Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well Trained Dog ?

Do you ever get people asking you if your dog does tricks? Even when your dog does NOT do tricks? Even when you just adopted the dog the day before? Does it make you angry?

Maybe even worse, do you know someone with a well trained dog that makes you own sweet, but ill mannered pup look bad? Don't you hate that?

Here's the answer. A well trined dog that you may not be able to pass off as your own, but will do all the standard commands perfectly every time. Just CLICK HERE to visit the site and have a go. It is very cute and if you like Yorkies, this is especially good.

Have fun!

It is a HeartGuard sponsored website.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick Takes Dogfighting Plea

Michael Vick during an Atlanta Falcons news conference.In a Richmond, Virginia, court today, the Atlanta Falcon's 27-year-old star quarterback, Michael Vick, filed papers including a signed plea agreement and written allocution to prosecutors in regards to a federal dogfighting investigation.

According to court documents, Vick said he did not gamble during dogfights. He did, however, admit to bankrolling the gambling operation and to participating in the killing of at least six dogs. The original charge was listed as "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture," and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. There is speculation that Vick will be sentenced to between 10 and 18-months in jail based on recommendations by prosecutors on the case. The judge is not bound by any recommendation or by the federal sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson had earned a reputation for handing down stiff sentences, even to high-profile defendants. However, "tough but fair" is the description most often heard from lawyers who appear before Hudson, who owns a Bichon Frise and has declined to be interviewed.

If you wish upon a star . . . Oh, c'mon! It's a fake photo, a JOKE, get it?Three co-defendants -- Purnell Peace, 35; Quanis Phillips, 28; and Tony Taylor, 34 -- have already accepted agreements to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences. Last April, Vick and two of the co-defendants apparently met to test the fighting skills of the dogs. The three agreed to kill six to eight dogs that did not perform well. All of the dogs were killed by various methods that included hanging and drowning.

Vick is scheduled to plead guilty on August 27th in Richmond's U.S. District Court to a conspiracy charge related to dogfighting. Prosecutors for the state of Virginia have said that additional state charges may be brought against Vick in the future.

Michael Vick with puppy. We wonder where this little pooch is now?In a related interview in an Atlanta newspaper, Michael Vick's estranged father says he tried to get Vick to quit dogfighting years ago. Michael Boddie said that around 2001 his son staged dogfights in the garage of the family's home in Newport News, Va., and kept fighting dogs, including injured ones, in the family's backyard.

Boddie dismissed the notion that Vick's longtime friends were the main leaders behind the dogfighting operation. "I wish people would stop sugarcoating it," Boddie told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "This is Mike's thing. And he knows it."

For more information and links of interest, check the Orlando Sentinel.

For the visual results of dogfighting, visit this EnviroLink Forum page.
WARNING: The linked page contains disturbing images.

Editor's Note: We assume this means that instead of the dogs he kept, Michael Vick will be the one caged or chained-up most hours of the day. He'll be allowed outside for supervised exercise and it will be he who will be watched through the cell bars by people and their [guard] dogs. There may even be some gambling on who will win any fights that Vick may have with other inmates. Turn about is fair play, dogfighting isn't ! ! !
From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.

                        ~M. Frida Hartley

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dumb and Dumber-er-er

The Associated Press is reporting that New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting. Marbury spoke Monday about the federal dogfighting conspiracy charges against Vick while promoting his basketball shoe in Albany, N.Y.

"I think it's tough," Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors."

On Monday, Vick said through a lawyer that he will plead guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. He also faces possible prosecution in Virginia.

"I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down," Marbury said. "I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation."

Editor's Note: Is Marbury so out of touch as to actually believe that dog fighting and hunting are the same? Even if someone was opposed to hunting, the differences are just too great. The biggest difference being, of course, that hunting is legal. It makes me want to go right out and buy a pair of Marbury's signature B-ball shoes --- NOT! Whoever is using Marbury to promote their sports products needs to muzzle him as a spokesperson.

UPDATE 24 Aug 2007
New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury backed off his defense of Michael Vick, according to newspaper reports Friday (today). "What Michael Vick did was wrong, and he has admitted his guilt," Marbury said in a statement released by the Knicks to New York newspapers. "He should be punished. However, he should be given a second chance, as others have received for more serious crimes."

Editor's Note: Looks as though someone from the team or his shoe sponsor talked to him. Luckily they "released a statement" rather than allowing him to speak on his own. It sounds like he is half-a-bubble out of plumb.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hurricane Center Feeds

UPDATE 21 AUG 2007
Obviously, Hurricane Dean has bypassed Florida but has left significant category five style damage in Jamaica and Mexico. We have removed the NHC's Dean Updates from the right-side column. Still, think about what you would do if a storm heads in your direction. The time to make your plan is NOW!

Originally Posted 15 August 2007
Updates from the National Hurricane Center for Tropical Storm Dean have been added to the RSS Feeds section of the blog.

Tropical Storm Dean (supposed to become a hurricane by tomorrow) is not a definite threat to South Florida as yet, but should be a wake-up call if you have not yet finalized your hurricane emergency plans, purchased your safety supplies or made plans on what you will do with your pets in case a storm does approach.

Remember that you can always get the complete tropical outlook at the National Hurricane Center Website.

Monday, August 13, 2007

When Is The Right Time?

If you have been reading the blog for any length of time, you are probably aware that I have two dogs: Kirby, a Border Collie, and Mike, a Broward Humane terrier-mix, rescue pup. Kirby was purchased/adopted at 9-weeks and Mike was adopted three years later, at 10-weeks of age. Mike is 9-years old now.

Kirby, at the age of 12-years, has been in failing health. His vision and hearing were both on the wane. Like me, arthritis was causing him difficulty. He could no longer jump onto the bed and had difficulty walking at times, especially in the mornings. He recently developed a severe internal problem that was not responding to treatment.

On Sunday, August 12th, 2007, his race was run. Kirby passed away and I can only hope that the concept of the Rainbow Bridge is correct. I am left with an emptiness that Mike is attempting, to the best of his ability, to fill. Yet, how can one make the decision to allow his best friend to pass on and not second guess the decision?

In my heart of hearts I know that as Kirby gazed into my eyes on Sunday morning that he was asking me to end his suffering, his unhappiness, and was telling me that it was okay, that he was looking forward to peace. His look told me that he was ready. Yet I was torn.

If I waited would he feel better in a few day? If I waited would he suffer additional discomfort for those same few days? Was it too soon? Had I already waited too long?

I decided to let him go, but the questions remain. He was my best friend, literally, not just in the sense of the old saw that "dog is man's best friend." He actually was my best friend, my big boy, my baby, my son. He is gone based on my decision and I wonder in moments of reverie if I was correct in my actions.

I have had four dogs during my adult life. Chrys was a foundling Golden Retriever-mix, who came to me one evening, skinny and injured, wandering in a parking lot. C.J. was a Golden-mix adopted from the Miami Humane. Then there was Kirby and Mike.

C.J. died at age four of pancreatic cancer. It was swift in onset and there was no choice to be made. Chrys aged well until the day he simply could not rise, though valiantly trying with all his might. His eyes that day conveyed an apology because he was unable to stand. I allowed him to go away later that morning, to leave me forever. His eyes told me he didn't want to go. They said he wanted to stay with me despite his pain, but there was no other option. He only wished to stay for my benefit. For Chrys I berated myself for postponing his departure and allowing his pain to continue. I thought myself selfish.

Today I ask myself if I couldn't have waited a bit longer for Kirby. In thinking back I must believe that had I waited any longer, I would have only continued his discomfort. I think back to his eyes gazing into my own. Those expressive eyes that told me that he was ready to leave me. Those supremely intelligent eyes that said the decision was the right one and that everything would be alright.

It is less than 24-hours since Kirby passed, and I ask myself if I correctly interpreted his gaze. I ask myself if I should have waited. I ask if I had waited too long. I ask, and I ask, and I ask. There is no answer save that down deep I know it was the right thing do, the right time, the right decision. And, yet, I continue to ask, and ask, and ask.

In time I will stop asking, second-guessing or wondering about my decision. I can only hope that I interpreted his final gaze correctly, that he understood, that he agreed, that he forgives me. I can only hope that when Kirby and I meet again that he will view me with compassion and our friendship will be renewed. That he and Chrys and C.J. will have already met and become aquainted; become friends. That they are, even now, keeping one another company until my time comes to join them. My friends, my boys, my children. How I miss them all.

Kirby was born on December 17th, 1994, in Homestead, Florida, and was adopted on February 9th, 1995. A certified animal therapy dog, he was a pure-bred Border Collie, registered with the American Border Collie Association under the name  Chase's Kirby Cameron Dell. He was the smartest dog I have ever known. He was a supreme gentleman. He was my best friend.

In  Memoriam
Chase's Kirby Cameron Dell - Click picture to visit Kirby's online photo gallery.
Chase's  Kirby  Cameron  Dell
December 17, 1994   to   August 12, 2007

Comments are not being allowed for this post. We are not looking for condolences, though your good thoughts are appreciated.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Michael Vick Chew Toy

First Coast News is reporting the appearance of a website that is causing some shockwaves after offering a chew toy for dogs that looks like NFL quarterback Michael Vick. The toys came out following the star quarterback's federal indictment on dog-fighting charges. The website offering the toys says it's for charity, but the Jacksonville Humane Society is saying "no thanks."

When the Humane Society found out they'd be getting the donations, they said they're sticking to toys they can trust. Chere Garrard, with the Humane Society, can understand why a dog lover would want to give their dog that chew toy. "Oh, oh, boy, let me give my dog this chew toy to chew on, a way to kind of, 'take that, Michael Vick,' said Garrard. That's especially true when a portion of the money made from the toy is promised to go to the Jacksonville Humane Society. But Garrard says the website selling the toy may not be all it seems. "We're skeptical as to whether that organization is on the up and up," said Garrard.

The first she'd heard of the donations came from the media, not the company selling the toy. "Normally, when people do fundraisers for you, quite often they'll contact you first and say, 'we'd love to do this, are we on the same page.' We never got that phone call," said Garrard. She says that's not all that seemed fishy. "It's interesting that the original press release that seemed to go out nationally had a Jacksonville dateline on it, and referenced the Jacksonville Humane Society, but no reference of our fire," said Garrard.

Another problem is that it's practically impossible finding the company, which claims to be based here in Jacksonville. All our searches for the company were unsuccessful. A Google search only turned up news stories of the toy. The Humane Society had the same problem. "Can't find them. Can't find them anywhere. Can not track down the business," said Garrard.

Garrard says if anyone does figure out the mystery donors, she says they've got to know. "If you can find out who's behind it, give us a call!" said Garrard. Shipping of the product, according to the website, begins Tuesday, August 7th, and would be received within 2-3 weeks. Garrard says, buyer beware.

Since the donations offer from the website was made. it's been taken back, saying: "Due to unforeseeable circumstances and squabbling over charitable donations, our statement claiming we will donate proceeds from the "Vick dog chew toy" has been removed. We will now do so anonymously," said the website.

The Jacksonville Humane Society says they wouldn't accept the offer anyway, since Vick hasn't yet been convicted of anything.

2007 Pet Travel Stats

Check out the pet travel statistics for 2007 from, a leading pet friendly hotel and lodging directory that continuously polls thousands of its Web site visitors, newsletter subscribers, and random households regarding their travel and purchase habits. All who participate in the surveys own at least one pet. Portions of the 2007 year to date results are as follows:

  • 77% frequently take their pets with them when leaving town.
  • 38.5% say it is “difficult” to find pet friendly lodging.
  • 79% stay at designated pet-friendly hotels or lodging each year.
  • 16% stay at designated pet-friendly 6 or more times each year.
  • 63% would be more likely to lengthen their stay if given the opportunity to travel with their pets.
  • 84.6% travel with dogs.
  • 6.3% travel with cats.
  • 33% travel with dogs over 50 pounds.
  • 36% say it is ‘difficult to find pet-friendly lodging’ for their pets over 20 pounds.
  • 10.3% complain that most pet friendly places they find also allow smoking.

For more information on pet travel, visit the website.