1) Make Homemade Dog Biscuits and Dog Blankets: My family recently rescued an adorable dachshund from an L.A. City animal shelter, and I know if my daughter had her way she’d invite all 400 of the pets there to live with us. We can’t do that but we can do the next best thing: give the dogs there a little treat, such as homemade dog biscuits and a small blanket of their own.
To make the biscuits, check out dogtreatkitchen.com for healthy treats.
Then, either raid your parents’ baking supplies for some cookie cutters—think out of the box and go for shapes such as candy canes, trees, pumpkins or, uh, cats —or head to a cooking shop, such as Williams-Sonoma in Glendale, and pick up a dog-bone shaped cutter. Amazon.com also has a set of three for $6.99.
If you want to get started right away, you can just DIY a cookie-cutter shape. Here’s how: Draw the shape of a dog bone onto a piece of heavy cardboard, cut it out, and place it on top of your dough. Then, use a sharp knife to create the shape.
With a group of canine-loving buddies, set aside an afternoon to bake.
Before you meet, ask each friend to bring five old soft clothing items (flannel shirts, for example) or towels. Spend your baking time cutting the recycled fabric into one-foot by one-foot squares—et voila! You’ve got doggy blankets that’ll give a lot of comfort to those critters.
Both Glendale and Pasadena have well-known and well-respected humane societies that accept such donations. Call ahead for visiting hours.
You can also make donations to Eagle Rock’s local—but widely connected—animal activist Barbara, who can distribute them to the North Central Animal Care and Control (to contact Barbara, email the editor of Eagle Rock Patch at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Such a gift would mean a lot to the animal shelters. “They have literally hundred of animals who are not sure what the future will hold for them and their situation is not the best so a little treat will be some comfort for them,” says Barbara. North Central Animal Care and Control, located on Lacy Street nearby, takes animals from all Northeast Los Angeles, Eagle Rock and surrounding cities, she adds.
What a great way to have fun and help a kind fuzzy four-legged soul in the process!
2) TAKE A DAY TRIP TO EXPLORE TIM BURTON’S MIND: Director, animator and all-around brilliant creative guy Tim Burton is the star of a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The show, up through the summer, explores the full range of Burton's creative work, both as a film director and as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer—he has to his credit more than 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known personal projects. While you’re there, check out the Edward Scissorhands-inspired topiary and the enormous Balloon Boy outdoor installation.
Sure, you know his movies—Beetlejuice and Batman Returns, among them—but did you know that Burton was born in Burbank? This local boy studied at the California Institute of the Arts (check out Cal Arts' outgoing MFA students’ art exhibition, which ended July 10 in Eagle Rock), and worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before striking out to do his own creative thing. Tickets, best booked ahead, run $20 per person. But if you're younger than 18 you're in luck: Children, 17 and under are free.
This Friday, July 22 (and next, July 29) at 6:30 p.m., you can combine a visit to the show with Burton-esque Stories Around a (Flashlight) Campfire, which is free. No reservations are needed but come early for seating.
To really make a day out of it, you and your amigos can walk up to the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and Third Street afterward for pizza and ice cream.
3) BELT IT OUT AT AN AL FRESCO SING ALONG: This Friday, from 6:30 to 8 pm, head to the W.M. Keck Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, for a free sing-along. Hundreds of music-loving folks will join to belt out popular favorites and classic tunes, accompanied by live musicians, under the warm summer skies. Lyrics provided. Best of all, it’s free!
4) CRACK OPEN A GREAT BOOK AND WIN SOME PRIZES: Today—and ever Tuesday—at 3 p.m., the will host yet another Teen Summer Reading Club as part of its "TeenTastic" Tuesdays program. Join our fabulous local librarians for fun and crafts. You can also hang out, read, check out books and win prizes. Oh, and did we mention the library has free air-conditioning?