Welcome!

Pharaoh – just being a dog!

Dogs live in the present – they just are!  Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value.  Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years.  That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer.  Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming,  thence the long journey to modern man.  But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite.  Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.

Dogs know better, much better!  Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Welcome to Learning from Dogs

Santa Monica goodness!

Unfettered, unrestrained kindness.

Those of you that followed that terrible act of murder and mayhem on Westminster Bridge and near the Palace of Westminster not so many days ago will have been fully aware of the way that ordinary people, going about their ordinary lives, rushed to the aid of the injured.

Members of the public rush to help a man run down after the vehicle struck.

So just hold that image in your head while I extend the idea of helping others, as described in a recent item on Mother Nature Network.

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Firefighter saves dog with ‘mouth to snout’ resuscitation

Mary Jo DiLonardo

March 24, 2017.
Photo Courtesy of Billy Fernando

When Santa Monica firefighters were called to a burning apartment, they found the lifeless body of a tiny dog overcome by the heat and smoke on the floor of a bedroom. They pulled out the dog, named Nalu, but he wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse.

For 20 minutes, firefighter Andrew Klein performed CPR including “mouth to snout” resuscitation on the 10-year-old bichon frise/Shih Tzu, while his owner knelt by thinking the little dog had died. Firefighters also gave the dog oxygen through a specially designed mask for pets. And then a small miracle happened: he eventually regained consciousness, according to a Facebook post from the Santa Monica Fire Department.

Photo Courtesy of Billy Fernando

“It was pretty amazing because I’ve been on a number of animal rescues like this that did not come out the same way that Nalu’s story did,” Klein told KTLA. “It was definitely a win for the whole team and the department that we got him back.”

Nalu was taken to the vet where he spent 24 hours in an oxygen chamber and is now doing well.

Photo Courtesy of Billy Fernando

“I stood there in shock, and then I followed them and was in shock,” Nalu’s owner, Crystal Lamirande, said. “I’m a nurse and now I know how family members feel when they watch us do CPR on their family members. It’s awful.”

Photographer Billy Fernando was on the scene and captured photos and videos of the rescue. His video shows firefighters patting Nalu and rubbing his side as they give him oxygen saying, “C’mon bud” and “Atta boy” as he starts to come around.

“This brave firemen (sic) named Andrew Klein from Santa Monica Fire Department went in for the rescue and gave the pet a CPR and took care of him back to life,” he wrote on Facebook and Instagram. “Faith in humanity restored.”

Photo Courtesy of Billy Fernando

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Now I don’t care what can go wrong in this world if there are always people who in an instant can demonstrate unfettered, unrestrained kindness like those wonderful people on that bridge in London and those wonderful people who are part of the Santa Monica Fire Department team.

One-way streets.

Life is not a rehearsal.

Jean and I can’t imagine being the age that we are and living on our own. Yet, realistically, the time will come when either Jean or me will be the surviving spouse. Not something that we want to think about. But when it does come to that point, it would be a million times worse if being left alone meant losing one’s partner and being utterly alone; as in no animals around the house. For both Jean and me having a dog or two in our lives at that stage will make it easier to cope.

No better highlighted than a recent article over on Mother Nature Network. That article is republished for you good people.

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Senior dogs and veterans are better together

One Last Treat pairs them up with beautiful results.

Mary Jo DiLonardo

March 20, 2017
Greg Brabaw and Pops enjoy a sunny moment together. (Photo: Mike Walzak/One Last Treat)

A longtime Marine in Vietnam, Detroit veteran Greg Brabaw was living at home with no family and few friends when someone reached out to the One Last Treat organization on his behalf. They thought Brabaw might be a good candidate for the group’s program pairing vets with senior dogs looking for homes. Soon, the grizzled Brabaw met Pops, a little Chihuahua.

“Greg was really all alone. When we brought him Pops, he basically opened up to us and told us how much Pops allowed him to think about something other than his own suffering” says Joel Rockey, the founder of One Last Treat. “They are pretty much best friends now.”

The nonprofit, which got started in the summer of 2016, hunts for senior dogs looking to live out the rest of their lives with love and attention. A special program under the group’s umbrella, called Vet Friend Till the End, finds the dogs homes with veterans and then pays all the pets’ health bills.

Rockey came up with the idea not long after spending five years in the Navy in Iraq and Afghanistan and returning home. He wanted to focus his energy on something he felt passionate about, and he happened upon an old pug in a snowstorm. The dog was blind, deaf and injured, but Rockey took him home and named him Lurch.

“He only lived for three more months, but we gave him a pretty awesome three more months,” Rockey says. “I felt really compelled to gear my energy towards animals and how to make their lives better. I liked being there in their last moments, so I called my vet buddies and they were down with the idea.”

Homes instead of treats

Veteran Dave Kidder recently adopted his new pal, Peggy Sue. (Photo: One Last Treat)

Originally, the team planned to bring treats to senior dogs that were about to be euthanized in animal shelters. But shelters didn’t want to call attention to the last hours of those dogs, so they had to formulate a new game plan.

Now they find senior dogs and get them first into foster homes, and then into adoptive homes. In the nine or so months the group has existed, they’ve found homes for about 25 dogs. Many are adopted by everyday people; some are adopted by veterans. If a veteran adopts a dog from their organization or another rescue, they’ll pay the veterinarian bills for the rest of the dog’s life. The majority of dogs have come from the Detroit area, but the group has pulled dogs out of shelters when they’ve been in California and have veteran/dog “teams” coming on board in Ohio, Missouri and California.

“We try to pull animals that will be good companion animals … relaxed and laid-back and not too much going on healthwise,” Rockey says. “Maybe they’re starting to go downhill a little bit but not knocking on the door.” That way the dogs might be with their adopters for at least a few years, he says.

There are currently working with seven dog/veteran teams. Supporters often donate to a specific team to help pay their bills.

Rockey’s own rescue dog, Bandit, is more than 16 years old. (Photo: One Last Treat)

Rockey says the benefits to the dogs is obvious; they get homes instead of being overlooked. But the benefit to the veterans is unmeasurable.

“The biggest thing is self importance. As a vet myself, I think veterans, when they get out of the military, aren’t asked to do anything anymore,” Rockey says. “They start losing self importance. Everyone is thanking them, but they’re not being asked to do anything. When they’re taking care of a senior animal, they’re needed and it creates a new sense of value in their life.”

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Do drop into the website for that organisation One Last Treat and sign up for their newsletter. It strikes me as a great cause.

Puppy Happiness

Yet another wonderful Saturday Smile!

I make no apologies for plunging straight into a piece that was published over on the Care2 Causes site last Wednesday.

Please, all of you have a wonderful weekend.

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These Puppies Will Make You Forget Who the President Is

By: Laura Goldman March 22, 2017

About Laura Follow Laura at @lauragoldman

March 23rd is the 11th annual National Puppy Day a time to not only celebrate the happiness these ridiculously cute creatures bring to our lives, but to promote the adoption of homeless puppies that fill up animal shelters this time of year, and to raise awareness of the horrors of puppy mills.

Speaking of horrors, this year more than ever, we really should spend at least 24 hours appreciating the nonjudgmental sweetness of puppies. Unlike, say, a certain leader of the free world, “Puppies are the most trusting and joyous creatures on the planet,” said Colleen Paige, founder of the holiday. “Oh, to be more like a puppy.”

Oh, yes. In honor of National Puppy Day, meet some puppies whose intelligence, resiliency and overall awesomeness are truly memorable. You’re welcome!

Rocky

In late January, Rocky was rescued from under a trailer in West Virginia by dog trainer Mike Suttle. The pit bull/Jack Russell terrier mix was “starving, freezing, full of worms, covered with fleas,” wrote Suttle in the description of a Facebook video that’s been viewed nearly 1.7 million times.

Even though Rocky had no socialization with other dogs or humans, in only five weeks this clever little pup learned how to open a mailbox (in only minutes), ride a skateboard, walk with confidence on a teeter-totter, and perform many other skills.

When Rocky is old enough, Suttle wrote, he will become a service dog and will be donated to a veteran.

Pegasus

Filmmaker Dave Meinert rescued a Great Dane puppy named Pegasus from an unscrupulous breeder two years ago. Pegasus was only 4 weeks old and was not expected to survive. All of her littermates had either died or had deformities.

“For me, she had already been born. Nothing was going to change that,” Meinert told The Dodo in May 2015. “By rescuing her, at least I could be certain she’d be looked after and not discarded or left to die like many of these dogs when the problems start.”

With the help of his friend, animal behaviorist Kieron Piper, Meinert decided to make daily videos of Pegasus as she exercised on a treadmill. He combined all of them into one time-lapse video that’s been viewed nearly 4 million times.

Be warned that it’s a tearjerker – but not for the reason you may expect.

Puppies at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa

After someone left a litter of 12 puppies at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines last weekend, the staff got creative. Instead of making several trips to carry each puppy to the kennel, they turned a large donation bin into a really adorable puppy cart.

Here’s hoping each and every one of these little guys and gals finds a forever home soon.

Warrior Canine Connection’s Courage Litter

To help service members and veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries reconnect with their families and communities, Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) provides them with highly skilled therapeutic service dogs. Seven weeks ago, the nonprofit introduced the “Courage Litter” – its latest group of service-dogs-to-be.

The puppies will live at the WCC’s Puppy Enrichment Center in Maryland until they’re about 10 weeks old. For the following 18 to 24 months, they’ll live with temporary puppy parents while they’re trained to become service dogs.

Each WWC puppy is named for a service member or veteran “who has made significant contributions to our nation – and in many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice,” according to the WWC website. The Courage puppies have not yet been named.

Just popping in to say hi! The four of us tried to put our sweet fluffy heads together for the PERFECT CAPTION for this photo, but we’re only six weeks old so we need some help!
Any ideas? Post them in the comments section below!

If you happen to have an hour or three to kill, you can watch what the Courage Litter is up to right now on this webcam.

Happy National Puppy Day!

Photo credit: YouTube

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And if that lot doesn’t cause you to forget about politics then I don’t know what will!

Once again: You all have a wonderful weekend.

Distracted by Happiness!

Dear Ruby joins the crowd.

When Paloma died on the 16th, a little over a week ago, and, in turn, just a couple weeks after the sad loss of Casey, she was the last of the ‘kitchen’ group. To explain to newcomers, ever since we moved to Oregon in 2012 we had our dogs divided into two groups: the ‘kitchen’ and ‘bedroom’ groups. Primarily to ensure the minimum of any tensions between what at times has been 12 dogs.

There is a gate between the living room and the kitchen area and we have been leaving that open hoping that Ruby would work out when it was the right time to join the others.

That right time was yesterday afternoon around 4:30.

I grabbed my camera and quickly took a few flash photographs. They weren’t very good because Ruby is upset by camera flashguns. But the following is the best of the set and Jean and I wanted to share the lovely occasion with you.

From the foreground: Oliver, Sweeny, Ruby and to the right little Pedy.

Why did I choose the title I did?

Because a few moments before Ruby jumped up on to the settee Jean and I had been giggling about something silly.

Dogs know!

Rebecca’s Ode To Her Dog

What a wonderful postscript to yesterday’s post.

There was an exchange of comments yesterday to my post This Is The Dog.

Rebecca offered:

I just wrote an ode to my dog…. she is everything.

I responded:

Rebecca, please share your ode with everyone.

Rebecca then provided the link:

Here ya go 😀
https://myfacesoflife.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/ode-to-my-dog/

If you go to that place, you will read this.

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Ode to my Dog.

on March 21, 2017

This is Raya.

She is perfect. Even with her imperfections.

 

Wherever I go, so does she.

For 11 years she has been in my life.

For 11 years she has comforted me through my troubles.

For 11 years she has filled me with love.

For 11 years she has loved me.

For 11 years I treasured every moment.

For 11 years now… and I am fully aware that we are running out of time.

Here she lies, sleeping next to me on the sofa.

Dreaming a dogs dream with all paws moving.

She is perfect.

How will I ever do this without her sleeping next to me on the sofa?

This is Raya.

She is perfect. Even with her imperfections.

She keeps me safe when I am scared.

She watches over me as she sleeps on the foot of my bed.

This is Raya.

She is perfect. Even with her imperfections.

When she is happy, I smile with her.

When she is hurt, I fix her pain.

When she needs help, I stop what I am doing and I help.

When I am sad, she comforts me.

She makes what I do possible. She makes the bad days good. She makes the good days fantastic. She makes the horrible days bearable. Through every move, through every fight, through every depression, through every tear, through every laugh, through every moment of joy, through every moment of peace, through every moment of serenity, through every nightmare, through every feeling of desperately wanting to run away, through all of the times that I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, through all of the times I prayed for death, through all of the times my insides were screaming so hard it made me feel like I was going to burst, through all of the times I felt my heart break, through all of the times I felt my heart mend again. She was there. Depression has many faces and she has seen them all and helped me overcome. She has given me reason because her love deserves attention.

….. and we are running out of time. The possible will become impossible.

This is Raya.

She is perfect.

She is mine and I am hers.

I am hers and she is mine.

We are equal in love, in pain, in joy, in life.

I am proud to be her human. All of the mistakes I have made in the past… with Raya, I did it right.

She is perfect.

When you look into her eyes you can see her soul. Her character, her goofiness, her lust for life, her love, her mind, her cleverness. Her loyalty. I sometimes wonder what she sees when she looks back into my eyes. Does she see everything that I see? Would she also call me perfect? All I see in that connection is love.

She is perfect.

My Raya, my girl. All my love. We will live forever.

 

~ Becca ~

 

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Stunningly beautiful and, yes, perfect!

This is the dog!

Perhaps the loss of a loved dog explains so much!

The posts for the last two days have carried separate and very different stories of terrible cruelty to dogs, the second one involving terrible cruelty to a dog and a bull! As a tradition! Ouch!!

Readers of this place know what they feel about dogs. It is felt deep within their hearts. Those feelings are poured out when, either from me or someone else, there’s a post lamenting the loss of their dog.

Just as a tiny example of that love we all have for our dogs, here’s a response from Marina Kanavaki and, trust me, Marina is far from being alone in this regard.

Oh, no, Paul!!! I’m so sorry my friend! It is hard to believe and not so long ago, Casey. I know words can’t take away the pain but you have my thoughts and I’m sending you both my love and hugs.

So a recent essay published on The Conversation site is a must to share with you today. As usual, it is republished within the terms of The Conversation.

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Why losing a dog can be harder than losing a relative or friend

March 9, 2017
Frank T. McAndrew,   Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology, Knox College.

Recently, my wife and I went through one of the more excruciating experiences of our lives – the euthanasia of our beloved dog, Murphy. I remember making eye contact with Murphy moments before she took her last breath – she flashed me a look that was an endearing blend of confusion and the reassurance that everyone was ok because we were both by her side.

When people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog.”

However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”

Many times, I’ve had friends guiltily confide to me that they grieved more over the loss of a dog than over the loss of friends or relatives. Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one. Unfortunately, there’s little in our cultural playbook – no grief rituals, no obituary in the local newspaper, no religious service – to help us get through the loss of a pet, which can make us feel more than a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over our dead dogs.

Perhaps if people realized just how strong and intense the bond is between people and their dogs, such grief would become more widely accepted. This would greatly help dog owners to integrate the death into their lives and help them move forward.

An interspecies bond like no other

What is it about dogs, exactly, that make humans bond so closely with them?

For starters, dogs have had to adapt to living with humans over the past 10,000 years. And they’ve done it very well: They’re the only animal to have evolved specifically to be our companions and friends. Anthropologist Brian Hare has developed the “Domestication Hypothesis” to explain how dogs morphed from their grey wolf ancestors into the socially skilled animals that we now interact with in very much the same way as we interact with other people.

Perhaps one reason our relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than our human relationships is that dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback. (As the old saying goes, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.”)

This is no accident. They have been selectively bred through generations to pay attention to people, and MRI scans show that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food (and for some dogs, praise is an even more effective incentive than food). Dogs recognize people and can learn to interpret human emotional states from facial expression alone. Scientific studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, try to help their owners and even avoid people who don’t cooperate with their owners or treat them well.

Not surprisingly, humans respond positively to such unrequited affection, assistance and loyalty. Just looking at dogs can make people smile. Dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and they are happier, on average, than people who own cats or no pets at all.

Like a member of the family

Our strong attachment to dogs was subtly revealed in a recent study of “misnaming.” Misnaming happens when you call someone by the wrong name, like when parents mistakenly calls one of their kids by a sibling’s name. It turns out that the name of the family dog also gets confused with human family members, indicating that the dog’s name is being pulled from the same cognitive pool that contains other members of the family. (Curiously, the same thing rarely happens with cat names.)

It’s no wonder dog owners miss them so much when they’re gone.

Psychologist Julie Axelrod has pointed out that the loss of a dog is so painful because owners aren’t just losing the pet. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort, and maybe even a protégé that’s been mentored like a child.

The loss of a dog can also seriously disrupt an owner’s daily routine more profoundly than the loss of most friends and relatives. For owners, their daily schedules – even their vacation plans – can revolve around the needs of their pets. Changes in lifestyle and routine are some of the primary sources of stress.

According to a recent survey, many bereaved pet owners will even mistakenly interpret ambiguous sights and sounds as the movements, pants and whimpers of the deceased pet. This is most likely to happen shortly after the death of the pet, especially among owners who had very high levels of attachment to their pets.

While the death of a dog is horrible, dog owners have become so accustomed to the reassuring and nonjudgmental presence of their canine companions that, more often than not, they’ll eventually get a new one.

So yes, I miss my dog. But I’m sure that I’ll be putting myself through this ordeal again in the years to come.

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Just let the messages of this essay reverberate around your heart. I’ll say no more!

Pigs Ears Dog Food Recall

This came in an hour ago!

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March 20, 2017 — EuroCan Manufacturing is voluntarily recalling one lot of its Barnsdale Farms, HoundsTooth and Mac’s Choice pig ears because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

What’s Being Recalled?

The recalled pig ears were distributed throughout the U.S.A. and Canada.

The products were packaged as individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags under the following brands:

  • Barnsdale Farms
  • Barnsdale Farms Select
  • Houndstooth
  • Mac’s Choice

The recalled products are from Lot 84.

No illnesses of any kind have been reported to date.

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare provider.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

About the Recall

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing revealed the presence of Salmonella in the product.

The company has suspended distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased any of the affected Barnsdale Farms pig ears should return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.

Those with questions may contact the company Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM ET Time at 888-290-7606.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

This must be stopped!

And Now!!

Please, good people, this is going to be a very tough read, especially coming immediately after yesterday’s example of terrible cruelty.

But these instances of such disgusting behavior have to be shared.  For without sharing them then there will be no end to them.

I am indebted to Change.org for carrying this.

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Sign: Stop Tying Dogs to Bulls in Horrific Bullfight ‘Punishment’

Lady Freethinker

The village of Chalhuani in Peru has a horrific annual tradition where a dog is tied to the back of a bull at a bullfight as punishment for “bad” behavior. Both of the animals are then painfully killed during the fight.

Video posted by the Mirror exposed this cruel Virgen de la Asuncion tradition in action, sparking global outrage. The video shows a dog being forced onto the back of a bull while it yelps and barks in fear. The terrified dog is tied spread-eagle to the bull, with the ropes so tight it cannot move.

The bull then enters the ring, where it is viciously killed. All the while, the dog is trapped on the bull’s back, unable to save itself from an excruciating death.

One villager tried to justify the cruelty in an interview with a local news station:

“We pick a dog that was disobedient over the past 12 months and has caused trouble,” the villager said. “As a community we see this as a fitting punishment for the dog’s bad behavior.”

But “bad” behavior is no excuse for animal cruelty. No dog deserves this horror.

These bullfights are barbaric and must be stopped. Sign this petition to urge the Peruvian ambassador to the United States to end this terrible practice, so no more animals suffer this horrific fate.

This petition will be delivered to: Ambassador Miguel Castilla

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Good people!

This is the letter to be delivered to the Ambassador:

Letter to Ambassador Miguel Castilla
Stop Tying Dogs to Bulls’ Backs in Cruel Bullfighting ‘Punishment’
The village of Chalhuani in Peru has a horrific annual tradition where a dog is tied to the back of a bull at a bullfight as punishment for “bad” behavior. Both of the animals are then painfully killed during the fight.
These bullfights are barbaric and must be stopped. Not only is animal cruelty an unacceptable form of punishment for dogs, but bulls do not deserve to be forced into fights, where they are tortured and killed for entertainment.
I urge the Peruvian government to ban this horrific practice at once, so no more animals must suffer for this cruel “tradition.”

Please not only sign this petition yourself but share it as far and wide as you can.

On cruelty to our beloved animals.

One just cannot ignore such cruelty as this!

I am really sorry folks but both today and tomorrow I am adding my tiny shoulder to a very large and heavy wheel. Endeavouring to make a very small difference before I leave this land of the living.

But before going on to share something that was sent to me by Scott Beckstead, the Senior Oregon and Rural Outreach Director of The Humane Society, I want to repeat something that I wrote in response to a comment left to yesterday’s Picture Parade. Because it may be seen as utterly irrelevant to today’s complex world but, nonetheless, it does explain where my love of this planet comes from.

In yesterday’s post, Yvonne of the blog Pets, People and Life left the following comment:

Those beautiful dog’s spirit lives on in the air you breathe, the green of the trees, the beating wings of a hummingbird, the house where they lived and where ever they ran and played. I hope you and Jean feel their presence when things are rough and in the quiet of the night.

I was so moved by those words that almost without any further thought I replied, thus:

Wow! Wow! And Wow!

There is something wondrous about the nature of the human consciousness that still escapes science. Neither me nor Jean are believers in a ‘God’ or subscribe to religious ‘factions’ for so much pain, war and suffering may be laid at the feet of religions (excuse my rant!), but ….

But there is something magical in “the air you breathe, the green of the trees, the beating wings of a hummingbird,” that defies definition. I like to think of it as a deep, connection with the planet that is our womb and sustains us.

This really smacked into me in back in the early 90’s; something that forever changed me. That something I experienced roughly about 4 days out in a solo sailing passage from the Azores to Plymouth. I came up on deck, clipped on, and looked around me. Primarily on the lookout for steaming lights that might indicate a ship in the same patch of ocean. It was after midnight. Having checked there wasn’t a ship in sight, I looked up at what was a totally cloud-free night sky.

What I saw were stars in that night sky that were visible 360 degrees around me. Not only visible in every single direction but visible right down to the edge of that black, ocean horizon. A huge celestial dome centered over this tiny me on my tiny boat. (A Tradewind 33: Songbird of Kent.)

It put into perspective, emotionally, visibly, intellectually and spiritually, how irrelevant one human being is and yet, how each of us is, or should be, the custodian of something immeasurably precious and beautiful: Planet Earth.

(Whoops! Sorry about that! Rather wandered off topic!)

OK, here’s what Scott sent me:

In the past two weeks, USDA Wildlife Services has:

1. Killed an Idaho family’s beloved pet dog;

2. Sent the family’s 14 year-old to the hospital with suspected cyanide poisoning;

3. Killed a Wyoming family’s two beloved pet dogs; and

4. Killed a protected Oregon wolf.

All of these incidents were caused by the M-44, a device used by Wildlife Services that fires a cyanide pellet into an animal’s mouth, causing a slow and agonizing death.

Wildlife Services’ greatest regret in all of these incidents is that they brought the agency more negative press – and given their history, they will probably use all of the incidents as “teaching moments” to instruct their agents to “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND U.S. REP AND URGE THEM TO ELIMINATE FUNDING FOR USDA WILDLIFE SERVICES.

Scott then included a link to an article that was recently published in The Oregonian. I am taking the liberty of republishing it in full.

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Labrador killed by cyanide device in Idaho, boy knocked to the ground.

A federal M-44 cyanide device exploded Thursday, March 16, 2017, killing a dog in Pocatello Idaho. (Bannock County Sheriff’s Office)

By Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/OregonLive
March 18, 2017 at 7:30 AM, updated March 18, 2017 at 2:20 PM

A three-year-old Labrador retriever died and a 14-year boy was knocked to the ground when a cyanide device deployed by the federal government exploded in Pocatello, Idaho.

The Idaho State Journal reported the boy, who had been on a walk with his dog Thursday on a ridge near their home, watched his dog die. According to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, the boy was also “covered in an unknown substance” when the device known as an M-44 detonated. He was evaluated at a hospital and released.

“That little boy is lucky,” Sheriff Lorin Nielsen told the Pocatello newspaper. “His guardian angel was protecting him.”

The Idaho incident comes a few weeks after a gray wolf was accidentally killed by an M-44 on private land in Oregon’s Wallowa County. The controversial type of trap is used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services crews around the country primarily to kill coyotes and other predators.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced legislation as recently as 2012 to ban the trap.

DeFazio has said he would reintroduce a similar bill in Congress.

The wolf death was the first documented “incidental take” of its kind in Oregon involving the protected animal and the M-44, fish and wildlife officials said.

Federal Wildlife Services officials said there were 96 M-44 devices dispersed across Oregon as of last week and the agency was looking to remove devices that were near known wolf habitat. Oregon fish and wildlife officials have said the devices were not allowed in areas of known wolf activity.

Oregon has long paid Wildlife Services to kill invasive species and specific predators. But Gov. Kate Brown’s’ recommended budget doesn’t include $460,000 typically set aside to pay the federal agency to kill animals in Oregon.

Bannock County officials described the device as “extremely dangerous to animals and humans.”

The department circulated photos of the trap. “If a device such as this is ever located please do not touch or go near the device and contact your local law enforcement agency,” officials said.

Government officials have said the number of deaths of domestic animals and non-target animals each year is low, and officials say they are conducting an “internal review” of the wolf death.

Wildlife Services killed 121 coyotes in Oregon in 2016 with M-44 devices, along with three red foxes, according to the government’s figures. No gray wolf was killed in the U.S. last year with the cyanide capsules, according to the government.

A Eugene nonprofit says the government isn’t being truthful about the number of pets and non-target animals – such as wolves – killed each year.

“Yesterday’s Idaho poisoning of a dog and the near poisoning of a child is yet another example of what we’ve been saying for decades:  M-44s are really nothing more than land mines waiting to go off, no matter if it’s a child, a dog, or a wolf,” Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, said in a statement.

“It’s time to ban these notoriously dangerous devices on all lands across the United States.”

— Andrew Theen
atheen@oregonian.com
503-294-4026
@andrewtheen

ooOOoo

I will be writing about another terrible example of cruelty to animals tomorrow. One where you have the opportunity to add your name to a petition trying to have this cruel ‘tradition’ stopped.

Because as Anna Sewell (1820-1878), the English author who was the author of many books including Black Beauty is recorded as saying:

My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

We cannot do nothing!