Family: Trish Ekema and her husband, James Gebert, will have lived in Three Rivers for four years in March.
Place of Birth: Palm Springs.
First Job: As a sophomore at Yucca Valley High School, I started a new chapter of Interact, a branch of the Rotary Club that teaches youth social responsibility.”
Occupation: “I work directly with the founder of Marley’s Mutts dog rescue, Zach Skow. I use my background in marketing to help strategize and execute the allocation of grant money for the year, write the newsletter, and post daily on Facebook. I also work with Love of Animals, The Trio Foundation, The Devoted Barn, and 2 by 2 Rescue. I rescued Master Splinter, my 13-year-old Parson Terrier/Tibetan Spaniel/Pekingese mix — affectionately known as the Yamadillo — in June 2015 and expanded the job from there.”
Favorite Food: “Asian cuisine.”
Favorite Movie: “Anything with Audrey Hepburn.”
Favorite Book/Author: “The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.”
Diversions / Hobbies / Leisurely Pursuits: “My husband, James, and I like doing a lot of home improvement. Recently, we added a workshop, and we are in the process of putting together a fitness facility for friends and family to enjoy.”
Your Bio in Six Words: “Authentic, kind, present, compassionate, witty, determined.”
Interesting Fact: “I have a sixth sense with animals. Wild deer walk right up to me and let me pet them. Hummingbirds land on my hand. In addition to my rescue dogs and cat, I have a pet frog and a beautiful green praying mantis.”
In 10 years, I hope to be: “Right here doing what I’m doing now because it feels right.”
Pet Peeve: “Disorganization. I pride myself on finding the most efficient way to do things.”
Road to Three Rivers: “When my husband, James, was transferred to the Central Valley, I remained in Orange County. During visits, we would walk our dogs on the Skyline trail system. One day we were eating at Sierra Subs and we saw a house listing that I couldn’t get out of my mind. We searched for it for hours and realized the address was incorrect. We finally found it here on Dinely and knew it was meant to be our home.
“I used to try to be everywhere and do everything myself. What I’ve learned by coming to Three Rivers is to use technology in an efficient way to leverage my time and accomplish my goals without shoving myself into a box. Up here, I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been. I get more quality time and still multi-task to help the animals and humans around me.”
Meet the Famous Master Splinter: “My rescue, Master Splinter, was isolated in a trash- and feces-filled pantry for a decade, most of his life. He is blind, partially deaf, and hairless due to his past abuse and has cancer and Cushing’s disease. He also has deteriorated paw pads due to infection from his previous habitat and had a six-pound tumor connected to his spleen removed.
“Marley’s Mutts rescued Splinter from the Shafter City Animal Shelter and raised $17,000 from their loyal fans — known as the Mutt Militia — to get Splinter the medical attention he needed to be ready for his forever home!”
Helping to Control the Pet Population: “One of our goals is to minimize euthanasia rates by raising awareness about spaying and neutering pets. Many dogs with medical issues are put down first because there is a higher risk of finding parents that can take care of them properly.”
2017 Calendar: Calendars starring Master Splinter are currently available for 2017. They are laminated, spiral bound, and filled with quotes, gratitude lists and, of course, photos that provide Splinter inspiration every day of the year.
“We are currently offering 20 percent off and free shipping (coupon code: HAPPYHOLIDAYS). A portion of the proceeds from the calendars goes to Marley’s Mutts and other rescue organizations. Purchase online (and see other Splinter and rescue products) at: https://charms-for-rescues.myshopify.com/collections/master-splinter-home-collection.”
Splinter Care: Because it takes a village, there is a fundraising site online to collect donations to assist with Splinter’s ongoing medical care: https://www.youcaring.com/master-splinter-669783.
Splinter the Celebrity: Follow Master Splinter on Facebook, along with his 20,000-plus other fans, and be the recipient of his ‘Daily ARFirmations’ and paw-sitive aphorisms. The inspiring Splinter has also been the subject of feature articles in People magazine and the Washington Post.