Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Animal House

 
My dog Susie says

History repeats itself?

I was reading my USA TODAY and realized that the world is in real turmoil. We give lots of money to nations that give us oil, but they're mad at us. Our friends in Europe whom we've supported for years don't particularly like us either. We buy things from the Chinese, who then give us back lots of money, don't really trust or like us. We give money both to the Republicans and Democrats whom really don't like each other in Congress. And the President is constantly mad at Congress and half of the nation. We also pay his salary don't we? Rich against poor, haves against have-nots, the 99% vs. the 1%. What does all this mean and is there a solution?

It seems that the problem is money! Even if you're a dog, you can't buy real love or friendship by simply paying for it. If you're mean to me, than I won't like you even if you feed me filet mignon every night. I do have my principles. My first principle is "to treat someone like I'd want to be treated." And speaking of treats( my favorite subject), if Mom loaded me up every day and night for years with treats, I'd become very fat and die at an early age. So you see by paying all of these countries and people lots of money for all of these years has made them resent us in the end. And the same with our elected officials. The more we give the more they disdain us. So why don't we try something different but very simple. Stop giving any of them any money or support. Take it away and let them be on their own for a while. They won't starve and maybe just maybe, they might appreciate what "We the people..." means!

I decided to call a little quorum in my neighborhood to see what ideas the animals could come up with. Meeting in the local park, the dogs, cats, parrots, eagles, pigeons and squirrels all had opinions on what humans should think about doing to fix the problem. The dogs, cats and parrots all were taken care of by humans. The eagles, pigeons and squirrels were all on their own. So it was sort of a have and have-not conference. An animal house. Perfect!

After hours of ideas and debating, it seemed that the best recommendation came from an Italian Greyhound named Luigi. It seems that being an Italian by birth, Luigi was a history buff as well. He had a quote from some American businessman named Buffet that he really liked, "If you want to know what's going to happen in the future, look at the past." Hence Luigi said we should examine what's happened over the last few thousand years or so.

A long time ago the most powerful nation on earth was Rome. The people of Rome worked hard for themselves, trained armies and conquered one nation after another. Slowly, year after year , century after century, the Roman people became fat and sassy. Their Senate and Caesar ruled and taxed everyone and graft was the rule of the day. To keep the armies happy, the people had to keep spending huge sums on keeping the conquered empire intact. The ultra rich became so bored with daily life, their emperor was obliged to create entertainment for the masses. Hence, the Coliseum was created to watch man battle man, and man slaughter animals. And to keep paying for everything the people with money were constantly taxed and the people without much became servants or slaves. The soul and spirit of their great nation, along with the Coliseum, began to crumble, eventually died and never returned to its former glory. Luigi said everyone in Washington D.C and Congress should be given an assignment to read the " The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire."

Our little group of animals hope that the humans of this great nation study a little and try harder to solve the Country's problems together, without the animosity. If cats and dogs and eagles and squirrels can all get along, don't you think the "smartest" race on earth can too?

Catch you later,
Susie and Sandy,

P.S. A stranger in town approached me. "Lay down, lay down doggie," ordered the man. "Lay down, I say!"
Soon a bystander approached the stranger and stated. " Mister, you'll have to say, 'Lie down, Lie down', because that's a Border Collie."

To see more of Susie's barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For additional info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com



 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happiness is a warm puppy!


 
My dog Susie says

New Year's resolutions for your pet and yourself

Welcome to 2012, and let's all hope for the best. Sandy my mom decided to "discuss" with me things we could do "better" in the new year. First, we have to lose a few pounds. Now Sandy weighs what she did in High School so "we" meant me. It seems that more than 50% of all pets are overweight which means almost 100 million dogs and cats need to cut out desserts and run more and longer. Ever see a cat run very hard? Second, we have to make sure we don't get any cavities or develop bad breath, so off to the vet we go. I didn't realize that my veterinarian was a dentist as well. Now I brush my teeth as regularly as I can with my paws and help from Sandy, but flossing? Gross!

While we are discussing resolutions, I decided to bring up a few for the humans. First, try and help all the homeless dogs and cats out there. I was once without a home or food and let me tell you it stinks! Thank God Sandy and I met and then rescued each other a few years ago. For those of you who don't have any animals in your home let me give you a few facts and personal opinions.

More than 50 years ago the creator of "Peanuts" said, "Happiness is a warm puppy." I couldn't say it better, and Snoopy is my favorite cartoon character with Pluto a close second. Anyway, here are some of the features and benefits of owning a pet. Studies have shown that pet ownership is good for mental health. Pet owners were found to have greater self-esteem and higher levels of exercise and physical fitness than non-owners. And substantially less loneliness!

New problem: with the internet, Facebook, Twitter etc, when do people actually physically interact with each other? Certainly not as much as just a few decades ago and you can't cuddle with a laptop. The more that pets fulfill human social needs the better the well-being of the owners. Being with your pet can buffer negative feelings from being isolated or rejected. Has anybody's dog ever rejected them? And what about children and their pets?

Numerous studies have proven that not only is physical activity greatly enhanced with kids, but pets also improve their mental well-being. For depressed children, a dog or cat may be their only real lifeline to feeling ostracized by other kids. Beyond fulfilling social needs, pets can be good for a child's development. They foster caring, compassion and responsibility. Pets teach people that relationships and love go both ways. These experiences can be carried throughout adulthood. Pets bring out humanity in a completely unique and unselfish way! So what have we all learned today and how can we help each other regardless of what species you may be?

Here is a simple math equation to consider. There are millions of dogs and cats that are homeless. There are millions of humans especially children who could use a pet friend. Voila..lets all get together and solve two problems at the same time. Please consider helping the lonely lost animals that in turn can help you and your family. This is my 2012 hope and resolution!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. If you can start the day without coffee...If you can be cheerful ignoring aches and pains...If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful...If you can overlook and forgive when people take things out on you....If you can take criticism and blame without resenting it....If you can face the world each day without lies and deceit...If you can live each day happy without any drugs of any kind... If you are loyal to the death.... if you can do all of these things....

Then you are blessed to be a dog!


For more Susie says barks go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For information on Sandy Steele go to www.sandysteele.com


 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When you wish upon a star



 
My dog Susie says,

Human of the Century

Watching all the beautiful Holiday decorations and celebrations made me feel wistful about our beautiful country and its people and pets. I wondered who is considered the most incredible American for the last 100 years or so. So, I decided to ask all the neighborhood pets including the cats. The names that immediately popped up were Albert Einstein, Presidents FDR and JFK, Dr. Jonas Salk, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bob Hope, Neil Armstrong and Elvis Presley. Actress Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner were the favorites of that horny Poodle who resides a few blocks over. Anyway, I didn't really think this initial list was accomplishing what I intended, so I decided to ask my mom to go into town and take a poll on the village square. Maybe the humans could do better than the parrots, cats and dogs.

Sandy reluctantly agreed, in the spirit of Santa Claus, to do this chore for me. After a few hours of asking all the humans she encountered in the town square, who they thought was the most important American, she returned home with another long list of names. One of the names jumped out at me, and I knew immediately that this person had affected more people positively than any other human for the last 100 years. I met with the rest of the animals and mentioned my choice to get their opinion. Their immediate response was unanimous and overwhelmingly yes..yes..yes! Lets have some fun and do a little quiz to see how quickly you guess who it is?

This American came from Irish- German and Canadian immigrants. His father came to California to look for gold to support his family. They eventually moved to Chicago and then settled in Missouri. A local medical doctor was directly responsible for this person finding his calling and lifelong occupation. When WWI started this person dropped out of school at sixteen and joined the Army as an ambulance driver. Thus began this man's career of helping people.

Returning home from the war to end all wars, his father had gone bankrupt. Following in his dad's footsteps, he managed to start two businesses but go bankrupt twice himself. Now without a proper education and poor, he decided to once again follow in his father's footsteps and move back to California. However, through great perseverance and sacrifice, he eventually became successful at his craft. This man was nominated and won more Oscars than anyone in history. He was decorated by presidents and kings all around the world and given both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His empire, forged from unpretentious resolve and immense courage, is worth over 60 billion dollars today. Oh... and he's made more people smile, laugh and feel happy, than any human in history!

Walt Disney created cartoons and movies that children, adults and dogs grew up with including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and my favorites Goofy and Pluto. He made the first animated feature films, and his "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" won an Oscar and became the highest grossing film of 1938. The voice of Mickey was Walt's voice. During the Depression his films made millions laugh when they were suffering inside. His Disney studio won 26 Oscars from 59 Academy Award nominations, a record that will never be broken. He also won seven Emmys.

Honors include having a small planet named "Disneya" and the fabulous "Walt Disney Concert Hall" in L.A. named for him. His movie studio, TV studio, record company, comic book company, and animation studio are all incredible for the happiness they bring to people of all ages. But there is still something that Walt did for all of us because it was his biggest dream: Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The other Disney parks now located in such places as Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong spread joy all around the world. OK... so who's done more for all of us than Walt Disney?

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. If you need a good cry go watch "Old Yeller" and for innocent silly laughs see "The Shaggy Dog." These are two of my favorites for obvious reasons. "Lady and the Tramp," ain't too bad either.

For more of Susie's barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For info on Sandy go to: www.sandysteele.com


 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Singles bars, Starbucks and dog parks.


 
My dog Susie says

Are dog parks replacing Starbucks and bars for meeting nice people?

My mom Sandy has been working for quite a few years on creating the first dog park here in our beautiful village in the Southern mountains. It's been quite an effort so far. First, she had to get a lot of people to sign a petition and eventually got 25% of the entire population to sign in favor for it. After accomplishing that, she had to convince the county commissioners to build a little fenced area on some of their unused park land. However, they all initially said no because there wasn't any money for such an extravagance. Of course, then, my "big mommy" said she and the other dog park members would fund it entirely with private donations. Now, two years later after numerous meetings and looking at all the unused county property to find the perfect little two acres, they all agreed and said YES. Hallelujah!

But... UH OH! Since the proposed park would be near a river, she would now have to deal with those big Army Corp of Engineers. They said she'd have to pay a huge fee just for them to simply review the dog park plans. Next, the big, bad EPA would also have to study it. And of course they'd want a larger fee too. Sandy said she felt like, "we're now having to pay extra fees simply for these government employees to basically do their jobs." When did things change in the good old USA causing it's citizens to pay exorbitant fees just to use their own land? Even though four years have passed since she began the dog park project, Sandy won't give up. You see she was a cheerleader in school and they never give up, no matter what the score of the game. All of us dogs really appreciate what she's trying to do, but you humans will greatly benefit from local dog parks in even more ways. Here's how:

Dog parks are FREE... People find themselves outdoors a lot more which of course is super healthy

Cities, large and small, have become so crowded there's not much room for kids and adults to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. Dog parks have evolved into the "new" playgrounds and community centers.

People meet complete strangers who become lifelong friends. Tens of thousands have actually met their soul mates here; many get married have babies and take their kids and family pets to their dog park.

Humans enjoy the happy robust energy at dog parks so much, that many of them hang out there who don't even own a dog. If you visit one you'll probably see some students reading and studying (I'll bet my flashy, wagging tail they learn more at the peaceful dog parks than in their noisy dorm rooms).

I heard my big mommy say that dog parks are the new Starbucks, where people who need a job or just a friend, like to go to make new contacts. It must be true because I've seen strangers there; talking, using laptops and trading business cards and phone numbers. Us dogs are just sniffing each other.

Well, people here in our town sure need jobs and new friends and soul mates! So I hope mom and her dog park members can get enough donations to pay for fencing and benches to build our dog/people park. It seems like EVERY BODY would WIN !

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. A nationwide poll was recently taken to determine who is the "most normal member of their own family." Voted last on the "normal" list was distant relatives. Next to last was siblings. Then came in-laws. Next was spouses. The runner-up was "myself." Hmm...seems a little narcissistic.

The winner of "most normal family member" by a landslide was , drum-roll please.... Dogs and other pets! Wow, I wonder if I should run for Congress? I'm certainly more normal than those guys and girls in Washington!

For more of Susie's barks go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com