I Seriously Love this Kid and His Parents

This is what I consider an A++++ in parenting:

When most 8-year-old kids think about their birthday, they dream about a fun party with their friends, a delicious cake and a huge pile of gifts.

Ethan Katz is not most kids.

A couple months ago, when he was talking about turning 9 with his mom, Lisa, he decided that for his birthday, he wanted to raise money to save dogs.

“Ethan is an avid dog lover and always has been,” Lisa told The Huffington Post.

The Katz family has two rescue dogs: a golden retriever named Fly and a mini golden retriever named Brooklyn, who started off as a foster puppy from City Dogs Rescue, a D.C.-based nonprofit that rescues dogs from overcrowded or high-kill shelters and places them in foster homes. The family fell in love with “Brookie” while fostering her and decided to adopt her last fall.

According to Ethan, the pup was the impetus behind his selfless birthday wish.

“Since I started fostering my dog Brooklyn, I came up with the idea to do something off of that,” he told HuffPost.

So the Stevensville, Maryland, native decided that for his birthday he would design and sell T-shirts online for $20 a pop, and donate all the funds to City Dogs Rescue.

My biggest regret in life, and I have a lot of them, was that I didn’t rescue a dog before Lily. Having the critters around is seriously the most rewarding thing in the world. I tried to take a nap this afternoon, but couldn’t fall asleep, but I just stayed put with the dogs , scritching their ears while listening to music. Nice, comfy, relaxing hour.

62 replies
  1. 1
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    We just lost our 12-year-old labrador, Sterling, this weekend. We knew it was coming, but the house feels wrong without him following Packrat from room to room. We’re still owned by 2 border collies and 4 cats, but Sterling was the top dog.

  2. 2
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: I’m so sorry. One of my cats seems to be on her way out ( her kidneys are on the verge of failing) and it is just so very, very hard. Hugs!

  3. 3
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @SuperHrefna: Hugs back at you. It is so wrong that animals’ lives are so short!

  4. 4
    Culture of Truth says:

    Haven’t rescued a dog yet. Rescued a starving kitten off a highway. He’s sleeping right on a big bed now. You can see him in the BJ pet calendar.

  5. 5
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    All our pets have been rescues.

    Off topic: Just watched Her. Fantastic movie. Remeniscent of Phillip K. Dick or Asimov.

    Spike Jonze is a genius.

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    I took our shelter adoptee out on a long walk tonight- during it she A) jumped into the Harlem Meer in pursuit of a plastic bag, where she sank like a stone B) got my hands covered in donut glaze as I pried half a donut out of her mouth and C) got my hands covered in BBQ sauce as I pried a chicken wing out of her mouth. My husband refers to her as the best dog he’s ever owned, which makes me wonder what his other dogs were like.

  7. 7
    chopper says:

    When my daughter was 4 I asked her what she wanted to do with the money that was building up in her piggy bank. When she said “I want to donate it to doggies” I melted.

  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    John, I thought this post was going to be about your godson! But this is really nice, too. Some kids are just so sweet.

    An old friend of mine came to town recently and as we were catching up he told me a story about his 6-year old son. Apparently it was a rough day at school and the teacher lost her temper with the kids and gave them a collective time out.

    My friend’s son walked up to the teacher’s desk and said, “Miss WhoeverSheWas, I think you need a hug”. He gave her the hug and then went back to his seat. Kids learn an awful lot when we think they’re not paying attention.

  9. 9
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    This is kind of a thing with the elementary school set these days. My daughter went o at least two parties like this one and there was one going on last time we were at the pound.

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Nicole: LOL

    Over the weekend I was walking with a friend and their dog and the dog found a dead fish on the beach. Yucky, but apparently it’s her ‘thing.’

  11. 11
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Culture of Truth: When we were in the Thousand Islands our dogs loved to roll in dead fish that washed up on shore. It was like putting on a new set of clothes for them.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: @SuperHrefna: Condolences to both of you, Tara for your loss and Hrefna on your impending one. They leave such a hole when they go.

  13. 13
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @satby: Thanks. I’m enjoying the stories on this thread. Every time we think we’ve rescued a pet, it turns out they rescue us.

  14. 14
    Nicole says:

    @Culture of Truth: Dogs. Noses so much more sensitive than ours, and all they want to sniff is dead stuff and excrement. Much as I complain about prying food out of ours’ mouth, it could be worse. My aunt had a Scottie terrier who liked to eat poop.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Jane2 says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: @SuperHrefna: It’s so hard when our pets leave us…best wishes to both of you.

  17. 17
    Keith P says:

    I have a couple of rescue cats, both of whom are outside these days (except when it rains). And as luck would have it, I hear a rat in my attic this evening. One of those cats would tear that thing up, but she won’t come in, and I won’t put her up in the attic (too dangerous for her IMO).
    This sucks because I always figured once I had cats I’d never see a rat in a house again.

  18. 18
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole & Jane2: Thanks. I knew this blog was exactly the place to talk about it, because nobody knows or loves their pets better than the folks who hang out here.

    Sterling adored his humans, especially my wife Packrat. His favorite game was to goad the border collies into chasing each other around, so he could have the humans all to himself.

  19. 19
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Keith P: We had a mouse once. The border collie did her best to chase it down. The slacker cats didn’t even look up from their naps.

  20. 20
    SuperHrefna says:

    Thanks everyone. I’m supposed to be in Cape Cod right now, but I cancelled my plans so I could look after my catgirl this week. I would have had to leave her with a cat sitter coming in twice a day and my enormous, frisky year old maine coon ( who keeps hoping she’ll play with him if he approaches her enthusiastically enough) and I just couldn’t do it. She has very little energy, so I have to carry her around the house sometimes, but she does seem to be getting enjoyment from life still: a delicious treat, a nice meal, a warm patch of sun to snooze in, a belly rub.

  21. 21
    Keith P says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: I think I found out why the mouse was stirring – I was going back to the kitchen and I see my little black ninja cat in the kitchen, covered in dust bunnies. Her big brother (or whatever he is) was chilling in the garage, so she was in there with him hunting for something to kill.

  22. 22
    satby says:

    @SuperHrefna: Yeah, as long as they still have some quality of life to enjoy make the most of it. And give her skritches from us.

  23. 23
    lamh36 says:

    since this is an open thread…WTF True Blood, WTF!! I know this final season but I got all Florida Evans after tonight…

    Damn, Damn, Damn

  24. 24
    WaterGirl says:

    @SuperHrefna: Your comment took me back in time to 4 years ago and my last few months with my kitty soulmate. (wiping tears) I am sure you treasure every day you have together, as does she.

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: I’m so sorry about your boy. I know just what you mean when you say the house feels wrong without him.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SuperHrefna: No pain and evident enjoyment of life? I don’t think she is ready to go yet. Unfortunately, you do have to make that determination. That is one of the downsides of the trust pets give us – we have to decide when they have had enough. You have my sympathy.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    Rick Perry buffing his borderline black helicopter talk:

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry repeated an accusation that undocumented children coming to the U.S. from Latin American countries might be a result of “ulterior motives” from President Obama.

    “I have to believe that when you don’t respond in any way that you are either inept or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from,” Perry said during an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

    “I don’t believe he particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure,” Perry said when asked by host Martha Raddatz if he stood by comments made in a June 17 interview with “Fox and Friends.”

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    Hey, John Cole–did you know that the New Orleans Saints are moving to your neck of the woods for training camp?

    The New Orleans Saints began their move of equipment Thursday to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where the team will hold three weeks of training camp practices starting July 25.

    WV should be cooler than NOLA in the summer, at least.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:


    What our vet told us when Natasha was dying of cancer was that as long as she would still eat, drink, pee, and poop and wanted to be around us (and was not in obvious pain), she still had enough quality of life that we didn’t need to put her to sleep. And damned if the cat didn’t die on her own terms, the way she wanted to (in the cat tree she hadn’t been able to climb into for at least two months).

  29. 29
    NotMax says:


    Isn’t that where the ‘in case of nuclear war, pretend to govern the country from here’ bunker (decommissioned some time back) is?

    Seem to remember also that the long-time luxury resort complex filed for bankruptcy not too long ago.

  30. 30
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Isn’t that where the ‘in case of nuclear war, pretend to govern the country from here’ bunker (decommissioned some time back) is?

    Only for Congress, the President went to another location and when Cheney was VP he went to his coffin.

    When I was a youngster the college in the town I lived in hosted the Dallas Cowboys training camp. Even 110 degree CA weather is better than the weather in Dallas.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    Wow, dead for four hours!

  32. 32
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: Everybody’s hung over from the 3 day weekend.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    Good Morning! Have you hugged your pet today?

    Raven, I saw the link you had about over weight dogs. Since I adopted Finch he has been a few pounds over weight. He exercises and I monitor his food but he has a love of snacks he finds outside.

  34. 34
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: When the vet told us that our YorkiePom was a bit overweight, I cut her food just a little bit. Our Cocker has always been thin.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Finch is nineteen pound and should be about sixteen pounds. I feed him 2/3rd’s of a cup a day. He hunts for bugs and worms during the day. I would think they are pretty low in calories though. The joys of a chained link fence and a property with a lot of trees is there are plenty of places to find food.

    also.. In the past, I have used rice cakes as treats for the dogs.
    Maybe I’ll try that again.

  36. 36
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @JPL: My wife, being Korean, used to give our first Cocker rice, the dog really gained weight. I’m guessing rice cakes would have the same effect.

    The current pack gets dried dog food twice a day, as well as biskets twice a day.

  37. 37
    satby says:

    @JPL: not sure about rice cakes. If your dog is one of the many who loves ice cubes, you can try using those as treats. Loads of fun and no calories.

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have my black Lab on a diet. Problem is, my wife has him on a different diet.

  39. 39
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @satby: My Cocker loves ice cubes.

  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    My boxers are fat beasties, which has to be due to overfeeding since they get plenty of exercise. Every human in the household slips them a treat now and then, which would be okay if only one person were doing that, but multiplied by three, not so much…

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    This week the D.C. Circuit Court should release it’s opinion on subsidies. Of course, they will say that it’s a simple fix for Congress to make.

  42. 42
    Baud says:


    Dems now have a majority on the DC Circuit, so I expect the government to seek rehearing with the entire circuit if the decision is negative.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @Baud: No matter the outcome, will it then go to the Supreme Court?

    It seems that would make a great campaign issue. Congress could decide whether you are receiving health benefits tax free from your employer, or a subsidy. The repubs could go out and say oh no, we support tax free, just not subsidies.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @JPL: Ah Pawlates!

  45. 45
    Baud says:


    Eventually, I expect it will. I’m not optimistic about our chances there with the current makeup of the Supreme Court.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Yup. The Roberts court giveth and the Roberts court taketh away.

  47. 47
    donnah says:


    We adopted a shelter pup many years ago, a bargain for thirty bucks. We loved him to pieces but he cost us a fortune in repairs. He required emergency stomach surgery at twelve weeks, he ran away from home and was hit by a car at the age of two, requiring some surgeries, and later developed thyroid issues, which meant ongoing medication until he died at the age of thirteen, with cancer presumably caused by the thyroid meds.

    Was he worth it? Every penny.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Jumping on the “I think rice cakes as treats will have the opposite effect” bandwagon. Pure carbs, not even any fat or protein to help balance the blood sugar.

  49. 49
    SuperHrefna says:

    The one thing I’m glad of in this whole mess is that if my catgirl starts to really suffer I can put a gentle end to things. I’m watching her carefully for signs, and just getting as much happiness as I can out of this time together. She is such a wonderful cat, so intelligent, with such dexterous paws- I have two kibble feeders next to each other, an open bowl and a simple puzzle feeder ( http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-.....007P5XUNW/ ) and she always used to choose the puzzle feeder because it was more fun. Whenever children come to the house she is always fascinated by them, following them around and touching noses with them. And she is so loving – every time I have had foster kittens to raise she has hissed at them initially and then absolutely taken them over, grooming them, snuggling with them, disciplining them, teaching them all the rules of the house ( number one: she is the queen). I’m going to miss her so much.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    I used to feed my dogs frozen broccoli spears. I called them “pupsicles.”

    Too many carbs is the number one reason for overweight pets. Especially if they get plenty of exercise, like Betty’s Boxers.

  51. 51
    WereBear says:

    @SuperHrefna: Yes, she sounds like a super cat. Don’t struggle with the decision… right now you are both enjoying life. If that changes, it’s time.

    When cats were not treated as pets, their lifespan was about 8 years. Now, with good care, they live to into their late teens, or longer.

    Imagine if they lived to 80… with our current shelter system. It would be horrible. So, as we continue to recognize other life as worthy of our humanitarian efforts, I think the Universe might reward us with pets who live a bit longer :)

  52. 52
    SuperHrefna says:

    @WereBear: She’s only five :-( Her brother died at three, he had pemphigus foliaceous from kittenhood and died of colon cancer. They are/were both wonderful loving cats, but not gifted with good health. I sometimes wonder what happened to the other two cats from their litter and their mother, who was a stray kitten when she had her babies.

    The thing that is really killing me is that although I could cancel this week’s trip to Cape Cod to spend time with her, I absolutely can’t cancel next week’s trip to Australia. At least I will be able to leave her with live in caters who love her as much as I do, but I feel very guilty about the whole thing.

  53. 53
    Tractarian says:

    Didja accidentally step on any feces today?

    I didn’t. Then again, I only have cats.

  54. 54
    Nicole says:

    @donnah: Yeah, I have come to realize the folk wisdom that mutts are healthier is a crock. Sure, there are some breed-specific conditions a mutt might be less likely to inherit, but there are so many other health issues that don’t have anything to do with anything other than chance.

    Well, except bulldogs. I have a friend who is a dog trainer and he says the most important advice he gives clients who own bulldogs is to get pet insurance while the dog is still a puppy.

  55. 55
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Nicole: yes, the struggles I have had with the health of my last two rescue cats ( pemphigus foliaceous, colon cancer, heart murmur and whatever is killing my baby’s kidneys right now) are the reason why my latest kitten came from a breeder who takes great care to ensure that her kittens are healthy. I have no idea what I will do for my next kitten, probably rescue again and cross my fingers and hope.

  56. 56
    Original Lee says:

    @Keith P: When we had a mouse infestation behind the dryer in the laundry room, we put a sticky trap on the floor along the only path from the dryer to the pantry. The border collie kept an eye on it and came to get us whenever the trap caught a mouse. The cat never showed any interest. OTOH, when some tree frogs got into the house and were randomly plopping onto pillows and into sinks and toilets, both of the dogs and the cat sat and watched them and yawned.

  57. 57
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Original Lee: a few years ago I put out a havahart trap to catch a particularly sassy mouse in my bedroom. My cats ignored it, until it caught the mouse- I woke up to find a frantic mousie in the havahart and two enthralled cats watching the havahart. For the next month they stared at that havahart in the hopes that the Magic Mouse Box would produce more entertainment, but it never did.

  58. 58
    Nicole says:

    @SuperHrefna: My best friend adopted two cats from a pet rescue and the female died at age 4 from even the vet didn’t know what. She certainly doesn’t blame the rescue, and values the few years she had with the kitty (who was a very, very sweet animal), but you just have no way of knowing with rescue animals. I do adore our pooch (much as I am not a fan of her unscheduled jumps into the Meer), but I am suspecting she’s got a wonkety left rear hip which I suspect will cost us a bit of $$ down the road.

    I am a big supporter of going to shelters, especially if, like us, a family doesn’t have a specific breed in mind (we just wanted a dog safe with little kids), but I certainly don’t hold it against owners who do research and then go to a reputable breeder.

  59. 59
    WaterGirl says:

    @Nicole: Get pet insurance now, before a problem has been diagnosed.

    I love Pet Plan. You can choose your deductible (50, 100, 200), you can choose the amount they cover after the deductible has been met (80%, 90%, 100%), and you can choose your coverage (silver, gold, platinum).

    I start with high coverage for the first year until I can see if there are any health issues right out of the gate. Bingo on that for my boy kitty, with chronic UTI, so he stays at the high coverage. I changed the other two after a year because they are really healthy.

    When they get older or start to have problems, you can change your coverage – the change just won’t be reflected for existing conditions. But you can pretty much pick whatever premium you can afford by playing with the combination of the 3 options.

  60. 60
    tavella says:

    Hmm, that’s annoying. I tried to support the City Dogs thing three times on two different browsers, and the submit button failed to work every time.

  61. 61
    Nicole says:

    @WaterGirl: Thanks; I’ll look into that. I did research when we first got her, but I found it all pretty confusing- I couldn’t tell the difference between what the assorted companies offered.

  62. 62
    Tehanu says:

    My older grandson, for his 8th birthday, decided to donate all his birthday money to the atheist version of A.A. because his great-uncle, my husband’s brother, had just died of intestinal disease exacerbated by alcoholism. I grant you that’s not quite as impressive as designing and selling t-shirts to raise more money, but we were (and are) very proud of him anyway. I wish everyone would be as good-hearted as both these kids.

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