Dog Mom v. Human Mom: Who’s “Got it Easier”?

A funny Mother’s Day comparison for you all. Happy Mother’s Day, my friends!

Who Chains You

By Tamira Thayne

mothersday18

It’s that sacred day of the year. You know the one—the one where we moms get to do whatever it is WE want to do. We get to be completely selfish, laze around in bed, and make inordinate demands on our family, like “Clean up your own mess”, or “Run out to the liquor store and bring Mommy a half gallon of whatever’s on sale, there’s a good lad.”

That kinda thing.

Except for some reason I’m already on my second load of laundry and contemplating whether I really DO want to vacuum the floor on Mother’s Day.[Pretty sure the answer is NO…Yes, it’s NO.]

As I was peeling away the hair-covered sheets from the dog and cat beds—and trying to contain the runoff within said sheets so it didn’t further hairify the floor—I contemplated how much of said fur was about to be…

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“Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament” Shines a Spotlight on Pigeon Shoots

I’ve got a new children’s book out today that shines a spotlight on pigeon shoots, and donates $1 for every paperback sale through the end of the year to Shark, who takes on the pigeon shooters! Check it out. “Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament.”

Who Chains You

smidgeycover18lo-dropNew Release, from Who Chains You Books:

Smidgey Pidgey’s Predicament

by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by C.A. Wulff

smidgey1loIt was a gorgeous summer day in Central Park, and Smidge and her brother Ridge had time to share one last adventure before it was time to grow up, as Mama Pidgey primly informed them. Yuk, where was the fun in that?!

Smidge slapped Ridge’s wing with hers. “Hey, you hungry? Wanna be real birds, and scavenge the park for seeds, or go see if Mrs. Laney is providing Pidgey Take-Out today?”

Ridge rubbed his belly. “Yum, Mrs. Laney’s for sure! Maybe she put out french fries again,” he grinned mischievously.

The two were so intent on their scramble for treats that when they heard the first squawks of protest, they assumed it was just a squabble over a savory morsel. Soon the cries became louder and more frantic, and more birds joined…

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Isle of Dogs: The Weirdest, Coolest, Littlest, Biggest Dog Rights Movie You’ll See this Year

Have you seen the trailer for Isle of Dogs, in theatres now? I admit, when I saw said trailer (numerous times), I thought, that looks so freakin’ weird—I just don’t think so.

Yet, I was intrigued, despite myself.

Plus, it has some awesome stars providing character voicing…Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johannson, Bill Murrayand MORE!

So. To see or not to see? That was the question.

In the end, I had every intention of blowing it off. I knew the hubby wouldn’t want to see it—he’s not a cartoon fan—so, an intentional effort would have had to have been made by me. And I didn’t feel strongly enough to put in the effort.

But then one of my FB friends raved about it.

And I was sold. Aw, the power of social media.

Here’s the official synopsis: “When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.

The movie is at once weird, cool, little, big, sweet, and horrible. My emotions were on a roller coaster ride throughout, and I laughed a lot more than I thought I would.

But I was also disgusted, angry, perturbed, sad, and upset by turn.

The bottom line of the movie was that dogs were treated like crap, and the many, gullible citizens simply went along with dastardly government actions and decrees without any significant pushback. (Sounds creepily familiar, doesn’t it?)

Dogs, members of their families, were simply dumped on a garbage heap of an island—some STILL LOCKED IN THEIR CRATES (WTF!)—and left to die there.

The movie brought up big issues such as rampant animal abuse, conspiracies within governments, the power of the few to stand up to corruption, and the often overlooked ability of the young to see through the evil of older generations.

There were many, many laugh out loud moments for me. One of my favorite lines was when Chief, who was a stray dog, told Atari, the young boy “I am not your pet. I never liked you. I don’t care about you. And I bite.”

And then “Don’t ask me to fetch that stick. I don’t fetch…fine. I’m only doing it because I feel sorry for you.”

Do I think you’d enjoy the movie? As long as you have even a little tolerance for the bizarre, then yes. I love bizarre, as long as it makes sense. If it’s weird and strange, or weird and funny, I’m all in. If it’s weird and I don’t understand WTH is going on, then I get frustrated and want out.

This movie was amazingly good bizarre, for me at least.

And the overall message rocked.

Dogs are people too.

P.S. And the bad guys all had cat fixations. Just sayin’…I’m a cat lover myself, but the way this obsession was tucked into everything was silly and the laughs snuck up on me. Be looking for them…they’re easy to miss.

Books Addressing Dog Chaining? We’ve Got ‘Em. Ten, to be Exact!

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Who Chains You Books has excelled in creating tools for use in classrooms and libraries, for sale at nonprofit booths, and for family bedtime story reading. We’ve currently got ten published books that address dog chaining, with selections for both children and adults.

Who Chains You

Blacky (3lo) Blackie, before his rescue, chained in filth.

Dog chaining is one of those issues that grabs an animal lover by the guts and clenches until all that remains is a lifeless hull, seeping out the last vestiges of hope in the goodness of mankind and muddying the field with its tears.

Too much?

Ever live next to a chained dog?

If so, then you know of which we speak…and you’re nodding your head along with us, screaming YES, YES! at your monitor. We hear you.

Chained dogs suffer in any myriad of ways—including a lack of food and water to go with the loss of freedom, parasites, and injury. But, on top of their physical distress, each and every chained dog is painfully ostracized from the human companionship he/she needs and craves.

And that, THIS—all of it—is incredibly WRONG.

Yet, so often authorities and those with power and control could…

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Does Your Animal Rescue Story Deserve To Be in a Book? Now’s Your Chance!

I know lots of my friends have rescue stories to tell…submit yours for our More Rescue Smiles book today!

Who Chains You

MoreRScover18loFolks have loved the first book in our animal rescue series—the award-winning Rescue Smiles—so don’t miss your chance to have YOUR story touch hearts and lives through our second book—More Rescue Smiles, edited once again by Heather Leughmyer and Tamira Thayne.

Got a particularly-winning photo of your baby, too? Maybe you can even claim the cover photo spot!

The heart of the animal rescue world lies in its stories—of freedom, of love, and of sacrifice by those who not only acknowledge but embrace the human-animal bond and its wondrous gifts.

In our first rescue story compilation, Who Chains You Books was pleased to offer a look into the emotional lives of rescuers and the living beings they hold dear. Readers joined us for the heartwarming anecdotes, as Cinnamon stole Spice’s puppies, Alice stole everyone’s shoes, and a host of other animals conspired to steal our hearts.

You got…

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“Happy Dog!” Coloring Book Highlights Dog Chaining and Happily-Ever-Afters: Plus, FREE Bonus Coloring Pages

I wanted to let all my friends and fellow chained-dog advocates know about a new coloring book about the chaining issue out this week from me, the illustrator April Pedersen, and Who Chains You Books. Check it out!

Who Chains You

happydoglo

Happy Dog! Coloring Book

From Chained to Cherished

Written and Designed by Tamira Thayne
Illustrated by April Pedersen

25 pages of whimsical black and white drawings from illustrator April Pedersen grace this wonderfully thought out and caring coloring book about a dog named Ranger, chained in the backyard and—like all dogs—wishing to be free.

Ranger tells the kids about his hopes and dreams, and how he was ultimately saved from a life no dog should have to suffer. By the end of his tale, his fans will be smiling and proclaiming themselves to be Happy Dogs right along with him.

bonusThe coloring book also features six pages of Happy Activities for kids, including a maze, connect the leash, and draw a tail on the pup. Perfect for all ages 3 and up, this makes an incredible addition to any and all classroom humane education efforts.

The book can be purchased…

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As Dogs Die in the Cold, Humans Flaunt their Lack of Morality, Compassion

doghell

A PA dog I never succeeded in freeing from his tether, watching him suffer for years.

“Don’t read the comments…don’t read the comments,” I muttered to myself, as I angrily and helplessly perused a particularly gruesome article about a dog frozen solid on a Toledo, Ohio porch, just days after Christmas.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/28/Dog-found-frozen-solid-on-central-Toledo-porch.html

After all, everyone knows most online commenters crawl from the boggy swamp each morning and slither back into its putrid depths as even daylight flees their remonstrances.

It’s madness to entertain the notion of reading this swill.

I read the comments.

“WHY do I read the comments?” I muttered to myself, as the next wave of anger crawled up my gullet and lodged in my thyroid, causing the death of millions of necessary cells and an immediate need to increase my dose of levoxyl.

One might reason that no one could logically argue that a dog left to freeze to death, curled up on the porch of an abandoned home, was within the bounds of humane treatment.

Yet online commenters—suffering from an obvious lack of morality and compassion—would once again cause me to lower the bar on what I perceive as the most subhuman level of societal dreghood.

Besides the whole gamut of “It’s just a dog” comments, one particularly egregious human posited that—because people are so much more important than dogs—if the guy had run into financial troubles, it followed that he would choose himself over the dog.

This was met with an odious amount of agreement from the peanut gallery of her fellow bog-dwellers, and I was forced by my remaining unexploded blood vessels to comment that a moral obligation to take care of humans in no way precludes the very same moral obligation to care for the animals we’ve taken responsibility for.

I also told them they were sick people. Sick, sick people.

Because they are.

In truth, though, I almost envy these heartless beings. Might it not be nice to be entirely unmoved by the plight of others?

To not hurt for the dogs left outside in the cold winter months? To not feel the excruciating and needless death of this poor creature as a black mark on the collective soul of our society?

Sometimes I wish I didn’t care. It turns out that caring is exceedingly painful.

Last night it dropped to 11 degrees in Culpeper County, Virginia, and below zero in many areas of the country. It’s set to dip even lower as the week goes on.

What do I do with this pain?

Even before I officially began advocating for backyard dogs in 2002, I remember the heightened anxiety I experienced on cold winter nights, and the very real fears for the survival of chained and other dogs left outside to fend for themselves in temperatures that would freeze a human within moments.

Now that I’m off the front lines of animal rescue, I find myself continuing to experience extreme anxiety in the severe cold, the knowledge of what these dogs must survive never relinquishing the space it has carved into my spirit.

As I walked to my chilly bedroom last night, changed into my flannel jammies, and threw on my space heater for a few minutes to warm up the room, I tried to push the pain aside so I could free myself (and maybe them?) in dreamland.

I shivered at what I perceived as the frigid touch of my blankets, feeling immediate shame that I could tolerate so little cold while the dogs didn’t even have the luxury of losing themselves in sleep, spending their 14 hours of darkness locked in a battle for basic survival.

I put myself in their fur for just a moment, feeling the wrap of the chain around my neck, the cold metal flash-freezing to my exposed skin, my hopeless and fruitless search for someplace, anyplace, within the reach of my tether to provide even a moment’s escape from the subzero windchill. I would huddle in the corner of my drafty house, wishing for bedding that didn’t exist, and a kindness and empathy from my guardians that would not be forthcoming.

I was depressed, despondent, terrified of death’s approach.

But I was just a dog, after all.

I pulled myself from the vision. The air around my bed was heavy with suffering, both mine and theirs, and I was wrapped in a cloak of misery.

What do I do with this pain?

That, I still have no answer for.