CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

July 31, 2011

Dog Stories I Told at the Café

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DOG STORIES I TOLD AT THE CAFÉ

While at a local cafe’ my friend and another patron were exchanging dog stories. The following is my contribution to the conversation. The first part of the conversation can be read by clicking on Dog Stories I Heard at the Café

     My friend whom I’ll call Vivian turned to me and said “If you had a pet, you could tell a story too.”

     “I had a Border collie at one time,” I said. “I have stories too.”

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     “We acquired Tagalong when her owners needed a place for her while they took an extended trip to Europe,” I said. “Shortly, we were presented with three puppies. We weren’t certain whether she came to us pregnant, or whether she had had an immediate tryst with one of our neighbor’s dogs.

     One of the pups was gorgeous He was adopted by my mother, who loved him dearly.

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     “For some reason we didn’t know she didn’t like delivery men, especially the UPS drivers. We had to protect them from her.

     “One time I had to stop her from attacking the mother (I’ll call her Amy) of one of my child care home children. On a bitter, cold winter morning three-year-old Christine decided to (more…)

July 28, 2011

Dog Stories I Heard at the Café

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DOG STORIES I HEARD AT THE CAFÉ

Occasionally I have the opportunity to eat breakfast at a local cafe’. Below is part one of a conversation held there one morning. To read part two click on Dog Stories I Told at the Café

     Border collies are not bred like other dogs—good breeders take into consideration the dog’s temperament and ancestry, according to a woman I’ll call Dot.

     My friend (whom I’ll call Vivian) and I were breakfasting at a local café and talking to a woman at an adjacent table.

     “My border collie (I’ll call him Wicked) was vicious,” said Dot. “I never had a vicious dog before. Even the ghost whisperer I called was appalled.”

     Dot went on to say that Wicked was bred from a nine-year-old, which she never saw when she purchased Wicked from the breeder.

     “They never let us near the mother. We were told she was (more…)

July 10, 2010

Mika’s Escapades

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MIKA’S ESCAPADES

      My restaurant leftover doggy bag meal went to the dog—literally.

     The July 6th evening was just cool enough to sit on the patio, where I was enjoying leftover spaghetti and meatballs from the previous night’s dinner at a local restaurant—a two-for-one deal where only half the spaghetti was sufficient for me, so I made two meals out of the serving, making it a three-for-one deal.

Ummm...ummm good! People food is GREAT!

     My neighbor’s dog, Mika, was lounging on my porch, subtly eyeing me while I ate. I was ignoring her.

     The phone rang. My husband asked me to check on something, so I stepped into the house for a moment. Just for a moment. And a moment is all it took.

     I heard the crash, And I knew (more…)

March 28, 2010

Animal Cruelty? What’s behind the Truth?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ANIMAL CRUELTY? WHAT’S BEHIND THE TRUTH?

     What is true?

     The Almost Heaven Kennel, owned by Lehigh County resident Derbe “Skip” Eckhart, was closed down in 2008 by Pennsylvania dog Warden Kristen Donmoyer (a kennel-compliance specialist with the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement). He is on trial for animal cruelty and other counts following a 2008 raid.

     Donmoyer, who closed the kennel due to deplorable conditions, testified that she’d “never forget the (sickening) smell” of ammonia produced by animal urine. On cross-examination, she acknowledged that the kennel passed inspection earlier in 2008, less than two months before she closed it. She testified that there was no “notation of dogs in wretched, deplorable conditions” After Jeff Conrad, defense lawyer, stated that wardens could be arbitrary and capricious if they chose to be, Donmoyer agreed that even a “nasty old weed” on the premises could be in violation of the finer points of the Pennsylvania kennel regulations.

     Some of the scores of dogs and cats seized from Derbe ”Skip” Eckhart’s Almost Heaven kennel are already up for adoption through the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Philadelphia, and many more are expected to be available after they receive medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation.* On June 25, 2009, Chris Ryder, a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that 211 dogs were healthy enough for adoption.**

     Larger issues are raised by this case. How was the Animal Heaven kennel initially approved, considering Eckhart had a long history of run-ins with state and local authorities, and was convicted at least twice of animal cruelty.*

      I’m not examining this case to decide whether Eckhart is guilty or innocent. I do want to examine whether it is possible (more…)

February 23, 2010

Dog Fighting & Cock Fighting: Cultural Phenomenon?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DOG FIGHTING & COCK FIGHTING:

CULTURAL PHENOMENON?

     On July 17, 2007, Michael Vick was charged with owning and operating an illegal dog-fighting organization, aptly called Bad Newz Kennels, in rural southeastern Virginia. Not only was excessive violence applied to “losing” dogs—allegedly, there was substantial gambling.

     Vick was suspended indefinitely from the National Football League, where he was a quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons. He also lost his lost his contract with Nike and endured the wrath of animal rights groups. The allegations were investigated by local and federal authorities. Vick was defended by a legal defense team consisting of five top-notch lawyers.

     Vick admitted to killing six to eight dogs whose demonstrated poor performance during training sessions. He also admitted to financing the Kennels and bankrolling gambling on the dog fights. When he entered his plea in federal court, he apologized and asked for forgiveness. On December 10, 2007, he was sentenced to 23 months in prison. Approximately fifty persons attended the sentencing hearing, some siding with animal rights activists, some supporting Vick.

     Vick mustered a short speech, apologizing to some people and admitting “I’ve used poor judgment.”    

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    According to Whoopi Goldberg, the problem may be cultural. On the television program, The View, she defended Vick by stating that “from where he comes from” in the South, dogfighting isn’t that unusual.

      “It’s like cockfighting in Puerto Rico,” she said. “There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country.”

     Co-host Joy Behar looked horrified at Goldberg and asked, “How about dog torture and dog murdering?” Goldberg replied that for many people, dogs are sport, and it appeared it took awhile for Vick to realize that he was up against serious charges.

     “I just thought it was interesting, because it seemed like a light went off in his head when he realized this was something that the entire country didn’t appreciate,” she said.

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      According to historical journals, Whoopi has a point. During America’s early days, cock-fighting, was commonplace. A French military man touring the United States between 1780-1783 wrote this about the Americans:

“They have another sport, which is (more…)

August 31, 2009

Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HONEY WENT HOME

She’s romping about animal heaven

 It looked good for Honey’s recovery when I posted Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate. What happened a few days later was surprising. Honey’s story continues below. 

     Honey lay on the table in the examination room at Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic, Inc. I sat and observed her closely, looking to see if her heart was demonstrating the same rapid and hard rhythm I had seen during the previous evening.

     At about 8:45 a. m. Saturday morning I’d called the vet’s office to share my concerns. Following her visit to the clinic on August 20, when she’d been diagnosed with two fractures on the top of her leg near her hip bone, she’d done fine. She didn’t like being confined, but it was a minor price to pay for her recuperation time. She ate, slept, purred and accepted her medication: prednisolone.

To see pictures of Honey, click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3872399797/  & http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3873184126/in/photostream/

      On Thursday, the 27th, I cut her medication in half. The morning dose went fine, but she fought the evening dose. Not just fought it. She (more…)

August 20, 2009

Vicious dog or man’s best friend?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

VICIOUS DOG OR MAN’S BEST FRIEND?

      Often dog owners often have a less-than-realistic opinion of their pet’s personalities. An owner’s loyalty to their dog precludes any insight into its degree of viciousness.

     Bob Petrillo, a Jeanette (PA) dog owner, believes authorities “overreacted” when they shot and killed his pet. Rocky was a one hundred fifty pound Rottweiler. Police justified the shooting because, they claim, Rocky (more…)

October 21, 2008

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #4

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #4

 

As we traveled along the New England coast (a journey that began by way of Philadelphia) I periodically posted Snapshots of meetings with people we meet along the way. I will continue to post these Snapshots as I post additional “journals” of our vacation.

WARNING! CHECK YOUR DRIER LINT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE!
BLUE ROOF MOTEL IS FOR THE DOGS
COFFEE AND BETS AT THE BLUE ROOF MOTEL

WARNING! CHECK YOUR DRIER LINT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE!

     Undated, prior to September 16, 2008: The news media reported that a Lexington, Massachusetts, mother of three died in a fire. She’d gone to bed that night not knowing that a fire was brewing in her drier lint. According to the news, a thousand deaths a year can be blamed on fires caused by drier lint.
     I hope each and every one of you are (more…)

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