MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Soul's Touching: Part 2

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life, A Story of Love

Do you remember my post on Souls Touching on  2-17-11, when I met the two horses in a pasture while driving to find Colorado Horse Rescue?  The special interaction I had with the reddish brown horse with the black mane was magical. Well, here he is. Please refer to Soul's Touching for details.

I promised my new horse friend, and you, that I'd be back to visit. Tom, my husband, came with me this time to capture this special boy on film. Here I think I'll let the photos tell the story.

How about you? What special stories do you have about special communications with horses or other animals?

Visit to learn more about my book, MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life, A Story of Love

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Assisting the Animals of Japan: PETA update

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

I received this update yesterday from Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA.

"PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner Ashley Fruno has just flown out of the devastated region but wanted me to share with you her account of her last few days in Sendai and the work still to be done for Japan's animals:"

    'I have now left Japan, but my heart is still there. The smell of decaying flesh was strong and undeniable in the disaster areas. We have a wonderful group of helpers in Japan who care about the animals caught up in this horror. We are so happy to support Isabella Gallaon-Aoki from Animal Friends Niigata. She has nerves of steel, and while others were afraid of a second tsunami, radiation damage, and earthquakes, Isabella drove with me into the worst-hit areas and, despite constant aftershocks, stepped into the shaky ruins with me, searching for animals. We spent day after day searching for animal survivors in the hardest-hit areas, taking in animals who couldn't evacuate with their owners and delivering dog and cat food and medicines to the evacuation centers that were allowing animals.

    We met up with a kind and wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Sasaki, who heard we were working nearby and who had been desperate to go out into the affected areas but couldn't as he didn't have any gas. He called us for help, and now he has visited several evacuation centers and is going to each of them one by one to provide treatment to injured animals and to deliver food. Isabella continues to supply Dr. Sasaki with fuel and veterinary supplies, and we are helping with that effort.

    There is still an enormous amount of work to be done in Japan, and a PETA Asia-Pacific volunteer, Ulara Nakagawa, is helping in Tokyo. I am staying in touch with my new friends in Sendai, and PETA is helping them with additional food and supplies as needed.

Since the day after the disaster, PETA has been working with our Asia-Pacific affiliate and Japanese animal groups in the hardest-hit regions. While there have been some heartwarming rescue stories, the situation for animals in Sendai and other parts of the country will take months—or even years—to return to anywhere near what it was before that fateful day two weeks ago.'

Please also see NY Daily News article from 2011-03-19/, and Global Animal, 2011/03/22 for How to help japan pets.

Kyoto News/AP

If you wish to help PETA help the animals of Japan and animals in other disasters you can contribute to PETA's Animal Emergency Fund. And remember to prepare for emergencies in your own home and community. PETA's Animal Emergency Guide can assist you. Another great resource is The Not Without My Dog Resource and Record Book by Jenny Pavlovic.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Discover Your Life's Purpose

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

Each of us is a unique being. And each of us comes into this life with our own individual purpose. Do you know what yours is?

Seven Questions to Ask: 

I received these questions and answers (some of which I adapted) in an e-mail from a friend with no attribution to the author. Before publishing this, I searched out the title online and found this: 
(Written on 11/30/2009 by Mr. Self Development  who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; visit his blog at Thanks, Mr. Self Development for some great questions to help us discover our purpose!
1. What do you love to do?
Your purpose is directly related to what you love. The most purposeful people in the world spend their time doing what they love. Bill Gates loves computers, Oprah loves helping, and Edison loved to invent. What do you love? Is it reading, writing, playing sports, singing, painting, business, selling, talking, listening, cooking, fixing broken things. What ever you love, it's directly related to your purpose.

2. What do you do in your free time?
Whatever you do in your free time is a sign of your purpose. If you like to paint in your free time, then that's a sign. Whether it's cooking, talking, learning, or singing, follow the signs.

3. What do you notice?
A salesman notices and uninspiring sales pitch; a hairdresser notices someone's hair is out of place; a designer notices an awkward outfit; mechanic hear something wrong with your car; a singer notices when someone's voice is out of patch; a speaker notices and uninspiring speech. Noticing what annoys you can also be a clue to your purpose.

4. What do you love to learn about?
What kinds of books or magazines do like to read? Animals? Self-Development? Whatever it is, it's a sign. Check your bookshelves -- what books do you have?

5. What sparks your creativity?
Is it the designing? Building? Selling? Writing? Collecting recipes?

6. What do people compliment you on?
Do people compliment your writing, your singing, your cooking, or you're speaking ability? How about your ability to communicate and relate to people?

7. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
Would you be a dog trainer, start a beauty salon, write a book, or teach seminars? of course, the answers here are a sign of your purpose.

In closing, one question alone may not tell the whole story. Look at all of your answers collectively as each one is a piece of your "purpose" puzzle.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

U.S. Department of State Refusing to Allow Evacuating U.S. Nationals in Japan to Take Their Animals

AGAIN ... Didn't We Learn from Katrina??

I have never posted twice in the same day, but this is important!!

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

I received this message from Daphna Nachminovitch, Vice President of Cruelty Investigations for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):

Once again, the U.S. Department of State is refusing to allow U.S. nationals evacuating a disaster zone, this time in Japan, to take their animal companions to safety. The official policy of the Department of State is that it does not evacuate pets. Please contact Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ask that the State Department allow Americans, without exception, to evacuate all their family members from Japan and from every future disaster area.

PETA agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health veterinarians and others that "… a lack of plans and resources to evacuate 'incidental' pets with their owners has been known for decades to be a primary reason why citizens will refuse to evacuate in the face of imminent life-threatening danger." Unfortunately, when it comes to disasters, people who love their animals often pay with their own lives.

In response to PETA's February requests to Secretary Clinton to allow animals on U.S. government–chartered evacuation flights during the coup in Egypt, some animals were finally allowed on the last flight out of that country. While a promising, and temporary, start, PETA asks that all companion animals, regardless of size, be allowed safe transport out of Japan and any future disaster zone.

Please contact Secretary of State Clinton by e-mail or fax (202-647-1579) and ask that:

1. People evacuating Japan be allowed to take their companion animals, regardless of size, with them.
2. The State Department permanently change its official policy to allow pets to be evacuated, simultaneously with their families, from disaster areas.

Thank you for your willingness to act and for your compassion for animals! For more information on how you can help PETA help animals affected by disasters in Japan and elsewhere, please click here.

How You Can Help Japan's Animals Today: PETA Update

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

 I received the following message/update yesterday evening from Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):

Animals in Japan URGENTLY Need Your Help

I wanted to share with you the following update from Ashley Fruno, a senior campaigner with PETA Asia—who, along with Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata, was the first responder from any international animal rights group to reach the disaster area in Japan after taking the first flight to Tokyo after the airport reopened Saturday night—and to ask for your URGENT support for our relief efforts in disasters like this one:

   "At first glance, my team and I didn't realize how devastated the area that we were driving into really was. It was only when we started seeing cars with their windows broken from the force of the water in the middle of rice fields that we realized we were in one of the hardest hit areas. There appears to be no animal survivors in these areas.

    At the first possible opportunity, after queuing for gas, we visited Sendai's city animal shelter and offered assistance. There had been an influx of animals at the shelter since the earthquake, as well as many reports of missing animals. The facility is not yet full, however, and will continue taking in lost and abandoned animals. Workers said that the shelter's phone line was just restored today, so they know that the worst is yet to come—many people with animals simply may have not been able to get through.

    We spent the rest of the day today at evacuation centers handing out pet food and asking for any leads on abandoned animals. One of the center coordinators told us a very touching story about his Akita, named Shane. After notifying his neighbors, he tried to get back to his house after the earthquake to get Shane, but the tsunami was rapidly approaching, and he was forced to go to the local school on higher ground. He said that he had given up hope of ever seeing Shane alive again. However, six hours later, one of the people staying in the center mentioned seeing a dog outside. Shane had never been to the school before, but somehow he managed to swim through chest-high water before being reunited with his guardian. We instructed the guardian on how to clean Shane's wounds and provided some ointment to help ward off infection. We were able to leave fuel with the local veterinarian; he will return to check on Shane and provide antibiotics to ensure that the dog's wounds heal.

    The local veterinarian we had contact with will serve as the "mobile vet" for Sendai. He is working on obtaining a list of local evacuation centers and will visit all of them, distributing food and administering veterinary care to animals who need it."

The situation for animals in Japan is desperate. Right now, Ashley and her team are on the ground providing food, water, and care to animals in some of the country's most devastated areas. They are helping Japan's animal survivors however they can—and linking desperate guardians throughout the region with urgently needed veterinary care and pet supplies.

We need your help TODAY to support Ashley's team in Japan and prevent the needless suffering and deaths of animals whose lives are at risk because of calamities such as last week's earthquake and tsunami. Please take a moment to make a special gift to PETA's Animal Emergency Fund.

The Animal Emergency Fund was created to support lifesaving efforts for animals both before and after disaster strikes. It has saved countless animals by providing guardians and media outlets with vital information to keep companion animals safe from nature's worst. This fund not only helps teams such as Ashley's but also supports the rescue of animals in other crises throughout the world, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to last year's massive earthquake in Haiti.

Efforts such as these are funded through the generosity of individual donations from people like you, and animals in danger—in Japan and around the world—need your support now more than ever.

Please make a special donation right now to support our Animal Emergency Fund and our urgent work to help animals who are in harm's way.

For everything that you do to help animals in need, thank you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Helping the Animals of Japan

Re-Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

Original post by Bernard Unti of Humane Society International

President and CEO Wayne Pacelle of The Humane Society of the United States, HSI's partner in disaster response, shares his thoughts on help for the people and animals of Japan @

March 14, 2011
by Bernard Unti

In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami double-strike that battered Japan’s northern coast and set off a mounting toll of death and destruction, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States have deployed disaster response staff to the region, and reached out to Japanese partner organizations involved with animal care and rescue to identify where and how best to provide emergency support and veterinary attention.

HSI Lead Disaster Responder Kelly Coladarci is in the Philippines and has contacted Japanese organizations to help them evaluate all animal-related needs. Moreover, both HSI and The HSUS will provide aid to various Japanese organizations, supporting their efforts to assess the scope of the disaster’s effects on animals, to purchase and transport essential supplies, and to establish appropriate shelters and other needed bases of operation in or near the strike zone. The explosions that have rocked the two nuclear reactors at Fukushima may also swell the numbers of people and pets requiring emergency evacuation or already displaced in the midst of crisis.

The disaster’s destructive physical force and rising human death totals are horribly evident, and its impact upon animals is sure to be high, necessitating rapid deployment and response. Time and time again, whether after the Indonesian tsunami, the Haiti, Pakistan and Szechuan earthquakes, or Hurricane Katrina, we have witnessed the early focus on human need gradually expand to include the interests and needs of animals in distress. As the animal-related impacts of the crisis become clearer in Japan, we’ll be ready.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

L.A. Passes Puppy Mill Law

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love 

(Original Post on Care 2 blog, "Breaking News: L.A. Passes Puppy Mill Law" by Sharon Seltzer)

It looks like Los Angeles County didn’t want to wait for a national or statewide puppy mill law to go into effect.  On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to protect animals raised by breeders or kept in pet stores.

According to Daily News Wire Services, the law was introduced by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, “an animal lover who presents a dog or cat for adoption at virtually every board meeting he attends.”

The ordinance is an amendment to Title 10 – the code relating to the licensing of animals and animal facilities, and the care and breeding of animals.

The new ordinance will require breeders to:
  • Only breed dogs that are at least 12 months old.
  • Keep puppies in their possession until they are at least 8 weeks old.
  • Place pregnant dogs in separate living quarters at least three days before they give birth.
  • Provide nesting boxes for mother dogs and their puppies.
The new rules also make sure all puppies are microchipped or tattooed when they turn four months old.  

And pet shops will be required to inform potential pet owners where the puppies in their store come from.

The Board of Supervisors apparently had some disagreements about limiting the number of dogs a breeder could own, so they came up with this compromise.

Breeders will be limited to housing 50 unspayed or unneutered dogs unless they can prove to county officials they can properly care for more.

Those breeders will be mandated to keep stricter medical records, have staff at the facility 18 hours a day and be subject to more frequent inspections, at their own cost.

Title 10 currently requires breeders to provide “structurally sound” housing that is clean and sanitary, enclosures with solid bottoms, wholesome food, accessible clean water and proper grooming for the dogs. 

It also states no animal shall be left unattended for more than 12 consecutive hours, requires veterinary care, humane treatment and exercise.

Even with the amendments L.A.’s Title 10 is far from perfect. However it covers most of the same regulations as Missouri’s Proposition B that was passed by the voters last November. 

That law is being hacked apart by legislators and breeder associations’ who complain how its restrictions will inhibit their livelihood.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What You Can Do To Protect Your Pet from Alzheimer's

And How To Identify Cognitive Dysfunction in Your Pet

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

This article by Steve Dale was published in the USA Weekend on Feb. 27, 2011.

If everyone in America had a dog and walked it daily, our brains would benefit — and so would our dogs'. Carl Cottman, director of Alzheimer's Disease Research at the University of California-Irvine, says regular moderate exercise turns out to be healthy for our heads as well as our hearts. And the same goes for our dogs.

As Alzheimer's disease occurs in people, so does a similar syndrome in our pets, referred to as cognitive dysfunction (CD). And like Alzheimer's in people, cognitive dysfunction is increasingly common, or so it seems.

"It's always been there," says veterinary behaviorist Gary Landsberg of Thornhill, Ontario, director of veterinary affairs at Cancog Technologies. "Our pets are living longer, and we're learning much more about identifying cognitive dysfunction." Landsberg is now researching the disorder in cats.

The acronym for pet owners to identify CD is referred to as DISH:

D — Disorientation and confusion, such as attempting to walk through the wrong side of a doggie door.

I — Changes in interactions, such as an outgoing pet becoming withdrawn.

S — Sleep disturbances: cats yowling or dogs pacing overnight for no apparent reason.

H — House soiling, having "accidents."

"Cognitive dysfunction is a diagnosis of exclusion," says veterinary behaviorist Nicholas Dodman, editor of Good Old Dog. Pet owners and their veterinarians need to rule out medical problems first. Is the cat missing the box because of diabetes? Or is the dog walking into walls at night because of impaired vision?

"What makes this complicated is sometimes there is a physical problem as well as cognitive decline," Dodman says.

Early diagnosis is challenging, but it's helpful. Landsberg says the first signs are typically changes in social interactions, which tend to be more subtle in cats.

It seems cognitive changes leading to Alzheimer's in humans might be delayed, minimized or potentially even prevented with lifetime learning and activity. That's why independent-living centers are promoting computer or dance classes, and doctors have even "prescribed" that older patients return to school. Jeffrey Kaye, director of NIA-Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, is chair of a technology task force for the Alzheimer's Association. "Certainly, there's something to all this," he says. "There are studies in people, but it's a challenge to conduct them because you can't control what people do and the circumstances which occur in their lives. In dogs, studies are easier to control."

And cognitive decline in dogs is surprisingly similar to what it is in people. Cottman has studied cognitive decline in dogs and people. In one canine study, a group of dogs was enrolled in continuing canine education and followed an exercise protocol. The control group was fed a special anti-aging diet. All the dogs were periodically tested for cognitive skills, and Cottman couldn't believe the results.

"It was a fantasy come true because the results were so definitive, proving social interactions, exercise, enrichment and diet really do make a significant difference in dogs," he says. "We believe the same must be true for people."

Cottman adds that if you do anything, take your dog for a walk: "We know moderate exercise bolsters brains in dogs and people."

Adds Landsberg: "Delaying the onset of CD in pets enhances quality of life, until kidney disease, cancer or some other disease process inevitably occurs. I wish there was a fountain of youth. But if people and pets feel better and enjoy life longer, isn't that a kind of fountain of youth?"

See original article in USA WEEKEND by Steve Dale, Protect Your pet from Alzheimer's

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rabies Vaccination Risky for Certain Dog's: HSVMA Sponsors Exemptions Bill

Did you know that the rabies vaccination can be harmful and even lethal for dogs with existing health problems?

A Canine Health and Welfare Issue

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

Read below to learn if your state already provides an exemption from rabies vaccination for dogs with
"terminal diseases such as cancer, immune-mediated diseases, severe allergies and chronic life-threatening conditions such as renal failure, severe endocrine disorders and degenerative neuromuscular diseases."

"The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association is sponsoring California Assembly Bill 258 (A.B. 258),  also known as Molly’s Bill, to protect dogs whose health might be severely compromised by rabies vaccination. Molly’s Bill would provide a uniform mechanism for rabies vaccination exemptions for those dogs in whose cases—in a veterinarian’s professional judgment—vaccination may be risky, harmful, or potentially lethal and is thus medically contraindicated. These cases may include, but are not limited to, dogs with terminal diseases such as cancer, immune-mediated diseases, severe allergies and chronic life-threatening conditions such as renal failure, severe endocrine disorders and degenerative neuromuscular diseases.

During 2010, HSVMA supported a previous effort to pass Molly’s Bill. However, it stalled in last year’s legislative session. At a press conference in February, Assemblymember Curt Hagman re-introduced the legislation, and Dr. Tracy Yen spoke in support on HSVMA’s behalf. The event was also attended by the bill’s namesake, Molly, an English Springer Spaniel cared for by Sam and Cecilia Gadd of Chino Hills, Calif. Molly contracted an autoimmune disorder, and despite her attending veterinarian’s recommendation against further vaccination, local authorities denied Molly a medical waiver for her licensing.
Making matters worse?

Vaccination is a powerful medical tool with potentially powerful side effects. Research indicates that rabies vaccine-associated reactions in dogs are significant. Numerous individual veterinarians and veterinary clinics, veterinary medical teaching institutions and professional associations support the necessity for selective exemption from vaccination. Dogs exempted under A.B. 258 would be medically evaluated by a veterinarian and monitored by local public health officials. The public may actually be put at greater potential risk for zoonotic disease without a vaccination exemption provision, because pet owners who are deeply concerned about their dogs’ health and are deprived of an exemption option may choose to fly ‘under the radar,’ eluding both vaccination and licensing entirely.

From the national perspective, there is significant precedent for this type of legislation. Many states have implemented exemption from rabies vaccination programs while effectively preserving the public health. A number of states—including Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin—already provide for medical exemptions from rabies vaccination in their dog licensing programs.
Take action!

Molly’s Bill is awaiting a vote in the California State Assembly. We urge our California-based veterinary professional members to contact their Assembly member  to encourage their support for this important measure. Tell them that our licensing system should be flexible enough to accommodate legitimate medical exceptions to vaccination when a dog’s health and well-being are at stake. And don't forget to tell them that you are a California voter and a veterinary professional."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Toxic Tick and Flea Products Affect Pets and Humans

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love
original post by Delia Quigley on the Care 2 Blog on Mar 9, 2011

I thought this post by Delia Quigley was worth a re-post for you, your Dogs and Cats!

The snow has not completely melted and the ticks are already making a play for Maya and Seamus. Looking back a year ago, as a new dog owner, I was instructed to buy a certain chemical product to apply to my pups, which would literally have the ticks and fleas falling dead to the floor. This, I thought to myself, is too good to be true; but because I was ignorant and advised by those I considered more knowledgeable, I bought a rather expensive 3-months supply of Frontline with the anticipation of a tick-free summer ahead. As I read the package instructions I was shocked to find that the chemical ingredients were so toxic they must be applied with latex gloves so as not to, as in never, touch my skin.

Yes, but what of my pups skin? If it is toxic to me, what must it be to their small bodies? You might think that I tossed the whole thing in the garbage on that realization, but no, I am ashamed to say that I did not. For two months I applied the toxic chemicals until one day I did my own research. What I found is shocking, perverted, untenable, and horrifying, but we Americans keep on poisoning our pets, along with ourselves and chemical companies continue to provide the loaded gun.

The active ingredient in Frontline is fipronil, an insecticide and member of the phenylpyrazole family of chemicals. Its purpose is to disrupt an insect’s nervous system functions. Well, hold on there doggie, according to the Journal of Pesticide Reform, “In tests with laboratory animals, fipronil caused aggressive behavior, damaged kidneys, and ‘drastic alterations in thyroid function.’ The fipronil-containing product Frontline caused changes in the levels of sex hormones.”

The other two toxic bad boys in Frontline are Methoprene, a neurotoxin that can cause liver enlargements, headaches, throat irritation and nausea and Ethanol, which can cause fatigue, lethargy, dizziness and nervous system disruption.

In her excellent 2008 Care2 article, The Surprising Poisons in Our Pets, Melissa Breyer reports that according to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Center, “dogs have much higher rates of cancer than people do, including 35 times more skin cancer, four times more breast tumors, eight times more bone cancer, and twice the incidence of leukemia.”

And here’s the kicker, the Environmental Protection Agency has classified fibronil as a carcinogen, because exposure to fipronil caused benign and malignant thyroid tumors in laboratory animals. All of which means it can cause cancer in both animals and humans.

You can be exposed to fibronil by petting an animal that has been treated with Frontline. The treatment persists for at least 56 days on pets. The good news is that the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has checked over a hundred tick and flea products finding that most of them contain chemicals toxic enough to cause harm to both pets and humans.  You should refer to their list before buying a product that may potentially harm your pet and contaminate yourself and your children. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to control ticks and fleas in your environment. Care2 has a number of articles to help you out. Click HERE for a list of natural flea and tick control remedies.

Monday, March 7, 2011

For the Street Dogs of Chile ...

May You One Day Be Loved

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

My niece who is living in Santiago, Chile, warned me before we arrived in Chile. She knew I would ache when I saw the homeless street dogs of Chile. She was right.

If I can find good news about this it is that many of the dogs are at least fed (both by tourists and locals) and not emaciated compared to street dogs in other countries I have seen. Of course that is not true for all of them. The sad news is they don't have the magic of the human-animal bond, someone to love and care for them.

The Street Dogs of Santiago ...

You can see the lonely, lost feeling in some faces, like the first dog above. And when they are sick, they are alone, with no one to help and care for them. Some, like the two directly above, find their bonds with each other. A physician in Santiago told me that when there are too many dogs in this city, they are killed. I didn't ask how; I'm not sure I wanted to hear the answer. But they are not euthanized in the humane manner (injection) that we are familiar with here in the States.

People do have family dogs who are loved like we all love our dogs. The Chilean family my niece is staying with served us a delicious lunch one Sunday. We watched them spoil and dote on their dog as we do ours. And the family we stayed with in the Cochamo Valley had a black lab, Puff, who is very loved. He has a great life going up the valley with the horses to La Junta with the guests. (He accompanied us).

The Street Dogs of Puerto Varas ...

The dogs I met were all friendly, but it was sad to see they had come to expect not being touched. None of them sought people out for food or attention, but readily accepted the food offered. Interesting, though, many dogs refused bread -- they are used to receiving the meat and fish from people's leftovers!

One day I walked into the market in Puerta Varas to buy "meaty" treats. Since pesos seem a little like "play money," I didn't realize until later I had spent $12.00 on one round of dog treats! For future feedings, I bought hot dogs, which were cheaper than dog treats.

Puerto Octay ...

Punta Arenas ...

We were surprised by the number of purebred German Shepherds we saw. We were told that some people got dogs as puppies and then let them go when they became adults -- no longer the cute, manageable little pup. Wow. It happens here, too, doesn't it? But here it's hidden from of our view as they are swept into shelters. 
A Chilean tour guide in Punta Arenas told us that it is up to the mayor of each city as to what will happen to the street dogs. Here in Punta Arenas the mayor had decided to have all the street dogs killed a few years ago -- but the people of the city were up in arms. The mayor listened, so these dogs, for the time being, are allowed their lives.

The One Who Will Be Forever In My Heart ...

He's in Puerta Varas. I call him "Flash," after a German Shepherd from my childhood ... 
He followed us around town; waited for us outside the laundromat.
When he followed us to our rental car and lay down and watched us, I cried, and tried to explain we couldn't take him. We still had to fly to another Chilean city. I talked to a veterinarian in town about what it would take and what it would be like for him to get him to the States ...
When he watched our car drive away, my heart broke. I looked further into what it would take to get him here after we returned home, with both the airlines, CDC, etc. The logistics of vaccinations and a health certificate were quite doable. But the very long plane ride with stops with him riding in cargo, the possible refusal at the US port of entry and its ramifications if there was any question about his health, really scared me for his safety. So I am speaking with a family we met in the Cochamo Valley, a few hours from Puerto Varas. They have a friend who finds homes for strays there. Maybe ...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Resolving Conflict: What Are Your Myths and Beliefs Around Conflict?

Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of  MAGGIE the dog who changed my life A Story of Love

Who doesn't deal with conflict on a day-to-day basis? And how many of us really learned useful tools to handle it when it comes up? Most of us are taught to fear and avoid conflict rather than to embrace it as a normal part of life. Years ago I studied the martial art of Aikido, where the key is to not resist your opponent, but to use his or her energy and go with the flow. A metaphor my Aikido instructor used to lighten our belief systems around conflict was, "What created the beautiful beaches of the world? Eons and eons of conflict, of wind and waves crashing against the rocks, breaking it down into sand ..."

The following questions were born out of both my study of Aikido and Neurolinguistic programming; they can help us explore what may be getting in our way inside of ourselves before conflict even arises: 

1. Does conflict by definition imply right or wrong?

2. How does our need to be right create or prolong conflict situations?

3. Do you want to be right or happy?

4. What does being right do or get for you?

5. Which do you use more frequently in a conflict/argument, "I" or "you"?

6. What changes do you notice in yourself and the other person when you switch from "you" phrases to "I" phrases? 

7. What happens when you ask questions of the other person in a conflict to discover more of their position rather than making accusing or defensive statements?

8. What conflicts have arisen for you when you have not been genuine with another?

9. What do you have to lose by seeing, hearing and feeling the issue from the other person's position?

10. What happens as you watch and listen to yourself in a conflict "out there?" And if you or the other person acknowledges you aren't certain about your positions?

11. Are you really in control when you take a rigid point of view? What other ways are there to protect yourself?

12. Is Win - Loose/Either - Or the only option? How can both parties win?

Let me know your thoughts and may conflict become less charged for you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marky Is Loving His Forever Home

With calls by the Brownsville, Texas SPCA to Marky's new guardians, they report "they are in love with him" and that he has adapted very well. He sleeps with the 2 young girls and also with his canine sister, Medusa.

I finally received a couple of very recent photos of Marky that I share here. His puppy face that I remember from last year has matured into this precious adult face. I am amazed how much he reminds me of our Maddie!

This is a happy ending, indeed!

Posted By:
Dawn Kairns
Blog:      Dawn Kairns and Maggie the Dog