Category: Art

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Seventeen

More incredible Ingo and Friends photographs

Again, taken from here and offered to you good people with Tanja Brandt’s very kind permission.

Ingo and Friends

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Oh, I do wish I spoke good German. For I would love to call Tanja and chat with her about how she generates such incredible, wonderful pictures.

Any German speakers out there!!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Sixteen

Another Picture Parade: Another visit to Tanja Brandt’s gorgeous photographs.

Republished with Tanja’s very kind permission and copied from here.

(I’m sharing twelve of Tanja’s photos today because I know all of you are like me: We cannot get enough of these magical images!)

Ingo and Friends.

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Would you like some more next week? Do tell me if these Picture Parades are getting too much for you!

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fifteen

Another Picture Parade: Another visit to Tanja Brandt’s gorgeous photographs.

Republished with Tanja’s very kind permission and copied from here.

Ingo and Friends.

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If ever one had doubt about whether dogs can display smiles then these incredible photographs from Tanja prove that they most certainly can!

Will find a few more to share with you in a week’s time. Meantime you all take good care of yourselves and your wonderful pets!

Return to the movies!

Another movie, another dog! Correction: another world-famous dog!

Monday’s post Hail the Hero was about Max.

Max, a feature film by the producers of the doggie classic Marley and Me, intends to explore a soldier dog’s journey that doesn’t end with this heartbreaking image of a pup chasing down his fallen brother, but rather begins with it.

So it’s rather nice to welcome a guest post from Emily Ridgewell that features a dog that became known far and wide thanks to television and the cinema.

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An Incredible Rescue: An Often Forgotten “Tail” From The Golden Age Of Hollywood

By Emily Ridgewell

In the shadow of recent world tragedies, and long before cute puppies and kittens graced the internet, there were former movie legends in the form of incredible canines that found their way onto the big screen in the golden age of Hollywood. Think of adorable dogs like Toto from The Wizard of Oz or Lassie from many different types of these movies and television shows.

But there’s another “tail” (pardon the pun) about a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin who stole America’s heart and eventually had millions of fans all around the world long before the advent of the internet. Few of us today know the real-life story of this precious little puppy who was rescued from a war zone long before Toto or Lassie gained their fame and fortune as canine celebrities.

According to a historically-related biography published long-after this rag-tag dog shot to fame in the late twenties and early thirties, there was a young American soldier stationed in Europe shortly before the end of World War I. Corporal Lee Duncan was traipsing through the aftermath of formerly German-occupied farming village in France when he came across a single building, actually it was a kennel, that remained somewhat intact after a devastating bombing had leveled the entire town.

After cautiously entering the building, the young trooper painfully walked over more than a dozen dead German Shepherd dogs. These canine soldiers were trained for combat and left behind by the Third Reich. Corporal Duncan heard whimpering coming from deeper inside this solitary structure and continued on with his mission. To his amazement, Lee discovered some unlikely survivors of this terrible tragedy.

AFTER THE UNTHINKABLE – LIVING & LOVABLE

Lying in the rubble, there Lee saw a female shepard with five young puppies who were just a few days old. Corporal Duncan was no stranger to abandonment since his own father had left him and his mother to fend for themselves back in 1898. Just a year later, his Mom took him and a younger sibling to an orphanage. Perhaps this tugged on his heartstrings and he couldn’t leave behind this young family so he took them all underneath his wing.

He took the entire brood back to his barracks in a living and loving rescue effort. The young Corporal quickly realized he couldn’t care for all of them and found loving homes for all but two of the pups. He kept a little boy and girl, named them Nanette and Rin Tin Tin, both titles given to good luck charms found in France.

THE CANINES AFTER CHAOS

Lee continued to care for his beloved best buddies as the chaos of the war continued. After the conflict had concluded, Corporal Duncan was bound and determined to take his little war refugees home with him. Imagine the red-tape he was faced with and, long story short, he lost Nanette to pneumonia after bringing them both home to the states.

The WWI veteran got a job in his home state of California and began training Rin Tin Tin to perform some tricks in their spare time. After some filming occurred, the former Corporal wrote a screenplay and the rest (as they say) is history.

There’s an old saying (later turned into a Beatles song – also from many days gone by) that rings true in this case, you “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And that’s the whole point.

You can’t purchase the love and affection of an animal, but if you rescue one, you’ll find unconditional love that lasts forever. You might not become rich and famous after rescuing an animal, but you’ll never find a deeper love and connection with your four-legged best friend.

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Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: @ridgewell_j

Picking up on that ‘old saying’ with regard to The Beatles makes it easy to close today’s post. (And sorry if this makes some of you feel old!)

Here’s a little bit of music history:

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 29 January; 25 February; 10 March 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick

Released: 20 March 1964 (UK), 16 March 1964 (US)

Can’t Buy Me Love was The Beatles’ sixth British single, released with the b-side You Can’t Do That. It was written while the group were in Paris for a 19-date residency at the city’s Olympia Theatre.

Ah! Nostalgia!

One calculating dog, and

… one unsuspecting human.

The title and sub-title are almost the complete sub-title to a book from Colin Chappell. As sub-titles so often do, they offer the flavor of the book to come.

OK! Let me start properly!

Some time ago, Colin and I agreed to do a book swap and then review each other’s book. We duly exchanged books and Colin held to his side of the agreement! I sent Colin Learning from Dogs and Colin sent me Who Said I Was Up For Adoption?

For reasons that now escape me first I gave the book to Jeannie and she read it and very much liked it. I was going to ask Jeannie to dictate a review for me but, oh I don’t know why not, that never happened. To add to me embarrassment, I still haven’t read the book myself plus Colin ages ago published his review of my book over on his blog Me and Ray.

So when author Deborah Taylor-French reviewed the book on her blog Dog Leader Mysteries I held my breath very tightly and asked Deborah and Colin if I might republish her review here.

I am delighted to say that both were very happy for me to so do! Here it is.

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Overcoming challenges to adopting, Ray

By Colin Chappell, Guest Blogger

When Ray came to live with us, he brought with him many issues. We had been advised that he had no social skills. We had ascertained that he had no training relevant to living in a home, and we knew that he was very cautious around people and other dogs. It was not long before he displayed “Startle Response” (never touch a sleeping Ray!), and “Fear Aggression”. The “Fear Aggression” was Ray’s way of handling uncomfortable situations such as being close to other people and dogs. Ray was a fast learner at home with us and, while he made some mistakes, he was trying to adapt to his new life. He did seem to want to please us, just as we wanted him to be happy. The first thing we had to do however was to arrange for him to have a full medical. When the vet called us to discuss the results, we knew we had a problem.

His dog’s diagnosis? Read about a heartbreaking medical condition.

Medical professionals assess Heartworm status as Stage One to Stage Four. Stage Four, the most advanced, is considered terminal. They estimated Ray at Stage Two, which provided hope that treatment could be successful. Treating heartworm is very expensive and offers no guarantee that the dog will survive the treatment, and so we now had to make the difficult decision of how to proceed with a dog that had lived with us for only a short time. There were some theoretical options for consideration.

1. Commit a lot of money to a treatment program, which may kill Ray? – We were fortunate in that we could manage the estimated $3500.00 financial burden of the treatment program, but did we want to? Ray had not been with us very long and was carrying a lot of emotional “baggage” from his past. While it would be nice to believe that he would adapt to be a lovely family pet, nobody could offer us that guarantee so that we would be investing a considerable amount of money in a dog with unknown potential. Furthermore, treatment consisted of a series of deep muscle injections with an arsenic-based compound, which should kill all the heartworms, however, when heartworms die, the pieces of worm can cause restrictions or even a blockage.

There was a significant possibility that Ray could die from congestive heart failure. To reduce the risk of this potential outcome; a dog must be kept as calm as possible to maintain a very low heart rate. Life for Ray, and for us, would be complicated for the next six months or so.

2. Do nothing? – An option but, in reality, a cruel and irresponsible decision. His quality of life would have slowly deteriorated as the heartworms spread, causing damage to his lungs and other organs throughout his body. Death would have been his only escape.

3. Return Ray to the shelter? – We knew they would have taken him back, but that raised some issues. We would be avoiding making the difficult decision by transferring the responsibility to the shelter. This rationale is against my core belief of accepting one’s responsibilities. Returning him also had some very questionable ramifications in that they would probably not be able to adopt him out again.

Who would want to take on an unknown dog with a serious (and expensive) health issue? Would the shelter be prepared to finance the treatment of a single dog when they are dependent on voluntary financial contributions and are constantly fund-raising to maintain their day-to-day services?

Given our excellent relationship with the shelter, we presented them with our dilemma and asked what they would do if Ray were returned. The answer was, not too surprisingly, very diplomatic. They would not be able to make any decision until he had been reassessed as a possible candidate for future adoption. They also made it clear that whatever decision we made, they would support it wholeheartedly. While their support was appreciated, my feelings were that his future would probably not be too long if returned.

4. Euthanize Ray? – The thought of euthanizing Ray gave me a lot of problems because of Skeeta, my first cat in Canada. Skeeta always seemed to love the company of pretty much anybody and her original owners did not feel that they had the time for her any longer, and so were looking for an alternative home for her. She made a tremendous impact on us all but, after only three months she was distressed. The diagnosis came that she had feline leukemia. Her condition considered untreatable, so the medical staff recommended euthanasia. Looking back, I still struggle with Skeeta’s death. (Terms like “euthanize”, “put down”, and “put to sleep” are all gentle words that only mask the reality of killing.)

The issue with Skeeta was not that her life could not be saved, but that it was far too easy to euthanize her. To have an animal killed, regardless of the justification, should take far more than signing a piece of paper and handing over a relatively small amount of money. Such a simple process was somehow offensive to me in that it resulted in the death of a living creature that had displayed an unquestionable ability to connect with us on an emotional level.

The more I thought about Skeeta, the more I decided that Ray deserved an opportunity to live and it would be my goal to ensure that he had that opportunity. My decision, therefore, was to keep Ray with us and start treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, Carol had come to the same conclusion, and so treatment was scheduled for the summer.

It did cross my mind that Carol may not be able to justify the cost of the treatment so while I was not anticipating an issue over this, I had made plans to cover the cost on myself. Less than three years old, Ray had not enjoyed a good start to his life. Now Ray worked hard to adapt to our family environment. This big dog had already made a niche for himself in our family. Ray showed signs of wanting to stay with us.

Most importantly to me, Ray was a dog who had invited me to be his friend**.

Friends for life, rare and welcome as love and kinship.

What sort of friend would I be to walk away from him, and leave him to whatever fate would await? Ray could well die during the heartworm treatment, but then he could also survive it. I committed to whatever became necessary to ensure that he had the best chance possible of a long and happy life. I suddenly realized just how important he was to me. I loved this guy!

** The details of this life-changing moment (for both of us) are in his book.

About Colin Chappell: Born in England, part of the post-war “baby boomers” Chappell moved to Canada in 1975 with a wife and two children. Through no planning, he happened to fall into a position that included a mandatory deduction for a pension plan. Less than 30 years later, he retired and pursued new interests. When his children had grown he chose a fresh start. Chappell explored music and, due to lack of finances, he bought a “fixer upper” for his new home.

All photos by Colin Chappell

A few years later, Chappell found himself in a new relationship. The question of owning a dog often came into their conversations. It resulted in him being adopted by Ray, and their lives have never been the same since.

Experiences and day-to-day incidents with Ray prompted starting a blog using Word Press, Please visit meandray.com Writing this blog he got the idea of writing a book about Ray. Find this book on Amazon at Who Said I Was Up for Adoption?

Chappell’s writings continued and, after experimenting with some poetry, decided to put together a book of simple, but hopefully thought-provoking, verse.

Just Thinking by Colin Chappell

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Colin, I do hope this makes up somewhat for me not sticking to our agreement!

In fact, me reading this post out aloud to Jeannie yesterday evening, and being most moved by your words (and photographs), makes it easy for me to read your book without delay!

Hail the Hero!

A Marine Died In Battle, But What His Dog Did After The Funeral? I’m Speechless!

That subtitle is the main title of an article over on the site: Dogs Make Life Better For You.

The article was brought to my attention by Julie back in England who sent me the above link.

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A Marine Died In Battle, But What His Dog Did After The Funeral? I’m Speechless!

A dog is the only thing on earth who loves you more than he loves himself – so imagine a soldier dog’s mourning when his handler dies in the line of duty!

Max, a feature film by the producers of the doggie classic Marley and Me, intends to explore a soldier dog’s journey that doesn’t end with this heartbreaking image of a pup chasing down his fallen brother, but rather begins with it.

Max, a precision-trained military dog, loses his handler Kyle in Afghanistan. Max is too troubled to continue to fight, and the only human willing to take the dog in is the late Kyle’s little brother, Justin. Fortunately, Justin is able to relate to the troubled pup because he has problems of his own.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen military dogs do great things after their time serving our country overseas – and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Watch the trailer for the full-length feature below, and tell us in the comments: Would you watch the film Max?

Please SHARE this powerful story of a soldier dog’s heroic journey after war with all of your friends! Military dogs deserve to be treated like heroes both during and after wartime.

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OK, it’s a plea for people to watch the film and, frankly, why not!

WikiPedia have a good summary of the film:

Max, a Malinois used to help U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, is handled by Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) (Marine MWD). Kyle is questioned when weapons seized by his squad go missing. Realizing his friend Tyler Harne (Luke Kleintank) is among those involved with the shady dealings, he warns Tyler that he cannot cover for him. The two then go into the battlefield with their squad, with Max on point. While advancing on a suicide bomber, Max is injured by an explosion. In the ensuing gunfight, Kyle is shot and killed.

Kyle’s brother Justin (Josh Wiggins), who makes money selling illegally copied video games, their mother Pamela (Lauren Graham) and their father Ray (Thomas Haden Church) are informed of his death. After Kyle’s body is brought home for burial, the other Marines notice that Max is only calm when he is around Justin, apparently sensing that he is Kyle’s brother. The family adopts the dog, who would otherwise be euthanized for his disturbed behavior. Justin initially wants little to do with Max but eventually warms up to him. While meeting up with his friend Chuy (Dejon LaQuake), Justin meets Chuy’s cousin Carmen (Mia Xitlali), who offers to go to his house and show him some handling tricks for Max. Little by little, Max’s behavior improves around other people.

Tyler visits the Wincott’s one evening, provoking an aggressive response by Max. Later, after the Fourth of July, Ray asks Tyler what really happened. Tyler implies that Max turned on Kyle and caused him to discharge his weapon on himself, leading to his death. Justin decides to investigate the matter. Calling on one of Kyle’s old friends, Sergeant Reyes, for help, he is given a DVD of Kyle training Max that moves him to tears.

The full details of the plot can be read on that WikiPedia page.

There is also a movie trailer on YouTube; presented here for you.

Whatever one thinks about this specific film, or films like this in general, that doesn’t alter the fact that all of us who live with dogs understand the capacity of dogs to offer unconditional love to us.

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Fourteen

Returning to Tanja Brandt’s gorgeous photographs.

Republished with Tanja’s very kind permission and copied from here.

They are so very special!

Ingo and Friends.

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I could gaze at these fantastic photographs for the rest of my life!

More to savour in a week’s time.

A story!

Sent to me by my grandson, Morten!

How times change! Morten is now writing stories on his iPad and sending them to me.

Like this one:

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Once upon a time there were 2 Very cute dogs called cuty and puty and they were having a great day in the deep dark forest 🌳 and  cuty said I want to go home 🏡 but puty doesn’t want to go home but they did. THE END

This was a story about two dogs 

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And included in that lovely email was this photograph:

Maija, me and Jeannie.

Okay good people, my book event is now behind me and Jeannie and I are back home.

Hopefully more responsive to you all now!