Seniors Situation Room Dawn Ford Reading to Dogs & More Tiger Tales


A new book , ‘Bonnie and Her 21 Children’ will be available in January of next year. It is about Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino and their 21 children, 19 of whom have been adopted. Fred and Bonnie are co-founders, with Dr. Nat Shah, of Child Haven International.

The book is published by Bonnie Books and is written by her apparently ‘ long suffering husband’, Fred. It includes 50+ photos. Publication date will be on Fred’s 90th. birthday, January 28, 2016. You can order at the website: or by mail to: Bonnie Books, PO Box 1304, Alexandria, ON, KOC 1AO. The price of one book is $25 which includes tax and shipping fees.( 4 books to one address $90 and 10 books to one address $200). A generous portion of the profits will go to Child Haven International. I am sure it will be an interesting and inspiring book to read. With Fred’s great sense of humour, it will probably be amusing as well. There are many articles written about this incredible and amazing couple on the Child Haven International web sites.

CHI just celebrated 30 years of sheltering, educating and loving destitute children in India, Tibet, Bangladesh, Nepal as well as sponsoring other children for education who are not living in one of the Homes. They also shelter some destitute senior women .  Go to for more information on this wonderful international organization.

df 1‘Read to Dogs program’ is up and running again at our Cornwall Public Library for children who are having difficulty learning to read. I have seen the dogs in action a few times and it is incredible to watch the children’s faces as they read to the beautiful quiet dogs. You would think the attentive dogs understand all the children are saying. Really wonderful.

Recently I saw an article on the internet about a program in Berks County, Penn. in the US. The Animal Rescue League of Berks County run a program called, ‘Book Buddies’. Children in grades 1-8 can visit the animal shelter and read to the cats housed in the shelter. Go to http://the for more adorable pictures or for more information on the ‘Book Buddies’ program.

One of the ARL’s co-ordinator. Kristi Rodriquez, had a ten year old son who was struggling to read in school. She brought him in to the shelter and he read to some cats. He liked it so much he wanted to do it again. His reading improved remarkably and now he reads to his dogs at home.

Kristi began the ‘Book Buddies’ program in August of 2013 and other children were invited to come and read to cats in the shelter.

Apparently, according to the web site, cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice comforting and soothing. Maybe that is why my Tiger cat likes to hear me say my prayers out loud and comes and cuddles up. Who would have thought?

df 2My brother Ron Herrington (‘ Satch’) is celebrating his 81 birthday on November 17th. He has been a great brother and friend. When some of us were the younger kids in the family, he was already out working and would bring us little treats home after work. When my Mom had to go into a nursing home, he visited her every afternoon and stayed until her bedtime. He has always been a loving, caring and generous brother and son. Happy Happy Birthday Ron.

Here is a great shot of Ron. I am teasing him with my Yankee key chain. (He is a die-hard Detroit Tiger fan.)

df 3Just when I thought I knew all of my prince of a cat Tiger’s little antics, he pulls another. I found him lying on the kitchen floor beside his ‘un-tippable’ (maybe) water bowl. He was lying there poking his paw in the bowl. I assume he was trying to see where the water level was before he stuck his little pussy face in it. I picked him up and sure enough, his fur was all wet from him stirring the water and, of course, there was water water everywhere on the floor. The water didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Lately he is often there lying on the floor near the bowl . New game, I guess. If he is not content to topple blueberries out of the fridge, sniff celery, chew wires, lick(ugh) plastic, gnaw on leather especially my purse strap if he can get it, jump into wet bathtubs, etc. etc. etc…I guess poking his paw in his water bowl is an exciting new venture. What a cat!.What next??

I had a cat once who liked to drink out a glass or mug. I got her from a friend’s neighbour and she was already trained that way. Problem was that if your back was turned and she got up on the table where a mug or glass had something in it, she would start to lick it. Lots of fun. She was hard to re-train to drink out of a bowl. Cute as a button though.

I was in the Cornwall Square with a friend recently who wanted to do a bit more shopping. That was fine with me because I could get a Laura’s chocolate ice cream cone at the Laura Secord store. While I was happily licking my delicious cone, an elderly lady ( that means older than me) came and sat on the bench with me, licking her vanilla ice cream cone. We chatted. A little baby girl about a year old in a stroller was nearby and with every lick we made of our cones, she put her little fist to her mouth like she wanted some. Really cute.

I think now that the two of us probably looked a bit like the two old guys sitting on the bench in the TD Bank TV commercial ad. I wondered how we got ‘there’ so fast. Seems like I was 40 only a few years ago. They say ‘time flies when you are having fun’. Guess I have been having too much fun because it sure is flying. My Grandmother, Louise Tardiff, used to say that the older you get, the faster it goes. I didn’t really know what she meant at the time when I was young. I do now.

A friend sent me these cute sayings of our Mothers:

1) My Mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. “If you are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2) My Mother taught me Religion. “You better pray that it will come out of the carpet.”

3) My Mother taught me Logic. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

4) My mother taught me Stamina.””You will sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

5) My Mother taught me about Anticipation. “Just wait until we get home.”

6) My Mother taught me Genetics.”You’re just like your Father.”

And I remember hearing this one more than once: “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to stay that way.”

Have a good week, Dawn


  1. Great column Dawn! Enjoyed hearing and seeing Bonnie and Fred whom I have known personally.. Loved the reading program with cats

  2. Dawn, that was a wonderful article. Thanks.

  3. WOW! I remember big families of that number that I went to elementary school with and it was something else – something that you don’t see today. That is beautiful to see and all adopted except for a few. What people of great heart and talent to be able to bring in a large amount of children. It takes very special people to undertake that. That sure does bring back a lot of memories Dawn. All the best to you Dawn and to the Capouccino family.

  4. Good job Dawn.

  5. Jules: thank you. I think it will be a great book to read.

  6. Dawn: love the photo of you and your brother Ron. I do remember him at your house. I’m so glad you are a cat lover,so are we.

  7. As always Dawn, I enjoy your column!

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