Project Taiwan – Bring some needy Goldens Home

Last month, Animal Rescue Team  [ART] Taiwan rescued a lovely Golden Retriever soul that they now call Champion. Champion’s story, told by Maggie Chen of ART, is posted below. If all goes well, he’ll be joining the folks at Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue in the US next month.

ART rescued a golden retriever in a village on 3/6/09. We named him Champion. According to the villager, Champion was pushed out from a van on the early cold morning in February. Since then the dog had been seen straying around seeking food although he didn’t have much to eat. Champion is a very friendly dog. Whenever there were vehicles approaching, he would get close to them with passion and expectations. It is obvious that he was expecting his owner. Day by day, he was losing weight and becoming listless until he was unfortunately hit by a hit-and-run driver in late Feb. A speeding van hit the dog without even stopping to take a look at what was happening to the dog. One of the vendors nearby dragged Champion to the sidewalk. All he could do was give the dog water and leftover. Poor Champion had been left alone there for a week before later before he was reported to ART by a passerby, who called ART for help.

We rushed the dog to the vet’s on 3/6. The vet gave Champion an x-ray and judged that the dog’s hipbone was fractured and there was a dislocation of the head in a cetabulum. Champion was performed a surgery right away and it was very successful. Currently champion can walk in the park and he really likes it. Although he can’t walk very fast, the vet said that time will cure and all the dog needs now is rehabilitation. Champion needs a place to walk around to help him go back to the normal state.

Champion is three years old, 66 lbs, a male dog, neutered, and all his tests are NEGATIVE. Can you help this dog? Please consider making a donation to Golden Retriever Club Of Greater Los Angeles Rescue. I did and it felt GReat to help!

_______________

Goldens Arthur, Beauty, Hannah & Leo arrive in the US!

On April 25, 2009, four rescued Golden Retrievers from Taiwan arrived in Los Angeles. Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue has partnered with rescuers in Taiwan to find new homes for these abandoned retrievers.

Be sure to keep up on all that is taking place with Project Taiwan with the Rescue’s incredible blog. And, do consider making a donation to Golden Retriever Club Of Greater Los Angeles Rescue.

Advertisement

PupStarts . . . Beginnings Done Right

PupStarts . . . Beginnings Done Right
Here at the Land of PureGold, I often come to meet people after life has gone wrong, their dogs diagnosed with major health conditions or cancer. It is a sad, sad time for sure, and I am sending out far more sympathy cards than you can imagine. But, just like with us 2-legged folks, Prevention is the Best Defense. Besides giving our dogs the healthy basics of life such as good food, clean filtered water, regular exercise and grooming, we can do many other things to keep them well. These include providing regular exams, scheduling biannual exams for dogs 8 years and older, having frequent oral exams, and paying close attention to changes in eating and bowel habits.

Surveys show that cancer is the leading cause of death in the Golden Retriever breed, Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma leading the list. This has brought the Golden’s average lifespan down to 10½ years. While we believe they should be long-lived (12-16 years) and healthy and active during most of this time, no screening test for cancer is currently available. One approach is for breeders to select bitches from lines where more than 75% of the dogs in the pedigree lived to at least 11 (longer than the golden average). Breeders can also research the cause of death on as many dogs in the pedigree *and their siblings* as possible, and additionally breed to older males who have already reached the average age. Unfortunately, this is seldom done as many want to breed to today’s top-winning dogs. Rather, we need to be breeding to their sires.

Although there are no statistical studies that prove you can prevent cancer in at-risk dogs, “common sense and clinical experience make a strong case for avoiding anything that expos

es an animal to known carcinogens or weakens the immune system,” says Stacey Hershman, DVM, a holistic house-call veterinarian in Rockland County, New York. Just like their human companions, dogs live longer, healthier lives when they eat organic foods, get enough exercise, breathe clean air, drink clean filtered water, and stay away from harmful substances. They also are helped by supplements, food-source antioxidants, and free-range, antibiotic-free, and chemical-free proteins.

We have selected our favorite must-have products and developed 3 fun and attractive collections to get folks off to the best start with new pups or adopted dogs.

  1. One collection is focused on keeping our chewers busy and satisfied: PupStarts Chews.
  2. A second collection stresses our need to reward desired behaviors: PupStarts Rewards.
  3. The final collection helps in boosting a healthy immune response in your dog: PupStarts Boosts.

We actually use EVERY ITEM that has been included in these collections. It surely impacts our daily lives and we could not imagine not having them help to create the best in health and training.

Each collection includes a SimplyFido Limited Edition 100% Organic & Dye-Free Character Plush Bone Toy. Our dogs are always chewing or sucking on something. From puppyhood, they, like babies, love to put things in their mouths. Given the prevalence of oral cancers, we wondered if their dog toys were safe and non-toxic. Do I want my dog chewing on toys that have PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a toxic chemical) in the plastic? Do I want him ingesting processed materials or those made using pesticides and growth hormones? I don’t think so. That is why the collections include this fabulous toy.

This 9 inch long toy’s fabric and stuffing are grown without pesticides or herbicides, preventing your dog from ingesting toxic materials. Organically grown, the fibers are unbleached, untreated, and unprocessed. The company uses their unique PureWaterWash™ process to achieve their charming colors. The untreated cotton is then woven and color-brightened through Mother Nature’s own plants and minerals. Beige comes from a Chestnut Bur, red from the Madder Root, yellow from a Gardenia Seed, and grey from the mineral Charcoal  The fabric is then triple-washed in pure water to set the color. As a result, each toy has its own unique appearance and color variance.

The collections also include your choice of a gorgeous Pawprints Scrapbook or Pawprints Journal to capture your furkid’s many special moments. Collecting your dog’s most expressive and fun photos and sticking them in a scrapbook is a wonderful way to celebrate your special bond. You can also use special embellishments to make your Pawprints scrapbook or journal attractive, adorning it with ribbons, first collars, baby teeth, and more. You can note progress in dog training classes, note accomplishments, and record difficulties as well. You would otherwise forget about these over time, but scrapbooking your dog will keep these memories for a lifetime.

Our 3 theme assortments are each arranged in a whimsical bone-shaped wire basket that measures 10″ L x 6″ W x 3″ H and includes a useful handle. This elegant shiny basket is simply perfect for holding dog wares and is a true keepsake storage container. This gift can be bought to treat yourself right (which is really important) or to present to a fellow dog lover—a special gift note card provided if requested with your order.

All of these collections are beautifully shrink wrapped and topped with a bow. A detailed brochure additionally accompanies each collection, providing insightful information about the contents and why each item was included.

These collections are great for yourself or to give as a gift. They are equally fabulous for a young pup or a newly adopted adult dog coming into your family.

Why Puppies Do That: A Collection of Curious Puppy Behaviors
Why do puppies sometimes lie on their backs when approached? Why do they sleep in a pile? Why do puppies have that special “puppy smell”? Why are some puppies runts? Few things can cause as much head scratching as the peculiar behavior and characteristics of a new puppy, and this book aims to answer all of the questions new dog owners wonder about their new little charge.

Illustrated with pencil drawings, Why Puppies Do That is lighthearted, informative, and as fun as a new puppy. The author, Tom Davis, has been living with and writing about dogs for 30 years. He has written several Golden books and is an editor for several magazines including Sporting Classics and Pointing Dog Journal. Regular Price: $13.95 but only $10 with a PupStarts Basket purchase!

Come check them out here.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: April 26th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch out for wildlife that prey on pets, such as owls and coyotes. They are hunting constantly to feed their young. Be protective. Puppies and kittens are particularly vulnerable.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

New U.S. swine flu cases spread pandemic fears

Just called pharmacist hubby at work after reading this scary article.

This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains that prompted WHO to meet Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency — a step that could lead to travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said a decision would not be made Saturday.

Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals. Another reason to worry is that authorities said the dead so far don’t include vulnerable infants and elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.

This swine flu and regular flu can have similar symptoms — mostly fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the U.S. victims who recovered also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

He said it’s time for folks to stock up on Tamiflu. Relenza is also an effective medication but contraindicated for those w/asthma, COPD, and an allergy to zanamivir.

Save a Life Today

FREE hand-woven African bracelet with any gift GIVE NOW!

Today is World Malaria Day. For $10 you can buy a bednet & save a life. Your gift helps to provide:

  • The purchase, transport and distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to African countries where they are needed most.
  • Education and awareness programs about malaria and how to prevent infection.
  • Support of Malaria No More’s comprehensive malaria elimination strategies.

Just click here to donate.

Sound of Music . . . Single Ladies . . . whatever

Last month, some Belgian folks pulled an Improv Everywhere to “Do Re Mi” in a train station. It is really fabulous.

Well, today I discovered a 100 “Single Ladies” Dance in Picadilly Circus, their trying to recreate Beyonce’s famous leggy dance in a similar improv type fashion. I don’t think it is nearly as good, though.

There is only one video of Single Ladies that I love and it truly makes me laugh whenever I watch it. Part of that is due to my loving anything with Paul Rudd in it, but mainly because Justin Timberlake just blows everyone out of the water with his moves.

So, here is part of my posting from 3 months ago where I talked about Obama’s love for Single Ladies as well.

_____________________

It’s clear that our President is the new cool, but nothing shows this more than his recent meet-and-greet with various celebs at the Lincoln Memorial following the star-studded “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration” concert. Captured on video by singer John Legend, the Obamas walked up to greet Beyoncé. Michelle Obama says, “Mr. President, you didn’t tell Beyonce about ‘Single Ladies’? Your rendition?”

“I’m not like Justin [Timberlake]” Obama says laughing, referring to Timberlake’s spoof of the video on Saturday Night Live. “I didn’t put on the outfit. …[But] I didn’t want my girls thinking that I couldn’t, you know…I got a lil something.”

He then does the infamous hand flip.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Lawrence O’Donnell takes on torture myths – Updated 4x

This is not a pleasant topic, but, sadly, one that needs to be discussed. When folks say someone was tortured or treated like an animal, I take objection to that. I wouldn’t treat an animal any differently than a human being. They both are thinking and feeling beings. Abuse to anything is wrong, it is just placing a vulnerable being in harm’s way. It is for that reason that I see importance in highlighting certain information.

Vodpod videos no longer available. UPDATE: A SEAL interrogator’s thoughts

UPDATE2: Thoughts from Steve Benen

UPDATE3: Thoughts from Colonel W. Patrick Lang, retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence & U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets)

UPDATE4: From the Washington Post April 24, 2009

The military agency that helped to devise harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as “torture” in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon’s chief lawyer and warned that it would produce “unreliable information.”

“The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel,” says the document, an unsigned two-page attachment to a memo by the military’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. Parts of the attachment, obtained in full by The Washington Post, were quoted in a Senate report on harsh interrogation released this week.  …

JPRA ran the military program known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), which trains pilots and others to resist hostile questioning.

TORTURE

I have to admit that I am afraid of my own shadow, and trust me, given being under 5 feet tall, even my shadow is not too formidable. I am also unable to tolerate (or even watch) the abuse of one towards another, whether it be person vs. person, or animal vs. animal, or person vs. animal.

As a graduate school instructor and school psychologist, I taught behavior theory and demonstrated easily why punishment just does not work as an effective way to manage behavior. In the mental health field, adversives are rarely utilized except where there is benefit to reducing life-threatening situations regarding unmanageable self-destructive behavior.

I am personally ashamed by the psychological and medical communities aiding the intelligence fields and allowing common sense to be twisted into the use and blatant abuse of punishment, i.e., torture.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

Sign the petition telling Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate torture here. Here’s one reason to demand a special prosecutor to investigate these actions. In addition to revealing the sheer number of times KSM and Abu Zubaydah were waterboarded, the memos reveal that the interrogators who waterboarded these men went far beyond even the expansive  guidelines for torture described in the Bybee Memo, notably by dumping water onto their nose and mouth, rather than dribbing it on.

The IG Report noted that in some cases the waterboard was used with far greater frequency than initially indicated, see IG Report at 5, 44, 46, 103-04, and also that it was used in a different manner. See id. at 37 (“[T]he waterboard technique  … was different from the technique described in the DoJ opinion and used in the SERE training. The difference was the manner in which the detainee’s breathing was obstructed. At the SERE school and in the DoJ opinion, the subject’s airflow is disrupted by the firm application of a damp cloth over the air passages; the interrogator applies a small amount of water to the cloth in a controlled manner. By contrast, the Agency Interrogator …  applied large volumes of water to a cloth that covered the detainee’s mouth and nose. One of the psychologists / interrogators acknowledged that the Agency’s use of the technique is different from that used in SERE training because it is “for real — and is more poignant and convincing.”)

Jonathan Mann, who posts a song at youtube every single day, took language directly from the torture memos for this entry.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: April 19th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch and listen for backyard pets without shelter from spring storms. In most states, owners are required to provide shelter.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Penguins in Love – Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name

Squawk & Milou, NY Central Park Zoo male penguins who began courting behavior in 2004

This story is just so fascinating. I did not know that this kind of behavior has been seen before in other zoos. If only we could learn the same kind of lessons.

Another pair, male chinstrap penguins named Roy and Silo, refused the companionship of female penguins but seemed determined to become penguin parents anyway.  The New York Times reported:

At one time, the two seemed so desperate to incubate an egg together that they put a rock in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens, said their chief keeper, Rob Gramzay. Finally, he gave them a fertile egg that needed care to hatch. Things went perfectly. Roy and Silo sat on it for the typical 34 days until a chick, Tango, was born. For the next two and a half months they raised Tango, keeping her warm and feeding her food from their beaks until she could go out into the world on her own. Mr. Gramzay is full of praise for them.

”They did a great job,” he said. He was standing inside the glassed-in penguin exhibit, where Roy and Silo had just finished lunch. Penguins usually like a swim after they eat, and Silo was in the water. Roy had finished his dip and was up on the beach.

Who's the daddy? The segregated penguin couple, right, are seen here in their own enclosure quarrelling with another male over stolen eggs

And, I love this story from Polar Land in Harbin, Northern China where a keeper reported that two 3-year-old males had turned out to be the best parents in the entire zoo.

A pair of gay penguins thrown out of their zoo colony for repeatedly stealing eggs have been given some of their own to look after following a protest by animal rights groups.

Last month the birds were segregated after they were caught  placing stones at the feet of parents before waddling away with their eggs. But angry visitors to Polar Land in Harbin, northern China, complained it wasn’t fair to stop the couple from becoming surrogate fathers and urged zoo bosses to give them a chance.

In response, zookeepers gave the pair two eggs laid by an inexperienced first-time mother. ‘We decided to give them two eggs from another couple whose hatching ability had been poor and they’ve turned out to be the best parents in the whole zoo,’ said one of the keepers.

‘It’s very encouraging and if this works out well we will try to arrange for them to become real parents themselves with artificial insemination.’

Wildlife experts at the park explain that despite being gay the three-year-old male birds are still driven by an urge to be fathers. ‘One of the responsibilities of being a male adult is looking after the eggs. Despite the fact that they can’t have eggs naturally, it does not take away their biological drive to be a parent,’ said one.

Susan Boyle First ever 1999 Recording Cry Me A River – Updated w/My Heart Will Go On song

Exclusive: Susan Boyle’s first ever song release revealed

Daily Record, Laura Coventry, April 16, 2009

THE Daily Record has uncovered the only CD ever made by Scotland’s singing sensation Susan Boyle. And you can listen to it EXCLUSIVELY on our player below.

It emerged last night that Susan, whose Britain’s Got Talent triumph has made her an instant superstar, is being lined up for an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show which would give her the chance of a number one album in the US. But the Record can reveal she made her first recording back in 1999, when she sang blues ballad Cry Me A River for a charity CD.


Susan Boyle recording of Cry Me A River uncovered
Times Online, April 17, 2009

A recording made ten years ago by the unlikely Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle has been uncovered. The sudden singing star’s spokeswoman confirmed this morning that an emotional recording of Cry Me A River which hit YouTube late last night is the 48-year-old Scot.

She reportedly covered the blues ballad for a charity album in 1999, partly funded by the tiny Whitburn Community Council in West Lothian, where she lives. Only 1,000 copies of the CD were pressed.

The surprisingly seductive recording for The Millennium Celebration compilation album drew another flood of tributes this morning, as Susan Boyle Mania continued a week after she was discovered on ITV’s Saturday-night talent show. …

The CD was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Eddie Anderson and was recorded at Whitburn Academy, where X Factor winner Leon Jackson went to school.

Mr Anderson, who had been searching for unsigned acts top participate, he’d found something special as soon as he heard her sing. “I was amazed,” he said. “It was probably the same reaction as everyone had last Saturday. “Susan was exactly the same then as she is now. She has a fabulous and unique talent.”

April 17th Larry King appearance (singing My Heart Will Go On)

Black Gold

Gina Spadafori, noted author and columnist, has just become a grandmom, so to speak. Her beautiful girl, Kenzie, delivered her first litter a little over a week ago. Flat-Coat Retrievers are the sweetest dogs, always reminding me of Goldens but of a waaaaaaay darker variety. They truly are Black Gold.

In the video it is funny to hear Gina talking to Kenzie. My best friend’s daughter is named Mekenzie, with Kenzie being her nickname as well. I cannot wait until the babies are 5-weeks-old. That’s the age when they start becoming irresistible.