Thursday, March 30, 2006
And you can tell me that none of this stuff will work in the "real world" - well I can't see how your "real world" is any different my real world, or the real world of the people who wrote these fabulous articles - except that maybe mine is smidge less cynical, or I have a bit more faith in dogs or the people who wrote the articles aren't so willing to take the easy way out. But really - your first stop has to be the article - "In the name of Mercy", and then the "Temperament Testing in the age of No Kill" by Nathan Winograd has the most fabulous example at the end of a less than perfect dog who was able to be adopted without having to be killed - an example that any shelter could follow - it really is a must-read. And it's done with the aid of a temperament (actually, several) test - which is done by several people, over time - with no one person making the decision whether the dog lives or dies.
Information is so wonderful, really.
I have not posted what my thoughts are to the group because there's no way that I can say what I think and not have them absolutely hate me because I don't know that what I'm going to say is something that they can understand - they're too close to the fire, so to speak. But let me give you an example of what they say in their emails -
This is a paraphrase of the conversations going on
They say they're too busy to talk about the type of temperament tests that they do because they're out there "have been so busy trying to SAVE SOME ANIMALS!!!" But in the next paragraph they go on to say "their shelter does temperment tests on every dog that comes in...and that...families want a companion that they can enjoy without fear of being bit..and shelters are trying to place the best dogs without fear anything bad happening......their shelter NEVER NEVER NEVER places a dog that has any agression issues...whether it be food bowl or otherwise. And they won't apologize for that fact.
I could write a book based on that paragraph.
But there are 2 main things in that paragraph that I have to say - #1 - who are you working for - are you working for the animals, or are you working for the people you are giving the animals to? Are you trying to save animals lives or are you selling animals to the public? That's my question. Are you trying to save animals lives or are you selling a product? You can't do both. How can you be saving animals lives and killing them at the same time? How can you be saving animals lives and killing them because they aren't a marketable product to the public. That makes you no better than a puppy mill in my opinion. You are absolutely no different that a pet store or a puppy mill. No different. Please explain to me how you are different than a pet store. You are selling a product if you are only adopting out dogs who have no issues and killing the rest. And make no apologies for it.
I can only thank my luckly stars that none of my canine life companions ended up in your regional municipality. That's for sure.
Although I do have to tell you that the picture attached to this post - that lovely, one of a kind, most soulful,loving, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime dog - who is now named Brody and living the life of Riley in Berwick Nova Scotia passed his temperament test with flying colours yet was stilled deemed unadoptable and was going to be killed because the shelter manager "didn't like the look in his eyes". For weeks after I brought him home every time I looked in his eyes and saw how deep they were I'd start crying because I'd think to myself - "you should be dead right now, and for what reason! No good reason whatsoever!"
Thank dog for both of us and one lucky family in Berwick that fate intervened.
I DID write a post about temperament testing to the group though - a post that lots of excellent links to great information - one that I'm sure none of the people who SHOULD read the information, WILL. This was the stuff that I sent them:
I am so happy that we are talking about temperament testing - I know that we've talked about it here on *** before and it's something that a lot of us have very strong feelings about, so it's no surprise that it's causing a lot of conversation. I think that when we talked about it before it was prior to when *** joined us - so she didn't get the benefit of all the shouting we did about it back then.
There is a ton of stuff on the internet that is absolutely fabulous (in my opinion) about temperament testing - and who am I to talk about it anyway - except to say that I am just a normal dog owner who would be the beneficiary of a temperament test that is used well, or a temperament test that is used inappropriately by a shelter and adopts an aggressive dog - thinking they are getting a dog with no issues - but I like to think that I'm a little more savvy than that, in that I've adopted dogs who have been deemed unadoptable by "temperament testing" standards and we've all lived to tell the tale and the dogs are blissful and I'm happy and the eventual new homes they go to are happy and everything works out dee-lovely.
I hope #1 you will forgive the face that this is going to be a long email because I'm going to give you everything I have all in one email - I am going to give you what I consider to be the gold standard for information regarding EXCELLENT information about temperament testing that is solid, shows both sides and also gives you ideas on how to accurately assess the animals coming into your facility so that you can give adopters healthy dogs.
#1 is the fact that a temperament test should NEVER be used to determine the life or death of a dog. That is the most grave mistake that you made with ***. I am so sorry to say that if that is what happened in *** - if that's what happpened - if you killed her simply because she failed a temperament test - that is a grievous
error that has been made. In the 21st century that is completely unnecessary. Sue Sternberg might send you a letter of congratulation - but the rest of the sheltering community will most certainly not be happy. You have mis-used the spirit of the plastic hand if you killed her because of that. Although that is what Sue Sternberg would WANT you to do. She WANTS to kill any dog that has any kind of issues. She says that if you've got 20 dogs coming in and you've only got space for 15 - you've got to find some reason to kill 5 dogs - well, there's your reason!
But anyway. I am going to give you some links to articles that are super.
http://www.bestfriends.org/mercy.pdf - this document is the basis upon which the "no-kill shelter" movement was built upon. It states the simple fact that shelters need to start "sheltering" animals and stop "killing" animals - and to stop pretending that they're doing it in the name of mercy. It is an absolutely unbelievably eye-opening read. The fact that it's on the bestfriends.org website certainly says something.
Also from the bestfriends.org website in their email archives is a great page about "hard to place" animals where one of my heroes - Nathan Winograd talks about temperament testing, what to do when your shelter gets too many calls, what to do when you have aggressive dogs and other tough questions - it's at
Another pdf file on the bestfriends.org site from my hero Nathan Winograd that sums up everything I believe is called "Temperament testing in the age of No Kill" - and it's at http://www.bestfriends.orgwinogradtemptesting.pdf
I also have a few articles that I've archived on my "blog" that are super about temperament testing. They are at:
"Temperament testing: Shelter Respect - one Canine at at time" - at http://temperament-testing-shelter-respect.html
An article that was in BARK magazine that is SUPER that compares the different temperament testing methods: "Dog is in the Details" - http://article-comparing-temperment-testers.html
An article written by the vice President by the ASPCA about temperament testing -
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Delta is a boxer who lives out in Lower Sackville who is a sister to Oscar who is a lhasa-apso (which I'm sure I've spelled wrong and Lisa is going to be correcting me very shortly!) - and Oscar totally rules the house like Buttercup does.
But Delta - in the comfort of her house - secretly loves to play with stuffed animals - as evidenced by the attached picture. Lisa and I are thinking about starting up a club for dog owners who have dogs that spend a lot of time stuffing animals into the laps of their human life-companions. We can't be the only ones who have to live with this facial look, drooly mouth, soft furry stuffed animal, and requisite stare countless times every day.
When I'm confronted with the scenario my usual response is to squeal at the top of my lungs - OOOHHH - a toy! That's mine! Let me have it! And I grab it and the chase is on. What do other members of the fledgling club do when confronted with such a situation?
Daisy in the backyard on the weekend trying to get her biggest bang for the buck...
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Okay - we're friends I guess!
While all the dogs were running around and having a good time, Teddy of course was where he wanted to be - in my arms. I did make him get a little bit of exercise at the beginning of the walk.
Do me and the dogs not live in the most beautiful shangri-la in the whole world?
Wasn't the ocean in Nova Scotia beautiful today?
What do you think it is? I think it may be the front from an old fridge. Or maybe the top of an old freezer? My property is completely filled with 40 years - or more of garbage. It an urban archeologists dream place. Yesterday while I was out there I dug up a couple of ancient Coke bottles, numerous liquor bottles, a garbage bag full of old garbage...you name it, my back yard has it - so far I've found 2 buried cars that I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them once I get to that section of my yard.
I've also recently discovered that I've got at least one cubby-hole rock place where a bunch of feral cats are living. And I think everyone who reads my blog knows that I have 4 dogs living with me! Those are some brave cats!
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I am going to get SOMEONE to play with me!
I'm not going down there again - that fan-damn dog keeps pretending like I'm attacking her and then stuffing stuff in my face!
To finish out the tableau - a picture of Buttercup in my arms - acting like there's no where else she'd rather be, there's certainly no where I'D rather HER be! So much for getting anything done in the back yard!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Now me - I don't see anything paranormal, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in that kind of stuff - but I don't see it. I also don't believe in God, but that doesn't mean that God doesn't exist - there' billions of people who DO believe in him - so who am I to say that he doesn't exist - I just personally don't believe that he does. So Maggie thinks there's a spirit in my bedroom - and when she looks at Teddy she can see a young man standing behind him - and it's funny that the previous owners of this house had a son die while waiting for a kidney transplant.
I don't know if he died in this house or he died in the hospital - I just know he died while waiting for a transplant because I found a newspaper article here in the house about it.
So does this maybe have something to do with Teddy's rages when we're in bed at night? When we're in bed he hardly gets any sleep - and by association so do I (get hardly any sleep) because any slight movement causes him to attack me and try to bite me. It was bad, and getting progressively worse - because he was starting to attack my head - and it was just a matter of time before he bit my face - and what was I going to do then? Up until now he's only ever bitten my hands and my arms, which is bad, but for a 10 pound dog - isn't going to kill me. I can deal with it if at some point in his life he is going to heal himself of his affliction.
But the same type of bites he does to my hands on my face would be very bad. I would never find a new husband now!
So Maggie suggested that perhaps I might move my bedroom into the other bedroom in my house - which has actually never occurred to me. Sometimes I am a complete idiot. So one week ago today I moved my bed into the other bedroom in my house.
And do you know what? Teddy has stopped lunging at me all night long. The first couple nights I thought it might just be a fluke so I didn't post it here. But it's been a whole week now. 7 nights. And he's still not lunging. And the only thing I did was move the bed into another room. I haven't changed the way I sleep, Buttercup's still in the bed, everything else is still the same.
Our daily routine is still the same. He is still acting the same way in the day time. All the other dogs are still acting the same way in the day time - but in the night time he has stopped trying to kill me all night long.
Is that not the weirdest thing in the world? So I'm thinking maybe I DO have a ghost in the other bedroom and maybe Teddy WAS being affected by it.
I can tell you that I am enjoying sleeping through the night now, and I am sure that it is improving mine and Teddy's relationship not having him trying to kill me all night long - because that's what he was trying to do. It was awful. I spent so many nights out on the couch because I just couldn't deal with it.
You ignore the bad and praise the good, right? Well with this behaviour you just couldn't ignore it - the only thing you could do was to walk away from it in order to stop it. And you couldn't put him out of the bed because he'd cry and hyperventilate and scream like only a small damaged dog can.
So I'm glad he's better. I hope it lasts.
Monday, March 20, 2006
There is so much suffering in this world. Sometimes it's just so overwhelming.
ps: He doesn't have a name. What was especially scary is that he's been at the pound since February 25th and it's now the end of March. And when I did a search I found him on the internet at the Harbour City Pound at 735 Battery Street in San Pedro, CA 90731 - his picture and information - click here to go to his info (I removed the link on April 1st - see below). If I could drive to California I'd go get him - but thank your lucky stars Dad, that California is a long ways away.
Update - April 1, 2006 - the day after his information was posted on blinddogs.com he was rescued by a pit bull rescue in California - miracles do happen for old dogs sometimes. I hope he's resting in a comfortable spot at this moment and will have a few moments of peace.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
You can be a 10th of a second away from getting the picture and not getting the picture. Today I clicked and got the picture. Charlie's tongue is even sticking out of his mouth a little bit - isn't that just the cutest thing in the world?
And that picture of Buttercup where she's looking face on she was running face on is exactly what she looks like when she's running up or down something and she's very happy - at this point today she was running down a big hill of dirty compost on some property that's owned by the City where they cump stuff they've cut off trees and lawn shavings and stuff. She was having a good time.
The dogs were very happy to be out and walking through the woods today - but I just could NOT get them all to look at me at the same time no matter what I tried! It is VERY hard to get 4 dogs to look at you at the same time, even if you have liver dangling by the camera lens!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Buttercup, Teddy, Charlie and Daisy all have a 4 leaf clover stuck up their asses in a lot of ways - but they are especially fond of chewing on squeak toys that come with that insignia sewn on it's outsides!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Today, I was just reading the blog - "Caveat" - it's a Canadian political dog blog that I've got a link on the side of this blog in my links section to - and the post talked about how "traditional animal husbandry practices are under attack in the United States" - and how the USA is now up to a total of FIFTY-SIX different breeds of dogs being banned, planned to be banned or restricted in that country. That's almost as bad as Italy! I did NOT know that the USA had gotten that bad.
But something else that places have started doing is banning dogs OVER a certain weight! Can you imagine? Fairfield, Iowa has banned any dog that weighs over 100 pounds and on a GOOD day Charlie weighs 110-115 pounds. So we can never go visit the potentially great town of Fairfield, Iowa. All because my lab/sheltie mix has a bit of a weight problem. Does that sound a tad pathetic to you? It certainly does to me!
(An interesting aside about Fairfield Iowa is that it is the home of the Maharishi University of Management - "Founded in 1971 by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Vedic sage who has introduced to the world the most ancient continuous tradition of knowledge, the Vedic tradition of enlightenment" - a university where you go study transcendental meditation and business law at the same time - but only if you have small dogs...)
Here is the list that was posted as the breeds now banned down in the USA - please don't let it creep up here into the Atlantic Canadian Provinces! Let's keep our area perfect (except for that little blight that is known as the municipality of the district of Guysborough - but that area is a universe all to itself!)
AIREDALE TERRIER * AKITA * ALASKAN MALAMUTE * ALSATIAN SHEPHERD * AMERICAN BULLDOG * AMERICAN HUSKY * AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER * AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER * AMERICAN WOLFDOG * ARIKARA DOG * AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG * AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD * BELGIAN MALINOIS * BELGIAN SHEEPDOG * BELGIAN TERVUREN * BLUE HEELER * BOSTON TERRIER * BOUVIER DES FLANDRES * BOXER * BULLDOG * BULL MASTIFF * BULL TERRIER * CANE CORSO * CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG * CAUCASIAN SHEPHERD * CHINESE SHAR PEI * CHOW-CHOW * COLORADO DOG * DOBERMAN PINSCHER * DOGO DE ARGENTINO * DOGUE DE BORDEAUX * ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL * ESKIMO DOG * FILA BRASILERO * FOX TERRIER * FRENCH BULLDOG * GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG * GOLDEN RETRIEVER * GREENLAND HUSKY * GREAT DANE * KEESHOND * KOTEZEBUE HUSKY * LABRADOR RETRIEVER * MASTIFF * PRESA DE CANARIO * PUG * ROTTWEILER * SAARLOOS WOLFHOND * SAINT BERNARD * SAMOYED * SIBERIAN HUSKY * STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER * TIMBER SHEPHERD * TOSA INU * TUNDRA SHEPHERD * WOLF SPITZ *
Monday, March 13, 2006
I've always interpreted Maggie's idea as Buttercup making my headaches better - as in making them go away - because that is what I want them to do. But today it occurred to me that that's not what she's here for at all - she's here to make them bearable - to give me something outside of myself to focus on. When I am sick she absolutely will not leave me. When I was in Toronto last year I had a super bad headache and was throwing up and making a hell of a scene at my sister's house and Buttercup wouldn't even leave me to go pee. I don't know who my sister was more worried about - me or Buttercup! Secretly I think she might've been more worried about Buttercup because my headache went on for like 24 hours and the dog wouldn't pee or eat or anything.
But today it really hit home as I was moving from the bed to the couch to the bed to the couch and she was moving with me each time and each time she'd climb up on my chest and put her head in the crook of my neck that she was BEING THERE for me. It did nothing for the headache, or the nausea - but it gave me comfort knowing that she was there and something to focus on. She really is one exceptional little soul mate.
And then tonight I was able to drag myself into the car and go to Seaview and she barked like hell at every tree and every gay man in every bush and was bad as hell. And now she's sleeping like an angel in front of me in front of the computer monitor. It was probably a good day for her.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Here's what Peter Duffy said:
So who exactly was it who took an axe to that Canadian soldier in Afghanistan? Was it a member of the Taliban, as our military insists, or was it a youngster who was offended by outsiders riding roughshod over tribal traditions? Either way, the army needs to remind troops of that simple-but-invaluable truth that all Canadian teens learn after their first visit to a tavern: always, always sit with your back to the wall!
That blather does not need to be in print. If Peter Duffy needs to fill inches in his column why doesn't he just talk about how awful his own life is, instead of talking about his own incorrect vision of the world. It's just bad.
So this morning I wrote one of my letters:
Date: Mar 12, 2006 8:54 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor - Peter Duffy Made Me Cry Today
Normally I only write letters to your paper in relation to dogs - that's all I care about, and to venture outside one's expertise can quite often make one look foolish. Mr. Duffy shows us that week after week.
But today Mr. Duffy made a comment about a friend of mine - one who's very life depends on the whole of Canada's positive energy being directed towards him. I went to University for three years with (now Captain) Trevor Greene. So when Mr Duffy writes "Was it a member of the Taliban, as our military insists, or was it a youngster who was offended by outsiders riding roughshod over tribal traditions?......always, always sit with your back to the wall!" Mr Duffy is saying #1 some protocol was broking by Captain Trevor Greene and #2 he was trying to make a very lame joke - and this morning as I was eating my toast that brought tears to my eyes because that is absolutely not what Trevor needs.
There is no doubt in my mind that Trevor is a consummate soldier of the highest order and was following all the rules laid out by his commanding officer and the same time showing the greatest compassion for every human being in that room - including the young Taliban man who tried to kill him with the axe who came up from behind him. There is no humour whatsoever in Trevor's situation currently, and no second guesses should be made either. The city of Halifax is full of people who personally know Trevor Greene and know him to be an amazing man who if he had been attacked from the front would have had an entirely different outcome.
Our Canadian troops need positive press - and our wounded soldiers need even more - our undying gratitude and thanks - not sarcasm!
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Friday, March 10, 2006
So when I send letters to people who have impressed me for one reason or another and they don't write back - that pisses me off. To me it's a matter of common courtesy and respect that you have to respond back. It's not like I'm going to expect an answer back from Brad Pitt - but if I'm emailing someone who's a pretty much normal person - but I'm doing a cold email (I don't know them) - but it's a website/internet thing - common courtesy dictates a response. To not reply is just rude I think. But maybe I'm just old fashioned. Maybe that's just a hold-back to the days of old-time letter writing and doesn't apply to emails anymore.
Either way - the thing that I emailed this person about has gone down 100,000% in my opinion and instead of mentioning it in my travels I will simply steal the ideas and use them as my own whenever it pleases me and is convenient. That should serve that person right for not righting back to me! That person isn't even googled for Christ's sake! Who did that person think they were - not writing back to me!
So that's the first thing.
Smokey when he was in Virginia - unnamed, and unloved.
The next thing is - how is it that I can save dogs 1000 miles away and I can't save the dog who lives right next door to me? How can I save a blind dog who was tied to tree for the first 2 years of his life and then escaped, found on a road and then kept in a pen until he was transported to Allentown Pennsylvania to be fostered by a lady I know and posted on a website that I'm the webmaster of where he was seen by a family and then adopted this week and will now live inside for the rest of his life. And all this was done from Halifax, Nova Scotia. And at the same time I have the most gorgeous white husky living outside next door to me tied to a dog house 24 hours a day dying a slow death 365 days a year that I can do nothing about because his "owner" won't let me. What is wrong with this world?
Smokey as a normal dog - after a one hour bath and some love.
The next thing.
I've got a spirit in the house - my animal communicator Maggie Carruthers came over tonight and we've decided that there is a male spirit here - I told here about one of the old lady's (previous owners) children - young adult - children who died tragically while waiting for an organ transplant in his early twenties - and she said that she sees a male behind Teddy and that may be why he's having problems in the bedroom. Maggie doesn't understand how I can sleep in that room at all it's got so many bad feelings in there. So we're going to have to do a "cleansing" of the house in April.
I was sent a cute dog blog link this week though - it's at http://www.automatedredemption.com/flavorcountry/dogblog/
That is all I can bear for now. I've got to go to bed.
I will leave you with these fancied up pictures though - I love this picture of Buttercup because it's a throw away picture that's been turned into like a work of art - and you look at it and say to yourself - why is she laying on the floor of the washroom, what is she looking at, and what is she waiting for?
Waiting - but what is she waiting for?
This picture of Teddy is a very small cropped picture of a larger picture so that's why it's so grainy
Teddy being chased by something!
Oh yeah - one last thing - this week I came upon an Occupational health Nurse who'd never heard of Abdonimal Migraines and a local dog trainer who HAD heard of choke chains and prong collars and actually USES them - but had never heard of a martingale collar. My mind is BLOWN. Especially by that second person. Is not YOURS!!!!!
Thursday, March 9, 2006
was cleaning out my spam folder this morning and I found the eamil - I received it 2 days ago. Asking for us to donate generously to stop the slaughter that's going to happen in a couple weeks.
I will remind everyone once again that there isn't going to be a seal hunter this year. Only 20-30% of the ice needed to have a hunt is even out there - so the millions of seals will have to wait until next year to be chased around - either by hekapiks - or by the McCartneys.
Either way - I'm sure there's tons of suffering going on in your own backyard that you could take care of if you feel so inclined to, or you could save all your money for next year - or we could say that the McCartney's cut a deal with God and made the ice go away maybe!
Monday, March 6, 2006
Sunday, March 5, 2006
Zeus and Sandy are the dogs who Lloyd Hines are trying to kill up in the municipality of the district of Guysborough up in Guysborough county. I've dedicated my "Skip Guysborough" site to them - which is a website that I built because the municipality of the district of Guysborough has breed bans on both rottweillers and pit bulls, and it is a very small section of Nova Scotia and is really not indicative of our province at all and can be skipped very easily - so as a politically minded dog owner, why spend any of your hard earned tourist dollars there at all? It's just as easy to drive another 5 minutes and spend it in the VERY dog friendly municipality of the district of St. Mary's which is ALSO in Guysborough County. The district of Guysborough actually SEEKS out and trys to kill dogs as shown in the case of Zeus and Sandy which I believe is REPREHENSIBLE and needs to be told to the world!
Well yesterday I discovered that they are as spectacularly super dogs as everyone has said they are. They are - and especially Sandy - happy, well adjusted, normal, house dogs - as you'll ever come across. I of course took Buttercup with me and Sandy was wagging his tail and Buttercup was growling and saying "I want to kill you" and Sandy was saying "you are cute, do you want to play?"
I should mention that the ban in Guysborough was not caused by any incident in that area - but simply based on the whim of the Councillor Lloyd Hines and his hate for dogs, and the current court action of Sandy and Zeus is not based on their genetic heritage - because Sandy is absolutely not a pit bull - as you can tell in these pictures - he is most certainly a lab mix, or a rhodesian ridgeback mix, or a hound mix, but he doesn't have any of the features consistent with the "look" of any of the breeds normally associated with breeds that fall under the umbrella of the pit bull - because we, as savvy dog owners ALL know that pit bull is in fact not one breed - there is no such thing as a pit bull, right? It is a term that generally refers to a look, and a type - and not a breed of dog. And Sandy definitely does not fall under that moniker. Zeus - when I looked at him yesterday is HUGE! He is some kind of a mastiff mix. Pit bull types of generally smaller with wide chests - and his chest was very narrow. He had a huge head and a small chest. Very mastiffy. And very beautiful.
But I got some great pictures - I posted them at http://dogkisser.ca/ZeusandSandy/index.html
If you don't feel like going there though, here's a couple of them!
And then this morning I brought my paper in from the front porch and looking at me from the front page was a fellow who I went to university with - a guy who when we were going to school I actually knew quite well - Trevor Greene. It's seems to me that he'd be too old to be serving in Afghanistan as he'd have to be the same age as me since we were in the same year together and I'm turning 40 this year - but then it said he was a reservist, and that makes sense. And when I read the story in the paper, the circumstances of his injury makes why he was over there make sense too - he was a complete goof ball when we were at the University of King's College here in Halifax, but he also seemed to have a strong moral code at the same time - although it never stopped him from missing a century party or a bay party. That was the great thing about King's - the liquor - I LOVED university! haha! Sorry Mom and Dad! haha! (a century party is where you have to drink 1 ounce of beer every minute for 100 minutes without passing out, and a bay party is what they called parties hosted by the different wings of the men's residences where there was free liquor because they were sponsored by the different residences - I used them mostly as opportunities to spill my free liquor on people I didn't like - 20 years later I can now confess that fact.)
I can't comment on whether we should be in Afghanistan because I come from a military family, and my father (I think) is very proud to have served in the Canadian military - and I am very proud that Canada sends its Canadian armed forces arond the world to help countries in need - like Afghanistan - it's just truly unfortunate that countries like Afghanistan have roads that keep killing our troops - but maybe if some steadiness is brought for enough time they can get some infastructure so that less people die in traffic accidents and then people can really get down to the business of turning the country into what the Afghanis want.
Unfortunately it seems like it was just that infastructure building that is so desparately needed was what Trevor was trying to work on when he was attacked by a crazy person. That is really tragic on so many levels.
Here's the article that was in today's paper...
Canadian soldier hurt in axe attack
Cape Breton native on tour in Afghanistan with reserves
By LES PERREAUX The Canadian Press
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Militants tossing a grenade and firing small arms attacked Canadian soldiers at a meeting with Afghan village elders Saturday but it was a lone man wielding an axe who caused the serious casualty among Canadians.
Lieut. Trevor Greene of Vancouver sat down for a meeting with village elders Saturday afternoon when a man suddenly struck him with an axe.
"He came out of the crowd and pulled out an axe from underneath his clothing and lifted it above his head standing right behind Trevor," said Capt. Kevin Schamuhn, the platoon commander who was sitting at Greene’s side.
"The guy lifted up the axe and cried out the ‘Allah Akbar,’ the jihad prayer before they commit suicide. And he swung the axe into Trevor’s head."
Schamuhn and two other soldiers each fired a volley into the attacker, killing him instantly.
A melee ensued, with local residents running in every direction and more attackers firing small arms from across a river.
Canadian and Afghan soldiers fired their own assault rifles and the Afghans added rocket-propelled grenades.
Moments later, another insurgent threw a grenade at Canadian and Afghan forces. The grenade exploded harmlessly a distance away. Soldiers returned fire at the man. They believe the man was wounded but he escaped.
The meeting was one in a series for the platoon based at a forward staging camp about 60 kilometres north of Kandahar.
Greene, Schamuhn and a security detail were meeting with local elders to talk about possible reconstruction projects when the attack took place.
The two officers removed their helmets and set down their arms as a gesture of trust for elders who traditionally guarantee security at such meetings, known as shura.
"We were completely vulnerable to them and they took complete advantage of that," Schamuhn said.
Greene was evacuated by U.S. Blackhawk helicopter to the Canadian hospital at Kandahar Airfield. He emerged from surgery Saturday afternoon and remains in serious but stable condition.
"We would classify it is absolutely cowardly, a maniac I guess is safe to say," said Col. Tom Putt, the deputy commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan.
The soldiers are camped out at a forward operating base near Gumbad, north of Kandahar, a hotbed of anti-government activity. The small encampment surrounded by farmers’ fields had previously come under rocket attack and several U.S. soldiers died in the area last year.
"The area in question has been one of the transit routes for some time for the Taliban," Putt said.
Greene, a reservist with the Seaforth Highlanders, is an author and journalist based in Vancouver. He has written a book about the missing women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and also co-wrote Closing Bigger: The Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals with Shane Gibson.
"Trevor is a talented author, an amazing dad and partner, the kind of person you can count on always," Gibson said in a statement.
"He is deeply committed to protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians ... keeping in the strictest confidence the nature of his military responsibilities and past experiences while serving our country," Gibson said.
A journalism graduate of the University of King’s College in Halifax, Greene, speaks three languages.
Upon graduation, he spent seven years in Japan, working for the Tokyo bureau of Bloomberg News and Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.
He went on to write a book about Japan’s homeless, that was short-listed for a book prize, and then worked as a research editor with the securities branch of a U.K. investment bank.
A native of Cape Breton, Greene returned to Canada in 1995 to join the navy.
After settling in Vancouver and transferring to the army reserves, Greene joined the Vancouver bureau of Bloomberg News as a general-assignment reporter on business and finance in Canada and Asia.
It’s the second injury in Afghanistan for Greene, who suffered whiplash in February when his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb.
Schamuhn said he was impressed by Greene’s conviction that the army could help the Afghan people.
The attack came as Canadian troops face increasing danger in the restive Kandahar region, including four in the last week alone.
Five Canadians were wounded in a suicide bombing Friday.
Saturday, March 4, 2006
For the first few minutes that Danny Williams was on I didn't know if he was going to do it - he was stammering and not sticking up for himself - but then all of a sudden - WHAM - he just stuck it to them with all barrels. And then funnily enough - he used all my arguments - which was awesome.
I knew he was a scrapper, so when I heard he was going on Larry King Live with them I though - "right on, he's going to eat them alive!" - and by the end of the show - all Heather and Paul were doing was the equivalent of "oh yeah - well, says YOU!" - they were totally beaten down and had been totally blown away by Danny as far as I'm concerned. He met all their arguments with the truth and all they could say was - "well, animals are going to do in 3 weeks and that's all there is to it."
But the thing is, Heather and Paul - millions and millions of animals die every day in the "service of man" - it's just that it happens behind closed doors. You say that seals die only because of fashion so that's why it's so inhumane - but where in the h-e-double hockey sticks does LEATHER come from?
Here's an article from ctv.ca - it's got links to some video interviews with Danny Williams - and also Paul McCartney videos that were on Canadian telivision today:
McCartneys 'misinformed' on seals: N.L. premier
Updated Fri. Mar. 3 2006 11:13 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Scrappy Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams faced off against rock legend-turned-animal rights crusader Paul McCartney during a heated debate on Canada's annual seal hunt Friday night, accusing the former Beatle and his wife of being gravely misinformed.
"First of all, the information that hasn't been given is that 90 per cent of these seals are killed by bullets, they are not all clubbed," Williams said in a debate that aired on CNN's Larry King Live, as Heather Mills McCartney shook her head in apparent disbelief.
She was quick to respond by challenging the premier's argument.
"It's just not true, it's complete and absolute rubbish," she said. "Most of them are shot and clubbed .... And they only use the one bullet, again, because it's used for fur, it's not used for any other thing."
But Williams defended his argument to assert that Mills McCartney was incorrect and that he needed to "set the record straight."
"I live here and I actually know. There is an unfair comparison here that if you go into a beef slaughterhouse or a pork slaughterhouse or a chicken slaughterhouse and you put white sheets down on the floor, well then you are going to see blood," he said.
"If you take the McCartneys' arguments to the extreme that they are willing to go, there will be no beef slaughter, there will be no pork slaughter, there will be no chicken slaughter, there will be no fish in restaurants, there will be no eggs, there will be no milk for children," Williams said.
But Williams was interrupted by Mills McCartney who once again rejected his claims as "rubbish" and accused the premier of going off on a tangent.
At one point, the debate erupted into a shouting match, with Williams saying the McCartneys' efforts would close restaurant chains, while the McCartneys insisted that they were trying to keep them open.
Great Big Sea's Doyle weighs in
Meanwhile, Newfoundland musician Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea added his voice to the hunt debate saying the McCartneys' photo op on the ice is misleading and unfair.
"There has not been a cute and cuddly baby seal hunt in a long, long time," Doyle said in a journal entry from the group's current tour, pointing out that Canada has banned the killing of newborn, whitecoat pups.
"Older harp seals are what the sealers are after, but I'll bet these much uglier dudes won't make the final photo."
The McCartneys have garnered two days of intense media attention for their protest of the hunt.
The couple frolicked with harp seal pups on a Gulf of St. Lawrence ice floe Thursday as a throng of photographers recorded the event.
Wearing orange survival suits, they lay on their bellies to get as close as possible to the newborn seals as an entourage of about three dozen media and animal rights activists stood by.
They issued a statement on the same day calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ban the hunt, which they described as a "stain on the character of the Canadian people."
"Previous Canadian governments have allowed this heartbreaking hunt to continue despite the fact that the majority of its citizens ... are opposed to it,'' the McCartneys said in a statement.
McCartney follows in the footsteps of other stars who have protested the seal hunt including Brigitte Bardot and Pamela Anderson.
In fact, the protest drew Bardot from seclusion Friday to criticize the hunt.
"Seal hunters are killers," Bardot told Montreal all-news channel, LCN. "Your country is a rich country and you are setting an appalling example for the world."
Meanwhile, federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn made it clear the Canadian government wasn't intimidated from the high-profile duo.
"If Paul McCartney thinks that he is going to stop the seal hunt, ahead of him there's a long and winding road, Hearn" said from Paris, where he is attending an international conference.
Friday, March 3, 2006
I had a comment yesterday left on my post about this issue which said:
Joan, you're being really bitchy, you're playing into the hands of animal abusers by saying the HSUS has no right to take issue with this, because however they make their money they ARE putting it to good use. Of course they go where they're going to have attention paid to them. And then they take that money and put it to use where it can be most effective. Compare the pockets of the people employed by HSUS and other humane education orgs, to say, lobbyists for the animal flesh and pelt trade in Canada? Bet there's QUITE a discrepancy. Meanwhile Canada's cruelty laws are still over 100 years old, and they aren't going to be changing over the next four years, that's for sure!
The thing I have to say about this is that the Humane Society of the United States is like a lot of large corporations - they have their fingers into a lot of different issues. The HSUS did amazing things with the Katrina disaster, they do amazing things with homeless dogs, with humane education, with vegetarianism, with the ideas about companion animals and senior citizens - I totally respect Wayne Pacelle. I just think that when it comes to the sealing industry that they are completely wrong. The people running that wing of the organization have a different agenda and it's not an agenda that is correct and it's a blight on the rest of the HSUS corporation. It's as simple as that.
I have said this before ad nauseum on this blog but I'll say it again here what I think about the sealing industry - I think it's as wrong as any other inhumane abattoire - but the fact is that it's an abattoire without walls and that's the only difference. And that's why it's so easy to attack by humane organizations and why it's such a successful (and easy) money maker for them. You can't hide the blood out on the ice floes - you can't shut the press out, or get your security to run the people away out on the ice floes. The people doing the killing are just simple fishermen - not high powered corporations, like the huge farming operations where the million pig farms are becoming.
And because of that they are an easy target - and a way for these people to ask for your money. And in a couple weeks - or sooner - you are going to get the above picture in an email from Rebecca Aldworth asking you for money to end the barbaric seal hunt. I could use some money too. Why don't you send half to her and half to me. Buttercup needs a new pair of shoes.
For an example of what I consider to be Paul McCartney's complete misinformation on the whole business of this story - here's today's Chronicle Herald story that was in the paper today:
Seal hunt "stain’ on Canada
Superstar McCartneys pose with whitecoats on ice floes; Fisheries officials defend cull, saying population has tripled
By CHRIS MORRIS The Canadian Press
GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE — The annual seal hunt off the East Coast is a "stain on the character of the Canadian people," music legend Paul McCartney said Thursday as he and his wife Heather staged a high-profile, anti-hunt protest on barren ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The megastar couple called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the centuries-old commercial slaughter by buying back hunters’ licences and promoting eco-tourism instead.
"We don’t want to see the local people suffer," McCartney said after the couple laid on their bellies to get a close-up look at newborn harp seals on an ice pan about 20 kilometres northwest of Iles de la Madeleine.
"But, from what we hear, it is quite a small amount of their annual revenue and this could be easily sorted out by the Canadian government, if they care to do it."
The McCartneys travelled by small plane from Charlottetown to Iles de la Madeleine, 160 kilometres northeast of Prince Edward Island. They then flew by helicopter to the ice floes.
Dressed in bright orange survival suits to ward off the bitter cold, the 63-year-old former Beatle and his wife posed for photos with snow-white pups as a media entourage of about 20 reporters and photographers looked on.
"We’re calling upon Stephen Harper and the government to consider looking at this problem . . . in the light of the international objections," McCartney said.
"Canada is known as a great nation . . . But this is something that leaves a stain on the character of the Canadian people and we don’t think that’s right. I don’t think the vast amount of Canadians think that’s right."
The date for the start of this year’s hunt has yet to be set, though it usually begins in late March. The 2006 quota is also under review.
McCartney cooed and spoke softly as he came almost nose to nose with bawling pups on the frozen expanse.
Nearby, worried mother seals peered anxiously from open water, clearly frightened by the people who so desperately want to be their saviours.
"These are such beautiful animals and in about three weeks from now this whole place will be a sea of red and these pups we are seeing today will be dead just for their fur," a genuinely upset McCartney told reporters.
"It’s something that shouldn’t be happening in this day and age."
Jean-Claude Lapierre of the sealers association on Iles de la Madeleine said the hunt will go ahead as planned.
"These people don’t understand what the hunt means to us," Lapierre said at the local airport where he greeted McCartney but didn’t get an opportunity to debate the issue.
"It’s an important part of our lives."
The most recent figures suggest the industry, which started in the 1700s, was worth between $15 million and $20 million annually and employed up to 10,000 people, most of them in Newfoundland. Supporters argue that income from the harvest is vital to remote communities with few economic opportunities.
The McCartneys, longtime animal rights activists, noted the Canadian government had approved a three-year management plan in 2003 that set the total quota for harp seals at 975,000 — a move that prompted renewed outrage among conservation groups.
Phil Jenkins, a spokesman for the federal Fisheries Department, said he took the opportunity to make Ottawa’s case directly to McCartney when he spoke with him during a flight into Charlottetown on Wednesday night.
"Sir Paul McCartney said that he had heard that the seal population was declining and there was a conservation issue," Jenkins said.
"In fact, the seal population is at 5.8 million animals and that’s about triple what is was in the 1970s."
Jenkins said he was concerned by the McCartneys’ decision to pose with the youngest harp seals, known as whitecoats, because hunters have been banned from killing them since 1987.
By law, harp seals must not be killed until they lose their white fur. That can happen in as little as 12 days, but most of the seals taken are about 25 days old, the Fisheries Department says.
Thursday’s protest was organized by the Humane Society of the United States and the British-based group, Respect for Animals.
Earlier, the McCartneys released a statement describing the hunt as brutal, and they cited a 2001 independent veterinarian report that concluded close to half of the seals killed were likely still conscious when skinned.
The Fisheries Department says it has an independent report that suggests otherwise. "Sometimes a seal may appear to be moving after it has been killed; however seals have a swimming reflex that is active — even after death," the department’s website says.
"This reflex gives the false impression that the animal is still alive when it is clearly dead."
Thursday, March 2, 2006
As I've said many times - I am anti-seal hunt. I'm also anti-cow, anti-pig, and anti-chicken. I'm also very anti-spin.
It seems to me that the anti-seal hunt people must be very low on cash this year because there's no ice out on the ocean - so they've had to bring in the really big guns like Paul McCartney and Heather Mills to have their pictures taken with baby white coated seals - which is exactly what the press releases say. But the spin doctors also say that those are the seals that the hunters are killing - that the McCartney's have come to watch the carnage of the seal hunt - but the thing is that there is no seal hunt - there is no ice, there is no seal hunt. Even the McCartney's can't go watch the seals because the ice is too thin for them to land their helicpoters. And the baby seals they want to go hug can't be killed because the law forbids it. The hunters have to wait until the seals have lost their white cute coats.
So it's all bullshit spin. But I can absolutely guarantee you that in a couple weeks I am going to get an email from Rebecca Aldworth asking me for money to help end the barbaric seal hunt and it's going to have a picture of Paul McCartney with a baby white coated seal somewhere in the shot - and 1000's of people are going to give their hard earned dollars to the HSUS because of that email, thinking that they are helping to end some atrocity. They aren't. All they are doing is coating the pockets of any business - a business that needs income just like any other - and this is the way they make it. It disgusts me that they make it off the backs of the seals this way - they just don't stick a hekapik through the forehead of the seals - but if the seal hunt was banned - what would they do then? They'd have to go find a real job too. Think about that for a second.
When you get the same email from Rebecca Aldworth that I'm going to get - don't give your money to her - give it to a local rescue in your geographical area - so that you can see where the money is going and see the concrete effects that your money is going to have. Or even better - give money to an organization that is trying to end the torture of all the millions of food animals that goes on under your nose and in your backyard everyday.
There isn't going to be a seal hunt this year because there is no ice on the east coast of Canada - The McCartneys are unable to fly a helicopter out to hug a baby seal and get their photo-op because of it - I'm sure the seals are more than happy that they won't have to deal with the seal hunters AND the McCartney's and their entourage!!
Here's the news stories that have been in the local news for your enjoyment:
Let them be: McCartneys coming to protest seal hunt
By CHRIS LAMBIE Staff Reporter
Animal rights activists hope the Canadian government listens to what the man says when Sir Paul McCartney comes to the Maritimes this week to speak out against the seal hunt.
While the cute Beatle and his wife Heather will be based on Prince Edward Island during their two-day stay slated to begin Thursday, organizers say the couple will also touch down in Nova Scotia.
"His feet will walk right over Nova Scotia soil, I can guarantee that," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for the Humane Society of the United States.
Officials are keeping details of exactly when that will happen closely guarded for security reasons.
"At least on the way back he’ll certainly be going through Nova Scotia," Ms. Aldworth said.
Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Sir Paul will need a little luck to make the whole thing work out.
"We’re actually not allowed to release their location at all," Ms. Aldworth said.
"They will be out in this neck of the woods. But how they’re getting here, their security people won’t let us say to anybody. … It’s important that they keep their location fairly discreet."
One of McCartney’s websites says he and his wife plan "to observe beautiful, pure white newborn harp seal pups, sentenced to death by the Canadian seal hunt."
According to the website, paulmccartney.com, the McCartneys want the federal government to direct sealers to let the pups be.
"Heather and Paul will be calling on the new Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, to stop this brutal commercial hunt," says the website.
Protest organizers will take the couple out in a helicopter to see seals.
"We will be showing them the newborn seals and, of course, they’ll be filmed and photographed with them," Ms. Aldworth said.
Ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the seals normally give birth, has been thin this winter due to unusually mild weather. A recent cold snap has caused some ice to form.
"Right now there is landable ice out there and about 30 per cent of the seal pups have been born," Ms. Aldworth said.
"So there will be seals to see and ice to land on. The only question really in the longer term is how long that will hold, and whether or not it will hold through the hunt."
The McCartneys want to see "the beauty and majesty of baby seals on the ice floes that are their birthing ground," said John Grandy, senior vice-president of the humane society.
They’ll make at least two trips out to the ice, said the biologist.
"We’re hoping that the support of people like Paul McCartney and his wife Heather will help bring worldwide attention to this travesty," Mr. Grandy said. "This is really an abomination."
Not everybody will be welcoming the couple with open arms.
"I think it would be a good idea for him to mind his own business," said Jason Mac-Donald, a lobster fisherman and seal hunter in Merigomish, Pictou County.
"The only reason it’s a big deal is seals look cute and cuddly."
Sealing is a legitimate industry that requires a two-year apprenticeship, said the 32-year-old.
"It’s not just grab a club and go beat a seal and you’re a seal hunter.
"It’s no more or less humane than any other harvest or slaughter of animals."
Hunters aim to crush a seal’s skull with one blow, he said.
"They’re not barbarians that just climbed out of a tree," Mr. MacDonald said. "They’re guys trying to provide for their families."
Animal rights groups that bring in stars to pose for photos with baby seals have another agenda, he said.
"Every once in a while they need to raise some money so they come take some pictures of these poor innocent little things getting killed," Mr. MacDonald said.
and from today's Chronicle Herald:
Conditions may leaveMcCartney on thin ice
By ALISON AULD The Canadian Press
Paul McCartney might have to tread lightly when he and his entourage of five helicopters touch down on the ice floes off Prince Edward Island to stage a high-profile protest against the annual seal hunt.
The legendary musician was hoping to take his wife Heather, a contingent of international media and animal rights activists to a barren stretch of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence today to catch a glimpse of newborn seal pups, but the ice pans are much thinner than usual this year.
"I’d be a bit leery about landing a heavy machine like that, loaded with people, on ice that should be a bit thicker in terms of safety," Frank Ring, spokesman for the federal Fisheries Department said Wednesday.
Organizers of the trip were prevented from flying over the area Wednesday because of bad weather.
Rebecca Aldworth, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, said the group was trying to figure out what to do if the weather or the ice conditions remain poor.
Earlier, the society’s Andrew Plumbley said portions of ice off P.E.I.’s northern coast seemed to be thickening up after a recent cold snap.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed," Plumbley said from Charlottetown, where the couple is expected to be based in an undisclosed location.
"We’re checking the ice just to make sure because obviously we don’t want Paul McCartney ending up in the water."
McCartney was spotted Wednesday afternoon at the airport in St. John’s, N.L., before he and his wife boarded a flight for Halifax.
Meanwhile, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams said he’s disappointed and annoyed by McCartney’s visit, adding he would like to meet the aging rock star to correct misinformation about the harvest.
"I am assuming McCartney has never . . . taken the time to be educated about the positive facts surrounding our annual seal harvest," Williams said in a statement Wednesday.
"I find it offensive and insulting that an individual with such international influence would come to our province and pass judgment on individuals who are participating in an industry that sustains their lives."
At least 70 per cent of the seals killed during the hunt are taken from the ice floes in a remote area north of Newfoundland.
But protesters rarely travel to the area, known as the Front, because the smaller hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is much easier to reach.
Organizers say McCartney plans to travel to the ice to "interact" with the doe-eyed pups as part of a larger international campaign by the Humane Society and British-based Respect for Animals to have the controversial hunt stopped.
But McCartney will have to keep his hands to himself and avoid getting too close to the sometimes cantankerous creatures because federal regulations prohibit people from disturbing marine mammals "unless authorized to do so under a valid licence."
"That means people shouldn’t be touching them," said Ring, adding that violations can lead to charges.