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Mary Bandiera

Well, early retirement wasn't going as planned.  Caring for my 94 year old mom, my crazy 90 year old aunt, running mind numbing errands, having numerous aperitifs with friends, and dealing with the Italian bureaucracy wasn't cutting it.   What to do?  While employed in San Francisco I had always volunteered at Animal Care and Control as a cat socializer, dog walker, and small animal caretaker (guinea pigs, reptiles, chickens, whatever).  One Sunday morning I was having a cafe and reading the newspaper at Al Cret when I spotted an ariticle about Evelyn and Zedan Ranch.  Hmm...horses, large scary creatures that I had only come in contact with as a 7 year old at the Erie County Fair (I'm a native Buffalonian). Pony rides ring a bell?   OK, maybe I could be of some use.  I phoned Evelyn, explained I knew squat about horses but would like to volunteer.  She said "come on down" and she patiently showed me how to groom horses and feed them tasty treats.   She wisely assigned me to an ancient 35 year old, Reica, and a gimpy but gorgeous little blue eyed pony, Angel.  What a joy.  I soon became comfortable around the beautiful, intelligent, and amusing beasts and met tons of wonderful, caring people.  A truely international mix.  Beware, Evelyn is charming but does have a manipulative streak.  I was recently suckered into adopting a geriatric hound whose 88 year old guardian had recently died.  Apparently family members didn't want him and were making "POUND" noises.  By word of mouth he came to Evelyn's attention and ended up at Zedan Ranch. After a feeble "no" I agreed to adopt Kim who has cataracts and can't hear much, ergo his many aliases: Tommy, the deaf dumb and blind dog (any WHO fans out there?) Sparky, Sport, and Mr. Tippy Toes.  He is now a most delightful addition to and the senior member of our menagerie of abandoned and spoiled rotten pets (Samantha, aka Princess, Isabella, aka Kitty NO, Lillo, aka Sir Robert Barksalot and of course Kim).  Evelyn and Zedan Ranch are special.  Volunteer, donate, come visit.  Your spirit will be rewarded....Mary Bandiera