Are you caught in a bad habit loop? Awash in time lethargy because of bad habits your dog or cat can't seem to shake?  Upon discovering a bad habit do the words: "No!" "Mommy said, No!" spew from your mouth automatically?


Some of the felines in my life enjoy fresh cut flowers as much as I do. So much so that  I have to monitor a vase full of blooms with a keen eye or the vase and its contents will crash to the floor and leaves  a supplement to the feline perpetrator(s) diet.

Plucking is a concern also I had just about given up here but then watched the video, found solutions and the tearing up of anything worth digging their nails into has been significantly reduced.


Fricke - Mrs. Parkers male companion is ( very ) set in his ways. Fricke used to decide when he wanted to relax on the patio, when he wanted to come in and where he wanted to slumber. If I told him other wise he used to give me the sniggers ( growling, and gritting his teeth while licking my hands). To date he has not broken my skin and the veterinarian has ( strongly) suggested obedience classes for him ( as a mini Schnauzer he feels that he is "in charge here" and is entitled to "do my own thing".

Until Fricke receives a formal education in etiquette, he is mastering with me - Learning The Cues a straightforward lesson plan from Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Duhigg. The simple observations and lessons learned from this video have helped me break bad habits which may have encouraged little Fricky to have the bravado for saying NO to me instead of reasoning with me and seeing my point of view:) Bad habits are hard to break, because they become our new normal. Whether you are canine, human or feline this video is smart easy way to get you back to the good side of a bad behavior:)

"HOW TO BREAK THE COOKIE HABIT is an excellent organizational change tool to help improve employee and volunteer engagement and productivity.

1. Watch the Video ( a couple of times )

2. Take Notes

3. Consider those habits you wish to break

4. Go forward with courage!

5. Repeat this exercise with your canine or feline friend in mind:)   



Spending weekends at the movies with  the dogs are  a blast. Now that cooler weather is coming, it is a great way to educate and entertain your canine companions:)  Although getting them to sit still in the seats made for humans, asking them to keep the barking down, saying now to too much junk food and finding a place for them to potty  can be a bit of a challenge we none the less enjoy our selves, eat pop corn and share a large sweet beverage. This weekend we reviewed three films, which were about unique relationships with pets. Popular, and readily available to anyone with a smart phone, computer or theatre, these films feature animals  characters and  are a visual reminder about  the current state of our relationship with beings with whom we have built a life, but are still unsure of the role pets play in our happiness and well being.  Won't you join  Fricke, Mrs. Parker and I  as we share our thoughts about these interesting pictures?


THE CAT CAME BACK  by Richard Condie

The Canadian award winner and popular Animated Film Short tells the story of an older man who finds a cat on his door step, makes the cat comfortable inside his simple home and realizes the cat has no regard for being sheltered by this man who would care for him. Funny as the film may be  this picture visualizes all of the characteristics which plague cat adoptions and keep many cats from finding their forever homes. The Cat Came Back is entertaining and sure to make you smile but keep in mind the underlying message - once you adopt a cat you can't get rid of him ( which is the wrong message to send:) Although animated this film is not appropriate for small children.

FRICKE: "I thought it was a good film especially when the cat came back ahahahaah"

MRS. PARKER: "I love animated features the  kitty was cute for a cat ahahhaa."


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STAY by David Lynch


The short tear jerker is a reminder of how  dependent on human affection and compassion dogs are. Watch as this smart, beautiful canine searches for food and water, watches time pass and looks to his owner and tries to understand - why. If you know of someone who is lonely, heart broken, injured or ill and they have pets, please keep in touch with them their animals may not  fully understand what has changed and how ( drastically ) it may affect them:) This film is appropriate for children ( and small adults :)

FRICKE: "I cried,  just cried and I never cry at the movies this is not being recorded is it?"

MRS. PARKER: "Well the doggie was cute but I wondered where the food was, I was getting hungry just watching him look for a meal a real tear jerker, really."


FLAT WORLD by Daniel Greaves

Enjoy a chase scene" Into Sci-Fi? your gonna love this. An fast paced action packed drama about a man who gets caught up in a situation in which he finds his cat involved and the consequences for not believing his feline friend. Will the fish keep them apart? Will the villain put an end to the cat after all? Is it too late for this human who realizes the love he has for his kitty? A unique animated short Daniel Greaves  uses mixed media, main stream stereo types about pet fish and their captive companions, cats to show true love between feline and his human friend kids above the age of 12 will enjoy this film. We can learn a lot about ourselves from cats - particularly patience after the film I walked with Fricke and Mrs. Parker and  I asked them to share their thoughts about this film which I thoroughly enjoyed.

FRICKE: " I loved the scenes where the fish got the cat in trouble a blast"

ALYSSIA: "Fricke, what else did you like about the movie?"

FRICKE: Umm, I liked the end but I can't say I could not wait to see the cats when I got home."

MRS. PARKER: I thought about the cats and then I wanted to eat the fish. well because he was mean but then I tried to look at the situation from the fishes perspective, I sided with the cat, when are we going to eat I am hungry?"

See you next time for Weekend At the Movies:)


image Jacks

image Jacks

"Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life."  James Cromwel

Depending on your view point  the weekend just ended or it is around the corner - while you are at work take this time to day dream and answer a few questions about your hairy or furry loved one who is doing their own thing at ( your ) home:)


1. If I did not have a dog I would be able to____________ but  then I would come home to an empty house and I would miss him / her being there and  greeting me at the door!



2. If I did not have a cat in my life my sofa would look_________ but then I would come home to an empty house and I would miss / him / her being there:)



3. What I remember most about  the horse I had as a kid is that I wished he spoke to me like" Mr Ed" talked to "Wilbur"! But the thing I tell my kids about horses is _____________ which is why I am so  for the BLM taking more of a stand against the meat industry (  turing horses in to meat ) and foreign entities buying up land and turning horses into horse patties.

Image by Turquois

Image by Turquois

4. My rabbit leaves a trail of _________________ in the most interesting patterns and places but I don't know what I would do without him / her in my life that nibbling when they chew is so adorable!



5. I had a fish his /her name was ___________ when I saw that the cat had him / her in his / her mouth I screamed "AAAHHH"! but realized two things a. how smart my cat was to be able to reach in and take the taunting little fishy and  b. that  the next time I own a fish ( which will be never because anything with a face should not be living in  a bowl ) I will keep it out of reach of my clever fish loving kitty:)

Getty Images

Getty Images


If you don't already know this  leaving dog waste where it lays is a misdemeanor in most ( sound ) jurisdictions, a public health threat (  and bad for the environment ( plants do not benefit from dog excrement - feces nor urine ).
PLEASE PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG - your neighbors will appreciate it and so will other dogs:)
Tired of all the poop?

1. Suggest a Doggy Bag Center and waste basket be placed at the entrance to and the exit from neighborhood parks, lake sides, and favorite dog walk areas. 
2. Build a relationship with local city officials, landlords and neighborhood associations to install doggy bags / waste containers and scheduled pick up of receptacles.


3. Bring extra doggy bags with you to give to people who don't seem to know what they are:)
4. Remind your landlord that some neighbors are using the greenery and the dog run ( which is usually gravel ) on the property as an excrement dump, ask the leasing office to send an email to all residents about this issue.
5. Reinvestigate what you are feeding the dogs in your care - not all dog food is the same and it may be prudent and cost effective to cook the food you feed your dog rather than buy it pre made by some one else. if there poop is runny, has blood, or if the dog is straining call the vet.
6. Something to consider, finding ways to use the excrement which would be beneficial ( start by re-visiting the film "Mad Max" to get my drift. 

7.My Darling Theo is working to bring a Doggy Bag Dispenser/ Receptacle to Pet Friendly Communities like yours but until we are able to provide this resource, why not pay a visit to manufacturers of this product and ask for a donation, it can only make your dog walk(s) more pleasurable:) 

It's a fact and it's natural: Dog's excrete let's come together, pick up the waste and get back to enjoying our walk with them instead of always looking down, for and avoiding the poop!:)

THE GLASS WINDOW: Google's New Gadget - More Than Tech for Your Pets - OK, So What?

I love technology and I am  among the first to see the glass as half full - touting the positive ways new tech, especially tech for your pets can make life easier and more satisfying - not to mention better for, the canines and felines in my life. This past Tuesday ( to coincide with income tax day? ) Google made available Google Glass to anyone who would like to purchase this new computer wearable ( think of it as a smart phone for your head ) for $1,500.00 USD.

There are questions I have about this new device, I wonder?

Will this technology allow us to be more kind and caring to each other? Studies show  the New Tech is making personal approaches to communication more scarce ( i.e. we write less in our own hand and we talk less because we text more ).

Will Glass really make our experiences with friends family pets and our neighbors pets more interesting?

Is living life behind a view finder ( really "living?"

Will "Glass" aid or hinder the work of animal welfare groups - hands free is great but how intrusive will this device be especially for Pet Foster Groups who work with Victims?

Animal Welfare Organizations such as My Darling Theo are acutely aware of the need for technology which makes our job easier to  do in order that we do more - how might "Glass" help recognized Non Profits.

Google's reach is ten times bigger than AT&T's reach before the Government stepped in and put a halt to that monopoly with "Glass" is Google following in AT&T's foot steps to want to reach out and touch everyone?

Several people ( "explorers" ) were asked to test Glass before the general public was let in on the fun how many of those beta testers were charities? Animal Welfare Groups?

As many of you know, the birth of  ( accessible - consumer ) technologies following the birth of the internet have benefitted organizations who support animal welfare and animal rights. The down side is that tech has also aided the bad guys with their mission too - can/will "Glass" help the good guys stop the bad guys from being so successful or are we who try so hard to impact the lives of animals ( domestic farm and wild ) taking a leap of faith that will only get more cloudy as wearables become our ( collective ) future?

Read the fine print here:


News About Glass

From NPR


 Although Tom Friedman's talk was not about animal welfare - anyone who has more than a passing interest in the subject will easily see how this talk can inspire a take action attitude in behalf of animals and the environment.  Albeit the principles stemming from Mr. Friedman's message were for human listeners to consider, individuals and organizations who see the globe as a ( rightly so ) shared space will quickly apply the fundamental nuances in this packed talk to their work with and support of - earth's non human inhabitants. Two concepts are at the heart of the animal welfare movement: Politics which set limits on our actions and Behavioral Change which influence our relationship with our natural environment. When Politics and Behavioral Change intersect for the better - Nature Wins. Please share this interview with anyone who cares about the earth - for it is finite and fragile.
Tom Friedman at the World Affairs Council

OUR NAMES IN VAIN:The Use of Animals in Verbal "Put Downs"

"Cut it out you dog"!
Most dogs would not do half of the things we  (people) use their names in vain for - dogs would not:
Have wet tee shirt contests
Uu\se your credit card ( without your permission )
Date your ex ( this is OFF LIMITS ) no matter what your special inheritance
STOP using non human beings names in vain:
"You worm!"
"You dog!"
"You Pig!"
"You Jackass!"
"You Snake!"
Unless YOU know how smart this animal is and what the person you are trying to hurt with words can ultimately comprehend:) 

A Thousand Ways This Image Could Help to Save a Life

“What are you staring at!?” A baby orangutan peeks out from his mother's embrace. (Photo by Chin Boon Leng/2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

“What are you staring at!?” A baby orangutan peeks out from his mother's embrace. (Photo by Chin Boon Leng/2014 Sony World Photography Awards)

When you see an image of an animal  and you take a second look could it be that your heart strings are pulled? Just a little bit? Scientists have proven that when an image catches your eye you don't just see it but all kinds of chemical reactions happen inside your body and your brain returns to that image as a reference - possibly to take action on what you have seen, what do you think?

People have always been visual, since the beginning of humanity people have used images to convey every day experiences. The Cave paintings in France are an example of a people wishing to compare and share their interpretations  of nature and animals with those who were eye witnesses and for those who would come behind - an image is everlasting. 


A dog saves a man's life and an insurance company wants to separate the hero from the saved - why doesn't this image say enough about why  these two should stay together? Exercise: Imagine a friend or family member ( on two and four legs ) now can you see the importance of keeping these two together?

One thousand images can hurt the relationship between animals and nature too. Organized Dog Fighting for example has taken advantage of social networking, smart phone technology and the internet  to go deep underground  -  images which most of us can not imagine help to sell tickets to these generational blood sport events - you can help be proactive in the virtual  world too help send  people who  are involved in dog fighting where they belong  in prison for the mentally insane!

An Image can change the way we live with other living beings. Take for example those instances where we glimpse the quiet heroism of animals helping animals. This world class education is to be charished even by the ignorant because it is a window into the natural world, behavior which is still being debated - why? Because many human beings do not want to believe that animals help each other without expectation of reward - unheard of in some human circles!

Stories of animals helping people, people helping animals and animals helping animals bring the point home: humility, compassion, loyalty and friendship are not characteristics which are propriety to human behavior. Organizations such as ours with our magazine Animal Imagery and other non profits such as Heart Speak propel the saying - an image is worth a thousand words beyond the frame toward advocacy and action in behalf of animals. Do you have an image which you believe could impact the way humans interact with non humans? Go for it - enter here - good luck:) 

Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll!

Lewis Carroll's Gift, of Words is shared enthusiastically by parents and teachers, and has been the subject of a body of  University Level Research to Include Math,  Philosophy, Creative Writing, Film Studies and Psychology. Mr. Carroll Infused Animal Characters, Domestic, Wild - and Imagined in His Stories and Poems. His Use of Animal Imagery Can be Seen, Throughout His Work.


This enchanting image courtesy of children's book illustrator, Sandra Dieckmann.

This enchanting image courtesy of children's book illustrator, Sandra Dieckmann.

A Strange Wild Song

He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
"At length I realize," he said,
"The bitterness of life!"

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
"Unless you leave this house," he said,
"I'll send for the police!"

he thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.
"The one thing I regret," he said,
"Is that it cannot speak!"

He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus:
He looked again, and found it was
A Hippopotamus.
"If this should stay to dine," he said,
"There won't be much for us!"

He thought he saw a Kangaroo
That worked a Coffee-mill:
He looked again, and found it was
A Vegetable-Pill.
"Were I to swallow this," he said,
"I should be very ill!"

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!" 

Lewis Carroll

A Few Signs, You've Been Vegan Inspired for 2014

Do you know some one who has been been eating less meat ( in public ) or toying with becoming a vegetarian by purchasing less leather ( in public ) or someone who orders a cheese pizza where before they ordered a meat combo pizza ( with wings on the side )?  Some signs your friend ( or you )  have been "vegan inspired".

You look at the leather furniture in your house and realize that having it is not "a status symbol."

You see a woman wearing a fur coat and ( despite her best efforts ) you don't think she is  "trending fashion forward".
Your wife / best friend / colleague  inherited her granny's old mink coat from the 1950's and  your wife / best friend / colleague thinks she "looks rich" ( but you think she looks like she is wearing her granny's old mink coat from the 1950's:).

Your father in law ( strongly ) believes he is "treating you to a great meal" by offering to take you to his favorite steak house and " you order what I always get the biggest steak money can buy", you try telling him ( naw, that's OK ) because your inner little man or woman does not want steak tonight for some reason) and - you know ( for certain - because you have seen the restaurant staff on line ) the $30.00 steak your father in law cant wait to wrap his lips around, is actually an $6.00 piece of cow muscle from Costco.

You look at the "triple decker, four cheese, jalapeño, whiskey, betcha wanta eat this burger" on TV, look down at your meaty waist line and your tired wrinkled face reflected back at you from the television screen and Scream! Aaaaaahhhh! ( because you no longer recognize yourself:) 

Your neighbor  ( a "Mrs. Kravitz" fan ) rings your door bell one time too many bringing with her pieces of her left over roast, home made snauages and dried old tongue she had in the fridge ( because she and her ( tired ) hubby "Abner" are going on vacation ) and you smile, take the package close the door and toss the whole thing in the trash ( after you have decided not to give it to the dog ) because you did not want to make him sick either:)

If you have experienced any of the above you are on the road to becoming a vegetarian - Power to the V:)The four legged and winged creatures you happen upon, on your long hikes into the wilderness will thank you - and maybe won't  eat you when you find yourself stranded in their neck of the woods:)