Why size doesn’t matter

Big dogs aren’t necessarily smarter than small ones like me and little pooches are not apt to bark more than larger breeds. Size isn’t what is important because all dogs have our pros and cons.

Some men are turned off by miniature dogs because they think we are a reflection of their manhood. They’re embarrassed to walk us and even to pet us in public. But there are some benefits to having a small dog just like there are plusses to owning a big dog.

Little pooches can be easier on the wallet because we require less food and smaller doses of flea/tick medicine. We tend to live longer, usually between 12-15 years compared to large dogs, which often live between 8-11 years old, depending on the breed. However, dental problems and luxating patellas haunt us. Plus, our tiny bones break easily; therefore, it’s important not to let us jump off the furniture onto a hard surface.

Larger breeds such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and Dobermans are more prone to hip dysplasia, which can make them so lame that owners choose to put them out of their misery. But with proper healthcare, sometimes big dogs can live into their teens too.

All dogs, regardless of size, need daily exercise but owners who want a dog to jog with them will prefer a big dog. My little legs can’t keep up. But we can accompany our owners to more places because we’re easily transported. There’s a misconception that all miniature dogs yap. Many of us are extremely quiet. What is true is that some small dogs like to act bigger than they are. Their strong personalities make up for what they lack in size.
In the end, size doesn’t matter. What does is your lifestyle, your living space and your ability to love your four-legged friend.

– Trevor the Dog

Animals have personalities too: Think Before You Eat

It is often difficult to put a face to the meat you eat. I love steak, but when I think of a cow who was a part of an animal community, I can’t bear to take another bite. Every single animal that has been cooked or eaten had a unique personality. Let me give you a quick rundown on the personality types of some popular ‘dinner’ animals to give more perspective of what may appear on your dinner table:

  • Chickens: Chickens are intelligent animals that are very curious and have even been likened to cats and dogs because of their social qualities. They like to spend time outdoors lying in the sun and roosting.
  • Cows: Cows are known to be sweet and incredibly gentle, regardless of their size. They are also very smart and have the understanding to attempt daring escapes from being slaughtered in farms.
  • Fish: Surprisingly, fish do feel pain and actually have personalities that make them all as individual as a cat or a dog. Some can be more aggressive, and others have been known to be loners that work well to live in a single home.
  • Pigs: Pigs are so smart that many people have them as pets instead of dogs. There are numerous sayings referring to dirty conditions is a pigsty, but pigs themselves love to keep clean and spend time outdoors in the sun.
  • Turkeys: Turkeys may seem like just another bird, but they actually like to listen to music and being petted, and they have even been known to sing along!

– Mama

Stay! Stay! Ahhh… That’s a Good Girl

Learning not to run away.

“Sit Bell!” I held my two fingers up then brought them down slowly on top of the two fingers of my opposite hand until they resembled legs hanging over the seat of a chair. When I gave the command, my dog sat, her pink tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. I stood right in front of her. “Now staa—aayy.” My voice rolled on this command, and I began to back away. Her bottom started to wiggle the further away I got. I saw her getting anxious, shifting the weight of her two front paws, one to the other. There were sharp yelps as I moved further and further away.

“Staa—aayy.” I said again.

Like most of us, she didn’t believe she was going to be all right. She was waiting for the trick, the pull of the rug that bowls us over, the bucket of no-so-funny that sits atop a doorway ready to spill just as we pull the knob toward us.

The real trick is the ability to simply witness the chaos, the disappointment, the suffering and the pain and not drink, or drug or shop or sex our way through it, it is the ability to bear witness to the ache and splendor that’s life.

Bell breaks as soon as I reach the doorway, her paws skittering over the wood floor. She jumps on my legs, wanting and needing to be petted, reassured that everything would be okay. I reassure her, take her back to the place where started and begin again.

“Take a breath Bell, everything is okay.” I said while I smoothed my hands over her coat.
At one time or another we are all scared or nervous, angry or anxious. We don’t want to stay because we don’t know what the next moment might bring. And then the next moment comes, sometimes bringing death or regret or hurt. Yes, those feelings are large and unwieldy and that’s when you have to pause and admit to yourself what you’re feeling. And yes it is uncomfortable and yes you will want to have a drink or smoke or shop or sex.
Just like Bell, you’ll go skittering towards what will make you feel better.

That’s okay. Those feelings didn’t go anywhere. Now take yourself back to them. Take a breath and sit with them a moment. Those feelings just want to be acknowledged.

Staa—aay. Good.

– Aunt B

Animals: They need us more than ever

If you cannot take care of your pet, please don’t abandon it. Take it to a local shelter or rescue group who can find a new home for it.

– Mama

Protecting the wildlife and making lemonade from lemons

This is a great example of how communities rise to the occasion and turn lemons into lemonade.

Stormy is a rainbow of sunshine

Mama has a sweet spot for animals. She is always looking for a new animal to sponsor. This month’s sponsored animal is Stormy.

Stormy is an eight month old, twenty four pound male terrier mix. At this age he still has a little more growing to do. Stormy loves all people he meets – big or little. He probably would enjoy a canine companion but it’s not a necessity. This adorable pooch walks nicely on a leash and knows basic manners. Come meet Stormy. He is a sweet boy.

Slaughterhouse Workers: Unseen employees with one of the most dangerous jobs in America

Employees of slaughter houses have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Yes. I know, Policemen and Firemen have dangerous jobs too, but there is a silent and often unseen workforce whose bodies pay a high price to put a filet mignon (sorry Serena) on my dinner table.

Employees of slaughter houses often work in a factory like setting where they use physical labor to butcher large carcasses of meat all day long. They use a sharp knife to butcher carcasses for hours on end, which has been said to be extremely difficult and cause massive injuries because of the high margin for error. Sliced finger with your chicken drumstick?

Slaughter house workers have almost 20% more injuries or illnesses than other types of factory workers. The increase in injuries is largely a result of their fast pace work environment. Employees are often pressured to meet quotas and work faster. When workers butcher at a fast pace, they often don’t little or no time to sharpen their knives properly which leads to more injuries.

Dull knives is only one of the problems that slaughterhouse workers face. Workers often have to defend themselves from being brutally pecked by chickens or turkeys, and sometimes, the cows or pigs remain conscious and thrash around even after their throats have been slit. If you were a chicken, wouldn’t you fight to save your life? Sounds like Animal Farm by George Orwell…the sequel.

-Mama