The power of plastic! This turtle likely crawled through a discarded plastic ring of a 6-pack of beer or soda when it was a baby, and now is being forever strangled in a plastic hangman’s noose! Share this if you are not OK with it. #jeffcorwin #recycle
Think about this the next time you go out for Chinese dinner in the U.S. or anywhere else. Are you really sure what you are eating?
And stop supporting a country, a society, people who think this is okay. Stop buying Chinese products until this changes. China has a horrific record on both human rights and the treatment of animals and they have poisoned our kids with led toys in Happy Meals; they have sold us bad pet food over and over again that has killed hundreds if not thousands of American pets; and they manipulate their currency to destroy ours (the currencies of the west).
These disturbing images show dogs being cooked and served up as a meal in a grim Chinese tradition.
The animals are chopped up and cooked in front of diners – despite a growing anti-cruelty campaign.
A group of Chinese activists in Yulin City, Guangxi province, descended on the dog meat market campaigning against eating the animals.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Takeaway: A cage full of dogs is lifted like just another type of cargo
Grim: The dogs arrive alive in cages ready to be killed, cut up and cooked at the meat market in Yulin City, Guangxi province, China
Artist Pian Shan Kong knelt down in front of the dead animals confessing for people’s sins as he apologized to the dead animals during the demonstration.
China is yet to make animal cruelty illegal and end the grim tradition despite campaigning by animal rights activists.
Pet lovers’ associations have sprung up in Chinese cities over recent years.
While many Chinese enjoy rich dog meat, especially during cold winters, some object to the practice in some regions of beating dogs to death to release the blood into the meat.
A real dogs dinner: A disturbing picture of a dog dish being prepared in China
Dog dinner: Diners tuck into a meal which includes dog in Yulin, Guangxi province, China. The tradition dates back thousands of years
When food is scarce, dogs are eaten as an emergency food source around China in a practice which is seen as socially acceptable.
As the country becomes more affluent, a growing number of families are buying dogs as pets fuelling the growing campaign against animal cruelty.
In April, more than 500 dogs set to be slaughtered were saved when the truck they were being carried in to the slaughterhouse was intercepted by activists.
Many of the 505 creatures had barely survived their terrible ordeal, having endured cramped conditions and a lack of water during their near 1,000 mile journey by road.
But rescue came too late for 11 dogs which had succumbed to dehydration and exposure.
Grim: The dead animals lie scattered about ready to be cooked up and eaten in a Chinese restaurant
Dog dining: People tuck into dog meals in a restaurant in China in a grim tradition
Dog meat: The animals being prepared for a meal and a living dog, right
Chinese meal: Diners tuck into dishes in a restaurant which include dog
Every animal, especially domesticated animals (pets) deserve to be treated humanely!! We are all God’s Creatures!!
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -Mahatma Gandhi
When you look at our shelter system, we don’t do a very good job ourselves… but China (Asia)’s record is abhorrent!
July 1, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | 2 Comments
One of my dreams for quite some time has been to purchase land (in the US) and set up a temporary (and forever for some) haven for pets/animals. I would love to hire some computer wiz-kids to set up a national registry to connect all the shelters, rescues, etc. around the country so people looking for them, a particular pet can find them. Then set-up a network to transport the pets to the people who want them, their forever homes. And for those who need longer, they could come to us, to the center, until their forever home comes available or their forever parents find them.
I believe there is a forever home for every pet… for every animal and they we are all God’s creatures, so need to work together.
Marion at JOMP~
So this really touches my heart!!
Ayesha Chundrigar with an ACF shelter dog. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY: AYESHA CHUNDRIGAR FOUNDATION
Growing up in a house full of pets gave Ayesha Chundrigar an informal, intuitive education in empathy and respect for animals at a young age. She was only nine years old when she began volunteering at an orphanage during her summer holidays, and by the age of 15 she was teaching at various non-profit schools in katchi abadis around Islamabad, where she was living at the time. She was also helping at refugee camps in the city in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan, but her true altruism shone through when she launched her NGO, the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF), in Karachi, which among other things, aims at giving a voice to the voiceless – animals.
Apart from the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), ACF is now the second non-profit organisation which aims to rescue abandoned, abused or injured stray animals. Chundrigar who took up the challenge of managing and maintaining Edhi Foundation’s animal shelter in Karachi, says that the place was in an abysmal state when she first visited it. “There were animal carcasses and dead puppies and donkeys lying in pools of blood. I still have nightmares about it,” she says. “I found the number of a vet listed on a board close to the shelter and gave him a call saying he had to help me and that was it.”
All animals coexist in perfect harmony at the shelter.
Chundrigar started with four dogs and some savings. The shelter now houses over 100 animals, including donkeys, dogs, cats, eagles and pigeons. Although she has used up all her savings, she finds her job truly worthwhile. ACF has rescued over 600 animals in Karachi and has long-term plans of opening its own animal sanctuary instead of only managing Edhi’s animal shelter. “We have been given a piece of land for 10 years and we are ready to begin construction,” informs Chundrigar, adding that the new shelter will be able to house over 300 animals, with designated sections for donkeys, cats, dogs and other rescued animals.
Although the current shelter lacks electricity and water supplies, the Edhi Foundation is making do. They are preparing to install a water tank and solar panels. The animals are fed fresh food every morning and there is a general atmosphere of hope and recovery. “Our cats and puppies eat together and play together,” says Chundrigar. “I can stay and look at these sights forever.”
But this is not always the case. “Dogs have come in a paralysed and crippled [state] or with horrific wounds, but I’m lucky enough to see miracles every day. These animals [eventually] become strong, loving creatures that shower you with unconditional love.”
Dr Farid nurses the fore limbs of a donkey at one of the camps.
At the present, ACF’s core team of seven members, including Chundrigar, volunteer. The only ones on a payroll are their three veterinarians: Dr Khalid Memon, ACF’s senior vet who is a professor at the Baqai Veterinary College in Karachi, Ghulam Farid, a junior vet who is a final year veterinary student at Baqai, and Salman Wali, a manager and trainee vet at Baqai. Together they embrace the animals that society discards.
With the help of Edhi Foundation’s service, ACF conducts most of its rescue missions around the city in an ambulance. Public transport, however, is also used by vets when the ambulance is unavailable. Once the injured animal has been rescued, its wounds are treated and then begins the long rehabilitation process.
Ayesha Chundrigar with her team at a recent donkey camp.
Although most rescue operations end on a happy note, some have tragic endings. When Chundrigar first saw the image of a female dog, with a disfigured face lying on the ground almost lifeless, on Facebook, she didn’t just comment on the extreme sorrow she felt, instead she took a hands-on approach. “Five of her puppies were snuggled near her tummy [in the picture] and I sent my team to rescue them [from Chundrigar Road],” she says. “The wounds … were definitely a few days old, her eye sockets were empty and she was severely dehydrated and malnourished, but by some miracle she stayed alive to feed her babies. We bandaged her up and started her treatment,” she says, adding that the puppies were fed formula milk although their mother was still determined to feed them herself. Although after a day the dog had gained enough strength to stand up on its own and take a few steps, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. “Unfortunately her wounds were too deep and after I petted her for hours and gently explained to her that I’d take care of her puppies, she let go.”
But dampened spirits don’t last at ACF for long as the team finds solace in the animals they have successfully rescued and rehabilitated. Bravo, a dog so thin and malnourished that he could barely lift his head, was nursed to health by Farid who was determined to see him stand on his feet. After several blood tests, X-rays and consistent monitoring, Bravo has not only regained its health but is currently ACF’s guard dog. “[Bravo is the] biggest, strongest and healthiest dogs at the shelter,” Chundrigar says proudly. “He gives me the warmest, most welcoming hugs every time I see him.”
ACF also holds regular donkey camps. “The way donkeys are treated in this country kills me and I wanted to somehow change that,” says Chundrigar. “The donkey camps started with literally just me and my senior vet standing on the roadside in [areas where donkey-carts are readily used], asking people to let us medically treat their donkeys for free.” While initially Chundrigar’s team was met with suspicion, with some cart owners believing that they were here to harm their sole source of income, they soon warmed up to them once they were convinced that the team was only there to help. Over 50 donkeys are fed and treated free of charge twice a month, in various parts of Karachi, including Sohrab Goth, Korangi and Nipa Chowrangi. ACF also conducted a ‘hydration drive’ last year when biscuits and chilled water bottles were distributed to people around the city.
Dr Farid gives one of the dogs eye treatment at the Edhi Foundation animal shelter along the highway.
Like PAWS, ACF relies heavily on social media to raise awareness about animal cruelty in Pakistan. “People see updates on our animal rescue activities and donkey camps and want to help out,” says Chundrigar. And it was through Facebook that Chundrigar teamed up with Zain Mustafa, an architect and die-hard animal lover, who is now a part of ACF’s core team. Many have even shown interest in adopting ACF’s rescued animals. “The encouraging part is that people are positive towards something being done for animals in this country,” she says. And while on the topic of showing compassion towards animals in the country, Mustafa adds, “It can be done by introducing the value of animals into our mainstream education system and curriculum at a very early age… By getting children to physically interact with a variety of animals and bridge the widening gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’.”
ACF’s second project is also currently in the pipeline. It will aim to provide a therapeutic centre for healing that will focus on conducting individual counseling, art therapy and support groups. “We will be working with sexually and physically abused women, children and transgenders. [The project] will also include education for donkey-cart owners that, I believe, will gradually help change their behaviour towards the animals,” says Chundrigar, who is training to become a certified counselor.
But with limited funding, the ACF can only do so much. Although people have been donating cash and tangibles such as food via the information provided to them on social media, the funds are trickling in slowly. “What we get is enough to manage our current animals’ food and medical treatment,” says Chundrigar, adding that the monthly cost for food and supplies at the shelter is well over Rs100,000 and keeps increasing as the organisation rescues more animals each day. “We still need help starting our new shelter, acquiring ambulances and starting an inner-city emergency unit.”
Even though Chundrigar is positive about the path ahead for ACF, she admits that for Pakistan, animal welfare and charity is something quite “out of the ordinary,” with people often mocking her work. “They said I was crazy to think I could do something for animals because the situation is too far gone. Also, it’s an uphill battle explaining to people why animals deserve love and a chance at having a better life.”
Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation
Iban number: Pk33BAHL1036008100660001
Account number: 10360081006600012
Bank Al Habib, Kh-e-Hafiz Branch, Karachi.
For food donations and volunteering queries, please write to:
Sonya Rehman is a writer/journalist based in Lahore. She tweets @sonyarehman
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 15th, 2014.
Please Donate if you Can!!
June 27, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | 3 Comments
LionPaws via Facebook
A student named Max, front, and other children snuggle and play with puppies at the Lionheart School in Alpharetta, Georgia. The puppies will go on to become service dogs for war veterans and others with disabilities.
For many children with autism, social interactions with strangers can be awkward and anxiety-inducing. But if the stranger is a gentle golden retriever puppy with huge paws and a quiet snore, something remarkable happens.
Throw a puppy into the mix, and the uneasiness tends to melt away.
“It’s just amazing,” said Elizabeth Dulin, co-founder and head of the Lionheart School, which serves students with autism in Alpharetta, Georgia. “When our kids interact with the dogs, we see reduced anxiety levels. … They become calm and focused.”
One 11-year-old student named Max can quickly identify all seven of the puppies romping around the school. How can he name them so effortlessly when they look so similar? That’s easy.
“Because I love them,” Max told WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
WXIA / 11Alive.com
Max, 11, converses with anyone who will listen about a puppy in his care during a field trip to a Target store.
Lionheart is home base for a new partnership with the paws4people foundation, which trains service dogs for war veterans, disabled kids and adults. Dubbed the “LionPaws Puppy Development Center,” the fledgling program sees to it that the future service dogs help as many people as possible throughout their training.
The puppies spend the first four months of their lives at Lionheart, where they befriend the school’s 39 students. The kids hold the puppies, talk to the puppies, bathe the puppies and go on field trips with the puppies — all the while socializing the animals and preparing them for more advanced obedience training ahead.
LionPaws via Facebook - As this puppy trains to become a service dog, it will touch the lives of many humans in need.
The next stop is an inmate intervention program, where prisoners in good standing teach the puppies 125 commands and train them to open and close doors, turn lights on and off and perform other tasks. Inmates entrusted with the dogs’ training get more than a sense of purpose — they also receive recent job experience that can help them find employment when they get released.
The final phase of the dogs’ training happens at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, where paws4people is based. Animal-loving students get college credit for making sure the dogs are fully prepared to go to their new homes — often with war veterans who are physically disabled or who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
LionPaws via Facebook - Getting socialized: Puppies go down a slide with Lionheart students.
paws4people has been training service dogs for 14 years. The newest segment of socialization and training for some puppies — spending time with children with autism — began in January of this year. The results so far have been “nothing short of miraculous,” said Sarah Rosenbaum, director of the LionPaws Puppy Development Center.
Rosenbaum said she’s seen non-verbal children become chatty around the puppies, and she’s seen children with motor-skill deficits get up and run to see the puppies.
“They’re just so excited, which really is such a source of pride for me,” she told TODAY.com. “The children are providing for the puppies, and the puppies are providing for the children.”
LionPaws via Facebook - The puppies get plenty of affection during the first four months of their lives at the Lionheart School.
Lionheart’s first batch of seven puppies is about to move on to the inmate intervention phase of their training, and a new pile of puppies will arrive at the school soon. Five members of the school’s staff have become certified as dog handlers, and that makes it possible for one older service dog named LANGLEY to stay at the school year-round.
Dulin, the head of the Lionheart School, said LANGLEY and the puppies have been helping students to make social and emotional connections. On field trips to Target or to a nursing home, the children often will open up and make conversation with strangers about the puppies. Or when a student is having a bad day, a furry friend can help them regain a sense of normalcy.
“A lot of our kids have difficulty regulating their emotions,” Dulin told TODAY.com. “One little girl who deals with a lot of anxiety was riding in carpool one morning, and a boy who rides with her slammed his finger in the door. This little girl started crying and she could not stop.”
The girl locked herself, wailing, inside a bathroom stall and refused to come out. A teacher knew just what to do: Launch Operation LANGLEY. She brought LANGLEY into the bathroom and sat on the floor until the girl was ready to let the dog into her space.
“About three minutes later, the teacher saw a little ‘thumbs up’ sticking out from under the stall door,” Dulin said. “LANGLEY went into the stall, calmed her down, and then the two walked to class together. And she had been inconsolable — without LANGLEY, we probably would have needed to call her parents.”
LionPaws via Facebook - Puppies take a break while playing with Lionheart students.
Research regarding the effects of companion animals on kids with autism is limited but encouraging. One study published last year revealed that children with autism spectrum disorder were more likely to talk, laugh, make eye contact and show other positive social behaviors in the presence of guinea pigs than they were in the presence of toys.
And in her 2010 paper “What a Dog Can Do: Children with Autism and Therapy Dogs in Social Interaction,” researcher Olga Solomon highlighted cases of dogs helping children to communicate and connect emotionally with others around them. As Solomon noted in her paper, “dogs lead humans elsewhere, and this elsewhere is often better than where we have been before.”
June 16, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | 4 Comments
UCLA Shutterbug – Wyoming Outing
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
UCLA Schutterbug - Kisses for Schatze
Reddit/orangefever - Just Wrestling
UCLA Shutterbug - Having a PowWow
UCLA Shutterbug - Whole Family is Asleep… Pups 7-Weeks Old
June 7, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | animal activists, animal cruelty, Animals Lovers, Be Prepared, be proactive, common sense, Dog Deaths, for the love of a pet, get involved, Heat, Hot Cars, JOMP, Just One More Pet, Knowledge Is Power, man's best friend, pet deaths, pet safety, Stop Animal Cruelty, Summer | 3 Comments
Lone Survivor – Book
May 25, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Service and Military Animals, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | 10 Comments
The T.J. O’Connor Animal Shelter is treating a year-old male Schnauzer-terrier mix that was injured when tossed from a car in Chicopee. (Submitted photo)
CHICOPEE — A small dog that was tossed from a moving car and run over Wednesday morning is being treated for injuries after another motorist rescued the dog and brought him to the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Adoption and Control Center for emergency care.
“He just scooped him off the street and brought him in,” said Dr. Lauren Atkins, a veterinarian with the facility.
The dog, a year-old, unneutered male schnauzer-terrier mix, appeared to suffer a broken leg. He weighs about 7 pounds.
The dog was given fluids and medication to control the pain, she said.
Atkins said the dog is considered in stable condition and remains under watch at the O’Connor facility.
“The next 24 to 48 hours are critical,” she said. The dog could have suffered internal bleeding, bruised lungs or other internal injuries that were not apparent in the initial examination. He is scheduled to go for X-rays on Thursday, she said.
“All things considering, he’s pretty lucky,” she said. “There’s no head trauma or broken spine. In the grand scheme of things, he’s lucky.”
The good Samaritan who brought the dog to the shelter told staff that he was driving on Carew Street near East Street, just over the line from Springfield, when he saw the dog come sailing out the window. He landed on the road and was struck by one of the rear tires, Atkins said.
The man told staff he was not sure if the dog was run over deliberately, but said there is no question that he was thrown out of the car on purpose, Atkins said.
The Law Enforcement arm of the MSPCA has been contacted and has started an investigation, she said.
The car was described as a black Nissan Maxima.
In Massachusetts, the punishment for extreme animal cruelty is up to five years in a state prison, 2½ years in a county jail or a fine of up to $2,500.
If the dog recovers from his injuries, the O’Connor facility will put him up for adoption after holding onto him for seven days, which is the protocol, she said. The waiting period allows staff to gauge the dog’s temperament to determine the most suitable environment for him.
See map here.
May 22, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | 1 Comment
KIMT.com – Cross-Posted at CBS12.com: ALBERT LEA, Minn. – From guiding the blind to comforting the sick, dogs are known to do some amazing things. But a local teacher has taught her canine companion a very unique skill and she’s using it to help teach her students a valuable lesson, CBS affiliate KIMT reports. See video HERE
In Peggy Bennett’s first grade classroom, reading rules.
“What do you need to do to get better at reading?” Peggy asked the students. “Read, read, read!” the entire class replied. “Read, read, read, you have to practice,” Peggy said.
This week, the students got a reading lesson that goes beyond books. She’s getting some help from her savvy Shiloh Shepard named Coulter. Peggy has taught Coulter how to read.
Peggy holds up cards with printed words one them, including “paw,” “sit,” and “down.” Coulter follows the commands on the cards. Peggy trains Coulter by first pairing verbal commands with the printed words. She eventually removes the verbal commands. Peggy says Coulter recognizes the shape of the words.
“I thought it was amazing. I had no idea that a dog had that big of a brain,” said Nicholas Belshan, a student in Peggy’s class.
Peggy says Coulter is a quick study.
“I would say, within about two days he started to get the idea of what it was and then it took probably another two days to get it down pretty well,” said Peggy.
She believes bringing her perceptive pooch to the classroom helps instill positive habits in her students and also helps her reach the kids on a whole new level.
You can teach the mind, the brain, and kids will learn. But if you get the human component and they connect to you through animals or whatever, you can get so much more learning. And so that’s why I do it,” said Peggy.
Peggy is a teacher at Sibley Elementary School in Albert Lea.
May 20, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Working and Military Dogs and Related | 1 Comment
by Gary Spina – The Independent Sentinel
This Saturday, May 3, 2014, will be the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby – the greatest two minutes in sports, as the racing crowd would tell you. Of course, so much goes into those two minutes, and all of it legendary. And you cannot think of the Kentucky Derby or the Triple Crown and legends without remembering Secretariat. Simply stated, there will never be another Secretariat.
In the spring of 2011, I had the privilege and honor of meeting Miss Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat and sitting down for an interview with her. The interview was published in the Caroline Progress and in Horse Talk Magazine.
Today, I went into my old files and pulled out the article and realized that it read exactly as it happened – awkward at first and going nowhere, and me trying to capture an ending quote to wrap it up and get out of an interview I had no business being any part of. And then it suddenly changed, and I’m not sure why. But for the briefest of moments, with a hundred people partying and hovering around us, it was just the two of us alone, and Miss Penny going back in time to share a very special memory with me.
Original Article, 2011:
The other day, I met Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat, at a fund raiser for the future Museum of the Virginia Horse. The museum will sit on what was once the Chenery family farm and stables in Doswell, Virginia. The Virginia State Fair also enjoys its prominence on the land the Chenerys called the Meadow, or the Meadow Farm – the birthplace of Riva Ridge, their first Kentucky Derby winner, and Secretariat, their legendary Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner.
But you can never bring back what’s gone — the tears and laughter, the struggles and losses, and the sweet, delicious victories too long in coming for the Chenerys who carved and scratched a glorious legacy from a backwoods wetland they cleared for paddocks, pastures, and rolling Meadows.
Outside on the front grass, Rain Away, the great-grandson of the famed Secretariat was being paraded for a photo shoot. It was almost like watching a ghost of greatness-past. Rain Away was handsome and sleek with a big chest and big shoulders, though not the massive size and deep red color of his great-grandfather. He was eighteen years old, but he pranced like a spirited colt.
The fund raiser crowd were people of all ages – all horse lovers who had come mostly to meet Penny Chenery, who in 1973 had gambled on a big red horse to win the Triple Crown and save the family farm from bankruptcy.
It was a pretty fancy affair. Horse people are not known to do things by half. There was a cocktail hour with marvelous hors d’oeuvres and wait staff coming and going with trays of drinks and food. I didn’t actually see the open bar, but my contact person there kept bringing me vodka martinis. There was a fabulous dinner afterwards. Great food, great people. It was all nice. But I was there to interview with Penny Chenery for a story.
Penny Chenery is 89 years old, and she gets around with the help of a cane now. And maybe it was the Jersey wise-guy in me, but as she walked by me into the reception area, I showed her I, too, walk with a cane, and before I knew it, the words came out of my mouth: “Wanna race?”
And just for a fleeting half second, Penny Chenery was a young girl again. She looked at me and her eyes came alive and a pretty smile crossed her face – pretty and ever so slightly wicked as my challenge awakened a fighting spirit that still languishes just below the surface. As far as she was concerned, the race was on! I had to beg off.
“No, no,” I said quickly, trying to smile away the challenge. “I concede. I know you’d win the race — no matter how you had to do it!” I said the last part under my breath, but I suspect she heard me.
Penny Chenery granted me an interview, and immediately I could sense the warmth and generosity of a lady of good southern stock. It was just the two of us sitting quietly near the wall, and she gave me her undivided attention. Old friends would come up and hug and kiss her and gush their enthusiasm, and of course, she was happy to see them. But to each it was always the same: “I am so happy you’re here. Thank you so much for coming. But just let me finish interviewing with this gentleman – and then there’s so much I want to talk to you about.”
Wayne Mount came by. “Remember me?” he asked her. After a quick jog of her memory, of course, she did. Wayne had been the exercise boy who was the first to break and ride Riva Ridge. With Riva Ridge, the Chenerys had their first Kentucky Derby win. That was in 1972. Even then, every breeder aspired to the Triple Crown – The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness, and The Belmont – but in 1972, no horse had won the Triple Crown in twenty-four years, and back then it was beginning to look as if no horse could ever do it again.
Wayne Mount jogged another memory – a name from the past.
“Mert would always say of Secretariat, ‘You will read about this horse someday.’ He said it repeatedly,” Mount said.
“I had never heard that,” Penny answered. You could see a renew pride swell in her.
“Who was Mert?” I asked.
“Mert. His name was Meredith Bailes, but they called him Mert. He was our farm trainer, and he was the first to break Secretariat.”
“Was he the trainer you fired?”
“No, he was our farm trainer. I fired the racing trainer.”
I was learning, and she was graciously patient – or patiently gracious. I learned there was a farm manager named Howard Gentry who foaled all the mares. From the very beginning, Gentry was impressed with Secretariat.
Mark Atkinson came by to greet Penny. Mark’s father was Ted Atkinson who had ridden both Bold Ruler and Somethingroyal – Secretariat’s sire and dam. It was Ted Atkinson who in 1946 was the first jockey whose mounts won over one million dollars. It was Ted Atkinson who was inducted into the Virginia Jockey Hall of Fame, the National Jockey Hall of Fame, the United States Horseracing Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Horseracing Hall of Fame.
Penny was obviously happy to see both Wayne Mount and Mark Atkinson, but they could see she was interviewing and they stepped back. Both men had been as conversant with me, both as affable and polite with me as they were with Penny, and I was beginning to get a sense of the genuine warmth and camaraderie of these “horse people.”
Again and again old friends and acquaintances came up to greet Penny Chenery, and always she was cordial, but always first and foremost she was attentive to me – gracious always even when my questions bordered on the foolish. Old friends had come from New York, Houston, Colorado – from near and far, and I was beginning to feel like an intruder in what was surely one of Penny Chenery’s last hurrahs. Still, my poor old Jersey heart so very much appreciated the courtesy and consideration she reserved for me, and I appreciated her time.
“I guess, without you, there’d have been no Secretariat,” I heard myself say to Penny. It was a foolish lead, but I was feeling the need to wrap things up, and I was searching for a good quote.
“No, there’d be no Secretariat without Riva Ridge,” Penny answered. “For thirty years my Dad had been breeding horses. His goal was to win the Derby. We had two thousand acres of land worth only about $350 thousand. I mean we were so far out in the country with no real roads in or out, so our land was not that valuable.
“Riva Ridge was our first Derby Winner. Now, for the first time we had some real profit. Riva Ridge saved The Meadow and broke trail for Secretariat to come along after him. And every day I watched Secretariat grow in size and strength and experience. There was an excitement, a promise of great things ahead. Only Daddy never lived to see it.”
On January 3, 1973, her daddy, Christopher T. Chenery died in the 87th year of his life, leaving an estate tax of $11 million. It was a figure the “revenue” folks in Washington came up with, and I guess they were rubbing their palms together in anticipation. But $11 million dollars was money the family could not pay. Their beloved Meadow would be lost unless they sold Secretariat, not yet a three year old who had won most of his races in impressive fashion and was named Horse of the Year. But Penny would not sell her big red horse, not with the Triple Crown ahead.
“Where did you get your fighting spirit,” I asked her.
“From my daddy,” she said.
The rest is history and legend. For champions are born to run the great races. And there are legends among the champions. The legends run with the sun, and then they’re gone beyond a far horizon. And when they’re gone all that we have of them are the memories we hold close and deep, somewhere safe from death itself and oblivion. And that’s why they’re legends.
Finally, I asked Penny her fondest memory of the Meadow. Only now I wasn’t fishing for a quote. I loved this woman, and I just wanted her to take me back with her to “how it was.”
“Oh, I suppose one among many memories was the broodmare barn where there was perhaps twenty mares and their foals,” she said. Her eyes were opened, but Penny Chenery was looking inside herself and going back through the years.
“We always sat down to a formal dinner in the evening, and after dinner, as the day was softening into darkness, Daddy would love to take a walk down to the broodmare barn. And I’d walk with him – and as we walked, maybe we’d talk, or there were times we wouldn’t say a word because as the shadows spread across the Meadow there was nothing that needed to be said. Even now I can see just the two of us walking together. We’d go down to see the mares and their babies – and I remember the smell of the sweet hay and the sound of the mares munching away – and everything so peaceful in the quiet evening – like time standing still.
“And the barn had Dutch doors and the top of the doors would be open and the new foals – once in awhile you’d see one of them just stretch his neck and get his nose over the door. It was special. It was our moment, just my daddy and me – an owner’s moment.”
I leaned close to her and said, “You just painted a picture.” I spoke in almost a whisper because the moment was too pastel soft to speak otherwise.
“I guess I did,” she said, and she smiled to herself, soft and pretty and lonesome.
Now, I’m a tough old Jersey boy — down here in Virginia close to twenty years. I’ve seen the Southland’s elegance, charm, and grace, but I’ve never seen it so tender and so beautiful and so real.
I will forever be grateful, Miss Penny, for your time and your memories.
May 16, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | 7 Comments
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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