Saturday, March 27, 2010

☺Winston chases car - Winston eats car bumper - Winston has his day in court☺

Mimi's note: If you've seen this before, I'm sure you'll enjoy another view. If you haven't seen this video - you are in for a treat! I saw on the news tonight that the offending pooch had to appear in court with his PAWrents and was ordered to complete a full course of obedience lessons while he is on 'probation'. This was the first time the canine criminal had attempted to eat a patrol car!

I smile and giggle each time I view this little clip. Gotta say, the Chattanooga, TN police had a lot of patience and great humor during the incident.

A Chattanooga police officers vehicle got more than it bargained for when it came in contact with Winston the dog. See Winston eat the cop car's front bumper, before taking a bite out of several tires.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Friday, March 19, 2010

For our Labrador buddy, Jack Daddy, this one's for YOU!

When John Grant found his black Labrador having trouble coughing something up last year, he became alarmed and immediately took the ailing pooch to the vet. There, doctors took X-rays of the dog, named Bracken, and found that a strange, dark object was lodged next to his heart.

"I was afraid, because [the vets] thought it was a cancerous growth," Grant, 70, tells

But after moving Bracken to a larger facility at the University of Glasgow Veterinary School for surgery, Grant was surprised to discover that the object wasn't cancer after all — it was a 5-in. soccer ball.

"We very commonly see dogs eating strange things like balls, clothing or pantyhose," says surgeon Damian Chase. "But what was really strange was how the ball ended up next to his heart."

What the veterinarians discovered was that young Bracken was born with a birth defect — a hole in his diaphragm. And after eating the small ball, the stomach had unnaturally moved next to the heart.

"Most definitely, if he didn't have this surgery, he would have died," Chase says. "It's good that he came in, though, because this way we found out about his disorder. He's very lucky."

And after another surgery this year to replace the diaphragm patch that Bracken outgrew, the pooch is back in top shape, and as hungry as ever.

"He's a boisterous one, that's for sure," says Grant. "And he eats everything. Just today he was trying to eat a golf ball!"
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mark your calendar! April 30th - NEW USPS SHELTER PET AWARENESS stamp The following things are guaranteed to make you feel good about life: Getting a letter in the mail with cute stamps on it, adopting a pet from a shelter, feeding shelter animals. Now, thanks to the U.S. Postal Service, Ellen Degeneres and Halo pet food, you can do all three!

Starting April 30, the USPS will be offering special commemorative stamps around the theme of adopting shelter pets as part of their annual social awareness campaign.

"This is a subject that I am extremely passionate about. By working together, we can find good homes for millions of adoptable, homeless and abandoned pets," DeGeneres said in a press release. "And until they get adopted, I'm happy to say that Halo and I are giving one million meals to shelter pets that are waiting for you."

The 44-cent stamps feature portraits by photographer Sally Anderson-Bruce of five cats and five dogs, all of whom have been adopted.

They include gray kitten Peaches, who was born under a porch; golden retriever Buddy, who was a pet-store puppy with really bad hips; Australian terrier Bindu Su, who now visits a local nursing home every week; and Frankie, a kitten that lost his mother and two kitten siblings, but who's now thriving at his new forever home.

The stamps, in panes of 20, are available for pre-order at (Loads of goodies at this site!)

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Circle of Life - Maxdog knows best

Spring is coming early to the Upper Peninsula. Some, like me, welcome the warmth and the sun. Others, like ice fishermen, see the warmer weather as something to shoo away until another day. For the first time in decades nearly all of the snow has melted. Oh, it might come back another day - and soon - but for now, I'm happy telling myself that winter is gone and spring is here.

In celebration of spring I grabbed my rake, the dogs, something to drink and walked out the door and into my backyard to the leaves from last fall. Leaves that didn't make it into a compost pile before the snow fell. The dogs, contented themselves by taking a sunbath with eyes more or less closed. I say more or less because they consider themselves to be the guards of the yard and as far as their eyes can see.

Just as I was about to come into the house for a little break I noticed the tree  branches my son had cut off an interloping tree near my house. There they were, a tangled mess leaning on the fence and against the garage. I walked over intending to drag them to the side-yard so Jeff could load them in his truck and haul them off. But something caught my eye and stopped me short.

Branches that were cut at the end of last summer were sprouting buds - new life. No roots, no soil, no care and there they were - optimistically bringing new life into the world. My son and I may have decided that they should be cut from the safety of their food source and tossed aside, but those branches had a different idea and plan. They weren't going to whither and die quietly - with no ceremony - without producing leaves and celebrating spring for their last time.

Why am I blogging to you about those dying branches that refused to let go of life? Because those tangled cuttings remind me of Maxdog in South Africa and the journey that he and his family are now experiencing.

Months ago Maxmom was told that her beloved friend would die soon. She was informed that there was no help for dear Max that modern medicine could provide. Despondent, she went home with Max, the dog who had been at her side for ten years. A friend that never left her side through thick or through thin - in dark and light and in joy and sadness. Maxmom was determined that her beloved companion should have a good quality of life regardless of how long that life would go on. Like the branches in my yard, Max's time on earth was drawing to a close.

But like those branches, Max didn't realize that he was supposed to be sad and that he should just give up and "let go". So, the following morning Max woke up and faced his day the best he could with the body he had and made the best of his day - not asking for more, just that day. One paw in front of the other - that's how Max had always lived his life and that is how Max would live his life going forward. Max and my branches are tenacious. Why give up when there was life to live?

Things are getting rough for Max. His appetite comes and goes and sometimes he just doesn't feel like his old self, but that's OK with Max. After all, there are walks to walk and balls to catch and cuddling to get and when he can he enjoys them all. The branches in my yard felt winter's snow fall without the comfort of their familiar roots to remind them that they were a part of something larger than themselves but they, too endured, one day after the next. Both Max and the branches were consistent and content with what life presented to them as a gift each day.

With an early Spring in Michigan the lonely branches left to die began to do what they always did best - celebrate life and create new life. Little buds began to form within the recesses of the branches and with the warmth of the sun - one by one they began to peek out into the big world. Each day when Max wakes up Maxmom observes that it is a bit more difficult for him to maneuver through his day. His appetite comes and goes and he sleeps more soundly - often causing Maxmom distress. But when Max is out in the sun - he beams and Maxmom sees the dog she has loved and known for years blossom once again. The warmth of the sun can be a powerful elixir - even when the Circle of Life may be calling in the distance.

Both the branches and dear Max face each day with optimism and with hope and with courage. Neither knows what the next day will hold so they do what they do best - they LIVE in the here and now. And, they do that living without complaint or sorrow or worry. They take the day given to them. They don't look back and they don't look forward - THEY LIVE in the moment - knowing that is all any of us can possess.

Sadly, both Max and the cut branches are running out of time. Every living thing is born with an internal clock that begins to tick from the moment of creation. None of us knows when our time will run out, but as human beings, we do know that it will - and that is not to our liking. But, Max and the cut branches don't know that life has a limit.  All they know is the here and the now and they live in the here and now and they leave tomorrow to take care of itself.

One day the branches in my yard will be rendered into smaller pieces and taken away. There will be no remnants of their existence left. One day our darling Max will leave this earth journeying into the heavens - fulfilling his destiny with The Circle of Life. However, Max, being a living, breathing, warm and loving creature of the Divine will leave much behind.

His family will mourn deeply as they work through their grief. They will wake in the morning and be forced to travel throughout their day without the physical Max following along. In the distance they will hear a familiar jingle of collar tags and look around expecting to see Max at their heels. Over time the empty space Max leaves in their lives will fill with happy memories - memories of the bond that grew between a family and the pup they brought home so long ago. Not one of us exits this earth leaving nothing behind and Max has much to leave.

One day Max's family will see what he saw and they will know what Max knew. They will know that the Circle of Life is not something to fear or to cower from in your dreams. The Circle of Life should be as welcome an experience as our next breath. After all, it is the Circle of Life that leads the way to make room for new beginnings and new days and new loves to cherish.

Yes, we can learn much from our companions on paws. They live in dignity. They hold no grudge. They enjoy each moment. They embrace each kindness. And, like Max, they live in the now. I you Max from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. You have made an impact on my life that I will never forget.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Golden retriever swallows $20,000.00 in a heartbeat!

It took only a split second for Soli the dog to swallow a diamond worth more than $20,000 - but it took, er, more than a day to get it back.

It all happened when a diamond dealer was showing a 3-carat dazzler to store owner George Kaufmann at Robert Bernard Jewelers in Potomac, Md., on Jan. 26.

Somehow the precious stone fell on the floor near the spot where Kaufmann's Golden retriever Soli was hanging out. Quickly, the dealer searched the floor for the sparkler, but turned up nothing.

"When I looked in Soli's mouth, there was the diamond," Kaufmann tells of his nearly 6-year-old pet. "In a flash, he swallowed it, and there was nothing we could do."

Rescued by Kaufmann two years ago, Soli was oblivious about what he had done.

"The dealer may have been a bit taken back, but Soli didn't mind that he had swallowed a valuable treat," Kaufmann tells "He loves to come to work with me and lay around and sleep when he is not greeting customers. He is a great dog."

For the next two days, Kaufmann closely scrutinized Soli's bowel movements but saw nothing dazzling. On the third day, however, there was a glimmer of hope.

"The diamond finally appeared during our poop run, fully intact and fine," he laughs.

Kaufmann was glad that Soli remained in good shape and his dealer friend was able to get his valuable rock back.

"This whole event was one of those rare things that happens every now and then," Kaufmann says, "with a happy ending!"
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Monday, March 15, 2010

I have never been so disappointed with a rehome of an animal as now...

Mimi's note: A pet is for life. You don't get it - give it back - get it back. My suspicion is that these animals are seen as property by both of the Gosselin's, no more and no less. If Kate was wanting her animals back in her life she would have wanted them NOW, not when the weather gets better. I am SO disappointed in the breeder and the trainer. These dogs are going to be so confused not only with their living situation but with what is expected of them and how to react to their environment. Just as I was beginning to feel that Kate wasn't a nut-case, she proved me wrong. 

What an ignorant thing for Kate Gosselin to say: "I realized if I had two difficult kids I wouldn't send them away and ask for new kids." So, when were these dogs difficult? When they were puppies? What an id*ot, Kate is!  Of all breeds, German Shepherd Dogs as puppies are dogs that NO one who is inexperienced with dogs should ever add to their home. The pups did what pups do and Kate did what she does - show her pea-sized brain.

If those dogs were in my possession and she asked for them back I'd slam the door right in her face or hang up the phone. I'm fuming...just fuming. And, I'm also feeling so, so sorry for these dogs. Life is confusing enough for human beings, let alone a dog that is tossed around like a hot potato. KATE, FOR A REALITY MOM YOU NEED TO GET REAL(Sorry about the rant but I became overwhelmed with this horrible news!)

Kate Gosselin to Bring Shoka & Nala Home  A lot has changed for the Gosselin family in the past year: divorce, dating, drastic haircuts and, of course, Dancing with the Stars. But one constant is returning to the family's life — German shepherds Shoka and Nala are coming home soon.

"My kids' lives have been changed and compromised and altered enough over the past year," Kate Gosselin tells PEOPLE. "I realized if I had two difficult kids I wouldn't send them away and ask for new kids."

Dad Jon Gosselin returned the young pups to their trainer in September, at the height of his divorce drama with now-ex-wife Kate. At the time, Jon blamed the move on Kate, telling E! Online, "It's not fair to the dogs to not be wanted in their own home."

If that was the case, the reality mom has since changed her tune, telling PEOPLE, "I'd never quit on my kids, so why would I think I was going to quit on my dogs?" She adds that the pups will return to the family's Wernersville, Pa., home "once the weather warms up."

Jon came under fire last year for comments he made about the dogs, telling PEOPLE that the couple's eight kids would "climb on them, pull their tails, bite at them [and] drag them." He later clarified his statement, saying, "Shoka and Nala are loyal companions who we consider members of our family. We would never do anything to hurt them, and treat them with the respect and love that they deserve."
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tigers don't BELONG to China - they BELONG TO ALL OF US!

Mimi's note: This isn't a cute story. Nothing adorable this time BUT very, very relevant and important. China sells dogs and cats at their outside meat markets. They serve up dogs and cats in the restaurants. I am not going to get into their treatment, on the whole, of animals which is abhorrent; however, to read that they are taking one of their national treasures and treating the species so horribly makes me cry, literally. 

Tigers belong to ALL OF US - they belong to the world. If China kills and eats the last tiger - ALL OF US SUFFER.

I don't want to hear arguments about 'it is their culture'. Here in the US we used to have slaves and we used to burn witches and we used to hang people - culture can change for the better or - ignorance can stop cultural practices from changing right in their tracks.

We need to bring light to the Chinese 'culture atrocities' that assail the senses of most civilized nations. China wanted to join us with respect to trade and industrialization - they had better not whine about the rest of the world seeing them as barbarian. After all, they invited us in and we were astounded at what we found. If China wants trade and money from the rest of the civilized world then they - all of them - need to 'man up' and face the music. Quite frankly, China is playing a tune that makes me vomit.

God help the Pandas if some farmer starts the rumor that eating Panda meat grows hair.

BEIJING — Eleven rare Siberian tigers have died at a wildlife park in a startling case that activists say hints at unsavory practices among some zoos and animal farms in China: They are overbreeding endangered animals in the hopes of making illicit profit on their carcasses.

The deaths of the tigers occurred in the past three months at the zoo in China's frigid northeast, officials and state media said Friday. Reports said the tigers starved to death, having been fed nothing but chicken bones, while a zoo manager said unspecified diseases killed the animals.

Either way, the animals had been ill-kept and ill-fed. The Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo has struggled financially, even withholding pay from staff, said a woman in charge of corporate planning for the zoo who would only give her surname, Wang. The zoo had been up for auction for some time without any bidders, she said.

"You can do the math: one tiger eats 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of beef per day and there are at least 30 of them now, and there are lions, elephants and other animals too," Wang said. "The zoo has been taking money from the staffers' salaries to feed the animals."

The food bill for the tigers ran to about $1,320 (9,000 yuan) a day – nearly half the food allowance the zoo gets from the local government to care for all the animals, Wang said.

The deaths underscore conflicting signals in China's attempts to save its dwindling number of tigers. While extensive conservation efforts are under way, animal protection groups say zoos and wildlife parks may be deliberately breeding more animals than they can afford, hoping to sell off the carcasses onto a black market where tiger parts fetch a high price for use in traditional medicines and liquor.

"We've seen cases where tiger farms have steeped the bones from their deceased tigers in liquor to sell to visitors," said Hua Ning, project director for the China branch of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Other animal rights groups like the Washington, D.C.-based National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have documented stockpiled pelts and the sale of tiger wine at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain village in south China's Guangxi region.

Hua said she didn't have any specific information about illicit sales of tiger parts by the Shenyang zoo but she and other activists said Chinese tiger farms in particular were breeding too aggressively.

"Some of these farms are raising the tigers precisely because they hope that there will be some relaxation of the ban on tiger parts and they can sell the parts and derivatives," Hua said.

Tiger parts are still available on the black market as well, probably sourced from farms or zoos since there are so few wild tigers left in China, she said.

Siberian tigers are one of the world's rarest species, with an estimated 300 left in the wild, 50 in China. But more than 5,000 are held captive on farms and wildlife parks across China.

Xie Yan, China director for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, said she expects the overbreeding of captive tigers in China to come up at a meeting of signatories to CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species – that begins Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

Xie's group wants China to make animal sanctuaries use birth control to "reduce the number of tigers in captivity to make sure they are well-treated."

The goal should be to boost China's wild Siberian tiger population and restore habitats that have been destroyed by industrialization, she said.

The Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo, where the latest deaths occurred, is a long-troubled tourist spot also known as the Glacier Animal Zoo. In November 2007, three tigers killed a fourth during a fight over food. At the end of last year, two hungry tigers there were shot and killed by police after they mauled a zookeeper.

In the latest deaths, the state-run China Daily newspaper quoted Liu Xiaoqiang of the Shenyang Wild Animal Protection Station as saying that the tigers had been kept in cold, cramped metal cages and were fed nothing but chicken bones.

Zoo spokesman Wu Xi said, however, that the animals died from "various diseases" that were hard for them to endure because of this year's unusually harsh winter. He said the tigers were kept in cages indoors because of the bitter cold.

Wu wouldn't specify what diseases the animals had. He said 30 tigers now remain at the zoo but some remain at risk of illness.

"Some of the physically strong ones might survive the current difficulty, including the cold weather and the diseases," Wu said.

Wang, the zoo executive, said the bodies of the 11 tigers have been put into a storage freezer but denied plans to sell them. "China has regulations on tiger skins and bones, which are barred from going into the market," she said.

China banned the sale of tiger parts and the use of tiger parts in Chinese medicine in 1993, imposing stiff sentences on offenders, but tiger bone, penis, pelts and other parts are still sold illegally to consumers – some who believe the products increase potency or can cure ailments from convulsions to skin disease.

China's laws against poaching are tough – killing an endangered tiger can be punishable by death – but the legislation doesn't address irresponsible zoo keepers who abuse or neglect captive tigers.

"Because there is no legal standard, facilities like these apply their own," said Hua, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "Some take good care of the animals but there are also a lot of abuse cases."

From the New York Times
China’s Tiger Farms

One of the most intractable problems in species protection is the Chinese appetite for traditional medicines. That appetite has only grown as China has grown more prosperous. Despite bans — by China’s government and international agreements — on the sales of some materials and the near extinction of many of the animals used in traditional medicine, prices for animal parts continue to rise, and so do the incentives for poachers and sellers.

As The Times reported recently, one particularly horrifying practice is Chinese tiger farms, which supply pelts, worth up to $20,000 apiece, and tiger bones used in medicines and aphrodisiacs. These farms are thinly masked as efforts at tiger conservation. In reality, their purpose is to raise tigers to be butchered and consumed.

The tiger farms also do nothing to take pressure off the dwindling population of wild tigers. Chinese consumers believe parts from wild tigers have greater medicinal potency. In China, there are only some 20 wild tigers left. And Chinese demand — heightened by the farms and the beginning of the Year of the Tiger — has caused sharply increased poaching in India, which has only about 1,400 wild tigers left.

The Chinese government seems to be doing little or nothing to shut down tiger farms or punish those who buy or sell tiger parts. And it has made no attempt to persuade Chinese consumers that tiger parts have no real medicinal value.

Unless China does both — shuts down the tiger trade and finds a way to alter consumers’ tastes — the wild tiger is almost surely doomed.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Friday, March 12, 2010

♫Happy Bark-day to Woo, Happy Bark-day dear Max♫

Max, we'd tell you how much we you - but you know that
We'd tell you to have a great day - but we know you will
We'd tell you that you're a miracle - but that's already been said
So, we'll tell you that our world has changed because of you
And, we'll tell you that if ever you ever need us, just touch your
Because you have touched our s a million times a million and more.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All a dog needs is ♥HEART♥ to be a TRUE MILITARY HERO

An Army National Guard unit stationed in Afghanistan befriended two dogs in the fall of 2009. Since finding them, Sam and Rocky have brought a touch of home to their soldiers at the remote and desolate location where they are stationed. These two dogs have been the guy’s running buddies, confidants and distraction during the long arduous days of their deployment. At night the dogs routinely position themselves at the entrance to the men’s sleeping quarters and frequently bark to alert those inside of possible dangers.

Earlier this month the dogs were barking in a manner that drew the attention of the soldiers. When the barking persisted and the normal, “Shut up,” that would be yelled out to get the dogs to be quiet did not work, one of the guys decided to investigate. Something was different this time.

Before the soldier could make it outside there was a loud, resonating, “Boom.” The dogs had intercepted a suicide bomber, intent on detonating his device inside the building.

A witness saw Rocky attack the man, biting him in the leg and hanging on to keep the man from being able to move and gain entry into the building. When the bomb went off, Rocky was at the epicenter of the explosion.

These were not military trained dogs, but just two strays that had become fiercely loyal to the men that took them in and cared for them in an environment that is not kind to animals. In return, Sam and Rocky more than likely saved the lives of their soldiers that night and greatly reduced the injuries. Unfortunately though, Sam was so severely mangled she had to be humanely euthanized. Rocky sustained serious injuries but the base medic was able to provide treatment and this survivor is expected to make a full recovery much to everyone’s amazement.

Rocky is a wartime hero that deserves a life outside of Afghanistan for what he did. That is why SPCA International is working with the animal loving members of the unit to bring Rocky to the U.S. where he will be reunited with one of the soldiers that was injured that night. However, there are many obstacles to overcome – location, the dangers of war, uncooperative commanders and a short time frame as the unit is due to return home in the near future.

Leaving Rocky behind is not an option. Everyone that is involved in saving this amazing canine is determined to repay Rocky for his heroic deed because it is the right thing to do for a dog that was doing what he does best – taking care of his people.

Unfortunately, bringing Rocky home is not going to be easy. The SPCAI team is working every angle tirelessly to find a way to bring Rocky to safety in the U.S., but we need your help too. It is clear that this rescue will take significant funds, please support Operation Baghdad Pups right now so that we can bring Rocky and many other military mascots home.

Quotes from David:
“Rocky is the last good thing that I have here, the ONLY thing that I look forward to each day is petting him and loving on him.”

“I am soooo happy that my "good thing" is here. He is really what gets me up the morning because there aren’t that many redeeming qualities about this country or the people in it.”

Donate to SPCA International's Operation Baghdad Pups program today to help us raise enough money to bring Rocky and other wartime buddies home.

**Names have been changed to protect the dog's safety and the safety of the National Guard unit.**
National Canine Cancer Foundation