MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

No Pets Left Behind

"No Pets Left Behind" was the motto of the Colorado National  Guard during the recent September flood rescues in and around Boulder, Colorado. I listened to the drone of helicopters for days overhead as they flew to and from, rescuing people and pets from flood ravaged towns like Lyons and Jamestown. Thank God we learned from Hurricane Katrina! My husband and I went down and volunteered after Katrina with the Humane Society of the United States at a makeshift animal shelter. Sadly, we watched people who had been painfully separated from their pets coming in to search for them. They primarily left disappointed and heart broken. Many pets were re-homed after Katrina rather than reunited with their families.

September 13 Boulder Daily Camera photo
So KUDOS to the Colorado National Guard for realizing that including pets can be the deciding factor for people to choose to leave their homes and be rescued. For recognizing that our pets are our family members. Some helicopters performing rescues carried more pets than people according to a news reports on September 20, 2013 and the Associated Press. Over 800 pets were rescued by helicopter, some even carried by zip line across raging waters. Hundreds more were rescued by ground crews.

As I watched the evacuees come off the helicopters with dogs and cats in their arms, on leashes and in kennels, I choked up at the sight, so happy we learned, so proud of Colorado. This time the Red Cross had water bowls and kennels waiting!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

One More Medical Curriculum Stops Using Live Animals

The majority of medical schools in the United States and Canada have moved away from animal use as part of their instruction. Below is a letter from Neal Barnard, M.D., the president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM has worked very hard to discourage the use of live animals and pushed for more ethical instruction in medical school curriculum.

From PCRM website

"For more than 20 years, the Physicians Committee has pushed the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences—the country's only military medical school—to stop using animals to train medical students. On Sept. 3, 2013, the university agreed.

'Live animals are no longer used for training in the undergraduate medical curriculum," confirmed USUHS dean John E. McManigle, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.P., in an e-mail to John Pippin, M.D., director of academic affairs for the Physicians Committee.

We could not have succeeded without your support!

In the mid-1980s, the university made headlines in announcing plans to shoot beagles in a medical training exercise. A public outcry aborted the experiments. However, the university conducted other experiments on dogs as part of its routine medical curriculum. Medical students contacted PCRM, asking for help. Given their military obligation, they could not refuse to participate nor could they transfer out of the school.

In 1991, at PCRM's request, eleven members of the House Armed Services Committee, including Pat Schroeder on the left and Bob Dornan on the political right, signed onto a letter asking the university to look into alternatives to animal laboratories and to respect students’ choices about participating. But the university refused to budge. Records obtained in 2007 through the federal Freedom of Information Act confirmed three separate live animal laboratories in the curriculum.

In 2008, the Physicians Committee filed a petition with the Department of Defense (DOD) asking for an end to this animal use based on a DOD policy that nonanimal alternatives be used when available. Dr. McManigle's recent e-mail confirms that USUHS joins the vast majority of medical schools in the United States and Canada that have moved away from animal use to ethically and educationally superior human-based instruction.

The Physicians Committee continues to work with the four medical schools that use live animals to help them transition to nonanimal methods: the University of Mississippi, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Oregon Health and Science University.

Thank you! Without you, PCRM would not be able to secure victories like this both for animals still used in medical education and for the future patients of today’s doctors in training."

To learn more about the great work of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine or to support their mission of ending unethical animal experimentation in medical schools, please visit their site here.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Every Time I Lose a Dog ...

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them,
and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart.
If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, 
and I will become as generous and loving as they are.


My last post asked you to help the Longmont Humane Society with a donation to avoid foreclosure if you can. Foreclosure could happen by November or December of this year. See post: Longmont Humane Society Facing Possible Foreclosure

To donate checks should be made out to the Longmont Humane Society with "now and forever" written in the memo line and mailed to:

The Longmont Humane Society
9595 Nelson Road
Longmont, CO 80501

Contact: Liz Smokowski at 303-772-1232, ext. 225, or or Shelley McLeod at 720-864-2878 or

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