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Wait a second: That’s an animal shelter?

“You want to, like, live there,” said the woman beside me as we looked at photos of the sprawling home of the Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) at the nonprofit’s fundraiser the other night at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville.

At NOAH, dogs and cats each get their own room, with a bed and a door leading to a patio. They are spayed and neutered upon arrival (I know, a fine how-do-you-do), stay with the animals they arrived with and are adopted in an average of four days.

The organization was started 11 years ago by Bayliner Marine founder Orin Edsonand his wife, Charlene, after she learned that the Everett Animal Shelter was putting down 22 animals a day. (For the record, they’re cat people. Two, named Trapper and Andy.)

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“I knew how important animals are to people’s lives, so we searched for answers,” Charlene Edson said.

“So we copied the good shelters and ignored the bad ones,” her husband added.

In the time since, NOAH has spayed and neutered some 59,000 animals and seen 21,000 adoptions at its Stanwood facility. Almost every dog and cat has been saved from euthanasia.

“The system is working very, very well,” Orin Edson said.

Some of the brightest lights in the room weren’t even there: Walter. JJ. Sue Ellen. Maycee. Mary. And, of course, Alfie Bucklin. Dogs and cats, whose faces and stories served as centerpiece cards at the tables.

Emcee Michelle Millmanof KIRO-TV signed on after her husband — a member of the Everett Fire Department — got a request from a co-worker who volunteers at NOAH.

Millman, who hosts the “Pet of the Week” segments on the noon news, grew up with labs, but doesn’t have any animals now.

“We don’t have a dog,” she reported. “We have two boys.”

The event was held on the same night that Chris Isaakwas performing. The sultry singer made an appearance at the fundraiser with a Maltese named Rodneyon his arm, and donated a guitar that was auctioned off for $2,000.

Winner Tammy Powers
— who lives with 23 cats, six dogs, two horses and one husband named Greg on a farm in Maple Valley — got a couple of hugs from Isaak, as well as permission to come up on stage, if the music (and the wine) moved her.

“We want beautiful women to come up and to dance,” Isaak told me.

During the live auction, Jessica McCready
was furiously bidding on an iPad for her son, who needs one for the dyslexic program at his new school. McCready could bid only so high, and the iPad was won by
Cyndi Mullenhoff, of Yakima.

After the auction, McCready approached Mullenhoff and offered to buy the iPad, explaining why she needed it.

Mullenhoff handed McCready the iPad. A gift, she said, from her to McCready’s son — Noah.

Macklemore scores

The two MTV Video Music Awards he and Ryan Lewiswon the other night were A Moment, but Macklemore also deserves some praise for his cover-boy comments to Rolling Stone about being a white man in the predominantly black genre of hip-hop.

“If you’re going to be a white dude and do this (expletive), I think you have to take some level of accountability,” he told the magazine. “You have to acknowledge where the art came from, where it is today how you’re benefiting from it. At the very least, just bringing up those points and acknowledging that yes, I understand my privilege, I understand how it works for me in society, and how it works for me in 2013 with the success ‘The Heist’ has had.”

The man knows where he comes from in more ways than one.

Time for Tom

The last time author Michael Perry came to Seattle, he brought his lovely memoir, “Truck” — and people brought their own trucks to the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library to show off and share the long-bed love.

Perry returns to Seattle Tuesday, when he will read from his most recent book, “Visiting Tom,” at 7 p.m. Third Place Books in Ravenna.

Bring any visitors named Tom, if you have one sitting around.

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

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