Sandoval Signpost


An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Dave Harper

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas area, call the Animal Hotline at 867-6135. The Hotline is a nonprofit service run by Dave and January Harper to help reunite lost and found pets. Placing a Lost or Found in the Animal Hotline is a free service courtesy of the Signpost—we can sometimes even include a photo. Call Dave and January at 867-6135 or 263-2266 and leave a detailed message, or email the Animal Hotline at: (but call, too).


CAT: Black-and-white, adult male cat found southeast of the Village of Placitas (near the 8 mile marker of Highway 165), on October 23. Neutered male cat, about two years old. Friendly, but very dirty. Taken to Watermelon Mountain Ranch. #3813

DOG: Samoyed, white, older female, found in Ranchos de Placitas on October 25th, on Arroyo Venada near Juniper Rd. She looks to be older than 10 years and is very sweet. She is wearing a collar with an out-of-state vet tag. She is a talker. #3814

DOG: Husky, male, black and white, found on Highway 165, west of the Village of Placitas, not far from the main Placitas Fire Station on October 25th. #3815


DOG: Great Dane, black with white socks, seen running loose, northeast of the Village of Placitas on September 29, near Camino del Tecolote, Camino de la Rosa Castilla, and Calle Taraddei. #3811


Animal News

Lalo’s pet prints:


—photo by Barb Belknap

Lalo: More phenology. You remember the sly bobcat whose picture you ran in the Signpost stalking and devouring a Cooper’s Hawk. Well, the nature story continues with an omnivorous Rock Squirrel nibbling on the sun-dried skin and tendons of the Cooper's Hawk's wing. I had wired the remains of the wing and tail to the hot wire insulator on the horse exclosure surrounding the seed feeders. This critter lunched on what little the bobcat had left. —Photos by Zane Dohner

“Ram” doing his best Pharaoh pose. Handsome Ram is one of Placitas's two Pharaoh Hounds, along with his cousin “The Ozz.” —Photo by Dave H.

Watermelon Mountain Ranch helps animals, offers clinics

In an effort to stop the overpopulation of dogs and cats, and the euthanasia of domestic pets, Watermelon Mountain Ranch is offering spay-and-neuter clinics on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Prices vary from thirty dollars to 150 dollars depending on the weight of your pet. All procedures include pain medication. Additionally, a Shot Clinic takes place the first Friday of each month from noon to 3:00 p.m. Services such as nail trimming and microchipping are available as well. To make an appointment, visit or call 250-5419.

Feline ambassadors

Dear Friends Back East,

I’m back from my splendid, capsize-free Rhine River cruise and found your welcome-home letter waiting. Thank you. As you know, this cruise took me from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. It was just wonderful—details will follow later. In the meantime, your note tells me that you are each, once again, feverishly engaged in the annual struggle over Halloween costume selections and seeking my opinion.
Yes, I think going dressed as a pre-existing condition is a good and timely idea, and the costume sounds appropriately frightening and off-putting, but in wonderfully good taste. Going disguised as a Senate filibuster is also a novel idea and your costume description sounds as repugnant as the real thing. Your choice of very dark and menacing earth tones is perfect.

I also admire your zeal and creativity in constructing the “green house gas” masquerade, but don’t be surprised if you run into some old-fashioned, head-in-the-asphalt willful ignorance as to your identity, let alone your message, but go for it, I say. After all, some day soon “green house gases” will be Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.

Speaking of spooky, I have a quick tail to tell about my trip.

As I was hauling my big duffle through the house, preparing to depart, Mighty Patrick Cat watched me in downcast, stony silence, looking terminally sad. Also sad, but knowing his pet sitter would soon arrive, I gave him final pets and, without thought, grabbed a framed photo of the wee lad and stuffed it into my luggage.
Later, I realized that I took his picture in the superstitious belief that seeing his image every day would prevent anything bad from happening to the old fellow before I return. I kept it on the miniature credenza in my small, but comfortable, stateroom.

Soon after the ship departed Amsterdam, I noticed that the pretty young cabin maid who tended to my stateroom was paying me smiling, shy, and undeserved attention. Finally, as I passed her in the corridor one morning, she said quietly, “Excuse me, sir. But you have a beautiful cat!” She spoke to me as if it was perfectly normal for passengers to travel with their cats’ portraits. The young woman’s name was Milica, and her home was in the Republic of Serbia.

She explained that she also had a cat she loved and kept her picture with her during the months she worked on the cruise ship. “I feel that if I see her picture every day, I will help keep her safe from harm until I get home again. That seems silly. But perhaps you do the same?”

During the cruise, Milica and I had other conversations about our respective felines and about her Serbian village. She once left me her photo of her cat, Senka—a very pretty, large, furry grey and silver female with soft blue eyes. And she borrowed Patrick’s photo to show to her feline-loving co-workers in housekeeping. This nice young woman, and Senka, added significantly to my cruise experience. And learning about Patrick seemed to add to her own.

Upon my return, in the process of getting reacquainted with Patrick, I told him that a nice young lady named Milica, and her cat Senka, had sent their warmest wishes to him. Patrick stopped licking his tail for a few seconds and stared up at me as if to say, “Yeah, Boss. I know. Thanks.”

—Your Friend, Herb

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