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Home Archive December/January 2005

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Tips for Living

Charitable Greetings

If youd like to wish friends and colleagues happy holidays while simultaneously donating to a good cause, a number of local charities are ready to help. Downside Up, which aids children with Down syndrome, and MiraMed, an orphanage aid institute, both sell cards with drawings by Moscow children. SOS Childrens Villages International, a sponsor of five centers for disadvantaged children in Russia, offers Christmas-themed postcards. Nature lovers can send cards featuring Siberian tigers and leopards, and AMUR will spend the proceeds to protect the endangered cats. Whichever you choose, the ones you care about will know you care about someone else too. AMUR: Write Sharon Miller at Click "Shopping" to view the cards at; Diemas Dream: Write Mary Dudley at; Downside Up: One of their 20 card designs is pictured here; write Irina Menshenina at, or call 951 0079; MiraMed Institue: Click "How you can help" to view the cards at, or call 730 0064; SOS Childrens Village: Call Marina Anoshina at 718 9918 or e-mail

A Real Lifesaver

Youve locked yourself out of your flat in the middle of the night. You got in a car accident and your Russian isnt good enough to handle the police officer or the irate owner of the Mercedes youve just wrecked. Theres good news. Two services, Lifeline Response and Europ Assistance, now offer 24-hour emergency assistance for expatriate families. Lifeline, started recently by a group of former bodyguards, provides English-speaking operators as a clients first point of contact. Depending on the situation, theyll send assistance an emergency response team if youre being hassled by the police, or a reliable plumber if your bathroom floods from a burst pipe. Europ Assistance offers similar services, and even a 24-hour hairdresser for that 3am hair emergency. More info about Lifeline available from Dean Welch at 245 4387 and Europ Assistance at

Home alone

What does one do with puss or pooch when its time to go home for Christmas or take that holiday, and the four-legged family members cant come along? Moscows pet hotels are of uneven standard. One way out is to contact Dr. Yuri Shishmaryov, a vet, and his English-speaking wife, Valeria. They take cats and dogs into their loving care and look after them with their own two cats. They also have a number of reliable friends who will take in animals for short stays. For cats the cost is five dollars a day, as long as you provide food and cat litter, seven dollars if you dont. For dogs, its ten dollars if you provide the food, one to three dollars more if you dont, the price depending on the size and appetite of your pooch. Yuri and Valeria will also pick up and return your pet free of charge. Book as far in advance as possible and, of course, ensure that your pet is fully up to date with all the usual jabs and has been wormed recently. Call 200 0388 (home) or 8 501 439 3956 (mobile). Even if Yuri and Valeria cant house your pets, they may be able to find you a reliable, honest person to look after them at your own home.

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