Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why Dogs Don't Live As Long As People...

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very much attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

from email
Delta - Part 2

Jane posted this in response to my post. I suggest we all check out the link she provided. Thanks Jane! This is something that I now have an interest in.


As far as I know this story is indeed true, however Hole in the Wall Rescue is mine and I am not the person who had the experience with the airline. Someone just left my signature on it when it was reposted.

For a lot more information on how airlines do business please go to:

# posted by JaneGael : 2/14/2006 9:14 PM
Figure Skating

That's probably my favorite sport in the Olympics, both singles and pairs, followed by ice dancing. So elegant and so dynamic at the same time.

There's a new scoring system in place after the scandal four years ago. I have no idea how it works, and since I'm not a judge nor a skate, I really don't care. As long as politics remain out of it and each skater is judged on their ability and presentation, then I can accept whoever wins. Sure, I pull for the USA skaters, but, really, do you remember who won four years ago? I don't. I may remember skaters, but I couldn't begin to remember much more. I may love skating, but it's not something that I follow closely.

I've only ice skated once in my life. I did very well...then I got on the ice. I don't think I fell, but I spent my time hanging on to the fence for dear life! I'm glad that the commentators are there to tell me what I'm seeing. I watch and think that they are all absolutely fabulous. Unless they fall, and even then I think they're darn good!
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I can see how curling is sort of like watching grass grow to many people. I don't pretend to know the first thing about it, but it's somehow fascinating to me. So, either read the rest of the post, or go away and find something else to do :D

The History of Curling

The oldest artifacts from the ice sport of curling are stones, today extant but unknown, which prehistoric people slid toward a target along frozen rivers or lakes. These people may also have used primitive brooms to clear snow from the path of their sliding stones.

In 1565, Holland’s Peter Breugel painted "Hunters in the Snow" and another work depicting scenes resembling modern curling. Breugel’s paintings support the premise held by some that curling originated in continental Europe. The Scots, however, are the undisputed developers and formalizers of the modern game. By 1638 curling was considered, with golf and archery (in M. H. Adamson’s poem The Muses Threnodie), to be a usual recreational pastime. After a huge growth spurt in the 19th century, curling was played by thousands in nearly every Scottish parish.

Between the 16th and 20th centuries, Scotland’s climate warmed, and today the lochs rarely freeze. The climate change hindered curlers, who played outdoors on natural ice until the 20th century. Nonetheless the Scots had, by the mid-1800s, formalized curling’s rules of play and equipment and had established the "mother club" of curlers worldwide, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. The RCCC is today the national governing body of curling in Scotland, with 20,000 active members now playing indoors on refrigerated ice.

The game of curling spread throughout the world through the efforts of thousands of Scottish soldiers and émigrés. In North America, curling’s origins likely date to the late 1700s. The first documented record is the founding of the Montreal Curling Club in 1807.

In 1832, the Orchard Lake Curling Club, near Detroit, became the first curling club in the United States, organized at the home of Dr. Robert Burns. The Orchard Lake group curled on Lake St. Clair. The oldest continuously operating curling club in the United States is the Milwaukee, Wisconsin club, founded in 1845. The Scottish founders’ roster included such names as Murray, Ferguson, Dunlop, Gunyon, Findlay, Kinney, McFarland and McFadyen.

Since the mid-1800s, curling has spread and thrived in northern states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and also in the Great Lakes, New England and mid-Atlantic states. There are dedicated pockets of curling activity in other states, including Alaska, Washington, California, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina. In all, there are active curling clubs in 26 states in the nation.

In the United States today, there are over 15,000 curlers in over 135 clubs, most of which own their ice facility. While many U.S. curlers have Scottish roots, modern curling club membership rosters tend to reflect an ethnic cross-section of their communities, which are preponderantly small-town rural. The largest curling club in the USA is the St. Paul, Minnesota, club, with over 700 members.

The United States Curling Association (founded 1958) governs curling in the USA. Like that other Scottish sport, golf, curling is both a recreational and an athletic pastime, marked by a strong code of fair play and courtesy (The Spirit of Curling). The USCA is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the World Curling Federation, and has 131 member clubs in 11 regions. Curling debuted as a medal sport in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Japan. About 1.5 million people from ages eight to 80 in over 33 countries curl.

The best-known American curler is Raymond "Bud" Somerville, of Superior, Wisconsin, the first inductee into the USCA’s Hall of Fame. Somerville skipped his team to its first world championship in 1965, at age 28. In 1992, at age 55, he skipped his team to a bronze medal at the Albertville Olympics (curling was a demonstration sport).

The ice sport of curling, although never well known in the United States, has developed steadily throughout American history. The sport is often passed down through families and has provided enjoyable winter recreation to thousands of Americans.

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Curling is an extremely complex sport based around a very simple idea. Slide a stone down a sheet of ice and have it stop as near the centre of a set of rings (called house), the problem being that your opposition will do everything tactically to stop you from achieving this goal. So the game contains elements of great skill, strategy, finesse, exertion and endeavour and we promise you that the perception of a slow-paced game is just that, a perception.

The game itself is more than 500 years old and its' true origin is hidden in the mist of time, but it was in Scotland the game evolved during the centuries and also where the mother club of curling, The Royal Caledonian Curling Club was formed in 1838. The game has of course evolved through the years and the latest change on how the game is played was introduced in 1990 when the free guard zone rule was introduced.

Fairness is an important part of the game and you shall not be surprised if your opponent will point out to you that they have broken the rules so just to make sure that no advantage is given.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The ULTIMATE Female Joke

A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy, middle-aged man entered. He was the young-at-heart man that noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her. (As all men will.)

Before she could offer her apologies for so rudely staring, he leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for $20.00......on one condition." (There are always conditions). Flabbergasted, the woman asked what the condition was.

The man replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words. (Controlling, Huh?) The woman considered his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed a $20 bill from her purse, which she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply into his eyes, and slowly and meaning fully said....

"Clean my house."
I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too;
I wasn't watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.
But at home a different story is told;
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
While I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."
By this time, I felt very small.
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.
I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue.
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway."
I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."


Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.
And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed,don't you think?
So what is behind the story?
Do you know what the word FAMILY means?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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Link to previous post on Operation Bit of Home
FairTax Tidbit

I heard on the Neal Boortz radio show today that Congressman John Linder was told (I'm not sure who it was, the CEO or other ranking corporate official of an unnamed national retail outlet) that if the FairTax is ever passed, they would begin advertising that they would reduce their prices by 22% on January 1, the day that the FairTax goes into effect.

Now, I don't know what national retail coporation this was, but let's play a little game here. If, for example, Wal-Mart, were to announce that they were reducing prices by 22%, do you think that it's competitors would continue to charge the same prices they are currently charging? Hardly. It's called competition, it's part of capitalism and free-trade and it's a good thing.

Seven states do not have a state income tax. They operate on a state sales tax and it works. I know this to be true because my state of Florida works under a state sales tax - there is no state income tax. And it works so well that Governor Bush wants to give every homeowner in the state a $100 bonus this year. It's being debated; some want to put the money back into the state in the form of roads and infrastructure. Perhaps a noble endeavor, but I think the state would be better off giving me $100 than putting it into a highway project.

I don't know about you, but if I got an extra $100 I would spend it. it would go back into the economy and generate more revenue for the State. Yes, fixing the roads is a good thing, but it won't return money to the State coffers like giving it to the citizens would. You see, chances are I won't spend just $100 at (name the retailer of your choice). More than likely, I would spend another $50 to $100 or more.

During the tax holidays (hurricane preparation items and back-to-school), the state makes money. Not on those items that are excluded from taxes during that period, but on items that are not exempted. Have you ever gone to a store and bought exactly what you planned and no more? Sure it happens, but I believe it's rare.

So the bottom line, as far as I'm concerned: FairTax? It's a good thing.
'Nuff Said

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found at Michelle Malkin's site
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USA Medal Count

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem, but hearing it played when watching a gold medal winner on the stand just bursting with pride, well, I admit to feeling pretty proud myself.

There are other songs I feel would be better anthems, but, as I said, just hearing our anthem being played leaves a pretty good feeling, no matter what the song is. Maybe I'll post one day on songs I think would be better anthems. But I digress.

At this point, US athletes have won 7 medals; 5 gold and 2 silver.

Gold: Ted Ligety - Alpine skiing, Men's combined
Gold: Shaun White - Snowboarding - Halfpipe
Gold: Joey Cheek - Speed skating - 500m
Gold: Chad Hedrick - Speed skating - 5000m
Gold: Hannah Teter - Snowboarding - Halfpipe
Silver: Danny Kass - Snowboarding - Halfpipe
Silver: Gretchen Bleiler - Snowboarding - Halfpipe

Congratulations to these fine athletes!

For those who want to know what medals were won by other countries, click here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To my Other Half!!

Honey, we've hit some rough patches, but we'll get through them. Together, we can do anything!

I love you!
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Delta Airlines Mishandling of Puppy Transport?

From email - I don't know whether this is true or not. If so, Delta needs to look into it's customer relations policies at the very least. If not, I apologize to Delta and will be happy to print that the email is wrong.

Last Friday had to be one of the very most frustrating days of my entire life. Never have I encountered, all at once, such a group of un-co-operative uncaring people all working at the same company. The company is Delta Airlines.

Looking back, I should have realized that something was different. I have shipped puppies with Delta for over 30 years. This time, when I called the PetsFirst desk to make the reservation, at about 6 am one morning, I got a recording telling me that it was closed and that I should call back during office hours. The recording did not say what those office hours were.

When I finally did get through to them later in the day after being on hold "waiting for the next available representative" for 25 minutes I made a reservation for last Friday, Feb. 3, 2006 for a puppy to go "Pets First" from Ft. Myers FL to Bloomington, Illinois, with a change of planes in Atlanta. I specifically asked them to check that the planes were big enough for a 200 crate, and was assured that both were full size Delta jets.

I went up to the airport cargo on Thurs. Feb. 2 to do the paper work, surrender the health certificates, etc. since the flight was at 6:55 on Friday morning and this would simplify. On Friday morning, I took puppy, crate, newspaper, towel, stuffed toy, baby blanket, an unopened bottle of water, dry food in lock bag, and plastic dishes attached to the door of the shipping crate. Every inch of the crate and all items were examined, approved, and placed in or taped to the crate. This was at 5:30 in the morning. My name and number, owner to be's name and number,were on at least 3 pieces of paperwork attached to the crate. My name, address, and telephone number are on the crate side in black laundry marker.

Puppy was to arrive in Bloomington at 11:30. At that time the new owner called me. The puppy was not on the plane. She was frantic. No one had called either of us. The airline did not know where he was. An hour later he was located in Atlanta. They informed us that he was not on the plane because they had used a different plane that did not allow dogs. So they just let him sit there. THEY NEVER CALLED TO LET US KNOW!

No other flight with appropriate plane was scheduled that day. It was then arranged that he would fly (at 2:40 pm) to Peoria, Illinois and arrive there at 3:20 (change of time zones) . OK - things happen. Not happy, but puppy would get there and new owner would drive to get him in Peoria. Then 3:20 arrived, so did the plane, and THE PUPPY WAS NOT ON THE PLANE. THEY NEVER CALLED EITHER ONE OF US TO SAY THAT HE WOULD NOT BE ON THE PLANE. I had called the Pet First Desk and been on hold for 60 minutes one time before giving up and 50 minutes another to make sure he was on the plane and never contacted a real person. The tracking site on the Delta web site would not show anything. A real person told us later that they DO NOT TRACK DOG SHIPMENTS, ONLY PLANES.

It took two hours for them to find him, still at the Atlanta airport. I was FRANTIC - I am 10 hours away from Atlanta. The new owner (at the airport in Peoria) was frantic. Once they located him (I am going,"has he been out to potty, has he got water, was he offered food?" - oh yes, he is fine, right here in front of me wagging tail). Arrangements made to put him on a plane at 8:40 pm. Got through to the pet desk at 9:00 - NO - THE PUPPY WAS NOT ON THAT FLIGHT - HE WAS STILL IN ATLANTA.

Told to call a "logistics" number I found that he had not been put on that flight because it was carrying dry ice. BUT THEY NEVER CALLED EITHER OF US TO TELL US-------------WHY WHY WHY------------silence. Now, they told me, he would have to go to a kennel as they couldn't keep him at the airport for over four hours. I am to the screaming stage - he has already BEEN at the D------ airport for over 12 hours. Is the puppy OK, is he dehydrated? Has he been allowed out of the crate, does he have water? Puppy, they said, is fine. Will go to a kennel. I will be billed. They have no idea when puppy will fly to Illinois. ALSO TELL ME NOW THAT HE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN SHIPPED OUT WITHOUT A FAX FROM ME CHANGING HIS DESTINATION. NEVER EVER MENTIONED THIS BEFORE ALL DAYLONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tell them to hold - using cell phone I call Kitty Cahoon who is at dog shows in Atlanta. Kitty immediately agrees to go and get the puppy - I convey this to the idiot that I am talking to who me to another idiot who says that they won't release the puppy to anyone without a FAX. I stop trying to reason with them and scream that it is now 11:30 at night and I don't have a bloody FAX machine.

No budging them. A rule. A contract that I signed that morning giving them jurisdiction over the puppy. I tell them that the contract has already been broken by THEM - that it was to deliver the puppy to Bloomington 12 hours earlier. I finally told them I would find a FAX machine if I had to drive 100 miles to do that - to not send the dog to a kennel. I am terrified that I will never see this puppy alive again. Finally my daughter gets hold of someone in the newpaper office that she knows and a FAX is sent.

Kitty picks up the puppy. He is, thank God, alive. He is also dehydrated, un- watered, un-fed and in a kennel with urine and stool, dirty paper, bedding, and toys. To her it seems he has never been taken out or fed or watered. In that shipping crate for 18 hours. They go back to the show grounds to her RV and I sink to the floor crying and threatening to sue Delta for the inhumane and callous way they have managed to lose this pup and cause trauma to us all.

This is Sunday. Puppy was not in good enough shape to try to fly him yesterday. Fluids have helped and he is now back to acting good. Delta wants to "start over" to get him to Peoria. They also want me to pay another $200 to do so. Guess what - I have called my credit card company and that charge already there will be disputed until the day I die. I WILL NEVER USE DELTA TO SHIP A PUPPY AGAIN. I will tell everyone Iknow of the horrible way we were treated. I will contact every Delta official that I can get a name/address for. Any other suggestions? I WILL FOLLOW THROUGH.

All through this whole thing not one employee of Delta ever apologised for the problems. Not once did anyone, except for one ticket agent in Bloomington, even express sympathy. I told the last person I talked to at the Atlanta airport that if that puppy died that "heads would roll". Well, the puppy has survived. Kitty has him safe with her. We don't know at this time if he will continue his trip or what.Right now we are just glad that he is alive. But heads are still going to roll.

*Please feel free to post to any and all lists and concerned people so they can't do this to anyone else.

*Marcia Deugan
ZIYADAH Sussex Spaniels-- Hole in the Wall Rescue
I don't publish anything I know to be untrue, and if I find something I publish is wrong, I will happily so state in a updated post as well a delete the orginal post. If anyone knows this is untrue, please let me know.

Just a disclaimer: I did a bit of editing, mostly closing spaces between words, adding spaces between words, and separating paragraphs. Any errors of that nature are mine. I changed no words nor did I attempt to change the attitude or tenor of the post by my changes.

And now, my two cents: If this were my dog (either breeder or new owner), I'd be sending a registered, return receipt, signature required letter to the CEO and the station manager in Atlanta explaining what happened and allow them time to respond. I can nearly quarantee that the station manager does not want corporate asking questions about this disgraceful situation. My second action (breeder and new owner should both do this) would be to contact the Atlanta Police Department and file criminal animal cruelty and neglect charges against the airline, CEO, and station manager, also naming everyone I spoke to. As the breeder and the one who contracted with Delta, I'd also look to see if there were civil charges that could be filed against Delta and anyone involved, perhaps breach of contract. Delta certainly breached their end of the contract.

Public transportation companies cannot be allowed to treat animals this way. I am no fan of PETA, but I will take on anyone who mistreats an animal.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to Abe Lincoln!

16th President and (I believe) first president of the Republican Party!*

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* I always make this statement: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party, nor do I support all their views.
Happy Birthday!

My friend and office co-conspirator, Tina, is celebrating her birthday today!

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Hope it's a wonderful day for you! You deserve it, girlfriend!

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.....

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,I came,
I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"
Author unknown - received in email

As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.

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Part 2