Monday, April 26, 2010

The Circle of L♥ve - my family of animal lovers - right from the get-go

Jan, over at Jan's Funny Farm, is recognizing that pets play an important part in the lives of children. How in the world could I pass that one up - nope, not me!

Joshua and Cody, 2008
The last little boy born into my son Jeff's family meeting the first dog he's ever known from a puppy. Joshua had just been instructed how to greet and meet a puppy when you want to make friends. Needless to say, Cody, is now a treasured member of the family spreading joy and fun wherever his four paws take him.

Ben, the grandson that is more me than I am at times. This is the little boy who will kiss a snake right on the lips and not think twice at what he had just done. This is the little boy who will bring his swim trunks over to his Mimi's house when the dogs need their Saturday night bath. Ben hops into the tub, grabs a sponge and scrubs one side of a dog while his Mimi cleans the other. Animals instinctively love Ben. They know he is their friend and someone they can count on no matter what.

Ben and Scout, 2009
One of my great joys was finding out that Ben's parents would be getting a German Shepherd pup and a Golden Retriever pup to liven up their family of three, little boys. They sure did it right! Both puppies were adopted into their family within two weeks of each other. One puppy to house-train is work - two is insanity in my opinion but with the addition of a doggie door that led to a large kennel off the side of their house the job got done and the carpets are now dry - well, most of the time unless Cody grabs his water bowl and carries it into the living-room.

Head on over to the fambly kittens blog to see more sweet photos of children and pets.

PeeEss: Digby is feeling a teeny, tiny bit better today. Miracles do happen - just ask our dear Maxdog in South Africa. When word gets out that one of our kind needs us we are there encircling them in prayer, purrs and paws. Keep up the good work!
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Digby is fighting the good fight - please offer your support and l♥ve

If you have not already gone to Wilf and Digby's blog, please go there now. Dear Digby is fighting the good fight against all odds - let's hold his paw and send prayers to the s of the people who love him so dearly.

There are ties that bind all of us together - through the miles and through our vast Universe - the love of another being who oftentimes behaves in a more loving and human manner than ourselves.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Friday, April 23, 2010

YES YES YES Encourage your representatives and senators to SUPPORT H.R. 5092

The HSUS Calls on Congress to Enact New Law Aimed at Cracking Down on Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos

H.R. 5092 introduced with bipartisan support of more than 50 original cosponsors

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund urge Congress to work quickly to provide law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on traffickers of animal "crush" videos by passing H.R. 5092. Introduced on Wednesday by Reps. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., James Moran, D-Va., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and more than 50 other Representatives, this narrowly-crafted statute is designed to end the intentional crushing, burning, drowning and impaling of puppies, kittens and other animals for the depraved purpose of peddling videos of such extreme acts of animal cruelty for the sexual titillation of viewers.

H.R. 5092 was introduced immediately in response to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Stevens. The Court ruled that a law introduced by Rep. Gallegly and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1999, the Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act, was "overbroad" and might capture depictions protected by the First Amendment. The Court acknowledged the long history of animal protection laws in the United States and left open a pathway for Congress to pass a more targeted law aimed at "extreme animal cruelty."

Before the 1999 law was enacted, there were approximately 3,000 of these horrific videos available in the marketplace, selling for up to $300 apiece. That market all but disappeared soon after the law was passed, but since a federal appellate court declared the law unconstitutional in July 2008, crush videos have again proliferated on the Internet.

"Congress should act quickly to enact this legislation to prevent some of the most extreme forms of animal cruelty I have ever seen," said Wayne Pacelle, president & CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Anyone who has seen the clips of women in high heels literally crushing small animals will understand the urgency in passing a bill to prevent the sale of these vile images."

"Violence is not a First Amendment issue; it is a law enforcement issue," Rep. Elton Gallegly said. "Ted Bundy and Ted Kaczynski tortured or killed animals before killing people. The FBI, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice consider animal cruelty to be one of the early warning signs of potential violence by youths. This bill is one step toward ending this cycle of violence."

"I refuse to stand by while people profit from the mutilation and torture of helpless puppies, kittens and other animals." said Rep. Jim Moran. "I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Gallegly to respond to this decision while preserving the constitutional freedoms all Americans hold dear."

"Animal cruelty is not something to celebrate and circulate online," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer. "On the heels of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, we're taking immediate and bipartisan action to protect animals without infringing on the right to free speech. The bottom line is that we need to protect animals from being tortured or killed in a manner that is criminal or morally reprehensible. No one should be allowed to profit from so-called crush videos or other images of animal cruelty."

The following 56 Representatives are original cosponsors of H.R. 5092:

Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

Mary Bono-Mack, R-Calif.

Kevin Brady, R-Texas

Henry Brown, R-S.C.

Dan Burton, R-Ind.

John Campbell, R-Calif.

Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Lois Capps, D-Calif.

Mike Castle, R-Del.

Howard Coble, R-N.C.

Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

Susan Davis, D-Calif.

Bill Delahunt, D-Mass.

Mike Doyle, D-Pa.

Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.

Sam Farr, D-Calif.

Bob Filner, D-Calif.

Randy Forbes, R-Va.

Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.

Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.

John Hall, R-Texas

Phil Hare, D-Ill.

Rush Holt, D-N.J.

Steve Israel, D-N.Y.

Dale Kildee, D-Mich.

Peter King, R-N.Y.

Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio

Jerry Lewis, R-Calif.

John Lewis, D-Ga.

John Linder, R-Ga.

Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.

Buck McKeon, R-Calif.

Gary Miller, R-Calif.

Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

Gwen Moore, D-Wis.

Jim Moran, D-Va.

John Olver, D-Mass.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

Steven Rothman, D-N.J.

Ed Royce, R-Calif.

Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.

Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.

Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.

Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Aaron Schock, R-Ill.

Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

Lamar Smith, R-Texas

Betty Sutton, D-Ohio

Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Diane Watson, D-Calif.

Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.

Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

Frank Wolf, R-Va.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Momma, PUT THE CAMERA DOWN, please! We gotta' GO!

Note from momma: whenever Scout wants to be let out the door, get extra love, get someone to play with him, sample something off my plate - you get the picture - he grabs one of his stuffies so he will look extra cute - he sure knows how to wrap himself around his momma'sheart - as if he had to try...
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court upholds the viewing and selling of CRUSH VIDEOS AND DOG FIGHT VIDEOS!

Mimi's note: I am an American. I am a proud American. I love my country. With that said, I also want to state that those who are charged with upholding and interpreting our Constitution stretch what our forefathers intended TOO FAR! My heart is breaking. I can't stop crying. I rail against the Supreme Court's inhumane decision. I won't tell you what I wish for each and every one of them - democrat or republican or independent. Right now - this very minute - I AM ASHAMED to live in a country where such ignorance is held up as the foundation to our Freedom of Speech.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court, with only one dissenting vote Tuesday, struck down a federal ban on videos that show graphic violence against animals. The ruling cheered free speech advocates, but it raised concerns that more animals will be harmed.

The justices threw out the criminal conviction of Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., who was sentenced to three years in prison for videos he made about pit bull fights.

The law was enacted in 1999 to limit Internet sales of so-called crush videos, which appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

The videos virtually disappeared once the measure became law, the government argued. The Bush administration used the law for the first time when it indicted Stevens in 2004.

All 50 states have laws against animal cruelty, but the federal statute targeted the videos because it has been difficult to prosecute people who take part in violence against animals with a camera rolling, but not showing their faces.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the law goes too far. He suggested that a measure limited to crush videos might be valid.

The Humane Society of the United States said it would press Congress to adopt a narrower ban on the sale of videos showing "malicious acts of cruelty." Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is looking at whether there is a way "to protect animal rights, which really is the main focus, without infringing on free speech," Blumenauer spokeswoman Erin Allweiss said.

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, a dog owner himself, said the harm animals suffer in dogfights is enough to sustain the law. Alito's dog, Zeus, a springer spaniel, is sometimes seen around the court being walked by Alito's wife, Martha-Ann.

Alito also said the ruling probably will spur new crush videos because it has "the practical effect of legalizing the sale of such videos."

Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle said hundreds of crush videos appeared on the Internet after a federal appeals court ruled in Stevens' favor in 2008. "This court ruling is going to accelerate that trend. That's why it's critical that the Congress take action," he said.

Other animal rights groups, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and 26 states also joined the Obama administration in support of the law. The government sought a ruling that treated videos showing animal cruelty like child pornography – that is, not entitled to constitutional protection.

But Roberts said the law could be read to allow the prosecution of the producers of films about hunting. And he scoffed at the administration's assurances that it would only apply the law to depictions of extreme cruelty.

"But the First Amendment protects against the government," Roberts said. "We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it responsibly."

Free speech advocates praised Tuesday's ruling.

"Speech is protected whether it's popular or unpopular, harmful or unharmful," said David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition. The group submitted a brief siding with Stevens on behalf of booksellers, documentary film makers, theater owners, writers groups and others.

Stevens ran a business and Web site that sold videos of pit bull fights. He is among a handful of people prosecuted under the animal cruelty law, none of them for making crush videos. He noted in court papers that his sentence was 14 months longer than professional football player Michael Vick's prison term for running a dogfighting ring.

A federal judge rejected Stevens' First Amendment claims, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in his favor.

The administration persuaded the high court to intervene, but for the second time this year, the justices struck down a federal law on free speech grounds. In January, the court invalidated parts of a 63-year-old law aimed at limiting corporate and union involvement in political campaigns.

The case is U.S. v. Stevens, 08-769.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

They stay with us until the end - and beyond - what do we do for them?

This is Lady
STARK COUNTY -- A golden retriever named "Lady" was a good and loyal dog until the end.

Police and an investigator with the Stark County Coroner's Office believe that Lady stayed by her owner's side in a field just outside of Hartville for almost a week.

Parley Nichols, 81, was found dead there Wednesday night, about a mile from his home.

Nichols had dementia and was reported missing on April 8.

Even though family members passed out fliers and searched for Nichols, his body was only discovered after Lady barked at a passerby.

"This dog would not leave his side," said Stark County Coroner's Investigator Harry Campbell. "No question, she stayed out there on her own volition.

"(Lady) saw another human and started barking and wailing," said Campbell.

The preliminary findings of an autopsy lead the Stark County Coroner to believe that Nichols suffered a natural death due to heart and lung disease.

Campbell said the dog likely drank water from a nearby drainage ditch. But there were no signs of food near Nichols.

Campbell also said that a local newspaper dated April 7 was found with Nichols.

Family members are now caring for Lady.

Mary Nichols believes that Lady was with her relative the whole time he was missing. When asked if her family takes comfort in knowing that Parley Nichols was not alone when he died, Mary Nichols responded, "Yes."
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Sunday, April 18, 2010

L♥ve is all there is...

No matter where I go or what I do - everyone I meet can see the hugs and kisses that my momma put around my neck. I am a furry much loved dog and that is just the best kind of dog to be - purebred or mutt - human or dog - being loved is better than anything in the whole, wide world.

Have you hugged your dog today?

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MAN BITES DOG - I have NEVER seen anything like this - REMARKABLE!

Mimi's note: When I first saw these I thought the article would be about some new artist that made ceramics or pottery - not CAKES! My gosh, who in the world would ever want to cut into one of these, especially when it looked like their precious pet! I'm still stunned! Enjoy!(PeeEss, I heard they wanted to make a Mango but they ran out of cake mix and frosting☺)

Desserts Disguised as Dogs One might say that when artist and baker Debbie Goard sits down to design a custom-made cake, she uses her instincts—her animal instincts.

Inspired by her passion for the four-legged, furry, and feathered, since 2006, she's crafted hundreds of animal-inspired cakes through her Oakland, Calif.-based bakery, Debbie Does Cakes.

Once a handbag designer, Goard, 41, stumbled upon her talent for cake design 20 years ago in her native Raleigh, N.C., when she was asked to fill in as the house decorator.

"I was a starving artist looking for a job in fashion," she recalls, "and I had been thinking of going into fine art. To make ends meet, I started working part-time at a bakery. When they asked me to take over decorating, I started doing it, and I realized I was pretty good at it."

After moving to California and briefly working at an adult entertainment themed bake shop, the self-taught cake whiz decided to start her own business.

"I started experimenting," she says. "I love fashion and animals, so that's what I started designing."

Inspired by Pepino, her 12-year-old Chihuahua, she made her first cake. To see what people thought of her work, she and a friend brought it to a restaurant.

Sure enough, the edible pup turned heads.

"We put it on the table, and people thought it was real!" she says. "I thought, Wow. I may be onto something."

Today at Debbie Does Cakes, where she's the sole baker and designer, Goard specializes in ornate cakes modeled after ordinary real-life objects (like sneakers, or popcorn) and of course, animals.

To turn out six elaborate cakes a week, she works all seven days, beginning each morning by answering emails with requests, and then rendering designs on her computer. Around mid-week, she rolls up her sleeves, rips open the flour and sugar, and starts baking.

Ironically, "I still don't enjoy baking," says Goard with a chuckle. Without much of a sweet tooth, she says she rarely feels compelled to sample her work—"unless it's some special flavor."

To construct her cakes, which start at $200, she uses four varieties of a dense pound cake "to give me the texture I need," she says, as well as stiff fondant icing.

And to achieve the realistic detailing on her cakes, "I use my airbrush pretty extensively," she says.

Of all the animal cakes she's baked—which range from warthogs to scorpions, kittens to pugs—she says she's proudest of giraffe cake she made for a little boy's birthday. "It was a baby giraffe, and it was pretty awesome," she says. "It was almost two feet tall!"

While it hasn't always been smooth sailing—"I had a bunch of cake-mares in the beginning!" she says—she's become well-known in the Bay Area for her wow-worthy goodies.

"I love what I do," says Goard, who's currently working on a sea turtle. "It’s been pretty amazing."

Click here to see a gallery of Goard's dog cakes!

National Canine Cancer Foundation