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I had a rough theme for this week’s entries, shuttling back and forth between Here and There, Local and Global, the idea of using small acts to make a world of difference, even when immediate change is perceptible only in private… yadda yadda. Things didn’t cohere quite as I intended, but that’s why this blog is always a work in progress.

Over the months, I’d been collecting goodies for a House of Two Bows giveaway, but it didn’t occur to me until this week how I was going to execute it. Not until I stopped by my local animal shelter and spoke to their volunteer director about their donation needs did I finally realize how I wanted to end this week.

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Photo taken 8 December 2010. Adoptable pound puppy Rusty. What can I say? I’m a sucker for red dogs.

My local animal shelter could use spare towels, blankets, bath mats. Durable chew toys and rope toys — big, black Kongs and whatnot. They’re doing okay with food, though they could sometimes stand to have more limited ingredient and hypoallergenic foods on hand for dogs with allergies.

They could also use a few more beds for the dogs in their care. While Rusty the pittie above has his own bed, not every kennel is currently equipped to keep its resident off the cold, concrete floors.

So they’re asking for donations of Kuranda beds, which can be ordered online and shipped directly to them. This is where you and the House of Two Bows comes in…

We’re giving away one GRAND PRIZE package which consists of:

  • Animal Origami cubes by Toyo Japan featuring Shiba Inu and puppies, rabbits, turtles, cat and kittens, chickens.
  • A diecut Shiba memo block from Greeting Life stationery.
  • A B5 Notebook featuring a Shiba on cover from Kyowa stationery.
  • A set of San-X Iiwaken notebook tab stickers and one sheet of various dog stickers from Tanpopo.
  • A Kuranda bed donated to my local animal shelter in your name.

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In addition, several runner-ups (at least three) will receive:

  • A DIY charm of Hello Kitty dressed up as a Shiba Inu — there’s a little silver loop attached to the tiny little figure, so you can turn it into a necklace, a cell phone dangle, or whatever (see below).
  • A bilingual Chinese-English 2011 pocket diary/planner from the Taichung Universal Animal Protection Association, TUAPA. They did such a nice job with this, I ordered a whole stack to redistribute, as I really think they’re doing good work.

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All you have to do to participate is leave a comment to this entry below and answer the question: Where do your pets sleep? If you don’t have any pets at the moment, but would still like to enter, you can just answer where you think you’d like them to sleep.

In order to be eligible, please make sure to fill in the e-mail address field when leaving your comment. AFAIK, your e-mail address will not be made public, but that way, I can contact you if you win.

Entries will be accepted through next Friday, December 17th. One unique entry per pet will be accepted, though comments will have to be separated to count (yes, that means multi-animal households are at an advantage!). Unfortunately, comments for future or not-yet-existent or imaginary pets must all be consolidated under one entry. Winners will be chosen at random. They will be e-mailed privately after the close of the giveaway for their names and mailing addresses.

Why am I doing this?

Because I’m an inveterate packrat, and I go through periodic purges where I try to rehome a bunch of my possessions. Because I’ve been doing this blog nearly every day for months now, and I’m curious as to who’s reading. Because it’s fun to do giveaways, especially around this time of year. Because I love mail, both sending and receiving it. Because blogs have long been a medium for me to try and connect my personal life with the world that surrounds me in concrete ways, and this seemed a fun way to make that philosophy manifest.

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Photo taken 30 November 2010

Ultimately, I’m doing this because I want to try and inspire a little bit of generosity in the world, a way to pay it forward, as it were. Our own dogs get to sleep in relative comfort, every night.

Bowdu has his place at the foot of the bed, which he prefers…

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And Bowpi has learned to stretch and expand into available space on the human bed, a habit which we actually find rather endearing. In their sleep, they appear to be such angels (perhaps why I have so many pictures of sleeping dogs!). In their dreams, they are the epitome of “blissful ignorance,” for they can remain unaware of a less than cozy world.

At the House of Two Bows, we may not be rolling in cash, but we’re doing okay. While we don’t have an answer for every pleading pair of eyes, and neither are we expecting everyone else to save them all, I think the least we can do is try and help others get to be okay, too.

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Adoptable Schnauzer-Poodle, Buddy

Then we’ll work on being more than okay, one step at a time.

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