Hello Everyone! How are you??
Thank you for following me online. I appreciate all the love and kindness you shower upon me! Here’s a little update on my 2015. It was awfully exciting.
Midway through 2015, the new MUSICAL, “Head Over Heels”, opened to great reviews and strong audience support at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The musical uses the music of the Go-Go’s, but the story is based on ARCADIA, a book written by a contemporary of Shakespeare named Phillip Sydney. It is a really fun tale with lots of twists and turns, gender-bending and romance. It was so fun to sit next to Charlotte watching the play when we all went up to see it. We were clutching hands like schoolgirls! It was also really nice to see Kathy. We couldn’t be prouder of the show and now it is being groomed to go to NEW YORK CITY! I hope when it open there that you will all go see it.
As for me: I moved to Hilo, Hawaii in August of 2015. This is my amazing view from my backyard.
Once I settled in to my new home in Hawaii I quickly learned that local humane societies and law enforcement agencies are inundated by reports of island dogs leading bleak lives, on chains 24/7, incarcerated in tiny kennels, and forced to endlessly breed, creating a massive overpopulation problem.
This type of animal abuse creates dangerous dogs, which are a safety hazard and a huge public expense. Humane societies are euthanizing at alarming rates. Stories of mistreated dogs in Hawaii have become more and more common. It was clearly NOT the Paradise I thought I was going to be living in.
At first I was really upset and depressed, and scared because it was a HUGE endeavor moving to this island, so far away. Then, I decided I had to take a stand and use my creativity to work with all my might to help pets any way I could. It was the moral thing and the right thing to do.
I started fostering dogs and cats. Then I organized a fundraiser to benefit a local animal rescue group, Aloha Ilio Rescue. Our little party ended up raising $5000, 100% of which went directly to the animals!
Next I wrote a program to be presented at elementary schools called Dogs Are Ohana! (“ohana” means “family”). It is a 45 minute show with three acts.
In Act One, we teach the keiki (kids) the stories of Ancient Hawaii, when dogs were revered and treated honorably. Act Two we show kids that there are other, better ways to keep dogs instead of living on chains or in tiny kennels, and also point out (in a cute funny way) the problems with not spaying/neutering your dog. Act Three is a dog tricks performance, starring a famous dog trainer and her cute talented dogs.
The kids learn that there is SO MUCH MORE that a dog can be, if you treat him right! We plan to start performing this show at elementary schools around the island starting in the Spring.
The next thing I did was befriend a local state Senator, Russell Ruderman, and ask him for help in reforming the anti-cruelty laws in Hawaii, which are practically non-existent and certainly not enforced.
I am happy to say, we now have several bills that will be presented to the Senate at the end of this month. These bills will strengthen our currently weak laws, and help create a new era of more humane treatment of our dogs in this Aloha State.
I don’t know if they will pass, but I will not give up! The one bill I think has a pretty good chance is the bill to end the EATING of DOGS. I know there are many who think the eating of any animal is wrong, but, as our spiritual companions, I feel like we need to at least start with DOGS! It just isn’t right to eat the one species on this planet that willingly aligns itself with humans!
Living with me I’ve got four “permanent” pets, all seniors. These are my dogs, Geordie (black Greyhound) and Malcolm (Chinese Crested)
These are my cats, Gummy Bear (Siamese) and Frank (don’t know what he is, but he has a raccoon tail!)…I had to lure Frank out from under the guest bed (where he lives) w a can of food!
Below are my latest two foster dogs. As of January they are both now in fabulous forever homes! First photo is me w Little Red Dog.
She was living on a balcony, tied permanently to a beach chair on a two foot rope. Her owner had a “beating stick” and his only interactions with her were to beat her, and throw buckets of water at her to wash her poop off the balcony.
Her new forever home has a ten year old boy who is very kind and very smart. He re-named her Kaylee and is already teaching her tricks. PS Yes, I do have blue hair.
Sammy the sweet Pittie was chained 24/7, living on lava rocks w nothing to eat or drink.
You an see in the photo that he was severely under weight and almost dead when good Samaritans took him away by paying his crackhead owners $60 to remove him.
Sam was in a vet hospital for two weeks and then I got him. He went from 30 pounds to 70 pounds while I had him. He is now in his forever home and is treated like the prince he is. If I never do anything else, I am so proud of saving this wonderful guy.
I have always been very passionate about animals and how they are treated but my moving to Hawaii and working with Aloha Ilio Rescue has reignited my passion for direct action.
Also – last week the Hawaii Island Humane Society hosted (along with the Animal Balance MASH team) a free spay/neuters for our community at the Kea’au shelter. Thanks to all these great volunteers for all the hard work. It was a lot of work but we spay/neutered 331 animals!!
To raise funds for animals I am using a large portion of the proceeds from my online shop (which sells autographed items and various items from my stage wardrobe to my personal closet) to help fund various animal rescue efforts here on the island. You can check out what’s for sale HERE.
2015 was a year of massive change and introspection. Moving to Hawaii on my own, as a single gal, was exciting but scary. And as you now know from the above, it changed my whole life!
Coming up in 2016: I am looking forward to flying to Oahu to testify on behalf of the anti-cruelty Senate bills I created. I’ll be visiting the island of Aruba in April to volunteer at a massive spay/neuter campaign there. And in August, the Go-Go’s will heading out for our final, farewell tour. Dates have not been annouced yet but watch the Go-Go’s FB page for updates. I hope all of you will come out!
This farewell tour looks like it’s for realsies. (And, no, we have never done a farewell tour before. We had one scheduled for 2010, but cancelled it when I fell off a cliff and destroyed my knee!). It is with mixed feelings that we embark on our last adventure together. What an incredible ride we have had. I hope you will continue to follow all of us on our future endeavors. I can’t thank you enough for your support of the band and my solo work over all these FIVE decades!
My biggest hope these days is that my adventures of helping animals will inspire you to get out there and do something, no matter how small. It all starts with one act of kindness!