waterdog 1

This little Waterdog was tossed out of a car and pelted with rocks. It was rescued, shaved to remove hundreds of ticks – and found a home.

Nearly all the dogs I know are rescues. Some are mutts, others pedigree. Some deliberately ran away from unhappy homes, casting their furry selves upon the kindness of strangers. Others were walked out on, dumped on a lonely country road or slipped off their leash downtown to dodge traffic.

Some people just move and leave the family dog behind confused, hiding and miserable under the house unable to answer the cruelest question of all.

“What did I do wrong?”

For every unhappy ending there are many happy ones. The dog rescue societies of the world are up there with Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNICEF and Amnesty International – yet their achievements are so rarely sung.

Out into the rain these selfless souls go, following up a sighting of a cowering, terrified abandoned pooch.

Sitting at a hospital bedside reassuring a dying owner that their precious pet will continue to be loved.

Scouring the pounds for dogs who have reached their cut-off date, with only the needle awaiting them.

Instead of a cold friendless pound foster parents will often step in until a permanent home is found.  These people have a special corner of heaven reserved for them. It has fields full of wagging tails to greet them and soft nuzzling warm noses to kiss them goodnight.

Their job is to offer temporary refuge. Sometimes hundreds of animals will come through their door and out the other side.

Sometimes a special magic happens and they stay.

Brother and sister Marley and Chipper are two 13-year old dachshund corgi mixes who had never been apart. What was the chance that anyone would take them on as a pair when their owner died?

A saint called Francis, who had recently lost her own beloved dog, took them in and fostered them. They didn’t come with much baggage. Two small beds and a collar and leash. Marley had her special woolly oven mitt with the thumb chewed out. Chipper had a warthog.

Chipper couldn’t stop shaking. His anxiety levels were off the chart. He never took his eyes off Francis and became known as “the stalker.” His sister, bigger and fatter and smarter kept her eye on him, always checking him out.

They were only going to stay for a month. The month became six. Three years later they are still there.  The shaking has stopped and the barking started. The neighbours aren’t thrilled with this development, but the dogs have decided that now they are permanent residents they better taker up security detail.

It’s not just humans who go out of their way to welcome orphans into a family.  Some dogs can tell when a new arrival needs special care. They are there at the door to greet them and stay close for those first uncertain days. A beloved toy is shared and even room made in their own bed for the new scared pooch.

Who knows what they tell them. Probably that they are going to be just fine. And in the meantime, this is how we say “give me a cookie.”

Major Tom to Ground Control

panda deviant art

23 million people have watched retired astronaut Chris Hadfield float high above the world in the International Space Station performing Space Oddity. Due to copyright issues the site was taken down from You Tube, but now, with David Bowie’s blessing, it’s back up.

Once again the Canadian commander is circling the earth. The song, written 45 years ago about a doomed astronaut, still delivers a punch in the guts and a chill down the spines of viewers from Seoul to San Francisco.

Now Hadfield’s using his celebrity to push for an end to international space rivalry in the interest of world harmony.

“The United States and China need symbolic ways to cooperate beyond pandas and this is a really good way to do it,” he said.

After all, old foes America and Russia have already been down this road.

“It would have been very hard to predict in 1989, and yet I was on the Russian space station by 1995 and commander of an international crew by 2013. That’s amazingly quick. We have set an example that not only shows it is possible; it has been done.”

World peace …one song at a time.

Put Putin on You Tube in a Russian sub singing Yellow Submarine. We could all join in. …”And our friends are all aboard….’

Obama, time to shut up with Who Let the Dogs Out and dance to another tune.

Dance like there’s no one watching cause there isn’t. They’re all too busy dancing as fast as they can to stay alive.

And don’t forget to live like there’s no tomorrow because we’re right on track for that.

Rake through your old albums in the White House basement. There might be one in there by Woody Guthrie who knew a thing or two about right and wrong.

It’s called This Land is Your Land and nearly 70 years after it was released it’s still a heart-breaking anthem.

Somebody cover it. Re-release it. Now. Your country needs reminding that America once belonged to Americans before it was snatched away in a hat trick by con men.

Applications for a one-way ticket to Mars have closed. The lines were swamped. What’s happening when people would prefer to risk floating off into the cosmos than face the future on their own planet?

Ground control to Major Tom

Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong…..

(photo: Deviant Art)