Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Problem With The Problem? Computer Challenged?

I had/have a problem with WordPress and my computer. I had h—  getting the Foundlings Four photos to work in a slide show the way that I intended. I worked and worked with the cotton-pickin pics for over an hour plus. I am apparently (aged) and (computer) challenged for I could not get the slide show to work as I wanted. So, when I have time, I need to practice again and again and again!!!!  The story below is rather long and detailed. Just skim over,  you won’t miss much. I need to work on some of these long stories  as well and condense -sort of like Readers’ Digest style or even less.

That old saying that less is better, I think  is true where blogs are concerned. But when I initially began writing these pet stories I had not intended them for Internet viewing. Pet stories were over in Word Process and my dear daughter suggested that I write a blog. She believed that I needed some kind of shock,  in the form of rentless suggesting to get over the shock of what my changed life was doing to me. The answer was grief therapy, in the form of writing. So she decided that blogging on her web site would help me tremendously. Well- it did to a degree. What she suggested created a monster in the form of an addiction. So any young people out there that are planning your parent/s activities be careful. You might get more than what you expected.
Now, my daughter says that all I do is blog writing,  editing photos, and piddling with my camera. What does this child of mine want me to do? I have thought of several answers and I am sorry but I am not the knitting kind.  I am not into social groups, wine tasting tours, travel, or card playing, I don’t like to rock unless it is to dance to “rock and roll.”  I no longer watch  TV and I am not a real social kind of person.  So if any if you out there care to offer some suggestions, fire away. So now my daughter says I have a problem. Well, I think I do. The perceived problem actually became a problem.
The Foundlings Four follows this brief interruption of irrelevant complaining.
Post: Yvonne

The Foundlings Four (hand raised by me)

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Originally posted January 20,2011    
The Foundlings Four

In August 2001, an almost unbearable summer was still underway. Texas in the summer is miserable with hot sticky heat waves that seem to go on and on with a relentless determination to keep the thermometer over 100 degrees for days and days. This particular August had been difficult for me.  The heat seemed to intensify as I mourned the loss of one of my favorite cats, Bentley, who had gone missing in June. He had slipped out the back door one morning and I did not pursue him because I had hardly slept the night before due to a migraine headache that would not let up- even with strong medication. Bentley had never left the yard, always preferring to lounge under one of my husband’s trucks. So after he ran from the house I told myself that he would not go far and so I retreated back to bed where I stayed almost the entire day. I forgot about Bentley being outside and when I suddenly remembered  at 10 o’clock, that he was still out, I began to call for him fully expecting that he would come to the door at break neck speed- happy to be going inside. But on this night Bentley did not appear.  I was immediately worried and horrified for fear that he was not coming back. My fears became real by the next morning when he did not appear.  In the days that followed, I drove around many neighborhoods putting up posters and running ads in the newspaper for at least 5-6 months. Bentley was never found and to this day I think of all the terrible things that could have caused his demise.  Years later I still feel guilty because I forgot that he was outside. In the past I had not ever let a cat remain outdoors and to this day I can not comprehend why I was so lax and careless.  Our home is in a semi-wood area with deep ravines about a block away. Coyotes might have eaten him and many other bad things could have taken his life. Losing Bentley impacted my summer in a way that I could not have imagined.

By mid July, I had spoken with a prominent neighborhood couple, who owned a corner plot of land that was a perfect stetting for a large sign that I had envisioned to advertise my lost cat. A large sign would display a reward of 500 hundred (yes, $500) and a description of my cat. The corner is a well traveled road and I thought the spot would be the perfect place for my lost cat sign. I believed that a large reward would be an enticement for people to pay attention stray cats or if someone had him, then they hopefully would return him to me.

Of course, I had to find someone to make my sign but finding a sign maker that I could afford proved to be a difficult task. I spoke with no less that 5-7 men before someone told me about a man in a small town that was about 12 miles from the city. I spoke with him on the phone and made an appointment to bring my cat’s photo and the information that would be printed on a large piece of sign board that I would furnish. In a few days I met with the man who seemed interested, however, he could not give me a definite price.  I left the sign maker with a photo of Bentley, my name and also my phone number.  My other obstacle was to locate a carpenter who could make a brace for the back of the sign. The brace would stabilize the sign by keeping it upright and in place. I obtained the sign board from the only store in our city that had what I needed.

   

To be continued:  Look for Part II of “The Foundlings Four”.

 

Post  and photographs:  Yvonne

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The Mockingbird and the Beautyberry ( click to enlarge- October, 2012)

Perfect desert

I shall choose just the right one

This berry looks just right

I must be cautious and watch and listen for those that will eat me

The Beautyberry is an easy to grow native shrub and one that

I began with two broken off twigs that I removed from a shrub near Lake Palestine in east Texas many years ago. Once in a while my husband would take our children and me on an overnight fishing trip. I have never likeed camping and on this trip it was very hot and humid. I was miserable the whole time besides trying to keep an eye on my children who I made wear life jackets if they were near the water or in the boat. Both our children were excellent swimmers by the time they were 3 and 5 years old. But when near the water and not knowing the lake I insisted they have on a life jacket.

 Anyhoo- the best part of this little trip was getting the early spring cuttings to take root and now I have several beautyberry shrubs in various parts of the yard. The birds helped spread the seed and I almost always leave the plant to grow wherever it has sprung up.

I was sitting in my little electic cart watching for butterflies when this bird flew to the beautberry. I don’t think that he/she even noticed me. I am sorry that these are not sharper and larger. My lens is an 18-200mm zoom and I could not place the camera on a tripod or the bird would surely have flown away.

Post and photographs: Yvonne

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Cat Photos (click on one photo for slide gallery to open) November 2,2012

 
These cat photos are a re-post from back in January when I was writing the blog on my daughter’s web site. I am very busy with pet chores and need to put my energy on the pets for a few days.Post and photographs: Yvonne

 

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Crop, Dock or Not!!

Americans of the canine show circuit and other people who are dog “savvy” probably know that most European nations do not crop their dogs ears or dock the tail.  England and most European countries have banned ear cropping and tail docking and view these procedures as unnecessary and inhumane.  Some docking of the tail is permitted in countries that have partial bans. If tail docking is done, surgery must be performed by a veterinarian.  And tail docking is only done in working and hunting/retrieving breeds. On the other hand in the USA, the American Kennel Club specifies that certain breeds are not eligible for showing unless ears are cropped and the tail  docked. Some well versed authorities who work with, treat, or show certain dog breeds claim that it is in the best interest of the dog to either crop the ears or the dock the tail or both depending on the standards for a particular breed. The reason or excuse given is that the dog actually benefits from its ears standing up, but in my biased and humble opinion the dog looks as if it is on permanent alert.  An outdated belief  is that a dog is more aggressive and threatening if the ears stand up.

Does this improve the dog’s hearing and appearance? Some breeds (according to AKC standards) must have a docked tail. Cutting off the tail is usually done when the puppy is only a few days old. Breeders of the unfortunate puppy believe that the pain receptors are not as developed, thus docking is done when the pup is very young. Perhaps all of this is true but, is it possible to determine the degree of pain in an animal ? A few unlucky dog breeds must have ears cropped and the tail docked.  To  name a few: Great Dane, Boxer, Standard and Miniature Schnauzer, Pit Bull Terrier, Doberman Picher, and Miniature Pinscher.  The Jack Russell Terrier, Wire Haired Fox Terrier, Smooth Haired Fox Terrier, German Short Haired Pointer, Hungarian Visla, Weimaraner, and Brittany Spaniel are subjected to only tail docking, which is in my opinion barbaric, as well. The breeds listed here, are but a sampling of dog breeds that have cropped and/or docked so that the dog conforms to breed standards.

Many veterinarians in the USA no longer crop ears and some also refuse to dock tails. It appears these vets are listening to the other side of the pond where bans now protect the victims that can not speak for themselves.  The fact remains that owners want their dog to conform to the standards of the breed even though their dog is not and never will be a show dog. Researchers say that a dog needs its tail for balance and as a means of communicating to other dogs and humans. The tail tells it all sometimes.

Remember that old saying that if a dog wags its tail it will not bite?  It is sad to say but  a dog with a wagging tail does bite people who are unfamiliar. It isn’t about the wag but the carriage of the tail that tells it all. Some dogs wag their tail and if you make eye contact then you are really in a fix. The placement of the tail; high, low, straight out or tucked between the legs all denote a particular mood and  intended action of the dog. And just how do dogs communicate that have no tail or a docked tail? So my argument is if the ears are cropped and the tail docked, does this really improve the dog’s ability to perform his job and does it improve the dogs appearance? Could these surgeries be called inhumane? Will American dog breeders ever follow the actions of the English and the Europeans and ban ear cropping of all breeds and limit tail docking for certain breeds?

Please comment and add your opinion.

Post by:  Yvonne