"Animals - That's what I want to devote my life to now," Emmylou Harris stated. The angel-voiced singer has been wowing audiences for decades, and as one of music's leading vocalists, has earned 12 Grammy Awards. Emmylou states that the animals have wriggled their way into her heart and life. She now feels that she has the time and opportunity to give back a little to these critters that have given her so much.
In her adult years, one of Harris' closest canine companions was Bonaparte, a poodle mix who traveled with her on tour and lived to age 15. As a result, Harris founded her own fostering operation, which she calls Bonaparte's Retreat. She has turned part of her yard into a small shelter, complete with runs and doghouses for up to three pooches at a time. Currently, her foster dogs are close to or more than 50 pounds and in need of permanent families all their own. She noted that she always tries to help out those dogs that seem to be the hardest to place—those who are older, have been relinquished more than once, or have been available for adoption for a while.
She states giving up these dogs that she has rescued to a new family is not the hard part. The hard part is when she has a vacancy and goes to select a new dog. Unfortunately, there are always more than one dog that needs a home and it is hard to leave the others behind knowing that they will probably end up being euthanized. They key is getting more people to foster these animals. And if you can’t foster, perhaps you can spend a few hours each week at a local shelter and just walk the dogs. It is so important for these dogs who may be euthanized to have some kind of human contact. People in the shelters are overwhelmed and if the community came together and helped, everyone would benefit. There are so many problems in the world, but this is a problem that can be overcome by spaying and neutering.
Harris feels that animals are given to us to make our lives better and they are also sort of a test. It’s as if, “God says if you can’t get this one right, then I don’t even want to know you!” She also feels that animals teach us how to be good people and enrich our lives in so many ways.
It seems only natural that Harris would be so concerned about animals. Her father was training to be a veterinarian at the University of Virginia when World War II began. He abandoned his veterinary studies to join the armed forces, get married and start a family. Harris was raised near Quantico, Virginia, where her father was stationed for more than a decade. Later, she started her music career in Washington, D.C.
To see where she is touring next, please visit: http://www.emmylou.net.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
Clipping The Hair Between Your Dog’s Toes
Joey was recently asked by a woman, “Why does my groomer want to clip the hair in between the pads of my dog’s feet?” While Joey has discussed this before, he never really discussed why it is done.
People have domesticated dogs and have changed their coats. This has taken thousands of years for our dogs to evolve into the coats that we have today. Because of this, pet’s coats don’t work the way they probably did when they were the original wild dogs. These coats would automatically shed out and new growth would happen.
However, we developed all of these pure breeds and changed their coats. Some of these new coats don’t shed out, like the long flowing coats of ShihTzus, Malteses, etc.
The pads in these dogs also don’t shed out. Dogs perspire through their tongue and with the pads of their feet, so they get wet. You might even see some of these dogs chewing at their feet, because they are irritated. When their pads get wet, the hair matts up in the pads. This hair will then get as hard as a rock and become uncomfortable for them to walk. It can also limit their mobility. It’s almost like athlete’s foot, because a fungus builds up in the hair. This hair needs to be removed before it matts, and plus it lets them perspire better.
There are some dogs, like German Shepherds, where their coats will automatically shed out. This means that the hair between their footpads will also shed automatically. This will only happen with dogs with short coats. There are some longhaired German Shepherds, which will need to have this hair clipped.
PETA & Sex Go “Hand In Hand"
PETA is known for using controversial methods to bring attention to animal issues. With the launch of PETA.xxx, a sexy website featuring Ron Jeremy, Jenna Jameson, Rose McGowan and the controversial Sasha Grey, the animal rights organization is attempting to raise awareness for animals. Although some might question PETA’s unorthodox strategy, the site does offer a lot of important information on animal welfare and might prove to be educational for many. The site is relatively work safe, and if you’re looking for something intense under the “Hardcore Videos” section you might be in for a surprise.
Scat Detecting Dogs
A study published in the online science journal PLoS ONE was the first to use "Scat-detection dogs" to find the feces of endangered killer whales for research. Tucker, the black Labrador in the study, was able to detect the endangered whale's poop from as far as a mile away. Tucker did his job by boarding a small boat that lingered near the whales. Scientists used the technique to determine the levels of stress and hunger hormones in the feces so that they could analyze the affects of stress on malnourished orcas. According to the study, the approaching boat season stresses out orcas but not more than being underfed. And these beasts are hungry because there are not enough salmon to sustain this already-declining species. Katherine Ayres, the lead researcher from the University of Washington, said in a news release that whales are often difficult to study because they spend 90% of their time underwater.
It’s Foxtail Season, And A Booming One It Is!
Foxtails are produced by a number of non-native grasses. They're sort of torpedo shaped with tiny barbs that allow them to stick to anything to which they come in contact - including fur on animals. Once attached, problems can occur. Because the barbs are angled to allow forward progress and disallow reverse, a foxtail can get into a dog's ear canal and continue to burrow down toward the eardrum. They can even penetrate through the drum and cause severe ear damage and infection. As one might imagine, this is uncomfortable for the dog. The ear, however, is but one area that might be invaded by these foxtails. If you take your dog to areas where foxtails lurk, make sure you check them over after the day's play. Pay especially close attention between the toes, as foxtails can bore into the skin between the toes and migrate internally up the limbs. Check around the ears, and hope also that your dog didn't snort one up its nose. This almost always involves sneezing violently, so it is usually easy to know when that happens. Foxtails can also get into the eyes and cause damage to the cornea.
Do You Use Your Dog As Date Bait?
Whether warranted or not, deep down, people who love animals instinctively believe they can trust a fellow animal lover. Taking that premise a little further, both women and men have lots of preconceived notions about what their favorite breed of dog says about them to the opposite sex. Would you use your Dalmatian to get a date with a like-minded person? Do people use their dogs as date bait? A recent survey about what breeds are attractive to the opposite sex done by Klooff, a mobile application for pet lovers, revealed that if attracting a date is your goal, you can't go wrong with retrievers, popular breeds for both sexes. The survey results are based on responses from 1,000 pet owners and non-owners between the ages of 18-33. According to the survey, the top dog breed to attract men is Golden Retrievers, followed by Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Poodles and Beagles. For women, the top breed of dog to attract them to men is German Shepherds, followed by Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Huskies and French Bulldogs.
Should Live Animals Be Included In Olympics Opening Ceremonies?
Filmmaker Danny Boyle has come under fire for planning to include live animals in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, with campaigners branding his idea "Exploitative." The "Slumdog Millionaire" director recently unveiled plans to include real grass, soil and farmyard creatures at the ceremony that will kick off the international sporting event in London this month. Boyle is set to include 12 horses, 10 chickens, 70 sheep and nine geese. But his project has been criticized by bosses at animal rights organization Viva, reports femalefirst.co.uk. "This is wrong on so many levels. Why would anyone think it was a good idea to subject farmed animals to the pandemonium of an Olympic opening ceremony? Many of those animals, especially the sheep, are likely to be terrified. (It's) exploitative and potentially cruel," said Justin Kerswell, Campaigns director.
Puppies Instead of Panhandling
Puppies have some pretty magical powers: the ability to look cute from all angles, the ability to pee wherever they want. And now, they may also have the power to address San Francisco's panhandling problem. The city will initiate a new program August 1st, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. WOOF (Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos) encourages homeless individuals to give up panhandling. In exchange, they'll receive a small stipend to foster problematic puppies until they're ready for adoption. Bevan Dufty, San Francisco's point-person on homeless issues, said his goal is to try to help both the city and its animals. San Francisco Animal Care and Control will screen potential foster parents to ensure that they are a good fit for the program. They must live in supportive housing, not on the streets, and prove they are not severely mentally ill, aren't hoarders, don't have a history of violence and aren't seeking treatment for addictions. They must also promise to stop panhandling, and if they are caught begging with the puppy, the animal will be taken back to the shelter. In exchange, the approved applicant will receive $50-$75 a week, as well as several training sessions, regular check-ins, and all the dog food, toys, leashes and veterinary care they need, provided by Animal Care and Control. As the program expands, the participants will ideally be trained in grooming, dog walking and other animal-related skills so that they can join the regular workforce.
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