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Sarah Palin Book Signing – "Touched By An Angel"

Sent to me by a dear friend… Freckles: 

Barracuda Brigade -  By Elizabeth Hawkes – Originally Posted 11/19/13

THE VILLAGES, FL – My husband, Gregory and I attended former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s book signing, where she showcased her newest book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas (Kindle),” on Monday, November 18th at Barnes & Noble Booksellers on Old Camp Road.

Gov. Palin is no stranger to The Villages. On September 21, 2008 at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, Gov. Palin held her first public rally as John McCain’s newly appointed running mate and attracted thousands from around the state and nation.

On this special day, the book store had opened hours earlier from their normal hours of operation correctly anticipating a large crowd to meet Sarah Palin. 
Gov. Palin  is not only the former governor of Alaska but the first woman Republican vice-presidential candidate in American history.

She has written best sellers Going Rogue: An American Life (Kindle) and America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag (Kindle). She is in Time Magazine’s 2010 “100 Most Influential People,” the star of Sarah Palin’s Alaska television series, and a Fox News contributor.

As soon as we arrived at 7:30 a.m., after a harried parking job and mad anticipatory dash to the entrance of the book store, we each purchased a copy of Gov. Palin’s new book and obtained color-coded wristbands.

Barnes & Noble began distributing wristbands, thirty minutes before our arrival. and by early afternoon, 750 were given out. Both the wristbands and a Barnes & Noble receipt were a requirement to get in line for the book signing.

To my heartbroken dismay, our puppy, Freckles, was not welcomed in the store. She had accompanied us on the long three-hour drive to the book signing from our home in Port Saint Lucie, FL.

We were informed, by a very nice store manager, that it would be necessary for us to take turns standing in line and watching over her.

Freckles was understandably disappointed that she would not be able to meet Sarah Palin as she had done at a former book signing with Gov. Palin’s father and brother.

So, we decided that I would stand in line first while Gregory sat outside at a table with Freckles. The weather was lovely and the book signing patrons friendly offering Freckles a hand shake and a gentle fur stroking. My husband informed me by cell phone, that despite all the favorable attention and kisses, Freckles continued to whimper and cry for her mommy.

Gregory P. Hawkes with Freckles

A year earlier, at the same Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Freckles proudly strolled into the store and met Chuck Heath, Sr. and Jr. during a book signing for their wonderfully gripping newly released book, Our Sarah: Made in Alaska (Kindle).

If you haven’t purchased this book yet, please do so immediately. It is filled with photos and anecdotes of adventures from the Alaskan wilderness to the center stage of a 2008 presidential election.

We had a lovely long visit with the handsome and engaging Heath men, discussing the Mainstream Media’s misrepresentation of Sarah, the beauty of Alaska, and the exciting sport of hunting.

I fondly remember Chuck Sr. asking, while holding and petting Freckles, “what is this breed good for?”.  My husband replied, “you’re looking at it,” and we broke out in raucous laughter.

File photo: Our Sarah: Made in Alaska (Kindle) book signing with Gov. Palin’s father and brother, Chuck Heath, Sr. and Jr., the authors, Elizabeth and Gregory, and Freckles. 10/01/2012

Our book signing adventure with Gov. Palin was just as exciting as with the Heaths and will always be one of the most memorable highlights of our lives.
As I was standing in line anticipating a long 90-minute wait before Gov. Palin was scheduled to arrive, we were informed, by the Barnes & Noble staff, that Sarah Palin would be arriving a half hour early. Since it was still only 8:30 a.m. when we were given the news that Gov. Palin would be arriving at 9:30 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m., the crowd became noticeably more excited and jubilant.

Barnes and Noble further accommodated us with trays of coffee and cookies. Life was good. I was texting, surfing the ‘Net with free WiFi, making new conservative friends and Gov. Palin was only an hour away!

A professional photographer, Shealah Craighead, was there to take photos of Gov. Palin and those attending the book signing. Copies of the photos will soon be available for purchase on-line.

The time flew by quickly chatting with newly made friends.

Then Gov. Palin arrived and the line starting moving forward faster then anticipated.

We reached a point where it was necessary, for security reasons, to store our bags, cameras and phones with the bookstore staff.
The line moved forward again. I saw a tall security guard standing before me as the line curved sharply to the left.

Now, 10 people stood between me and Gov. Palin who was seated at a long table with her beautiful daughter, Piper, and attending staff.

My breathing quickened and my eyes filled with tears of joy as I watched Gov. Palin interact with fans and supporters.

Only four individuals now left between me and the Governor and it would soon be my turn.

***

“If I’m for Christmas, it’s only because I’m for Christ…”, Gov. Palin wrote in her book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas (Kindle)”, which can be purchased by going on-line here.

***

As a side note, The Villages Tea Party had set-up shop prior to Gov. Palin’s arrival in the parking lot in front of Barnes & Noble Booksellers. How very fitting.

This story of the connection people feel to Sarah Palin is an example of why Palin is here to stay. She connects with middle America, average Americans, real people with real problems and concerns… because she is one of them; a hard working mother of five… including one with special needs and one who served honorably in the military, married to a blue color worker and union member that takes part in and has won the Iditarod competition, who got tired of the bad politics in Alaska and decided to get involved and make a difference… which she did and still does make a difference every day.  If you don’t know her story, you really should checkout: DVD: Sarah Palin: The Undefeated and Sarah Palin – The Undefeated with Going Rogue: An American Life mp3 Audiobook

December 16, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Giant eyeball on FL beach

huge-eyeball-at-sea

Photo: (AP) Made available by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach, Fla. on Wednesday. No one knows what species the huge blue eyeball came from. The eyeball will be sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL.

MIAMI (AP) — It’s not that body parts never wash ashore on Florida beaches. But usually it’s not an eye the size of a softball.

State wildlife officials are trying to determine the species of a blue eyeball found by a man Wednesday at Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale. They put the eyeball on ice so it can be analyzed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

Agency spokeswoman Carli Segelson says the eyeball likely came from a marine animal, since it was found on a beach. Possible candidates include a giant squid, a whale or some type of large fish.

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cat-sized African rats survive in Florida

Gambian pouch rats have been found in Florida’s Grassy Key despite efforts to eradicate them. Officials worry that the voracious rats, which grow to nine pounds, might wipe out some crops and upset the delicate ecological balance if they manage to reach the Florida mainland.

rat

rat

rat

Source: Yahoo

March 27, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , | Leave a comment

Florida’s Idea of Cat Population Control

All states need inexpensive or free spay and neutering to stop this from happening.

All states, counties and communities need to relax their restrictions on the number of pets they allow.  If someone will adopt just one more pet… or two, why not let them???

We are not talking hoarding cats or pets, we are talking adoption of one or a few more to help ease the stress on shelter, stop anymore photos like the one below and to give pets a home with people who will love them and are willing and able to take care of them.

No more Euthanization of healthy or treatable pets and animals.  We need to stop this!!

November 1, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

COMMUNITY CATS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Best Friends Animal Society celebrates National Feral Cat Day, Oct. 16, 2009.

Best Friends Animal Society encourages people to use National Feral Cat Day on October 16 as an opportunity to learn how they can be part of the solution to make life better for homeless cats.

Started in 2001 by Alley Cat Allies, National Feral Cat Day has become “an effective way to highlight the issue of overpopulation of feral and stray cats, and the humane approaches to helping them,” said Shelly Kotter, Focus on Felines campaign specialist for Best Friends Animal Society.

Kotter explained that Best Friends Animal Society believes that the needs of free-roaming cats and the issues surrounding them — which exist in every community — are best encapsulated in the term “community cats.”

“There is no one description that fits all free-roaming cats,” Kotter added. “These homeless cats are the result of a failure in the community — unneutered housecats that wandered away from home, cats abandoned when the family moved, or cats that have never been socialized to people in the first place. None of these cats would be on the streets if people had spayed or neutered their pets and kept their cats safe.”

Kotter outlined some simple steps to help homeless cats. “You can get involved as much, or as little as your schedule and budget permit. Don’t underestimate what seems like a small contribution to the cause, many people doing little things add up to major accomplishments,” she said.

  • If you feed stray cats, spay and neuter them so that the breeding cycle is stopped.
  • Keep your own cats from becoming statistics. Have them live in the home. Get them spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. If you want your cat to have outside experiences, please consider screening-in a porch or patio, building a cattery, investing in special cat fencing, and/or teaching your cat to walk on a harness.
  • Support your local community trap/neuter/return (TNR) groups. Donate — even small amounts add up. Volunteer a couple of hours a month.
  • Become a caregiver for a local cat colony.
  • Foster adoptable kittens or lost housecats rescued during TNR operations.

“Best Friends believes the solutions for these cats rest with the community as well. Through a variety of strategies, people have the power to help the cats lead a humane life as well as reducing the number of cats who are eking out an existence on the streets,” Kotter said.

“We like to think that every day is ‘community cat day.’ We are working with communities across the country on innovative and proactive programs to help lessen the numbers of feral and stray cats euthanized in shelters.

“Through our work, several rural Iowa communities have embraced TNR programs, fostering and re-homing kittens and tame cats rescued from colonies. If the cats are in a place where they are at risk, the people in these towns follow strict relocation protocols to provide the cats a new home,” Kotter said.

And to give thanks to the many local people in southern Utah who help care for community cats, Best Friends is hosting a special appreciation brunch on Saturday, October 17, in honor of National Feral Cat Day. Co-founder and interim CEO, Gregory Castle will be speaking, a tribute movie will be shown, and special awards will be presented to relocation caregivers.

Other successful components of Best Friends’ Focus on Felines program include:

Four Directions Community Cat Program (southern Utah)

This unique program works with more than 38 urban and rural communities in southern Utah. Best Friends’ clinic as well as five veterinary clinics around southern Utah participate in this low cost spay/neuter program. The program has six new relocation colonies that re-home community cats who otherwise would have been euthanized.

FixNation (Los Angeles)
Best Friends works in Los Angeles with FixNation, a nonprofit clinic that cares mainly for feral and stray cats but also operates as a low cost spay/neuter clinic. The first of its kind in the United States, the ground-breaking clinic leads the way as a model for community cat clinics around the country. The clinic works with local groups and individuals to battle cat overpopulation, providing free spay/neuter services for feral and stray cats, as well as shots and health checks. In addition, FixNation and Best Friends work together to lower the shelter euthanasia rates in East Valley, an impoverished area of Los Angeles. The program targets East Valley residents, offering TNR as an alternative to trap and kill. In the first year of the program, estimates are that East Valley shelter cat intake statistics will be reduced by five percent.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets (Jacksonville, Florida)

The killing of community cats has ended in Jacksonville. The Feral Freedom Program is a collaboration between the city of Jacksonville, First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP), the Jacksonville Humane Society and Best Friends Animal Society. Cats who arrive at the shelter in traps are turned over to FCNMHP to be spayed/neutered, then returned to their original trap location. Other communities are adopting this program as a way to save lives and taxpayer dollars.

No More Homeless Pets in Utah (northern Utah)
No More Homeless Pets in Utah and Best Friends work together with local governments to improve the shelter systems in northern Utah using tax dollars to combat the over population of community cats.

Click this image to see the Best Friends National Feral Cat Day videoHow you can help

  • Click on the image to the right to see the Best Friends National Feral Cat Day video.
  • Listen to Shelly Kotter discuss National Feral Cat Day on this PRWeb podcast.
  • For a listing of special National Feral Cat Day activities, click here.
  • If you are a caregiver in southern Utah and need additional information about the appreciation brunch, or wish to learn more about the Four Directions Community Cat Program, please contact shannonr@bestfriends.org.

By Best Friends staff – Photos by Molly Wald

Posted: Just One More Pet

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toddler dies, python found coiled around her

The snakes are not native to Florida, but many people keep them as pets

python OXFORD, Fla. – A 2-year-old girl apparently was strangled Wednesday by her family’s 12-foot-long pet Burmese python, officials said.

Shaunia Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaunia’s mother, said he discovered the snake missing from its aquarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said.

Darnell, 32, said he stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away, and then called 911.

Authorities remained outside the small, tan home, bordered by cow pastures Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a search warrant to remove the snake from the home. It was unclear if it was still alive.

Darnell did not have a permit for the snake, which would be a second-degree misdemeanor, said Joy Hill, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He has not been charged, but Caruthers said investigators were looking into whether there was child neglect or if any other laws were broken.

NBC affiliate WESH reported that Darnell told deputies he left the snake in an aquarium in a bag when the family went to sleep.

The python was one of two snakes in the home — the other is a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. Both snakes are alive, Carruthers said.

Two other children also lived there, WESH reported.

The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.

Pythons are not native to Florida, but some residents keep them as pets, especially Burmese pythons, which can grow to more than 15 feet and weigh more than 150 pounds.

When the snakes become too large, some owners release them into the Everglades and other wild areas, Florida officials say.

The fast-growing population of snakes has been invading southern Florida’s ecosystem since 1992, when scientists speculate a bevy of Burmese pythons was released into the wild after Hurricane Andrew shattered many pet shop terrariums.

Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida, butBurmese_Python estimates range from thousands to hundreds of thousands.

This is just another example of the epidemic of the  loss of personal responsibility and the loss of common sense that has swept the United States.  These situations come from a lack of thinking things through, a loss of self-responsibility for our actions and a lack of concern for others… people and animals.  Was this the snake’s fault??  Heck no!  It was the owner’s fault – the parents’ fault.

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July 2, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PBSO and state investigations launched in deaths of 21 Venezuelan horses in Wellington

At least 21 polo horses have died after being struck by a mysterious ailment just before competition at the U.S. Open polo tournament in Wellington.

WELLINGTON — When the horses began to falter, collapse and die, dozens of people came to their aid. And as the horses died around the polo field, strangers from the stands shared in the animals’ last moments.         

Few love their horses as they do in this small Florida village.

Even fewer have watched 21 prized polo horses, worth more than $2 million, mysteriously die so quickly.     

“I’ve been in the sport for 50 years and never been around something as tragic as this,” said Peter Rizzo, Wellington resident and executive director of the United States Polo Association. “It’s a bond that is close to marriage – it’s different than a dog – it’s an amazing thing and these horses were some of the best in the world.”

On Monday, investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services opened death investigations.

The bodies of the horses arrived at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville and a state laboratory in Kissimmee so scientists could examine them for answers. And a tightknit community of horse lovers began to mourn the loss of not just 21 animals, but veritable family members.         

So far, investigators said they’ve ruled out infectious diseases as a cause of death. And nobody as of Monday suspected foul play.

Instead, they’re looking to see whether the horses, part of the Venezuelan Lechuza Caracas polo team, came in contact with poison or were injected with anything that could have killed them.

“Because of the very rapid onset of sickness and death, state officials suspect these deaths were a result of an adverse drug reaction or toxicity,” said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the state agency, in a written statement.

Answers could take weeks as scientists test every substance ingested by the horses, screen blood for toxins and question caretakers and the team’s owner, Venezuelan multimillionaire Victor Vargas.

Dr. John Harvey, assistant dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, said a necropsy is much like an autopsy: The body is checked for visible trauma, and fluid and tissue samples are collected after a preparation process that takes two to three days.

“The suspicion here is toxins because of how sudden these animals died,” Harvey said. “But since we don’t know what we’re looking for, there are literally thousands of things we can test for. It could be like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Sunday afternoon, the horses took to the International Polo Club Palm Beach field. Some started having trouble immediately after coming off the truck. Some became dizzy and collapsed.

More than a dozen local vets and vet technicians dropped everything and came to the field. They administered intensive therapy, including IV lines and fluids, and treated the horses for shock. The animals showed signs of pulmonary edema, which means fluid accumulated in their lungs, and cardiogenic shock, said Dr. Scott Swerdlin, a veterinarian with the Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

“There was no pain, they were just disoriented,” Swerdlin said.

As the horses suffered around the field, each had no fewer than three people there to see them through their last moments, said Don Dufresne, a Wellington attorney who specializes in equine law, is past president of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and is a member of the U.S. Polo Association.

“The community rallied around the situation with probably 100 volunteers,” Dufresne said. “Over every horse were three to five people triaging. The reality is that the polo community is much more like a family.”

Twelve or 13 horses died on the field and another was later euthanized at Swerdlin’s Wellington clinic. The others died at Lechuza Caracas’ barn, which has about 85 horses. A team of such horses could take 10 years to rebuild, Swerdlin said. Each horse is worth more than $100,000.

“These were some of the best horses in the world,” he said.

But to this horse-loving community, money doesn’t tell the story.

“To some riders, their horses are like their children,” says Richard Wood, who owns Woody’s of Wellington, a boot shop frequented by horse owners.

A small memorial sprouted up, with bouquets of flowers left outside the Lechuza Caracas property on Monday. Rivals offered the team their extra horses if they chose to continue playing in the tournament Wednesday. The team declined and has since pulled out of the tournament.

The team put out a brief statement Monday night thanking the community for its support. “We wish to thank those from the polo community who tried to save our precious ponies by selflessly lending their assistance,” the team statement read. “Although the ponies could not be saved, our gratitude to them cannot be overemphasized.”

John Wash, president of club operations for the International Polo Club Palm Beach, said the have already have affected people well beyond Wellington, especially in the polo community.

“In polo’s history there’s never been an incident like this that anybody can remember,” Wash said. “This was a tragic issue on the magnitude of losing a basketball team in an airplane crash.”

Toxin is Suspected in Death of 21 Horses 

Source:  South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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Update:  The tragedy of the Venezuelan polo horse deaths is becoming clearer, with a Selenium Overdose Confirmed as the probable cause of death.

Polo Horse Deaths: Selenium Overdose Confirmed

In a report to Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida State Veterinarian Thomas J. Holt stated that the animals had “significantly increased selenium levels” in samples tested. He reported that the findings obtained at the department’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee were confirmed by independent testing conducted at multiple other facilities across the nation. Selenium is a trace mineral which is essential for normal cell function and health in animals, and is often included in small quantities in supplements and feed for horses. Large doses, however, can be fatal to animals.

“Signs exhibited by the horses and their rapid deaths were consistent with toxic doses of selenium,” Dr. Holt said.

The University of Florida conducted necropsies on 15 of the horses and performed extensive toxicology testing. Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said that no further information on the investigation can be disclosed at this time to prevent the investigation from being compromised.

The Venezuelan polo team had charged Franck’s Pharmacy of Ocala, Florida, with preparing a substitute for a medication called Biodyl, which is not approved for use in the US, but is widely used elsewhere. Biodyl is a vitamin and mineral solution containing ATP, selenium and B12. The pharmaceutical compounding lab later admitted that “the strength of an ingredient in the medication was incorrect”. The medication was apparently given to the horses shortly before they began to collapse.

“In light of the statement from Florida State Veterinarian Thomas J. Holt, we can confirm that the ingredient was selenium,” Jennifer Beckett, the pharmacy’s chief operations officer, said in a statement.

It has yet to emerge if the error was due to the incorrect amount being specified in a prescription provided by the team’s veterinarian, or if the pharmaceutical lab was at fault with it’s dosage calculations.

so-you-think-youre-trapped

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seismic Wave Will Cause Rippling Affect For All Animals

184x265_pig_and_baby_istock© iStockphoto

“Elections are a time of reflection. There is the moment that commands our attention—and there is also the long-view. Thanks to your unwavering support, and your steady encouragement, The HSUS has taken the plight of farm animals to voters twice before we launched Prop 2—and won both times.” said Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle.

 Florida voters led the way in November 2002 by phasing out the two-foot by seven-foot metal gestation crates that confine breeding pigs. Then Arizona voters followed suit, banning gestation creates and also the horrible crates used to confine veal calves,  In November 2006.

Reverberations were felt far beyond the borders of those two states.  In June 2007, Oregon’s government became the first in the nation to ban gestation crates for breeding pigs through the action of the legislature.  Then in May of this year Colorado’s governor Bill Ritter went even a step further by signing landmark legislation phasing out gestation crates and veal crates.

Last night California took the biggest step yet by Passing Califorina Prop 2 whose effects will be seismic, for all animals and the farming industry.  By California Prop 2 passing we should see the beginning of changes in many states and eventually in all states.  Now is the time to start the pressure for the ‘Humane Treatment’ of all farm animals… of all animals in every state.  Although it was a huge victory, it should really be seen as just the beginning of the wave of change for animal rights everywhere.

By Marion Algier/Ask Marion

Posted at 6:55am by Just One More Pet

Source:  HSUS/Wayne Pacelle

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment