Thursday, March 31, 2011

"White Knuckles" by OK Go

I just purchased a Nintendo 3DS which is the newest handheld system from Nintendo released in the United States on March 27, 2011. I finally had an opportunity to play around with it and I love it. You can do so much with the new system but the newest, high tech ability of the 3DS is the 3D feature, no glasses required! Sorry, I'm a gamer and these things tend to excite me.

Please bear with me . . . this is dog-related.

With the recent update of the system, the music video for "White Knuckles" performed by the band OK Go can be downloaded to your console for a limited time. I am familiar with the band but I really don't follow them. I decided to watch the video on my 3DS since it was in 3D (also because I failed to purchase a 3DS launch game to actually experience the 3D effect! There are three games I really want and can't decide which one right now, but I digress.) Anywho, here is the video (sorry, it's in 2D). Watch it and finish reading the rest of this post below it:



Needless to say, I LOVED the video, for obvious reasons . . . WOOF! Seeing it in 3D was cool too especially with the dogs jumping toward the screen and over the camera. I did a little more research on the video and apparently it went viral in 2010 after being premiered on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

According to Wikipedia, the dogs used in the video were all from animal rescue shelters. They were trained in a matter of 2 weeks in this one-take routine. OK Go sent out a postitive message to their fans and viewers of the video to become invovled in animal rescue and even indicated that portions of the sale of the video single will be donated to the ASPCA.

I just want to say, great job to the animals and trainers and also to OK Go for being involved in animal rescue. I admire celebrities using their fame for the good, especially when it comes to animals and I can honestly say that OK Go have gained a fan.

Resources: Wikipedia – White Knuckles

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Petfinder: Adopt the Internet Day 2011

In honor of Petfinder's 15th Birthday today (*HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETFINDER*), I took the pledge to spread the word online about helping homeless pets find "furever" homes. There are so many pets in shelters that are in need of loving and caring homes. Petfinder just so happens to have over 300,000 pets listed on their website. These pets include dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, birds and even barnyard animals.

So, if you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, please consider adoption of a shelter pet. You can see these adorable adoptable pets at www.petfinder.com and by adding your zip you can search close to your area or you can simply visit your local animal shelter.

Petfinder Adopt-the-Internet Day


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Peek-A-Boo

Taking a picture of my son, when suddenly, a disturbance from under the blankie ...

Friday, March 4, 2011

"A Father, A Daugther and A Dog - A Story by Catherine Moore

I love reading stories, articles and books about dogs because they are such amazing animals and this next post is no different.  I got the following story in an email today and it definitely tugged on my heartstrings.  It is about second chances and is truly inspiring knowing that prayers do get answered, just when we least expect it.  I have always been a compassionate and emotional person, but I think since I had my son I pretty much can cry if someone tells me they got a papercut!  Of course after reading this I had to pretty much redo my make-up.  So if you are like me, make sure you have  tissue ready!

"A Father, a Daughter and a Dog" a story by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving …" My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts … dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad 's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article…" I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon.. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror.. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.   When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad . He's staying!" Dad ignored me.. "Did you hear me, Dad ?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw ...

Dad 's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad 's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad 's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad 's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad 's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before:  the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article … Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter … his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father … and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

God answers our prayers in His time, not ours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jada, the next American Idol?

In honor of the Top 24 performing on this week's American Idol (and the fact that I really do love Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as the new judges!), I just had to share a video of Jada! Did you know that she wanted to try out for American Idol, but I guess they don't allow dogs ... yet!  With a little help from the town's fire alarm, this would have been her audition tape:

video

Sounds like she's right on key to me and her stage presence is so dramatic! 

JADA FACT:  Whenever the town fire alarm would go off (at any given time of the day OR night), Jada would "sing" and this was completely unexpected when I took this video.  We have since moved out of town so we haven't heard Jada using her singing talents in some time.  Looking back, I'm so happy to have been randomly taking video when this happened.  In other words, this is a very rare Jada moment we may never get to see again!  Enjoy!