Late Night Open Thread: Why Can’t We All Get Along?

Orangutans rule OOK!*


* As do librarians, but that’s another story for another day.

(H/t commentor Paddy)


One of these two ADORABLE puppies (and check out mama’s nose in the upper left corner) will be my brother’s new BFF:

He is going through Kyloe Kennels, and the mother and father are Pia and Pyloe.

Also, my sister and I guilted him so much about not getting a rescue dog that he is going to make a sizable donation to a rescue fund of my sister’s choosing. So it all works out in the end, I guess.

* Puppy to be named later

Always Have A Buddy At Your Back

From today’s New York Times, “For the Battle-Scarred, Comfort at Leash’s End“:

[…] In August, Jacob Hyde got his service dog, Mya, from Puppies Behind Bars, a program based in New York State that uses prisoners to raise and train dogs for lives of service. The organization has placed 23 dogs with veterans with P.T.S.D. in the last two years, training them to obey 87 different commands.
“If I didn’t have legs, I would have to crawl around,” said Mr. Hyde, 25. “If I didn’t have Mya, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house.”
If Mr. Hyde says “block,” the dog will stand perpendicularly in front of him to keep other people at a distance. If he asks Mya to “get his back,” the dog will sit facing backward by his side.
The dogs are trained to jolt a soldier from a flashback, dial 911 on a phone and even sense a panic attack before it starts. And, perhaps most important, the veterans’ sense of responsibility, optimism and self-awareness is renewed by caring for the dogs.
The dogs help soldiers understand “what’s happening as it’s happening, what to do about it, and then doing it,” said Joan Esnayra, a geneticist whose research team has received $300,000 from the Defense Department to study the issue. “You can use your dog kind of like a mirror to reflect back your emotional tenor.”
Under a bill written by Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, veterans with P.T.S.D. will get service dogs as part of a pilot program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Training a psychiatric service dog and pairing it with a client costs more than $20,000. The government already helps provide dogs to soldiers who lost their sight or were severely wounded in combat, but had never considered placing dogs for emotional damage…

While it’s not the focus of this article, these service dogs are helping rescue two sets of lost human souls. My dog guru in the Midwest helped start a different program to pair “throw-away” shelter dogs with… well, “throw-away” humans in the prison system, selected prisoners who earn a coveted slot for schooling as dog groomers and trainers. She thought that after twenty years of dog rescue, she’d be immune to horror stories, but it breaks her heart all over again to find out how many people have never known anything but coercion, force, and threats in their lives. Thank Goddess for dogs, who forgive.

(Photo swiped, with permission, from commentor Yutsano‘s Flicker; hat tip to commentor Mai Naem for the article)

Early Morning Open Thread

The Post Office is releasing a half-pane (set of 10) stamps in support of Adopting a Shelter Pet. You can even buy a mug with your favorite pet on it!

On the one hand, as the housekeeper for three rescue dogs and two-out-of-three rescue cats, I approve of anything that supports the concept. And the stamps are really cute. On the other hand, back when I was a stamp collector in middle school (late 1960s), the joke was that the “pretty” stamps with pictures of animals came from Communist satellite nations where nobody could agree on political topics, or from pathetic ex-colonies trading kitschy artwork for foreign currency. So I guess it’s time to admit that if America has, at the very least, condemned its national postal service to Third-World status…

Pet Rescue NCAA Hoops Open Thread

If you’ve been intending to go buy swag from the Balloon Juice store (link here, or click the Tunch icon to the right), now would be a great time to do it. There is a month-end, tiered bonus based on total sales that can really add up once we hit a certain level. Charlie’s Angels will be receiving their first check in a few weeks. From store launch on Feb. 13 through the 28, over $800 was raised. That money will be used to rescue animals like this sweet German Shepherd:

Brook was wandering stray with wounds on her paws, having been hit and rolled by a car. Animal Control reached her owner who told them to put her down since he could not afford the vet bills. They talked him into allowing Charlie’s Angels to pull her from the kill shelter. Evelyn Bridges took her to the vet and after x-rays, vaccinations and an overnight stay, the bills totaled $246. Brook is hoping to join a family with a male Shepherd in need of a nice lady friend.

This week alone, Charlie’s Angels has paid $240 to have four dogs spay/neutered and heartworm tested (that’s a typical week); $200 for kenneling due to lack of foster homes (at a greatly discounted price); and $315 in vaccinations, also offered at a large discount. Since the first of January, Charlie’s Angels has pulled 111 dogs, 12 cats and two bunnies from the Transylvania County Shelter. You can see how poor and inadequate the conditions are in the lower photo.

All Balloon Juice Cafe Press profits go to the rescuing of shelter animals. Every dollar helps!

In other news- GO MOUNTAINEERS!