Harrison
Name:Harrison Location:United States

The Original Lovable Little Fuzzball

Here's the straight stuff.


The adventures of Harrison are true.
Try a few of his Crunchy Bites for a taste.
--Alpha Human Mom





Monday, October 31, 2005


Happy Halloween

AHM and me spent some time searchin' the web and the dead-tree library for some old-fashioned dog ghost stories and ya' know what? There aren't any. Not one real, honest-to-god, come-back-from-the-dead, dog-haunt. Oh, yeah, here was a book full of supposed ghost dog stories, but they were only stories about livin' dogs endin' with a paragraph or two about how maybe they prowled and howled from the Great Beyond. There were lots of Black-Dog-with-scary-red-eyes stories, and a bunch of cute little my-pet-came-back-to-say-goodbye tales. But nothin' like The Hound of the Baskervilles, which isn't even a real ghost dog, just a murder usin' the Black Dog of the Moors legend.

Next year I'm writin' my own.

Anyway, if you're lookin' for some scary stuff to wind down the evenin', try this. (Ugh…) This. (Where's your permalinks, Cal?) And 'specially this where the Mademoiselle from Armentieres bites back. Be sure to scroll down for the full effect.

If ya' like real scary stuff, spend some time readin' about Ralph Keeton and visitin' his site. Considerin' more Brits believe in ghosts than God, I guess ole' Ralphie is kept pretty busy.

Oh,yeah....Boo!


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posted by Harrison at 7:49 PM

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Sunday, October 30, 2005


A Stephen King Moment

…waitin' to happen.

Pets' rest disrupted.

"Five years ago, Candi the wiener dog went to her grave with an elaborate pink marker and warm wishes for the afterlife. Last week, Blase Kaauamo dug up her plastic casket and set it on the grass. The dachshund's body is just one of 500 buried animals that Kaauamo must transport out of Pet Rest Cemetery. "I think she was brown," mused the gravedigger, brow sweaty.

"After 35 years, the Pet Rest Cemetery in far northwest Raleigh has succumbed to development -- perhaps a Hampton Inn, owner Steve Rogers said."

The hell with the Rainbow Bridge. Yogi, Sniffy, Arnold the pig, Puddles Eggleston, Capt. Nick Danger Myers, Sir Timothy Flash of Skye, and all the rest will be spendin' their afterlife at the Hampton Inn.

Hope no one missed the St. Bernard.


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posted by Harrison at 7:47 PM

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Saturday, October 29, 2005


Kibbles 'n Bits®

Furred Reich.

First we learn the French surrendered to American bullfrogs. Now we're told Germans are fightin' American masked invaders--and losin'. The UK Sunday Mail makes a brief mention:

"German wine-makers have declared war on invading divisions of 'Nazi' raccoons. The furry, native American animals were released into the countryside in 1934 under the orders of top Nazi Hermann Goering."

The Times of London gives more details. "Nazi racoons invade the wineland"--makin' the Kassel run in less than twelve parsecs.

"Kassel has been regarded as the raccoon capital of Europe ever since Baron Sittich Von Berlerpsch released two of the animals into the wild in February 1934. The move was encouraged by Hermann Goering…who…was the chief forester of the Third Reich. The raccoons, known as wash-bears in Germany, were seen by Goering as an enrichment to German woodland."

But, bein' the Times, they just can't resisted blamin'…the Americans!

"[The raccoon] population grew by leaps and bounds when an Allied bomb hit a raccoon farm in 1945, releasing more into the wild."

And those two losers think they're gonna' lead the European Union to greatness. Hahahahahaha! They don't know what they're up against, 'specially now that the Mademoiselle from Armentieres* has arrived.

"When Emily the cat went missing a month ago, her owners looked for their wandering pet where she had ended up before the local animal shelter. This week they learned Emily sailed to France.

"Lesley McElhiney now figures her cat went prowling around a paper warehouse near home and ended up in a cargo container that went by ship across the Atlantic Ocean and was trucked to Nancy, a city in northeastern France near the border with Germany…"

Maybe she heard about the Nazi raccoons and wanted to help fight 'em off. . . Nah. Bein' a fe-lyin', she probably wanted to join 'em.

"…the family is wondering how they will retrieve the pet… The friend of a co-worker is going to Germany next week, but that's a country away. "The only thing we can think right now is buying a plane ticket," McElhiney said. "She already cost us some the first time we got her from the humane society. She's getting to be an expensive little thing."

"…hinky-dinky parlez-vous!" (rim shot)

And just in case ya' haven't had enough news 'bout frogs and pigs, here's somethin' that will make your heart go pitty-pat with excitement: Kermit and Miss Piggy in search for Muppet Idol.

"Move over Simon Cowell. Miss Piggy will be chief judge on the ultimate TV reality show, in which viewers will choose a new Muppet to join a revival of the comic troupe.

"Twenty-five years after the puppets retired from television, Kermit will introduce a selection of Muppet hopefuls who will compete to join the wacky cast in a new series. The satire on Pop Idol will feature Miss Piggy and Gonzo making acerbic observations on the wannabes, created by the Jim Henson Company, before final selection is turned over to the viewers."

Get ready for the next jihad alert.

*If ya' want all the variations of Mademoiselle from Armentieres, go here. If ya' wanna' see what the Doughboys really thought 'bout the enemy, go here and scroll down for "Three German Officers crossed the Rhine"--but keep it away from the kids! And feel free to substitute the current enemy of choice into the verses. I feel a music revival comin' on…


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posted by Harrison at 11:42 AM

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Friday, October 28, 2005


Breakin' the Mold

Closeup
INDIVIDUALIST:
You make your own rules
and boldly go where no one has gone before.
Some may think you are arrogant and even rude,
while others admire your keen observations.
Not that you really care.


What kind of blogger are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Apologies to "kennethk" for replacin' the pic…not that I really care…


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posted by Harrison at 6:32 AM

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


First They Came for Piglet…

Then they came for the three little pigs.

A West Yorkshire head teacher has banned books containing stories about pigs from the classroom in case they offend Muslim children.

Now they're comin' for piggy banks.

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims. Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Now there's not a lotta' ways a canine can protest this kind of stupidity, 'specially when it's takin' place across the pond so I can't whizz on anyone's shoes. But AHM decided to let me make a vitual protest by adoptin' my own (virtual) pet pig!


my pet!



Can't get more Islamo-fantastically insultin' than a dog with a pet pig!

PS: She's named for a special piggy person who's been nursin' the government teat for waaaay too long.

PPS: Hmmmm… Figures. She doesn't work any harder than the real piggy
.


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posted by Harrison at 5:52 PM

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Friday, October 21, 2005


How To Get Away With Almost Anything

Give 'em the look:



Now be honest… Could you punish that face?

Humans are sooooo easy.


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posted by Harrison at 6:40 AM

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Thursday, October 20, 2005


De-Conned

Any time a story starts with the words "It seemed like a good idea…" and involves scientists, ya' know it's gonna' be about somethin' that would make Dr. Frankenstein proud.

"It seemed like a good idea. Let a lone rat loose on a rodent-free island and then figure out how to kill it. That way, when other islands are invaded by rats, you'll know what to do. Scientists figured they'd trap this foot-long varmint in no time."

Uh huh. Just call the little bugger Rat-kenstein.

"Eighteen weeks later, they finally trapped it with some fresh penguin bait. On another island."

Those scientists might have a ton of schoolin' and lots of important letters behind their names, but it's obvious none of 'em knew how to play the violin.

"In the new study, a Norway rat was originally lured into a trap with chocolate. Its DNA was recorded, and the rat was outfitted with a radio collar and set free on the tiny island of Motuhoropapa off the coast of New Zealand.

"With no rats to compete with, the test subject traversed the entire island for about four weeks before settling on a home range, data from the radio collar showed. For the next four weeks, conventional rat-trapping techniques were employed, snap traps, live traps and waxed devices, without success."

Hmmmm… Deserted island. One rat. An entire herd of human scientists. How hard would it be to avoid that? And how hard would it be for Rat-kenstein to figure out "snap traps, live traps, and waxed devices" were notthe normal berries and grubs usually found in the natural world?

"After 10 weeks, the radio signal was lost. Then the researchers found rat feces on the island of Otata, 1,300 feet away across the open ocean. The DNA was a match, confirming a suspicion scientists had, that rats were good swimmers.

Never saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, did they?

"The elusive creature had made the longest confirmed open-water crossing of any rodent in history."

Obviously he heard Ratis Hilton was showin' her tatas on Otata.

"Different methods were used on Otata: buried traps, peanut butter, poison and even trained dogs. Not until more than four months after its release was the rat finally killed, in a trap baited with fresh penguin."

Bet there's a whole bunch of penguins applyin' for flight school right now…

"The scientists, led by James Russell at the University of Auckland, sagely conclude that conventional methods didn't work well."

At what point did they get their first clue?

"They also have an idea why:"

Eighteen weeks and they only have an idea?

"Being alone, the rat didn't behave as it would have in a rat-infested city; and with no competition for food, the bait was less attractive than it otherwise would have been…"

Apparently the idea Rat-kenstein was just horny never entered their minds. Oh, yeah. They're science geeks…

"Our results may help in the design of conservation strategies to keep islands free of invasive rodents," the researchers write."

Strategy #1: de-Con® Works for me.


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posted by Harrison at 9:22 PM

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Chomp!

Guess this Demo-cat advisor will have to send himself to jail.

"The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend after his own dog attacked him. Bob Schwartz, who also is Gov. Bill Richardson's crime adviser, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday night with bites on both his arms,…

"Schwartz was instrumental in getting a law passed during this year's regular legislative session that would allow felony charges to be filed against owners of dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous and that seriously injure or kill another animal or person.

"The law was designed to make dog owners accountable, said Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, who worked with Schwartz to pass the bill. "But I guess when it happens in your own family, that's another story," she said. "That's tragic."

Ain't it a bitch when the laws you make come back to bite ya'?

Dug up by Cosmo


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posted by Harrison at 6:44 PM

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Monday, October 17, 2005


Pet Poo

Dedicated to curtailin' cruel Cucurbita cuttin'…P.E.T.PU.

"Is there any more deserving entity? Consider the lovely orange roundness of this gentle fruit. [They] only wish to live in peace, they will not lash out in spite of the horrors we visit upon them. They are truly magnanimous."

And they look great wearin' whipped cream, too.

Now get your mind outta' the gutter!


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posted by Harrison at 7:43 PM

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Saturday, October 15, 2005


A Living Dog is Better Than a Dead Lion*

Pluto sniffed out this debate between John Hawkins and Scarloc DB over at Right Wing News. While it's nice to see some other people are catchin' on to the dog-cat issue…hellooooo... I've been talkin' 'bout this for over a friggin' year!

The whole debate is really very simple. There are Demo-cats and there are Republi-canines. The first think the universe revolves around them and their issues, which, naturally, are the only issues with any validity. They sit around in their ivory kitty tree-houses or in front of computers admirin' themselves while tryin' to tell the rest of us workin' stiffs how we're mean, selfish, and lackin' compassion. (Yeah, right. Like feedin' time at the local cattery is a nirvana of smilin' and sharin'.)

Meanwhile, the Republi-canines have to do the grunt work of tryin' to protect and preserve what we've helped humans build for the last five or ten thousand years. Anyone ever seen an anti-lootin' sign sayin' "Stay Out! I've got a gun and a big, mean fe-lyin' inside?" Was it a fe-lyin' who dragged his little master out of the waves of the tsunami? Was it a fe-lyin' gettin' the animal Victoria Cross for sniffin' out bombs in Iraq? Can you imagine the SAS parachutin' fe-lyings behind enemy lines to help the resistance? I don't think so. (Gotta' say I wouldn't mind witnessin' that last event!)

Pluto is callin' for more dog-bloggers. Don't think he means the sort that just let their human post cute little pictures of 'em either. 'Course, ya' gotta' remember dogs are the strong, silent type--unless humans mistreat us, of course, then we're gonna' let ya' know our opinion loud and long. No, most dogs aren't as articulate as Pluto and me. They express their opinion in other ways. Me, I'm not the sofa-shreddin' type. I prefer more subtle methods, like whizzin' on your Birkenstocks. And not many canines have Alpha Humans who understand us. Most of 'em are stuck with Omegas like Silly Human Female.

The almost-as-handsome-as-me Cal the Wonderdog in the frozen north and the original dog-blogger Baccus, doG of Whine from Down Under are a couple of good bloggers waivin' the banner of caninedom. And, just like Ferdy is the exception to the usual Demo-cat rank and file, Hollywood Dog is the exception to the Republi-canine camp. 'Course Jinks was rescued from a death camp by a couple of left-coasties, so it's natural he'd adopt their outlook on life. In spite of that, he still knows the truth 'bout felyings.

So, to Scarloc DB, who doesn't have the balls to use a real name (do fe-lyings have balls?) here's my rebuttal.

*Ecclesiastes 9:4


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posted by Harrison at 1:03 PM

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No go, No way, Not Ever

Puppypurse

Okay, so this looks pretty tame, 'though walkin' down the street in a get-up the same color they're paintin' fire hydrants these days could have some unpleasant side effects.


"PuppyPurse was designed to keep your diminutive doggie and you, their adoring human, inseparable. Your pup will ride at your side in open air comfort -- no stuffy handbags! And they'll do it in style, snuggly wrapped in a bodice of spongy waffle, luxurious faux fur, or one of our other hand selected materials. Finishing touches like fringes, beads, or feathers add a fashion flair that will make them the envy of their peers!"

You wrap my bodice and I'll rip yours. And just in case those designers haven't figured it out, dogs already wear fur! We're not gonna' be envious of some other poor slob wrapped in fake--uh, pardon, faux--leopard skin. Geeze… They're pushin' that metrosexual mantra waaaayyy too far. But this stuff just looks silly, right? Unless you've already looked at the pics and know the horrible truth, think again.

"Whether you wear it like a shoulder bag, a fanny pack, or carry it like a purse, PuppyPurse lets you find the perfect fit for you and your dog. You will spend the day close and comfortable, and ready for anything. Anytime. Everywhere."

Fanny pack!? Fanny pack! You expect me to spend the day bouncin' off your bottom and be happy about it? Well, just try it and I guaran-damn-tee you I'll be ready for anything--and it ain't gonna' be either close or comfortable.


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posted by Harrison at 10:05 AM

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Thursday, October 13, 2005


Safe Sex…

…for dogs? I tell ya', sometimes I wonder how you humans ever figured out how to walk on your hind legs!

Gotta' admit, though, I would've loved to see a human tryin' to use one of these on their dog.

Dog Condom Creator Saddened Over Product Recall

"The creator of a meat-scented dog condom had high hopes for his invention, until the pooch product was recalled. Phillip Laxis, product developer for dogcondoms.com, admits, “I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a disappointment,” but says the extensive test market studies that resulted in 102 unwanted pooch pregnancies and 15 near- choking incidents justified the recall."

Ummm… If ya' make somethin' "meat-scented" odds are real good dogs are gonna'…oh…try to eat it!

As far as unwanted pooch pregnancies, well, this is pretty standard for doggy love. Imagine tryin' to chase a Rotweiller 'round the yard, tacklin' 'em under a lawn chair, and wrestlin' somethin' that smells like a prime rib balloon in place before the Great Moment.

"Surprisingly, Laxis thinks it’s the fault of the owners, who he envisioned would place the condom on the dog before intercourse and supervise the act. In his words, “People were not anticipating the dogs’ needs. Create a doggy date situation where you can control it, a situation where no one gets hurt.”

Doggy date? Earth to Mr. Laxis…there's no such thing as a doggy date. There's only "you bitch, me stud" bingo! If a human tries to control the situation, you know who's gonna' get hurt.

"While Laxis admits parental pooch supervision might not create the ideal romantic situation, he asks, “Do you see the romance in genital mutilation?”

Don't know what one has to do with the other, but I guarantee finger/hand/arm mutilation if ya' keep stickin' 'em in places they aren't wanted.

"The self-professed dog lover says he’s not giving up on safe sex for schnauzers, and is now working on a female dog condom using “some sort of harness mechanism.”

I've got "some sort of harness mechanism" for Mr. Laxis. It's called a straight jacket.


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posted by Harrison at 7:50 PM

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Do Ya' Have What It Takes?

Kitten Wars.

Anything that thins out the herd…

Note: Frances the cat is out of the runnin'. No word yet on KittenPythonwars.com.


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posted by Harrison at 7:46 PM

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005


AC PC

Anti-Canine PETA Correctness.

As if it's not bad enough you humans pass laws to forcably sterilize some of us (a lá Margaret Sanger in her early days), now you're presentin' us as degradin' symbols. This is caninism at it's worst. While felyings are encouraged to use the john, dogs are mocked and degraded by biogoted (not to mention sexist) humans.

"Re-enacting [in Des Moines, Iowa] "The Toilet Drinker," a fur-clad woman on all fours will mimic what some family dogs have been doing for years. The skits remind us that there are some things that only animals should get away with—and wearing fur is one of them."

I have never taken a sip or a slurp from a toilet. Ever. (Okay, so I'm too short and the one time I tried I fell in. That's beside the point.) Mannerly, well-adjusted canines do not need to drink from toilets to make a statement. Implyin' we do merely encourages negative stereotypes that lead to more discrimination.

My feelings are frayed--my psyche pummeled--my dignity diminished--my self-esteem shattered. Where's the PC police? Where's the EOC? Where's FEMA? I want a lawyer. I want compensation for this insult--reparations for my tarnished reputation!

(On the other paw--what can you expect from someone named Moni Woweries?)


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posted by Harrison at 8:53 PM

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Monday, October 10, 2005


Blue Bombers

Not that I have any special rapport with Smurfs…the only one I've ever encountered was stuffed to the gills and made irritatin' squeaky noises. At least it did until I ripped the hell out of it. (Hey, I was young once, too.)

Anyway, in spite of those long-ago memories of blue fluff strewn from one end of the house to the other, this seems a bit beyond the wild blue yonder.

Smurfbombs
"The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes…"


Hmmm…. Now what country, I wonder, does a lot of bombin' from airplanes. Is there any part of the cartoon showin' little Smurfies strappin' on a bomb belt to blow up their own kind? No? Wonder why?

"Belgian television viewers were given a preview of the 25-second film earlier this week, when it was shown on the main evening news. The reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror…"

Gee--d'ya' think? Talk about "shock and awe." Don't think it will do much to stop war, but it sure will give all the kiddies of Belgium a lifetime of nightmares.

"The final frame bears the message: "Don't let war affect the lives of children."

'Course there's no suggestion on how to do that--or how to stop murderous dictators from wagin' war on everyone in sight. But it makes UNICEF feeelll so good!

"It is intended as the keystone of a fund-raising drive by Unicef's Belgian arm,…"

Whatever happened to those little orange cartons kids used to collect pennies for UNICEF? Too old-fashioned? Or has everyone had enough of handin' money to a UN organization only to see it farted away.

"…to raise £70,000 for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi."

Former child soldiers? What about the current child soldiers in Gaza? Rehabilitatin' them would take care of a whole litterpan full of bombings!

Why is the UN always three wars behind the rest of the world?


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posted by Harrison at 6:10 PM

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Sunday, October 09, 2005


Dog-in-a-Box

What are the Japanese thinking? I know they're dog-mad--even wrote about 'em rentin' dogs by the hour just to get some puppy love. But this is goin' too far.

Doginabox

"Honda Japan has designed dog friendly car, termed as the WOW concept. WOW stands for Wonderful [O]pen hearted [W]agon. A special crate for dogs in the glove apartment allows owners to interact with their pets while driving."

Now I don't know 'bout other canines, but I like to do my interactin' with an open window and fresh air. A glove compartment is cramped, hot, smelly, dark, and definitely not a canine "apartment." And, to be honest, there's waaaay too much interactin' goin' on when you humans get behind the wheel anyway. (Someone tell me what's so important ya' have keep a cell phone plastered to your ear while doin' 75 mph down the freeway?) So now the Japanese wanna' add dog-howlin' to the cell phones, blastin' radio/CDs, fightin' kids, and blarin' in-car DVDs.

WOW


  'Course if all of 'em are this WOW green, at
  least we'll have a fightin' chance to get out of
  your way.


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posted by Harrison at 11:18 AM

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Saturday, October 08, 2005


One Name...

…equals all Five Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

Walter Cronkite.

From an interview on Larry King Live.

KING: You mentioned during the break that you wanted to say something about teachers' pay...

CRONKITE: ...I am so appalled at the amount we pay our teachers. Now here are the people that we turn our children over to at the age of five or so to -- to -- they're the most important people in their lives, probably more so than their parents in many cases unfortunately.

But we pay them so little that in nearly every school district of the country the janitors in the buildings in which they work make more than they do as teachers for heaven's sakes. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

If we expect this country to work, it depends on an informed, an intelligent electorate… We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course. I don't think we're bright enough to do the job that would preserve our democracy, our republic. I think we're in serious danger.

There ya' have it. The man who single-handedly engineered our defeat in Vietnam--and who, of course, fancies himself monumentally intelligent--thinks teachers aren't paid enough. And 'cause of that, there are a bunch of stupid voters out there who insist on electin' (gasp) Republicans!

Don't think ole' Walter will be too thrilled with this study.

"Principals across the country say teachers who come from a military background often outperform those who enter teaching straight from college, according to a study by an Old Dominion University professor…

"The study surveyed about 875 principals about graduates of the federal Troops to Teachers program, which provides grants to military personnel who return to college to go into teaching. The study asked principals to compare Troops to Teachers graduates with other teachers with the same level of teaching experience.

"Overwhelmingly, the principals favored the teachers who came from the service."


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posted by Harrison at 7:41 PM

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Thursday, October 06, 2005


Five Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

Ya'd think this list was written by a canine. Nearly two decades and nothin's changed…


1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

Unless they've counted up the roster of registered Demo-cats.

2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

Unless your name is Kennedy, Clinton, Gore, Byrd, Dean, et-ce-ter-a, et-cet-er-a

3. A stupid person is a person who caused losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

Now that sounds like a typical fe-lyin' spitefully hackin' up furballs on clean sheets and endin' up bein' banned from the bedroom.

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damanging power of stupid individuals.

'Specially in the votin' booth.

In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be costly mistake.

Learn it, live it, love it, Republi-canines! This is how we end up with people in power named Kennedy, Clinton, Gore, Byrd, Dean, et-ce-ter-a, et-cet-er-a

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person./ A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.

And if a stupid person is a Demo-cat member of congress, that stupid person is a bandit.

To sum it all up…

The system of accounting which finds expression in the basic graphs [scroll down] shows that, while all actions of individuals falling to the right of the line POM (see fig. 3) add to the welfare of a society, although in different degrees, the actions of all individuals falling to the left of the same line POM cause a deterioration. [Appropriate emphasis mine.]


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posted by Harrison at 8:05 PM

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Boldly Goin'...

…where that fe-lyin' person only talks about.

So, in honor of Laika* (aka "Barker")…

Laika

…who gave her life for space exploration…




*and Belka, Strelka, Pchelka, Mushka, Chernushka, Zvezdochka, Verterok, and Ugolyok.


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posted by Harrison at 10:58 PM

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Monday, October 03, 2005


Canine Service Announcement

Now is the time so many of you out there are eagerly anticipatin' Halloween by pumpin' up the ole' inflatable, lightable Casper which makes keepin' the pups in line durin' our walks a real challenge… 'Course AHM keeps mutterin' stuff about placin' a handful of darts in stragtegic places, which doesn't help.

And, too, with Halloween comes the nearly uncontrollable urge--that some humnas cannot control--to dress up their loyal and (at least until this point) lovin' canine companions.

This year dog hats appear to be the up and comin' fad. Oh, not those sun visors that actually make some sense. Nooooo. I'm talkin' hats that could give Carmen Miranda a run for her money.

(Warnin'! Do not try this at home--please!)

Okay--you've been warned. Now compare:

    Carmen Miranda    Witch Hat
BrazilianBombshell        Witchy Westie


Themed hats are big as well--really, reaaalllly big.

Skull Cap
(I think there's a dog under there somewhere.)


And for dogs with identity issues…

Sylvester Hat


'Course, if ya' want the exotic look for your canine, try this.

Hula Skirt
Or not. Actually, I think this model is howlin' for help.


Last but not least--for the true animal lovers out there--

Cow Coat
--or hard core members of Moooooove-on…


Get a load of that face. Boy, that is one pissed-off puppy.


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posted by Harrison at 11:52 PM

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Sunday, October 02, 2005


National Dog Week - VII

Stubby
  Over the past few days I've written 'bout lots of
  canines--from the loyal policeman's companion
  Greyfriar's Bobby and the reluctant celebrity
  dog Balto, to war dogs like Stubby and Rags
  in WWI Europe and Russian rescue dogs of


Smoky
the Great War; to Smoky in WWII's Pacific theater, Horrie, the Aussie dog of WWII's Middle Eastern campaigns, and SAS parachutin' dogs.

National Dog Week is over, but there are lots more stories to tell. Like Judy, the English Pointer, POW,
and Dickin Medal Winner.

"Judy was…born in Shanghai in 1936 and adopted as a mascot by the Royal Navy… She was torpedoed, captured by the Japanese and spent two years as their prisoner of war… During that time she distinguished herself by her devotion to Leading Aircraftsman Frank Williams…by her hatred of the Japanese guards who several times tried to shoot her, and by threatening and distracting them on many occasions when they began to beat their prisoners.

"She was finally liberated, together with her fellow prisoners, in 1945... Her citation reads: "For magnificent courage and endurance in Japanese prison camps, thus helping to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners and for saving many lives by her intelligence and watchfulness."

Then there were the Korean and Vietnamese Wars as well.

In Korea, …[o]n 27 February 1952 the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon received a citation for its service, reading in part: "The members of the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon while participating in [hundreds of] these [combat] patrols were invariably located at the most vulnerable points in the patrol formation… The unbroken record of faithful and gallant performance of these missions by the individual handlers and their dogs…has saved countless casualties through giving early warning to the friendly patrol of threats to its security."

And Desert Storm and the Afghan/Iraqi War:

Fluffy - Gulf War II - A twelve-man U.S. Special Forces unit serving in northern Iraq had successfully used dogs as sentries in Afghanistan. They had no official dogs in Iraq so… Sgt. 1st Class Russell Joyce, in charge of supplies for the unit, asked the Kurds for a dog. They brought him a scarred, underweight, abused German Shepherd once used by Iraqi police.

Never heard about that abuse from PETA, did ya'? Wonder if all those loonies out there who think Sadaam was an okay guy would change their tune if they knew he abused dogs?

"The Kurds called him “Tariq Aziz,”…an unsuitable name for a soon-to-be U.S. Military Working Dog. Joyce renamed him "Fluffy", [Fluffy?!!] and while not a traditional warrior's name, Fluffy rapidly showed he had the heart of a soldier.

When Joyce's unit concluded its work in Iraq, they returned to the Special Forces base at Fort Bragg, NC. Since Fluffy was from Iraq, he had to be left behind. Health and customs laws created barriers to bringing him into the United States. Although Fluffy was in the care of an Air force Squadron at Kirkuk Air Base, Joyce became alarmed that Fluffy might be euthanized… He wrote to Senators, the Pentagon and the State Department as well as using the Internet to get public support. There was a tremendous out-
pouring of support and the red tape was cut. On 1 June 2003 Fluffy was flown…to Charleston Air Force Base, SC, where he was reunited with Sgt. Joyce.

Wardogs
  But d'ya' know it wasn't until 2000 that there
  was any sort of memorial to canine warriors
  here in the U.S.? In February of that year one
  was opened at March Field Air Museum in
  Riverside, CA, and in October an identical
  memorial was unveiled at Fort Benning, GA.
  They're 19 feet high, made of bronze, and show
  a combat-attired, Vietnam era soldier with a
  dog at his side. The inscription reads:
  "They protected us on the field of battle.
  They watch over our eternal rest.
  We are grateful."


  Here you can find a partial list of all the dogs
  that have served our soldiers in war. Sadly, as
  you read the list, you'll discover far too many
  were abandoned when their service was done,
  'specially in Vietnam. As the webmaster of
  one site wrote: "If only the leaders of this
  nation could serve us so well and so honestly,
  maybe this world would be a better place."


A small samplin':

BOB, Collie mix, WWII, led more forays into German territory than any other U.S. soldier in WWII, human or canine.

CHIPS, German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix, WWII, Tank guard dog and the most decorated dog in WWII being awarded the Silver Star for Valor and a Purple Heart.

Shortly after Chips and the men had made their way ashore [in Sicily, July 1943]…the soldiers…slowly inched their way to an abandoned pillbox where they decided to take a short rest. …Chips, however, could not relax. His senses told him there was danger nearby and suddenly he broke away from his handler - violating a sacred rule - dashed across a stretch of No Man's Land. A bullet pierced his body, but he ignored the pain and threw himself into an enemy machine gun nest. The firing stopped. There was deadly silence, and for a moment Chips was not seen or heard. When his comrades got to the scene, they saw Chips holding onto the throat of the enemy gunner, and five other terrified men with their arms raised in surrender.

The U.S. newspapers called him a hero. He was personally thanked for his services by General Eisenhower. Chips' military honors were removed because the the commander of the Order of the Purple Heart determined that decorating a dog was "...demeaning to servicemen."

Definitely a fe-lyin' person, 'specially since servicemen have never agreed with that "determination."

SUZIE, German Shepherd, Vietnam. Her handler gave her his Bronze Star.

CARLO, Belgian Malinois, Desert Storm. During a ceremony in which Carlo's handler received the Bronze Star for his service in Kuwait, his handler removed the medal from his own uniform and pinned it to Carlo's collar, saying, "Carlo worked harder than me. He was always in front of me."

I could keep on for another week or two talkin' about dogs like Bruce, who charged at three Japanese soldiers who were poised to finish off two wounded GIs, and Nemo.who attacked the charging Vietcong, then--wounded himself--crawled to his wounded comrade and covered him with his body, protecting him until help arrived. For their devotion to their handlers and country, many of these dogs were left behind because our government considers 'em "military surplus" and wouldn't let 'em come home.

If ya' wanna' help create a national memorial in Washington for these soldiers, the Vietnam Dog Handler Association is workin' to do just that. Personally I think a small dog park with a grove of trees in Arlington would be most appropriate, but the Department of Veteran Affairs considers honorin' dogs at the national cemetery to be a sacrilege. (No comment on whether they consider same-sex marriage in this country a sacrilege, though.)

I'll leave ya' with what this trainer/handler wrote about the memorial and his dog:

Prince


PRINCE 347E, German Shepherd, Vietnam. He
served our country his entire adult life and was
put to rest on October 2, 1968, at the War Dog Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam.

"I have remembered him every day for the last 39 years and will continue to do so until I join him.
Thank you very much for honoring those that the military/politicians in DC forgot so many years ago."


- Robert L. Ott, Initial Trainer and Handler.

It's about damn time.


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posted by Harrison at 3:19 PM

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Saturday, October 01, 2005


National Dog Week - VI - Part Three

I like to fancy myself a brave and resourceful sorta' canine, but I don't think I'd make it through any war college for dogs. First off, there's the small matter of crawlin' around and diggin' and gettin' dirty! 'Course they probably didn't get half as many baths as I do, so that's a trade off. And I'm a little short to be a Storm Trooper--oh, wait…wrong movie…

Anyway, when it comes to trainin' real war dogs, everyone says the honor of startin' it all goes to [Lt. Col.] Edwin Hautenville Richardson.

"Richardson, born at the turn of the last century in England, was a noted dog fancier, who during his early studies, rediscovered the early use of dogs by the generals of the ancient Greeks and Romans [and later the French during Napoleon's reign].

"It was also at this time, that he learnt that dogs were being trained for military purposes in a few of the continental armies, which arroused in him a curiosity, that would last a lifetime."

War dogs were everywhere--with the Marines during the banana wars and Spanish-American War of 1898; the Spanish against the Riffs in Morocco; the Bulgarians during the Balkan Wars; the Gurkha's in the Abor Expedition; and the Italians against the Turks, in Tripoli. Britain had some catchin-up to do.

Airborne Dog

  And once the British got started, there was no stoppin'
  'em. They even used parachutin' dogs with their
  airborne units, 'specially the SAS forces dropped
  behind enemy lines in North Africa and France.

  A caption at the K-9 History site asks "What does a
  dog yell when 'jumping?'" I'm not sure what those
  guys yelled, but if it was me, it would be "Look out
  below"
'cause I'd be dumpin' a load outa' sheer
  terror.


Nope, don't think that's somethin' I'd be interested in doin'.


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posted by Harrison at 11:37 PM

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National Dog Week - VI - Part Two

Rags…

…or Benji Marches to War.
RagsPrivate James Donovan did a little too much celebratin' in Paris on Bastille Day 1918 and was lost in Montmartre when he encountered (tripped over) a raggedy little dog and a trio of American MPs. Since he was A.W.O.L., Donovan made up a story about the dog bein' a missin' mascot and was politely escorted back to his division--the American 1st Infanty Division--better known as the Big Red One.

Donovan was a signalman, responsible for keepin' the lines of communication open for the American Expeditionary Force. Sometimes, though, it was impossible, and Rags, with some trainin', was pressed into service as a messenger.

"In late July of 1918, during a counterattack driving towards the Paris-Soissons road Rags…and Donovan found themselves with a group of advancing infantry that had been cut off and surrounded. The only officer surviving was a young lieutenant… Wire communications had been cut off by the Germans. The following message was written out and attached to Rags collar:

"'I have forty-two men, mixed, healthy and wounded. We have advanced to the road but can go no farther. Most of the men are from the 26th Infantry. I am the only officer. Machine guns at our rear, front, right and left. Send infantry officer to take command. I need machine gun ammunition.'

"Rags was able to dig his way through the barbed wire, avoid the Germans, and make his way through the shell holes back to the 7th Field Artillery. The message was passed on to headquarters. A supporting artillery barrage was layed down and reinforcements were sent out that rescued the cut off group and helped secure the objective. The news of Rag's achievement was quick to pass through the fighting men of the 1st Division."

Not only was he brave and smart (in spite of bein' a frog dog), Rags was discernin' as well.

"After the end of the Marne fighting elements of the 1st Division rested in the area around Domartin-La-Montagne… During the rest period Rags began a ritual [of touring] the various mess halls and eliminat[ing] from his tours those whose fare did not appeal to him or whose personnel did not meet his standards of hospitality. It was on one of these tours that he became involved in a fight with the pet cat of a division staff officer, Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr."

See. Even back then Rags figured out what the name Roosevelt would mean. Demo-cats! Fe-lyin' people! Bleagh!

Once back on the line…

"…Rags and Donovan moved forward with the infantry units of the 1st Division. Twice Donovan became engaged in hand to hand combat as Rags barked, snarled and grabbed German legs with his teeth. The Germans, usually out of food and ammunition, did not put up all out resistance. From this point on Rags greeted any grey uniformed figure with a low rrowl and snarl."

Demo-cats and Germans. All of 21st century France could learn a lesson or two from Rags.

As an aside, one of the most famous dogs to come out of WWI was Rin Tin Tin "…the puppy of German war dogs, found in Lorraine, France on 15 September 1918 by Captain Lee Duncan, in an abandoned German war dog station."


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posted by Harrison at 11:02 PM

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National Dog Week - VI - Part One

Just so ya' don't think we're all rip and tear, rip and tear… Rescue dogs have been around for thousands of years too.

One of the pioneers in the modern rescue business was (surprise) a terrier! A wire-haired fox terrier to be exact, who lived with "Bill" Barnet, a People's Royal Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA--only the Brits could come up with a name like that!) Vet Officer in charge of an Animal Rescue Squad during the Blitz.

Beauty used to go along when Barnet and his team searched the bomb damaged 1940's London for trapped pets. One night, while they were diggin' around, Beauty decided to lend a paw, diggin' on her own to find…

a cat! The little bugger was still livin', hidin' under a table. Boy, that was some selfless work--rescuin' a fe-lyin!

Eventually Beauty's efforts resulted in the rescue of sixty three animals that might otherwise have died. No word on how many were fe-lyings.

"The PDSA presented Beauty with the Pioneer Medal (normally awarded only to humans), and she received a silver mounted collar with a medal inscribed "For Services Rendered" from the Deputy Mayor of Hendon. This was presented by the Mayor of Salford where she was then living with her master who had been transferred there. In addition she was also given "the freedom of Holland Park and all the trees therein". But her greatest reward came in January 1945 when Admiral Sir Edward Evans presented her with the PDSA Dickin Medal for her gallantry. Her citation reads: "For being the pioneer dog in locating buried air raid victims while serving with the PDSA Rescue Squad"

The Dickin Medal was created by (and accordingly named for) Mrs Maria Dickin, founder of the PDSA, and was generally called "the animals VC" (Victoria Cross). It was given to any animal (even fe-lyings) who "displayed conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty associated with, or under the control of, any branch of the [British] Armed Forces or Civil Defence units during World War II and its aftermath."

Go here and scroll down for a partial list of other Dickin Medal recipients. Most recent was "Buster", a Springer Spaniel decorated for sniffin' out bomb-makin' equipment in Iraq. Previous recipients include thirty-two pigeons (it's a British medal, after all), twenty-three dogs, three horses and only one fe-lyin'.

But resuce and mercy dogs had been used lots of times before, like in the Russian Army durin' WWI.

(Continued in Read the Rest!)

Take, for example, this story from the biography Surgeon Grow: An American In The Russian Fighting, by Malcolm C. Grow, Lt. Colonel Imperial Russian Army Medical Corp.

Rescue Dog Sketch

"We had with us three Airedale terriers. They were trained to locate the wounded in thickets and brushy places where they could not be seen by our searching parties…"

Terriers again. Talk about your all purpose breed group.

"As we splashed through a communication trench, the dogs tugging at their leashes,… It was as dark as a pit as we entered the firstline trenches… In the occasional flicker of a rocket I could make out, halfway between our trenches and the Germans, a dark patch of scrubby weeds and stunted bushes. In this little thicket lay the wounded. The orderlies who had charge of the dogs lifted them up on the parapet, unsnapped their leashes, and spoke a sharp word of command: "Begone!"

"The dogs disappeared in the darkness of No Man's Land and were gone for quite a long time. I thought at first that they must have gone astray or that one of those scattering volleys from the German trenches had ended their mission of rescue. Tang! Something in our entanglements had struck a projecting piece of wire directly in front of me. A rocket shot up, and over the parapet a yard to my right I saw a shaggy head peering down. The dog held something in his mouth. I heard him whine softly... In the light of my electric torch I saw that he held in his mouth a crumpled, blood-stained cap. His master took the cap in his hand, snapped the leash on the dog's collar,…and crawled up after him, followed by two stretcher-bearers.

"The dog led them out through the barbed wire, tugging at his leash, and I followed the little party, curious to see whether he would find the owner of that cap… I crawled hurriedly on through the bush and found the little party kneeling about another dark object sprawled in the snow. The body was still warm but the hands were very cold and at the wrist I could feel only a tiny trickle of pulse. I passed my hand up to his head. The cap was gone and the hair was stiff and matted with frozen blood,… One of the orderlies had a first aid kit, and we hurriedly put on a dressing to keep the dirt out. We slid him on to the stretcher and started back, crawling and dragging the stretcher after us… The stretcher was carefully passed down to waiting hands below, and the wounded man wrapped in blankets, and we started back for the dressing station…

"Do the dogs ever take you to dead bodies?" I asked the orderly.

"No, Excellency, never," he replied. "They sometimes lead us to bodies which we think have no life in them, but when we bring them back the doctors, by careful examination, always find a spark though often very feeble. It is purely a matter of instinct, which, in this instance, is far more effective than man's reasoning powers."

You can say that again, Comrade.


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posted by Harrison at 7:59 PM

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