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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Quebec bill changes animals from "property" to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty

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By Tamara – Dog Heirs – Cross-Posted at JOMP

Quebec, Canada – Animals will be considered “sentient beings” instead of property in a bill tabled in the Canadian province of Quebec. The legislation states that "animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs."

Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis proposed the bill and wants to change Quebec’s infamous image as a haven for puppy mills

The legislation specifies that animals have biological needs and includes fines of up to $250,000 for those who are cruel to animals, as well as jail time for repeat offenders.

Paradis said the bill puts Quebec more in line with other Canadian provinces like Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba. The act will apply to all domesticated and farm animals and certain wild animals. Paradis said he wants to see animals “treated with dignity as much as possible” it doesn’t matter what animal.

"If you have a goldfish you have to take care of it," he said. "Don’t get a goldfish if you don’t want to take care of it."

Under the bill inspectors will have the power to demand to see an animal if they have “reasonable cause” to suspect the pet or animal is being mistreated. They also can also obtain a warrant to enter a home and seize animals. Repeat offenders would also come under fire as authorities and judges would have the discretion to increase fines and sentence serial violators to jail for up to 18 months.

June 14, 2015 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Outreach for Pets, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

World’s smallest deer species born at N.Y. zoo

In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York. The male southern pudu fawn, the world's smallest deer species, was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo. Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder. When they're born, they're only 6 inches high, and weigh less than a pound.  Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP

© Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society/AP In this May 27, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a southern pudu fawn walks in its enclosure at the Queens Zoo in New York.

AP – NEW YORK — A tiny deer is generating a giant dose of cuteness in New York City.

The Wildlife Conservation Society sent out a baby announcement Monday. It’s a boy!

The southern pudu (POO’-doo) fawn — the world’s smallest deer species — was born May 12 at the Queens Zoo.

The fawn is still nursing but soon will be munching on leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay.

The white spots on his soft brown fur will disappear as he grows up.

In his case, though, "growing up" won’t be much of a vertical process.

Southern pudus tend to be around a foot tall at the shoulder.

When they’re born, they’re only 6 inches high — and weigh less than a pound.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

Hero Dog Saves Owner Clinically Dead for 30-Minutes

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Life With Dogs:

A woman named Joanna Mellor had her life saved after going into cardiac arrest and being clinically dead for half an hour when her dog barked until her boyfriend woke up and called for an ambulance.

The UK woman was sleeping on January 2nd when she suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing.  Her Lab, Leo, began barking frantically until her boyfriend, Andrew Rayment, woke up.  He called 999 and performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

“I was half asleep when Leo woke me up,” Rayment told the Daily Mail.  “I heard Joanna’s breathing becoming erratic and I tried to wake her and tapped each side of her face, but she was unconscious so I called 999.”

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“My first thought was that I didn’t want to waste the paramedics’ time but when I was on the phone her breathing went from in and out to every few seconds.  I tried not to panic and to stay focused. I kept thinking that the only chance she has relies on me doing the CPR properly.”

Mellor quite expectedly doesn’t remember what happened.

“I remember going to bed and drifting off the sleep and the next I know I’m in intensive care in hospital and told I’d suffered a heart attack,” she explained.  “The doctors say I was technically dead because it took Andrew 30 minutes to get my heart started.”

“Andrew said he woke up with Leo barking and jumping up at my side of the bed and going mad.  He says he could tell something was wrong with me and dialed 999 and the operator talked him through CPR.  At first the doctors said I might be at risk of brain damage and I couldn’t feel my legs and one of my hands was all limp, but I’ve now made a full recovery.”

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She has since been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which causes the heart to beat abnormally fast and can trigger heart attacks.

Amazingly, because of Leo and her boyfriend, Mellor has made a complete recovery, which is rare.

“I’ve been on the job for 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said paramedic Glenn Radford.  “When people suffer cardiac arrests, quite often they are left with neurological problems. They don’t usually make a 100 percent recovery.”

“I owe my life to my dog and my boyfriend,” Mellor said.  “If Leo hadn’t woken Andrew up I might not be here today.”

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I WOULD RATHER SAVE 1 OF OUR HERO WAR DOGS,THAN TAKE BACK THAT DESERTER WHO COST THE LIVES OF GOOD MEN!

Pit Bull Hailed as Hero for Alerting Deaf Boy to Fire With a Lick

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Dogs of War – Photos From the Frontlines Revisited

March 13, 2015 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Found This Baby Dying On A Hot Sidewalk. What He Does Next Will Floor You

Amazing!!

PawMyGosh: It was a hot Florida day when Jeff Longo spotted something tiny on the sidewalk. When he looked closer, he realized it was a baby squirrel. It was lying there on the hot pavement close to death. He thought there was no way it would survive. But he was gonna do everything in his power to try and help.

He dedicated the next three months of his life nursing the tiny squirrel. He would feed her puppy formula through a bottle, heavy cream and most importantly – give lots of love! The following pictures will take you through the amazing journey:

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August 9, 2014 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Success Stories | 3 Comments

Pit Bull Hailed as Hero for Alerting Deaf Boy to Fire With a Lick

Hero dog: Ace: This photo provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows Ace, a pit bull, resting outside the home of Lindsay and James Bernard of Indianapolis after the home caught fire on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

AP Photo: Indianapolis Fire Department, Rita Reith

This photo provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows Ace, a pit bull, resting outside the home of Lindsay and James Bernard of Indianapolis after the home caught fire on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A two-year old male pit bull named Ace is being hailed as a hero for licking the face of a sleeping, deaf 13-year-old Indianapolis boy to alert him that his house was on fire.

Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Reith says Nick Lamb was home alone and sleeping without his hearing aids when the fire began Wednesday.

She says Ace licked Nick’s face until he awoke to find the house filling with smoke. The boy quickly covered his nose and mouth with his T-shirt and fled outside. He was not injured in the fire.

The boy told firefighters this was the first summer he was old enough to stay home alone and that he had returned from summer camp just three days earlier.

Firefighters estimated damage to the home at $175,000, but Ace and Nick made it out safely. No one else was home when the fire started.

July 17, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories | 3 Comments

Kids with autism connect, cuddle with future service dogs: ‘I love them’

Students 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.

LionPaws via Facebook

Today – Pets By LauraT Coffey – Originally Posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:11 PM ET  -  Cross Posted at True Health Is True Wealth

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.

A student named Max holds a puppy in a Target store.

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.

A puppy that will become a service dog.

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.

Related story: ‘She gives me independence’: Service dog changes wounded veteran’s life

Puppies go down a slide with Lionheart students.

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.”

Adults and kids holding puppies on a couch.

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.”

Related story: Xena the Warrior Puppy, rescued from abuse, helps 8-year-old boy with autism

Puppies playing in playground equipment.

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.”

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Sarah Palin and Senator Mile Lee Take Time to Visit Service Dog Trainers While in Iowa 

Gov. Palin: Trig is getting a buddy!

June 16, 2014 Posted by | 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

Horse Nasal Strips… California Chrome gets OK for use in Belmont Leg of Triple Crown

Horse nasal strips figured in California Chrome’s surge to victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But until Monday, it wasn’t clear that officials would allow them in his June 7 run for the Belmont Stakes.

California Chrome can bring his nasal strips to Belmont, officials announced Monday.

By  Noelle SwanStaff writer CS Monitor  -  Noelle Swan writes for the national news desk at the Monitor. She previously worked on the Business and Family pages as a writer and editor.

California Chrome, in the midst of a strong bid for the first Triple Crown since 1978, has been given the okay to use a nasal strip for the upcoming Belmont Stakes, after worries…

The three stewards who govern Belmont Park unanimously agreed Monday to allow horses to wear equine nasal strips, according to a joint statement issued by the New York State Gaming Commission and The New York Racing Association.

Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, said Sunday that the owners were prepared to pull the horse from the June 7 Belmont Stakes – the third jewel of the Triple Crown – if New York racing officials had refused to grant permission for the horse to wear the adhesive strips.

“The horse has been on a six-race winning streak with nasal strips. I don’t know why they would ban you from wearing one, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, I guess,” Mr. Sherman told reporters Sunday morning, before the gaming commission and the racing association announced their decision.

Sherman started affixing the nasal strips to the horse’s muzzle at the request of co-owner Perry Martin, ESPN reports.

The nasal strips are similar to those worn by humans to open nasal passages and improve air flow.

“I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that extra little oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half,” Sherman explained. “Anytime you can have a good air passage, that means a lot for these thoroughbreds.”

I’ll Have Another, the last horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, also wore nasal strips, but his handlers had been told he would have to forgo them in the Belmont Stakes, USA Today reports.

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The commission’s thoroughbred rule does not specifically prohibit nasal strips but states, “Only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race.”

The New York State Gaming Commission issued a statement on Sunday saying it had not yet received a request for the breathing aids from California Chrome’s handlers.

”If a request to use nasal strips is made, the decision on whether to permit them or not will be fully evaluated and determined by the stewards,” the statement read.

Stephen Lewandowski of the gaming commission, one of three stewards in charge of this year’s Belmont Stakes, is new to the post since the ruling on I’ll Have Another’s request, according to USA Today.

Related stories

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Events, pet products, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | 3 Comments

Dog that can read teaches kids how to read

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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. 

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

May 20, 2014 Posted by | 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

There Will Never Be Another Secretariat: Thank you, Miss Penny

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Penny Chenery

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.

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Penny Chenery and Diane Lane who played Miss Penny in the movie: Secretariat (Blu-ray)

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.

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Secretariat

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.

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May 16, 2014 Posted by | 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 | 8 Comments

Angel… Our Mama Turns 10-Years-Old Today

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Our Angel, a half-long-haired, half short-haired, light red and white, fawn-face Chihuahua stole our hearts and literally saved my life, or at least my sanity, during a very dark time for me.  Angel is the mama and the alpha dog at our house and of our little pack of Chihuahuas and Chiweenies.

According to her papers, Angel was born in Oklahoma on May 3rd and ten weeks later had made her way to our home and into our hearts.

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Baby Angel

My husband was allergic to everything with fur and feathers.   But when our daughter was young we gave in starting with hamsters, mice, rats, geckos, lizards, fish, turtles… and then birds.  Then our daughter came home with a dog, Angel, while she was working part-time at a pet store, the summer after her first year of college.  She was supposed to be earning a little pocket money for the next year. Instead she pretty much spent all she earned and came home with a papered Chihuahua at the height of the Chihuahua craze… who became our Angel.

My husband said, “no way… absolutely not!” Our daughter was going back to the dorms and he was allergic, so he took Angel right back to the store.  They wouldn’t take her back because our daughter had signed the contract and they had given up a full paying customer to let her buy Angel at the employee discount, less than half of what they had had an actual customer for.  And of course, our daughter went back to school and the dorms about a month later with Angel in tow insisting she could sneak her in and keep her there. Less than an hour after her arrival at school with her 4-legged roommate, we were on our way to pick Angel up.  My husband went through 18-months of allergy shots after that so we could keep her.

A year later our daughter was off sailing around the world with the Semester at Sea program.  When she got back mid-year, she was assigned a lulu-bell for a roommate and bargained with us to get an off-campus apartment a semester early. She wasn’t there a month… when she brought home a Chiweenie puppy, Apachi, who was being given away outside the pet store, near school, where she had just gotten a part-time job after returning from her sail.  A pet store job is never a good idea for her.  Major Problem… it was a no pet apartment and we had signed a year’s lease.

Not long after getting Apachi, our daughter’s colitis flared up to an extreme level (I tend to think some vaccines that they got overseas might have exacerbated her condition adding to some stress in her life at the time and too much partying during that period and trip). After a stint at an alternative care facility, in an attempt to avoid radical surgery, she unfortunately ended up having to have 2 major surgeries and I spent a total of 54-days (24/7) in the hospital sleeping on a cot in her room, with her.  My husband, who was home with Angel and Apachi, visited daily.  With all that was going on we really didn’t think about the fact that neither 6 month old Apachi nor Angel had been fixed.  Angel was the best tempered Chihuahua with a really easy going disposition and everyone had said, if we could breed her with a like-type male, they’d love to have a puppy.  So I was looking for a mate for her and Apachi was just a baby,  and taking him in to be neutered just got lost in all the goings on.

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Next thing we knew… we had 4 puppies: Goji Angelina, Magnum, and Princess (As Pictured Below)

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Angel was a natural and terrific Mom who took great care of her little brood and Apachi watched over them from somewhat of a distance… until they were weaned, at which point he took over.

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Angel Has Always Loved Riding in the Car and Going for Walks… Before and After the Rest of the Family Arrived.

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Heading to Dana Point, CA for a Walk

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Walks in Wyoming

The Gang Moving Back to CA  12-2012

Traveling From Texas to CA

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Walking in Texas

The boy pups (Magnum and Goji) and Angelina went to new homes at 10-weeks of age and we decided to keep Princess, our ADHD girl…  Then a few weeks later Angelina came back to us, because her new family couldn’t keep her and we had requested that if anyone who took a puppy had problems that we would get them back.  Long story short… we kept Angelina too and that is how we went from birds, turtles and rats, at the time, to 4-dogs and a fish who survived being fed to our turtles.

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Angel at Age 8

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Angel (9) and Neighbor MaryAnn Playing

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Angel’s 2nd Birthday

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Angel’s 5th Birthday… USC Party

Our pups are now 7, 8 and 10-years old… We have always had separate birthday parties for everybody, but this year we are going to have a combined party next week, including for Rocky, our in-laws’ aging Cocker Spaniel.  But we had a mini-celebration today, on Angel’s actual 10th B-day.

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Our Christmas Card the Past Couple of Years (Below)… Featuring our Furkids Singing.  The Rule Within the Pack Appears to be That Nobody Can Start Singing Until Angel Starts.

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Related:

Apachi – Happy 7th Birthday

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

Pet Parties – The Latest Craze

For these moms, a dog-day afternoon

The New Breed of Baker 

Travel Fun With Dogs

Photos By: UCLA Shutterbug

May 4, 2014 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Cuteness, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments