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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

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

Lee Palin and Puppy Elmer

The Iowa Republican: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska were guests at a Puppy Jake Foundation pre-Veterans’ Day reception Friday evening at the home of Robin and Dave Lickteig in Cumming on Friday night. Lee and Palin are in Iowa to speak at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 13th Annual Friends of the Family Banquet Saturday night at the Paul R. Knapp Learning Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Puppy Jake and several puppies who are in training to become service dogs for military veterans were on hand to greet Sen. Lee, Gov. Palin and her husband, Todd Palin. The puppies were accompanied by their foster families and supporters of the Puppy Jake Foundation.

Trainer Renee Jetter, who is raising Puppy Bob, said each service dog goes through almost two years of preparation in order to become a skilled service dog. Jetter, who owns Caine Craze Performance Center in Urbandale along with her husband Scott, expects Bob to be placed with a veteran when he is about 20 months old. The young service-dogs-in training go through many learning experiences to prepare them to confidently handle all kinds of public venues and social situations a veteran dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder might experience, such as the large gathering in Cumming.

Lee cradles Puppy Elmer who falls fast asleepBoth Lee and Palin couldn’t resist holding some of the newest members of the Puppy Jake Foundation training class. Palin latched on to Josie, a 9-week old chocolate Labrador puppy being raised by Tripp Kinney. And 11-week old Elmer, an 11-week old Golden Retriever being raised by Jessica Van Maanen, snuggled up in Lee’s arms and fell asleep like a little baby.

In between holding Josie and chatting with guests at the reception, Lee discussed the debate over Obamacare and the fundamental differences between the progressive left and the conservative movements taking place in government. “My definition of conservatism is a point between radical collectivism and radical individualism. Conservatives realize that we are all in this together and we do it through the right balance of civil society and free markets,” said Lee.

“Republicans must learn how to better articulate both their deep concerns for the poor and their better vision for moving the poor out of poverty and from dependency on government,” said Lee, who was elected to the Senate during the 2010 mid-term elections with 62 percent of the vote against the Democrat challenger.

Palin came to Iowa after attending the 95th birthday party for Rev Billy Graham at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina Thursday night. “It was such a variety of people and beliefs and backgrounds. There was Donald Trump over there and then there was Todd and Sarah of Wasilla over here,” said Palin who was one of three speakers along with Greta Van Sustern and Graham’s own pastor, Rev. Don Wilton, of the First Baptist church of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The event was attended by more than 900 people including Rupert Murdock, Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy, pastor Rick Warren, Grammy-winner Michael W. Smith, country singer Ricky Scaggs and “Today” show host Kathie Lee Gifford.

“I told him we need a Methuselah,” said Palin. “He ushered in the Jesus movement in the 1970s and my mom, who was raised Catholic, came to Christ through his ministry, and as a result so has my whole family” said Palin, who was baptized Catholic. “He has reached more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries. Over the past several years the Palins have traveled with Van Sustern and her husband and Rev. Franklin Graham on mission and service trips throughout the world. In addition to speaking at Graham’s birthday bash and coming to Des Moines for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner, Palin will begin a nation-wide tour next week when her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas (Kindle) is released November 12.

PJ

Lee and Palin

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Service and Military Animals, Working and Military Dogs and Related | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Portuguese Water Dogs & Pit Bulls: The Politics of the President’s Pets

By Edie Jarolim | Published: August 26, 2013

Will My Dog Hate Me?:  Anything that President Obama does is news, which goes with the Leader of the Free World territory. And when the President does something warm and fuzzy, like getting a pet for his family — as opposed, to say making recess appointments of agency heads – more sections of the blogosphere than just the usual political ones pay attention.

Bo and Sunny

Bo and Sunny, First Dogs (actually, first and second ‘First Dogs’)

The official announcement on the White House blog on August 19 read:

Today the Obamas welcomed the newest member of their family – a little girl (puppy) named Sunny!

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In honor of Sunny, the Obamas are making a donation to the Washington Humane Society.

Lots of people had something to say about this. 

Normal people’s reactions

Here is the typical normal pet lover’s reaction to the following film, released by the White House along with the article:

Awww!! She’s so cute! She plays so well with Bo, who was lonely for doggie company before Sunny came along. It’s nice that the family got a breed that Melia, who has allergies, could enjoy. It’s nice that the Obamas donated money to a shelter.

Awwww!! Ooooh! 

Reasonable and useful reactions from the pet community

This is a teachable moment. The Daily Beast had a sensible article by a veterinarian that includes information about whether you should get a second dog, introducing the second dog to the first dog, etc.

All good things to know. 

Well intended but misguided reactions from the pet community

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled New White House pup Sunny: Why not a rescue dog? is typical of the reactions of the “should have adopted” community. After a feel-good introduction, so as not to antagonize everyone who had the above-mentioned “awwww” reaction, such pieces cite a well-known figure in the animal welfare community to make the case.

Cue Wayne Pacelle, director of the Humane Society of the United States:

[Pacelle] noted on his blog Tuesday that the Obamas made little reference to exactly where Sunny came from, other than to note that it’s the Great Lakes State.

But given her pure-bred status, it’s unlikely that Sunny came from a rescue organization or a shelter. [emphasis mine, and not sourced to Pacelle]

“As we always say in such circumstances, we hope the Obamas considered adoption or rescue as the first choice in obtaining a pet,” wrote Mr. Pacelle.

Like all the other should-have-rescued articles I came across, this one misrepresents or ignores one bit of important information: That about 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. There is a breed rescue for Portuguese water dogs, as there is for most breeds.

The fact is, the Obamas went through a reputable breeder for both Bo and Sunny. If they had ordered Sunny over the internet or bought her at a pet store, the pet community would have something to squawk about. But reputable breeders play an essential role in the world of animal lovers. It would be a good thing to emphasize that more, and scold less. 

Off-the-wall reactions from the pet community (or an ostensible member)

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

This article from Salon.com titled Another Portuguese Water Dog? The Obamas Should Have Made A Different Statement is likely just link/click bait because it is both ill-informed and wildly off kilter. It starts:

Bo Obama, America’s first dog, has a new playmate named Sunny and the first family is getting criticized for not adopting a mutt from the animal shelter. If the Obamas had gone to their local shelter, the Washington Humane Society, they wouldn’t have found a purebred Portuguese water dog. Instead, they might have come home with a pit bull — and that would have been a good thing.

There are three problems right off the bat.

  • The link in “the first family is getting criticized” clause directs us to PETA. A writer who knew anything about animal welfare would know that criticism from PETA means diddly squat — and especially in the context of an article related to pit bulls. PETA advocates that all pit bulls that turn up in shelters be put down.
  • What part of “the Obamas need a certain breed of dog because Melia has allergies” doesn’t the author understand?
  • As I noted above, 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. You cannot say with authority that the Obamas would not have found a purebred Portuguese water dog at the Washington Humane Society.

I have written often here about how pit bulls are unfairly demonized. But bringing a rescued one into the White House is a ludicrous idea, for many reasons; they are detailed in the 300 plus comments that this piece drew. I couldn’t have summed it up better, however, than commenter “Schmoopi”:

You are fucking kidding me, right? You want the president who can’t do anything without it being made political and a “Black thing”… to adopt a dog that is the stereotyped official dog breed of the ‘hood?…

I like pits. They are a much maligned breed. They are naturally sweet-natured, loyal and affectionate….Pitbulls are also heavily abused and over bred by idiots…. Nevertheless, I find the suggestion that my President, our first Black president, a man who spends every day being “nibbled to death by ducks,” should deliberately do something that would enable the racist trolls of our country to hit new heights of asshattery to be the dumbest thing I have heard all summer.

This leads me to…

Bat-shit crazy political reactions

The supposition that the name Sunny was chosen because it’s close to Sunni, the sect of Islam to which Obama purportedly belongs, may be a joke, but the observation made by the right wing Daily Caller wasn’t:

With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.

The Obamas do not have any white dogs.

As for more comments about how diabolical the decision to get Sunny was, see Atlantic.com’s Best Conspiracy Theories About the Obamas’ New Dog, Sunny., and you be the judge…

Boring but important political pet news that got lost in the Sunny fuss

While the President was busy not adopting a pit bull, he did something much more important. The White House responded to a petition asking it to “Ban and outlaw Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the United States of America on a Federal level!” with the following statement:

We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.

The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.

For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate. You can read more from them here.

As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.

That’s a far better use of the President’s bully pulpit — pun intended — than making the family dog into a political statement rather than a pet.

What I would add is that at least the next time Bo gets to go on vacation on his own jet… he will have a four-legged companion to travel with… JOMP~

You be the judge…

Related:

Yet Another Taxpayer Paid Luxury Vacation For The Obamas, Including a Private Jet For The First Dog… Again

Obama admits to eating dog … fur finally flies

Bo Obama’s dog trainer dies at age 52 (Jan. 2011)

Bo the First Dog and His Trainer Arrive in Martha’s Vineyard… – Bo travelled on his own jet on the taxpayer’s nickel in 2011 as well. I’m as big of a pet advocate as anyone… but really? Guess we are off the green kick and global warming???

The mystery of Bo’s ‘Hawaii trip’ is solved: White House says he stayed in Washington and never went on holiday with First Family

President Bush and His Pets

Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Busts of presidential pets Barney and Miss Beazley at George W. Bush Library

Presidential Pet Museum.com

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dead Dogs Voting for Obama

(WND)Voter fraud is the big issue that may decide the outcome of this upcoming election.

Obama_dog-275x275[1]In Seattle, Wash., last month, Brenda Charlston received a voter registration form in the mail from the Voter Participation Center with all the blanks filled in for “Rosie Charlston,” her black Labrador who died in 1998.

The Obama supporting center says it has mailed some 5 million forms using commercially available databases to target Democratic-leaning groups such as unmarried women. What did they use in the Brenda/Rosie mailing? The dead dog mailing list?

In June, in Buford County, Va., Tim Morris received a filled-out voter registration form for “Mozart Morris” addressed to “Mo,” his dog that passed away two years before. Again, the form came in the mail from the Voter Participation Center.

In Bernalillo County, N.M., an anonymous Republican registered his dog as a voter at a voter registration booth at the University of New Mexico to show how easy it would be to defraud the system. Election officials claim they followed the law and referred the case to state prosecutors for criminal investigation of the dog owner!

Election officials throughout the country report a surge of voter registrations from animals, dead people and noncitizens.

Republicans believe Obama is depending on these registrations to win the election and want laws requiring voter ID at the polls. Democrats charge that Republicans are trying to suppress the vote to increase the odds of a Romney win.

This Democrat charge formed the basis of a lawsuit by Obama’s Department of Justice to block a Texas law that requires voter photo ID to vote. Texas is one of 26 states with such laws.

The DOJ claimed the requirement would bar eligible voters from voting and that the cost of getting the proper ID amounted to a “poll tax.” The Texas law provides for a free state ID to anyone lacking a driver’s license or other photo ID.

A study by a DOJ expert produced a long list of Texans who lacked government-issued photo ID and, it was alleged, were thereby disenfranchised. The list and the study were a fraud.

The list turned out to contain the names of 50,000 dead people, 330,377 seniors who can vote by mail without ID, 261,887 voters who included a driver’s license number on their voter registration form, 800,000 Texans who were, in fact, registered to vote and who did have a government issued photo ID.

The list also contained the names of Texans with U.S. military ID (acceptable for photo ID to vote), former Texas residents who had moved to other states, disabled voters who were exempt from the Texas photo ID law and noncitizens.

Strangely, the list of those who “lacked government issued ID” included former President George W. Bush, two state legislators and the wife of another, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, current U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and even the Texas director of elections, Keith Ingram – who was listed not once but twice!

However, even the Texas attorney general has yet to find the names of any dogs, living or dead, on the list.

Obama’s DOJ also went after Florida for passing a similar law. It seems that Obama voters who were dead, felons or noncitizens would not get to vote.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered county election officials to examine the integrity of the voting rolls. In the first review, the names of 83,000 dead people were discovered still registered to vote.

The dead deserve representation given the estate-tax debate, but the law does not yet allow them to vote.

DOJ also objected to Florida’s insistence that felons be barred from voting.

Noncitizens were also found on the voter rolls, and Gov. Scott fought to get access to the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, database. SAVE will allow Florida to purge the voter roll of noncitizens.

In a strange, parallel world, the Obama Agriculture Department requires ID on every cow, and now on every chicken, on every American farm.  Guess they will be voting now also via proxy?!?

Obama wants to trace the movement of farm animals but not illegal aliens; he wants to ID every farm animal to protect the public health but does not want to ID voters to protect the integrity of elections.

With the memory still fresh that the 2000 presidential election was decided by a handful of voters in Florida, the determination of who gets to vote in 2012 could decide who will be the next president.

I wonder how many Fifis, Busters, Princesses, Samsons, Angels, Apachis, Bouzers, Angelinas, Killers, Preciouses, Merlins, Annabelles, Buddys, Cocos, Beaus, Tinkerbells and Spikes, etc. are voting?  But not to worry… we don’t need voter ID and there is no voter fraud going on…  So just move along and close your eyes, there is nothing to see here…

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , | 5 Comments

Riding as Therapy

True Health Is True Wealth:

Equine therapy is catching on as a fun and helpful activity for many MS patients.

One to three times a week a growing group of MS patients across the country saddle up to relieve some of their symptoms and to boost their self-esteem. Equine therapy is used to treat a variety of diseases and disorders besides MS, including mental illness, cerebral palsy, and brain injury. According to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Inc. (NARHA) in Denver, Colorado, more than 26,000 riders with disabilities benefit from therapeutic horseback riding activities at NARHA centers.

Hippotherapy, which means "treatment with the help of a horse," has been widely practiced in this country since the 1960’s. In 1952 at the Helsinki Olympic Games, Liz Hartel of Denmark garnered the silver medal for dressage (The execution by a trained horse of complex movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider.) despite being paralyzed from polio. Her victory helped focus the world on using horses to improve the health of those with various disabilities. As the experts investigated various ways for horses to help patients, they found that not all people can be aided in the same way.

"Hippotherapy is using the horse strictly as a modality for therapy, where the riders are not influencing the horse at all," explains Occupational Therapist Erin Hurley, director of the Unicorn Handicapped Riding Association in Medford, NJ. "Equestrian therapy is more of a global term. It combines therapy and recreation. That’s what most people with MS do. I think they get more out of it if they are an active partner in the process."

According to the NARHA, research shows that all therapeutic riding participants can experience physical, emotional, and mental rewards. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. For those with mental or emotional problems, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to boosted confidence, patience, and self-esteem. All who ride also receive the benefit of a special sense of independence which comes from riding.

Equine therapy can provide certain benefits to MS patients. "The benefits from the therapy depend on the disability. With MS, it’s a physical disability in which case there are a lot of different benefits. For example, if you have an MS patient in a wheelchair, he (or she) is not getting a lot of stimulation to the spine," Ms. Hurley says. "The horse’s movement stimulates the human movement in the way the horse walks. If you’re sitting on the horse’s back, you’re getting those benefits of side to side movement and rotation movement each time the horse steps forward. Just the sensory input helps to stimulate the muscles in different ways. At the other end of the spectrum with spascity, equestrian therapy helps to loosen tight muscles especially through the hip area, lower extremities, and through the trunk."

The MS patients who ride at Ms. Hurley’s center come either once or twice a week. They ride for 30 minutes with the help of two side walkers, a person who leads the horse, and an instructor. By having the four people work alongside the rider, safety is ensured. Since these helpers are trained to work with MS patients who have weakness and balance problems, no one should be afraid to give horse therapy a try, say the experts.

"Each person works on different goals as we walk through the woods or inside our indoor arena depending on the weather," she says. "One woman with MS who started with us this year was having trouble walking. After a ride she says she can walk much better."

The experts and MS patients say that equestrian therapy offers much more to MS patients then symptom relief. "It raises their self-esteem and gives them something to do for recreation. They love it and really look forward to it," says Ms. Hurley.

Just getting out in the fresh air and doing something physical can do wonders for MS patients say the experts. "One of the most frustrating aspects of chronic illness or disability is the effect it has on leisure-time activities. Just when a person would benefit most from the relaxation, enjoyment, and socialization that come from recreation, he is limited in what he can do. It is important, however, despite what limitations may exist, to maintain existing or find new interests," write Dr. Robert Shuman and Dr. Janice Schwartz in their book, Understanding Multiple Sclerosis: A Handbook for Families (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988). "There is a network of horseback riding programs for the physically challenged. Many people with MS find that riding builds back abdominal muscles, strengthens weak legs, and is a terrific source of self-confidence."

"Don’t defy the diagnosis, try to defy the verdict." – Norman Cousins

For Rita McGinley, 44, of Westmont, NJ, equestrian therapy helped many of her symptoms and also raised her spirits. She rode every week for about a year at the Pegasus Riding Academy in Philadelphia. Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS four years ago, the registered nurse was forced to quit her job and later counseled patients at MSAA headquarters in Cherry Hill. Now undergoing intense physical therapy, she plans to return to equestrian therapy at the end of her current regimen. "It is so enjoyable. I ride bareback where there’s just a blanket between me and the horse. I feel every movement of those four hooves, and I can feel the muscles in my pelvic floor moving. I have problems with my bladder, and after I ride I can feel much improvement," she says. "It’s also great for strengthening and balance. There’s a general feeling of well-being on a horse and that another living being is helping me. I love it."

Members of the Montville, NJ MS Support Group have saddled up for a therapeutic ride at the Handicapped Riding Center at West Orange, NJ, part of the Montclair Riding Academy, for the past nine years. Dedicated to the development of horseback riding as a therapeutic, recreational, and social activity for people with disabilities, the academy hosts these MS patients every Wednesday morning at its gorgeous grounds.

"We really don’t know how it works. But from talking with different people, it seems that the horse helps them to move some of their muscles that they cannot move on their own. Most of the people with MS who come here think they are getting some benefit out of it. Some people insist on riding bareback so they have closer contact with the horse, but most people use the western saddle because it’s safer and easier to use," says John Sinico, a spokesperson for center. "They love it. They swear by it. They also tell us that mentally it’s a nice relief from their everyday worries. Instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for themselves they are out doing something. It’s active, not passive. All in all, it’s very beneficial."

Montville MS Support Group Leader Tom Hinkey says that some of the group members receive some relief from their spascity through riding, but they all get emotional benefits from it. By getting out and socializing and focusing on the horse, he says, they can forget about their problems and enjoy the day.

"If you don’t have a fear of horses, it can probably help some of your symptoms. It’s a lot of fun," says Ms. McGinley. "Whenever I rode, I would come home with a ‘horse healthy high.’ I miss it and can’t wait to do it again once my current physical therapy is over."
– Christine Norris

PROMOTING A SAFE RIDE

The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) was founded in 1969 to promote and support therapeutic horseback riding programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. Comprised of more than 500 riding centers, the NARHA helps ensure safe instruction by administering a certification program for riding instructors. NARHA also offers an accreditation program to riding centers to promote excellence in providing therapeutically-valid services. The association provides riding centers with guidelines for selecting riders who are suitable and appropriate for therapeutic riding activities.

Multiple Sclerosis-Afflicted Neil Cavuto Slams MSNBC’s Attacks on Ann Romney: ‘Horse’s Asses’…

Uneducated Slander:

Earlier this week MSNBC’s continuous string of near slander against Mitt Romney has just spawned yet another aggressive bit of push-back, this time from Neil Cavuto of Fox News. You may recall that MSNBC anchor Lawrence O‘Donnell recently slammed Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, for claiming that she participates in the sport of dressage as therapy for her multiple sclerosis. According to O’Donnell, “There are a lot of things you can do to try to deal with MS. But come on, dressage does not appear in any of the more traditional courses of treatment.”

Turns out that that assertion is breathtakingly wrong, as Cavuto pointed out while citing multiple clinical organizations that treat multiple sclerosis and consider horse therapy a very traditional, and often very effective form of therapy. Watch his takedown here:

Cavuto Video to MsNBC: “Lean Forward – Bend Over! You… ‘Horses Asses’…

As you can plainly see, Cavuto doesn’t pull punches in this clip. “You’ve got a disease in your name – maybe you should stop calling names,” he starts the segment.

He then proceeds to go right for the jugular, while still remaining preternaturally calm, calling MSNBC a collection of “horse’s asses“ and slamming them as ”condescending, sanctimonious“ people with ”incredible ignorance” of multiple sclerosis treatments. He then points out that the horse riding therapy – known as “hippotherapy,” according to Cavuto – is used to treat walking conditions associated with multiple sclerosis. Quoting from the “industry bible” on neurology, Cavuto says straight out that “this is a legitimate therapy.”

Cavuto’s stern correction only serves to confirm the generally low opinion of MSNBC which is beginning to percolate amongst the rest of the media. Glenn Beck, for instance, hammered the network over its smear tactics on his radio show today after savaging their most recent factual errors:

“You have no credibility at all,” Beck thundered. “The ratings are going to tank on MSNBC, because Americans are fair.”

On a side note, setting aside the numerous factual errors on the network, Cavuto‘s takedown misses a blistering example of hypocrisy on the part of Lawrence O’Donnell. To complain about how particular therapies don’t appear on the “traditional” list, when the Left has pushed for numerous untested medical ideas, such as embryonic stem cell research and assisted suicide. Neither of these is in any way “traditional,” and O’Donnell is not on record opposing either of them, so why the selectiveness?

Hear and see Beck radio takedown of MSNBC video to fit their agenda: Here

https://i2.wp.com/bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/thevillagesdailysun.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e0/0e07aaf8-b059-11e1-af05-0019bb2963f4/4fd02e27aa6a2.image.jpg

"If they (the liberal bias media) is that egregious at lying on that issue, what else are they lying about?"

Dim Bulb: Lawrence O’Donnell | WashingtonExaminer.com

Ann Romney’s Horse Comes in Third in Olympic Qualifying Event …

London 2012 Olympics: Mitt Romney’s wife’s horse Rafalca heading for Games

What is Therapeutic Riding?

To learn more about therapeutic riding or for a list of centers in your area, contact NAHRA at:

PO Box 33150
Denver, CO 80233

(800) 369-7433

(303) 452-1212

You may also visit NARHA on the world wide web at: http://www.NARHA.org.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments