Pet sanctuary perfect choice for next Ron Howard film

Jun 24, 2011

I didn’t quite know what to expect the first time I pulled into the driveway of the House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I was afraid that a charity dedicated to caring for old, abandoned dogs (and a few cats) would be a sad place, one that much like a hospice for people reeked of decay and despair. Minutes after walking through the front gates, however, I thought I had accidentally stumbled across a modern-day re-make of the movie “Cocoon” that starred senior animals instead of senior people. A little blind poodle named “Faith” somehow flew into the arms of Orion’s Attic co-founder Won-ok Kim. Another little one was bounding around after recovering from a spinal tap. In another spot, Daphne seemed to have no memory of a second broken...

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Making a bride’s day in Haiti

May 6, 2011

I heard the man’s exasperation the moment he called us about the four wedding dresses we had for sale. He said he needed at least one or two by 1 p.m. the next day. The need for one I could understand. Maybe he was a groom who had somehow dropped the ball in historic fashion. The need for two? That was odd. We were selling them for cheap, though, figuring someone would buy them from us and turn around and re-sell them. I never question paying customers’ motives, though, so I told him to come on over. He was stunned by the quality of the dresses and took the first two without hesitation, agreeing to the $50 price for each. “I was just about to start driving around to every thrift shop and Goodwill store...

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End of the road for eBay?

Apr 23, 2011

Everyone knows that bad things happen to good people, but isn’t it also nice when you see bad things happen to people — and companies — that really have it coming? eBay’s latest assault on sellers has them howling mad, including newcomers like us. Although the Orion’s Attic eBay store is bringing in a few bucks, the “Fee-Bay” decision to start charging a commission on shipping means that many sellers’ already scarce profits will be much more likely to wind up on the endangered species list. The company is spinning the news as an effort to “help” sellers because it’s reducing the fees for listing items. If taking off a dollar on the front end of its fee structure only to take $2 or more on the back end is help, many will prefer...

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