Tragedy visited Webster, NY but we move on – together

west webster patch

Early on the morning of Christmas Eve, tragedy visited the small town of Webster, NY, when a madman set fire to a house and a car, luring first responders to the scene and then gunning them down in cold blood. What ensued were hours of confusion and chaos as SWAT teams descended on the small spit of land, a two lane road bordered on one side by Irondequoit Bay and the other by Lake Ontario, chasing the gunman, evacuating neighbors, and retrieving the bodies of shooting victims. Firefighters, una … [Read more...]

Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

Mt. Hope Cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary. I spent a bit of time with this critter. Someone called him a whistle pig and said if I whistled he would have stood up for me. I was pretty close; I preferred him in his critter hole.

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience.The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic cemetery … [Read more...]

When science and faith meet – infinity

seven glorious days

I once had a conversation with a university biology student about the possibility that God created the universe. His premise was that science proved that God couldn't have created the universe. Going back to the moment of creation, he contended, there was scientific proof of how everything happened. Amino acids and molecules and explosions of compounds and all manner of things a simpleton like me couldn't understand.I kept asking “Where did that come from” every time he explained a step in th … [Read more...]

Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Baxter fell from the 11th story window and lived to meow about it. He's just one of the nominees for the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards that honor the year's most unusual pet insurance claim. (Photo: VPI nominees)

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner!Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

5 reasons to obey the leash law (yes, I’m talking to you)

Bandit and I on a walk in Corbett's Glen in Brighton, NY.

I took my dog Bandit for a walk today in Corbett's Glen, a nature park here in the suburbs of our hometown of Rochester, NY. In general, I avoid walking in the woods by myself. It's kind of scary for me. I prefer the cemetery. For whatever reason, I feel less alone among the dead. But we've been exploring new places to romp and someone told me this was a great trailWhen I walk Bandit in the woods or the cemetery, he's usually on a long training lead. That gives him more than ample room to … [Read more...]

How I spent my summer vacation

I didn't go on vacation. I just pretended like I did.

I sit here at my computer, trying to come up with a topic to blog about, something animal-related, something spiritual. It's been a while since I wrote anything for Patheos, wrote anything at all for that matter.I confess: I took a break, a summer vacation from writing, if you will.  A little time off from wordcrafting isn't a bad thing. It's like ice cream. You love it, but too much can make you so sick you never want to see a hot fudge sundae again. So you abstain for a while, until the … [Read more...]

The fight for Lennox ends – shame on the Belfast City Council

Lennox, the 7-year-old American Bull Dog/Labrador mix who was seized by the Belfast City Council (BCC) in Northern Ireland in May 2012 has been, according to reports, "humanely put to sleep."The story that has captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world centers on a law in Belfast that makes owning a pit bull illegal. The BCC seized Lennox because they deemed that he was, by appearance, a pit bull, despite DNA testing to the contrary.The Barnes family, Lennox's owners, have … [Read more...]

Fight for Lennox the dog nears the end

Lennox is scheduled to die tomorrow. In fact, he may already be dead, since he's in Northern Ireland and it's already tomorrow there. Lennox has been imprisoned for almost two years. Not because he committed a crime. Not because he broke the law. He's been held because of the way he looks.Lennox is a dog. And to the officials at the Belfast, Ireland City Council, Lennox looks like a pit bull, which in their eyes makes him a dangerous dog.Never mind that Lennox is not a pit bull; he's a 7- … [Read more...]

Help name the Seneca Park Zoo’s new lions

Zero the polar bear. His mate Aurora prefers solitude. Let's hope it's because she's expecting!

My husband and I visited the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY a few weeks ago to see the new Step Into Africa exhibit. Everyone has been talking about it.I love the zoo. Over the last decade or so, the Seneca Park Zoo has really made some fabulous changes. I'm a huge fan of the otters, and I could spend hours watching them frolic and slide and swim. I especially love the Rocky Coast exhibit, with the wonderful polar bear habitat and the sea lion pools. What a change from the zoo of my chi … [Read more...]

Andy Griffith dies at 86 (video of The Andy Griffith Show episode, Dogs Dogs Dogs)

It's with a heavy heart that Mayberry fans learned today that actor Andy Griffith passed away this morning at age 86. With decades of success on television and stage, to many Griffith will always be remembered Sheriff Andy Taylor, everybody's loving father, the man who could handle any problem with grace and calm -- whether it's a quirky deputy or a son's questions about life.So what better way to remember Griffith today than with this episode of The Andy Griffith Show, "Dogs Dogs Dogs", in w … [Read more...]


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