Category: Cats

The incredible story of Diablo

Just watch this after the introduction.

Countless numbers of people have dreamt that they can communicate with animals and I would imagine an enormous percentage of those would have dreamt that they can communicate with dogs.

Certainly of the three dogs we have alive still here at home (we had in the past some fifteen dogs) Oliver below appears to understand much of what is said to him by me and Jean

If one goes to the YouTube website then one is introduced to Anna Breytenbach who has made it her life’s passion to better communicate with animals. Here’s a small piece from the extensive WikiPedia entry:

In her twenties she decided to pursue her passion for wildlife (big cats in particular) by becoming a cheetah handler at a conservation education project. On moving to America, she explored wolf and other predator conservation. She has also served on committees for wolf, snow leopard, cheetah and mountain lion conservation.

Anna Breytenbach and friend

So now we come to this video of Anna and Diablo, more properly called Spirit, (and the video will make that clear).

Arjan Postma explains the background to the film:

I just want to share this message as much as possible without any commercial intent, personal benefit or whatsoever. All used materials and therefore copyrights do not belong to me. I hope you enjoy discovering and watching this story and skill as much as I did: What if you could talk to animals and have them talk back to you? Anna Breytenbach has dedicated her life to what she calls interspecies communication. She sends detailed messages to animals through pictures and thoughts. She then receives messages of remarkable clarity back from the animals. In this section, Anna transforms a deadly snarling leopard into a relaxed content cat. The amazing story of how leopard Diabolo became Spirit… I found the source of this amazing documentary here: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/docum… This is the first full length documentary film on the art of animal communication. Nominated for Best Long Documentary, Best Director of “Jade Kunlun” Awards of 2012 World Mountain Documentary Festival of Qinghai China. Director: Craig Foster | Producer: Vyv Simson | Narrator: Swati Thiyagarajan Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Creating a healthy environment…

… for your dogs!

This is another guest post from Indiana Lee. She writes with a compassionate and loving style and I am so pleased to be able to offer this post to you.

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How To Create a Healthy, Eco-Friendly Environment for Your Dog

As a dog owner, it’s perfectly normal to want an environment for your canine companion that is fun, happy, and healthy. That includes making sure they have a clean and secure place that’s comfortable and safe, as well as free from hazardous materials and harmful pests. 

Creating a healthy environment for your dog is easier than you might think. By dedicating a specific space to your pooch and making some simple swaps, you can be an eco-friendly pet parent, doing something good for the planet and your pup all at once. 

Create a Safe Space

First and foremost, try to create a safe space in your home for your dog. You can always consider a pet room, but even just an area in your living room or a comfy crate can do the trick.

Having a designated area for your dog in your home can make a big difference. Dogs are den animals and like having their own safe space to go to. While you don’t necessarily need to dedicate a whole room to your four-legged friend, your space should be pet-proofed to keep them safe.

That includes keeping things organized and clearing up clutter, so your dog doesn’t get into or chew on things they shouldn’t. You can also use baby gates to keep your dog in their space or to prevent them from going into areas of your home that haven’t been pet-proofed.

Use Eco-friendly Cleaning Products

Once you have set up that space, it’s important to keep it clean for your dog. Between rest and play and dinner time, it’s all too easy for your home to get dirty quickly. This means you have to keep your home clean, regularly pick up after your dog, and sanitize their space.

However, you must keep them away from potentially toxic substances — including the supplies you use to clean their area. Make sure your dog can’t get to any of the following: 

  • Bleach
  • Aerosols
  • Ammonia
  • Phenol
  • Formaldehyde

You’ll quickly learn to become a “label reader” when it comes to the cleaning products you choose. Not only are the above ingredients bad for your pet, but they can also damage the environment. 

When shopping for cleaning supplies, choose all-natural products as often as possible. Alternatively, consider making your own so you know exactly which ingredients are used. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are all common household items that you can use in cleaners — and they’re better for your pet and the planet.

Keep Pests Away

Creating a safe environment for your pet also means protecting your pooch from pests. You might not be able to control what comes into your house — especially since many pests can sneak in through tiny cracks — but you can discourage them from bothering your dog. You can do so while still making your yard a fun place for your dog.

You can reduce the risk of certain bugs and rodents entering your home by keeping your yard clean and trimmed. Don’t give wild animals a space to “hang out” and enjoy. The more time they spend in your yard, the more likely it is that they’ll get inside.

Additionally, the more wildlife you have in your yard, the more likely it is that your dog will bring in fleas or ticks that have “jumped” from raccoons, possums, or mice. Pests like fleas and ticks can be especially harmful to dogs, and they’re quick to get into rugs, carpets, and furniture, which can end up putting everyone’s health at risk. You can vacuum frequently if you’ve seen your dog with a tick or fleas and utilize some of the cleaning supplies listed earlier to deter them from sticking around. 

If you see a bug on your dog, give them a thorough brushing and use natural shampooing solutions to get rid of the fleas quickly. Keep their fur trimmed back neatly and make sure they’re as clean as possible. Regular baths and grooming can also help keep pests away from your pet and ensure your dog doesn’t bring any extra visitors into your home.

Are you sensing a pattern? 

A clean, healthy home typically means a happier, safer space for dogs. Whether you’re trying to live more sustainably or just focus on more natural ways of doing things, these suggestions will get you on the right track. Not only will your dog have a secure and pet-friendly environment to enjoy, but you can feel good knowing you’re doing something to improve the health of your entire family, as well as the future of the planet. 

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This really hits the spot. For we live in the country in Southern Oregon and have more than our fair share of flies and fruit flies, and who knows what else!

How to balance your working life with your dog.

Yet another great guest post from Penny Martin.

Penny writes about starting your own business but in my experience any person who is devoted to their job, be it self-employed or not, should read what Penny has to say.

(Apologies for forgetting a post last Tuesday)

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Five Recommendations for Balancing Time With a New Pet While Starting a Business

Whether your new pet purrs, barks, neighs, squawks or something in between, welcoming a new animal into your home brings a little more love into your life. However, extra chores come hand-in-hand with a new pet. Add in the fact that you are starting a business and all the to-do lists can feel daunting. To ensure you have time to grow your company and bond with your pet, follow these five tips.

1. Stock Up on Supplies

Time is extremely valuable when getting a company off the ground; the last thing you want chipping away at your precious time is numerous trips to the stores for your animal. To prevent this, set aside time each week to make a list of the food, toys, treats, bedding, and any other items your pet requires.

Note which stores you need to visit for all the supplies. Take a few hours to go to each shop to make sure your pet has everything he or she needs for the week. 

2. Revamp Your Space

Starting a company comes with lots of stress; turning your home into a fresh and vibrant space helps relieve this tension. A clean home makes it easier to be effective at work and relax during off-hours. Plus, revamping your rooms gives you the opportunity to create a special space for your animal to feel safe and cozy.

Create a productive and positive atmosphere by cleaning and decluttering your house. Open windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. According to one study, nearly every participant felt less anxiety and depression and had better focus when exposed to sunlight. So scrub those windows and let in some light!

3. Remove Distractions

During your room makeovers, remove as many distractions from your office space as possible. TVs, video games, social media, and music can all be distracting when trying to work and waste valuable time that could be spent bonding with your new pet.

Do not put a TV or game console in the office. If you like background noise but find it tends to interrupt your workflow, put on a calming playlist, such as instrumental songs or sounds of nature.

While you probably need your phone during office hours, do your best to resist games and social media during this time. Update your phone’s layout so the tempting apps are not visible, or download an app, such as Forest, that encourages you to focus during work hours. 

4. Save Time With Invoicing Software

Invoicing software can be a lifesaver for busy small business owners. Rather than spending hours creating invoices by hand, by choosing invoicing software, you can simply enter your customers’ information into the software and let it do the rest. The software will generate professional-looking invoices that you can send to your customers electronically. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to get paid faster. In addition, most invoicing software comes with built-in accounting features that make it easy to track your expenses and keep tabs on your profitability. If you’re not using invoicing software, you’re needlessly wasting valuable time that could be better spent growing your business and spending more time with your new pet.

5. Schedule Time for Important Tasks

Having important tasks scheduled in your planner makes certain you have time to get them done. Perhaps your fuzzy, furry, or fluffy friend needs weekly grooming. Instead of doing it “when you have time,” schedule a specific period during the week to wash and clean your pet.

When it comes to your company and your pet, you do not have to choose one over the other. Make time for both by grabbing all the supplies you need, refreshing your home, removing distractions, utilizing invoicing software, and making time for crucial tasks. 

Image via Pexels

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This is good advice from Penny and I would applaud her.

If I was to pick out one piece of advice above all others it has to be the one about scheduling, or planning as I prefer to call it. When you are really busy the only way to stay on top of everything, and that includes time with your dog, is to plan.

Finally, I asked Penny to tell me a little more about herself. This is what she said:“Penny Martin is an advocate for rescue dogs. Her goal is to inform people of what to expect and how to react to their dog so that the relationship always retains love. She created fureverfriend.info to help new owners prepare themselves for new furry friends

Splendid!

Downsizing one’s life with a pet.

Another very useful post from Penny Martin.

So today is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere; here we are halfway through 2022! But somethings are constant and, hopefully, will never change.

That’s what I feel towards the group of people that write posts for me. Included in that special set is Penny Martin. Here is her latest about how to go to a smaller home when you have a pet. (We listened to the BBC’s You and Yours yesterday morning about rental housing. This article from Penny could be highly relevant.)

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How to Downsize the Stress-Free Way With a Pet

By Penny Martin

June 15th, 2022

If you’re tired of your current home and you need to move for work or personal reasons, or you just want a change of scenery, downsizing might be a good choice. Downsizing can be a great way to save money, especially if you don’t need all of the space you’re using. However, downsizing when you have a pet can become complicated because your pet needs ample space to live comfortably. Keep reading for some tips, courtesy of Learning from Dogs.

Finding a New Home

Wherever you move, you’ll need to make sure that it offers a suitable amount of space for your pet. If you own a dog or a cat, it can be a big adjustment for them to have less room to move around and live. Downsizing will also affect larger pets more than smaller ones since they’ll feel the effects of having less room more noticeably. If you can place your pet with a friend, family member, or boarding service during the move, that might be a good choice to reduce the stress involved and make the process simpler. 

If your pets live in a cage or a tank, you’ll have to make sure you have a secure place to put their home. Also, consider how the lighting and noise in their immediate environment will affect their sleep patterns and anxiety.

When you purchase a new home, you’ll likely need a mortgage. Inquire with more than one mortgage broker to compare the rates they offer you and choose the best deal. Visit a lender’s website to get an idea about the current rates available. If you’re a veteran, consider applying for a VA loan, which can save you significant amounts of money on the downpayment and the interest rate. If not, an FHA or conventional loan might be the way to go. 

Before moving your pet into your new home, it’s crucial that you pet-proof both indoors and outdoors. Check your yard for any poisonous plants and consider installing a fence to prevent your pup from escaping. 

Preparing Your Home for Sale

If you own your home, you’ll have to prepare it for sale. How well you do this will be a big factor in how fast it sells. You’ll need to clean and organize the home and look into storage for your belongings if there’s going to be a gap between residences, plus you’ll have to make any repairs or upgrades so prospective buyers are more likely to find the property appealing.

Give special attention to curb appeal as well. A neat and well-kept yard will make a great impression on buyers. If your outdoor area could use some beautification, a lawn care company offers mowing, trimming, and debris removal services. Only hire experienced and insured contractors.

Consider hiring a real estate agent to help you prepare the home for sale and guide you through any difficulties or processes you might not understand. Having an agent to show the house and represent you in negotiations can also make the process easier and protect you from losing money.

Do What’s Best for You and Your Pet

Moving into a smaller home is a big decision, and you’ll need to make sure that you’re fully prepared and able to make your pet amply comfortable both during and after the move. Selling a home can be a complicated and financially stressful process, and buying a new one may require a mortgage, so do thorough research to avoid wasting time or losing money. When selling your home, clean and declutter, make repairs, and hire lawn care professionals to boost your curb appeal. Most importantly, be empathetic to what your pet is experiencing during a change in their environment.

Image via Unsplash

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Reading this great advice from Penny reminds me that moving home with a pet or two can be a major upheaval and her tips are valuable. However, when it comes to Jean and me we just have too many pets and we are too old to think of moving, plus we really love where we live (but I don’t want to think about what happens if I can no longer drive!)

Good article!

Picture Parade Four Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Another set of photographs from Gary.

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Always gorgeous!

Thank you, Gary.

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A footnote.

Last Friday, Jean and I were musing about the mice that had appeared in the house and the idea came up that we might return to having a cat. Our online research found a place in Medford, Committed Alliance to Strays or C.A.T.S., a place devoted to rescuing cats. We made an appointment for 2pm.

We came home with two Siamese. They are twins, both male, born on 15th March, 2017. Their names are Hogan and Skippy but we are thinking of renaming them.

Friday afternoon when we came home. Jean put them in a spare room and closed the door.

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Saturday morning and they are in the main living room for a while.

One is more confident than the other but all the dogs, save Sheena, have had cats in their lives when we had our cats before.

The previous owner left a note on their cage at C.A.T.S. It read:

This is Skippy and Hogan! They were my cats and unfortunately my living situation changed drastically and I couldn’t keep them. 😦 They are very sweet, just a bit shy and timid. If you consider adopting them just know that they deserve the world. All I can hope is that they go to a good home!! They need to stay together; they are very attached.

It is early days but we have a hunch that this was a good move!

Starting your own pet business.

Another guest post from Penny Martin.

Well I am preparing this post on Saturday, the 14th. The operation for the hernia on the 10th went smoothly enough but I did not reckon on the discomfort that would follow. Indeed, I was talking to a good friend on Thursday and he said that the pain would more or less last for two weeks. My son gave me the good advice to take regular doses of an over-the-shelf painkiller rather than the stronger tablets the hospital gave me because those prohibited driving! I returned to a small amount of driving last Friday.

Now on with the show!

Penny Martin first wrote a guest post for me in February, Fostering or adopting a dog, and I am delighted to present her second post. Over to her!

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Why Now Is a Great Time for a Pet Business and How to Start Your Own

By Penny Martin.

If you are an animal lover who wants to spend your days scrolling through cute dog pictures and surrounded by furry clients, now is a great time to consider starting your own pet business. Here, you can learn more about which relevant business areas experiencing growth and tips to get started on the right foot. 

Reasons Why It’s a Great Time for Pet Businesses

A growing number of families include animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association data, more than half of American households have a pet. That number appears to be growing, too, representing an increased need for care services. 

Pets are not just more abundant; they are also becoming full-fledged family members. As a result, spending on them is also increasing. Despite rapid growth in many care service areas, there are not enough providers to meet this increased demand. 

Animal-Related Businesses That Are Thriving

If you are curious about what type of business to start, look no further than pet care providers. There are several types of jobs you can get involved in:

  • Training and behavioral services: Training isn’t just for puppies. Dogs of all ages can benefit from learning household rules and appropriate behaviors when they are out and about. 
  • Dog walking and pet sitting: This is usually based out of the client’s home, where you pick them up for a walk or provide companionship for short periods.
  • Boarding: This is an excellent option for individuals who would rather welcome dogs and cats to their own home or care facility. Many boarding companies also provide daycare services. 
  • Grooming: You will need to learn how to groom different types of pets to master the skills for a successful grooming career. However, if you enjoy helping dogs look their best, this is an excellent high-demand field. 

Business Strategies to Help You Succeed

Economic conditions are excellent for small pet-focused companies to thrive. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to follow some basic business principles to succeed.

Start by choosing an appropriate legal structure. Research the most popular setup for businesses like yours to find one that fits your needs. Then, file with the appropriate offices to make it official. Next, take time to develop a comprehensive business plan. This document will do more than get you up and running; it will also serve as a reference as you continue to grow. Be sure to conduct market research to identify your target customers.  

Implement a structured invoicing process to set clear payment terms for clients and ensure you get paid on time, especially if you send invoices immediately after performing a service. Accepting several forms of payment is also helpful for clients. Use an invoice maker, free online usually, to streamline the process. Simply add your logo and business information, and you are ready to go. 

Use bookkeeping software to track your income and expenses and gain insight into your cash flow. This is a great way to organize and store receipts, ensuring compliance with regulatory agencies. It also makes tax filing easier at the end of the year and helps you find the most deductions.

A growing number of households with pets and increased spending make now a great time to start an animal-related business. Care and service providers are excellent fields to consider, with high demand for groomers, trainers, and dog walkers. However, no matter what type of company you start, sound business strategies can keep it running smoothly.

Image via Pixels

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Excellent!

As an ex-entrepreneur, who fundamentally was a salesman, I can also add the following to that post.

It starts and ends with the customer. A business plan is vital and so too is market research. But unless you have a clear vision of how you are to sell your services and what’s the difference that makes the difference you must not proceed. Selling is all about: Need; Feature; Benefit.

  • Open-ended questions to establish the need. (Those are questions that cannot be answered with a yes or a no.)
  • Keep on asking, and establishing a relationship, until you and the potential customer are clear that there is a need.
  • Then speak about the features of what you are selling that matches the need/s. Do not progress until the prospective customer understands and agrees.
  • For every agreed feature be clear what the benefit is for the customer; of that particular feature.
  • Try closing the deal. If there is hesitation then understand why. Resolve it. Try closing the deal again.

The very best of luck to those that want to run with this.

Yet another amazing story about a dog’s skills

Who knows whether it was a smell, or a sound, or what…

This is a story from England. From a town called Tow Law, a few miles to the south-west of Newcastle. As wikipedia explains: Tow Law is a town and civil parish in County Durham, England. It is situated a few miles to the south of Consett and 5 miles to the north west of Crook. 

Anyway, the story was published by The Dodo and is reproduced below.

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Dog Out On A Walk Finds Someone Very Stuck In A Stone Wall

He wouldn’t leave until his dad agreed to help 💞

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Published on the 25th February, 2022

A guy and his dog were out on a walk one day through a field in Tow Law, England, when the dog suddenly became very interested in a nearby stone wall. After looking a little closer, the pair found a cat — who had somehow gotten himself completely stuck in the wall.

The RSPCA was called and Inspector Ruth Thomas-Coxon drove over to try and help. She was hoping that it would be as easy as just gently pulling the cat, later named Freddy, out of the wall, but she quickly discovered that he was much more stuck than that.

“Initially it looked as though he’d chosen to tuck himself inside the gap, but he didn’t try to run away when we got closer,” Thomas-Coxon said in a press release.

Thomas-Coxon weighed all her options and decided the best way to free Freddy would be to take apart the stone wall.

“The owner of the paddocks and wall came out and, between us, we removed some of the stones to dismantle the top part of the wall and free the cat,” Thomas-Coxon said. “He made a dash for it and jumped into another part of the wall, where we were able to catch him.”

Even though Freddy was definitely stuck and needed help, he was also not super pleased about being rescued by strangers. Once he realized he was safe, though, he calmed down, and Thomas-Coxon took him to the vet to get him checked out.

“Vets found he was in fairly good health, although he had some mats in his coat, which they removed,” Thomas-Coxon said. “He was a sweet, friendly cat, so I wondered if he was a missing pet, but he was not microchipped. I made some inquiries nearby, put up a poster where we rescued him and also put his profile on PetsLocated, but, unfortunately, he’s not yet been claimed.”

Freddy is settling into the shelter well, and if no one comes forward to claim him, he’ll be put up for adoption. From being stuck in a stone wall to a potential forever home — Freddy’s come a long way.

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It’s a strange story in the sense that the cat was not claimed so who knows where he had come from. But his future is much better, thanks to the RSPCA, and if he is adopted it will be to a good, caring home.

Fostering or adopting a dog!

A guest post from a very patient Penny Martin.

Penny first contacted me towards the end of January, 2022. I was going to publish her post not long after. But Penny didn’t realise that I had changed my email address so there was a resend involved. Then I forgot that I had her guest article waiting to be published. Then last Wednesday, the 9th Feb., I got myself ready to publish it the following Thursday, and discovered that it was in Windows format and I was a Mac user.

So that is why I nominated her as Patient Penny!

Here is her post.

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Must-Have Resources and Tips for Fostering or Adopting a Pup

If you want to relieve some of the tension you’ve been feeling over the last year, now may be the perfect time to add a new pet to your life! Here, Learning From Dogs shares some helpful resources to ensure you’re ready to provide health and happiness for your new buddy.

Should You Foster or Adopt?

This is the first question to ask yourself before you welcome a furry companion into your home. Each has its own perks, so read through these tips to decide whether you would prefer to foster a new pet or add a permanent member to your family.

Setting Up Your Home for a Pet

Whether you foster or adopt, you want to be sure your home is safe and comfortable for your new buddy. These supplies, tips, and resources can help.

Caring for Your Pet

If you are thinking of fostering or adopting a dog, here’s some info on keeping them safe and healthy.

Fostering or adopting a dog during this time of stress and anxiety can be a perfect way to calm those feelings and keep your home from feeling so lonely. As long as you can provide care, food, a few snuggles, and the essentials mentioned above, you should be able to keep your new friend perfectly safe, sound, and happy. So, what are you waiting for? Consider adopting a pup today!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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That is a very useful guest article.

I hope there will be others.

Please help!

I do not very often post a request, but…

I have known John Zande for quite a few years. It has been, what they call, a virtual relationship for we have never met in person. I do have John’s book The Superstitious Naked Ape and it is a first-rate read.

John recently sent me an email. It read:

Hi Paul — How are you both, and the clan? Weather station up and going? Still has not stopped raining here. The ground is beyond saturated, and many of our big old trees around here are just falling over, which is horrible.
Just got sent this link (below), and G asked me to send it on to people I know. To celebrate Betty White’s work with animals (and her 100th birthday, which sadly she’ll not have) her sister (in Australia) just started a short Gofundme for G and me here in Brazil. She’s good like that, and at this time of year (heaps of dumped dogs and cats after Christmas) everything helps. 

This is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-vista-verde-animals-fund

If one opens the link then one reads the following:

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On 17/01 Betty White would turn 100 years old. Most of her life she was an advocate for the health & welfare of animals. As a tribute to her legacy, there’s a global movement to send monies to all animal shelters (thanks to my amazing friend Heather C who brought that to my attention). My sister and her husband John live in Brazil and have been working tirelessly to take stray cats & dogs off the streets for over 15 years.

Their amazing work, as much as is rewarding & noble have absolutely no financial help from the local Government. Stray animals are definitely a public health issue and depend practically solely on the private initiative.

So I’m asking my friends here to donate (any amount will help) to my sister’s VISTA VERDE ANIMAL FUND. Every cent in this campaign will go towards helping fund rescuing stray cats & dogs in the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil – where my family lives – have them spayed/neutered, nurtured back to health with whatever operations/medicines/treatment they need, house them, and, with luck, get them adopted out into loving homes.

As Betty White herself summed it up best: “Take responsibility and breathe kindness.” Thank you in advance. YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

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To view the photographs and, more importantly, to Donate! go here

We have joined thousands of others in making a modest donation!