My Fostering Experience

During this time of COVID-19, I (along with my family) fostered a dog named “Handsome” Johnny. He was about 2 months old when we first got him. The first day, he stayed in one area under our porch and barely ate anything. This gave us a first impression that was far from what he would become.

Within a few short days, he started eating more than he could chew and began playing with our dog, a Miniature Schnauzer named Milo. At first, we thought that they were fighting, but soon learned that beneath the gentle growling and chewing on one another, they were harmlessly playing.

Next came his shoe-chewing phase. We slowly noticed that our shoes were being misplaced. After some investigation, we came to discover that the cute little puppy we called Johnny was taking our shoes outside and chewing them. Naturally, the bite marks are still apparent on our beloved shoes, but they remind us of Johnny and his craziness. Unfortunately, he also decided to chew objects other than shoes, such as my computer charging cable, fan cable, and my mother’s newly made dining room furniture.

He also was very vivacious. He would leap and jump all over you if he hadn’t seen you in a while (even if it was just a few minutes), and, when he was not sleeping, he would be right up in your space, licking you and seeking attention.

Johnny came along with a dog crate. He had been crate trained at his previous foster home and we were instructed to continue that routine. We decided to locate the crate in my bedroom. The first night (see third picture below), both dogs fell asleep peacefully on my floor. Per instruction, I had to put him in his crate. He was very hesitant and Milo cried for him to be left outside, but I got him in. I woke up in the morning to his cries to be taken out (probably to use to the bathroom). This continued for quite a few nights, but after a while, his crate was taken outside.

Just a short while into his stay, Johnny started looking a little different. A patch of skin on his side had become irritated. Soon after this, everything else started to fall apart. He developed dander and mange and had to be given different creams, shampoos, and medications. After all of his treatments, rides to the clinic, and weeks of patience, his skin started to look better and he was back in the running for the original first part to his name – “Handsome”.

After a while, the practice of his destructive shoe-chewing habits diminished, so he decided to do something new – digging in my mother’s garden. She would find holes or fragments of once-alive plants on the ground, so he decided that he would have to spend his time in the back part of our yard, an area separated by a small wooden fence on each side. He wanted to be in the front, so he used methods such as squeezing through the fence panels or digging under the fence. Whenever he escaped and we found him in the front or in the house, we had to investigate to find out how he had escaped and try to prevent him from doing so again. Eventually, after using cement blocks, wood panels, and string, we were successful in preventing him from escaping again.

Once his skin issues had cleared up for the most part, we took him to get neutered (The Belmopan Humane Society (BHS) holds a spay/neuter clinic every month). He didn’t resist while doing preliminary measures, so it was easy to get him sedated, except for some drooling during the process. After the surgery, he was taken to the “aftercare station”. Then, he was put in a crate next to the other dogs to recover. He was very tired afterwards, but he didn’t waste much time before becoming lively again.

Since his skin had cleared up and he was neutered, he was up for adoption. Within a week, a family displayed interest. They were eligible to be owners and after visiting their residence and filling out paperwork, his adoption was finalized.

Johnny was such a great dog, and I didn’t want him to leave my life forever. Thankfully, his new home was just a few streets away, so my father and I were recently able to visit him briefly recently. The new owners had renamed him “Phiz”, so I had to correct myself a few times when referring to him. However, he will always be Johnny to me. Their dog gets along well with Johnny and I am told that they play and run around till the late hours of the night.

Ms. Eden Estephan was very instrumental in this process. As an individual and member of BHS, she spent many hours taking Johnny to the clinic, visiting him, bathing him, and making sure that he had everything he needed. She was a big help. Thank you!

I’d also like to thank the Belmopan Humane Society for all of the good work they do and for giving me the opportunity to get to know this beloved dog. If you are interested, you can visit their website or Facebook page to learn more about them, find current fostering/adoption options, donate, and more. The pictures below show his progression – from his first day with us to his last. Credit to Ms. Eden Estephan for the four high quality pictures below and her amazing help. Thank you again!

“Briefly, it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature.”
— ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá)

Media

During the COVID-19 stay-at-home period, many of us read more books and watched more content. In this post, I have recorded (most of) the media I have consumed recently.
Bold= in progress

Books Read*

Five Feet Apart
The Fudge Series (re-read)
Counting by 7s
The Phillipa Fisher Series (re-read)
Sounder
Number the Stars
A Wrinkle in Time
Ginger Pye (paused for now)
The Emily Windsnap Series (paused for now)
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Just Mercy
The Handmaid’s Tale
Gadfly: The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving-White House Watchdog (paused for now)
American Born Chinese
Honor Girl
Ways to Make Sunshine
Guts
Parable of the Sower
Black Girl Unlimited
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
The Harlem Hellfighters

Passing
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
One of Us is Lying
One of Us is Next
May I Have Your Attention, Please?
Spinning
The One Hundred Nights of Hero
The Deep & Dark Blue
More to come!


*When I was younger, I bought a lot of books. However, I went through a time period where I barely read, so I caught up on some books so that I could donate them.

Movies and TV Shows Watched

GREAT (8/10+):
Locke and Key
Music and Lyrics (re-watched)
Trevor Noah’s Comedy Shows
Cars 2 & 3 (and part of Cars 1) (re-watched)
Bill Cunningham
The Shawshank Redemption
Just Mercy
Beautiful Boy (re-watched)
Travelers (select episodes)
My Cousin Vinny
How to Train your Dragon (part of it)
This is Us (select episodes)
The Willoughbys
Spirited Away
Becoming
Dead to Me
Ms. Americana
The Secret World of Arrietty
My Neighbor Totoro
Inception
Toy Story 4
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (select episodes | re-watched)
Thirteenth
Howl’s Moving Castle
Back to the Future (1st and 2nd movie | re-watched)
To Save a Life (re-watched)
Castle in the Sky (re-watched)
Queer Eye (select episodes)
Hamilton (the film)
The Old Guard
Dark Waters
Spider-Man 1, 2, and 3 (re-watched)
Love on the Spectrum
The Umbrella Academy
Adú
Hairspray (re-watched) One of my favorite movies!
Billy Elliot
Lenox Hill
Avatar: The Last Airbender (select seasons | re-watched)
Let it Shine
The Book of Life (part of it)
Awkward Black Girl (web series | watched and re-watched)
Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic
The Queen’s Gambit
Fruitvale Station
Clouds
WALL·E (re-watched)
Catch Me if You Can
Soul
She Loves Me (musical recording)
Raya and the Last Dragon
Sweet Tooth (I can’t wait for Season 2 | watched and re-watched)
The End of the F***ing World
On My Block
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Little Women
The Great British Baking Show (select episodes)
Simone vs Herself
Squid Game (select episodes)
His Girl Friday
A Man Escaped
18 1/2
Back to the Future
Lilo and Stitch
Labyrinth (re-watched)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (re-watched)

GOOD (5/10-8/10):
Instant Family
Rotten (select episodes)
Despicable Me 3
The Good Place
Parasite
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
Unorthodox
The Princess Diaries 2 (re-watched)
Moonrise Kingdom
50 Feet from Stardom
Manifest (select episodes)
Modern Family (select seasons)
Never Have I Ever (S2 watched in July)
The Politician (season 2)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Birdbox
Soul Surfer (re-watched)
Work It
Good Girls (select episodes)
Beats
Knives Out (re-watched)
See You Yesterday
Love, Guaranteed
All Together Now
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
You Do You (YouTube series | re-watched)
Ride Along (part of it)
Double Jeopardy (most of it)
Community (select seasons) Troy and Abed’s relationship are in “Great”, though
Now You See Me (re-watched)
Bridgerton
Lady Bird
The Office (select episodes)
Timmy Failure (part of it)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (pretty enjoyable)
Oj… (I forgot the name – I will remember it soon)
Little
Coming to America and Coming 2 America
Black Mirror (select episodes)
Now You See Me 2
Ginny & Georgia
New Amsterdam (select episodes)
Legally Blonde
Atypical
Dynasty (select seasons)
Call Me By Your Name
Fatherhood
Everything Sucks!
Greenleaf
I Am Not Okay with This
The Kite Runner
Enola Holmes
The Half Of It
The Water Man
Kim’s Convenience
Friends (select episodes)
Out of Sight
Rules of the Game
Daisies
Vertigo

OKAY (4/10-):
Tiger King
50 First Dates
A Wrinkle in Time
100 Humans (select episodes)
Arrested Development (select episodes)
Miracle
Dumplin’
Downsizing
Dating Around (select episodes)
Nappily Ever After
Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2
Hocus Pocus
21 Jump Street
Moxie
I Feel Pretty
A Week Away
Tall Girl
Yes Day
Dare Me (select episodes)
Schitt’s Creek (select episodes)
Dear White People (select episodes)

Short Films Watched

I’ll Push You
50 Minutes to Save the World
Addiction
Chasing Coral
The Global Food Waste Crisis and The Danish Solution
2020 Yale Environmental 360 Video Contest Winners:
1. Backyard Battle: Helping Native Bees Thrive in a Honeybee World
2. In the Philippines, A Community Fights to Protect Its Ancestral Lands
3. Inside the Uphill Fight for Clean Water in California’s Central Valley
Coping with COVID-19 (A pandemic through a girl’s eyes: 16 adolescent girls from nine countries film their lives under lockdown)
All of Us Film: Award Winning Animated Short
Section 209: A short film based on a true story
My Hero is You
Hair Love | Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full) | Sony Pictures Animation (re-watched)
Kitbull | Pixar SparkShorts
If Anything Happens I Love You
“Float” Full SparkShort | Pixar
“A Folded Wish” | CGI Animated Short Film (2020)
BOUNTY (Animated Short Film)
Deep-Fried Fingers (2021) | Award-Winning Animated Short Film
A Bunch of Avant-Garde Films (very wild)

Podcasts Listened To

Potter People Podcast – check this one out, my cousins host it
Word Matters
Citizens’ Climate Radio
TayTalks: Unapologetically Me
NYT Modern Love Podcast
The Man Enough Podcast
365 days with mxmtoon


Feel free to comment any recommendations. 🙂

The Baha’i View on Meat vs. A Plant-Based Diet 🌾

VIEW PRESENTATION SLIDES HERE

WATCH DISCUSSION HERE:

Links for other articles on this topic:
BahaiTeachings.org- Benefits of Going Vegan for the World- and You

Some of the quotes in the presentation:

“But now coming to man, we see he hath neither hooked teeth nor sharp nails or claws, nor teeth like iron sickles. From this it becometh evident and manifest that the food of man is cereals and fruit. Some of the teeth of man are like millstones to grind the grain, and some sharp to cut the fruit. Therefore he is not in need of meat, nor is he obliged to eat it. Even without eating meat he would with the utmost vigour and energy. For example, the community of the Brahmins in India do not eat meat; notwithstanding this they are not inferior to other nations in strength, power, vigour, outward senses or intellectual virtues. Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion, and if one can content oneself with cereals, fruit, oil and nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and so on, it would undoubtedly be better and more pleasing.”
Ábdu’l-Bahá

“Thou hast written regarding the four canine teeth in man, saying that these teeth, two in It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man…
The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities.
Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.”