Who Are These Guys Tryin' to Kid?
Now that both major political parties have announced their nominees for president and vice president, the Annals of Improbable Research U.S. Presidential Election Algorithm can be used to predict the results of the upcoming November election. The algorithm was developed based on the experience of the major party candidates for president and vice president in each of the 54 U.S. presidential elections between 1789 and 2000 and correctly predicted the outcome of the 2004 election.
Well, maybe. I think they're makin' it up as they go along. You can follow the link and try to figure it out for yourselves, 'cause s'far as I'm concerned it makes no sense. But we'll play along for a while…
According to the algorithm, being a United States Senator does not contribute to one’s electability for president or vice president, so the Obama/Biden ticket has a total electability of zero.
Bein' the son of a Senator gives ya' an extra 110 points, though. And if ya' were "…an officer of a lobbying organization at the time of the election" it's a -110 points. Havin' a son who's a big time lobbyist (like Biden's) is ignored. Go figure.
In addition to his 22 years in the Senate, John McCain spent four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, giving him 4 points of presidential electability. However, he divorced his first wife (-110 electability points), so he has a total presidential electability of -106. Sarah Palin has been governor of Alaska for two years, which means she has a vice presidential electability of 2 and the McCain/Palin ticket has a total electability of -104.
Why hand out points for bein' in the House of Representatives but not in the Senate?
The algorithm thus predicts that the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden will win the election in November.
A few more problems with this "alogrithm" thingy. If you're the "…first adherent of a particular religion…to be a major-party candidate for President," ya' lose 110 points. All well 'n good, 'cept they conveniently leave out bein' the first woman on the ballot or the first African American, both of which should be given the same treatment.
But let's get down to the marrow bone: the canine component, which those fools totally ignored.
Sen. John McCain has a dog; Sen. Barack Obama does not. The Associated Press and Yahoo found that pet owners favor Senator McCain over Senator Obama, with dog owners particularly in McCain's corner. Even cat owners went for McCain. One pet owner said dog owning "tells you that they're responsible at least for something, for the care of something."
From George Washington's hounds to Calvin Coolidge's dog, Rob Roy, from Franklin Roosevelt's famous black Scottie named Fala to Gerald Ford's golden retriever named Liberty, presidential dogs have played an important part in the images of their owners.
Only Millard Fillmore and Chester Arthur had no pets—and who wants to be remembered as a Millard or a Chester. So. Let's add a few extra point for that all-important category. Own a cat, get 5 points. Own a dog, get 10. Anything else—like hippos or alligators—get 3.
Therefore, accordin' to the Harrison U.S. Presidential Election Algorithm, the Obama/Biden ticket should be at –105 (at least) since Bar-ack! is the first of a particular race to be a major party candidate for President (-110) and Biden has a cat (+5). And no, Sarah Palin doesn't get the same penalty points 'cause Geraldine A. Ferraro was the first of her gender, but McCain gets +10 for havin' dogs. That makes the real total: Obama/Biden: -105; McCain/Palin: -94
If they can juggle points, so can I.
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posted by Harrison at 12:04 AM
Friday, August 29, 2008
McCain Gets Palin—Bar-ack! Gets Poodle
Not to disparage poodles, of course, 'specially one hot little number in that obedience class. But it says a lot about the average dog-ownin' American that when the AKC ran a poll askin' 'em what kind of dog Bar-ack! should get for his kids, they voted for a poodle.
Fittin'. Poodles are intelligent and elitist with a hazy multicultural background. Some people say they came from Russia, or Germany or even Spain. But mostly it was the original surrender monkeys—the French—who developed the poodles we know today. And ya' can blame the French for that haircut, too—the French circus to be exact. Sounds about right. Combine Rodney King diplomacy with Circque de Soleil and ya' got the Bar-ack! campaign.
As the Democrats were meeting in Denver this week to crown Barack Obama as their presidential nominee, the American public selected the Poodle as its choice for his family's dog.
In a national poll of 42,000 people, the Poodle narrowly edged past the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier as the top dog for the Obamas, the American Kennel Club (AKC) said.
"It is no surprise the American public chose a Poodle for Obama," said spokeswoman Lisa Peterson, adding the breed is the eighth most popular nationally and the third most common type of dog in Washington, D.C.
I think she really means the dog, not the politicians.
The club also noted that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain already has four dogs, including a Yorkshire Terrier and a Springer Spaniel. According to the Kennel Club, McCain enjoys a 42 percent to 37 percent edge over Obama among animal lovers.
The Bush family dog, Barney, a Scottish Terrier, has become a celebrity during his eight years in the White House, complete with his own website."
Do ya' really wanna' replace terriers with--a poodle!?
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posted by Harrison at 10:28 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
From the Litter Pan
...are starvin' poor people.
Now y'all know my opinion of fe-lyings, but even I think the reference to "spoilt western cats"—as opposed to eastern cats—is a bit much. Some people will go to any lengths to spread the "hate USA" meme.
Deakin University scientist Dr Giovanni Turchini has discovered an estimated 2.48 million tonnes of forage fish—a limited biological resource—is consumed by the global cat food industry each year...
Wild forage fish, which includes sardines, herrings and anchovies, are an important link in the marine food chain, as part of the diet of larger fish like tuna and swordfish. Overfishing of marine resources is a concern to conservationists and the fishing industry.
"While much of the criticism has been on the grounds that forage fish could be better used for human consumption directly, particularly amongst the poorer nations of the world, rather than in the production of food for farmed fish, little attention has been paid to the amount of forage fish used by the pet food industry," Dr Turchini said.
Movin' on to the most interestin' part of this story—the comments:
We should blame the corporations that supply seafood for pets
andy robbins [sic], Sydney
But not the humans buyin' the fancy food for fe-lyings, right? Guess Australians never heard of the law of supply and demand.
This is outrageous that precious natural resources should be wasted on unnecessary pets. Ludicrous to the point of stupidity. Someone should pass a law making pet owners pay higher taxes to compensate. We should be feeding the needy people, not some rich white guy's cat!
Steve Vance, Los Angeles
I'm takin' a wild guess he won't be votin' Republican.
And from Bar-ack!'s hometown…
WASPS. Love animals, hate people
Ron TOugh [sic], chicago
Cats! Why did it have to be cats?
The Pentagon's crash program to create an artificial brain is just about up and running. And, if it all goes as planned, we could see an electronic chip that mimics the "function, size, and power consumption" of a cat's cortex some time in the next decade.
Function=none; size=pea; power consumption=? How much power does it take to sleep and eat, with one little surge in response to a can opener.
The goal: Build a chip with a "neuroscience-inspired architecture that can address a wide range of cognitive abilities—perception, planning, decision making, and motor control,"
Fe-lyings and congnitive abilities. Now that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
We can thank the dog God the deal with the company actually doin' the work hasn't been finalized yet (seems the press release was sent out accidently) so the world's still safe from an artifical cat brain—unless ya' count Bar-ack!
How many howlers can ya' find in this:
A cat show and feline agility competition will be held [at] Maryland State Fairground [in September]… A sign-language interpreter will be available for signing events and for individual communication.
Feline agility? Are they gonna' get awards for stickin' a hind leg in the air and lickin' their butts? Or maybe there's a special event for creative hairball hackin' and another for the dirty litter bits toss.
And what, pray tell, are those sign-language interpreters gonna' do? In case no one noticed, those of us with paws have an opposable thumbs issue. Besides, does anyone think those fe-lyings will pay attention?
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posted by Harrison at 10:57 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
O tempora, o mores!
Dogs are becoming more intelligent and are even learning morals from human contact, scientists claim.
Much as I'd like to toss out a big ole' "See, I Told Ya' So," I don't think that openin' statement matches the article. 'Course we have morals, s'long as a hot babe doesn't wander in or someone leaves a rib bone or two unattended.
Which, of course, proves my point.
They say the fact that dogs' play rarely escalates into a fight shows the animals abide by social rules.
The operational word here is "rarely." Yeah, we pack animals have social rules, and the Alphas are always recognized. But, that can go right out the window when two Alpha's come nose-to-teeth in the show ring. The dogs soon follow.
During one study, dogs which held up a paw were rewarded with a food treat.
Amateur. I did a whole hell of a lot more for a food treat.
When a lone dog was asked to raise its paw but received no treat, the researchers found it begged for up to 30 minutes.
We canines have learned persistence counts—which is why there's a growin' problem with pet obesity. And we tend to believe what we've been taught, just like the average human. How else do ya' explain why ya'll are still buyin' into that global warmin' crap?
But when they tested two dogs together but rewarded only one, the dog which missed out soon stopped playing the game.
Well, d'uh. Like you humans never did the "I’m gonna' take my ball and go home!" routine? Why d'ya' think Demo-cats make sure they keep feedin' the hands that pull the lever.
Dr Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna, who led the study, said: 'Dogs show a strong aversion to inequity. I would prefer not to call it a sense of fairness, but others might.'
Oh, pu-leese! Send me the grant money this fe-lyin' raked in for his study. Anyone who thinks we canines 'show a strong aversion to inequity' has never tossed a steak bone into the middle of a pack. Stealin' each other's food without getting' caught by tooth or claw or AHM is an art form 'round here.
Human's inclination to invest dogs with human-like states of mind isn't as unscientific as it might appear as they really do have some remarkable mental skills that allow them to thrive in their strange habitat—our world.
Specifically your kitchen.
Dr Peter Pongracz from Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, and colleagues have produced evidence dog barks contain information that people can understand. They found even people who have never owned a dog can recognise the emotional 'meaning' of barks produced in various situations, such as when playing, left alone and confronted by a stranger.
It's so easy even a caveman can do it—and have been doin' it since the first wolf crashed the local barbeque.
At the forum in Budapest, Dr Akiko Takaoka from Kyoto University in Japan described as-yet unpublished work that examined what is going on inside a dog's mind when it hears a stranger's voice. She played dogs a series of recordings of unfamiliar voices—both male and female—with each voice followed by a photo of a human face on a screen. If the gender of the face did not match that of the voice, the dogs stared longer, a sign that their expectations had been violated. …'This suggests dogs generate an internal visual representation of a male or female correlated with the voice.' [Dr. Takaoka] suggests that this ability to infer information about a person from their voice alone might help dogs communicate with people.
There's no inferin' about it. We've seen this little experiment in action for years. Humans give commands usin' all sorts of vocal variations. We know exactly who means what they're sayin' and who ya' can ignore. When I was just a pup, we were visitin' a friend when another acquaintence showed up with two rambunctous dobermans. The owner was moanin' 'bout how hard it was to get 'em to behave. I got relegated to the car and AHM bet the owner a lobster dinner she not only could get them to behave, but ignore any commands the owner tried to give. In case you're wonderin', don't expect to collect on a bet like that when ya' reeeeaaally embarrass the owner.
It is generally accepted that a few other animals, including great apes, are capable of this mind reading to some extent, but it is nevertheless a quality reserved for only the most intelligent of species.
Considerin' most humans can't read minds, this is a huge leap. Just to clear things up, we're not readin' your mind, we're readin' your face and body language. And we can tell the difference between who's pretendin' to be an Alpha and who's the real deal. Kinda' like choosin' between Bar-ack! and McCain.
But Dr Alexandra Horowitz from Barnard College in New York prefers the term "theory of behaviour" to describe dogs' apparent insight. She said: 'I think there is a massive territory between a theory of mind and a theory of behaviour.'
She's a professor from New York, figures we can't think for ourselves, and claims behavior modification is the answer. I'm guessin' she's a Demo-cat.
Read the rest
posted by Harrison at 10:48 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Bar-ack! Reveals Military Plan
Don't believe me? Well, check the URL.
Dug up at Dave Barry's Blog
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posted by Harrison at 10:46 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Steps to Take to Train Your Demo-cat Voter
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Mason stresses the importance of simple, short sentences. […] Consistency counts, too. "Use the same words and the same phrases," she continues.
Taxtherich, taxtherich, taxtherich…
"The way you perceive cats is the way they're going to act," Mason warns.
Voters are lazy, stupid and greedy. Give 'em money and they'll vote Demo-cat.
CONSIDER TAG TEAMS
"Cats learn visually by seeing another cat" do what the owner requests, Mason says. So, if you are teaching the command "sit," hold a treat in each hand, lure each cat into sitting, and reward the cat who complies first.
Also known as gettin' a college education.
WILL WORK FOR FOOD
Cats, like people, need motivation, and they should be rewarded and reinforced for doing what you ask.
That one's just too easy…
FIRST, PROVIDE SOLUTIONS
If your cats are scratching the furniture, the first step is to get them in the habit of using a scratching pad or post. "Then you can start to deter them from where you don't want them to scratch," Mason advises.
Bushitler, Bushitler, Bushitler… Vote Obama or you're racist.
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posted by Harrison at 11:20 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Canine Summer Games
Wile E. Coyote Air Run Divin'
Referee throws a ball, fristbee, or stick toward a body of water. Two competitors race one another to retrieve the object, runnin' off the edge of a pool or dock. Points are awarded for distance of air run with legs still in motion; form durin' entry into said water; and time elapsed before competitors realize they've been suckered. Bonus points for flips, belly flops, 180o air turns, and actually retrievin' the object. This is a low-scorin' event since the judges are usually laughin' too hard to count.
Reverse Standin' Long Jump
Athlete dives beneath low-growin' bush to follow a mystery scent. Event is scored by distance of backward leap when live varmint is encountered. Bonus points for spins, twists, and actually bringin' the quarry into the open. Deductions for trashin' the bush. Disqualification (and a vet visit) for eatin' whatever the hell was under the bush.
Two opponents vie to dribble a shrew across a freshly polished tile floor without allowin' it to slide out of bounds or the door. Goals scored for smackin' the shrew into the food or water bowls. This is a fast and furious game since it must be completed before AHM discovers we brought a live shrew into the house.
Athletes pursue a squirrel across the yard, vaultin' off lawn chairs, chaises, and/or tables. Points awarded for body extension, height/length of vault, and not landin' on your nose. Deductions for knockin' over tables or breakin' flowerpots. Bonus points for rememberin' there's a kiddy pool set up in the back yard.
Variation is the 100m Cat Hurdles where athletes race a felyin' to the border fence. Disqualification if ya' chase the fe-lyin' up a tree and AHM has get it down.
There are still no Fe-lyin' Olympics 'cause they're—well—fe-lyings.
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posted by Harrison at 10:13 PM
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Chastity Belts 'n Clonin'
A few days ago The Poodle and Dog Blog posted 'bout the birth of those cloned puppies.
I remember takin' one look at the—ah—person involved and decidin' the woman had to be more than a little weird. First, she cloned a pit bull. Second, it was a pit bull named Booger.
No surprise here that I was right. Accordin' to various news sources, Ms. McKinney was a serial abuser on a whole bunch of different levels.
From The London Times:
"Before her dog, Booger, was cloned, it was treated at a [Newland, North Carolina] veterinary clinic but Miss McKinney was so erratic as a client that she had been banned by at least two local vets. Police were also once called to treat her horse after a complaint of abuse but no charges were filed. A social worker, psychiatrist and others also mounted a “group intervention”. […]
"[Kevin] Frye said that Ms McKinney had not lived in [Avery County, North Carolina] since he became sheriff at the end of 2006. However, she had a record that included an arrest on July 14, 2004, for communicating threats and cruelty to animals."
The Australian has all the salacious details of her other kinds of abuse.
"The former [Miss Wyoming], who drew headlines after mortgaging her home to have her dead dog cloned, was outed by a British newspaper yesterday as the same woman who, 30 years ago, fled England after being charged in a bizarre sex crime case. […]
"…McKinney thrilled British tabloid readers in 1978 when she faced charges over kidnapping [6'4"] Mormon missionary, Kirk Anderson, whom she chained to a bed with mink handcuffs and forced to have sex. She famously said of her victim: "I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mt Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to."
"The pair had a brief affair when they were both studying drama in the US. A few years later, Ms McKinney, then 28, tracked Mr Anderson, 21, to Ewell in Surrey, where he had been posted as a missionary, and kidnapped him. After failing to persuade him to marry her and father her children, she donned see-through lingerie and forced him to have sex with her, reportedly resolutely overcoming his Mormon chastity belt. He finally escaped and Ms McKinney was arrested."
Chastity belt? A Mormon chastity belt? I don't know 'bout you, but the next time a pair of those button-down guys rings our doorbell I'm gonna' be thinkin' bolt cutters.
The London Times reported at the time that Ms. McKinney was released on bail after three months because of failing mental health. Geeze. What the hell was their first clue?
"She fled the country using a false passport. [In 1984] she was arrested near Salt Lake City Airport, where Kirk Anderson was working. In her car, police found rope and handcuffs.
"By the late 1990s, Joyce McKinney was back in her home state of North Carolina, dogged by ill health and often in a wheelchair, living on benefits in a remote holding with three ponies and a fiercely devoted pit bull called Hamburger for company. "I love those pit bulls," she explained. "They're such sympathetic animals."
There's so much that can be said 'bout that statement, but I think I'll leave it to your imagination…
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posted by Harrison at 9:20 PM
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Politics and the Wisdom of Dogs
If ya' wanna' know how things should be done, pay attention to the dog.
One of the Republican leadership is throwin' a hissy fit 'bout President Bush goin' to China instead of callin' a special session of Congress to vote on oil drillin'.
Even more interestin' is the Demo-cat congressman from Maine callin' on the Republican Senator from Maine to ask for the same thing—as if he couldn't do it himself. Well, probably not 'cause he was the one who cast the decidin' vote on adjournment so it would look sorta' silly. (Final vote on that was 213-212.) 'Course now that Pee-lousey gave "endangered" Demo-cats permission to vote "aye" on the drillin', they want a do-over.
Bush isn't sayin' anythin', but his spokeman is:
"Democratic leaders need to hear from their constituents, from the American people, who support expanding domestic drilling by overwhelming majorities. […] If congressional Democrats listen to their constituents, they will put these issues on the floor for votes when they return."
In other words, ya' made your bed now ya' gotta' lie in it.
Which brings me to the video…
Here's a canine tryin' to get an entrenched fe-lyin' outta' his bed. First he tries draggin' the fool over to his way of thinkin', which never works and is waaay too much work. Then he tries playin' nice, waggin' his tail and askin' politely which generates the typical Demo-cat response—a swat in the face. Finally, he takes extreme measures…
It's the only way to handle fe-lyings and Demo-cats.
Liver Snaps® to Don Surber, Instapundit, and Mostly Dogs Blog.
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posted by Harrison at 11:45 PM
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Tink and the Mouse
And yes, I am glad You Tube wasn't around when we decided to do our version of Mousehunt.
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posted by Harrison at 3:42 PM
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Can I keep Him, Mom?
Dug up at Mostly Dogs Blog.
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posted by Harrison at 9:33 PM
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The Grrr-illa Congress…
Most of ya' have read about what happened in The People's House on Friday, and if ya' haven't, the blow-by-blow is here. (Scroll down and read up.)
Probably the first time in a century and a half that chamber has seen democracy in the raw.
As I was making my way over to the House chamber, I could hear the crowds inside chanting, "Drill! Drill! Drill!" Families, staff members and press were sitting in the gallery space above the floor listening to one speech after another - there were even some families and staff members sitting down on the floor - when one of the members came to the floor and said,
"The Capitol Police are going to be closing the Chamber in a few minutes, which means all of you are going to have to leave. But we're not going to let that happen. Instead, we want everyone in the gallery - yes, everyone - to come down to the floor so they can't kick you out of the Capitol. Members will be coming up to escort you downstairs right now."
And sure enough, one member after another starting bringing groups of us down to the floor. The place was packed and people continue to come into the chamber as members were speaking without microphones from the central pit in front of the dais. […] People were shouting out from the crowd that they wanted the Democrats to come back to debate this issue, members were requesting the President to exercise his constitutional right to request the House to come back from recess to debate gas prices, and when I left the floor five or six Congressmen were hosting a press conference outside the chamber.
According to one speaker, forty-eight members had come to the floor to speak for a total of more than five hours.
Wish I coulda' seen that! One member turned his car around and came back to speak while another got off a plane as it was ready to leave to join the Rebellion. Seems the spirit of Han Solo is alive and well in Republican congressmen.
Dug up at The National Review Online.
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posted by Harrison at 10:54 PM
Friday, August 01, 2008
From Death to Life to Soul Mates Rejoined
"Dear Drs., please forgive me for this horrible transgression. I have no where else to turn so I ask you to mercifully, gently and lovingly please help him sleep. His name is Kaiser and he's 16-and-a half years old. He's been my friend, my teacher, my pupil, my lifelong loving and loyal companion,"
…and we're all thankin' the dog God it didn't end there.
"On the envelope, the author of the letter said that he thought Kaiser had two strokes the night before.
"Be good to him as you would your own child, for he's been mine for a loving lifetime," the envelope read.
"Inside, the writer continued to pour his heart out.
"We've been together 24-7 365 days a year since he was 8 months old. He's gentle, smart, and I'll miss him more than I could admit. Saturday evening, without warning or any outside influence, he began rolling on his back on the floor, all four legs extended, rigid and thrusting wildly in all directions. I saw fear and panic in his otherwise unrecognizable eyes. His head was pulled down to his right, and he seemed unable to do otherwise. If I had to render a guess I would say it appeared as though he had a stroke. He can stand, but 85 percent unsteady. He's fearfully reacting to attempts to get him to drink water. He refuses food as though he's totally lost knowledge of what to do with food."
"I'm a homeless disabled vet, and I know when it's time to say goodbye to a friend, and it's time now. He's such a part of my being, I'll once again be alone in my life. I love you Kaiser, thank you for caring, sincerely, Kaiser's Soul Mate."
"Debbie Herot, a manager at Pet Medical Center Chatoak in Granada Hills, found the letter and the dog on the clinic doorstep as she came in to work last week. Though she tries to keep an emotional distance from the pets she sees, in this case, she couldn't do it. "After you're in this business for so long you learn to look the other way, because we have to euthanize animals. This one i couldn't euthanize," Herot said.
(Continued in Read the Rest!)
"Instead, Herot tried to turn another loss into a gain. Last year, 23-year-old clinic employee Eric Flesher died in a car crash. Herot said he used to hate seeing animals come in that couldn't get treatment because their owners couldn't afford the cost of the care. So after his death, his family set up a fund to help animals like Kaiser. It's likely Flesher would be happy with how it was used in this case.
"Herot said it turned out that Kaiser hadn't had a stroke, but a much less serious illness that he is now almost fully recovered from. With Kaiser doing better and the words of the letter still ringing in their heads, clinic employees set out to find Kaiser's owner.
"The story of the homeless vet's letter eventually made it into the ear of Daily News columnist Dennis McCarthy. He ran titled: "Dear Veteran: Your best pal's waiting to go home." It ran on the front page - above the fold.
"The story got KTLA's attention, and we went out to the clinic to film a segment about the search for Kaiser's owner. We didn't have to wait long for the happy ending everybody was hoping for. While we were there filming, Bob Mikolasko showed up at the clinic. He had seen the story in the Daily News.
"After correctly answering some questions about Kaiser that only he would know, Herot became convinced they found Kaiser's "Soul Mate." More evidence came when they were reunited, with Kaiser's tail wagging so vigorously it looked as though it was going to knock our camera off balance. Before he left, Mikolasko thanked the staff profusely and - summing up his feelings - proved to be just as poignant with the spoken word, as he had been with the written.
"When you leave your house in the morning and go to work and you don't see them until you come back, well, that's one lifestyle. You develop a rapport. I spent 11 years in a motor home living on the streets here, 24-7 with him. There was no baby sitter. There's no break. There's no summer vacation. There's no going to work - when I go to work he goes with me," Mikolasko said.
"With that type of relationship, Mikolasko said you become more than just owner and pet.
"You end up with a lot different understanding and relationship with your pet... and he was never looked at as a pet, he was always a part of, me."
"Thanks to everyone who helped, he still is."
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posted by Harrison at 12:49 PM