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Showing posts from November, 2008

Rainy. Cold. Last Day of November 2008.

No joy on Sunday. This morning, I woke up to my wife's excited announcement that snow was falling. The first of the year in my area, but it didn't last long nor did it stick. It turned to icy rain, and then to regular rain by 10am. It has been a wet and cool day since then. Yuck.

Goose. Duck. Van Saun Park. Bergen County. New Jersey. November 2008.

I don't know how many years this goose/duck ( not sure ) has been around in the park, but it now walks with a limp. It hobbled by as if i wasn't there. Obviously, it has become very trusting of human beings. It lives by the bridge over the pond along with other ducks. Last January, I took some photos in the park on a bitterly cold day and it was one of the ducks walking gingerly on the frozen pond. I hope it survives this winter.

Chihuahua. Fidelma. No Dogs Allowed. No Purchase Either.

This is Fidelma when I leave her in the car because the store owner does not allow dogs in the premises. She spends the time looking out the windows. Yes, some shopkeepers are adamant about the " No Dogs " rule. That's fine. I am just as adamant about not buying from animal-intolerant stores. I let them know by telling them. Here, Fidelma looks like she lacks some sleep but tries valiantly to stay awake.

Wild Horses. A Refuge. Madeleine Pickens to the Rescue.

Look at what money can do! Well, a lot of money AND a kind heart really, they're both present in Madeleine Pickens. She's the wife of T. Boone Pickens. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to euthanize thousands of wild horses, to cut down to 27,000 the wild horse population in ten western states which numbers 33,000. The bureau isn't the bad guy in this picture. They are dealing with an over population of horses in their long term holding facilities, horses who are too old and unadoptable. Euthanasia has become an option. However, Mrs. Pickens' solution involves purchasing approximately 1 million acres of land and turning them into a refuge. In a wonderful spirit of cooperation, the bureau agreed to give the horses to Mrs. Pickens after she purchases the land. But, it's not just taking in the horses, and that's it. They will be sterilized at the refuge, and the horses the bureau takes out of the wild each year will also come home to the refuge. Mrs. Pickens

PAWS. Dog Rescue on TV. Lovely Day Show. November 2008.

There's a show in the Philippines called, Lovely Day , that featured a dog rescue by Philippine Animal Welfare Society ( PAWS ) volunteers May Angela Felix and Joe Claret . Now, this stuff is all in Tagalog but you can easily surmise what went on. Evidently, an elderly woman rang to report a dog in need of help. May showed the reporter, Jacob, how the the catch pole works and when the net is necessary. They weren't needed after all because the dog went along without any resistance after a food offering was made. Joe Claret explained that most of the animals in need of rescue flee upon their approach, and so this was one of the easiest rescues. The rescuers took the dog to " Dra. Mardi " for a check-up/deworming. From there, they're off to the PAWS shelter where the dog began its rehabilitation. The second video includes a rescued two-week old kitten, the adoption of two dogs, and a dog named Jackie getting groomed for a better chance at adoption.

Sarah Palin. Late Night Jokes. The VP in the Senate.

Well, if Sarah Palin insists on being in the limelight after the election, then I think she is definitely still fair game. I want you to visit the link I have provided below, and enjoy the many jokes on her by the late night show hosts. "Sarah Palin made three campaign stops today: Saks, Nieman Marcus and Bloomingdales." --Jay Leno Palin has become the new Dan Quayle, and nobody is responsible for that than the animal killer herself. If I were Palin , I would bury my face in my pillow and curse the day I thought America would believe in me. 2012? You won't make it beyond the primaries, Sarah. Here is the link : And what about the Vice-President and the Senate? Evidently, Sarah Palin doesn't know what the Vice-President does in the U.S. Senate. And she's committed this gaffe twice during the campaign, and probably hasn't checked the constituion to this day. Here is one of those moments: For the

Elephant Rescue. Ned. Royal Hanneford Circus. IDA. USDA.

Some good news, made me look twice. Ned , a captive elephant performing for the Royal Hanneford Circus , has gained her freedom through the good people of In Defense of Animals who sent photos of an emaciated Ned to the USDA . If you eyeball the photo, you'd presume that Ned is an old elephant, but he is only 21 years old. Ned weighs approximately 2,000 lbs less than normal for his size and age. Well, it didn't take a month for the USDA to rescue Ned and send him off to a better life at the Elephant Sanctuary. The IDA reported that he now enjoys a variety of good food, watermelon and corn on the cob being his favorites. The IDA further reported that : " Meanwhile, Ned’s trainer, Lance Ramos, remains a USDA-licensed exhibitor while the case for revocation of his license is on appeal. He and his father, Manuel Ramos, have a history of violating the Animal Welfare Act since 1989. ( click here for more information about the Ramos family ) He has in his control other animal

Cold Weather. Walking Dogs. When is it too cold?

When is it too cold to walk your dog? It was 22F this morning when Fidelma and I went for our morning walk. Now, for most of us in the northeast, 22F isn't a show-stopper at all but it is cold for November. We're just out of the Summer, and here we are hunched over in our heavy jackets and hoods, cursing that damn wind. Snow has already fallen farther north of us, in the Catskills and Adirondacks, and those folks are probably under more freezing temps than we are in northern New Jersey. Anyway, I remember a year or two ago when Fidelma and I were out in 12F weather, and my neighbor was at his window gesturing to me, " What the hell are you doing out there in this kind of weather? " True, twelve-degree weather can be tough on everybody. At those temperatures, if your dog agrees to venture out of your warm home, your time out with your dog should focus on a quick poo and pee. When it gets down to single digits, then that's definitely painful. My inner ear starts giv

Ridgewood, NJ. Granny's Attic. Buddy. German Shepherd Mix.

I should have done this a long time ago, take photos of the dogs I meet along the avenue called life. Of course, I meet a lot of dogs ; I volunteer at an animal shelter. But I am talking about those dogs/cats we meet in stores, junk yards, gas stations, parks, etc. It's no longer enough to compliment the owner on how wonderful their pet is. We need to make a simple record of their existence. Meet Buddy. He's a good boy. Buddy loves to meet other dogs and strangers like me. He was most curious about my dog, Fidelma , who is a lot smaller than him. Many dogs cannot tolerate a small dog, but Buddy looked at Fidelma like she was a toy that walked in just for him. Issues? I don't think Buddy has any. This is a dog you can hug right away. Just absolutely friendly. Tell-tale signs say Buddy has had a loving environment all his life and he, in turn, epitomizes the sweet and loyal family dog. You can meet Buddy at Granny's Attic in Ridgewood , New Jersey. He hangs around the

Car Donation. Giving Up a Dear Friend to a Good Cause. Animal Rescue Force.

The old BMW finally gave out. The engine froze because fuel got into areas where only oil should be. The mixture took away the lubricating quality of the oil, and the pistons overheated and froze into place. It's no longer advisable to have it repaired. It would cost a ton of money, and she is already eighteen years old with 151,000 miles. So long, old friend. We shared many times together. I was always proud of you. To make something positive out of something negative, I have decided to donate the car to an animal rescue organization in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Yes, they will take a car even if it does not run anymore. I think the plan is to scuttle the vehicle and sell individual parts separately. The organization is the Animal Rescue Force , and they work with the Vehicle Donation Center .

Massachusetts. Dog Racing. Question 3. November 2008.

Barack Obama wasn't the only big winner on November 4, 2008. The passing of Proposition 2 in California meant that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of farm animals will get some relief from the cruel confinement in which they live their lives. Relief could be as simple as pigs or cows being able to turn around in their cages, for hens to spread their wings. Proposition 2's provisions will be in full effect by 2015. On the eastern front, voters in Massachusetts were asked if dog racing constituted animal cruelty, and Question 3 went up for voting. Question 3 is known as the Greyhound Protection Act, and it would outlaw commercial dog racing by 2010. The people voted, and Question 3 passed. This issue isn't a new one. Back in 2000, a similar act failed to pass by less than 2% of the vote. A special thanks for this year's successful campaign goes to The Committee to Protect Dogs . The committee collected 150,000 signatures with an all-volunteer effort to qualify Q

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Appeal to Barack Obama. Humane Society of the U.S. Nov., 2008.

If you're like me, you must feel that a new age of optimism and change has come to Washington with Sen. Obama's election as our next POTUS. At the present time, the President-elect is forming his administration so he can hit the road running when inaugurated on January 20, 2009. That could be a cold day in Winter, but it will be a bright and warm day in my heart. The Humane Society of the U.S. is asking us to send an email to President-elect Obama urging him to select a Secretary of Agriculture who is sensitive to animal welfare issues as well as consumer safety and environmental protection. The Secretary of Agriculture has oversight on the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. A humane Secretary of Agriculture can make a significant and positive contribution to issues concerning puppy mills, animal slaughter, animal fighting, and food safety. What a play maker that person can be, and what a giant leap forward for animal welfare if the right person is chos

Ten Worst Zoos in America. In Defense of Animals. November 2008.

This is the fifth year that In Defense of Animals (IDA) will publish their top ten violators of animal welfare, the worst ten zoos in America. By whose judgment would that be? By you, the people. Last year's list is HERE . Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California topped that list. And they have been on top for the fourth consecutive year. What a shame, but they've got none. Nine elephants have died at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom since 1995, five of them euthanized as a direct result of the same foot and joint disorders. There are, at least, two elephants who suffer from them at the present time. These ailments are caused by the elephants living in cramped and barren areas. If ever you are reincarnated as an elephant, make sure you don't end up there. IDA reported that " An IDA investigation revealed that elephants with diseased feet and joints are forced to stack 600-pound logs and perform in shows for the public, despite their afflictions. To force the

Veterans Day. November 2008. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Yesterday was Veterans Day. The wife and I drove an hour to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania for a look at the antiques at the Old Engine Works. This is one of our favorites haunts. In 1993, antique dealers took over the old brick building used as a machine shop beginning 1903. From their website, we can learn a bit of the shop's history: " In the early years they built large steam powered hoists that were used for bridge building, quarrying and many other heavy industry applications. During WW II they built hoists that were used to load and unload the Liberty Ships. After the war the principal operation developed into building winches for Shrimp Boats. These hoists are used to pull in the nets and you will find Stroudsburg Engine Works hoists on boats all over the world. For many years, if you built a Shrimp Boat, you put a Stroudsburg Hoist on it! Winch production ended in 1989 and the business continued as a machine shop until November 1992 . " The photo shows a large Ameri

Hypoallergenic Dogs. How to Tell. Shelter Dogs are Fine.

There is much talk nowadays about the Obamas getting a dog, and bless their hearts for preferring to adopt instead of purchasing. Let's say it again : purchasing from pet stores only helps the puppy mill business. Avoid it like the plague, and adopt from a shelter. Adopting saves lives---one, the dog you adopted; two, the dog who will take its place. Hypoallergenic means that something does not produce, or produces less allergic reactions in a certain person. Hypoallergenic dogs are not allergen-free. They just produce less irritating allergens than other dogs. The culprit is usually a protein found in saliva and dander, and this protein comes from the sebaceous glands. Hypoallergenic dogs can be found in shelters. It is not true that all shelter dogs cause allergic reactions in people. It is not true that one has to go to breeders or pet stores to get a hypoallergenic dog. As in other matters relating to adopting a pet, one has to deal with the particular dog or cat to see if it i

Fort Lee. New Jersey. Borche. Anti-Fur Demonstration. Nov. 22, 2008.

Heart for Animals, a new group formed by Claudia Emerson, will be holding a demonstration at against the fur trade. Here is the write up: Fur Demo - SPEAK UP FOR FUR BEARING ANIMALS USED FOR FASHION It's 2008 and animals are still being killed for clothing. There are many other options to keep warm then using fur bearing animals for clothing. Whether it's a coat or fur trim it still all spells death for millions of animals. Now our best friends cannot escape the fur industry as dog and cat skins are used for coats and trim. It's not elegant, beautiful or sophisticated to wear fur. It only says an animal was violently killed for his skin. Let's educate consumers about the fur industry so they won't wear or buy fur. Help to end the suffering and violent deaths of minks, rabbits, opossums, beavers, raccoons, foxes, Karakul sheep, and many other kinds of animals. Where : Borche 200 Main Street Fort Lee, NJ When : November 22, 2008 Time : 12PM - 2PM

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Pit Bull. Brandy. Nov. 2008.

Introducing Brandy . She's 7 years old, and very sweet. Her human passed away, and Brandy has become our dog at the shelter. Sometimes, I look at her and I can feel her pain. It must be extremely sad for Brandy to lose her home and the human who loved her. But we love her at the shelter, and she is in good hands. As you can see, she is a red nose pit bull, and a tad on the small side, very compact. Brandy walks nicely, no tug of war going on, just a nice pleasant time. To state the obvious, this sweet girl needs her forever home. Please come to the shelter and meet Brandy in person. She is readily accepting of strangers and enjoys a back rub when she can get it. Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

Fur-Free Friday. November 28, 2008. CAAF. Animal Cruelty by Fashion Statement.

And let us not forget the cruelty in the fur business. There will be a Fur-Free Friday coming up this month, the 28th to be exact. Last year's Fur-Free Friday was captured on video, and you can see it below. The objects of protest are the giant fur trade cronies, Macy's and Lord & Taylor in Manhattan. Yep, if you sell the stuff, you are guilty as those who rip the fur off the animal themselves. A large turnout is expected. The group meet will meet at 1:00pm in front of the Lord & Taylor holiday windows (5th Avenue near 38th Street) and then march down to Macy's around 1:45pm till 3:00pm. Macy's is located at 151 West 34th Street (34th between 7th & Broadway). Bullhorns and large screen television will aid in the education of the people.

California. Proposition 2. Relief for Farm Animals. Election 2008.

No one say that Californians didn't care because they do. Proposition 2 passed with 60% of the voters voting YES. The full provisions of Proposition 2 will be fully implemented by 2015. Relief is on the way for millions of abused farm animals. Proposition 2 is a landmark measure that bans confinement methods like battery cages , veal crates and gestation crates . The misery that farm animals have been living through is immeasurable. We are hoping for a domino theory come true, a political theory thought improbable during the Cold War era but it could just work out in animal welfare. California joins Florida , Arizona , Oregon and Colorado in outlawing gestation crates, joins Arizona and Colorado in outlawing veal crates. But California is first to ban battery cages for laying hens whose fatality rate is far higher than we've seen among pigs or calves. I suspect that egg producers in California are much annoyed that they will be required to provide hens with enough space to t

Defenders of Wildlife. A Victory Message. Elections 2008.

I learned about the plight of the Alaskan wolves from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund(DOWAF). This group is dedicated, I mean dedicated , to the welfare of our American wildlife, working the political route for change. Life looked dismal when the effort to stop the aerial hunting of wolves fell short of the mark, primarily due to the aggressive opposition of Gov. Sarah Palin who spent approximately $400,000 to preserved this merciless practice. She even offered a $150 bounty for every severed foreleg of a wolf. Mind you, Gov. Palin did not specify that the wolf be dead. Wolves prey on moose, and the governor is primarily a moose hunter. The less wolves, the more moose to shoot. Simple equation. Enter the 2008 presidential election. The DOWAF sent out a call for donations to fight the election of Gov. Palin to the White House, and people like myself gave readily. The DOWAF aired their now famous video on aerial gunning in key voting states that ultimately ended up in Obama'

Blog Stats. Readership. A Century A Day Ago.

A minor feat was accomplished yesterday, hardly noticed except by this site manager, one not up to par with the sighting of a glowing and gyrating UFO but possibly as rare as seeing the monstrous head of a primordial creature sticking out of the lake waters. For the second time since beginning this blog more than two years ago, more than one hundred people came to visit this site in one day. That was yesterday, 104 to be exact. There have been nibbles before, daily readers numbering in the high eighties, when sixty or seventy constituted the norm. The only other time readership crossed the century mark in one day was when my blog was featured in several blogs and in a petition relating to the indiscriminate killing of Philippine wildlife. And so, we go on from here...

Barack Obama. POTUS. 2008. A New Age of Optimism.

Obama wasn't elected because he is a black man. He was elected because he is a good man. Obama is our duly elected leader. As he has often emphasized, we are not red states nor blue states. We are the United States of America. We have become embroiled in seemingly insurmountable problems that threaten our political and economic welfare, a nation under stress, that a new beginning is necessary so that " this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. " We have a new President, and he is worthy of our respect and support.

Obama Victory. Colin Powell Sums Up.

Here is Colin Powell's take on the Obama victory and the road ahead for all Americans including the Republican Party. I find him to be very astute, and I believe that his support for Obama was born out of a deliberate weighing of the pros and cons and not solely from the color of Obama's skin which he shares. No doubt, Powell takes pride in seeing an African-American become POTUS, but so do I. I think it is a wonderful accomplishment for our country. I am very proud of this country. Click HERE

New York. Vazquez Circus. Shea Stadium. Protest. Nov. 7, 2008. Shame Stadium.

One of the most notorious circuses is coming to town. This one has been cited numerous times, and I am perplexed as to why this circus is still in business. Worse, they will be performing at Shea Stadium in Queens, my old stomping grounds way back when I was a rabid Mets fan. It's sacrilegious to allow animal cruelty to perform on what has been the venue for wholesome family entertainment for many years. Baseball, by itself, is proof enough that we don't need to be entertained by captive and miserable animals. Shame on the Shea Stadium management for allowing this circus to perform on their grounds. Below is the alerting email I received which I am cross-posting here for your information. ============================================ Please Help Stop Circus Vazquez From Endangering Animals At Shea Stadium Circus Vazquez will be performing at Shea Stadium in Queens Friday, November 7 through December 7. This circus has a terrible record of animal handling and care. On March 31,

Van Saun Park. Bergen County. New Jersey. Fall 2008.

Every year, usually in the Fall, I take some photos of Van Saun Park. This park is approximately 3/4 of a mile from my house, and it has been the park of choice for me for more than twenty-three years. My previous dog, Patito, loved this place enough that I considered spreading his ashes here. He lived 15 years, and I have his ashes at home. The park measures a mile length-wise ( North-South ) and probably half a mile in width. I visit this park year-round, even in the Winter. There are many times, throughout the year, that I sit in my car and look out on the pond or an open field, sipping my hot coffee. On other times, I sit at a park bench and read a good book or a newspaper. Once in a while, we need to slow down and clear our heads. To be in the midst of a peaceful setting is very comforting. Parks are very important to communities because they provide respite from the tramplings of life. Click on the photographs to enlarge them. Here they are:

Nail Clippers. I Search and Try Them Out While My Dog Pays the Price.

Off from work today, I decided to drive to Petco in Paramus to see if they had good nail clippers for sale. I have been using the guillotine type of clippers on my dog's nails. It does the job except for the accidents---the bloody accidents when I cut too close to the quick/nerve. It's always a struggle. Fidelma knows what's going to happen very soon, and she starts pulling her leg away while I try to get a good shot at the nail. I wanted one with a guard on it and settled for an $8 clipper for small dogs. I tried it on my sweetie and it worked well except that I began to feel that the clipper was constructed very cheaply. So, I drove back to Petco to exchange the clipper for a more sturdy one. This time, I got a more solid-feeling clipper for medium dogs . I thought that the size wouldn't be a problem; Fidelma is an 8-lb Chihuahua and hardly a medium sized dog. Overkill could mean a cleaner cut, I surmised. When I tried it on one of Fidelma's remaining long nails,