Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rescuers save dog despite gunfire...

Under Gunfire, Rescuers Save Dog from Backyard of Evil

About a month ago, I was checking Facebook when I ran across a picture of a dog in need. As always, someone had simply shared a dog’s photo on my wall. Each day, I see hundreds if not thousands of images of desperate animals. Each of those photos is urgent. Each of those photos hurts my heart. Each of those photos affects my soul. Even still, as I scrolled past this particular photo, I stopped and my heart stopped, too.

The photo itself was disturbing, infuriating and heartbreaking. The photo was accompanied with a wall comment which said: “Ashley: I think I read that you know of an animal rescue group who is willing to help terminally-ill dogs before they go to Heaven. This is Max. His medical condition has taken a turn for the worse, and he doesn’t have much time left on Earth.”

Before I’d even clicked on the photo, to get more information on this dog, I responded to her comment and said, “I have good news. I am that rescue.” As I clicked on the picture, I realized that Max was posted by a dear friend of mine, Rebecca Helwig, of Dogs Deserve Better in Nashville. Then I read Rebecca’s account of his rescue. It said:

Meet Max. He has been chained for at least 1 year. When someone in his neighborhood reached out to us for help, a volunteer and I went to the home to check on Max. The neighbors were extremely worried about the dog… for good reason. From the photos, you can obviously see the insane abuse and neglect that this dog has been forced to endure.

When we arrived, the neighbor and my volunteer walked into the backyard, to check on Max. Meanwhile, I remained in my car taking photos of Max from the street, with a zoom-lens camera (Due to trespassing laws, when obtaining photographic evidence of animal cruelty, one must remain outside of property lines in order for photos to be admissible in court.) Shortly thereafter, a vehicle screeched into the driveway. The homeowners jumped out of the car, and ran toward the backyard, yelling: “What the f*** are you doing?” The volunteer said: “We’re just checking on your dog, man.”

That’s when the homeowner pulled out a gun, pointed it at them and yelled: ” Don’t move!”

Well, as soon as they saw the gun, the neighbor and the volunteer started running. Then the homeowner starting shooting. That’s when I heard the gun shots. I looked up, as the neighbor and volunteer were running toward me. Then, I saw the gunman running toward us as well, still shooting. When the others ran inside the neighbor’s house to safety, I started the car and got the heck out of there, too. Even still, I wasn’t giving up on Max. I couldn’t just leave him there on that chain with those awful, violent people, who were willing to let him starve to death. So, long story short, I made some calls, pulled some strings, and got Max to safety.

However, even after he’d been saved, we’d soon find out that Max was deathly ill, due to the years of neglect he’d suffered. According to the vet, Max was knocking on death’s door as he was less than 2 weeks away from literally starving to death. In addition, he was suffering from massive internal and external parasite infestation, and multiple other ailments. But, the most critical, life-threatening condition Max faced: severely-advanced heartworm disease.

As I finished one of the most heartbreaking posts I’ve ever read, I was in tears. Immediately, I sent Rebecca a text to let her know I would help. She put me in touch with a woman named Carola who had been temporarily fostering Max while a home was sought. Carola shared an incredibly touching story with me about how Max changed her perception of Pit Bulls and her life:

“Ashley, please understand,” Carola told me. “I come from Germany. Growing up, in my country, all Pit Bulls were banned. So, I was raised believing that all Pit Bulls were ‘bad.’ When I came to America and began to foster rescue dogs here I had one rule: ‘No Pit Bulls.’ Even still, Max had nowhere else to go. Because he’d been so badly abused, I decided to take him. But he was a Pit Bull, so, my defenses were way-up.”

“At first I was afraid of him,” she continued, “not because he ever threatened to hurt me but simply because of what I’d been told about his ‘breed.’ But then Max was so loving — and I wanted to love him, too, but honestly, I was afraid to love him.

One day, I heard Max choking on a toy. Out of instinct I reached my hand into his mouth, and pulled the toy out of his throat. And, Ashley, do you know what this Pit Bull did after I had my hand in his mouth, reaching down his throat? He licked my hand, as if to say: ‘Thank you for saving me.’ It changed my life. I was so ignorant. So misinformed. So judgmental toward these dogs. Yet Max, even after all he’s been through, is honestly the sweetest dog I’ve ever known.”

In that moment, I didn’t have words. I felt so comforted. So validated. So elated. Everything I’ve ever said about these dogs, everything I’ve ever asked someone to believe, everything I’ve ever preached about this breed was being communicated through the words of another human being who experienced it for herself. And because of that experience with Max, Carola became a believer. Then, Carola said: “I feel so good about this. I want you to take Max.” I responded: “I know how much you love him, so how about this? Max will live with me but we’ll share him.” In tears, Carola agreed.

Soon, Max’s transport was arranged. And yesterday, Max arrived. Now he’s here with me forever. At first, upon arrival, he was a little unsure, a little confused. But then at some point Max let go of his anxiety. In a moment I’ll never forget, Max walked over, kissed me on the cheek, snuggled close to my side and fell asleep. Just like that, Max and Ash were family. Just like that, Max was home.

article Written by Ashley Owen Hill of Mississippi, Author of the Lucky Dog Rescue Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Maru the cat having fun on his birthday! Very cute video!

Nothing like watching a cat, that obviously has a loving home, enjoying its life to the fullest!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Please help stop the culling of Tasmanian Devils by signing this petition...

Please stop the culling of Tasmania Devils! These animals are already in danger of extinction! This will only hasten their disappearance off the face of our planet.

Culling does not effectively control the contagious cancer threatening the Tasmanian devil, researchers of a new study suggests. In fact, cases exists where culling wild animals has made the problem worse.

But despite the study, presently wild Tasmanain devils are being rounded up and those infected are being culled, those not infected are being put in isolation. Devils from a healthy stock will be used to re-populate the area.

Biologists find that 20% of the population is never captured and could be acting as a reservoir for the disease.

Researchers have trapped and euthanised sick animals two to five times a year from an isolated population in the south-east of Tasmania in the past. Each year, the project costs more than $200,000 (£122,000) on programs that do not work. Critics say this money could otherwise be spent on captive breeding programmes and vaccine research.

First seen in 1996, in some areas 90% of the population has been wiped out by highly unusual cancer, - Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) - which is spread by biting during aggressive mating encounters. The disease forms tumours around the mouth interfering with feeding, leading to death.

With 90% of the population gone and the Tasmanian devil so close to extinction, a cull would be a mistake since a cure and/ or a vaccine in a very real possibility.


The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Prime Minister
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: (02) 6277 7700
Fax: (02) 6273 4100

"How to Walk Your Human" - Hilarious video of a cat walking his human...

"How to Walk Your Human"! Hilarious video of cat taking his human for a walk?!

Nature is Amazing!

Check out how this little squirrel keeps itself warm in a snow storm...

Great Mystery Publishing
A squirrel trying to keep warm in a snow storm by wrapping itself in its tail. Once again, it has to be said "Nature is amazing"! Photograph by Ray Yeager for National Geographic

"Breath of Life" by Florence & The Machine from fabulous film "Snow White & The Huntsman" video

This incredibly beautiful song by the talented Florence Welsch, certainly blended perfectly as part of the soundtrack for the extraordinary new film "Snow White and the Huntsman".

This film is not really suitable for young children, but for everyone else who appreciates a superbly-created and acted fairy story made "real", this movie is definitely worth catching at the cinema. It had an almost "Lord of the Rings quality" and conveyed a surprising depth and insight into the strength, trials, and complexity of the feminine being. A multi-layered film that was ultimately, a very satisfying cinematic experience.

Friday, June 15, 2012

No animal or person should be judged on the way they look. Please help to change the Belfast Council's mind before they kill Lennox! (video)

Although the verdict has taken place to kill Lennox (a beloved family member and therapy dog), Lennox's family and many individuals and groups are still campaigning to have this verdict overturned. This clip is worth sharing to help change the Belfast Council's mind. While there is life, there's hope. Please help by sharing this clip to as many as you can.

Dandenong Council (Aust) wants to take beloved pet and family member off family! Please sign petition...

After eleven years of being a greatly loved member of the family, the Dandenong Council has ruled their pet, because it is a sheep, should be taken away because it is livestock! The family has spent over $150,000 already trying to fight this ruling, which certainly shows how much these people love their pet. Please sign the petition to help urge this council to shown a shred of compassion and allow these people to keep their loved family member. In other countries, cats and dogs are considered food animals, livestock, so any ruling that a particular type of animal is livestock or pet is arbitrary and subjective, not fact.

Last year the Dan­de­nong Ci­ty coun­cil fined lo­cal resi­dent Vu Ho for hav­ing a sheep, Baa, on his sub­ur­ban prop­er­ty. Coun­cil told Mr Ho he could not cont­in­ue pro­vid­ing a home to Baa as she was con­sid­ered live­s­tock, and or­dered her re­moved from her home.

Mr Ho re­gards Baa as “a mem­ber of my fam­i­ly” who has lived with him peace­ful­ly for eleven years, and said “I have to help her un­til the end of all of my ca­pac­i­ty”. He has so far racked up over $150,000 in le­gal fees try­ing to fight the coun­cil’s bul­ly­ing tac­tics.

If a lo­cal coun­cil or­dered a rate­pay­er to re­move a fam­i­ly dog or cat from their home we would be ou­t­raged, and we should be no less ou­t­raged in this in­s­tance. Baa is a beloved fam­i­ly mem­ber who by all ac­counts is al­so a loved mem­ber of the street – she used to spend her days peace­ful­ly eat­ing grass and the treats pro­vid­ed to her by Mr Ho. Sheep and other so called ‘live­s­tock’ have rich emo­tio­n­al lives and feel sad­ness, love, fear and other emo­tions just as do dogs and cats.

Extraordinary Animals documentary (videos)

Psychic dogs, arty elephants, genius chimps and talkative dolphins steal the spotlight in Extraordinary Animals. This jaw-dropping series investigates animals with remarkable and unique abilities. From Hong, a female elephant in Northern Thailand with a special talent for painting; to Scamp, a dog with the uncanny ability to know when a patient is going to die, this fascinating program showcases animal talents that are out of this world! (Excerpt from 14 episodes of this remarkable animal series.

"The Grim Reaper Dog"

"The Chimpan Genuis"

The Pachyderm Picasso

"Supersonic Dolphin"

"Orangutan Memory"

"Bird Brainiac - Parrot Genuis"

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hubble Captures Galaxy in the Making video

Galaxy Clusters & the Hubble Images video

Cepheid Variable in Spiral Galaxy video

Cigar Galaxy Video

Whirlpool Galaxy Video

Milky Way Galaxy video

Approaching a galaxy video

Fascinating video of Hubble Surveys the "Homes" of Quasars (1996)

Fascinating Ocean Planet video from NASA (1994)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Very cute video! - Hamlet the baby mini-pig conquers his fear of the stairs!

Check out his attempts to master stairs in the first video. He would have been just over seven months old, and the stairs were a major barrier to his bowl of oatmeal. Hamlet is a lucky little porker, to have become the pet of PiggyGirl2010, who regularly posts videos of his antics. A lot of pigs fall into the hands of people who should never own them. When they realize their clever pet has piggy habits, such as rooting in their potted plants or acting aggressively when it wants to assert dominance, they often dump the piglets at the nearest shelter.

Others are dropped off at farms. Boris, Violet and Jelly Belly came into my life for just that reason. They started life as tiny, adorable, pot bellied pigs. When they grew out of their cuteness, their owner dumped them. They became part of our farm family. Jelly Belly loved to go walk about and would drag her low-slung pot under fences so she could go exploring. Violet had a snore that could keep a household awake. Boris was an equal-opportunity boar. Although snipped, he was promiscuous and had no preference for species or gender. If it stood still, he went into action. The three pig pals had a quarter section (164 acres) for roaming and sheep to snuggle with when the temperature dropped. They thrived and kept us laughing. On the whole, although I found pigs the most intelligent and fascinating of all our farm animals.

(If you think this pig is gorgeous, consider the other pigs that have not been lucky enough to end up in a loving home. Consider your diet and lifestyle, and what impact that has on piggie welfare.)

Hamlet is now two years old. Another cute clip showing Hamlet enjoying "tummy rub time"!

Story care of Cathy Wellner

"The Private Life of Cats" Documentary video

"A male cat courts a female cat and they raise a family together. We see the kittens being born and nurtured by mother, while an interested and proud dad lends his support. Beautifully photographed and executed. With subtitles, no dialog, and a refreshing absence of human beings on screen. Very touchingly realized by Alexander Hammid, whose collaborations with Maya Deren I had prior acquaintance with, and also highly recommend."

"Dog Fighting Undercover" BBC documentary (complete video)

"I was approached by the BBC 18 months ago with the idea of trying to infiltrate a dog-fighting ring in the UK. My views on animal welfare have always been strong and the thought of people fighting dogs makes me sick to the stomach. I wanted to expose these people. This was an investigation that needed doing." "But where would I begin? The people involved in this barbaric so-called sport are so close knit that a stranger on the scene arouses instant suspicion. And as for the scene – where was the scene? Where do these people meet? Where do they fight the dogs? How do you recognize a dog-fighter?" "I knew very little about dog-fighting and my knowledge of the dog they used – the pit bull terrier – was limited. My priority was to research the pit bull terrier and drill myself on the dog’s characteristics. I tested myself over and over again until every detail was etched on my brain. It had to be." "An anonymous source had given me information about one of the largest dog-fighting gangs in the UK – The Farmers’ Boys. They’re based in a small town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland called Tandragee and have been dog-fighting for years. The Farmers’ Boys seemed to thrive during The Troubles – obviously the police had to concentrate on other things."(Excerpt from

"A Cow at My Table" Documentary video (complete)

A Cow at My Table explores Western attitudes towards farm animals and meat, and the intense battle between animal advocates and the meat industry to influence the consumer’s mind. Five years in production took Director Jennifer Abbott across Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand to meet with the leaders of the animal rights movement, animal welfare advocates as well as spokespeople from livestock industries. A Cow at My Table inter-cuts these diverse perspectives with archival films, images from modern-day agribusiness and footage of farm animals shot from uncharacteristic vantage points. The result, say critics and programmers, is a documentary that is “brilliant,” “visually smart,” “extremely accomplished” and “extraordinarily compelling and powerful.” In the words of Toronto’s NOW Magazine film critic Cameron Bailey, “Like all the best documentaries, this film offers more questions than answers.” (Excerpt from

"A World Without Water" documentary video (complete)

A World Without Water tells the story of how our world is running out of fresh water. As less and less water is available, you have yet another problem being added and that is the problem of privatization. There are companies now saying why don’t we bottle it, mine it, divert it, sell it, commodify it. That greed of privatization, I believe, will be much worse than climate change and everything else that has left us with the water crisis. The world is running out of its most precious resource. True Vision’s timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatisation of water supplies. More than a billion people across the globe don’t have access to safe water. Every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

If Mothers Ruled the World...

Recent Great Mystery Publishing status update on facebook about war and peace and mothers...

Great Mystery Publishing

Is it too much to hope for a world without war in our lifetime? If it sounds like an impossible dream, let's make the dream come true...together...

Simon Pegg on "Geekdom"

Geek is the new "cool"! Maybe thanks to Big Bang Theory...or Simon Pegg!

Great Mystery Publishing

"Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It's basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating." - Simon Pegg

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"National Geographic Journey To The Edge Of The Universe" complete documentary

National Geographic presents the first accurate non-stop voyage from Earth to the edge of the Universe using a single, unbroken shot through the use of spectacular CGI technology. Building on images taken from the Hubble telescope, Journey to the Edge of the Universe explores the science and history behind the distant celestial bodies in the solar system. (one hour and thirty three minute documentary video)

The Superior Human? - Full documentary movie challenging the idea that humans are the apex of planetary life......

Documentary which systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to other life forms. The Superior Human reveals the absurdity of this belief while exploding human bias. The world is an amazing place. It is filled with billions of life forms of various sizes and shapes. According to some, the most amazing life forms on the planet must be humans. They believe humans have revealed their astounding superiority over all other life forms with their many key traits and special abilities. In this film, we will journey through a list of highly referenced points, sourced from a variety of individuals and resources, that support the supposed inherent superiority of humans.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dog thrown out as garbage, skin and bone, tied up in a plastic bag while still alive, now safe (video)

This is the story of one dogs fight to live. Found in a garbage dumpster, tied up in a garbage bag, a janitor found him and called authorities. He was taken to GSVS in NJ where he began his slow road to recovery. He is thriving beautifully now. This is Patrick's story. Watch the miracle unfold.