Category Archives: California

The Promised Land on a Horse with No Name

500 women over the age of 50 on the monterey bay peninsula are experiencing what I have as well as people across the country have been writing to me telling me their stories. Cici and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have sent me kind words, donations and offers to help us.  A special thank you to Melody and Diane, two inspiring women who gave us hope and friendship on the road.


Thank you to Eleanor at Vox and Karen Turner for their kindness and assistance with this article.


We have been featured on some pretty high profile pages, see below.








We also love what our friend Wanda Sue wrote about us in this week’s Cedar Street Times:


Monterey Workshop addresses Affordable Housing Solutions

Ask yourself: Now what was that all about?

Reducing a speech, lecture, or event into a one-line summary isn’t easy, but you’ll be surprised what you discover by condensing a major phenomenon into ten words or less.

If interested, try this: Focus on one specific event, such as the first Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last Monday. Then ask: What was that all about?

When I did the exercise, fifteen hours of contemplation resulted in extracting a comment Hillary made at the opening of the debate. Paraphrased, the most-important message I culled from event was:

One out of two Americans lives paycheck to paycheck

Never mind the fact neither candidate mentioned the H word. Hillary’s statement implied poverty is already a national epidemic. Mass homelessness proportional to disenfranchised Americans of the  Great Depression years seems imminent, even in a paradise like Monterey..

That not-too-distant future is now for CeliaSue Hecht, about whom you’ve read in this newspaper.

The former journalist who’s now homeless lives a nomadic life which is currently reminiscent of Biblical times.

Monterey’s rider on a horse with no name

CeliaSue is a stalwart symbol of bright, sober and mature homeless women with both courage and talent. She is a well-bred middle-class, college-educated former New Yorker, age 66, whom homelessness turned into a living example of the legendary person crossing the desert on a horse with no name. The steed in her case is a dusty white van shared with her dog Cici. It serves as the office from which she freelances as a writer and blogger.

During the six-months in which the City of Monterey was researching the feasibility of adopting five amendments to its Housing Element, each of which might hopefully ameliorate the affordable housing crisis in the city, CeliaSue Hecht went south to avoid becoming a starfish on another cold winter beach in Monterey.

Hoping to find a cozy room at an inn, she found instead, what I would succinctly define as a temporary oasis in The Promised Land for the Homeless, otherwise known as the desert near Giant Rock Airport.


The Promised Land for the Homeless?

CeliaSue has been sleeping in a trailer on a campsite where she helps tend a herd of thirty-plus goats. There is no running water or electricity, but a perk in this region noted for flying saucer sightings is an occasional anomaly above the yucca trees that could be a fortuitous sign or even revelation of future things to come.

Look at the photo and ask yourself: What is this streak all about?  Then try to define it in ten words or less.

As a  help, you might remember the most-beloved Bible story of them all, in which a bright star appears over the manger in which an infant sleeps while shepherds tend their flocks by night.

When I asked myself what this is all about, the answer was: History repeats itself.

If this goat could talk, it might reveal where the homeless go from here by baa-baa-baa-ing, “There’s lots of  land in the Great American Southwest!




if you live on the Central Coast of California or know someone who does and have an RV, camper, mobile home or trailer that is gently used and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…have a list of those in need of housing. You can also contribute here:


Filed under Adventure, affordable housing, all you need is a dog, California, Dalmatian, dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, Don't worry be happy, donations, farm animals, goat, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Palm Springs, travel with dog, women with dogs

Wonder woofers

This column article is in the Cedar Street Times this Friday… thanks to Wanda Sue Parrott

see cici on page 14, article about wonder woofers
photo by Mark Anderson, Monterey County Weekly

Wonder woofers and owners who won’t live without them

“Housing First!” If you were a homeless woman, or on the verge, housing would be your top priority.

Alas, affordable housing is so lacking in Monterey County, that “housing first” is the slogan all agencies, both public and private, use in dealing with affordable housing across the board.  (Note: Cici and I wish this were true)

A special category of need exists that involves homeless women with pets, a few being cats and the majority dogs. The exact number of Monterey’s homeless pet owners is unknown.

Overnight dog housing needed

Landlords don’t want pets and agency-housing doesn’t usually allow them.

Homeless women don’t want to give up their dogs, so they sleep in their cars or on the street to be with their animals.

One reason for temporary suspension of the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program for Women (I-HELP) was the fact female guests weren’t willing to give up their canine  companions in exchange for food, personal amenities and shelter.

Suggestions have been made that an I-HELP for Pets program be devised through which pets can be sheltered at a designated location, then reunited with their owners during the daytime hours.

Between 400 and 500 homeless women were estimated to live on the Monterey Peninsula before the Soberanes Fire dislocated residents who were burned out over the past three weeks. Of this number, an unknown percentage includes pet owners who consider their four-legged friends as more than just canines. They’re their Wonder Woofers.

A few words about Wonder Woofers

Cici is a poster-dog for this column. She’s a loving Dalmatian-Pit Bull mix seen here celebrating her 10th birthday last month. Cici is a Wonder Woofer. Along with her Wonder Worker owner, Cici is homeless.




Since Cici can’t define Wonder Woofer, I’ll try.

A Wonder Woofer is a warm-blooded furry friend who speaks from the heart in arfs, ruffs and woofs we humans call barks. A Wonder Woofer is on the job 24/7, never complaining.

A Wonder Woofer likes to snuggle and wiggle and lick, as well as serenade his or her human with  love songs sung unconditionally through squeals, whimpers, whines and hums.

A Wonder Woofer’s vocal range is extensive, also being capable of issuing protective warnings by yipping, growling and snarling if danger exists.

CeliaSue Hecht, Cici’s loving owner, is a former journalist who’s so devoted to her pet that she defines herself as a “dog traveler.”

Unlike many homeless women who don’t know where to turn or how to get started to solve the housing crisis, CeliaSue is a 66-year-old articulate activist. Despite having survived breast cancer and being in need of medical care and housing, CeliaSue is seeking solutions to the housing crisis. A current example is this ad in Craigslist:

RVs for Seniors with Dogs





If you live on the Central Coast of California and have an RV, camper, or trailer or know someone that does and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…we have a list of those in need of housing.

Hundreds of senior women have been displaced with their pets. Single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, veterans, and other seniors with dogs, over 50 years of age, some ill and whose health has deteriorated without shelter. 

Thank you for your kindness.


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Filed under affordable housing, big dogs welcome, California, Carmel, dog travel, dogs, donations, four paws up, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Monterey, news, pet press, pet travel, Uncategorized

Campers for Seniors with Dogs


if you live on the Central Coast of California or know someone who does and have an RV, camper, mobile home or trailer that is gently used and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…have a list of those in need of housing. Hundreds of senior women and veterans have been displaced with their pets. Single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, veterans, and other seniors with dogs, over 50 years of age, some ill and who’s health has deteriorated without shelter. Thank you for your kindness and SAVING LIVES.
People such as Stu and Stacey are sleeping in a tent in Carmel Valley and are experiencing bronchitis and asthma due to the unhealthy air filled with smoke from the Big Sur fire, 77,000 acres is burning, and 55% contained, causing people without homes numerous breathing issues and medical problems.





Filed under Adventure, affordable housing, all you need is a dog, California, California fires, Carmel, dogs, eco friendly/green, economy, fundraising, K9 approved, keep pets safe, Monterey, Pacific Grove, pet care, pet friendly lodging

Advocates for Women

I have been back in the hospital now for two weeks. Three blood clots on my lungs, breast cancer was ruled out and ovarian cyst to be determined. Without housing, how can I get better?  Sleeping upright in my car night after night, my legs swell and blood clots develop in my legs and travel to other parts of my body and basically could kill me.


I want to create a nonprofit called ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN, the mission is to create, build or find housing for women 50+ who are displaced and have dogs since no one else is doing this and too many tell the women to give up their dogs.

What would happen TO HUNDREDS OF DOGS IF EACH OF THE WOMEN GAVE AWAY THEIR BEST FRIENDS, COMPANIONS, and FAMILY MEMBERS???? (Not to mention what would happen to the women sleeping on the streets or in their cars without the protection of their dogs) ?


As the Big Sur Sobranes fire burns hundreds of acres nearby, there are all kinds of fundraisers going on to help the people who have lost their homes due to the blaze. These people deserve the resources that they require. Yet this highlights and proves what i have been saying all along that where there is a WILL THERE IS A WAY. When people actually WANT TO DO SOMETHING,THEY DO IT.

For the past two years since I have been without a home, except for when I had a camper to live in and roommates, I have met numerous women of the hundreds of women also without homes and been displaced due to ECONOMICS. I have NOT seen the community come together in the same way, doing fundraisers to build, create or find HOMES FOR single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, with dogs, many over 50 years of age, some illl and who’s health has deteriorated without having shelter.

We want to create CARETAKERS VILLAGE,  Land or a lot can be utilized to place SHIFTPODS, yurts, RV’s, campers, trailers, tiny mobile homes, etc. to CREATE a village for women over 50 with dogs who need HOMES ASAP.

WILL YOU HELP US ????  it takes a village…to get this DONE.



Cici has been with Mark Anderson again at the Monterey County Weekly, now for two weeks.


This week, she turned 10 years old and Mark gave her a big bone to celebrate.



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Filed under affordable housing, California, California fires, Carmel, dog friendly, dogs, economy, Monterey, non-profits, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized, women with dogs

In a dog eats cats world 


A headline reads: a celebrity sums up politician in epic three words on twitter, or somebody says something outrageous, ugly or otherwise.

you click on the headline because you have just got to hear, watch, read what they said. and you need a laugh and it is guaranteed to be uproariously funny, right. but when you watch the video or read the tweet, it is dumb. you’ve just been had again and again by headlines designed to get you to click on them.

and sometimes it is bait and switch. the headline says one thing and then you click and it discusses, explains, opines about something else.

we know that too many politicians and others rely upon lies aka 1984’s war is peace, freedom is slavery, etc. and Goebbel’s propaganda strategy (that worked) that you keep on telling the lie over and over ad infinitum ad nauseum and eventually people will believe the lie no matter all of the facts, debunking of the myths, and countering intelligence that others do.

lies and fear mongering have worked for many years. It usually always is about politics and votes. Like the great bathroom debacle in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s transgender bathroom battle: what sparked it, and what’s next

Transgender Dog Unsure Which Tree To Pee On



and some people continue to tell BIG LIES knowing that they are false in order to sell products, services, ideologies and candidates.

truth vs lies.

facts vs myths, stereotypes and propaganda

BIAS against pit bull type dogs based on myths



There are myths and stereotypes told about everyone. And especially those who are not white and male and rich are punished for not being white, male, pretending to be Christian while not following Jesus’ edicts and rich. And there are myths and stereotypes told about various dog breeds, Muslims, Mexicans, gay people, transgender people, Jewish people, women, African Americans, homeless people, poor people, and the list goes on.

Did you know that being aka existing without a home in the US is a crime? That is, if you are eating, sleeping, sitting, lying down in public, camping, parking overnight, you can be arrested, and have all of your meager belongings taken away from you, next thing will be breathing in public…. aka taking up space on the planet, our tax dollars at work.

Many people think that people without homes are lazy bums who refuse to work or want to be homeless, are drug addicts, alcoholics, or mentally ill. And being homeless aka a criminal for being alive, will never happen to me!

Except that it does and has happened and the homeless population is primarily made up of formerly middle class people including single moms with children, women leaving domestic violence and/or abusive situations, seniors, half who cannot afford housing and more than half in CA, veterans, working poor, people who have lost their homes due to foreclosure, illness and other reasons. Traumatized people who have been banned and evicted from society. Your former neighbors trying to survive without sleep, no bed, unable to go to the bathroom, take a shower, or even to sit down or lie down or JUST BE ALIVE.


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“Since the year 2000, more than 80 percent of metropolitan areas saw their household incomes decline, pointing to a shrinking middle class that’s fueling economic insecurity.”

But people can discern the Truth in their heart of hearts. Some people want to believe the lies for their own personal reasons, agendas, and motives. If you are a builder, developer, or landlord who wants to make maximum amounts of money, you can tell yourself that seniors, poor people,disabled people, single moms with children, and others can find some place else to live. Except they cannot and you know it.

And if you are a church or a nonprofit agency who is supposed to be helping house or feed or find jobs or whatever for other people and all you are really doing is you are making a very good salary, work in a luxury building, and/or spending the donation and grant money you garner on everything but what your stated mission is, that your charity spends a very small percentage, if any, on their stated goals, then you know in your heart that you are cheating, stealing and NOT DOING YOUR JOB. Why does a nonprofit in Monterey, for instance, need hundreds of thousands of dollars, feeding homeless women, when ALL of the food is donated and their staff is all volunteers? Where is that money going? Hint, it is NOT being spent on Housing women without homes. Not even for a single night.

Why are millions of dollars raised every day/week/month/year to HOUSE PETS but so little raised to HOUSE HUMAN BEINGS  ???? What if there were charities who housed BOTH HUMANS AND THEIR PETS AND/OR HOUSED HUMANS SO THAT THEY COULD FOSTER OR ADOPT A PET???

Think of all of the humans languishing and dying on the streets, in cars and all of the pit bull type dogs being euthanized and / or dying in shelters.

There are some folks coming up with creative solutions to house people and pets.  How about you???  What are you doing to house people and pets???  What can you do? What are you able / willing to do?

What people do not realize is that when people without homes have pets or even if they do not have pets, that pets ARE affected, too.

Thanks !!!

A fun contest from the good folks at Advances Shelter systems, Inc., creator of SHIFT PODS that serve as temporary and / or emergency housing for all kinds of folks around the world, for festivals, events and camping options for those who like to travel and the great outdoors.

Stark white and ready for some street art! Good with a spray can? Send shift pods your art! If they like it they may send you a SHIFTPOD to paint for their charity auction for Ecuador. These ARTPODS will be auctioned off to raise money to help people who lost everything in the huge earthquake. #‎emergencyresponse #‎shiftpod #‎shelterpod #‎artpod #‎burningman #‎festival #‎ecuador #‎earthquake



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Filed under animal rescue, Baby Boomers, breeds, California, camping, Canada, contest, creative artwork, dogs, end dog racism, Uncategorized

Best Pet Blogs

We have been selected as one of the best Pet blogs to follow by first site guide …  see below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 10.14.15 AM

It is always nice to be appreciated.  Thanks !

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Filed under all you need is a dog, animal stars, animals, California

Norcal pet friendly

Our list of fun places to take your pooch in Northern California continues…


10. Russian River (Guerneville, Sebastopol, and Armstrong woods)

Cici and I just took a one day quick trip across the 37 from Vallejo to Sebastopol, Bodega Bay and Armstrong woods. We ate some delicious turkey burgers from Sequoia Drive-in, loved the beach and the woods, did a drive-thru. And we also went to two author events at Book Passage. The weather at the beach was cool and the weather otherwise was sunny and not too hot. Enjoyed the day, and it was a lot of driving for me in one day.



11. Sacramento  (Rancho Cordova)

We would have to add that the Red Roof Inn in Rancho Cordova has slid downhill in a bad way (garbage left all over the property, bugs in the rooms, etc.)  too bad because we used to like to stay at this moderately priced motel which offers weekly rates. It is certainly a better option than Motel 6 but that is not saying much. The Comfort Inn in Folsom Lakes would be a better choice for a higher price, in my humble opinion. at least you get breakfast. And we had problems with their beds (hurt my back both times I stayed there in different rooms) so maybe LaQuinta Inn is the best choice for a higher price of course.

we love that Panera’s opened up nearby the Red Roof Inn. They have a drive-thru service and dogs are allowed on the patio. They also donate their nightly leftovers to charities / food banks.

There are numerous green areas to walk the dog including at Rancho Cordova city hall and the library.

12. SF Bay area

You cannot take the dog on the ferries but seniors get half off if you are 65+. There are ferries to the Ferry building in SF, Larkspur and Sausalito


13. Healdsburg


14. Silicon Valley  (Rosewood Sandhill)

15. Point Reyes  (Sea shells by the seashore)

16. Gold Country, Murphys, Twaine Hart, Sonora

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 8.37.21 AM

17. Yosemite

18. South Lake Tahoe

19. Half Moon Bay


20. Elks in Orick, Himalayan Yaks in Mendocino




In Redwood National and State Parks, pets on a leash not exceeding six feet in length, under owner control, and without creating disturbance to visitors and wildlife are allowed:

  • On all road-accessible beaches (excluding dune habitat).
  • Within 100 feet of public roads and parking areas (but not on trails).
  • At designated picnic areas.
  • Within all road-accessible campgrounds.


21. We were going to go to Fortuna and see the Avenue of the Giants but instead opted to visit Paradise, Red Bluff, and Anderson to look at mobile homes in parks (to purchase possibly). It was a bust as far as buying a mobile home AND we enjoyed our stay at the Comfort Inn in Paradise a lot. The town seems to be pretty pet friendly. We passed quickly thru Chico from Skyway and it seems like a nice college town about 15 minutes from Paradise. The weather gets REALLY HOT HOT HOT in summer and then cold in winter. Paradise has a lot of seniors who retire there and some good restaurants. Well, we ate at the Italian Garden which has a bar and early bird special Italian food. I had the zucchini sticks and chicken parmesan (with soup or salad). Yummy. The people were nice and we saw some deer and rabbits in the early morning, too. Well, I did, I think Cici was too busy looking around and sniffing.


Driving up to Paradise from Sacramento area (Rancho Cordova is about 2 hours) we took the 99 and 70 thru Marysville and Oroville. The last 10 miles or so up to Paradise were a bit twisty windy. But on the way back, we took Skyway thru Chico and took the 5 up to Red Bluff and took the 5 back down south, thru Williams and Corning and Maxwell when we went home. The 5 seemed faster and more highway. The towns went by quickly. We visited the visitor center in Red Bluff who told us that the Olive Pit in Corning was a good place to eat. It wasn’t as far as I was concerned. In Red Bluff, a good place to eat was the Rockin R, home cooked food. I had a tuna melt with baked potato. Shari’s with pies was awful service and not great food, either (that was lunch).  The Comfort Inn in Red Bluff was fine, although the room set up was a bit weird. They were very helpful and the internet service was pretty much nonexistent (unlike the service in Paradise and Rancho Cordova).

101 things to do in Paradise


More about Butte County


All in all, this is what Cici had to say about Paradise (yes, several paws UP) LOL


Photo on 5-15-15 at 7.59 AM



Photo on 5-15-15 at 9.00 AM



here is some info about pet friendly Chico



What would you like to do with your pooch in Northern California?

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Filed under Adventure, California, dogs, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized