Saturday, October 22, 2011

If you —

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys."
Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, British Columbia, Canada

"Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle,
the nation's hoop." Black Elk
Medicine Man or Holy Man, and Heyoka of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). He participated at about the age of twelve in the Battle of Little Big Horn of 1876, and was wounded in the massacre that occurred at Wounded Knee in 1890. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

True believer — with a dream. And angels.

Dogs Deserve Better. Founded in 2002 in Pennsylvania. "An award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing Man's Best Friend into the home and family." Sanctuary and home base now in Virginia. 1915 Moonlight Drive, Smithfield. Former property of Michael Vick.

Lots of skeptics when Tami Thayne began working on making her dream a reality — Dogs Deserve Better would raise the money to purchase former Michael Vick property. To honor those who died, their lives short jagged whispers of torture. To make a sanctuary for two-leggeds rescued from chains. Lots of naysayers as well. It was, after all, a place dark with history, dark with shadows. I imagined when I thought about her beginning days there that bundles of white sage for burning and cleansing might help. Wished I could take some time off, travel that way to bear witness. I imagined rain, lightening, thunderstorms. And the prayers. Always the prayers. And angels, so many angels. Who sent their love and support and their dollars. One by one. Five by five. Here's looking at you DDB. Honored to know you.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

"From what we at Best Friends know of the way Michael Vick has related to the animals he abused, the answer is clearly that he has “simply rediscovered the pocket.” Best Friends took 22 of Vick’s 48 seized dogs and the only contact we’ve received from Vick or his representatives was by way of some overtures from his agent, one of his attorneys and a PR firm specializing in reputation rehabilitation. They were interested in some public glad handing that would put Vick in a favorable light with the NFL, which at the time was still considering whether or not to reinstate him. We declined."

"Best Friends has never heard from Michael Vick or any of his representatives inquiring after the health or well being of any of the 22 dogs that we received from his fighting ring." Francis Battista

- - - - - - -

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Vick: Still not sorry (we checked)— Donna Reynolds

"This coming Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will be landing in - gulp - our hometown to play the Oakland Raiders. What to do? In the spirit of moving forward, we decided to invite Michael Vick to meet his victims while he's here so he could look them in the eye and extend his apologies. Yeah we did. It was a tough situation to consider - but at some point we have to find some closure and move this man off of our emotional radar, right? It took five pins & needles days for him to say No. One can only imagine the back and forth between his handlers about that little decision."

"Here's the short version. And here's our news release in full:"

"Vick refuses to meet former Bad Newz Kennel dogs while in Oakland"

"Late last week, Oakland based pit bull advocacy group BAD RAP invited Michael Vick to view eight of his former Bad Newz Kennels dogs from behind a window while in town for the Raiders game on October 18, but the offer was refused. The invitation was extended to allow Vick an opportunity to acknowledge the victims of the crimes he committed while running a dogfighting operation that employed torture and death as a means to punish underperforming dogs. Vick has indicated remorse for disappointing his fans, his family, his teammates and his coach, but has steered clear of mentioning his victim dogs in public statements."

"BAD RAP Co-Founder, Tim Racer said: "Oakland is a town that welcomed Vick's broken dogs with open arms back in 2007. We understand Vick is trying to right his wrongs and is very interested in redemption, but you can't find redemption without acknowledging your victims. Making amends to the dogs themselves would have helped to create some closure for many of us, especially the people who worked so hard to keep them from being destroyed. It seems that Vick is not ready to go there."

"Pamela Browner-Crawley, public affairs director for the Philadelphia Eagles, relayed BAD RAP's offer to Vick. To satisfy the conditions of Vick's parole that bars him from being near animals, a location was identified that would allow him to view his former dogs from behind a window, at legal distance. On Wednesday, Crawley contacted BAD RAP to decline on behalf of Vick. Ignoring the fact that legalities would be followed, she explained, "Michael is not allowed to be around dogs by a court order, so logistically and legally, your plan can't work."

"We were fairly certain that he would decline our invitation, given his continued refusal to make mention of his dogs," said Racer. "The unfortunate thing is that his new position of compassion towards animals would be so much more credible if he could actually say that he looked his victims in the eye and said, "I'm sorry."

"So, who's surprised?"

"Actions speak louder" Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Door and Little Ben — And stubborn Hope

In late February I called a friend to help me replace a door. It was — we thought — a simple task. But a combination of missed steps, Home Depot hell, 5 o'clock traffic and lost tools turned a three hour project into a marathon.

He made the mortises for the hinges with a hammer, a screwdriver and infinite patience. The tools we'd purchased for the task had gone missing. I became increasingly agitated attempting to locate the errant tools. He became calmer, entered a flipping Zen state, and worked on The Door on the back porch well into the night. Darren MacGyver, with the aid of a hanging utility light and Sir BRADLEY Basset, padding back and forth insistently to check on his progress.

That door was the beginning of a Lewis Carroll-esqe down the rabbit hole journey. Ancient threads unravelled and new ones appeared, but so clouded in maya I couldn't see them. Jagged slivers of mistrust melted in a mystical alchemy understood only by the Elders. And all the while Great Spirit watched over me, even as I stamped my feet and wailed like stubborn HOPE, who at the time was high heartworm positive and damn sick and tired of being in her crate. So she threw hissy fits. Stamped her paws on the Kuranda bed, slapped her water bucket, deliberately sloshed water on the floor, then banged the water bucket again. Because she wanted attention and she wanted it r i g h t t h e n r i g h t n o w. And in case you missed the foot stamping and bucket slapping she would let rip with piercing soprano shrieks — a once feral now semi-domesticated and not too damn happy about that pit bull. HOPE is not very patient. But she does have a voice. And she is growing. Stubborn Hope.

Seven weeks ago I drove to Gadsden, Alabama to get Little BEN, one of the HSUS Alabama 44. He was scared to leave. His best friend and teacher KIMBO gave him a reassuring nose kiss when he froze on the walkway outside the front door. Uncertain, tenuous, his run at the astonishing Humane Society of Etowah County the only safety he'd known since being taken from his home, the place he was born, by HSUS. Loaded in a van and transported to Etowah County for processing. Along with his 43 brothers, sisters and cousins thrice removed. I understood his fear. He was leaving what had become home, a place where the executive director, the licensed vet tech, four kennel/animal health care techs and two adoption counselors all work together — all areas, including cleaning the runs. Sometimes new beginnings are scary, and Little BEN was leaving home. Again. And saying goodbye to the very few people he had come to trust.

Little BEN and I crossed three state lines, unexpectedly spending the night in Atlanta. Horsesugar hit the proverbial fan after we left I-20 and hit the I-285 city loop. Stalled in bumper to bumper waiting to get on I-85 we saw miles ahead of more bumper to bumper. Flashbacks to the 101. Too much traffic, too much stress. Little BEN and I called it a night.

On the way back to Charlotte the next day I listened to Aaron Neville singing "To Make Me Who I Am." Realized life was taking a sharp turn into the everything is gonna be all right lane. If Aaron Neville can make it out of where he lived and who he was, and still be singing like an angel with a voice to cut the cloud mist at Machu Picchu, I for damn sure can beat the bad rap of small minded individuals — who judge, opine and feed the gossip mongering naysayer machine. People who have no flippin clue about mental health issues. Nor, as far as I can tell, compassion. Yep, I for damn sure can keep on doing what I love best. Helping dogs. Walking in their paws. Asking their two-leggeds a whole lotta questions, getting to the what-when-where-how of the triggers and cues responsible for the behavior which has brought them to me. Teaching their two-leggeds how to erase those cues and triggers, replace them with new ones. Positive instead of negative. Joyful instead of fearful. Open instead of closed. Inclusive rather than exclusive. Four paws up and sixteen pads wiggling whilst rolling in the green green grass.

A very special thanks to KONA, KIRA, NINA, RAY RAY, BLUE and NICK Pratt for teaching Little BEN everything he needs to know about being all the dog he can be. 'Life is good. Let it fly.'

Here's looking at you Edna. Your hissy fit throwing daughter is a mirror image of the man you loved so dearly, John Abraham better known as Jack. But mixed with a real serious and very healthy dose of you, Mom. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, April 23, 2011

To make me who I am — Aaron Neville

Seven weeks ago today I left Gadsden, Alabama with one little guy from the HSUS AL 44. Little BEN. We crossed three state lines. I listened to Aaron Neville. And wept. Yep. Everything's gonna be alright.

Little BEN is in foster with the Pratt family. KONA, NINA, KIRA, BLUE, RAY RAY and NICK are teaching him absoflippingluteley everything there is to know about singing "I am DOG" loud, clear and fearless. Darren, Michelle, Alex and Tori are doing everything right — leaving Little BEN alone and letting him come to them. It's all about time and respect. Little BEN is learning to trust humans. Long road for him.

To Make Me Who I Am

I’ve walked through this world sometimes without a friend
My life has been up and down, been close to an end
But I’ve been through the mill
And I’ve paid my dues
Walked so many miles in different peoples shoes

But I’ve been through the fire
And I’ve walked in the rain
I’ve felt the joy and endured the pain

Once I was a schemer
But I always was a dreamer
But it took me who I was and where I’ve been
To make me who I am

I’ve met a lot of lost souls in the bowels of hell
Traveled some crooked roads, got some stories yet to tell
I’ve shot up with the junkie, in piss stench halls
Broken bread with the devil, fallen on my knees to god
Some days I was blessed, some nights I was damned
But I always tried to lend a helping hand

Once I was a deceiver
Not I am a believer
But it took me who I was and where I’ve been
To make me who I am

Oh, I’ve seen the little children, all strung out on dope
No one to care about them, living without hope
But I’ve been lucky that I always had a song
I’ll sing it with compassion, to try to right the wrong.

Once my life was wretched
But why should I regret it
Cuz, it took me who I was, and where I’ve been
To make me who I am

This is dedicated to my friends in jail
For my brother jake who had to ride the rail
For my friend roonie and melvin, who were so dear
They were so misunderstood
But I wish they were still here
To hear this song I sing from my heart
They’re forever in my soul, even though we had to part

Once I was a deceiver
Not I am a believer
But it took me who I was and where I’ve been
To make me who I am

God said I forgive you
Wipe away the scars
Cause I know it took who you were
And where you came from
To make you who you are

Cause I know it took who you were
And where you came from
To make you what you are Sphere: Related Content

Stand by me — Aaron Neville

Go here to listen:

Stand by me

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin', darlin', stand by me-e, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Lyrics: Ben E. King

"Born January 24, 1941, Aaron is the third of the four famous Neville Brothers of New Orleans. A product of that city's richly complex musical culture, his first vocal model was older brother Art, keyboardist and founder of the Meters. Brother Charles played sax with B.B. King while brother Cyril became Aaron's partner in a funk band they called the Soul Machine."

"Throughout the sixties Aaron recorded for local Louisiana labels, but it wasn't until 1966 that he broke onto the national scene with "Tell It Like It Is," the plaintive ballad that went #1 on the pop charts, a song still considered a classic in the annals of American music. Issued on the obscure Par-Lo Records, the hit unfortunately coincided with the label's demise. With no follow-up and few royalties, Aaron's career stalled. Beset by demons both professional and personal, he struggled for the next ten years." Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, April 3, 2011

KAZU — one little guy in New York

Chief Joseph said "It does not require many words to speak the truth."

The truth about KAZU is that he needs our help. And quickly. As does the lady who took him into her home, vetted him, gave him safe haven, warmth, love. This is quite simply a time to help a beautiful four-legged by helping his two-legged guardian. You can read his story, see more pictures and videos here.

"When we speak of "mitakuye oyasin" [all my relatives], we know always that the growing and moving things of the earth, the winged, the four-legged, and the two legged are all children of the earth and they, too, want to live. So we say mitakuye oyasin." Black Elk Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 28, 2011

One little guy in Tennessee —

BJ was named after his dad, BRAVO. Who was married to BJ's Mom PEACHES. BRAVO, JR. was shortened to BJ by the caregivers at Kingsport Animal Shelter in Kingsport, TN. His parents were confiscated during a cruelty case investigation two years ago. BJ was born and raised in the kennels, adopted out as a puppy when he was eight months old. He was returned last week with neck wounds, which are being treated. According to the owner, BJ had disappeared a month ago, then showed back up at his house on Saturday March 19. The owner surrendered BJ because he said he was aggressive towards his Min Pin. Caregivers report that BJ is very sweet tempered and loves two-leggeds. He recognized the shelter staff — and seemed relieved to be back with them. Here are more pictures of BJ, whose favorite song is "Penguins" by Lyle Lovett. Number 14 on videos link. BJ is available for adoption or transfer to rescue. Please contact the shelter at 423-247-1671. One little guy in Tennessee needs your help. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 7, 2011

I ask Great Spirit

If you do not like unpleasant photographs move on. If you honor Great Spirit and the four-leggeds who walk this earth beside us please take a good look. Then call SC Governor Nikki Haley's office. 803-734-2100. Respectfully voice your disappointment that SLED declines to intervene in the case of [ up to 22] dogs shot in the head by ACOs in Chesterfield Co SC. Respectfully ask Governor Nikki Haley for an independent investigation. I ask Great Spirit to help me honor the four-leggeds brutally slaughtered in Chesterfield County SC. May there be no more killing. Mitakuye oyasin Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I think maybe now —

I think maybe now I can get on with life. Move forward instead of sideways and backwards. Sounds silly but I realized yesterday I never finished grieving for Edna. She died April 9, 2009. Maudy Thursday. And not a day goes by that I do not wonder what bridge I'd be living under were it not for her. And not a day goes by that I do not say dear God, I do know that so much of me is my crazy Dad John Abraham from Spotslvania County VA who gave new meaning to the phrase blue blood as well as to the phrase crazy mfer. But dear God I do also know that I am daughter of Edna, who was born in RoughEdge NC, Union County. I am finding ways and will find more. To honor her memory, her talk, her way of living a life of purpose and love. Her Cowboy Ethics. Thank you CP for those. You'll just never know.
1 Live each day with courage
2 Take pride in your work
3 Always finish what you start
4 Do what has to be done
5 Be tough, but fair
6 Make a promise, keep it
7 Ride for the brand
8 Talk less and say more
9 Some things aren't for sale
10 Know where to draw the line Sphere: Related Content

Monday, February 21, 2011

Parking lot puppy and Cowboy Ethics

OK. So fair is fair. I headed out to CMPD Animal Care and Control yesterday to assist a friend get some records about a very sad situation. And drive the agency's senior counter agent crazy with my requests for records on another situation, as well as question her about the possibility of resolving yet another situation for which I was not requesting records. So you can see I'm kind of annoying. I'm also on record as having a few issues with this agency. So is my friend Shirley. But I am daughter of Edna, and that means you play fair and speak the truth. As it happens. As you see it. So I gotta go on record and say that when I left, ran into a father and son looking woebegone because they had a puppy they'd found but could not keep and did not want to turn in to the shelter, I stopped, said hello, asked some questions, went inside, and asked the front counter staff of the agency with which I have some issues if there was not somewhere somehow someone who could help me find a home for the pupster so she would not have to go in the system. Annie Oakley introduced me to a lady on a mission to rescue another dog who then asked her — Annie, that is — if she could get the phone number of the lady who runs Lucky Labs Rescue. Which she did. Annie that is. The lady on a mission for another dog came out to the parking lot, met the family, called one of the ladies that founded Lucky Labs Rescue, and that lady agreed to meet the father and son and take in the parking lot puppy. It takes a village. And Cowboy ethics. Thanks to Cedar Posts and Barbwire Fences for hipping me to these. Four paws up, sixteen pads wiggling. Here's looking at you CP.
1 Live each day with courage
2 Take pride in your work
3 Always finish what you start
4 Do what has to be done
5 Be tough, but fair
6 Make a promise, keep it
7 Ride for the brand
8 Talk less and say more
9 Some things aren't for sale
10 Know where to draw the line Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Notes from the Wheelbarrow

After the big brouhaha about Facebook pictures of CMPD Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's Animal Care and Control animals there was a nanosecond of sensitivity re photos taken of incoming dogs. So that those going to CMPD's Animal Care and Control's web site to click on the big red button that says "Look For Your Lost Pet" might not see their lost dog in front of a wheelbarrow used to place bodies of destroyed animals. Albeit draped with black material. That sensitivity has disappeared. Along with Joe Gibson's dog DIESEL. Guess some of the workers didn't get the memo. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Edna weighs in — I listen

Call to come to church. Animal Farm Foundation. ASPCA. Best Friends. HSUS. NACA. No Kill Nation. YesBiscuit. Anyone else? Change does not and will not happen until we can all let go of —.

Edna was a smart lady. Heart with no boundaries no judgment not one single drop of malice. But also wise. And put her trust in what I think of as Great Spirit. Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky. Edna was above all a lady. I drove her nuts w/my swearing and foot stamping and 'hissy fits' for the three years we lived under one roof. And for the remaining 11 months and four days she lived on this earth. Though I did stop the foot stomping and the hissy fits for the last four months.

Were she here there are things she would tell me. In very few words. She was a few words kinda gal. So I'm listening to Edna. Who is channeling Martin Luther King, Jr. "Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." Sphere: Related Content