Friday, June 12, 2009

Too disturbing for words

Why, yes...I DO feel like I'm going to be sick -- how about you?

Sweet little tuxedo Tommy, before he was tortured and killed by some sick freak.

Seriously...a feline serial killer. Yet another good reason for people to keep their cats indoors.

Is there no end to the evil that our species is capable of? And they call the animals "beasts." I don't believe in Hell (at least not in the traditional sense), but if there is one, there's a special corner of it reserved for the twisted individual (at least I hope it's just one person) who's doing this horrible thing.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Disabled, Not Disposable.

Repeat after me: Special needs pets are disabled, not disposable.

Now, memorize it and repeat as often as necessary to well-meaning friends and family members, neighbors and co-workers, who think you're nuts to spend so much time, money and energy on helping your "almost perfect" pet have a better quality of life.

Lisa Stahr
But don't take it from me: take it from Lisa Stahr, someone who's spent a LOT of time thinking -- and now writing -- about this very issue.

Lisa is the co-founder, owner and operator of Scout's House, a rehab center for animals. No, not THAT kind of rehab, though it is located in Menlo Park, California.

No, Scout's House is a place where disabled pets can go for physical therapy delivered by trained veterinary professionals. It's also a place where these pets can stay while their human parents take some time off for much-needed R&R. (Anyone who cares for a special needs pet knows the value of a real vacation.)

Lisa started Scout's House as a tribute to her own dear dog, who suffered mightily from the lingering effects of puppyhood distemper...that is, until Lisa got hold of her. But I'll let her tell you that story -- she's a more-than-capable writer, given her background in marketing and PR.

All you really need to know is that Scout's House rocks as a great resource for special needs pets and their families, and that if you ever need to find this great place, the link will always be here or in our blogroll.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey, Folks! Help Dokes!

Hi, everyone. Here's something I never want to report, but I need to: a newly disabled pet.

On Sunday, May 24, the L.A. apartment of Jessica Amen and Kyle Kushner was devastated by an enormous fire that started by accident near their stove. They lost nearly everything they owned and loved, including their wonderful cat, Riggs.

Little burned Dokes lost his house and his best friend.

Their second cat, Dokes, was initially believed to have also perished in the flames, but was found later in the neighborhood. Though they were relieved that their dear Dokes was still alive, Jessica and Kyle realized he had suffered serious burn injuries. A community-based effort is now underway to support his care and rehabilitation.

Please check out his FaceBook page to learn what you can do, and to keep track of his progress. We're pulling for you, little Dokes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Book on Communicating With Animals!

My friend and fellow author Dawn Baumann Brunke has just released her newest book, Animal Voices, Animal Guides. I saw it on the show floor at Book Expo America last weekend, and was excited to see she's doing so well.

I've known Dawn since we worked together at NorthWord Press in 1991 (Dawn, could it be almost 20 years now!!!???). There, we collaborated on a series of four coloring books for older children, titled Who Lives Here? Dawn wrote and I illustrated the books, which detail four different natural habitats and the animals who live in them. The concept was a really neat one, and I'm working on reviving the now out-of-print books under our imprint.

Anyway, Dawn's new book is actually a newly revised edition of her earlier work, Awakening to Animal Voices, which was originally marketed to young adults.

The new version has been streamlined, given a new title and cover and design format, and also includes additional conversations with several animal groups (such as honey bees and polar bears). It is suitable for all ages. (One of the reasons the publisher decided to re-issue the book as a general title was because the material was not just aimed at teens, but to anyone--and everyone.)

The book not only looks at how we may open ourselves to communication with animals, but also explores how we may deepen in connection with animals, nature and ourselves in so many other ways: through animal teachers; through unexpected meetings with animals; through healing and the death experience; through dreams, shapeshifting and merging of consciousness.

Of course, for those of us with an almost inseparable connection to our pets, it's no surprise that Dawn and others like her have discovered many ways to communicate and connect on deeper levels with these personal "mystics" we all have, if we'd just realize it.

Want to learn more? You can read several excerpts at Dawn's website (here's the direct link to Table of Contents and chapter excerpts.)

It's always a happy day when any author sees their new book finally appear, and I'm just tickled pink for Dawn. And yes, that is Dawn -- along with her pal Zak -- on the front cover. So go check it out, won't you?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Super story, semi-disabled

Only one of the dogs in this story is disabled, and that mostly by old age. But I just had to share this heartwarming tale!

Blewett, Altruistic Animal Hero!

PLAIN, Chelan County, OR - Blewett, a dog rescued in March at Blewett Pass, has become a rescue dog.

Dozens of people tried to rescue the black Lab this winter after he was seen huddling in the snow at the top of Blewett Pass for a week. Wary of strangers, the dog accepted food and was finally captured and adopted into a home. Jay and Janie Smith of Plain adopted Blewett from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society animal shelter in March.

Monday, Blewett returned the favor and helped rescue another imperiled black Lab.

Jay Smith said his wife was walking Blewett on a trail high above the Wenatchee River when Blewett started barking and raced down the steep bank to sniff out another animal close to the river’s edge.

“My wife thought it was a dead bear,” Jay Smith said. Janie Smith called Blewett back up and they went home so she could get a pair of binoculars. With the binoculars, she could see it was a large black dog, and it was alive.

Jay Smith called Chelan County Fire District 9 and returned with a firefighter and a friend to try to reach the dog, using ropes to climb down to the river.

Blewett again ran down and stayed with the dog while the dog was rescued Monday evening. The dog was weak, old and arthritic, but otherwise uninjured. Information on his red collar led to a Plain neighbor, Carol Hurt.

“The whole thing is a miracle,” said Hurt, who explained the 11-year-old dog, Pepper, had been lost since May 23. “One big, black, lost dog found the other big, black, lost dog. It’s pretty heartwarming.”

Pepper belongs to Hurt’s daughter, Susan Cox of Wenatchee, but was staying with Hurt over the weekend when he went missing. Cox and her husband, Mike, searched for Pepper, but had no luck. They now believe the dog was swept away by the river while taking a drink about a half-mile from Hurt’s house.

Monday night, Cox told the story to her best friend, Tracy Peterson, a second-grade teacher at Newbery Elementary School. Peterson relayed the story to her class and had them write an account of Blewett’s rescue of Pepper. Students depicted Blewett as a wonder dog who would bark and bark until his lungs were empty to get help. Peterson plans to compile the stories into a book to give to Cox.

“We’re happy beyond belief,” Cox said about the return of her dog. “And that Blewett, he’s quite the hero.”

Source: The Seattle Times