How to Make Friends with Wild Ravens


Finally – a valid argument for ‘public transit’

Animals are way smarter than most of us give them credit for.

(Well, most animals – my dog excepted…but he is beautiful and loving and we don’t mind that he has the intelligence of a tuberous begonia.  Our rabbit has enough smarts for both of them!)

Mastering the Moscow subway system is something stray dogs can, apparently, achieve!  And, they seem to be better at assessing our psychology than most of us are at learning theirs…

Hats off to these clever canines!



The instigators…

My cat-loving aunt’s been sick, so I’ve been looking for funny kitty videos to amuse her with.  Who would have thought there were so many cat videos on the interwebitudes?!?!?  😉

Came across this most amusing video and could not resist posting it:

Keshet rescue/Keshet Kennels

Need a great place to board your dog in the Ottawa area?  These people are truly dedicated!

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Beach bunnies:

I know I am beautiful!

Did I see food?

I’m coming!

See that dog?  That is MY dog!!!


Of dogs and squirrels…

This past weekend has seen the middle of the summer: the half-way point (cross-quarter-day) between the summer solstice and the fall equinox.  We Canadians still celebrate this hottest part of the summer with the ‘civic holiday’ on the first Monday in August.

This is an excellent time to spend with family and just enjoy the hot weather.  Which is why I thought you might enjoy a funny – but true – little story of ‘dogs and squirrels’…

Our dog – a golden retriever – loves squirrels.  He could watch them for hours!

For some reason nobody will quite explain to me, the dog also seems to suffer from the impression that my husband expects him to chase squirrels!  (I wonder if there is a connection  fact he’s always trying to get a spot on the sofa by getting the dog to get off by saying:  “Go get the squirrel!  Go get it!” might have something to do with it….)

So, the dog can be lying in the back yard (trying his best to lie on top of the peanuts we toss out for the squirrels), not moving as the squirrels go right up to him and nudge him.  He can lie like that for hours!

BUT!  If he notices that my husband is watching him, he’ll jump right up, bouncing as if he had springs in his feet.  Barking enthusiastically, he chases the squirrels up one of the two trees in the yard!

When he does this, the dog is not at all ‘hunting’.

He reserves this for the chipmunks….who seem not to realize that squeaking at the dog (like a toy) does not make him go away and leave them alone.  To the contrary – he seems to think they are playing ‘fetch’ with him!

When he chases the squirrels, it is in a very playful way – the way dogs try to get other dogs to play with them.  He never has the body language of a hunter – not when it comes to squirrels!


There is one place we totally do not want the squirrels to go:  the back threshold.

Frankly, the squirrels have no inhibitions about crossing the back threshold…. And, as much as I like them and wish them the best, and as much as I admire self-sufficiency and independent attitude – I really, really do not cherish the idea of them coming inside my house to help themselves to ‘snacks’!

So, we always encourage  our dog to ‘play chase’ with each and every one of the squirrels who is sneaking – or looks like she is thinking about sneaking –  across the threshold and inside our house!

This weekend, years of dog-training by my husband have finally paid off!

Without any sort of urging on our part (without even the promise of a treat), our hound spotted a squirrel squatting on the threshold, considering if the bowl of the rabbit’s food was worth a venture inside….

Throwing off his usual lethargy, he bounced up, sprung forward and with the greatest cheer and pride, he chased the squirrel off the threshold!

The only little problem with the situation was…

The dog had been outside!

He DID chase the squirrel off the threshold – right into the dining room!

Did you know that, just like SuperMario, squirrels can do wall-kicks?

Pat Condell: ‘Thank God for Andy Choudary’

Pat Condell raises some important points…

One thing he mentions is ‘Halal meat‘.

For a while, I have been trying to compose a post about this….but have been having a lot of trouble (I have a lot of trouble with things where there is serious cruelty to animals).  So, let me just urge you to read up about what the whole ‘Halal’ thing is about on your own.  I can’t even do links – sorry – it just bothers me to see this stuff so much…

While you do, I would like to ask you to pay attention to two separate ways in which ‘Halal food’ production will impact our society.

First and foremost is the cruelty with which animals must be slaughtered in order to be considered ‘Halal’.  This is obvious.

So, when choosing restaurants and fast food outlets, I always make sure to avoid ‘Halal certified’ places.  And, if you find the place you are in is serving ‘Halal’ meat, and you choose to walk out, please, tell them why.

Or, perhaps, if enough people ask  Peta, they might organize a ‘Halal-awareness Campaign’!  They’d be very good at it!

And, perhaps they would reveal just how ‘stealthily’ this ‘Halal-compliant’ food is entering our food chain.  Because some of the multinational food corporations are ‘standardizing’ their practices:  often, this means slaughtering all animals in compliance with ‘Halal’ rules, but only labeling the bits for their Muslim customers as such.  And, especially many school cafeterias are purchasing ‘Halal-only’ meat, in order to cater to the needs of their Muslim students.  (In other words, they are taking ‘Halal’ as the ‘common denominator’ and serving it to everyone!)

The other thing to keep in mind while reading up on ‘Halal’ food is just how incompatible the requirements to keep food ‘Halal’ are with the laws of our society!

For example, a non-Muslim may not be trusted to keep any food ‘Halal’ – and  must not be believed that any food they handled retains its ‘Halal’ status  (unless a ‘trusted, moral Muslim’ supervises their every move) .

Regardless of how closely the technique of  ‘Halal slaughter’ is adhered to, it may only be performed by a ‘moral Muslim’, or a Christian or Jew under close and direct and close supervision of a ‘moral Muslim’.

And, this continues throughout the food-preparation and delivery process.

In other words, a person’s employment is determined by their religious faith!

An employer is forced to hire preferably Muslims only, or, in a pinch, also Christians or Jews – as long as their supervisor is a Muslim…. and absolutely no non-Muslim supervisors are allowed!  As for anyone who does not follow one of the three Abrahamic faiths – they are not permitted to touch or handle the food, ever.  Sorry, Sikhs, Buddhists, non-believers or anyone else!  No work for you in the food industry!

But, an employer is not permitted, by law, to discriminate in their hiring or promotion practices based on a person’s religious beliefs!  Isn’t that right up there, in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Therefore, by the very fact that they are certified ‘Halal’, these places of employment are openly admitting that they are breaking the laws of our land!  That they are actively committing religious discrimination in their hiring practices!

If only we had some some sort of a Commission that would be able to  look into this….

Giving medicine to a cat

This is Bo-Bo:

His full name is ‘Snowball’ – but he usually responds to the diminutive ‘Bo-Bo’.

This past weekend, my neighbours (and friends) went away for a 4-day trip.  As I am the local animal-lover, they asked me to look after their cats (Snowball is one of 3 felines in that family).  At the last moment, Snowball (he is a little dominant…) got into a fight with another cat in the neighbourhood and the vet said he must get 2 antibiotic pills a day… could I handle the challenge of giving Bo-Bo his medicine?

I agreed to give it a try – my friends deserved a break!

Snowball was happy to see me when I came in and fed him – the first time.  Then he got annoyed that I would not let him out (he was to stay indoors while recuperating).  When I gave him his medicine – he got really, really mad at me.

The next medicine time, he was ready!

There was no way he would allow me, an outsider, to come in, hold him down in a chair and shove a pill down his throat!  His family may be away, and he may not be feeling his best and I may have taken him by surprise the first time… but – no more!  He would fight against this indignity!

Bo-Bo put up a mighty battle…

I did learn some things:

  1. Cats can – and do – growl.
  2. If you do NOT allow the cat to ‘have the last word’, the ‘next time’ will much easier.

Yes, I am glad to report that now, Bo-Bo is all well and healthy – and he does NOT growl at me any more.  Not even when I put him into the ‘medicine chair’, make him wait till I get the pill, sit beside him, open his mouth and pop the pill in!

Quite a change of attitudes!

And I did not do anything other than outlast his ‘bitching’ and ‘have the last word’.

One could say, I suppose, that I have learned how to ‘out-bitch a cat’!

Squirrel Watchers – part 3

For a little enjoyment, here is the laterst look at ‘the Squirrel Watchers’.

The loud sound as the clip opens is made by the Blue Jay:  he yells like this if we are too slow to put out food for him.  He’ll even sit on our window sill and make this sound…. and last Friday, I guess I was just not fast enough for his liking, so he flew just inside my back door, made this screeching sound, turned around in mid-air and flew out again!

The squirrels had learned that when the Blue Jay makes his little screech, my hubby will put out almonds – something the squirrels much prefer to peanuts or sunflower seeds.  So, last summer, there was one squirrel which actually learned to immitate that sound!!!  It was not as loud, and a little lower pitched, but unmistakeable!  That same squirrel also learned to immitate our neighbour’s little yappy dog’s barking…  Who would have thunk it that squirrels could be multilingual!

If you are wondering about the rabbit’s expression – he was getting jelaous that the I – and perhaps more importantly, the camera – was paying attention to things other than himself….  Typical:  if you are paying attention to him, he gets suspicious.  If you are not, he gets jelaous.

Anyhow, I hope that the little bit of backyard entertainment will be a pleasant interlude in your information-filled day.

Squirrel Watchers part 2

More ‘Thanksgiving fun’ for your viewing pleasure: