taco is old, and as happens to so many old dawggies .... his owners didn’t want him anymore.  Somehow that almost seems the worst crime of all, doesn’t it?  They love you and take care of you and think you’re cool.  And then when you get old and slow down and need more medical care .... they just get rid of you.  I wonder if any of those people ever stop to wonder, as they leave the pound after dumping the old animal, what the lesson is that they are teaching their kids, or grand kids, or the younger generation.  Getting older is a part of life.  Shouldn’t we all be allowed to celebrate it with our family and loved ones?

Taco is learning to love again. 
Meeting new dawggie friends and hooman friends.  Some learn quick.  For other it’s a long hard road, learning to love again when you’ve been dumped.  YOU make it possible for Taco and others like him to have a safe, loving environment to learn to love again!

There’s always SOMEBODY new showing up around here .....

But what IS the world coming to ?

Pete was found as a stray wondering the country lanes.  His hooves had not had attention for ages, they had grown up and all around his feet.  He was flea and tick infested.  After pulling over 100 ticks off, we gave up and had to use chemicals.  Didn’t want to cuz he was so anemic and so weak and passing several kinds off worms too.  He was the skinniest goat I’ve ever seen. 

It took over two months to build his strength up and put some weight on him so he could get neutered.  And until he was neutered he had to stay in isolation.  He might have been too weak to do much ... but we feared what he might do if allowed to be with the goat herd !!!!

Thanks to YOU and your support,
Pete now has goat friends and learning to trust hoomans again.  Thank you so much for saving poor homeless critters like Pete .....   ....  every penny is one step in the right direction on the path of saving lives. 

Dillion had little hope of making it out the shelter alive.  Testing positive for both leukemia and fiv his chances of being adopted are just about nil.  And very few no-kills will take kitties with leukemia.  He’s still in his quarantine period here at Rikki’s where he’s getting treated for worms.  But he’s looking healthy.  We pray he has many happy years in a special cat house here where he’ll have lots of friends.

When you provide for ever after life care
to animals no one else wants .....  you know their lives here on planet earth will some day come to an end.  It’s always a very sad time for all of here at Rikki’s Refuge.  It can be hard to stop and remember that we gave them years of happiness, we did everything that could be done for them, and that ultimately we all must leave the planet, and that there’s only one way off. 

BeeBee and her husband Bub came a few years ago when their owner died leaving behind her two ancient and beloved donkeys.  BeeBee had a number of health issues that she’d had for years.  Every doc and farrier who looked at her said .... seriously?  You want to put money into this donkey?  Well, YES, we did .... as long as she could live a happy life, you bet we do.  Her hooves needed maintenance every couple weeks.  They required a special trim to make it comfortable to walk.  The docs managed her condition with frequent x-rays and a variety of expensive medications and supplements.  She even needed special boots with extra padding on the soles that cost over a hundred bucks. 

BeeBee and Bub were inseparable.  He’d try to protect her when he didn’t trust what a doc was doing.  Like when she had to awkwardly stand on three feet while one was being worked on.  He’d try to get between her and the x-ray machine.  He loved her so much.

We worried so that when she passed, what would become of him?  Would he die of a broken heart?  Thankfully he did not.  He said good-bye, and very quickly chose a goose as a best friend.  Now they roam everywhere together.

Bless you BeeBee, we’ll never forget you and we thank you for spending your final years with us here at Rikki’s Refuge.  You’ll always be a part of the soul of the refuge. 

Our Baby Elliot has gone to the Rainbow Bridge .... he was certainly showing some age .... but seemed to be going strong .... he didn't come for breakfast the other day .... he was in his favorite summer sleeping spot still looking sound asleep .... he's now running with Vincent at the bridge ....

Baby Elliot was an icon at Rikki's .... he spent many many years loving to roam the refuge by day .... spending summer nights out .... he didn't mind the rain .... but when the weather got chilly he headed for the 9th Life Center and stayed inside ... even though he grew a spectacular winter coat .... he always hated cold weather and stayed in all winter long ....

He was well into his upper teens ... ha came to Rikki's Refuge because he tested positive for FIV .... so much mythology about that .... but it means most who test positive die in shelters instead of living a full life like Baby Elliot did ....

We miss you Baby Elliot ....

Mr. Mister is missing his best friend, Baby Elliot, too.  Mr. Mister is a few years older than Baby Elliot.  We know Mr. Mister is at least 21 years old.  He’s been struggling with a number of health issues the last few years.  About this time last year we didn’t think he’d be with us much longer.  He’d gotten so terribly skinny. 

As winter came, Mr. Mister’s favorite season, we couldn’t let him stay outside.  He’s always loved the outdoors and having free range of the Refuge.  Like Baby Elliot, Mr. Mister tests positive for FIV.  In all the years that he’s been with, a few more than Baby Elliot was, he was never sick, until he developed age related issues in recent years. 

No matter how cold or how much snow is on the ground, Mr. Mister wants to be out in it.  He loves to romp and play with the Kiki and Beauty, the big white snow dogs, on the worst of blizzard days.  He hates to be confined indoors and screams and claws at the door.

Yet last winter he was so skinny and his fur had gotten so thin, we just couldn’t honor his wishes and let him be out much.  And gosh was he mad all winter long.  Trying to escape every chance he got. 

By spring of this year he was looking pretty good.  His meds had been adjusted and  he’d gained weight and his fur had grown nice and thick.  He got to come back out around summer time!!!  And he’s been so happy.  He and Baby Elliot would often be seen strolling or sleeping together. 

One thing you learn real quick at Rikki’s Refuge is that the animals have the same feelings we do.  They love, they make best friends, and they grieve when their friends leave us.

YOUR support is the only reason we can give kitties with FIV,
and elderly dogs and cats and donkeys the chance to live out their natural lives in peace and happiness.  Thank you for helping us help them

Summer time is for just hanging out .....

August 17th is a date we look forward to all year round. 

It’s Black Cat Appreciation Day !!!  A special global event started by Rikki’s and our wonderful volunteers five years ago to bring the plight of Black Cats out in the open. 

I did not know how bad it was out there for black and mostly black cats until a rural shelter had asked Rikki’s Refuge to take one cat and one dog to save it’s life.  I drove over the river and across the mountains to pick them up.  When I got there, they were crazy busy and said, oh they’re in the euthanasia room, just go in and get them.  It’s the long haired dog and the pregnant calico. 

But when I went in, there were 12 other cats hollering in their cages and reaching out to me, as well as two other dogs.  All the other cats were black, or black with an almost unmentionable bit of white, or black torties.  One of the other dogs was black and the other mostly black.  They all looked healthy and friendly and SCARED.  Why were they waiting here to die?

When I asked, I was told it was their color.  That’s when I learned that many shelters don’t even put black cats and dogs out on the adoption floor.  Not even giving them the chance of adoption.  I was told people just don’t adopt them, they’re scared of them, you know ... the bad luck if it crosses your path and all that. 

I stood there in stunned silence ... could I look into all these eyes .... and walk out with two animals who’s life I would save ....   leaving behind fourteen to die ?   No way ... but did I really have room ... or the resources for 14 more than planned .... no way ....  but did I know I could count on YOU my wonderful sponsors to make it possible?  YES I DID.

I asked if I could take all the animals from the euthanasia room that day.  The manager burst into tears and started hugging me, saying how it broke her heart to see so many die ....  but they just couldn’t find homes for them all .... and people came to dump more every day .... what were they to do.   When she told the rest of the staff, they all came to hug me and were so happy.

I’d only brought a carrier for the cat and one for the dog, I’d been told about.  I asked if they had extra ones I could use.  No, they had nothing, they were very poor.  We put down blankets in Rikki’s van and hoped the dogs would behave for the ride home.  We found boxes we could turn into makeshift carriers for the cats. 

When I left that parking lot I just prayed we’d all have a smooth ride home.  And we did.  Most of the animals were adopted out, a few stayed on with us.  All were nice, wonderful, deserving animals. 

Through efforts of volunteers, costing Rikki’s nothing, the event is blasted on social media and has attracted attention all over the world.  Countless shelters have special black cat days now ....  countless black cats are saved !!!!

It’s amazing what we can accomplish with wonderful caring volunteers. 
Would YOU like to be one?  Just tell us

Have you visited Re-Tail? 
It’s a fabulous store .... and that’s all cus YOU donate such wonderful items !!!!   Thank you for allowing us to turn your gently used items into cash to buy food, medical supplies and all the necessities for the animals of Rikki’s Refuge. 

If you haven’t visited .... don’t delay .... we’ve got so much fabulous stuff ....  our inventory keeps up with the seasons .....  Christmas is coming .....   come and check it out !!!!!

And please, DONATE your gently used household items,
kitchen things, furniture, clothing ....   contact -Tail at and keep up with items and specials at  We have frequent sales, Daily Specials and even a FREE BIN ....   so check it out now !!!

And we love sharing our Summer with our Hooman Friends  !!!

NO Hooman .... NO .... you can’t leave me ......

And of course ..... 
      Summer brings wonderful fresh fruits and veggies ....

.... and ...... bread?

And MY GOODNESS ....  HOW did it happen so quick?

It’s time to invite you to come for our Labor Day Fun ..... 
                   RSVP at

Come on out and see how much fun visiting the animals can be !!!

I bet you know Monday is Labor Day, don't you? 
And I bet you have plans.  And I bet those plans include a pic-a-nic, don't they?   The hoomans are having one, and you're invited.  But they forgot to get enough nums to go round for us animals.  What?  You think we don't want to pic-a-nic too?  I'm trying to collect enough money to get a pic-a-nic basket for every animal here ....  that's a LOT of pic-a-nic baskets ....  Would you give me $5 for a basket for one of us?  I'd be so happy if everyone got a pic-a-nic basket for Labor Day.  Thank you, Opie 

or directly to our Paypal at:
To give by mail (check or money order):
Rikki's Refuge, P.O. Box 1357, Orange, VA. 22960

You know what comes next month ?

It’s Pumpkin Patch Time ..... 
and we’ll be counting on YOU to help us haul in the pumpkins.


WHY?  It’s great nutritious, yummy food and everybody ... except the cats and dogs ... LOVE pumpkin.  Every free pumpkin we haul in saves $s on the feed bill. 

What a great way to volunteer a little time and help feed the critters for FREE !!!!!

Churches and pumpkin patches everywhere GIVE us their pumpkins after Halloween !!!  That’s right .... the catch is we have to pick them up and get the to Rikki’s.   This takes place ALL OVER, around Rikki’s in Orange, Louisa, Culpeper, Spotcylvania.  In Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Prince William and Fairfax.  

Can we count on YOU to help?  You can load pumpkins at the source.  You can drive pumpkins to Rikki’s.  Or you can be a real hero and do BOTH !!!!!    Some of our really wonderful volunteers who don’t have a truck of their own even rent one for a day or two!!!!  

Please let us know if we can count on you the help haul in the pumpkins this year ...

Will YOU be joining us for our 5K Run / Walk / Bring Your Dog Event ?

WHERE: Lake Anna State Park,
    6800 Lawyers Rd, Spotsylvania, VA 22551
WHEN: Saturday, November 7, 2015
TIME: Registration 7:00 am to 8:30 am
           Race time 9:00 am
FEE: $25.00 ($30.00 on Race Day)
FREE: T-shirt for those who sign up in advance .... while supplies last

Bring Donations of Pet Food and supplies !

ENTRY FORMS: can be picked up at:        VA Runner, Ed’s Awards and Engraving,    Giant on 208 or at Harrison’s Crossing

ENTER ON LINE: at (click on the UPCOMING EVENTS tab, then 5K Walk/Run in the drop down) 


AWARDS: Top male and female finishers and top 3 in each age group (19-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and up).

TEAM AWARD: for the team with the most   runners and/or walkers.

Award Ceremony after the Race

Dogs and Spectators Welcome 

Come join us on this all new course with 2 miles of scenic roads and 1 mile of runner friendly trails.

Race participants will NOT have to pay for parking at Lake Anna State Park.



THANK YOU Dennis and Crystal for putting on the race again this year !!!


Without YOU

none of us would be here

having enjoyed a fabulous summer  !!

THANK YOU !!!!!!

Your donations saved every one of us and will keep us all alive in 2015 .... we pray.  Please HELP US as we keep our pantries stocked  !!!!   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!!!