Jack the Terrier mix doesn’t know that he was once thrown into a dumpster and left to die. He doesn’t know that he was nominated for the humane society’s Valor Dog of the Year.
But he does know that he is loved by his family and the little girl whose life he saved on more than one occasion.
Eight-year-old Maya Pieters has a rare disease that affects her speech and swallowing and causes seizures. Because of her speech problems, Maya became withdrawn and showed little progress. Her speech therapist suggested that a dog might serve as Maya’s companion and help overcome her shyness.
After months of searching they found Jack at the Humane League of Lancaster County in 2004. It seemed to be love at first sight.
The bond between the two proved to be more than just companionship, as Maya’s motor skills increased dramatically.
Then one morning last year Jack leaped from his crate and ran up to Maya’s room. He began to claw and bark at the closed door until the family went into the room and found Maya having her first seizure in her sleep. Jack probably saved Maya’s life that day.
Since that first episode, Maya has suffered other seizures. Each time, Jack has been able to preemptively sense when Maya is about to have a seizure. He has broken her fall, sat on top of her to help settle her convulsing body, and when she finally wakes up, licks her tears dry.
Competing against heroic dogs across the country Jack won the People’s Choice award.
A woman in Los Angeles recently gave birth to eight babies, the result of visits to a fertility clinic.
It turns out that she is single, in her thirties, living with her parents in a three bedroom home. She already has six young children ranging in age from 2 to 7, including twins, living in the same home.
Doctors tried to get her to limit the number of embryos (they knew about seven; the eighth was a surprise) but she refused.
The family has recently filed for bankruptcy and walked away from a house where they defaulted on a mortgage. The father of the eight and the grandfather are reportedly back in the Middle East working to support the eight babies.
This totally adorable puppy is getting his fifteen minutes of fame as the world’s most famous and most expensive puppy of the moment.
Lancelot Encore is a clone of the original Lancelot who died last year. The owners, Florida couple Edgar and Nina Otto, were one of five bidders who won a spot in an auction held by BioArts International with a bid of $155,000 to have a dog cloned.
According to the happy owners, the puppy has established himself as the alpha dog among the other pets in the house. The other pets include nine other dogs, four birds and several cats and sheep.
Whether dog clones will be exactly like the original is a question that remains to be answered. Clones of cats have turned out to be quite different from the original. What if Lancelot Encore isn’t exactly like Lancelot?
Ed Otto said: "We hope so, but we do realize if he's different we're not going to love him any less.”
The tradition of hunting with hounds is under attack by forces, such as animal rights groups who are not concerned with facts but with imposing their agenda on everyone.
This commentary on hunting by H. Kirby Burch from the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch makes many excellent points on the tradition of hunting with dogs that benefits everyone.
Some of his main points are:
Much of the rural open space that Virginians enjoy would not exist if hunters did not lease that land and provide owners with income, resource management, and, in many cases, maintenance of their interior roads.
Nationally, more than 200 people die annually in automobile crashes with wildlife, mostly deer, and many more people are injured. In 2006, 44,000 insurance damage claims were paid, averaging $2,800 each, and it is estimated that many more crashes were not reported. Without hunting, losses in property and life would rise tremendously.
Unmanaged wildlife populations devastate farms and suburban landscapes and lead to diseases -- deer ticks spread Lyme's; foxes and raccoons spread rabies. Hunting with hounds is the most effective way to control these populations -- and when hounds are used, wounded game is less likely to escape.
Hunters provide thousands of pounds of meat to the needy through programs such as Hunters for the Hungry.
Hunters are sometimes criticized for the treatment of their dogs by people who believe dogs should be pampered. However, most hunters love their dogs and invest a lot of time and money in their care and training. Most veterinarians observe that hounds used for hunting are far healthier than the average house pet that gets little exercise and is usually overweight. Hunting dogs hunt because they love it. That’s what they live for.
Much of the opposition, the author states, comes from the Humane Society of the United States. With their $100 million budget, this animal rights group spends massive amounts to sue producers of meat and poultry products, to force legislation to stop hunting, and to end the breeding of domestic animals in order to force their lifestyle on everyone.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the HSUS, stated over ten years ago: “We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Source
In the ideal world of the animal rights organizations there would be no pets—no dogs, no cats, no bunnies. There would be no cows, or pigs, or sheep.
Nathan Winograd has an excellent post on No Kill shelters, with evidence that No Kill can become a reality when shelter directors start taking responsibility, stop blaming the public, and stop killing pets.
The municipal shelter in Porter County Indiana used to kill roughly 115 dogs and cats per month, young and old, healthy and sick, friendly and aggressive. There were even allegations of cruelty. After firing the long term director and staff, they now kill about 7 hopelessly ill animals or aggressive dogs a month. They did it overnight.
In Portsmouth Virginia, a new director took over the humane society which contracts for animal control services and committed herself to implementing the No Kill paradigm. Killing is down 63% since she took over operations…They did it overnight.
It’s great when people establish bonds with their dogs. But not to this extent. You may want to avoid this. I wish I had. Mouse over the link will probably give you all you want to know on this topic.
Many years ago I lived back east in a state that I won’t identify except to say that it lies someplace between Indiana and Pennsylvania.
One year the legislators in their infinite wisdom decided that no longer would Bambi’s mother fall victim to the evil hunters and they drastically curtailed the hunting season.
With no predators, very soon the deer overpopulation outstripped their winter food source in the wilderness. Hunger drove them into our suburban yards and shopping center parking lots. Weak and frightened, they became a road hazard, not just on country roads, but on city streets as well. Car-deer accidents became every day occurrences.
We were told that if we hit a deer with our car we could fill out some forms to take possession of the venison. As yummy as adrenalin-filled roadkill sounded, we were too busy filling out forms for the insurance companies and writing nasty letters to our legislators.
It soon became obvious that the legislation was based on the feelings of some idiot animal rights organizations rather than effective wildlife management or intelligent concern for real animals and real people.
Finally the legislators understood that it was wrong for Bambi’s mother to starve to death or become roadkill and deer hunting was restored.
Snowy, a Jack Russell Terrier, one of six in her litter, was born deaf. She was sold to new owners who returned her to the breeder when they realized she was deaf.
She was passed from home to home for a while, becoming increasingly shy and withdrawn. But the staff at the Dogs Trust Salisbury Shelter in the UK, found that Snowy was very intelligent and picked up a dozen sign commands very quickly.
Some of the signals Snowy now knows include "Down" (point to the floor then flatten hand and move downward parallel to the ground), "Walk" (rotate fists), and "Relax and be quiet" (put index finger to lips). She is expected to add new signs to her doggie vocabulary in the coming weeks, and staff are hopeful that they will be able to find Snowy a home due to her newfound obedience.
Ok, maybe I am overstating just a little bit, but Jimmy sent me a link to "The Horror of Disney’s Old Yeller." It is quite a brilliant piece of writing, meaning, of course, that I completely agree with it.
Most of you know that I have never quite gotten over the movie, Old Yeller. In case you haven’t been traumatized by it, the dog Old Yeller gets hydrophobia by biting a wolf to save his family. When he gets sick, the little boy who loves him has to shoot him. Yeah, like that.
Although it may be an excellent film, it is not one for children. The writer takes us scene by scene through the movie to support his contention that the movie is:
…one of the most disturbing "children’s movies" in cinema history. While ostensibly a coming-of-age story … everything in this film is structured around a single horrifying sequence — highly traumatic to the typical child viewer — in which a good dog turned bad is killed by the boy who loved him. Such traumatic moments are not rare in the works of producer Walt Disney.
Now that he mentions it I also found some of the scenes in Snow White and Bambi to be far too intense for a child my age when I saw them...the incredibly wicked witch, the evil hunters who made Bambi an orphan. I can remember that they gave me nightmares for…well, the last one was the night before last.
But Old Yeller isn’t just about child abuse; it is child abuse, as any number of viewers who saw it in their youth can attest. Disney was unquestionably one of the most gifted storytellers in the medium, but far too often his storytelling gifts were used to make child viewers experience vicariously the same horrors and losses that had traumatized him. I wouldn’t take a sensitive child to Old Yeller any more than I would deny that child the experience of Fantasia.
Ah, Fantasia. One of the great experiences at the movies.