St. Louis-themed Halloween Pet Costumes

If you’re giving your pets a little flair this holiday, why not have some hometown pride, too? Here are 6 costume ideas for dressing up your pets in St. Louis style. Pizza Pup
St. Louis-style pizza may not be for everyone, but we locals love our Provel pies!

MRH Middle School student bring in a ton of food for WOW

MRH Middle School students bring in carload of food for Weekend on Wheels

Maplewood United Methodist Church (MUMC) hosted a back to school dance party for area middle school students on Saturday, August 16th.  Admission was free, but students were asked to donate cash or non-perishable food items to Weekend on Wheels (WOW), a food program operated by students and faculty at the Maplewood Richmond Heights High School. On weekends, WOW sends nutritious food to the homes of children in the school district with a need.  MUMC was thrilled by the generous giving from the more than 40 students and families that attended the dance. 

Not only did this group donate a carload of food, but they also donated more than $100 in cash!  Their efforts will go a long way in helping get the shelves at the WOW re-stocked for the new school year. 

In addition to thanking the students who attended, MUMC would like express their gratitude to Get Happy Productions and the Green Family for donating the DJ services, lights and music for the dance!  

Of icebergs and health alarms, a spiritual perspective to human vulnerability

I was somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland towards sunset that evening when a rumor swirled about the ship indicating that the radar could not identify icebergs. With binoculars, I could make out several icebergs in the distance. A Titanic tremor of anxiety gripped me as I contemplated a midnight crash into an iceberg. I never determined the source or accuracy of the rumor, probably because I was one of twelve non-Russian or Ukrainian speakers onboard. Nevertheless, I didn’t ruminate about the dreaded prospect of having to abandon ship that night.

APA Lobby Renovation in Final Stages

The APA’s current lobby renovation will add only about 1,000 additional square feet to our adoption center, but what we’re getting in that space will make a BIG difference in how we operate.  







When construction is completed, gone will be the days when long lines formed for time in the one room we used for pet meet-and-greet. This project adds 3 new visitation rooms for adopters to visit with pets, giving families more time to meet with their potential new member. The Humane Education department is receiving major upgrades in the form of a new high-tech classroom that will help us spread the message of compassion toward animals and give the young members of our community the knowledge they need to be responsible stewards of our companion animals. The new meeting room for 2-legged people ensures that education classes never need to be scheduled around staff or board meetings and that we always have a space for discussion.  The new grieving room will offer solace and a place for quiet reflection to pet parents who are experiencing a difficult loss.

Calling all Superheroes!

Calling all Superheroes!

Over the past month we’ve been discussing Superheroes in our community, and how everyone can be a Super Hero in the life of faith. SUPERHEROES UNITE FOR YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MISSION YET! This coming Sunday (August 24th, 2014) is Rally Sunday at Maplewood United Methodist Church. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help celebrate RALLY SUNDAY–our opening celebration for fall Sunday school groups for children and youth. We’ve noticed your skills and called YOU into action!  Come and discover your inner Super Hero!

Maplewood History: Recently Displaced (continued)

It is wonderful to see the Cape-Harper building reawakening. Walking by a few nights ago the lights had been left on in the Harper pharmacy space, I was struck by the ambience of the scene. What with the recent work to the Maplewood Loop (the original name), the integration of the historic streetcar shelter into our new park and the bubbling rock, when the Cape-Harper building is finished this will be one of the finest retail locations in the City of Maplewood. As a preservationist, I’ll miss the transom windows and serpentine marble from the front of the Harper’s Pharmacy. However, I realize this is a tradeoff to get this building up and running and producing income again.

Imperfect bodies do not have to limit our lives or contributions

Ever since childhood, Kyle has relentlessly pursued life without giving in to a distorted view of himself. Those looking from the outside, unfamiliar with Kyle’s confident nature and refusal to give up on anything, might be forgiven their limited view of his capabilities and future accomplishments. Kyle’s grandmother taught him an enduring truth that he carried into adulthood, “God made you special, and it’s okay to be different.” Through the support of his parents and his faith, Kyle was determined to not buy into limitations of any kind, “Even though I was born with much shorter limbs than the average person, I know that I was not born to be an inferior individual. I was born to succeed, not to allow physical limitations to stand in the way of my dreams.”1

Practically defying the law of physics, Kyle became a champion high school wrestler in Georgia and would one day summit Mount Kilimanjaro to honor a slain American soldier. Today, he travels the country giving motivational speeches like the one he recently gave to honor the best 2014 high school athletes in southeast Missouri.

Vote No on Amendment 1

Enshrining ambiguous language into the Missouri constitution opens the door to lawsuits challenging important animal welfare laws. The so-called “Right to Farm” amendment does nothing to protect Missouri’s family farms, but it does create legal grounds to protect puppy mills. Under the guise of protecting Missouri farms, in its original form, the upcoming Amendment 1 would have barred local health department from conducting animal health and safety inspections at commercial breeding facilities and prevented Missouri citizens from voting on future initiatives involving animals. Thankfully, advocacy groups, such as the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, have been successful in watering down the most harmful elements in the bill. As it currently stands, Amendment 1 only ensures Missourians the right to do something they have been doing for centuries: farming.

4th of July Pet Safety Tips from the APA

Our shelter sees a huge influx of stray animals after the holiday. Keep your pet safe and sound with these tips. Animals are often terrified by the sights and sounds of fireworks displays and neighborhood celebrations. Imagine it from their perspective: it’s a warm summer day, turning into a quiet lazy evening. Suddenly, the sky lights up and is filled with loud crackles and shrieking whistles. “July 5 is one of our busiest days of the year.

Bringing Your Pet to Work Isn’t Just Fun, It’s Healthful

Inviting pets to tag along to the job brings a whole host of benefits to both employees and their companies. Tomorrow is the Take Your Dog To Work Day, a great chance for offices to open their doors to our beloved four-legged family members. Although Take Your Dog to Work Day occurs just once a year, more companies are recognizing the perks of having pets in the workplace and offering employees the option of working alongside their faithful companions. Companies such as St. Louis’ own Purina and Build-A-Bear, along with Amazon, Google and Ben & Jerry’s all allow furry friends to accompany their pet parent during their 9-5.

Forgiveness crucial to well-being

A siren song of anger flashed across his face and then flooded the house as he verbally attacked me.  My sailing friend for years had just pulled the rug out from underneath me with bizarre accusations and irrational remarks. For weeks, I ruminated about this incident from sun up to sundown. This outburst took place in the mid ‘90’s and I wouldn’t see this friend again until 15 years later. It left me pondering what it really means to forgive. The topic of forgiveness in individual lives spans millennia.

APA Toasts to Tabbies in 12 Bars of Clayton

The biggest pub crawl in St. Louis draws thousands of summer time revelers every June, and this year the APA is part of the party!  




12 bars, 4 charities, 1 heck of a party. On June 28, merrymakers will hop on trolleys and tootle around the best bars of Clayton for a day of fun with a philanthropic twist- helping local nonprofits. Participants  pick their charity of choice and join the afternoon soiree as a member of that nonprofit’s “team.”

Summer Pet Tips from the APA

The summer is here, and it’s a great time to have fun outdoors with your pets. Just remember to keep them safe from certain warm weather dangers with these tips. Be an early bird or night owl. Exercise your dog in the cool of the early morning or later evening. Daytime heat can overwhelm even the most fun-loving pup.

Maplewood needs something like Brentwood’s fountain, street repair too, resident says

Recently, the City of Maplewood stated that they have a million plus dollars to spend and are open to suggestions.  Now I understand that I am not involved with our leaders on a daily basis, but it seems ironic to me that they are making this statement on the heels of asking us to increase our taxes for both a fire station and to support the lateral program… I also find it ironic that instead of ramping up the resurfacing of our neighborhood streets, they are looking for ‘projects’.  Why?  So many of our residential streets are in terrible shape – which not only harm our cars, ruin the ascetics of our neighborhoods and drive property values down, but also discourage home buyers. Those same people who are drawn to drive around to see what they can find in our charming areas, make a bee-line for the main arteries (or Richmond Heights) after bumping and bobbling down our side streets. The city is repairing streets in order of a study completed over a decade ago (a study, by the way that they paid tens of thousands for).  And let’s not forget, the city Maplewood consists of much more area than simply the blocks south of Manchester close to the business district…all the updates, cute street name signs in the blocks surrounding the strip, do not carry across the entire city – why not areas north of Manchester or west of Big Bend?  Why not the poor souls who are now facing the back side of a Walmart? Finally, if we aren’t going to have our taxes lowered or fix the streets that are in obvious need, or continue the beatifications that have only landed in and near the business district, then how about taking a cue from other cities and improve our ‘name plates’?

APA Expansion on Track for September Unveiling

Two months into the Animal Protective Association of Missouri’s construction project, and things are looking messy but good! If you walk into the APA today, you’ll have to do it through the side of the building instead of the front. You’ll see temporary walls blocking areas that used to be open; big holes carve out windows in the veterinary clinic, and the friendly adoption counselors now greet you from the hallway next to the cat room. As the APA works to expand its shelter and provide additional space for adopters and students, things may be a bit disorderly, but we’re working hard to keep all areas accessible and ensure that the adoption experience is still top-notch. The project is on track to be completed by September.

MRH Farmers Market rivaled many in town

Last week Seed-to-Table teachers, Chef Almut Marino (ECC), Melissa Breed-Parks (Middle School) and her students, and High School Chef Robert Rusan and his Teen Cusine Team collaborated with the students of the Maplewood ECC make a wonderful and professional Farmers Market. The weather was sunny and students sold everything from flower bouquets and herbs, to tomato plants, kale and other vegtables.Live music was provided by Mr. Pentecost and spring and summer themed arts and crafts were also sold, (including laminate flower bookmarks, beautiful stepping stones for your garden, and other items), and popcorn and lemonade was available as well.  

I was amazed and how professional and knowledgable all of the students were about all the herbs and vegtables they were selling. The same day Maplewood was also involved in setting a new Guiness World record on Friday, for the most participants in a cooking lession in a 24-hour period (mulitple venues). Both events were part of a world-wide celebration of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day (this is their 3rd year participating).

Brentwood Police officers carry Special Olympics Torch past St. Mary Magdalen

Students at Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Brentwood gathered outside on Thursday to watch the Special Olympics Torch Run go past the school. Detective Nick Nilson, DARE Officer for Saint Mary Magdalen, carried the torch and waved to his students as he passed.  Major Jim McIntyre, Officer Paul Clayton and Chief of Police Dan Fitzgerald accompanied the torch through Brentwood. Officer Clayton and Chief Fitzgerald are Saint Mary Magdalen School parents. The Law Enforcement Torch Run helps raise awareness and funding to support Special Olympics Missouri’s year-round sports training and athletic competition program for more than 17,000 athletes across the state.