Animal Nation

Each night, Sammy & Family writes Thoughts & Prayers for animals and people around the world.

As many of you know, this is the most important part of the ELS community. It’s a privilege to share our messages with people from all over the world. We continue to invite prayer requests for loved ones, animals or people, from anyone who needs them. As animal loving people, we know the path to a better world, flows exclusively through the treatment of animals.

Sleep resets our energy

Most of life’s problems can be solved with a big night sleep. When we get a big night sleep, our energy resets and invites new possibilities into our lives.

Sleep resets our energy

Remy is a Miracle

Remy is a miracle

Good evening friends.

We have a very special story tonight. Please say hello to Remy, a beautiful sweet Schnauzer. The story of Remy is truly a story of miracles.

Remy belongs to our great friends, Deb Dun Magathan and her husband, Larry, both retired now living on the Jersey Shore. They were originally from Pennsylvania

Deb and her family are big time animal lovers. Over the years they have had many many dogs and several kinds of other animals too, including a pig named, Miss Higgins. They always had mini schnauzers up until their last angel passed about a year ago.

One night, Deb’s daughter, Samantha, excitedly texted her about a mini Schnauzer she saw on Facebook. When Deb saw the dog she immediately showed Larry and they immediately knew they had to have him in their lives.

Here’s where it got a little Dicey. Deb had no idea Remy was in Korea and the post had been 12 hours old already. There were many people who wanted Remy.

Deb quickly reached out over FB messenger to Patti Kim in California. Patti works with Jindo Love Rescue for Korean Dogs and Patti could tell how bad Deb and Larry wanted Remy, and picked them.

From there, on January 13th, 2016, Remy flew 19 hours from Korea to JFK International in New York What a little trooper this little fella is.

Remy had a rough life before he was rescued by Jindo Love Rescue. He was being physically abused by the owner’s boyfriend. She gave him up to a kill shelter. This kill shelter sells the dogs to the meat traders in Korea. This is not against the law there in Korea. Jindo Love goes to these places, rescues the dogs and finds homes for them. Deb mentioned that Remy is such a happy lovebug, you’d never know he’d been abused. Animals are so grateful like that.

Sammy & Family has written about the dog and cat meat trade throughout Asia many times over the years. Had this miracle not taken place, Remy was either going to be put down, or worse off, end up circulating in the dog meat trade destined for a horrific ending. An unspeakable ending.

Quick mention on Jindo Love Rescue.

In order to facilitate these rescues from Korea,  Patti Kim out of California and their point person in Shanghai China, Su, coordinate with their fosters in Korea and miraculously bring dogs to the states for a brand new life.

Jindo Love is not a nonprofit or registered organization. They are a group of individuals who pool their own money to rescue dogs from the dog meat trade and high kill shelters.

Sammy & Family wants to thank Deb and Larry for making the world a better place several animals at a time.

We also want to thank Patti Kim and Jindo Love for their tireless commitment towards getting innocent dogs out of Korea and into loving families and homes stateside.

In a world with so much pain, thank God we have incredible people and organizations like this on the front lines for animals everyday.
None of us can change everything, but everyone can change something. A random act of kindness may not change the world, but it changes the world for the recipients of that kindness.

No lives will go in vain. No pain will go unnoticed. Scott Smith for Sammy & Family.

Tribute for Westy the Prince


Good evening friends.

Tonight we pay tribute to a fallen angel named Westy. The world lost one of it’s brightest stars.

This beautiful sweet Golden retriever belonged to my great friend, Chantelle Luxenberg and family. Westy passed away in his sleep on January 31st, 2017. He did not suffer. Westy passed away peacefully from natural causes.

When I originally heard the news from Chantelle, I almost fell off my chair. Just a few months ago we talked about doing an evening post about Westy for our friends from around the world.

And then in a blink of an eye, he was gone. Life can be like that. It’s a reminder that everyday is a gift. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Westy and my Sammy used to have playdates when they were both coming up in the world. When Sammy and Westey were both 2, 3, and 4 years of age, they had seen each other quite a bit.

Westy was so good with Sammy. Being he was 70 pounds and Sammy was only 10 pounds, Westy was very delicate with him. He knew the exact level of strength to use with Sammy in order to play with him and not hurt him.

I always loved knowing Chantelle and Westy were close by. Those were very dark years back then for me. It was nice to feel a sense of family with Chantelle and Westy close by.

Chantelle and Westy were like peas and carrots. Inseparable. If Westly could speak he probably could’ve finished Chantelle’s sentences for her. And Chantelle knew every move that Westy would make before he even made it. They were truly in unison with one another.

Westy was such a grateful dog. Whether running through the sprinkler system, playing in the leaves or frolicking in the snow, Westy was always celebrating life.

He knew life was about the simple things. It takes some people decades to figure that out. And some never do.

Westy loved car rides with the windows open or the top down. Chantelle and Westy took many roads over the years to the Hamptons, Vermont, Boston and everywhere in between.

Westy was extremely active. He could run a hundred times to fetch a tennis ball. He loved to play tug of war with an old sock too. When it came to toys, Westy was singular of purpose, rip out the stuffing and find the squeaky part.

Back at the house Westy would follow Chantelle around from room to room. It was like Chantelle had two shadows. Many of can relate to that. We are everything to our pets. We’re all they have.

The world is better place because Westy was in it. This Golden Retriever was truly Golden.

Sammy & Family wants to thank Chantelle for making the world a better place one animal at a time. A random act of kindness may not change the world, but it changes the world for the recipient of that kindness. Chantelle changed Westy’s world when she took him home 12 years ago.

When the mourning subsides, we won’t be crying because it’s over, we’ll be smiling because it happened.

Westy is gone, but he’ll never be forgotten. One day we’ll all see this sweet prince again.

No lives will go in vain. No pain will unnoticed. Scott Smith for Sammy & Family.


Donkeys, Sheep and Italy

Donkeys, Sheep and Italy

Good evening friends.

So tonight, we’re heading to Italy for some heartwarming information on Farmers, donkeys and sheep. This picture comes to us from our great friend Gabriella Botalla-Bell. We did a post about her two Chihuahuas and a bunny rabbit last week if you all remember.

As you can see here, we have a donkey carrying two baby sheep. It’s the donkeys job to keep the baby sheep warm while the mother sheep eat grass. Donkeys can carry a lot more weight than sheep can.

These precious animals can be seen from Gabriella’s parents backyard. It’s pretty common in Italy to have all kinds of animals growing up together without any restrictions and cages.

I love that. It sounds like a little slice of heaven. Or as some people say, “Heaven on Earth.

My mother’s family is from Palermo, Sicily by the way. Looks like it’s time to visit Sicily’s countryside. My mother also tells me that’s where my temper comes from, lol.

As times marches on, despite being a city boy, I’ve learned to appreciate nature. I really had no understanding of how beautiful and healing nature can be. After 45 years in the city, I thought the whole world operated that way.

I would go years and years without ever seeing the ocean or mountain tops. I remember when I first got to Puerto Rico, I kept feeling such relief in my vision. And what I mean by that is, I did not have any skyscrapers obstructing my vision anymore. In NYC, the only way to see far is to look up.

In the Caribbean, you can just look out and your vision can be stretched very far, in some spots, endlessly far.

OK, sorry. That was quite a tangent, lol.

It’s great to be alive on January 23rd, 2017. It didn’t have to be this way. Thank God that it is.

Signing off from Puerto Rico on day 744, Scott Smith for Sammy & Family.


Redbird was my Heart Hound

Redbird was my Heart Hound

Good evening friends.

Tonight’s post is called, “Redbird was my baby. She was my Heart Hound” — This post is a tribute for a Redbird, a fallen angel as of July 22nd, 2015.

Redbird was a family member of our great friend, Alexandria O’hara Wright and family.

Many a times I have mentioned animals are angels walking amonst us. No better depiction of that than is love story.

Alexandria had just gone through a very painful miscarriage and her two prior Basset Hounds had passed a few years prior. We can all relate to that. Sometimes when life hits, life hits hard. These were tough times for Alexandria back in 2004 / 2005.

Alexandria’s husband had recommended they get a new Basset Hound and Alexandria was totally on board. If anyone can lift a person’s spirits, a dog can. That’s why we see them in emergency rooms at hospitals. Animals are natural born healers.

Interestingly enough, after taking Redbird on, a year later Alexandria realized they’d taken home a completely different basset hound then the one they intended on taking home. Alexandria’s mother in law had pictures from a year earlier that showed different markings then the markings on Redbird.

But you’ll know the drill here. After one year of bonding with a pet, no shot you give them up. You just keep on loving them. And that is exactly what Alexandria did. She loved precious, stubborn and adorable Redbird more than life itself.

Alexandria got Redbird on February 28th, 2005. Originally her name was Little Miss Red. But as time moved on and the love kept growing, millions of names flew through the door before they settled on “Redbird”

As animal lovers its easy to relate to madness of the name picking process. The more we love them and learn about hem, the more names and tones we use for them.

Redbird liked to chase chickens other than the few that she was best friends with. She was a fierce protector of Alexandria and family’s 20 acre farm. She chased wild hogs to ground hogs and anything in between. Redbird was very short to the ground as Basset Hounds are known to be, but in her mind she was 15 feet tall and bulletproof.

I love how Alexandria described Redbird’s confidence. I’ve always found that love is what puts the wind in our pet’s sails. So for Redbird to have that kind of confidence is a testament to the kind of love she was shown.

Fun story about Redbird. She loved to chase hummingbirds off of the family’s porch away from the feeders thinking they were hornets. So every time Alexandria brought the feeder outside, Redbird would look at her like she was out of her mind.

Alexandria pointed out how amazing it was to know her every thought just by the look in her eyes. And vice versa believe it or not. Redbird and Alexandria were like peas and carrots. Best friends forever. She and Redbird had multiple conversations daily.

Redbird also loved belly rubs, being brushed, long walks, rides in the car and riding on the 4 wheelers with us. She also appreciated long naps, ice cream and food of any kind.

We wrote about people having conversations with their pets just last week. You see, it’s actually quite common. People have conversations with their pets all the time. Full fledged conversations mind you.

I’m going to quote Alexandria in this next paragraph. It’s too perfect to edit or paraphrase.

“RedBird was my best friend, my walking partner, my confidant and my heart hound. I never had to leash her or keep her gated as she had no desire to leave my side…after finding what I thought was an abscess tooth I scheduled an appointment with the vet thinking maybe the tooth would be surgically removed. Unfortunately within 3 days of hat vet visit we were sending my precious baby to the rainbow bridge. The gum above her tooth had a tumor called a melanoma. And apparently it had spread from a stomach cancer that we never knew she had. We slept face to face her last 2 nights on this earth and I sent her to the bridge on July 22nd 2015. I have never loved anything as much as I loved RedBird. She was without a doubt my baby and my heart hound”

Alexandria, thank you for sharing Redbird’s story with us. It’s been about 18 months since her passing and your story and precise descriptions of Redbird resonated right through our screens and into our hearts.

Redbird might be gone, but will Never be forgotten. She made the world a better place. In the end, it’s like they say, “We rescue them and then they rescue us”

The story of you and Redbird had to happen. I have been writing about animals for the past 5 to 6 years. I will always remember what you said, “She is without a doubt my baby and my heart hound”

Sammy & Family thanks Alexandria and family for making the world a better place, one animal at a time. None of us can change everything. But everyone can change something. Alexandria did just that and changed the world for Redbird, the 15 foot giant.

No lives will go in vain. No pain will go unnoticed. Amen. Scott Smith for Sammy & Family.