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Buns of Steel, Heart of Gold

By: Kerri-Lynn Swanson
Photos: Allen Carrasco

With more than 14 million copies of Buns of Steel sold worldwide, Tamilee Webb is much more than a household name: She’s a household icon.

Her easy to understand, no-nonsense approach to health and fitness and the idea that it can be achieved at home has won her a worldwide audience that embraces her idea of fuss-free exercise routines that produce amazing results. Although Tamilee remains dedicated to personal health and fitness, she is just as dedicated to spreading the word about animal rescues and the benefits of adopting homeless pets. Tamilee began her career in personal training and fitness early on, attending California State University Chico and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and a Master of Arts degree in Exercise Science. While on a school break, Tamilee took her very first aerobics class in San Diego. She was immediately met with an overwhelming demand for her class and it was not long before she was filling up several classes daily.

After graduation, Tamilee held several industry-related jobs, all of which would have a significant impact on her future role as a fitness guru. While working at a health spa, Tamilee wrote her first exercise book, The Original Rubber Band Workout. It was not long before Tamilee’s energetic personality moved her in front of the camera as the star of her very first video, Buns of Steel. The video was an instant hit, and several soon followed. In 2010, the entire collection was re-released on DVD, introducing Tamilee’s fitness philosophy to a whole new generation.

Ever since the success of her first video, Ms. Webb has been a major presence in the world of personal fitness and training. She has also published several successful workout books including Workouts for Dummies and Tamilee Webb’s Defy Gravity Workout Book. Her work has not gone unnoticed by her peers. Tamilee has been awarded Fitness Trainer of the Year by IDEA Health & Fitness Association in addition to her many awards for outstanding achievements in the field of personal fitness.

What is Holly’s Garden?

Holly’s Garden is a non-profit animal rescue founded more than three years ago by long-time dog lovers Susan, Will and Cathi. They are a small breed rescue focusing on abandoned dogs in need of rehabilitation and medical care. They also routinely provide medical and behavioral assistance to dog owners in the hopes of discouraging owner relinquishments, including assistance to homeless people in caring for their dogs so that they do not have to abandon them. Aside from becoming guardian angels for unwanted dogs, they are also their advocates. Once the dogs are ready to find permanent homes, Holly’s Garden ensures that the dog is a perfect fit by evaluating the potential owner to make sure that the dog will be compatible with the owner’s lifestyle and expectations. They also perform a home check every time to ensure that the animal will be placed in a safe and loving environment. Be sure to check out hollysgarden.com to read inspirational stories, view adoptable animals or make a donation.

Isabella Cinderella

No matter what you find Tamilee doing these days, you can be sure she will be accompanied by Isabella Cinderella, Izzie for short. Her (almost) four-legged friend has been a fixture in Tamilee’s life since adopting her years ago from Susan and the wonderful people at Holly’s Garden.

Always an animal lover, the moment she came across the photo of Izzie on petfinder.com, it was love at first sight. She contacted Holly’s Garden right away and learned all about Izzie’s amazing journey. Found abandoned at an animal shelter with a badly injured front leg, she was rescued by Susan and her crew and given immediate medical attention. Although they were not able to save her front leg, she was an otherwise healthy loving dog who was ready for a new home!

Izzie & Friends

These days, Izzie’s calendar is just as well coordinated as her owner’s. Aside from being Tamilee’s travel companion, she is also a trained therapy dog that regularly goes and visits various children’s hospitals. And if that wasn’t enough, she will also be the star of her very own T.V. show Izzie & Friends with the help of co-host Tamilee. Featuring entertaining and inspiring stories from some of Izzie’s amazing four legged friends, they hope to help spread a positive message and show everyone the love and dedication rescue and shelter dogs can provide!

Why animal rescue?

Contrary to popular belief, animal shelters, animal rescues and the Humane Society are three separate entities. They are not one in the same; each one performs very specific (and very different) duties and are each regulated by their own rules, policies and timelines. Animal shelters, most often referred to as “the pound”, is where most stray or relinquished animals will end up.

The Humane Society is a private, non-profit organization that receives no government funding or grants and is fully supported by donations and services fees. The mission of the Humane Society is to promote the humane treatment of animals, to prevent cruelty to animals, and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond. Although they do provide animal services in some areas, the primary focus for the Humane Society is NOT to rescue, rehabilitate and place animals in loving homes. The sole purpose of an animal rescue IS just that: To rescue animals.

Most animal rescue organizations are small, non-profit organizations that function solely off donations and adoptions fees, much like the Humane Society. But that is where the similarities end. Animal rescues receive far fewer donations than the Humane Society, although they are responsible for taking care of a larger number of animals. In fact, many of the animals that end up at private animal rescues are taken from animal shelters when they are deemed “RESCUE ONLY” due to trauma, neglect, abuse or red listed for euthanasia due to lack of room at the shelter. The reality is that more than 7 million domesticated animals will be brought to a shelter this year and a disheartening 4 million dogs will never leave. There are thousands of hard working and dedicated people across the county just like Susan, Will and Cathi who donate all of their free time into saving these animals. For Susan, the message is quite clear. “We don’t want to be doing this. We just can’t stand by and watch this travesty that man has created. We want to see people taking responsibility for their pets. We (humans) need to understand that an animal is a commitment that should not be taken lightly.” So, if you or anyone you know is considering adding a furry companion to the family, first determine if you are willing to make a life-long commitment. If adding a four-legged friend is in your future, consider adopting from your local animal shelter or animal rescue rather than purchasing from a pet store or internet breeder.

‘‘We are the willing, led by the unknowing, who are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much for so long with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.‘‘
- Anonymous

FACT : In order to provide a home for all of the animals that are homeless today, each person would need to adopt 7.5 dogs.

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Posted in Celebrity, January 2012