Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Animal Rescue Organizations

I regularly receive emails from various rescue organizations.  I thought I would post some of those now for you to see the desperate need of these animals.  Please help if you can.  You can make all the difference for a small soul just by helping out.

Just look into Chloe's eyes. The pain and sadness are obvious.
But there is also a glimmer of hope.
Donate Today!
Can you see it?
In spite of the horror that this sweet
kitten has suffered,you can tell in her
eyes that all the good that's happened
to her since arriving at Bideawee - the
tender loving care...the nutritious food...
the warm bed - have given her the hope she needs to keep going.

Donate Today!

Now I hope you'll look into your heart and make a generous tax-
deductible donation to Bideawee today to help us give innocent,
abandoned kittens like Chloe a second chance at life. You are the
reason for her hope.

Chloe was found taped inside a box outside an apartment building
in New York City and left to die. Thankfully, a kind soul heard
her weak cries and immediately brought her to Bideawee and
asked if we could care for her. Chloe was emaciated, had
diarrhea, and a horrible respiratory infection. Of course,
we couldn't...we wouldn't turn our backs on a helpless pet.
Would you? Chloe is now healing, adding weight slowly,
and each day growing more comfortable in our adoption
center. Soon we know that we will find a new home for 
Chloe...a family that will care for her and love her forever.
Frankly, Chloe is one of the lucky ones. Thanks to the
kindness of a stranger she is now receiving the care she
deserves. But there are hundreds of other kittens
abandoned on the streets of our city right now. Pets that
need us. Pets that need you.

Right now, please make as generous a contribution as
you can afford to help Bideawee help Chloe, and
hundreds more like her who, without us, will die on
the streets of our city. A gift today will make a real
difference and we thank you for whatever you can do.


Nancy Taylor
President & CEO
P.S. Chloe is safe now. But you and I both know that
we must do more to help abandoned pets, especially
with cold weather right around the corner. With your
support, we can and we will. Please, donate now.
To contact us, please send us an email: Bideawee@bideawee.org.
Bideawee is funded 100% by private contributions. To help us
continue our vital work to help animals, please donate today.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Videos

Canine Cops in Training

The Life Of Riley

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Therapy Dogs -- Who Let the Dogs In?

Non-visually impaired kids are bringing their aide dogs to class

When 6-year-old Kaleb Drew gets ready to go to first grade at a central Illinois public school, he grabs his books, coat, sneakers—and his dog, Chewey.

Kaleb has autism. And Chewey, a yellow Lab, trained for nearly two years and learned 30 commands dealing with how to interact with autistic kids in a family setting and in school, says Margie Wakelin, an attorney for Chicago-based civil rights group Equip for Equality.
Among Chewey’s most important tasks is keeping Kaleb from running away, “which he did before when he became over-stimulated,” says Wakelin. Now Chewey is tethered to Kaleb’s belt loop, she says.
Chewey’s presence also has helped coax Kaleb to come to school in the first place. Before, she says, “his mother would pick him up and drag him. An aide would have to help put on his shoes. Now, he’s had no difficulty whatsoever.”


The Villa Grove school district is seeking to keep aide dogs like Chewey out of the classroom. While visually impaired children can have guide dogs, they say, Illinois law is vague about aide dogs for kids with other impairments.
“We don’t feel that the law is clear,” says superintendent Steven Poznic, adding that the district is concerned about both safety issues and classroom distraction. “It’s potentially disruptive for us. ... We don’t feel that it was necessary for the student to be successful.”
In a case of first impression in Illinois, the Douglas County Circuit Court ruled in favor of Kaleb and his family last November. The school district has appealed the case, and oral arguments are expected in May or June, says the school district’s attorney, Brandon Wright.
Chewey does not fit the definition of a service animal, Wright says, because Kaleb is incapable of commanding him to perform any tasks and the presence of an aide is required to control the animal.
Wright says those functions provide comfort, not service. “It’s ‘I feel better because I have my pet with me,’ ” he says, adding that school staff testified that they saw no particular benefits from the dog’s presence.
Wakelin insists there is nothing in the state school code that requires the child to be able to command the animal, although that is the goal of Kaleb’s parents. A similar case is being litigated in a school district in southern Illinois.
“There are a lot of people watching these cases to see how the definition of ‘service animal’ is affected,” Wakelin says.
“There has been sort of an upsurge in those cases,” says Kristin Hildebrant, supervising attorney with the Ohio Legal Rights Service in Columbus. “People are getting service dogs at younger ages. We’re finding out that they can be appropriate and beneficial for younger people.”
Long associated with the visually impaired, dogs are also trained to help people cope with other disabilities, such as hearing impairment, autism and emotional challenges.
When schoolchildren seek to bring dogs into the classroom, sometimes they’re not as easily accepted, experts say, resulting in administrative hearings or even legal action.
Cases have been brought under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as well as comparable state laws.
Wakelin brought the Drew case based on school code language, derived from the ADA, that says “an animal that’s individually trained to perform tasks for a student with disabilities shall be permitted in all school functions,” she says. Wright explains the initial ruling by saying that one-sentence summary proved “hard for the judge to interpret.”
School districts that object to the presence of dogs in their classrooms tend to make the same arguments, Hildebrant says. Allergic children might have reactions to their dander, dogs can carry health hazards like fleas or ticks, they could cause a danger to students if they get out of control, or they can be a distraction due to their barking—or just their presence.
“The issue comes up when it’s never been done in a district,” says Hildebrant, who has handled cases on behalf of children with issues such as physical disabilities and diabetes. “In most cases, the district has what they consider to be legitimate concerns. They need to feel comfortable there won’t be issues around the dog.”
The other Illinois case involves a prekindergarten student named Carter Kalbfleisch, who lives within the boundaries of a school district near St. Louis but attends a center for autistic children 30 to 45 minutes away by car.
In December an Illinois appellate court’s temporary injunction upheld a lower court’s ruling to allow Carter to bring his service dog, Corbin, with him to public elementary school. Carter will continue to attend the Illinois Center for Autism the remainder of this school year.
“Their main concern and their goal is they would prefer to have him educated in their home district,” says Jeremy Thompson of Columbia, Ill., who is rep resenting Carter’s parents.
Like the Drew family, the Kalbfleisches argue that the service dog “refocuses and redirects [the boy’s] attention to the task at hand,” that Carter “had a history of bolting and running off without being aware of the surroundings,” and that, overall, “he’s shown a lot of improvement,” says Thompson, who brought the case under the same state education statute that Wakelin did.
The Kalbfleisches testified that Corbin has been trained to understand 70 commands and receive specific instructions on how to respond to Carter’s issues, and that the dog is a Bouvier breed, considered to be hypo allergenic because they have hair rather than fur.
The school district has argued that Corbin is not a service dog because Carter does not command him personally, and that “the harm the other children are exposed to outweighs the benefits to Carter,” says Collinsville attorney Christi Flaherty, who represents the district. “We have other students who are severely allergic. We have a child who has a respiratory disease.” Plus, the district fears distractions and potential danger from having an animal in the classroom.
Elsewhere, the East Meadow school district on New York’s Long Island denied permission for high school freshman John Cave Jr., who is hearing im paired, to bring a service dog named Simba with him to high school.
The family brought a federal complaint that referenced the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and several state statutes. In February 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied the motion for a preliminary injunction.
The case is still pending in Nassau County Supreme Court, although the family has moved and Cave won’t be affected by the result, says attorney Paul Margiotta of Bay Shore, N.Y. He plans to see the case through because “there’s going to be another kid, I’m sure.”
Margiotta says the family argued that the dog alerted Cave to everything from people calling his name to fire alarms, and that without the ability to be together for the entire school day, the dog was forgetting its training (Simba was eventually returned to be retrained).
The school district, which did not return phone calls for comment, argued during the 2007 proceeding that Cave did not need the dog for educational purposes, and that the risks to other students outweighed the potential benefits.


A 2001 case involving an emotionally disabled child in southern Ohio was settled through an administrative due process hearing. The Ohio Legal Rights Service brought the case under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, says Hildebrant, who could not reveal the child’s name. The hearing officer ruled in the family’s favor, saying the child needed the dog to be able to leave her mother and transition to school.
Gallia County Superintendent Charla C. Evans, who began her position after the previous superintendent had denied permission for the dog, said she advised the school board not to fight the family of the eighth-grader. Both sides agree the child continued to bring the dog to school sporadically for the remainder of the 2001-02 school year and then did not feel the need afterward.
“It sort of became a moot point,” Evans says. “I’m not one to draw a line in the sand. ... We set up guidelines where the child was responsible for cleaning up after the animal, that sort of thing.” She adds that the district had brought up concerns about allergies, distractions and safety, but “there didn’t prove to be any of that.”
That’s very typical, Hildebrant says. “My universal experience has been that once the dog gets into the school, it’s been successful,” she says. “It has not been problematic for the school environment because these dogs are well-trained.”
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday True Stories -- Dogs of War

Dogs of War' Save Lives in Afghanistan

U.S. troops depend on young dogs to find hidden explosives and lost soldiers.

 Thu Jan 28, 2010 08:43 AM ET
Content provided by Jason Gutierrez, AFP

military dogs A group of U.S. Marines and a bomb-sniffing dog manuever around a building in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • "Dogs of War" are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan to assist in finding bombs, lost soldiers.
  • Bomb squads prefer Labradors. The dogs start training when they're puppies.
  • These military dogs save lives and boost morale among troops.

For the U.S. Marines patrolling the dusty footpaths of southern Afghanistan, a bomb-sniffing black Labrador can mean the difference between life and death.
These "dogs of war" have saved countless lives and their record for finding hidden explosives has won them a loyal following.
"They are 98 percent accurate. We trust these dogs more than metal detectors and mine sweepers," says handler Corporal Andrew Guzman.
Trained to detect five kinds of threat, from military grade C-4 plastic explosive to common chemicals used by the Taliban to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the dogs play a vital role alongside their human comrades.
Bomb expert Sergeant Crush is all concentration as he leads a foot patrol by two squads of US Marines deployed to Afghanistan as part of Washington's fresh surge to end an eight-year insurgency by the Taliban.
His job along with Corporal Goodwin is to lead the men to safety through dusty footpaths and compounds where Taliban militants plant deadly bombs that have left many troops dead in recent months.
They are from a group of four Labradors, who are on average four years old and have all seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"These dogs are great. They keep our Marines alive," says First Lieutenant Aaron MacLean, 2nd Platoon commander of the Marines 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment Charlie Company, to which the dog team is attached.
Crush suddenly goes on a swift bound, sniffing out a corner of a compound in the outskirts of a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province.
There is a quick change in his demeanour, his muscles tense up, he freezes, sticks out his tail and then lies down with his paws extended up front.
Related Links:

The area turned out to have been a former storage place for ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser compound recently banned by the government that the Taliban commonly use in making powerful homemade bombs.
"It's better safe than sorry," Guzman says.
Just days earlier two squads of Marines were ambushed and trapped in a compound. Two Marines died after stepping on the pressure plates of IEDs, just minutes before the dogs were to have cleared the area.
The force of the explosion threw the handlers and the dogs to the ground, but they quickly got up and resumed their jobs.
The dogs also provide an emotional crutch for young Marines facing death every day. They crowd around the dogs and play with them inside the camp. There are frequent questions about adopting them after the Labradors end their tour.
Lance Corporal George Grimm, the handler of Corporal Brooks, says most Marines feel safer with his bomb team leading the way.
Brooks, a three year-old Labrador with tan fur, has been deployed three times in Iraq and Afghanistan and has helped with the recovery of approximately 14 bombs and saved many lives.
One sniffer named Ringo gained a legendary reputation for having found as many as 30 daisy-chain landmines in Iraq, he says.
"Our life is in this boy's hands pretty much," says Grimm, a 19-year-old who has been Brooks' handler since late last year. Grimm grabs a rubber toy called a "konk" and lets Brooks nibble on it.
"They don't ask for much except to be taken cared of," he says.
Handlers say the US government spends huge amounts of money to train the dogs in a civilian-led program contracted out by the defence department.
They begin training when they are puppies, and by the time they reach two and half years old, are ready to be deployed.
The bomb squad in Afghanistan prefer using pure-bred Labradors over sentry dogs such as German Shepherds because they are easier to train. Labradors are also hunting dogs who can pick up a scent as far as 500 meters (yards) away.
With the Taliban increasingly relying on IEDs to cripple the US advance, officials say up to 70 dogs are now on operation in southern Afghanistan alone, where the insurgency is festering.
More are expected to be deployed in the coming months, officials say.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday's issues -- 10 Commandments of being a pet-owner

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation
from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you. 
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me. 
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it. 
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you. 
 8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old. 
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday -- almost!

Instructions for properly hugging a baby (from a dog's point of view):
1. First, uh, find a baby.
2. Second, be sure that the object you found
indeed a baby, by employing classic sniffing

3. Next, you will need to flatten the baby before
actually beginning the hugging process.

4. The 'paw slide' = Simply slide paws around baby
and prepare for possible close-up.

5. Finally, if a camera is present, you will need to execute
the difficult and patented 'hug, smile, and lean' so
as to achieve the best photo quality.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday True Stories -- Therapy Dogs

USA TodayImage via Wikipedia

Here is a post I found online at USAtoday.com.  I am reposting it here because I believe that therapy animals do not get enough publicity and they do not get enough credit for what they do.
Dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, etc. can and have been helping humans deal with obstacles and setbacks for eons.  We have finally evolved enough that we are able to recognize all of their myriad contributions to our collective well-being.  I hope you enjoy the article and click over to finish reading the post.  If you do, leave them a comment with your thoughts on the subject, won't you.
True stories of heroic dogs

We asked readers in November to tell us about pets that made a difference in 2009, and the response proved there are pet heroes everywhere. We learned about dogs and cats that comfort the sick and struggling, a dog that saved his owner's life, a canine surfer that raises money for the disabled, and many more.
A golden Labrador is a treasure for this child and her family
BETHESDA, Md. — Will Buchanan walks several steps behind his toddler at the Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health.
Getting around is challenging for 22-month-old Haley. She has Joubert syndrome, a disease that affects balance and muscle coordination. She uses a tiny walker and wears a harness, which her dad is holding to keep her upright.
Suddenly they both smile. A big yellow dog lying in the hallway is wagging its tail at Haley. Ever so gently, her dad guides Haley to the floor to sit beside the dog. And ever so gently, Haley reaches out for the dog's muzzle. "Dog," she says. The dog stretches out a paw and touches Haley's leg.
"We have two German shepherds at home (in Dallas, N.C.), so she's really happy to see this dog," says Haley's mother, Laura Buchanan. "This makes it easier for us."
Viola, a golden Labrador, belongs to the Children's Inn, a private, non-profit residence on the NIH campus where families whose chronically ill children are being treated at NIH can stay. Mars Inc. donated Vi to the inn in 2008 after she was retired as a Seeing Eye dog. The kids can spend time alone with Vi and attend special activities with her.
"Having a dog here helps the children relax, feel more at home, and makes their treatments more bearable," says Meredith Carlson Daly, media relations coordinator at the inn. "There have been many studies done showing how beneficial animal therapy can be. We see those benefits here every day."
Tracy Wilcox knows how hard it was for her 9-year-old daughter, Breana, before Vi arrived. Breana has been getting treatments at NIH since she was 2½. She missed nearly 70 days of school last year while dealing with high fevers and chronic pain from an autoimmune inflammatory disorder. Her black Lab, Midnight, comforts her at home, Wilcox says. "He's more in tune with knowing when she's getting sick than I am."
Traveling to NIH from Boston has been stressful, says Wilcox, because Breana has to leave her dog behind. Last June, she got very upset in the airport until her mother surprised her: "I told her the inn had gotten a dog," Wilcox says. "She stopped crying right away.
"After her treatments, she'll go back to the inn, get on the floor with Vi and tell Vi all about what happened with the doctors. And it's rough stuff. When she gets home, she sits on the floor and tells Midnight all about Vi."As a parent, Vi saved us," Wilcox says. "She took away all my daughter's angst. She's gone from hating herself and her disease to looking forward to going back to the inn and getting well."
Spreading good news about Pit Bulls

When Amy Murphy first saw him in May 2008, she cried. His ribs were exposed, his skin was full of cuts and scars and matted with dirt and fleas, his throat had crush injuries and his back left leg was mangled by an infected bite.
But as much as this pit bull was suffering, he also had love in his eyes, Murphy says.Murphy volunteers for the North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue in Harrisburg, N.C. She got Gunny to a vet after getting him from a shelter several hours away a week before he was set to be euthanized.
She recalls that after the vet examined the dog, she said to Murphy, "Isn't he beautiful? He has scars that will never go away, but he smiles, he wags and he loves us strangers without a second thought. No matter what we did to him, he just loved us. I'm sure he's going to be an ambassador"
Murphy thinks Gunny was a "bait dog" in a dog-fighting ring. Bait dogs are chained and allowed to be attacked by other dogs. He had several surgeries. His back left leg was amputated, yet he is thriving in her home and in the community. Murphy says he taught people about "compassion and perseverance."
When word spread about his vet bills, the community helped raise money. Grade school students would send Murphy several dollars, promising to send more money. He became the official mascot in the Charlotte area for an educational program sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States designed to teach children and young adults that pit bulls are not fighting dogs. "Celebrate your Pit Bull" trains 13- to 22-year-olds to teach dogs obedience, agility and other positive behaviors.
Gunny's resilience stole hearts. Guyla Vardell, principal at Lebanon Road Elementary School in Charlotte, says the 800 students at her school love Gunny. He has appeared at "character assemblies" at the school. "He has captured the imaginations of our students, staff, families and friends," says Vardell. "He is one in a million."
Saved from a shelter, so he gives of himself

Brown Bear's days were numbered. He was in a high-kill shelter until Lucky Dog Animal Rescue of Washington, D.C., relocated and placed the large mixed-breed dog with a big family. His extended family totals 168 residents at the Brooke Grove Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Sandy Grove, Md. He's been there for two months, joining another dog, two cats and several birds.
"Bear is a doll," says Sue Goldstone, Brooke Grove's quality assurance coordinator. "He intuitively knew how to behave around our residents, some of whom are fragile."
Bear is a big help to people with dementia, she says: "They can often get agitated, but putting them with Bear calms them down."
Goldstone says she's grateful Lucky Dog granted his adoption to them. "We feel very fortunate to have him. The residents have company every minute of every day. Life is enhanced by the ability to walk through a building and to be able to pet a dog's muzzle or snuggle a cat."
And what better place for a dog, she adds, considering the center is on 220 acres. "Dogs that live and work here have the full run of the place. They learn how to use the elevators and get around like anyone else."
Saves his owner's life
The way Thelma Portocales tells it, she thought her husband, George, was sleeping beside her at home in bed. But that's not what Oscar, their dachshund-schnauzer, was telling her.
Thelma had taken her hearing aid out for the night and didn't hear Oscar barking at first. But bark Oscar did. Bark, and bark, and bark.
"I still thought George was right beside me in bed when Oscar came up right alongside me and barked until I got up," she says. "He led me towards the bathroom, so I went into it and turned the light on. I said, 'Look, there's nothing wrong.' But Oscar walked farther into the bathroom and stood beside George."
Her husband of 30 years had passed out. She called 911. Medics revived him and rushed him to the hospital. Later they told her Oscar probably saved George's life. He suffered no permanent damage from the cardiac episode and was released from the hospital after four days.
"If it hadn't been for Oscar, he probably wouldn't have made it," Thelma says. "Oscar is precious. George gives him special treatment every day. He just can't get enough of him."
He's a first dog for the Millsboro, Del., couple. Great timing: They adopted Oscar from the Delaware SPCA on Aug. 8. George collapsed Sept. 4.
To read the rest of the stories please click here.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Mood -- Pensive

My little Man!
Today, I sit and look at my little man and I have to realize that he is not quite as spry as he once was.  He no longer can jump up on the bed at night, so I carefully pick him up and tuck him under the covers.  He has trouble getting up in the recliner with me when I watch TV, so I have to lower the foot rest part way down and he uses it like a ramp to get up in my lap.  I am starting to believe that his sight is going and I frequently see "floaters" in his eyes when he looks up at me.

More and more, his mood is irritable and cranky, so I have to believe that he is hurting with his joints.  I give him Ultram from the vet when he appears extremely irritable, but I think he may need the medication more often now.  He does not have the energy he once had and he seems to frighten easily.  I worry about him.  He is my little man and I don't want to lose him.

KT on the stoop
On another note, the cats outside are doing well.  I still never could catch the female, Ditto. She is now having her second set of babies.  She had them on Saturday, I think because she was really big in the morning when I left for work and that evening she was very thin.  I am making sure she is getting plenty of food and water so she and her brood can be healthy.  The male, KT, is quite happy since his trip to the vet.  He lazes on the front stoop and goes for walks with me and the dogs.  He has even come in the house to visit for brief periods and now has his own box to sleep in by the front door, complete with blankets and towels for comfort and warmth.

I will again try to capture Ditto when I am sure she is finished nursing.  I really want her to get shots and be spayed so we have no more babies.