Dogs on Deployment on Facebook

Dogs on Deployment on Facebook

I’ve got a lot happening & I really need to be going to bed… but first I wanted to share a few things that are on my heart tonight.

First, two wonderful dogs were euthanized today at the Stokes County Animal Shelter because their time was up.  These were great dogs – but ours is a poor rural county and our shelter is small and underfunded and doesn’t have the space to keep even great dogs for long periods of time.  RIP Larry and Tilley – I hope the Rainbow Bridge is everything I imagine it to be.  If people would spay/neuter their pets, the euthanization rates would be vastly reduced.  It bothers me so much that people don’t bother.

Second, I read an article today about a pit bull mix named Kiki whose owner was deployed to Afghanistan.  Owner left Kiki with a relative – the relative for whatever reason surrendered Kiki to a high-kill shelter in rural Texas, and Kiki was on death row when a wonderful organization called Dogs on Deployment learned of her plight.  DoD is stepping in to rescue Kiki and place her in a foster home for the remainder of her owner’s deployment.

People, spread the word:  OUR SERVICE MEMBERS SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEIR PETS WHEN THEY ARE DEPLOYED!!!  If you are in the Armed Forces and serving our country – first, THANK YOU; and second, if your friends and relatives for whatever reason can’t or won’t take your pets, DON’T SURRENDER THEM TO THE SHELTER.  Contact Dogs on Deployment.  This wonderful group networks all over the United States to place military pets in foster homes for long-term and short-term deployments.  They also canvas shelters as much as they’re able to with the resources they have and pull surrendered military pets off of death row.  Wow!

If you’ve wondered what you can do for your country – consider supporting Dogs on Deployment, either as a foster parent, or with a financial contribution.

The price of serving your country is sometimes a life… but it shouldn’t be the life of your best furry friend!

Here are some links to Dogs on Deployment, on the web and on Facebook:

I’ve got to share this one – this blogger has a great sense of humor!


Tuesday funny: All The Things You Must Have Said To Your Children, In Poster Form. We ran across these absolutely hilarious masterpieces on DesignTaxi and felt obligated to share such comical pieces.

Iowa-based artist Nathan Ripperger has come up with a series of humorous yet adorable posters expressing the things he has said to his children. At the time, they may have been some serious situations, but looking back now, things that you might have said to your children seem pretty comical now.

If your words are still not going down well with your kids, perhaps these posters would be more effective? Then again, maybe not.

images via


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“So how many puppies do you have now?”

This is a question a co-worker asked me this afternoon as she waited on me to finish using the scanner. I glanced at her and said, “Well, let’s see…  There’s Chunkybutt, I’ve still got him – he’s eight months old now and will be adopted next weekend – he’s the last one of Maggie’s puppies to go.  Then there are Sookie & Gracie – I’m pretty sure they’re Catahoula mixes… and when Mona called me today to see if I could take on three extras of course I didn’t say no, so Charles has gone to pick them up and there will be three Golden Retriever mixes waiting for me when I get home today.  So that’s…  Let’s see… six puppies, one foster dog, and then my own three dogs.”

My co-worker laughed at me.  “Well, I guess I asked for that,” she chuckled.  She’s a dog lover too, though – she understands.

Hubby & Chunkybutt
Hubby & Chunkybutt
Gracie & Sookie
Gracie & Sookie
New puppies
New puppies

The Attack of the Killer Possum


(Yes, I know it’s spelled opossum, but I live in North Carolina.  Nuff said.)


I was sick yesterday.  I mean, S-I-C-K.  If-I-wasn’t-temping-and-had-sick-leave-I’d-have-gone-home  sick.  So after supper (hubby grilled bbq pork chops – none of this NC brown sugar and vinegar bbq crap, we use Absolutely Wild barbecue sauce, produced & bottled in Abilene, TX.  I’ve discovered it can be purchased online – joy, joy, joy!) –

Where was I?  The dastardly parentheses distracted me.  Oh, yes –

So after supper, I half-heartedly played online for awhile before calling it an early night and heading to bed.

I slept hard for what felt like hours.  You know how it is – you don’t feel good, you’re sleeping like a log – and then something wakes you and you’re disoriented and fuzzy.  Yeah, that happened.  I was sure it must be morning – imagine my surprise when I looked at my clock and it was only 11:30ish!

I lay in bed trying to figure out whether I should be alarmed or just go back to sleep.

After a moment the realization penetrated my consciousness – someone was banging on the front door!  And all the lights were on!  And hubby wasn’t in bed!

I rolled out of bed and stumbled to the living room – not the smartest thing to do – I didn’t even stop for the shotgun, which is my usual recourse when someone pounds on my door in the middle of the night.  Hubby was standing at the door in his pajamas – and he was the source of the banging.

“Whasgoinon?”  I asked.  At least that was my intent – not sure what it actually sounded like, but that’s what I meant.

Hubby pounded a few more times on the front door and responded – all I caught was something about Vannesa being home from work.

“Why’re you banging on the door?” I asked.  I’m sure it was more of a whine than a query. 

“Because,” hubby answered in that tone that indicated this was his second time telling me, “Vannesa’s home and there are two possums on the front porch and she’s afraid to come to the door.”

He then dismissed me and picked up his cell.  “Yeah, are they still out there?  Ok, ok – come around back.  No, no, I’ll get the dogs – yeah, they probably will jump on you – well, would you rather have to face the dogs or the possums?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

He went to the back door and out onto the back porch.  I stared at the front door for a few years, and then went to look through the peep hole.  I saw nothing – but that doesn’t mean anything, since the peep hole leaves a ton of blind spots for a clever possum to hide from view.

After another month or two passed, Charles and Vannesa appeared in the living room.  There were some puppy-sized paw prints on Vannesa’s pants – I’m sure she probably died three deaths when the dogs touched her.  She has developed a marked dislike for fur-bearing mammals; I’m pretty sure she’s been body-snatched by aliens, because how else could any child of mine be so averse to furry critters?  Especially dogs.  I could understand her not liking possums if she at least liked dogs.

I’m pretty sure nothing like this ever happened to her:








And I can’t help but wonder if she didn’t turn this:









into this:






Once the excitement was over I lugged myself back to bed & slept like the dead til morning.  I told Bridget about the possum incident – then asked her to walk Baby.  She politely declined so I walked Baby myself.  First, though, I made sure there weren’t any possums lurking in wait for Vannesa…

All joking aside – possums can be fierce when cornered.  The whole “they’ll always play possum to avoid confrontation” spiel is wrong.  I’ve had dogs torn up by possums more than once.  Vannesa was perfectly right to go out of her way to avoid the two that were on my porch last night. 

Wild animals are wild.  It’s best to watch them from a distance, and call a professional wildlife rehabber or wildlife remover rather than approach a wild animal yourself.

Living Vicariously Through My Kids…

There are so many places I’ve always wanted to go and haven’t had the chance to go yet.  While I hold onto the hope that I’ll visit these places someday, I also accept the possibility that I won’t.  So when Damon & Vannesa had the opportunity to go to New York City (high on my list of where-I-want-to-go), I tried to persuade them both to go.  Vannesa put down a deposit but then decided not to go – too bad the deposit was non-refundable.  Damon, on the other hand, went – my mom helped hubby & I come up with the rest of the money for his trip.  Here are some photos from his trip:


Why I’ll Never Be Vegan (or, a whacky field trip with SCHS)

This past Saturday six SCHS volunteers – myself and my 16 year old son included – attended the First Annual Animal Law Symposium at UNC Chapel Hill.  I will tell you up front that Damon was the only male in our group for this field trip – he was also the most interesting-looking member of our party, as you can see:

We all met at Mona’s with plenty of time to spare, and we actually left early enough to make the hour and a half drive to Chapel Hill.  We took the Loser Cruiser (aka the official SCHS minivan, an elderly Ford Windstar that serves its purpose and is a very comfortable ride, dubbed the Loser Cruiser by Mona’s teenage daughter).  I noticed upon entering the van that no one (we’ll blame this on Danny as I doubt he’ll bother reading my blog) had bothered to spring forward, and so the clock on the dash read 5:45 when it was in fact 6:45 – Damon & I left our house at 6:15 and arrived at Mona’s at 6:35, so all things considered this was a good start time.

We headed for Winston, where we would hit US 52 South to Business 40 Westbound.  However, we all wanted breakfast  (except Damon, who had eaten an amazing amount of cold pizza prior to leaving the house) so we stopped at a Bojangles prior to getting onto US 52.  At this point it was 7:15, and I had to pee.

We all ordered our biscuits and I went to the little girl’s room, and then we all piled back into the Loser Cruiser and headed toward Chapel Hill.

The Symposium was scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., with registration starting at 8:30.  For Mona’s sake we wanted to get there early enough to find a good close parking spot.  By 8:40 we still weren’t there and some of us (yes, me too) wanted to stop and pee.  At 8:50, Ann, who was driving and who had bragged prior to leaving that she was never, ever late, remarked that we were making fairly good time so she would stop at the next Bojangles for us to pee.  (I don’t remember why Bojangles, honestly; I think something to do with refills.)

We pulled into a Bojangles in Chapel Hill at around 9:00.  Ann and Mona both commented on what great time we were making and how we might as well take our time since we were running so far ahead of schedule.  Lynn, Lisa and I exchanged looks, and Lynn said, “Um, you do know that clock’s not right.”

Mona said, “Yes it is, it’s right – it’s just barely 8:00!”

“No,” I said, “it’s actually 9:00.”

“And what time does the thing start?” Mona asked.


“Oh crap!”

Well, I didn’t care how late we were – I had to pee.  I said, “We might as well, we’re already late, and who knows what the bathroom facilities will be there!”  (I would’ve snuck a refill but there were 800,000 people clustered around the fountain & I wasn’t about to waste time fighting through them.)

Lynn has a nifty app on her iPhone 4 (not iPhone 4S) that shows a little blue dot where we are & a little red dot where our destination is.  She discovered a direct route from Bojangles to UNC Chapel Hill School of Law, and we got there around 9:20.  We dropped Mona off at the door and drove around the parking lot three times before one of the nice young law students came over & found us a parking spot.  We rushed inside – Mona had already gotten us registered so we just picked up our folders and headed for the first room on our itinerary.

Because this is a public blog, I’m not going to call out names of people or organizations.  However, I will say that a certain animal rights group has a belligerent extremist on their staff and he spent the entire first panel attacking his fellow panelists, being confrontational whenever someone presented a viewpoint with which he disagreed, and behaving in an all-around childish manner. 

I have my own set of opinions and beliefs on all manner of moral and ethical matters, but that doesn’t give me the right to attack people who believe differently.  I really wanted to stand up and ask this moron what he thought he was going to accomplish with his militaristic verbal assaults against anyone and everyone who disagreed with hi m.  I wrote a note on the comments form we received at the end of the day that this particular person shouldn’t be invited back as his behavior indicated he thought he was an inquisitioner rather than a peaceful panelist.  I swear if I learn that this young man has run off to join Greenpeace and died with a bomb strapped to his chest on a whaling vessel, killing the crew of the vessel as well as himself, I won’t be a bit surprise.

I wrote Damon a note:  “This young man is to his organization what Rick Santorum is to the Republican Party – TROUBLE.”

Damon agreed. 

At the end of the first panel, we moved to our next location where we would participate in four round table discussions with representatives of four different groups.  I put my papers and purse at the table, made sure Damon would guard them with his life, and took off to find the ladies room – and I am pleased to report that the UNC Chapel Hill Law School’s restroom facilities are far superior to those at Bojangles.

I saw this posted on the wall outside one  of the lecture halls and went back to get a picture of it:    It caused me to be late to the round table, but that was ok – I’d been wanting to pull a tag off of one of these for awhile.  Mine said, “I can see it in your eyes.”

During the round table discussions, we were privileged to speak with Amanda Arrington from HSUS, some volunteers from The Goathouse Refuge for house cats (, animal rights attorney Calley Gerber, and Pam Fulk from Carolina Tiger Rescue (  In truth these round table discussions were the highlight of the day.  Very informative, everyone was respectful, and group participation was very much encouraged.

After that came lunch.  Ah, lunch.  Per the agenda lunch was to be a vegan selection catered in from a local deli.  I was excited.  I love new culinary experiences.  There were pitas with hummus; there was an orzo curry with apples, oranges, and grapes (I looked online for a photo of this dish & can’t find anything that remotely resembles it; there was falafel with cucumber sauce; and there were stuffed grape leaves. 

I was disappointed.  It was horrible.  Well, the pitas and hummus were good, and the falafel with cucumber sauce was ok (too dry without the sauce)…  The grape leaves tasted like pickled something, only soggy, and I’ve never been a fan of soggy pickles.  I happened to say this out loud and Lynn said, “Yeah, they look like pickle turds!”

Lisa was the only person who cleaned her plate… and she really enjoyed the pickle turds.  Ann had brought a small bag of Nabs and apples for snacks (wise, wise woman, is Ann) – if it weren’t for her the rest of us would have starved.  Lynn had her iPhone 4 out seeking alternative dining but all of the fast food joints were far enough away we wouldn’t make it back in time for the next presentation.

We cast furtive looks around the dining area and confirmed that the bulk of attendees appeared to be vegans – I know it’s supposed to be very healthy, but these people were too skinny & their skin was waxy pale & they looked anything but healthy.  Maybe they’re doing it wrong.

The next panel involved a wildlife rehabber and a representative from Fish & Game, who is a wildlife biologist and avid hunter.  We settled in, expecting some more drama, ranting and groundless attacks – but these two, though they represented opposing viewpoints on some things, were very much in synch on others, and it turns out that they work together on a regular basis.  I left that panel feeling very much like there is hope for this world, after all.

The final panel was a key notes presentation by a reputable Florida attorney who specializes in animal law.  He works as a contract prosecutor as well as a defense attorney – it just depends on the case.  He’s very much an animal welfare advocate.  I’m pretty sure he’s a vegan too – only if he is, he’s doing it right, because he looked very healthy.  His key notes speech was on the direct correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse.  He cited studies and statistics – for example, one study found that a person who has abused animals is FIVE TIMES MORE LIKELY to commit a violent crime against humans.  We came away from his presentation feeling more hopeful about animal protection and cruelty laws than we’ve felt in a long time.  Mona got his card and said she will definitely contact him next time we shut down a puppy mill, as the owners of the last one that SCHS raided (along with HSUS) last month got off with no charges at all and an order not to own or breed animals for two years. 

So ended our day at the First Annual Animal Law Symposium at UNC Chapel Hill School of Law.  We were famished by that point, fair faint with hunger… but before we could leave – you guessed it – I had to pee. 

We all piled back into the Loser Cruiser and headed for Red Robin, where we all indulged our carnivorous natures with beef and chicken.  That was the best burger I’ve ever had in my life… Actually, it really was a good burger, but it was also very overpriced.  I’d never eaten at Red Robin before, I was very glad for the chance to eat there Saturday – but I doubt I’ll eat there again anytime soon.  Not and pay $10 for a burger.  No way.

I think our first SCHS field trip was a huge success.  We all learned a great deal – perhaps most importantly that, while it’s important that animals be treated humanely, and while it’s imperative that our laws regarding the treatment of livestock be changed, we will never stop eating meat.  It’s just too damn good.

This blogger is amazing. I would recommend his blog to anyone.

Rochester SAGE - Supporting Advanced & Gifted Education

“Too often the strengths and interests of Gifted-Learning Disabled students are either unrecognized, seen but ignored, put on hold, or are irksome because they are the wrong talents for conventional school achievement.” − Susan Baum and Steven Owen

In a special post, guest blogger Amy Simko, co-leader of Gifted in Michigan, writes about Twice-Exceptional Learners

Twice exceptional refers to a person who is both gifted and learning disabled in one or more ways.  Twice exceptional children are not often correctly identified in our schools and those who are discovered rarely have a place in school that provides what they need.  Here’s an experiment for you…ask the next 10 people you meet what twice exceptional means.  Chances are you’ll receive a few guesses and a lot of strange looks.  Now that’s not so hard to believe, but now try asking 10 teachers what twice exceptional means.  The result will not be so very different from the random sample. In fact, I’ve met medical professionals who had not heard the term before.

Funding cuts at our public schools have led to reduced resources, lower training budgets and fewer special…

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So how does God REALLY feel about animals? (Or, do all dogs go to heaven?)

(This blog post is based entirely on my own opinion and my interpretation of key points taken from the Bible.)

This is a tough issue, and it’s one with which I’ve wrestled my entire life.  Well, maybe not my entire life, but for a goodly portion of it.  Does God care what happens to the animals He created?  Do animals have the right stuff to get into heaven?

Here’s what I believe, and why I believe it.

God cares very deeply about how we treat ALL of His creation – not just people, not just animals, but the planet itself as well.  Don’t get the wrong idea – I’m very much in favor of drilling for oil and developing the natural resources we have IN A RESPONSIBLE WAY THAT TAKES CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT.  This is the only planet we have, folks.  Even if scientists find other life-sustaining planets, they probably belong to other people (that’s right, people – maybe not human people but that’s beside the point), and our great-great-great grandchildren will be dead and gone before we ever reach them.

God made it very clear that we’re to be stewards over His creation – we don’t own this world, we just live here, and we’re expected to take care of it.  You know how when you borrow your neighbor’s car and you make sure you fill the gas tank and remove all your trash before you return it?  That’s called “respecting other peoples’ property.”  That same premise holds true for this world on which we live.

I’m going to continue to support drilling for oil, and exploring nuclear energy, and I’m going to keep right on eating cheeseburgers made with beef and chicken alfredo made with chicken.  But I think we have to be good stewards, and just because a cow’s going to end up as a hamburger or a chicken’s going to wind up in an Italian dish doesn’t mean their lives aren’t sacred – it simply means they have a purpose, and that purpose is to feed us – and we have an obligation to care for that animal until the time comes for it to serve its purpose.  It makes me very angry to hear about the animal cruelty that is common in the food production industry.  And it makes me very angry when I see the rape and pillage done to the land in the name of extracting resources for our use.  We can get to the oil without poisoning the ocean.  We can get timber without raping an entire forest.  And we can get meat without being utterly cruel and indifferent to the animals providing it.  It’s all about stewardship.

The Bible has many examples of how God expects us to treat animals.  Matthew wrote that not a sparrow falls without God’s knowledge.  If God considers even a sparrow, how much more does He consider the greater creatures of creation?  Balam’s ass was given the power of speech to rebuke her master when he beat her – she said (and I paraphrase), “Why do you beat me when I have served you faithfully all these years?  I have stopped to save you from the angel ahead which was put there to kill you!”  And when the Samaritan woman came to Jesus for healing and He asked why He should give the children’s blessings to the dogs, she said (again paraphrasing), “Even the dogs lie under the table to eat the scraps the Master tosses to them.”

Do these examples prove that animals go to heaven?  No, of course not.  The Bible very surely doesn’t address that question.  We’re told that there will be lions and lambs lying side by side in the Kingdom, and we’re told that Jesus and the hosts of heaven will ride out on horses to do battle at the end of time, so we know there will be animals there – but we’re not told that Fido and Rover have an eternal home alongside us.

So now we get to MY OPINION.  I put that in all caps on purpose, to make sure everyone knows I’m stating MY OPINION and not trying to pass it off as fact.

I believe that God gave us certain animals to be our companions and to serve us.  These animals are intelligent.  They have the ability to learn to understand our speech – spoken or signed.  They have the capacity to love us, and are very open in their affection.  When they die, we grieve.  When we die, they grieve.

So we die, and we go to heaven, and we’re hoping to see our four-legged furry best friends up there.  Cats, dogs, horses – and I’ll not limit it to those because who am I to limit what God can do?  We get to heaven, and we look – but we don’t see them anywhere.  We go to God.

“Um, Father, excuse me – but where is Puddles?”

“Puddles?”  God looks at us from His exalted height.  “Puddles was a cat.  I don’t have room for cats in heaven.  Good grief, you’re in heaven, for crying out loud, and you’re going to whine over a cat?”

“Puddles was my best friend.  He saved my life.  The only reason I stopped doing heroin is because Puddles needed me and loved me and believed in me.  Why isn’t he here?”

God scratches His head.  “Well, to be perfectly honest, I never did understand why you humans put so much stock into critters.  I don’t see any need for them to be here – so they’re not.”

Do I believe this is the sort of God we serve?  No, I don’t believe that for a minute.  I don’t believe God would have given us animals which would win our hearts and fill the needs in our lives only to leave out that important something that would give them eternal life.  I just don’t believe He’s cruel like that.

People can do things that result in eternal damnation.  Animals lack the reasoning capacity to be damned.  People are damned by their own choices.  The Bible is clear on that – salvation is a choice, and damnation is a choice, and each individual human is the author of his or her own fate through choice.  Children and the mentally retarded are excluded from this because they lack the reasoning capacity to understand right from wrong – so do animals lack the ability to distinguish right from wrong in a moral sense (that is to say, Bowser knows he shouldn’t get into the trash because we tell him not to – but he doesn’t understand that trash is bad for him and can make him sick).  Thus animals can’t be damned, and therefore it is in my humble opinion fully logical to conclude that they will be accepted into the ranks of the heaven-bound.

When I get to heaven I fully expect to be greeted by a whole menagerie of beloved friends who have passed before me.  Not only do I believe animals go to heaven – I believe some of us who have loved them will have the privelege of entering heaven not by passing through the pearly gates, but by crossing the rainbow bridge.  I surely hope to be counted among that number.

This blogger has very eloquently addressed a subject about which I feel very strongly.

Rochester SAGE - Supporting Advanced & Gifted Education

Heinlein Quote

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do. – John Stuart Mill

I want my kids to fail.  That probably isn’t at the top of your list for your kids, but it should be.  Failure is one of the most important experiences they will ever have.  The road to success is paved with failure because failure teaches us how to succeed.

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