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Columbus Monthly – Columbus Pets Guide: John Tortorella’s Soft Spot
By Chris Gaitten
Posted Dec 2, 2020
For the Columbus Blue Jackets coach, hockey is the hook—he’d rather talk about dogs and horses.
Over the years, the Tortorella household north of Columbus has become a haven of sorts, a second-chance home for animals in need. John Tortorella, the Blue Jackets coach, talks with tenderness about his family’s dogs, the ”pittie″ mixes. First, there’s Jack, whose mother was run over when he was a feral pup. John and his wife, Christine, rescued him. There’s Blaze and Sherman, spared from a poorly run shelter, and Kali, the foster who never left. And there are horses—Willow, Rose and Skye—all rescues too.
Most of us look forward to the sun and fun of summer. It’s great to spend time outdoors with friends and family and pets. It’s important, however, to be aware of the special needs of our cats and dogs in the heat. Many avoidable pet deaths occur during summer. Topping the list are animals left in cars. Here is a flyer of some safety tips that you can print out and share on bulletin boards or hand out at events. Click on the flyer to open it on your computer. Thank you!
Named after the Tortorella family’s beloved dog, Bear’s Angels is a program of the Tortorella Foundation that supports the efforts of those who work together to aid animals in need of assistance that falls outside of traditional animal welfare services. The program partners with shelters, rescues and individuals who catch “fallen angels” — animals requiring additional training and TLC, elderly animals who do not shelter well and those with medical issues that rescues cannot address.
Bear’s Angels and its partners reflect the Tortorella Foundation’s mission that people working together, sharing talent and expertise, and learning from each other can better the world. The Tortorella Foundation supports many efforts by underwriting unique programs that promote adoptions, emergency care for abused or abandoned animals, rescue and transport from high-kill shelters and the construction of animal housing and play yards to assist rescues caring for homeless dogs and cats.
Of course, very few people out there don’t know the book Where the Wild Things Are, but I don’t think that means it’s not worth repeating: This book is phenomenal!
My 4-year-old daughter, who has almost no reading experience (other than what mommy reads to her), can recite this book cover to cover and has been able to for a year now. My 3-year-old daughter is well on her way, too! She has memorized it so thoroughly I can turn to a specific page and she starts the story from that page on.
Any book that can entertain that much and teach at the same time is worth buying and reading over and over! I have never been able to read that book in a monotone, regular voice. It inspires me to be even sillier than I usually am. And that’s saying something.
One of my favorite parts of this book teaches kids about imagination. My daughter understands her room cannot be ”hung with vines, and the walls became the world all around.” She was never much of an imaginative kid until we started reading this book. If she sees a boat she looks for Max’s name on the side. And she runs around the house roaring a terrible roar and showing her terrible claws. Priceless!
Even more, though, in the end Max wanted to go home where he was loved “best of all.” I want my kids to know that home is where they are loved “best of all!”
Review by Kristin Wilson – Kristin is a former newspaper journalist turned mommy of two little girls. She loves to read, and always has. That love for reading, she believes, is what helped her discover her passion for writing. And her goal is to pass that same love onto her children through books!
The Jr. Lightning Girls Hockey Team continues its volunteer efforts and education by spending the day at Southeastern Guide Dogs. The girls made chew toys and treats before their visit. It’s tough to say who had more fun — the girls or the dogs.
Canucks coach John Tortorella and his wife, Christine, attended their first Dice and Ice Gala benefitting Alex Mitchell’s Canucks for Kids Fund that supports many local children’s charities.
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Canucks coach John Tortorella attended his first Dice and Ice Gala benefitting Alex Mitchell’s Canucks for Kids Fund that supports many local children’s charities.