Tag: John Zande

Loving our dogs beyond everything else.

Stories like this one today are so incredibly inspiring!

The following article was published by Mother Nature Network the last day of July.

But it’s not just about saving the life of a dog! Do see my note at the end re The Dodo Twitter feed.

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Hero hiker says angels and laughter helped her carry hurt dog down mountain to safety

MARY JO DILONARDO July 31st, 2018

When Vargas’s dad saw her carrying a dog, he laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough?’ (Photo: Ted Kasper)

Every year, Tia Vargas and her dad go hiking; this summer’s trip was up Table Rock in the Grand Tetons in early July. Vargas was just below the 11,000-foot peak with her dad waiting about a mile down the trail when she ran into a distraught family of hikers who had found an injured English springer spaniel.

They couldn’t find the limping pup’s owner and, because the family had kids in tow, Vargas figured it would be easier for her to carry the pup to safety.

“I had to crawl under him to get him up on my shoulders,” Vargas, a single mother of three from Idaho Falls, Idaho, tells MNN. “I felt the difficulty of it right away. I never felt 55 pounds like that before.”

Vargas soon ran into her dad, Ted Kasper, who snapped some photos when he saw his daughter coming down the trail with a dog on her shoulders.

Vargas was hoping to run into other people on the trail, but she had to carry Boomer by herself. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

“Dad laughed and said, ‘Isn’t this hike hard enough? You have to carry a dog too?'” Vargas recalls. “My dad makes me laugh. He is such a great man.”

That sense of humor helped Vargas get through the ordeal of carrying the heavy dog down the steep trail, she says. The trek was hard and nearly unbearable at times.

“Every time I put him down so I could rest it was difficult. And every time I got down on my knees to put my head under his belly and try to use neck and body strength to lift him it was painful and difficult. I thought we would see people on the trail on the way down to help. But that wasn’t the case,” she says.

Vargas takes a break from carrying the 55-pound pup. (Photo: Ted Kasper)

The trio got lost twice because of snow and fallen trees that made the trail disappear. “I even lost my dad once and that made me feel very alone in this,” Vargas says. “He was a big comfort to me.”

At one point, Kasper offered to run down the trail and try to find help, but Vargas didn’t want to be left alone. About halfway down the trail, Vargas thought she might not be able to continue. At the time, they were lost and it had started to rain.

“The thought of stopping crossed my mind once. My legs hurt and were shaking,” she says. “When I wanted to quit is when I prayed. Prayer gave me the strength. That and my dad’s jokes. He made me laugh and it gave me energy. And feeling the angels lift the dog off of my neck was what I needed to continue on.”

Lost dog named Boomer

Boomer is in a cast from his 100-foot fall, but vets are hopeful it will heal without surgery. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

Finally hiking six miles and reaching the bottom of the trail, Vargas found a very small note that said, “Lost dog named Boomer, call this number.”

She called the owners, who thought for sure Boomer was dead. They had gone hiking together the day before and Boomer had fallen off a 100-foot cliff and rolled 200 feet. When the family rushed down to find him, he was gone. They looked for him until dark, so Boomer had spent one night out there, alone and injured.

“I was so excited to tell them their dog was very much alive,” Vargas says. “Dad and I couldn’t wait to hear their reaction.”

It turns out that the family loved Boomer very much, but they were moving to Arizona and couldn’t take him with them. They already had a family lined up to adopt him, but when they heard Vargas’s incredible story, the new adopters reluctantly let her adopt him instead.

‘One of my kids now’

Boomer is now part of the Vargas family. (Photo: Tia Vargas)

A trip to the vet found that Boomer was very fortunate: he had mostly bumps, bruises and scratches from his big fall, as well as a dislocated joint with torn ligaments in his leg. Boomer is in a cast now while his new family waits to see whether the joint will hopefully heal on its own without surgery.

Vargas says the 4-year-old pup loves to do tricks and have his belly rubbed. He loves to explore and smell everything and always wants to put his head in her lap. Vargas, who is a substitute teacher, Zumba instructor and sells jewelry, has started a Facebook page for Boomer because so many people are now following his story.

“He is 100 percent part of the family. His personality is perfect with mine and the kids. We all love him so much,” Vargas says. “They begged me for a dog and I was worried because it’s a lot of time and work. I told them no for so long. And I told them if we get a dog it would have to be dropped in my lap and already trained. And he is both of those and so much more. He feels like one of my kids now.”

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Isn’t that just the most wonderful story!

Now I must publicly thank John Zande; he of The Superstitious Naked Ape blog site. For the other day John mentioned a ‘thread’ on Twitter under the title of The Dodo. If I mention that The Dodo has over 1 million followers you will get the idea that it offers some very compelling ‘Tweets’. You bet!

Try this:

Or this:

There are too many humans in this world who are motivated by money, by power and by greed.

Thank goodness there are many others who are motivated by their love for animals!

Reflections – Day Two

Still following in the footsteps of Wibble.

My choice of quotation last Monday was taken from E. F. Schumacher: “Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility.

Deciding on what should be my second selection turned out to be more difficult. Simply because there were so many buzzing around my head.

In the end I chose this:

Never underestimate the power of unintended consequences!

Despite a web search, that brought up numerous articles concerning unintended consequences across many fields of the human experience, I was unable to find a source for the quote and therefore cannot attribute it to the original author.

Nevertheless, it strikes me as one of the core aspects of human behaviour!

As offered on Monday, here are my nominations for today:

Day Three of Reflections will be along next week!

Reflections – Day One!

Following in the footsteps of Wibble.

As in:

Now, on to the nominations:

The rules of this challenge are: post a quote on three days, each time nominating three other blogs to pick up the challenge. Or — in the spirit of wu wei — not, as you see fit 🙂

The above was taken from a post published by Colin on the 30th May.

So here’s my quote for today:

Just one of the many aspects of the life of man that underlines the madness that seems to inflict so many societies.

Here are my nominations for today and the other two days of quotes:

Day Two of Reflections will be along in a while!

Please sign this petition!

S. Korea is the only country in the world with large-scale, commercial dog meat farms.

Frankly, I wasn’t planning to publish a post today. But then in came an email from John Zande, he of the blog The Superstitious Naked Ape, and this is what I read: “Paul, hi… Really good news. The following email links to a petition supporting a bill that will end the dog meat trade in Korea. I know you’ll want to sign it. Share it around, too.”

John then linked to a petition over on the Lady Freethinkers blog.

Jean and I have signed the petition and now I am republishing in full what you can read if you go across to that petition page.

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SIGN: PASS NEW BILL TO BAN HORRIFIC DOG MEAT FARMS IN S. KOREA

 

Mercy For Animals

Sent to me by John Zande!

John, he of the blog site The Superstitious Naked Ape, recently sent me this appeal. I am very pleased to republish it here.

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Hello,
When I started Mercy For Animals nearly 20 years ago, I was a kid from the Midwest with a big dream and an unwavering determination to help animals. Building MFA was not easy. Our first meeting had three attendees. We had no money. But as we grew, I surrounded myself with incredible supporters like you, passionate volunteers, and committed colleagues.

MFA is the most meaningful endeavor of my life so far. My journey has been moving and inspiring. Working alongside such brilliant colleagues and implementing our shared vision of a kinder world for farmed animals has been an honor. Together, we have built MFA into the powerful organization it is today—one that achieves groundbreaking successes as the result of teamwork.

As MFA has grown in the past few years, I’ve found the personal and creative space to think about how I can best continue to shape our movement—and help more animals. This space led me to launch Circle V, the first vegan animal rights music festival, and to conceptualize and co-found The Good Food Institute, an organization that supports innovation in food and science to produce alternatives that are superior to animal products.

I’ve determined that I can be most effective right now by helping launch exciting new companies and initiatives. This means remaining in this creative, big-picture space and handing over much of the day-to-day operations at MFA to other skilled and respected leaders within the organization.
I’m proud to announce that our executive vice president, Matt Rice, has been promoted to president of MFA. I will continue to serve MFA as chair of the board of directors and will remain intimately involved in strategic decisions as the organization’s founder.

For more than 15 years, Matt Rice has been a central leader in the animal protection movement. He shares my vision for MFA and has implemented it with determination, tireless dedication, and compassion for animals and people.
Matt began in MFA’s New York office carrying out grassroots outreach before being promoted to director of operations. He later moved to Los Angeles to take over as director of investigations, working closely with our brave undercover investigators. Matt has overseen many of MFA’s biggest cases, most successful campaigns, and other victories. As executive vice president, he has overseen all departments.

Click below to watch a video about Matt and MFA’s priorities for 2018.


Matt is steadfast in his commitment to MFA. He is an ideal team player with sound judgment—a true powerhouse for animals. I trust him completely.

Matt is already working with other senior MFA leaders to implement new systems and structures, and we will launch compelling new campaigns this year. Matt is supported by a team of some of the best activists I’ve ever met.

I know that MFA will continue to break barriers and exceed expectations worldwide. Much remains to be done for animals, but we’ve proved time and again that for a movement built on love and persistence, no company is too powerful, no factory farm too big, and no government too mighty.

I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of MFA and our movement. Our greatest victories are still ahead.

Nathan Runkle
Founder

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Let me add that there is much information about the charity on WikiPedia, from which I quote a little:

Mercy For Animals (MFA) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies, founded in October 1999. Nathan Runkle is the group’s executive director and founder.[1] Focusing primarily on advocacy on behalf of farmed animals, MFA runs a number of campaigns that aim to educate the public on animal protection issues and to encourage them to adopt a vegan diet.[2] It has engaged in several undercover investigations, primarily of egg farms, and has produced television commercials showing the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses and factory farms.[3] MFA is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Plus the charity’s website is here Mercy For Animals.

If you didn’t watch the video then, please, do it now.

Finally, please do what you can to support them.

Thank you, John, for sharing this with me.

 

A new home for Max!

Can you help John Zande find a loving home for this recent rescue?

I can’t recall when John Zande and I first made contact but it was a while ago. John lives in Brazil and is the author of the book The Owner Of All Infernal Names. (Read by me and much recommended.)

John also writes from time to time on his blogsite: The Superstitious Naked Ape. Again, much recommended by me.

Anyway, I awoke yesterday morning to find an email from John. This is what John had written:

Morning Paul, hope everything is fine up there. I have a question. We rescued a dog the other day (part pit bull), lovely fellow, but needs a lot of nursing to get him back to health. Vet thinks he’s around 2 years old. I’d say closer to 1.5. We have him here, in the front of the house (keeping our animals inside and out the back), but he’s a barker. Not aggressive, but seems to enjoy “responding” to other dogs in the street barking… of which there are too many. Do you have any tricks for teaching a dog not to bark? I’ve tried putting him on a leash back on the house (to keep him from the front gate) as a sort of conditioning, but that hasn’t seemed to of worked. I bought a muzzle and put that on when he’s barking, but that hasn’t worked either. Any ideas?

Obviously I looked across at Jean, mentioned the email from John, and read it out to here wondering what would be her advice.

John,

A very good morning in return.

I have just shared your email with Jean and she offered the following.

Namely, that he is most likely barking for attention. If you have the time then stay with him and each time he barks say “No!” firmly and when he stops give him a treat as a reward.

Jean acknowledges that this a difficult one but let’s take it one step at a time. Let us know what you do.

Want me to make it a post on the blog? Do you have a photo of him?

Best of luck!

Paul

John is full in terms of taking on rescues just now and is looking for a caring home for this lovely-looking boy; his name is Max by the way.

Here are some photographs of Max.

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What a kind, loving face!

These are some photos from last Thurs, when we got him. He’s put on some weight since. He was covered in oil, and his blood test has come back: low platelets, and ticks disease. Yeah, I’ve been out with him heaps, sitting with him and spending time. He knows its wrong, but seems to react to everything and every noise. I introduced the girl dogs to him this morning, and he was great. No problem. No aggression. Didn’t stop him barking, though 🙂 Our street has some noisy dogs (bad owners), so I guess he’s having trouble responding.
He is lovely. Would love to keep him, but we’re full, and can’t afford another. Had to get him off the street, though. He was in real trouble.
PLEASE!!! Can anyone find Max a home? If finding the money to transport Max to that new home is going to be an issue then I’m sure we can ‘pass the hat around’ to resolve that challenge.
The main thing is to find Max a home!
Finally …. my apologies to a number of you who have sent in guest posts for this place. You are not forgotten but you do understand why this plea from John had to be published today!

 

Feathers and socks

As in our baby goslings and Socks the dog.

Our baby Canadian geese were born a month ago today.

These pictures were taken yesterday morning.

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Here’s a photograph of them taken the day they were born.

Moving on! (With “moving” being the key word.)

Remember my post of two days ago when I included some photographs of a very happy Socks?

This was one of the photos:

Now want to see a short video of that Very Happy Socks!!

Here it is! Sent in by John Zande yesterday.

If one ever wanted proof of the goodness of rescuing a homeless dog then Socks is it!

Onwards and upwards for socks!

The dog, that is, not what we wear on our feet!

On the 26th April I published a post promoting the Vista Verde Help Fund for Strays. (And well done! That fund is very close to achieving the goal.)

That post in April also included a picture of a recent stray supported by the Fund. He was named Socks by Jean.

Socks starting a new and better life.

Anyway, a few days ago Dionete sent me an email that I wanted to share with you.

Hello Paul – how’s things with you & Jean & dogs? Fine, I hope.

We’ve got some news: Socks has just been neutered. We picked him up at the clinic an hour ago and took him to a temporary shelter. Unfortunately it is just for a couple of nights but at least he is safe and can recover from the grogginess tonight.

Here are the pics we’ve taken.

Thank you very much (again) for allowing it to happen.
All the very best,

Here are those photographs of Socks.

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Socks has a really gentle look in those eyes. Hopefully, he will find a new loving home before too long.

The Vista Verde Help Fund for strays.

A return to such an important story.

Last week, under the post title of Group Goodness, I put out a plea for anyone who felt so minded to make a donation to this fund. That donate page for this fund being here.

Now it’s very fair to say that there wasn’t a rush of donations. It would be more accurate to say that there were no donations for several days. In fact it is only in the last twenty-four hours that the amount donated has gone from 216 to 244 Australian dollars. (The fund will be transferring those Aussie dollars across to assist John Zande and his lovely wife soon. The currency being used is because it is the sister of John’s wife who is raising the money and she lives in Australia.)

Now it would be very wrong of me to seek the reasons why not a single follower or reader of this place chose not to make a donation. But I will offer this perspective. In that Jean and I wanted to make a second donation and it has taken several days to figure out why our gift wasn’t being processed; the reason being a rather cautious (our) bank attitude to debit card payments being made overseas. So if anyone else has tried to make a donation and the system has got in the way then please do find a solution.

Here’s why!

Because John and his wife, Dionete, are totally immersed in doing their best to help the homeless and abandoned dogs in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Here are copies of recent emails that John  and Dionete have sent me over the last few days.

20th. April

Morning Paul, I took a camera this morning just to show you the new boy I’m helping. Gorgeous fellow, and young. It never stops. They never stop showing up… which is something I’m sure Jean understands all too well from her work in Mexico.

Again, thank you for your help and posting the campaign.
I queried if this new boy had a name?

No name yet. Can you think of one? I found him on the corner of a street where I feed two (sometimes 3) cats every morning. G’s mum and dad used to live in that street and her dad would feed them. He loved cats, and after he died (and G’s mum moved closer to us) I’ve kept going back. It’s been over a year now that I go there every day, and despite every effort to capture them, I’ve failed. They’re quite feral, but I can’t bring myself to letting them to fend for themselves.

And these are those photos.

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John then continued that same day:

Anyway, the boy showed up about 9 days ago, so on my daily run I feed and water him. G put his pictures on Facebook this morning and a girl (Luiza) responded saying she knows of another lady who’s also feeding him. I saw food there once, on day 2 I think, but none since, so I’m not sure what that’s all about. The girl who actually responded is a part of this loose Vista Verde group. I’ve never met her, but I know of her. We’re helping her as she took in a dog a few months ago that had been hit by a car and is paralysed, but, to her credit, she’s refused to give in and has him in physio (including water treadmills), which is actually showing some positive signs. That’s sort of how it all works. Here’s some pictures and video of that case. Gorgeous dog.

Go here to view those pictures & videos.

The boy is relatively safe where he is. He has shelter, and doesn’t appear to be in any mood to move on, which is good. If he stays put we can help. Finding a home for him is not easy, but after we can find some place as a temporary shelter we’ll get him into the vet, neutered, treated for whatever, then settled. The huge problem is, there simply aren’t any shelters we can just take him to, so we can’t get him off the street and into the vet immediately. Every shelter is over-full, and that makes rescues just that much harder. It’s not the case of simply finding a dog (or cat) and getting them to safety… which is heartbreaking. You just have to hope they stay put. A few times I’ve put a dog in the car and taken them from danger (like near a main road) and brought them up to our area where there are parks and plenty of shelter and people to help. It’s a safe place, and if they stay put we often have successes… But that takes time. But, as I said, he doesn’t seem to want to move on, and he’s starting to put on weight. He was desperately thin, but 500g of mince and a big bowl of dry food every day seems to be doing the trick.

Here’s hoping to a good ending for him.

In speaking with Jeannie about this poor dog she very quickly suggested the name of Socks. John happily went with Jean’s suggestion.

21st April

Hi Paul, just a quick update on socks. Luiza (the girl I mentioned yesterday) has found temporary shelter for Socks for one month. It’s not long, but will give us the chance to neuter him and do all necessary blood work. Finding him a home is the next hill, but I spent time with him this morning, just sitting with him, and he’s really a lovely, gentle fellow, so here’s hoping.

24th April

Socks update: His shelter home is ready today, we’ve been told. That, however, might now not be needed. Sunday I saw he now has a huge dog house on the footpath, with blankets, food and water. He wasn’t interested in the mince I brought him, so I just left some chewing treats. Same thing this morning (I’ve just gotten back). So, we’ll go back later today just to speak (again) to the people in the street (we don’t know who exactly put the dog house there), and it might be the case that he just goes straight to the vet for neutering, maybe a few days in the shelter for recovery, then back to his house while (if still needed) we look for a permanent home/family.

April 25th.

Hello Paul – I can see you’ve been playing “email tennis” with the gofundme staff  –  good to read they (finally) managed to sort it out.

We saw Socks today. Apparently a bunch of neighbours got together to feed and take care of him, albeit on the street (he was given a 2nd-hand doghouse & doona (oops, duvet)). One of the guys has been thinking of taking him to his country house; an acquaintance of mine knows of somebody who might adopt him. Yes, everything’s still in the air, but he has it much much better than other dogs we’ve found and helped.
Now we can book his neutering/vaccine.

As for me, I don’t have enough words to thank you & Jean. Truth to be told it feels a bit weird to be the beneficiary of a campaign. We’ve always helped others and suddenly seeing ourselves in this position is a tad uncomfortable, actually – which doesn’t mean this money is not welcome, considering all the cases we’ve had so far this year.

Fingers crossed it all works out for Socks. We’ll keep you posted.

So, good people, this is why I beseech you to please support what John, Dionete and his close group are doing on behalf of those dogs down in Brazil. Please make a donation!

Group goodness

The power of sharing.

(And, please, make a note of my final remark at the end of today’s post.)

Those who are regular visitors to this place will know that John Zande, who lives in Brazil, is a good friend, and, for that matter, I try to be a good friend of his place.  (If you didn’t read my recent review of John’s latest book On The Problem of Good then it is here.)

So when a couple of days ago I received the following email from John you can imagine my positive response to his request.

Paul, hi, I have a favour to ask.

My wife’s sister, Dee (who lives in Australia) has started a gofundme campaign to help cover a rash of vet surgery bills we’ve had recently. These past few months (most of summer, really) has been appalling with the number of dumped animals in our area.

Together with a few other people in our loose group we rescued about ten and got them adopted out to good homes. Plus, we have three in temporary shelters as we nurse them back to health. We took one into our house, Nina, thus making eleven here now, who had her tail amputated last Tuesday. We were fortunate in that our vet worked for free (a 3hr operation) and only charged us for the anesthetist.

We’re lucky to have these wonderful people around, but we’re a tad snowed under right now with the accumulated surgeries and medicines, which is why Dee started this little campaign.

Now there was no question that Jean and I wanted to help. Not only by making a modest donation ourselves but by promoting Dee’s campaign. I emailed a reply to John saying just that.

John then responded with more details, including some photographs:

Dee is married to a very good friend of mine from Uni. She started this campaign to help Dionete, my wife, and I (and if possible a few other Vista Verde folk who’re in our rescue network) here in Brazil. Dee was here just before Christmas and saw the problem first hand. She actually helped us rescue a wonderful little fellow, Terrorista, who now lives a few streets away with a wonderful family.

I didn’t know, but Dionete was chatting to her a week or two ago and it came up just how many vet/surgery/medicine expenses we’d accumulated over the summer. Without either of us knowing, she, Dee, then started this gofundme campaign to lend a hand and help clear the vet bills. We’re not an NGO (we actually help four here in Sao Jose dos Campos, two in Sao Paulo, and Sandra’s Maxmello in another city south of Sao Paulo). Because we’re not an NGO we’ve never thought about doing a campaign ourselves, so was surprised when Dee started this one. It’s quite modest, $1,000 Australian dollars (the goal) converted to Brazilian Reis will make a sizable dent in our backlog of vet surgery bills. Our bills are tiny compared to a guy we know who does have an NGO and owes his network of vets 90,000. He’s a wonderful fellow and I’m actually working with him to try and get a mobile neutering unit started here in Sao Jose dos Campos. But that’s another story. So, to be clear, the campaign is for us here in Vista Verde, which is sadly a dumping ground for animals. Surrounding districts seem to think we’re all wealthy here and therefore they can dump their animals. It’s infuriating, and the animals never stop coming.

I am sure that Jean and I aren’t the only ones that want to help.

So here’s the link to that GoFundMe campaign on behalf of VISTA VERDE HELP FUND for strays.

And John could offer no better reason for seeking some financial support from the wider world. Here’s some of his later email:

My apologies if there was some confusion. I’m actually heading out right now to feed a new fellow I found a few days ago and is sleeping outside a house in another district. When I get back I’ll send some more photos, OK.
Let me close with some more photos of dogs that have been helped by John, Dionete and the rest of the great band of the Vista Verde Fund.
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Finally!
Please offer whatever you can to help. Even the smallest amount makes a real difference.
I am going to run this post for two days. I.e. the next post will be out on Friday, 21st April.