Tag Archives: rescue

Goat Yoga: I Did It & I Loved It

goat yoga

A goat yoga craze is sweeping the country, and I snatched up an opportunity to try it in action.

I participated in Washington state’s only known goat yoga phenomenon on its inaugural weekend debut. Naturally, I wrote an article about it, which included interviews with the 10 curious and rambunctious four-legged animals, all of which were rescued.

goat yoga

The article turned out to be nothing short of adorable, inspiring and entertaining… because, goats.

Read about my goat yoga experience at The Wobbly Ranch here.

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Comparing Pit Bull Prejudice to Human Predjuice

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Detroit Dog Rescue

Detroit’s ban on Pit Bulls means recently adopted “Smiley Dog” Internet sensation might have to go. Adopted by Dan Tillery last week, Sir Wiggleton turned Diggy dubbed “Smiley Dog” is making headlines. His owner registered him as an American Bulldog, but authorities aren’t sure. They will decide on a veterinarian of their choice to determine the dog’s breed, and based on that vets say, the dog might have to go.

Are all Pit Bulls bad? In fact, the most dog attacks occur by the littlest culprits, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russel Terriers. Why? Because owners nurture their Napoleon complex.

And yet Pit Bulls get a bad rap.

Pit Bulls are some of the most lovable dogs I know. Chihuahuas and Yorkies are the canines that lunged at me most while trying to take a temperature in the exam room. Pit Bulls licked my face.

But Pit Bulls are the ones getting the boot.

Legalized prejudice against Pit Bulls is like regulated racism against humans. It’s akin to saying every black person will rob a store, every Muslim is a terrorist and every Catholic priest is a pervert.

This needs to end now.

Sign the petition to save “Smiley Dog.” It takes less than one minute and could make a happily ever after for man and his best friend.

 

Animals & Inmates Help Each Other in the Florida Keys

sloth check up
“Moe” the sloth is an education ambassador, frequenting community events and schools to help teach about animals. (Note: I am not an inmate.)

One of my favorite places on the planet is a little farm situated under the Monroe County jail just outside Key West, Florida. Every single animal at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is there for the long haul, having been abandoned by their owners or confiscated due to illegal trafficking or abuse cases. The critters include rescued exotics, livestock and native animals.

kramer the emu
“Kramer” the emu is aptly named for a curly lock of feathers atop his iridescent head that resembles the Seinfeld character.

But what warms my heart even more about this place is the restorative justice being employed. Inmates exhibiting good behavior during their sentence term are candidates for animal caretakers. The program offers them the opportunity to perform meaningful community service that reciprocally helps them as much as it helps the creatures they’re attending to. It melts my soul to see a stocky, tattooed guy in an orange jumpsuit doting over a llama or an emu, and to listen to the inmates educating the public about the animals during the two Sundays a month that the farm is open to visitors.

skunk cuddling
“Chanel” is a de-scented ex-pet skunk. Skunks use their scent glands as a defense mechanism and so for this reason, along with Chanel’s reliance upon humans for food and safety, she would not survive if released into the wild. And, yes, she needs to go on a diet.

While working in the veterinary field in the Florida Keys, I had the unique opportunity to assist with the animal care at the facility. Farmer Jeanne runs the center, and about once a month, she calls for a vet check-up at the zoo. Some of the vet visits are less than routine, involving hoof trimming, shearing, vaccinations or surgery.

alligator holding.jpg
Baby alligators need loving, too!

One of the rescued llamas was in line for getting his coat sheared during my visit with the vet. For the animal’s safety–llamas are so crazy with restraint they’ll hurt themselves–we sedated him. I switched back and forth with another vet assistant to monitor the breathing and heart rate while the patient was under sedation. And got some llama cuddling in while I had the opportunity!

llama shearing

If you find yourself in the Keys on the second or fourth Sunday of the month, be sure to make a visit to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm in Stock Island, just before Key West. It’s great for kids, couples and singles. Something truly wonderful is happening here; it gives me hope in all kinds of second chances.