Telma Garcia is passionate about two things: her family and helping dogs. Her blog, At the Fire Hydrant, brings her love for both together as she writes about being a mother to one, and the nonprofit she started to find foster homes for dogs. Telma’s a foodie too, creating recipes for both kods AND dogs!
Your blog is bilingual (which I love!). Do you publish all of your posts in English and Spanish, or just some? Do you do your own translating? How did you come to the decision to create a bilingual blog?
I try to publish all my posts in English and in Spanish. I do have some catching up to do and am currently working on translating them. Spanish is my first language, so I do all the translating myself. I decided to do make my blog bilingual because I have a lot of family and friends that speak Spanish and I wanted to reach as many people as possible about my cause and what it is that I do.
Your love for dogs (and for saving them) started at an early age. Was there a particular experience that led you down this path?
I grew up in El Paso and, with it being a border city, we would travel often to Mexico. I would see stray dogs everywhere. I also saw how people treated them. They are seen as things and not living creatures. They are disposed of like yesterday’s trash and that really impacted me. When I moved to San Antonio I saw how many strays there were here and it was like I knew that I had moved here for a reason.
San Antonio R.O.C.K.S. (Real Options for Changing Kill Shelters) is a nonprofit you created to find homes for shelter dogs. How does the program work and how can we find it?
San Antonio R.O.C.K.S. is an all-volunteer-run, foster-based rescue. We pull adoptable dogs from the city shelter’s euthanasia list and try to place them in foster homes. Foster parents offer the dogs a temporary place to stay until we find them a forever home. We do not have a physical shelter, so finding foster homes for our dogs is crucial. You can find more information on our website or the San Antonio R.O.C.K.S. Facebook page.
What are some of your favorite ways to teach kids about caring for all animals? Are there programs in San Antonio (including, or in addition to, San Antonio R.O.C.K.S.) that encourage kids and families to participate and volunteer to help save dogs and other animals?
Kids are the future and they will continue what we leave behind. Teaching our kids about things starts at home. If we show our kids that being kind to animals is how the world should be then that is what they will learn. The only youth education program in San Antonio is called YelpSA. They are dedicated to stopping the cycle of animal abuse and neglect by teaching children to be responsible pet owners. They visit schools and talk to as many children as possible. However, one program is not nearly enough to educate such a large city. San Antonio R.O.C.K.S. has a few projects in the works, one being a youth education program. It is still in its infancy stage and we are searching for volunteers to head up this part of our mission. If interested you can visit www.sarocks.org and fill out a volunteer application.
You share recipes on your blog for kids AND for dogs! What is your favorite recipe for each of them?
Yes! I love to share the food I make with our doggies. Of course, I only share food that is safe for them and only in moderation. I do have to say that my favorite for the doggies is the watermelon carrot pupsicles. They are super easy to make and they enjoy them so much on the hot summer days. For the kids, I love making zesty tuna noodles. They are also super easy. You can even have the kids help put all the ingredients together. My daughter really enjoys eating them with her chopsticks.