Wednesday, October 29, 2008

May you live in interesting times

It seems like all I post these days are things other people have written and this time isn't any different. However, I feel I at least owe myself an explanation about why I am doing this.

Well, here goes. There is an reputedly old Chinese curse that goes something like this, "May you live in interesting times; May you come to the attention of those in authority; May you find what you are looking for". I feel as if we are all living in the middle of that curse. Certainly books will have some interesting reading about this period in history.

Which leads me right back to the reason why I keep posting things written by other people. I'm a dog trainer. I've always been a dog trainer. I earn my living working with dogs, writing about dogs. My days are spent training, playing, hanging out with and just in general totally immersed in things related to, for, with and about dogs. a non-dog person I guess that must sound very unbalanced, I however, find it to be a very balanced life. I know I am not alone. I know there are others who live the same way and the article to follow tells about some of them.

So my real question is this, "Why are the majority of people in this country, all of whom own at least one animal, allowing a small, loud, hateful group of beings to take their animal from them? Not just take your animal, but kill it and then make it impossible for you to have another animal.

Understand one thing, this is a thing written in stone and will never change. The animal rights movement is not about animals and it certainly isn't about rights. It is all about getting rid of animals. It is all about forbidding any interaction between humans and animals. It is about taking away you fourth amendment rights which say:

Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Think I don't know what I'm talking about? Check out what is happening in New Mexico, California, Florida, Texas and dozens of other places around the country. Those new animal control ordnance's that you haven't bothered to pay any attention to have been written to trample your fourth amendment rights in the mud. And now on to doing away with more jobs at a time when jobs are tight and getting tighter.

Greyhounds – What’s the real story??

The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners got a call from both Greyhound tracks in Mass. They wanted us to come see their operations, their dogs and how the dogs are treated. The Mass. Federation is made up primarily of dog show people, dog club members, dog trainers, dog experts, dog training clubs, pet owners but no Greyhound racers. I have raised, owned and loved dogs for over 50 years. I am a senior conformation dog show judge with the AKC. I know more than a little about how to care for dogs, bond with them, handle them, encourage them. I have attended many dog related events but of course I was curious to see first hand the intimate and behind the scenes workings of the track, especially in light of the multi-year campaign by animal rights groups who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to end Greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

Mass Federation Members toured both tracks. Here’s what I saw at Raynham. I saw dogs in extraordinary physical condition. As a dog person, I know how much time and proper exercise it takes to get a dog in top condition and muscle tone. Professional athletes would be impressed by the conditioning of the dogs. This doesn’t happen by ignoring the dog. It means getting the dog a great deal of exercise and spending a lot of time with the dog. We went to the restricted area where dogs are kept before a race and saw a room full of contented dogs waiting to go out to race. When a race was called, the dogs going out got very happy tails. They knew they were racing and were excited. The young employees of the track that put racing numbers on the dogs were gentle with them and handled them with obvious affection. Watching the dogs chase the mechanical rabbit was amazing and a pure joy. It was so exciting watching as this is the culmination of centuries of careful breeding and selection to produce these amazing athletes.

I was also taken to the restricted area where the dogs come after a race. This is right behind the track vet’s office. When dogs come off the track after a race, they are rubbed down, their feet are washed of sand, they have eye wash in their eyes on the chance they may have gotten dirt in an eye. They get a big drink and a look over. Some get a wet down on the spot. They are cooled down and tended too. There are hugs for dogs and “atta boys.” There are more happy tails.

We met two of the veterinarians that share duties at Raynham, Dr. Durniok and Dr. Caldwell. We asked about all the reports being broadcast of injuries and cruelty. They had no knowledge of any cruelty. They did say there are some injuries. In the event of injuries, there is a vet there. Most injuries are not serious. Dogs with an injury are almost always rehabilitated. No adoptable dog is destroyed. The track has an office inside the entrance where people can inquire about getting a retired racer as a pet.

Injuries that occur you could see in many professional sports. We know of the injuries in Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball. People and dogs engage in sport for the pleasure it provides. Given their choice, the Greyhounds would, I am sure, prefer to chase live prey. But they are cheerful enough to chase a mechanical rabbit. Their greatest joy is running and chasing. They have strong built in prey drive. They are hard wired that way. That’s because they are dogs. They aren’t four footed people engaged in ethical debate about whether they would choose to chase a mechanical rabbit, kill prey or whether they enjoy it. They do what they do with joy, determination and instinct.

Henry Chin, a breeder, trainer and owner of Greyhounds escorted us to the restricted area where the kennels are. Henry has assistants and we met a charming young girl whose affection for the dogs was obvious. She loves her job and she loves the dogs. The kennel was mostly quiet when we walked in. There were contented dogs in extremely deep shredded paper bedding all denned in. They were doing what my dogs do most of the day – snoozing in comfort, digesting a good meal. When they stood up, it was apparent their cages were much larger than many boarding kennels would use. They were a happy and contented lot. We saw boxes and boxes of dog biscuits everywhere. We saw big, roomy outdoor exercise areas. We met one dog recuperating from a leg injury. This happy guy popped out of his pen and greeted us happily, ran about a bit and voluntarily jumped back in his pen. I tried calling him out and asking him to get back in. He didn’t know me, but happily obliged, then promptly snuggled into his bed. All the dogs had buckets of water. All the cages were clean. The whole kennel was clean. We asked about reports on how often dogs got out. He said the dogs are out at least six times a day, which is more than many pet dogs get out. The dogs are in their pens but they all can see each other. They can be social. The girls go out together and the boys go out together but in different pens. Any dog that is not social with other dogs goes out separately. The dogs are never out unless someone is watching them.

Henry said he has tried inviting people to come see how racers keep their dogs. He said only two groups prior to us had come. The rest of the people listen to people who don’t come. So I am writing, as a dog lover, to tell you how it is. I asked Henry what he would do if racing ended in Massachusetts. He wasn’t sure. It’s what he knows. I thought about the hundreds of people who would lose their jobs, including the nice young people I met. I wondered if voters care more about purported animal cruelty claims they don’t examine or about the hardship on people who love dogs and who will lose their jobs in a depressed economy.

So why have the animal rights people so attacked the Greyhound industry?
Some people don’t like gambling in any form. But they won’t be ending casinos or other gambling forms. Other groups just want to end the purposeful breeding of animals and any use of animals by humans. It would seem if, over a long period of time, you call something cruel, people will begin to presume it is true. They won’t go to the track; they won’t examine the truth of the matter. When a group like MSPCA says it’s cruel, by George, isn’t that the case? The fact is that the Greyhound industry is highly regulated. Any problems that might have been there in the past aren’t there now.

The Greyhounds are well cared for, valuable and valued. They are well conditioned, happy athletes.

To me it is clear; a vote NO on Question 3 is a vote for the Greyhounds. It is a vote to preserve this ancient breed. It is a choice against extinction of these wonderful dogs.

Charlotte McGowan

Please cross post to Mass. residents

So if you live in Mass please vote NO on Question 3. To vote yes just puts you that much closer to being forbidden the ownership of a dog of your own. Then again, if you have bought into the "pet parent" or "guardianship" title you have already given up your rights of property and once the greys are gone your dog will be next. That's not a threat, that's a promise.

And I'll end with a couple of quotes to keep you company.

"It is time we demand an end to the misguided and abusive concept of animal ownership. The first step on this long, but just, road would be ending the concept of pet ownership." Elliot Katz, President "In Defense of Animals," Spring 1997

When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.” Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.
And they don't reproduce by breeding, but through brain washing:

I'm not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity." Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA's founder and president, New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003
Actually I suspect their chosen lifestyle has rendered them all sterile.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Something to think about

Wouldn't it be wonderful if instead of thinking and doing nothing the entire country were to actually step up and make this change? Or would it be?

This is an article written by Charlie Reese, a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. Very interesting perspective on the state of our Nation!


By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.

The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?
She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present f acts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hireand whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage th eir own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

--Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you, though you appear to have several choices.

1. You can send this to everyone in your address book, and hope they do something about it.

2. You can agree to vote against everyone that is currently in office, knowing that the process will take several years.

3. You can decide to run for office yourself and agree to do the job properly.

4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current bunch.

Is it even possible to do a clean sweep and elect all new?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Student and longe line

This clip of one of my students doing first day longe line work with her dog is just to fine to not share. This is her second dog, so she is not a new comer to longe line work. What we are watching was taken toward the end of the lesson and the dog is really showing some nice focus. The only part I am unhappy with is that while you can hear me ask her why she did the about turn when she did, unfortunately you can't hear her response. Suffice to say, that she gave the correct answer to my question of why?

I don't think there is any way I can explain why it is so very important to do longe line work as the precursor to any and all training. One of the most important things it does is to give the dog a chance to "buy into" the idea of learning. The other thing of importance it does is to give both human and dog a chance to learn each other's rhythm in a non-confrontational manner. When the longe line work follows time spent doing the "sit on the dog" exercise both students have taken the time to find their center and are ready to focus on learning. What a great combo and a solid foundation for all that follows.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I have permission to post this and it is something that everyone interested in dogs needs to read and think about and then ACT.

The Truth be Known

Linda D. Witouski
September, 2008

Recently, I was confronted with a comment regarding the distribution of information regarding legislation to the dog loving populace that actually set my hair on fire. I'm sure it was intended to be quite innocent, however, with all of the information flowing across the internet highway, I found the comment to be most degrading to those that have been working in the trenches with legislation issues across the country, protecting those that won't protect themselves and felt it was a worthy comment to respond to. The simple comment that had me talking to myself for several hours was "The animal rights activists seem to be the only people out there with the resources to inform the public. Somebody needs to let the public know what's really going to happen to mans best friend!" So, for all of you out there that have this same thought in your mind, this is for you.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many of us, but not near enough, that have been preaching, writing articles, educating and literally begging for people to see what is going on around them, since the early 80's ! The onslaught of information has been escalating over the years and only recently, has anyone decided to actually pay attention. Kennel Clubs across the country have and continue to use the media and the internet to disseminate information - organizations hold seminars regarding the issues confronting the dog loving populace - the AKC sends out alerts, but not near as often as other groups that work in the legislation trenches.

Those alerts are non stop, daily and up to date. The internet is agog with information. There has never been a withholding of information or warnings - ever. It isn't the lack of information from our side - it's the apathy of the people who refuse to believe that the possibility of the demise of dog showing, breeding, and ownership could possibly exist.

It's those people that, when legislation is mentioned, respond with, "I don't get involved in that." or "I don't have time for that and it will never pass anyway." Those people that say, "I'm sure somebody else is taking care of it." "That could never happen here," are only kidding themselves and in all actuality, are assisting in endangering their passion and sport as a whole. The worst response being, "I don't believe any of that stuff" clearly indicates that people are not taking advantage of the information available to them and these people who simply refuse to believe or get involved, are a large part of the problem.

It's ironic that those very same people who don't have time - seem to have time to be on the computer in some chat group, discussing where the majors could be, or how many dogs they finished so far this year, or how many champion get their dogs have produced, and even go so far as talking about some other breeder in their breed, (especially if it's some rumor) but, they don't have time to take an interest in something that will eliminate all of the discussions on those chat groups? All of that - "stuff" - won't matter if everybody doesn't take the time to get involved in the movement to save their passion and sport - to save their right of choice - to save their dogs.

Laying the cards out on the table and holding nothing back

It's the inability of the dog people to work with others who share the same feelings, whether they are a hobby breeder or a hi volume breeder. It's the attitude and elitism that keeps those who share the concern to "save our rights" from working together on issues that could save our dogs, rights and our sport. It's the refusal to set aside issues of husbandry, breeding practices and selfishness that will cause the demise of the very sport that people are so passionate about. It's the constant use of animal rights phrases and descriptions such as "puppy miller" & "back yard breeder", names that were coined by the animal rightists to use against us, yet our own people use those same animal rights names for those who are their fellow breeders !

The animal rights crowd loves the fact that the dog owning, showing, breeding fancy can't seem to live in peace and harmony - it's one of their greatest weapons, created for just the purpose it seems to serve. How many times have we seen a fellow dog owner become engaged in problems, whether it is too many dogs or too many litters and need assistance (for a variety of reasons such as age, health, loss of job, confiscations, et al) yet, people, and people in the very same breed, don't bother to help - in fact, they sit and talk about it and refer to those people using animal rights terms and have even created their own AR term of "show millers".

We're supposed to help each other, not assist in running our fellow dog owners and breeders down. You may not agree with something they do or the way they do it, but they are still our fellow breeders and if they need help, in order to preserve our OWN integrity and rights, we should help as much as we can (and keep quiet about it) - but people don't.

The issue (and story) becomes compounded, (to the delight of the rightists) by spreading it further. They'd rather agree with those that are fully intending to get to your dogs at a later date, rather than help the poor soul whose dogs need help. We may not agree with their practices, but that is something to be considered later, once we have managed to solidify our position to continue to do what we do. All else will cease to exist if we don't start working together and put aside feelings.

People that know me, know I have been passionate about the subject for more years than they care to remember. and in those years, I have learned that there are those that simply choose to remain uninformed. It's not because the information is not available to them - they just don't care to become involved and don't believe it could happen to them or it "won't affect them". Others are concerned but don't know what to do or perhaps they really don't understand the severity of the problems, yet when offers are made to help educate people and assist them with truly understanding, nobody seems to want to participate. It is impossible to force people to be involved for they do have a right to make a choice...for now.

Relax - Somebody will tell you what to do

It's unfortunate that the choice may come down to having animals....or not. Without the concern & assistance from the dog owning, dog loving, rights loving, freedom of choice loving, competitive people, (and I do mean each and every one) - rest assured, somebody will soon be relieving the burden of your inactivity in legislation issues for they will be telling you how many dogs you can have, if any, what kind, where to get them, how many times you can breed a dog, if at all, what vet to use, how many permits you will need to own/breed a dog, at what age your dog has to be spayed/neutered, the type of living arrangements required, what kind of records you must have and who gets copies of them - the list will go on, making it impossible - monetarily, mentally and physically impossible - to consider owning any animal.

How will you feel when somebody knocks at your door and tells you that you must "get rid" of all but 3 dogs - which ones will you choose to keep and how will you feel watching the others loaded into a truck dispatched for some shelter? How will you react to five or six people going through your home, inspecting every corner and crack, because somebody called in a complaint about your dogs? How much can you afford for citations, lawyers fees, shelter costs and how will you ever recuperate from the heartache?

Forewarned is forearmed - sooner or later, somebody will be making your choices for you and when that happens, there is nobody to blame but yourself. The information and people to help you become involved are out there!

Supporting Legislation and AKC

I just returned from the AKC Delegate meeting and it's dismal. At this time last year, registrations were 1.5 million and currently, for this year, they are 750,000 and continuing on a downward spiral. The AKC has acknowledged that the future is becoming dim and the possibility of them remaining the reigning registry of the world may soon be history. Though that may not mean much to some of you, it should.

If the AKC continues to lose ground, they will also lose face in other areas, including having "clout" regarding legislation. The word of AKC and AKC breeders will mean nothing to legislators or the general public and AKC pups will be worthless, right along with AKC dog shows, titles and awards. Although some profess that they don't want to be "thrown in the pile with those other breeders", it's ironic that because of apathy, you will become just what you dislike. The end of the sport, and your passion for same, will be visible on the horizon. The choice will have been made for you.

Dog people tend to be their own worst enemy and sadly, doing a good job of it. You still have the freedom to choose to make a difference. I, and all the others that have been working to protect all dog owners in this country, hope you'll make the right decision.

The cards are on the table. Bet, Call, Raise or Fold - the choice is yours.

Linda D. Witouski
AKC Judge & Delegate
AKC SC Legislation Representative
Legislation Chair, BOD & Delegate - Myrtle Beach Kennel Club, Inc.
Legislation Chair - Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc.
Legislation Chair - Yankee Miniature Pinscher Club, Inc.
SC Camo Coalition Steering Committee
SC Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses
Legislation Editor & Investigative Reporter - National Pet Press/The Dog Press Co-Author - Monthly National Legislation Report
Owner: SC Animal, Sportsmen & Wildlife Voting Coalition

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

1933 Law on Animal Protection

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter,and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

First you need to know that the artists want to stay anonymous out of fear of AR reprisals. You have permission to cross post.

Now having gotten that part out of the way I am going to cover a bit of history just to help pull the entire thing into perspective for everyone, please bear with me while I put on my history professor hat.

1933 Law on Animal Protection
(Signed into law, 11/24/1933)
It is also wise to remember to keep the 1933 Law on Animal Protection in its context with the other laws that were being passed as the same time and doing just a small amount of additional research shows that the Nazis did not just elevate animals to be on a level with humans, but actually higher than all but their Aryan race.

That same day (11/24/1933) the Nazis passed a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allowed beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.

And by 1939 the Nazi ovens would not stop burning for five years, eight months and six days. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana (1863-1952) The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905 and "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) The Notebooks of Lazurus Long.

There is a major difference between animal welfare and animal rights. It is wise to never forget the difference between the two. Today it is even more important to question just exactly were is this AR movement taking us. It certainly isn’t just about dogs and cats as pets. It never was about them. They are just a stepping stone on a path leading to what?

One thing is sure, the movement has now gotten strong enough and bold enough to take the next step. What is that, you ask? Our very food sources, is what. Our farmers, the source of all our food are now under attack. If they fall, just where do you think your next meal will come from and what will it consist of, or maybe I should just ask you if you are ready for a vegan life style?

The animal rights movement isn’t about animals and it sure isn’t about rights. For those who haven’t figured it out just yet, here it is, plain and simple. The movement is all about POWER. POWER in the hands of a very, very few and neither you nor I will be in that group.