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photo by don brouillard

photo by don brouillard

smokeybear2

Dear Florida Black Bear,

You need to understand you are under assault. Run as far and as fast as you can back into whatever little amount of woods you reach. You may find some safety there. I know it’s confusing. People beg you to come closer. They build huge homes on what used to be YOUR home. Generations of your family have roamed those same paths where today you find concrete and swimming pools. If you aren’t careful now, you will run straight into the path of an armed FWC officer. He’s out to get you. He wants to prove his point. They say the Florida Wildlife Commission is all about conservation. Killing SEVEN of you is certainly not very conservation-minded. And they’re not done. They’re setting traps using donuts and other delectable goodies. Don’t fall for it! There are mornings I’d be acting fairly aggressive over a donut, too, but they are going to kill YOU. The FWC is made up of macho yahoos claiming to be outdoorsmen, in other words, they are hunters. Please, please go far away.

You need to understand people are sloppy and lazy and that’s what has now put your very life on the line. I certainly don’t blame you for taking advantage of the easy meals residents put right under your nose. Bird seed, cracked corn and cat food is pretty tasty to a hungry bear right out of hibernation. And those big things on wheels at the end of driveways seem to be rolled out right for your pleasure – but they’re not. It’s easy pickings but it’s going to be the death of you. SEVEN of your brothers and sisters are already dead. Please, please go far away.

You have the ability to think, reason and make a decision. Most of the time you decide humans are not worth bothering. You could easily crush us and you decide not to. Instead you saunter on your merry way. Now there have been incidents lately where someone was injured and that’s not good, not good at all. Please tell all the other bears no matter what, run the other way instead of defending yourself against a perceived threat. When a mere human gets on the wrong side of scary, things go terribly bad. And YOU will pay with your life. Please, please go far away.

I have been a few steps away from you. I looked upon you with awe. You looked at me with innocence and we each went about our business. Me to walking dogs and you to foraging for food. That is what you do with the majority of your time. You forage for food. If we had not taken away your wilderness and replaced it with gated neighborhoods you would be kept busy with fruits, nuts, plants and insect larvae. Those are your natural dietary selections. I’m so sorry we’ve done this to you. I will do my best to help educate and bring awareness to your plight. There are many others like-minded who feel honored you walk among us. There are many others who know we can coexist if things are done the right way. Each time I see you I say a prayer for your safe journey. Please, please go far away.

Sincerely, 

Kathleen Prince

For Facts about Black Bears please check out http://bearwithus.org/understanding-bears.

To get involved go to Bears of Wekiva on Facebook.

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. My die-hard-Cardinal-fan Mother is very excited! Thought it appropriate to make it our Opening Day, as well… our Opening Day into the Spring Pasture! WhooHoo!!! Cass and Becca have been kept in the back pasture all Winter to allow the front pasture to rest. It’d gotten eaten down pretty bare. For some reason, when given the choice to be wherever they want, horses, cows and goats seem to have always preferred the front pasture. It’s a little smaller than the back but there just seems to be more delicious grasses and weeds.

Cass grazing

Cass grazing

Becca choosing her favorite.

Becca choosing her favorite.

I had hoped for a bit more excitement from them. They’re Fjords, after all, and those delicious grasses are right here in front of me… why run all the way over there?!

The girls said they'll take care of the mowing.

The girls said they’ll take care of the mowing.

Cass cannot be distracted.

Cass cannot be distracted.

They also said, “Go CARDS!!!”

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Pookie Booth at a dog event. The last time may have been as far back as 2006! Yesterday’s SCAS Adopt-A-Thon was the perfect setting to get back in the groove. We were happy to set up behind our friends Gary & Lexy of Natural Instinct Dog Training. They had all sorts of fun taking dogs through the agility course. Looks like Ollie is photo-bombing at the bottom of the pic! She was such a good girl.

Setting up Gary's tent.

Setting up Gary’s tent.

We still had all our booth supplies in 3 bins, had 2 chairs and a tent. Once we got a new banner made, we were set. Lots of volunteers were on hand to help carry stuff from the car and set up the tent. I’d forgotten how! The volunteers for Seminole County are a dedicated and caring bunch. Most people may not even think you could volunteer for the “dog pound” but you can – and you should – they are the best!

Manning the Pookie Booth

Manning the Pookie Booth

We had brochures from all those years ago but at our old rate. So I just took a pen and started changing it. No sense wasting them.

IMG_20140322_115743642_HDR

This was an adoption event so lots of rescue groups were on hand. Lots of different breeds and even a parrot rescue were in attendance. I’m sure some love connections were made. It was a bit strange being at an event and not having one of our dogs, especially Sam. He was known far and wide for being the cute little thing in our famous Pookie Kissing Booth! He must have given out millions of kisses. He took his job seriously until he hit his teens and his age started catching up to him. We have no one to fill those paws.

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer.  never met a face he didn't kiss!

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer. never met a face he didn’t kiss!

There were lots of cute pups… little pups, medium pups and biguns! We were set up near a swimming pool loaded with ice. The ice mostly melted but the dogs enjoyed splashing in the cool water. It’s easy here in Florida for dogs to overheat, even if it feels comfortable to us. I’m always watchful of this and ready to jump into action.

A recent track rescue greyhound partakes of the pool.

A newly off-the-track greyhound partakes of the pool.

Some of our faves from the day:This girl is an Australian Cattledog / Blue Heeler mix! Only about 15 pounds and just a doll! Good thing she had a home.

Most Adorable Mini!

Most Adorable Mini

Buddy is one of my regular clients. He knew if he sat good for me he just might score a bite of my sandwich. He did.

Most Likely To Get A Bite

Most Likely To Get A Bite

This tall drink of water is Rachel. She’s also a retired racing Greyhound. I talked with her foster daddy for quite a while. I was pushing him toward keeping her. She’s really a lovely girl. Greyhounds are lovely dogs.

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

I didn’t even catch this boy’s name but I was a victim of love at first sight. His momma was carrying him around and she said that’s pretty much his favorite thing to do, be carried around. Look at that FACE!!!

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Little Fu-Man-Chu (name I’m calling him) wasn’t impressing his brother. He said he’s capable of walking around on his own, thank you very much!

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Godfrey is one of the SCAS dogs needing to find his forever family. How has this adorable boy NOT been adopted?! I’ll tell you why… people are stupid. Yep. Just stupid. Godfrey came into the shelter injured. T.E.A.R.S. of Seminole County paid to have all his medical stuff done. He’s now healed and ready for a home. His foster dad told me people are afraid he’s going to cost a ton of money… that makes no sense! His leg has been fixed. Problem solved. Any pet, at any time, can potentially need costly medical expenses. His person has just not seen him, yet. So let’s help Godfrey find his person! He’s a cool boy.

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Our next event will be in a few short weeks. Come see us at the 11th Annual Doggie Arts Festival! Join us for one of Winter Park’s most beloved events!

doggieartsfest

*Poster art by Shari Sherman

This family & pet friendly event will be held Sunday, April 13th in North Central Park, Park Avenue and will feature pet-related artists, vendors, & adoption organizations. Proceeds benefit the Sebastian Haul Fund – helping Central Fl greyhounds reach their new families.

For the love of an old dog… our nightmare is soon to be over.

Last week I picked up a check to cover the balance of what’s needed to save our home. The couple who did this wish to remain anonymous. The only reason they would give is they wanted to repay the kindness for the wonderful dog they adopted from us several years ago.

We are at a loss for words. The couple want only for us to be happy and all our lives to be better again. I pray we can continue to live as to deserve such kindness.

For the love of an old dog.

funky-pink-heart

Kathleen & Cassidy:

My precious Cass came from a defunct PMU farm in Canada. I cannot say for sure she was actually used in the pee barns but I do know she was used as a baby machine. Her body cannot hide the long-term effects of assembly line births. I do my best to make up for it. She is one of the lucky ones, she got out alive. Her unborn (at the time) foal is one of the lucky ones, she is alive and well and about to turn 6! Her herd stallion, Marvin, is one of the lucky ones as we liberated him a year after her. The bottom line is, not only is this bad for the horses it’s unsafe for women.

Originally posted on TUESDAY'S HORSE:

Premarin-Expendable Artwork with Woman, Mare and Foal

Click to view full size. Free to use.

THE HORSES

Premarin mares are large bred horses such as Belgian—Quarter Horses crosses, prized for their large bladders.

For most of their 11-month pregnancies, these horses are confined to stalls so small that they cannot turn around or take more than one step in any direction.

The mares must wear rubber urine-collection bags at all times which causes chafing and lesions.

The mares are taken off the pee line a couple of months before they foal.

Once the foals are born, the mares are re-impregnated; this cycle continues for about 12 years.

Sadly, the foals born to these mares are usually worth less than the urine their mothers produce. To the PMU farmers, they are worth more dead than alive.

Just as the male calves born to dairy cows are considered to be a byproduct of the dairy industry, the foals of…

View original 646 more words

Down To The Wire

As I write this we have 67 hours left for our Indiegogo Campaign to raise funds. We’re amazingly over $17k, which is nearly halfway to the goal of what’s needed to rectify things with the company that holds our mortgage, Ocwen. Having 67 hours left on Indiegogo does not mean we will stop our fund-raising! The court gave us more time to be in our home and to “do whatever we’re going to do” – meaning short sale in their minds – not so in ours. (It’s just a few months.) Our goal is to stay in our home. After the Indiegogo deadline hits on Sunday, we will still offer our great deals on Pet Sitting and Photography Packages. We will have various items listed to auction on Ebay. We are open to suggestions.

The neat thing about the Indiegogo Campaign is the ability to be able to offer “Perks”. We’ve got serious ones and some not-so-serious ones. I want to show some of those…

Gertie is our Sphynx kitty who came to us via Craigs List a few years ago when her family could no longer tolerate her oddness. We’re her third and FINAL home! We adore all that oddness. She offered up special naked kisses.

We also had some Canine Cookie Parties. This is one the big girls enjoyed. We will get a little dog party on video soon!

A popular perk has been the Cowgirl Belly Rub. The cowgirl is Eva our 7 year old Australian Cattledog. They’re also known as Blue Heelers and they are just a bit intense.

We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support shown to us during what is the most trying time in our lives. I would not wish this type of stress upon my worst enemy. Tears have been flowing on a regular basis. Doubt surfaces from time to time but we must remain steadfast in our faith. Our “kids” depend on us to keep them safe.

Saying Goodbye

A client is waking today with the worst possible feeling.  As her eyes come into focus, she will wonder and hope yesterday was just a bad dream. Then she sees the empty dog bed. It was real. Her beloved is gone. This comes hard and fast like a punch in the gut from a prize fighter. I’ve literally been dropped to my knees before when arising from bed the “day after”. It doesn’t make it any easier she was an old and sick dog. Grief will take its sweet time. Its affect on us is different from person to person. I know Jessica will be watching her momma from above and helping her through the pain. She was her angel. Now she has wings. Give her your strength, big girl. I was honored to have known Jessica. I was even more honored to get that one quick kiss upon my arrival – every time – before we’d go for a walk.

No words needed.

No words needed. Jessica & her momma.

Photo take w/bad cell phone but this is her sweet face.

Photo take w/bad cell phone but this is her sweet face.

As is the way of things, life keeps forging on despite whatever problems or crisis there may be. (Refer to previous post about trying to save our home.) We said goodbye to one of our senior cats. Baby Sarah Cat was also old and sick. She’d come to us a 4-week old in a litter of homeless kittens. The siblings all got their own families but Ramirez had chosen Sarah as his own! He raised her. He’d clean her after she ate, keep the other dogs away from her and taught her to wrestle. She was his cat.

Ramirez & Sarah

Ramirez & Sarah as a baby.

The bond between the two remained steadfast though she wasn’t the sweetest or friendliest to Scottie, me or the other animals. We accepted her as she was and let her be. An interesting thing happened after Ramirez passed. Sarah became loving and affectionate! It was a bit scary at first but then it was just so nice to finally be able to give her attention. She loved the attention. She must have missed her “daddy” as much as we did. We know he was thrilled to see her again. They are together forever. It is as it should be.

Sweet Baby Sarah Cat.

Sweet Baby Sarah Cat.

Click the link for our fundraising page – Save Our Family!

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