Monday, March 28, 2011

LITTLE BROWN DOG SAVED! Thanks to those who pay attention to things like this!

"Patrick" the miracle dog!
Good Morning all!  Here we are at Monday once again and I thought I'd start the week off with a "happy ending"!  I'm publishing this story so that we can all sit back and realize that we can make a difference! Yup, all of us can actually make a statement about the things we feel strongly about and I want to thank everyone who follows all of our stories about abused animals, animals that truly need everyone to be concerned! You've all shown that when we get together and make our voices known, things happen!

Here's the follow up on a shocking story that was published on one of my favorite blogs, "Dogs, cats and crap I talk about!" These guys do a great job of bringing us some of the best rescue information around.  Please bookmark their blog so you can stay on top of their stories!  Thanks to T. Castle for providing such great info too!

It's great to know that these animals can and will continue to be helped simply by each of us staying on top of things and making our valuable opinions known.  Please check out the latest update on "Patrick, the little brown dog" who was saved.  In the latest up date, you will find a link to the facebook page of the person who is responsible for starving Patrick!  Let's let this person know exactly how we feel about a fellow human being that could do something like this to a defenseless animal!  I'm sure she'd like to know exactly how "real human beings" think and take care of God's creatures. 

Please feel free to send us your own great stories!  We love to hear from all of our readers and we try to answer and post everything that comes to us!  Send us some of your favorite pics of your dog or puppy too!  We'll be dedicating an album for all of our friends out there!  Page should be up this week!

Have a great Monday and keep up the great work guys!  Our animals will be all the better for your efforts.  And remember, YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

Thanks for reading!  Denise & Max!
Max and I thank ALL our readers
for being so involved in our causes!

Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized!

Article first published as Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized on Technorati.

Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized

Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm
 We are told over and over again to "read the fine print" on everything we sign or agree to. We hear it so much that most of us just take it for granted and really don't think about it too much. 
Denise Wilkinson and SunnySuch was the case for Denise Wilkinson of Largo, FL when she decided to take Sunny, her Rottweiler-Mastiff mix, to Pinellas County Animal Services on March 2nd. Sunny had become larger than the weight limit for dogs at Ms. Wilkinson's apartment complex and she had not been able to finalize the agreement with his new owners before the apartment complex's deadline to remove him from the premises.

To remain in compliance with her apartment complex's rules, she decided to drop Sunny off at the Pinellas County Animal Services for a day until she could get the arrangement finalized. When she went to pick the dog up the next day, she was told that Sunny had been euthanized. "I cried instantly, Wilkinson said. "I was so upset."

In an article titled "Woman upset after dog unexpectedly euthanized at pound", published on News Channel 8's website, the Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggresive and caused concerrns about the safety of shelter workers. "It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate," Hohenstern said. "We couldn't do anything with the dog." "Caution" is written on Sunny's paperwork at Animal Services. It also states Sunny didn't like cats and had once tried to attack one. Wilkinson said she told them Sunny had chased — not attacked — a cat.

Fingers are being pointed in all directions over this story. Claims of unclear wording in warnings published at the Animal Service office. Claims that wording at the Service's web site were also "unclear". What IS clear is that Sunny was indeed euthanized after just one day at the pound and Sunny's owner had NO IDEA when she dropped her dog off at Animal Services to spend the night, that this would be her last goodbye! 

According to the article in the Tampa Tribune, "Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal." 

The same language is posted on the wall at Animal Services. Since the incident, the wording has been changed.  The website and all posted warnings now say: "There is no guaranteed holding period for an animal that is surrendered by the owner or owner's designated agent. Animal Services Veterinary staff will thoroughly examine the animal(s) as soon as deemed possible for two very important things; health and temperment."  The site also reads that if the animal is deemed to be aggressive or severely ill, it will be humanely euthanized.

According to the web article, Wilkinson said that if the revised language had been on the website when she looked at it, she wouldn't have taken Sunny there.  She said she hopes the change to the website's language "saves another dog's life."

Please make sure you read everything, even the fine print, when dealing with leaving an animal at any Animal Services location. It's always best to deal with a "no kill" shelter whenever possible and "Sunny" is proof of that! 

Read more:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pet Shop or Pound...That Is the Question?

Pet Shop or Pound, That is the Question!

 Article first published as Pet Shop or Pound, That is the Question! on Blogcritics.

Whoopi from her facebook pageLast Fiday's episode of The View had actress Whoopi Goldberg defending her right to buy a puppy from a pet store starting quite a controvery from the animal shelter advocates. “You don’t know what you’re getting when you get a pookie-dingle-doodle from the pound,” the website Hollywood Dog reported her as saying on the show.

In defense of Whoopi's statement, it is a fact that you really don't know everything about a shelter dog's past. Although shelters do make every attempt to gain information regarding a shelter dog's history, the fact remains that, when push comes to shove, you really have to rely on the information offered by the person or persons bringing the dog to the shelter. In most cases, unless that person is an officer or humane society personnel, the information is probably questionable at best!

Shelter advocates often respond that "puppy mills" have horrible conditions, the animals are not well cared for, breeding is for profit and, therefore the pet you purchase may have inherited genetic faults that can cause them to have a lifetime of problems, and so on. Although this is sometimes true, it does not mean that every pet shop owner is guilty of perpetuating puppy mills.

And, herein lies the controversy! Pet shop or shelter? That is the question.

 On her Facebook page Wednesday, Whoopi wrote that she doesn’t like puppy mills, but that she does think puppies in stores can be just fine. "We discussed one state that wanted to close all pet stores. I have friends who own pet stores; they love their animals and insure their health and well being. Mills should be shut down. All agree, but don’t paint everyone with the same brush. That was my point," she said."

Now, I have to agree with that particular part of her statement. We simply can't "paint everyone with the same brush". I know that this statement will probably not win me any points with my animal advocacy friends, but, in all fairness, I am sure that there are, in fact, some local pet shop owners who do care about their animals, the conditions in which they are kept, and, where they came from!

A local pet shop is a business, that, in today's economy, is rough to keep up! Therefore, we do have to understand that someone is going to run this type of pet shop, they must have an appreciation for animals, or they simply wouldn't do it!

With pet superstores popping up all over the place, a local shop may have a rough time competing as far as prices go. It's kind of hard to compete with companies that can buy 100 times the quantity of just about everything you sell. So, the point I'm getting at is that the statement is true.  You can't "paint everyone with the same brush". There are some pet shops where the animals are taken care of and it would be unfair to suggest that all of them are "puppy mill" supporters. These people know from the start that their business is not going to make them a million dollars overnight, and, for the most part, probably not even in their lifetime or the store's. For a state to suggest closing down all pet shops is ludicrous and a blatant slap in the face of free enterprise! Since when does a state or any government body have the right to suggest that a certain type of business is off limits? Unless, of course, the business is illegal!

We can't stereotype all pet shops as bad simply because they sell puppies or dogs. Also, there are many breeders who do an excellent job at keeping their particular breed of dog free of genetic problems and inherited diseases. These breeders should be commended for their ongoing mission of perfecting a breed. Without them, and, left to their own resources, many breeds would become obsolete and laden with problems. I do, of course, support the adoption of a dog or puppy from a shelter over puchasing one from a pet shop when adopting is an acceptable alternative to buying, especially from a shop that supports the practice of puppy mills! But, I also support the pet shop owners who are simply "making a living" at doing what they love the most, which is spending time with animals!

That being said, my idea is this: perhaps shelters should work with legitimate shops to help find some of these dogs and puppies good homes. Now, think about it. Someone who goes to a pet shop looking for a dog or puppy has a couple of plusses going for them. One, they must have the money to pay for the dog. And, two, they obviously want a dog or puppy!

Like Whoopi, they might be under the misconception that all shelter dogs must have problems, or, they wouldn't be there! (By the way Whoopi, just as you can't "paint everyone with the same brush" when it comes to pet shops, the same is true for shelter dogs! A dog should not be labeled as "undesireable" simply because it comes from a shelter.) There are many reasons why a dog or puppy might have found it's way to a shelter. Perhaps the dog's owner simply couldn't afford it; maybe the owner died and no family members were available to provide a home for him. Or it could be that the dog might have become lost and the owners could not locate it! The fact remains that a "cameraderie" of sorts between pet shops and shelters could provide a much needed addition to the many ways shelters try to find homes for un-claimed dogs or puppies!

What would be so wrong with a shelter, who has a litter of pups, giving that litter to a local pet shop to help in finding good homes for the pups? What would be so terrible about a local pet shop owner regaining the few dollars spent on food and housing for the puppies while they were at the shop? Even if the shop were to actually make a few dollars in the transaction, I don't see the harm! Of course, everything would have to be made public.The fact that the puppies came from a shelter would have to be made known. But, simply put, what would be so wrong with that picture?

The puppies find a loving home with a family that was, obviously, looking for a puppy, and could afford to buy one. The shop owner could bring people into his shop where they might possibly buy other items necessary for the puppy and, therefore, increase his sales slightly. And, the shelter finds homes for puppies that would otherwise be taking up valuable space at the much overcrowded shelter. I think, sometimes, that our need to express or prove our point, can also prove to be detrimental to our cause.

Sounds like a simple fix to me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Doggy Allergies! Does This Sound Familiar?

Article first published as Help! My Dog Is Chewing Himself Raw! on Technorati.

Help! My Dog Is Chewing Himself Raw!
Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm
protect pets from pollen imageYour dog has just come in from your usual walk, then, all of a sudden, he's itching and scratching and chewing himself!  In fact, he's doing it soooo much, that you just can't stand it anymore! What's the problem? More than likely, he's got allergies!

Yes, just like you and me, your dog and cat, and yes, even some of your other pets, can have allergies, just like you and me.  According to an article on "Fox, Tampa Bay" this morning, entitled "Protecting Your Pets from Pollen",  "Most dogs are allergic to tree pollens, weed pollens, sponge spores and mold spores," said Dr. Timothy Lassett, a Bay Area veterinarian.

The difference?  Your pet will itch and scratch and bite himself till you just can't stand it anymore!  They will do it  24/7.  Even waking you up in the middle night with the sounds of the chewing and licking and foot bouncing.  So, now, you ask, how do I fix it?

For most cases, it's simple. According to Dr. Lassett, "The most simple method for cases that aren't severe would be a combo of antihistamines and fatty acid supplements: omega three and omega six," Lassett said.  You can use the standard choices like Chlorpheniramine, Zyrtech or Benadryl.  Although, Benedryl is the least effective for dogs, based on studies.  These over-the-counter drugs are safe for dogs, but, you need to consult your veterinarian for dosages.  Do NOT administer any over-the-counter drugs to your cat as some of these medications can be fatal to felines. You can also see what other symptoms your dog might be showing by viewing the article "Dog Allergy Symptoms" also shown on "The Fox Tampa Bay" news site.

The tree pollen count is higher than ever this year, so, make your pets as comfortable as possible by making sure their allergies aren't making them, and you, miserable!

Read more:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Financing Fido! The Cost of Owning A Dog

You have made your decision to get a dog! You have done all your research and you've even picked him out. Hours have been spent choosing just the right name. You have "the talk" with your kids about animal ownership and the responsibilities that come with it. You pack up the kids, head to the shelter, leash in hand, but, do you really know what that dog is going to cost you?
Financing Fido might cost more than you think!The shelter fee is $50.00, right?  Sure, but Fido comes with a bit more financial commitment that just the shelter fee. Your new "best friend" has needs too! According to "Cost of Owning a Dog" an article published at, "very few people have any idea how much owning a dog really costs and (most people) grossly underestimate it." This could definitely explain why many dogs adopted from shelters eventually find themselves back to the shelter or, worse yet, homeless.

Dogs, just like children, require time, care and money. The financial obligations of dog ownership tend to get overlooked in the excitement of procuring the dog.  It's only human nature!  Everyone is excited about the prospect of bringing home the new puppy until, suddenly, that puppy starts making significant changes to the household budget.

Based on national averages, Drs. Foster & Smith, Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, have come up with some shocking figures. Based on their independent study, the average cost of owning a 50 lb. dog over a period of 14 yrs., (the avg. lifespan of a 50 lb. dog), is $12,468.00!  And, this is just an average figure.  All things taken into consideration, according to Drs. Foster & Smith, these figures can vary from $4,242.00 on the low end to an astonishing $38,905.00 on the high end!

These figures could explain the high ratio of dogs returned to shelters within the first year of being adopted.  Even though most shelters require the prospective "new parents" to fill out an application that, in most cases, blatantly asks the prospective clients to "describe what they think they need to budget into their household expenses" for their new pet, apparently, more attention needs to be given to this detail.  To make sure you don't become part of a "growing statistic", make sure you can afford Fido, before you bring him home!  A little extra accounting homework can make the difference between a "happy ending" or just a different "chapter" in a shelter dog's life!

Article Author: Denise Blackman
I guess I'm just your average gal next door with a passion for animals. I have spent most of my life around them, training them, and just being friends with them! My background in Arabian horses led to my first real animal related career as a trainer and riding instructor. …

Visit Denise Blackman's author pageDenise Blackman's Blog
Read comments on this article, and add some feedback of your own

Read more:

Friday, March 18, 2011


The "Doggy Mall" is now open for business at "Maxwell and Me!".

Stop in and see what great doggy accessories and necessities you can get at the best prices in town!

Enjoy your shopping!

Dee & Max!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The How's and Why's of Dog Training - What Are Your Options?

Dog training is a task that must be taken on by all dog owners.  This can be a fun and most rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner.  It can also be a little intimidating for the inexperienced or new dog owner.  Many decisions need to be made when deciding on the training methods to be used.
The following article, written by Jill Ennis, M.S., an animal communicator, based in Syracuse, NY looks at the "Compassionate Training" method. Jill, a guest author here at "Maxwell and Me!", will be sharing her canine expertise in a series of articles.  We'd like to thank Jill for her contribution and we look forward to an ongoing series of articles regarding her dog training and communication methods. 

Photo by Wendy Colucci -
Because You Love Him: A Rationale for Compassionate Training

You know the story.  You’re swooned by those big brown eyes and happily wagging tail, and commit wholeheartedly to providing that dog the forever home he deserves.   And then he shreds your good shoes, pounces on your guests, and nearly pulls your arm out of its socket on his walks, turning your puppy love song into the “No-No!  Bad Dog!” symphony. 

As a dog parent, I sympathize with the desire for the quickest fix in restoring harmony at home.  But as an animal consultant and advocate, I stand firmly behind my belief that our relationships with our dogs, like with other people, are worth the time and effort it takes to build them.   Chances are you probably wouldn’t squeeze a pronged choke collar around your best friend so he can’t move faster than you or zap your crying child to get her to quiet down. 

Photo by Wendy Colucci
Compassionate training is a method that emphasizes positive reinforcement (rewarding good behavior) instead of positive punishment (disciplining bad behavior).  Positive reinforcements, such as food treats, toys, or attention and praise, are offered at the immediate moment the dog performs a wanted behavior.   Unwanted behaviors are either ignored or redirected to a safer or more desirable alternative as much as possible.  The driving premise is that human attention—positive or negative—is the ultimate reward sought by companion dogs and they’ll work to find the fastest way to get it.  This means that to Spot, your shooing motion and “Get down!” is just as enticing as your scratch on the head and “Good boy!”  In fact, it may be even more enticing since you’re likely saying the former with a lot more urgency and excitement in your voice.  And, oh, do dogs love excitement.

The tactics advocated by coercion-focused trainers—designed to help shape desirable behaviors by compelling the dog to avoid harsh corrections for undesirable behaviors—will usually resolve a problem behavior rapidly.  However, since dogs simply want attention, these methods often times punish a dog for what in essence is him just being a dog.  And when that dog is stressed or anxious, resorting to forceful methods to alleviate it seems even crueler. 

A recent client contacted me for assistance with her rescued Labrador Retriever who peed herself in submission whenever a human made eye contact.  The coercion trainer she consulted suggested that this gentle dog needed rigid discipline and structure to help her find her sense of self—and luckily, the client’s intuition made her suspect enough to seek another opinion.  “I don’t want a robot dog,” she told me. "I want my dog to have fun and keep her personality.  I just don’t want to have to shampoo my rug every time we have a visitor."  I showed her how to introduce a basic “focus” cue, where the dog is rewarded for making and holding eye contact, and encouraged her to practice this with each new guest who comes in.  This not only felt better to the client, but also helped keep her carpet beige instead of yellow.

Working in tandem with the dog’s natural instincts through compassionate training requires dedication, consistency, and patience—that’s why it’s called “compassion training” and not “convenience training.”  The longer a dog has gotten away with (or been inadvertently rewarded for) unwanted behaviors, the longer it may take to reshape them.  When frustrations surmount, revisit the reason you brought him home in the first place. You fell in love with him just the way he was—a dog.   

Jill Ennis, M.S., is an animal communicator based in Syracuse, New York.  Her mission is to strengthen relationships between companion animals and the people who love them through intuitive readings, energy healing, training consultations, and a blog about her own endeavors to practice what she preaches.  Learn more at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Doggy Mall Page Is Up


Welcome to Max's Doggy Mall!  We are still under contruction, so please pardon our dust, but, we're open for business.  Now you can find all the recommended dog items mentioned in these pages right here!  Click on the "Doggy Mall" tab to find the newest items available for your dog.

Dog food and water bowls, dog beds, and collars and leashes are now available here.  We'll be adding new products daily, so check back often to see what's new and exciting!  Simply "mouse over" a line item to see pictures and prices.

Welcome to the Newly Renovated "Maxwell and Me!"



Max thought that his "doggy"friends needed their own special place...and here it is!
Welcome to the "newly re-modeled" Maxwell and Me!  This blog now contains the best news, information, training tips, health tips, and care and feeding of "man's best friend". 

We've always been all about our animals....and we still are!  To give our readers the best animal and pet advice and answers to all your questions, we've expanded and renovated.  You can still find answers to all your pet related questions and find great stories, news, products and advice about ALL other pets at our sister site "All My Pets and Me!" 

With these two sites, we are confident that we can offer you the best information and answers to all your questions even faster!  But, don't worry, you'll still find the same great authors and experts here to give you the most up to date, accurate, and interesting facts you've become accustomed to.  We've just organized it a little better to make it easier to use and faster to find everything you need.


Our new site offers everything you ever wanted to know about or need for your dog all in one convenient, easy to use, blog spot!  Along with our original authors, we've got some great guest authors and experts to answer all your doggy questions, from care, feeding, training and much, much, more.  Feel free to ask your questions and expect the best and most accurate answers from some of the top names in the business.  We'll be hosting many on-going articles about training and health care.  We'll be reviewing new products and toys and we'll tell you where to find them at the lowest prices possible!  We're the perfect spot for "how-to" and "do-it-yourself" articles!

The story of "Baby", the abused Samoyed
And, of course, we'll still keep you on top of all the latest news stories along with information on rescues and the organizations that make them possible.  We'll help you find the best places to rescue, adopt or buy your "new" puppies and dogs. 

Breaking news "The Japan Tsunami"
Max and I believe in rescues and adopting dogs and puppies to help the poor homeless puppies and dogs now living in shelters and foster homes find good, loving, permanent homes.  We'll keep you up to date on what dogs and puppies are available and where to find them.  Our experts will help you pick out the perfect dog or puppy for you and your family situation!  Then we'll help you decide what things you'll need for your new furry friends and the best places to buy them.  We have affiliated with several places to help make your 'doggy' shopping experience easier than ever!  Shop on-line at our site and save big $'s.

We love to hear from our readers.  Please send us your comments and suggestions to help make "Maxwell and Me!" an even better place.  We read and answer all comments as quickly as possible. 

Don't forget, you can find all your "other" pet related necessities at "All My Pets and Me!"  Our on-line store will be up and available soon. 

We look forward to hearing from you all and providing you with an even better on-line experience!

Denise & Maxwell Blackman
Welcome to our newly upgraded sites!  We hope you enjoy your experience here and don't for get to tell all your friends where to find us!
Publisher "Maxwell and Me!" and "All My Pets and Me!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Update on "Baby"!

I was somewhat relieved when I read the most recent post regarding the "Baby" the poor abused Samoyed first exposed on one of my favorite blogs, "For the Love of the Dog".  It appears as though the efforts of all involved finally got the attention of the ASPCA.  As per Andrea's comment, and I quote:

"Author: Andrea
Well they certainly got the attention of ASPCA. Apparently they have re-opened the investigation and are monitoring Baby's veterinary care by her owners. But they are not giving details. You can follow the discussions at Justice for Baby facebook."!/justiceforbaby?sk=wall

I certainly want to thank everyone that signed petitions, made calls and generally spread the word about her.  It's efforts like this one that really can make a difference for these abused animals.  It also brings to light the fact that, although I do not believe the ASPCA or Humane Societies meant for this to happen, but, things do sometimes "slip through the cracks".  When this happens, and it will happen again, the ASPCA needs to accept it's mistakes and simply make the necessary changes to right that mistake!  It should not have to be said that steps need to be taken to ensure that these things do not happen in the first place!

Thanks again to everyone that contributed and we will do our best to keep you informed of any other events that require the need for a community such as this.

I am checking into the story of "Justice" to see if there are any updates there and I will make known any information that I find out there also.

Thanks to all,

Denise and Max 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Baby, the Neglected Samoyed" Update and Some Other Stuff You Need to Know!

OK, so everyone here is familiar with the story of "Baby", (see original post)and now, here's your chance to really voice your opinion.  Everyone needs to let the ASPCA know that what's going on here is just plain and simply NOT ACCEPTABLE for an organization that is supposed to have the good of all animals as the basis for it's very existence. 

Take for example, the story of "Justice", yet another dog returned to his abusive and neglective owners, as reported by Here is the link for this story, "For Unknown Reason, Neglected Dog Returned to Owner"  Please watch the video in this story!  Here is yet another example of what the ASPCA didn't do right!  How many times do we to have to read examples of an organization, who, by the way, continually seems to be able to come up with the money to run ad after ad to get our money, but yet, when it comes time to come to the rescue, nothing, and I do mean, nothing, is done!

I for one, have had it!  I am disgusted, aggravated, and at a loss as to what can be done to get these organizations back on track! So, here's the only idea I have left.  Here's a list of the places you can contact!  Do it!  Contact them!  Again, and again, and yet again!  Let's get our point across.  You should not be "begging" for money if the money you receive is not going to go to the cause at hand, in this case, dogs like "Justice" and "Baby" and, God knows, how many more we haven't even heard about yet!

Use the following and use them frequently, until we get some satisfaction:

To contact the ASPCA:
Call their cruelty line @ 212-876-7700 X 4450
Call the business line between 9&5pm @ 212-876-7700 and ask to speak to a supervisor.
Call their membership line @ 800-628-0028 and tell them not one red cent of your money will be donated to them.  Money talks.

Let these people know, you can't hide behind a job title and not DO YOUR JOB!  I'm sure each and everyone of us has some kind of job to do, whether you are a housewife (and that is "definitely a JOB, ladies) or a lawyer, doctor, janitor, or what have you!  We don't get paid until the job we were hired to do, gets done! 

I don't mean to be sarcastic, but, please, let these people know that they cannot take a paycheck from an organization like the ASPCA or The Humane Society unless, the ASPCA or Humane Society performs.  So yes, if your employer isn't getting the job done, then, you aren't doing your job AND you shouldn't get paid for it!

We need calls, e-mails, letters and, you name it!  Let's get some help for these poor defenseless creatures.  Let these folks know that when we promise to do something, we do it.  Just as we are promising to let them know what they didn't do!  And we won't stop until our job is done!

Thank you!

Denise and Max!

Some Reconstruction Will be Forthcomming!

Hello everyone!  Well, as I told you when I first started this blog, I am new to this and I am getting a huge education in all kinds of technical stuff!  It was my goal to create this blog to include animals of all kinds and provide information regarding all of them on separate pages in this blog.  However, I am finding out that this is not really possible using the templates that I chose when I started.

Sooooo, Maxwell and Me! will be going through some re-construction.  We will continue to give you great information and keep up with all the trending stories, but, each species will be getting it's own blog!  Yup, that's right!  I have been told that I can do this and then link them all together some how so that you can search all of them for your particular interest, but, the blogs MUST be separate blogs if I am to provide the info and let you comment on the individual articles and answer your questions properly.

So, in the next few days, you might see some changes.  Please don't think that we are eliminating anything.  Just having to move some pages into their own blogs, so the titles will most likely change for some of them. 

I will keep you up to date right here at Maxwell and Me! and let you know where your favorite pages went and how to get to them!  So please check back here often during our reconstruction.  Hopefully, this will allow us to provide the absolute best experience for all of our readers!  Anyone out there with information that might help make this an easier process, let me know!  I'm open to any suggestions........

Thanks for your patience,

Denise and Max!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Elephants, Large in Stature and Brains, Are in Danger of Extinction!

Article first published as Elephants, Large in Stature and Brains, Are in Danger of Extinction on Technorati.

Elephants, Large in Stature and Brains, Are in Danger of Extinction

Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 10, 2011 at 10:06 am
Main article photoI have always been intrigued by the elephant. It's shear daunting size and yet, graceful movements have always mesmerized me. I have memories of the baby elephant I was allowed to ride at a children's zoo in Chicago when I was still a youngster, about 6 or 7 I believe. I can still feel the wiry and sparse hair that covered it's head and surprised me when I touched it!
Lot's of studies have been done on these great creatures and the scientific world is in agreement on a couple of things. They are in danger of extinction and they are really, really smart! Point in case is a recent study in PNAS which definitely “shows that elephants know when they need help, and they also understand the role of a partner in cooperative tasks.” Something that we humans should probably pay a little more attention to.
he study used a contraption that involved, and I quote, “A sliding table carrying two food bowls (that) could be moved only by pulling both ends of a rope that was threaded through two pulleys. If only one end of the rope was pulled, the rope became unthreaded and the table would not move. This apparatus was placed behind a transparent barrier (a volleyball net) so that the elephants could see the set-up but couldn’t reach the food.” Kudos to the engineer that came up with this apparatus! I have visions of myself and my husband, after days of no snacking, scratching our heads and attempting to get to the food. A task which I'm sure would have resulted in an argument about who should be pulling what rope and for what reason., guess.. we'd still be hungry when the time limit was reached.

Elephants, Large in Stature and Brains, Are in Danger of Extinction - Page 2

Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 10, 2011 at 10:06 am
Out of 12 pairs of elephants they all completed this task in 25 seconds or less in 30 trials that were run. Although some individual elephants did make between three to six errors, the experiment did prove the theory that these great creatures do, in fact, have the ability to work together and get the job done!  In a similar study, chimpanzees did not fair so well and made up to 28 errors trying to accomplish the same thing. This does not surprise me, the apes being more similar to us, and thus proves my theory that sometimes we are too smart for our well being, or at least think we are. There was also a point made about one of the female elephants who “simply put her foot on her end of the rope and let her partner do all the work” while she did none at all. I guess there is a lesson to be learned here ladies!
In all, the study did prove that these animals do understand the role of a partner. They also understand that some things cannot be completed without one. The study when further using corvids, hyenas, and Capuchin monkeys which which showed that these species “failed to complete the task, or left questions as to whether or not the animals understood the role of their partner.”
I would love to see the results of this study using our own species and compare notes with these grand creatures. I have a feeling they may leave us way behind in our understanding of each other and the requirements of a true partnership in life. Seems we have much to learn from a species who has been able to survive, even with our technological intrusions into their peaceful lifestyle

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Never Underestimate the Power of Social Networking! Animal Saved by Facebook Posts!

Well, this story convinced me.  Never underestimate the power of social networking.  And, this should help promote some of the "good" things that can happen when social networking is used for the right reasons!  The story "Rescued from a Storm Drain. All because of Facebook" by Andrea, and posted on one of my favorite blogs, For the Love of the Dog, just made me think about all the bad press that some social networking sites receive.  It's not that often that you get to hear about the good stuff! 

It's always nice to know that "facebook" and other social links can offer some rewarding things too instead of always coming out on the receiving end of those that simply don't understand the power of the press!  What a great story!  With all the sad stuff reported constantly about animal abuse and overcrowded shelters, I felt this heartwarming story would offer a well-deserved "good feeling" break to everyone today!

It warms the heart to see how good folks will work together for a worthy cause, even if it is in the middle of the night!  To date, the rescued animal has still not been identified, and, since the animal ran away after being freed, we'll probably never know what it was.  But, we do know that because of the efforts of some good willed neighbors and the officials called to the scene, the story has a very happy ending!  Congrats to all who were involved in this great rescue.

I'm sure that this is not the only story of it's kind.  I'd love to hear about any other stories like this one where social media has played the part of the hero!  Send us a comment on any that you know of!  I'll bet there are plenty of stories out there that involve rescues, adoptions and lots of other interesting things that have taken place on these pages.  Share some with us!
I'll also be starting a new page for this blog very soon.  I'll be covering tips for pet care.  Drop me a line if you have any suggestions for stories and tips on caring for our animals friends.  Dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, fish....whatever!  The new page should be up within the next few days, so check back soon!

Maxwell and Dee!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Could We Let This Happen?

"Baby" Picture taken from "For the Love of the Dog" blog post
 I have pondered whether to write this post or not, going over and over again in my head as to whether the stories I am about to tell you about are just sad outliers in a host of happy endings and should, therefore, be considered simply the endings that didn't work out?  Or, if this is a trend happening within the organizations which have always carried a very high position in my own personal ratings.  The first case in point is the story of  "Baby", a post I came across in a most well written and respected blog, "For the Love of the Dog".  Please read Baby's story, but be ready to have some seriously strong opinions when finished reading.  Also, please join the movement to save this poor animal and sign the petitions available. 

The second story that raised an eyebrow for me was this one, a story of a Navy Wife doing research for a speech which led to her writing this piece.  The story, taken from the blog "Dogs, Cats, and Crap I blog about", another well respected blog and another of my favorite reads, also played a large part on the opinion now starting to form in my little brain.

My question?  How can the ASPCA and Humane Societies that we have known and supported for so long let this happen?  In the story of "Baby", I have the opinion that someone just dropped the ball.  It is unforgivable that this poor creature was given back to the very owners that caused her this agony in the first place.  Throw gasoline on that fire by bringing to point that MANY people offered to take the dog rather than let her go back to what we know will be a tortuous existence!  Yet, the ASPCA turned their backs and allowed this injustice.  Why?  And, why were no charges filed for abuse and neglect in this case? 

The second story in point brings about another type of question.  Sam, the puppy in the story was a very adoptable dog.  He was given "three days" to find a home.  Three days!!!  Somehow, that just doesn't calculate to a fair disposition in the case of a well rounded puppy with no real undesirable traits, with the exception of "he wouldn't stop jumping on his children"......  This was a puppy.  They do puppy things like "jump on the kids"!!! 

The point I am getting at here is that I have never really questioned the actions of the ASPCA or Humane Society.  I know that they are businesses and I'm a business owner myself.  I do understand that there are monetary needs and that there are way too many animals for them to individually care for each and every one and exceptions cannot be made to individual cases regarding their policies.  I realize also that there must be policies in place like the "3 day rule" when it comes to housing these animals.  My point is that I feel that there is a need to review some of these policies.  There are so many shelters and foster homes available.  I do realize that because of the extreme number of dogs being handled by these organizations that other shelters and foster homes also become overcrowded, but, I can't help but think that there should be some way of taking a little extra time on poor defenseless puppies of a very adoptable age that have simply become "disposable" pets.  In the case of Baby, I feel that the ASPCA just dropped the ball.  EVERY effort should have been made to help this poor dog find a loving home.  There were many offered to her.  They simply chose the easy way out to avoid the costs of litigation and doing what should have been done.

We have all been subjected to the relentless commercial spots produced by these organizations with the sad music and sad faces of animals staring at you from inside a cage with a famous spokes person giving a small spot and voice over asking you to make donations to save these animals!  I have seen these ads run over and over again during prime time television spots.  I would like to know the cost of producing one of these ad and what the ASPCA and Humane Society spends to run them during these prime times!  My guess is that they are NOT inexpensive.  I realize the importance of getting their message across, but, I do feel that these well produced commercial spots may be a little "over-the-top".  These organizations have been around forever and I don't believe that the constant barrage of expensive commercials is going to get the word out any faster or make any real point.  Most people are well aware that these organizations exist and the people that end up watching these spots and paying attention to them are folks like ourselves who are well aware of how crowded the shelters are and that they do NEED financial help.  Perhaps the money would be better spent paying for the litigation necessary to ensure that Baby went to a good solid home to live out the rest of her sad and tortured life!  Some of the money could be used to take a little more than THREE DAYS to find no kill shelters to house the adoptable puppies that surely would find homes if just given the time for people to find them! 

As I said, I am really questioning the motives of these organizations at this point.  I'd like to find out how everyone else feels about this too.  I'd like to the cost of their redundant commercial spots and what type of revenue they really produce.  Lets find out how much the "animal loving" spokes people rake in for their appearance in these spots.  I realize that the actors union requires these folks to take payment for their work, but, I get the feeling that it may be a little more than these already well-to-do folks require for a 1 minute appearance.

I hope that I am wrong about all of this.  I hope that someone can tell me that the organizations that I have so faithfully contributed to and supported for many years have some very believable and worthy explanation for these and all of the many stories not even mentioned here, as there are quite a few recently.

So if any of my readers out there can shed some light on this subject, I'm all ears.  Please tell me what your personal opinion is.  And, by all means, if anyone out there has some suggestions, I'd be happy to do the research and write some letters and emails to these organizations to make our voices heard.  After all, it is our actions, not our opinions, that might make a change.

I look forward to your comments and I plan to make this an ongoing part of this blog.  I am also in the process of looking into some of the questions I have presented here and I will report any information that I can gather in my next post.  Please sign up to follow this post and I will keep you updated as to the findings.

This blog is new to me and I plan on dedicating as much time to it as necessary to keep all of the followers informed.  Please bear with me as I am learning the ropes as I go and I welcome any and all comments and information to make this process move along as quickly as possible!

Denise and Max!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Meet Max!

Meet Maxwell.....the main subject of my blog!  As you can see, he is quite the ham.  Max is a 10 year old black Labrador Retriever who has been in our family since his 4 week birthday!  Now that our children are grown, he is is the center of attention with both my husband and myself and I'm sure you will enjoy his antics as much as we do!  He really is almost "human"! 

I've been spending a lot of time reading all of the animal blogs out there.  My husband and I are both animal lovers and we enjoy all the stories, pictures and videos out there!  We are also very active animal activists and I decided we have taken the passive role of "blog readers" long enough and have decided to try my hand at maintaining a blog of my own!  I thought the easiest way to get started would be to introduce you to the "master of attention grabbers", Max, and let him get the discussion started!  He's very good at that. We live in the Tampa, FL area and Max made the move here with us from Illinois about a year and a half ago.  He has taken quite well to our new home and occupies most of his time chasing lizards and doing all kinds of doggy mischief.  He is really quite comical.  If he could talk, I'm sure he'd take center stage. 

Max would like to share his stories and some of the stories of the local animals in the area too.  We have gotten him a digital camera and he's been busy snapping all kinds of pics to share and he's also interviewed a few of his friends.  If he had opposable thumbs, he'd probably be writing this blog himself!  Instead, until he figures out how to type a little faster or "Dragon" software comes up with a "Labradorean" interface, I guess I'll have to be his secretary!  Anyway, welcome to Max's blog!

He'd like to introduce you to some of the new friends he's made since his move to Florida.  His first new friend here was "Roscoe".  Roscoe is a white boxer who lives next door.  Poor Roscoe was born deaf and left in a shelter here at the Tampa Bay Humane Society where he was adopted by our neighbors.  Roscoe visits us every morning to take the early morning stroll with Max.  Roscoe has mastered the art of "signing" and he and Max have become great friends.  We live down the street from a rescue farm and one of their favorite morning pastimes is "rounding up" the Emu's that live at the farm!  I was a little concerned about this activity, but, it doesn't seem to bother the Emus much and well, it certainly keeps the two of them busy!  The Emus are some of the rescued animals at the farm which caters to all kinds of rescues, large and small.  These wonderful folks take care of everything from horses, donkeys, cows, bulls and many other large animals which are in need of shelter care and for which the Tampa Bay Humane Society does not have the room to care for.  The farm is privately funded and offers the much needed room for these types of animal rescues in the area. 

It's always been a dream of mine to be able to someday offer the same rescue services.  My husband and I have been looking into some property in our area in hopes of being able to do some rescue work of our own.  I've been doing a lot of research regarding this idea and with a little luck we'll be able to get started shortly!  For the mean time, we are looking into becoming a foster home for a Labrador rescue in the area.

My two daughters, Krissy and Koryn, are actively involved in animals also.  Krissy, my oldest, has her own animal photography business back in Illinois and offers custom animal photos for people and also contributes to the Illinois Humane Society by providing posters and other advertising material for the adoption centers in her area.  My youngest daughter, Koryn, has just graduated from school to start her career as a veterinary assistant, also in Illinois.  I am very proud of both of them.  Also, Krissy is expecting our first grandchild in July and I just can't wait to welcome our first granddaughter into this animal menagerie!

Well, that's our story to date.   We'd love to hear some of your stories as well.  Please leave us a comment and join our blog.  We'll be updating often with some of the rescue news from our area and any interesting stories we can dig up!  I'm soooo excited about our new blog so check back often and we'll see ya soon!

Below are some of Max's favorite toys! He has many, but these just seem to make him smile!  Please check em out!