Monday, January 31, 2011

Please cross your paws for the people of Egypt...

Regardless of your political leanings, the current events in Egypt will lead to suffering and death and pain and hunger - for the young, for the old and for the innocent. That is the way it is when any country experiences unrest and its people take to the streets to demand change.

As you sit at your laptop or PC this evening - take note of the safety you feel in your home. Listen to the quiet - the peace - and realize that not all human beings are as fortunate as you and I.

May God bless the people of Egypt as they search for freedom and may He protect her children from harm.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Friday, January 28, 2011

Only in America: Government produced 2,400 pages on HOW TO WALK YOUR DOG in a park

Mimi's note: Only in American could our politicians and bureaucrats and government employees come up with 2.400 pages on how to walk your dog in a National Park. Of course, they rationalize the document and it's results, but YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING - sadly, they are not kidding. On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama promised to streamline government, reorganize agencies and eliminate unnecessary rules to get bureaucracy out of the way of economic growth.

The challenge of that lofty goal is perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the case of the National Park Service and its attempt to establish rules for dog-walking at San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Two weeks ago, the park service released a draft environmental impact statement on proposed new rules for dog walkers. The report, years in the making, is 2,400 pages long.

Obama on Tuesday night mocked the sometimes overlapping regulatory regimes of federal agencies and said, “In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America.”

He also made note of his own recent executive order on regulatory review, saying: “I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.”

Both were straightforward commitments, but experts in government regulation warn that it’s not nearly so easy as it sounds. Even when the underlying issue is absurdly simple, government regulation is a complex process because of overlapping laws, court mandates and decades of regulatory history, and it may be hard to quickly turn around.

The dog-walking rule is an entertaining example.

According to the park service proposal, the rule grows out of a years-long dispute about off-leash dog-walking in the national parks along the San Francisco shore. The parks were originally run by state and local entities, becoming part of the National Park System in the late 1970s. But when the National Park Service took over the beachfront lands, it agreed not to enforce the rule that applies in all other national parks: no off-leash dog-walking. Instead, the park service established guidelines based on historical use of the areas, allowing off-leash dogs in some areas.

But over time, conflicts arose between dogs and protected species in the recreation area, such as the California red-legged frog, as well as between dog people and non-dog people. A court finally ordered the park service to write rules governing dog-walking in the recreation area. That was nearly six years ago.

The park service attempted to bring the various interested parties together to hammer out a deal on new rules, but after 18 months, no consensus was reached and the effort was scrapped, said Howard Levitt, communications director for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

So the park service had to write a rule, governed by laws that require a whole series of specific steps designed to promote transparency and fairness, including public comment periods and environmental impact statements.

Levitt said the park service has taken some ribbing for releasing a 2,400-page document, but he notes that the rules govern 21 different areas of the park, with five separate alternatives considered for each area.

“If you are going to do a thorough analysis of these areas, it requires a whole lot of work and depth,” Levitt said. “If you are going to be open and transparent about that, which is what the policy requires, it is going to add up to a lot of heft.”

Levitt said the agency hopes to be able to issue a final rule in about two years.

Bob Irvin of Defenders of Wildlife said:“It’s never easy to reorganize government or streamline rules. It doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy goal to pursue, but the reality is that a lot of government regulation occurs for reasons that Americans really care about.”

Irvin points out that people want both clean water and a fair process for regulating water quality. Irvin said that “while it is frustrating that all of this seems so cumbersome,” the regulatory process “is a way of protecting us all, because otherwise every time we have an election and the political winds shift, rights and responsibilities could change dramatically.”

An industry attorney who has spent years working on regulatory matters noted that every administration since at least President Jimmy Carter has launched some kind of regulatory reform effort, but none has made much long-term difference.

“If it were easy to fix, it would have been done a long time ago,” the source said.

This attorney suggested that rather than a sweeping restructuring of federal agencies, some narrower technical changes could dramatically improve the regulatory climate for business, such as creating an independent body akin to the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the costs and benefits of regulatory proposals.

Whatever Obama is considering for restructuring or reform of agencies, the White House apparently has not shared any ideas with Congress yet — which would ultimately have to approve any reorganization. Industry and public interest lobbyists said they had not been consulted before the State of the Union address, and the White House offered no details Wednesday.

Asked for more details of how the plan will be crafted or by when, Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman Moira Mack said in an e-mail: “In the coming weeks, the Administration will begin the process of putting a plan together for Congress to consider. We need to go through the federal government and identify where we can merge, consolidate, and cut. Specifically, as the President said, he is approaching this through the lens of what ‘best serves the goal of a more competitive America.’”

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Call it bad names and say it stinks BUT cat turds are delicious!

Newsflash: National pet food marketing firm reports, "Next to week old fish, decaying road kill, and napkins from a woman's monthly you know what, dogs vote cat poop favorite flavor."

Yuck is right, because immediately after sampling this savory snack, dogs tend to engage in their other canine-specialty: the big wet kiss. Unfortunately, you don't know the affectionate gesture's laced with a slimy stink until it's too late.

Why do dogs don this eclectic assortment of culinary cravings? The answer lies in studies of free-roaming, human-avoiding dogs in rural areas of other countries. These dogs don't survive by playing the great four-legged hunter. Instead, they raid the mother lode of trash cans: the local dump. And with all the competition amongst rival groups, they can't be choosy. If it smells edible, the rule is "Eat first; and ask questions later."

But why do your refined city dogs engage in scavenging like these rural heathen hounds? And why your cat's poop? Because they can and because it's there. Some owners are lucky because their dogs haven't figured it out. Once they do, it's "end of story." Dogs practically lie in wait for a chance at this secret stash. Will kitty leave them a tasty treat this time? Once the prize is placed, it stares them in the eye like a luscious brownie on the third day of your no-chocolate-diet.

Needless to say, trying to break Fido of this habit is a losing cause. And scooping the litter box immediately after each of Kitty's deposits is simply not possible for mere mortals. Luckily, we can manipulate the environment to restrict dogs' access and get our way. For example, if your Fido is Fifi-sized, you can elevate the litter box out of pooch-range. The top of a desk or cabinet could work fine. Of course, you have to be sure Kitty is comfortable jumping that high.

For large-breed dogs, you can designate a room for Kitty's litter boxes and place a baby gate in the doorway -- but raise it about a foot off the ground. A better bet would be a personal passage for your cats to their private lavatory in a separate room or closet. You can either try a magnetic or electronic kitty door that will only open for pets wearing the collar key. Or you can try my personal favorite: the "Cathole" -- a mouse-hole shaped entryway that you insert into a door. It's big enough for both regular as well as plus-sized cats but keeps most dogs -- and infants, for that matter -- out. Even with the enticement of last night's table scraps, neither my 35-pound Australian cattle dog, nor my 20-pound Scottie (who, due to some weird act of nature, has the same-sized head and teeth but a smaller body than the cattle dog) could shove her way through past her chest. They just paddled and strained, their heads protruding through like mounted trophies.

The Cathole even looks pretty nice. It has an optional brush insert which grooms your cat every time she passes through, and you can stain the wood to match or complement your door's design. The one down side is that you do need to install it. That means you have to take the door off its hinges and cut a hole using a jigsaw and the included template. Luckily, the Cathole comes with instructions designed to guide even the most mechanically challenged. The company's web page includes pictures showing how to remove your door, and the paper instructions remind you to make the hole at the bottom of the door rather than accidentally making it at the top. All in all, the process is pretty simple and probably worth your while. The best part is that if you place the litter box far enough away from the hole and in a location that your cat finds suitable, your pooch poop-eating problem could be solved for good.

You can find different door options at and

And if you feel guilty for denying Fido his favorite doo-doo delicacy, you can offer him Cat Logs for Dogs -- a dog treat designed to look like real poop replicas. Adapted from an article originally appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001.
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A gift for all who l♥ved, and mourn, the Luke...

This morning I received an email from Ann of Zoolatry, who has much more talent with PhotoShop than most folks I know. Inside was a gift from her to all of us whose lives were touched by our gentle the Luke. This button is free for the taking and free for the using because, after all, the Luke gave all he had to the world freely and without reservation.

Of course, Ann's gift has me bawling again (I don't think all that salt is good for my recently operated on eye) but that is what us humans do when we mourn. Our furry companions do otherwise - they mourn a little, they move on and they celebrate life. I hope today all of us who mourn the Luke's completion of his Circle of Life do a little celebrating, too. I'm sure he would like that - very much.

PeeEss: In order to grab the button, click on it and then you can copy it from the screen that pops up!
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It is with deep sadness that we must tell you that the LUKE has passed away...

I just received this message from the Luke's Auntie Karen:

Amanda is so blessed to have such wonderful support and friends all over the Country.  It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Luke lost his battle this morning.  With his precious Mom by his side, Uncle Tom, Aunt Karen and the wonderful Dr. Mark in the room we said good bye to this beautiful boy.  I know he will live on forever in our hearts.  I can just see him at the rainbow bridge now telling all the other dogs his story....and what a story!  Luke was a wonderful sweet golden he will be missed by us all.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to Amanda, she appreciates everyones thoughts and prayers.  I know she will get back with all of her bloggers...she does miss everyone, she just needs a little time.  All the cards of well wishes will be much appreciated.  Luke was loved by all I know that will help her deal with his loss. 

Keep in touch and thank you for all you do for animal rescue and for my dear friend,


Your cards and letters are even MORE imPAWtant now that the Luke has gone to Heaven. They will help the Mom and the Bleu work through their immense grief. We will look outside tonight in the midnight sky for the Luke's star - it will be the biggest and brighest - we know that in our hearts.

Our momma will be making a donation this evening to Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston in the Luke's name to honor sharing his life as a rescue with all of us in blogger-land.  

Good-bye dear friend, we will NEVER forget your gentle presence in our lives
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Snow angels - you never know when they'll drop by...

Ya gotta biggy-fy this one ta reads it...

If you is just droppin' by taday, please read yesterday's post, too, so's you know 'bout our lve-fest for the Luke.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Callin' all furends of the LUKE an' the MOM - we needs youz help NOW!

We are needin' your help an' we gotta do this fast 'cuz the Luke needs some really strong Power of the Paw that he can see an' smell an' touch an' so does the mom. Our momma contacted Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston an' got PURRmission to send cards an' good wishes to the Luke usin' their address (the Luke is kinda shy 'bout his) an' sssshhhhh, you can't tell the Luke or the Mom or the Bleu 'bout this. If they wander over they will find out but we have pee-mail that tells us the Mom is not watchin' her bloggy 'cause it makes her sad an' she doesn't wanna be sad 'round the Luke.

So, tell your momma or dadda that you needs a card to send to the Luke (Valentines an' friendship cards are good) an' tell your momma or dadda that you will help by lickin' the envelope an' escorting' your momma or dadda to the USPS office (walks are good fur alla' us, ya know).

We gotta hurry an' hurry fast 'cause the Luke is gettin' ready to complete his Circle of Life an' will be leavin' fur Heaven, but we don't want him to go anywhere 'til he sees alla' our cards an' letters so he can carry alla' our lve wif him to keep him warm when he watches us from the stars an' waits fur the Mom an' us to come see him when we do our Circle of Life.

Send cards an' letters an' good stuff to:
the Luke an' the Mom (the Bleu, too)
c/o Miss Karen
Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston, Inc.
PO Box 19594
Houston, TX 77224 
Now, get goin'!
PeeEss: an' you don't has ta be shy 'bout spreadin' the word 'round so eFURy-doggy an' catty knows 'bout our Power of the Paw PURRoject!
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's to a brand new baby NEW YEAR! ☺2011☺

National Canine Cancer Foundation