Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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#WATWB: Veterinarian Cares for Homeless People’s Pets for Free

We Are The World Blogfest in white

For the past nine years, Dr. Kwane Stewart has been visiting homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and walking the streets and alleyways of California to take care of homeless pets for free. He and his vet tech, Genesis, do this work in their spare time. They understand that pets are family.  Dr. Stewart has a gofundme page for help with supplies, medication, and pet food.

You can read more about the the street vet in the following story from from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/veterinarian-treats-homeless-peoples-pets-for-free/

Paw print from pixabay

This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light.

This month’s co-hosts are:

https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/“Sylvia McGrath
https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/“Peter Nena
http://shilpaagarg.com/“>Shilpa Garg
https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/“Eric Lahti
https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/”Belinda Witzenhausen.

Please visit WATWB Facebook Pagefor more stories of light and hope!


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Mysterious Sounds & a Song from my Heart

socs-badge-2019-2020

 

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “animal sounds.” “Write about the sounds animals make and how you experience them. Have fun!”

It was after midnight. I went out onto the balcony to look at the stars. The darkness was thick like a wool blanket over our mountain hideaway. A few stars peeked out through the evergreen trees. Cool, fresh air filled my lungs and tingled my face and hands.

Then I heard it. It sounded like a duck quacking at first. Then there was a screeching, snarling noise below, maybe fifty feet away. Were the two sounds from the same animal? Were two animals fighting. Was something hurt? I didn’t want to think about that. I waited and the same noise came again, both noises right after each other suggesting it came from the same animal.

Over the next few minutes, the noise repeated. The quacking diminished and the snarling increased.

I would have loved to have heard a wolf howl, or even a coyote. Or a bear grunting. A wolf would be better. When I was five years old my dad was stationed at the naval base on Newfoundland, Canada. We lived on base near some hills where wolves would howl at night. I don’t remember this well, at least not consciously, but oh how I would have appreciated this more much later in life.

After a while, the noise did not come back and the chill sent me back inside. I never found out what animal or animals made that sound. I’ll listen for it when we visit the mountains again.

Years ago, I wrote a song. It was back in high school, kind a corny maybe, but heartfelt. The song was about extinction. I added a stanza more recently, but for some reason, I don’t know where I put the words. I wonder if I can remember it now. I’ll try.

Once you could see

a million brown deer

We knew they’d be here for us

a l w a y s…… a l w a y s

Once you could see

the birds in the sky

We knew they would fly for us

a l w a y s…… a l w a y s

(bridge/guitar solo)

You can still see the birds

You can look, even feel

And they seem almost real

Yet somehow out of place

In their polished glass case.

And the deer in the park

stumble in the dark

And they seem kinds lame

But no one takes blame

For their blindness.

(Here’s the new part:)

Once we could hear

the wolf and the whale

Their voices would sail to us

a l w a y s…… a l w a y s.

But the wolf and the whale

No longer cry

They’re just stars in the sky.

No one stands by

For the singing.

(bridge/guitar)

Still we can see

the birds in the sky

We pray they will fly, always.

Still we might see

A million brown deer

We pray they’ll be here, always.

Still we can hear

the wolf and the whale

May wisdom prevail for them

a l w a y s…… a l w a y s……

© Joanne Macco, aka joannaoftheforest

 

great voices wolf pup

Hard to explain with no editing. I don’t remember if all these words are what I originally wrote, but it’s pretty close. On the guitar, I use chords …. wait let me check…. E, Em, and another chord I don’t know the name of in the beginning. Then there’s a bridge into the sad parts with G, D, A, and Em. Then back to the first chords for the hopeful part.

Dang. I didn’t write about Doodle howling when I tuned my guitar. But you can imagine.

Doodle w foot on head

I miss Doodle bug.

For more animal sounds in the stream of consciousness, and the rules for #SoCS,

visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-22-2020/

 


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Run with Love (Motivation for a Plant-Based Diet)

“Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”  River Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix quoted his late brother in his recent Oscar acceptance speech. It was a moving speech. Here’s more of my favorite parts:

“I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop, and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”    ___Joaquin Phoenix

The whole speech:

 

In his speech, Mr. Phoenix reminds me about animals suffering in the dairy industry. This encourages me to return to my goal of becoming vegan which means consuming no animal products. While I’ve done fairly well in abstaining from most meat over the last four decades, I’ve found it hard to give up fish and dairy (especially cheese) for good.  The 40 days of lent starting next week give me strength to do better, to show myself what I’m capable of. Going vegan for lent in the past helped me be done with chicken and reduced my dairy consumption after lent. Maybe this will be the year I’ll be done with dairy. As far as seafood goes, we’ll see. For now, my goal is to be vegan for lent.

Here are three reasons to move toward a plant-based diet:

1. A plant-based diet is healthier as long as we don’t eat a lot of junk food.

2. It’s better for the environment because it takes way less energy to produce plants than to produce plants to feed to animals in an industry that adds more pollution. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change.

3. A plant–based diet reduces animal suffering and leads us in a direction of kindness and peace.

 

Factory Farming vegan diet

 

Please consider joining me in reducing our consumption of meat and dairy products. Every small step makes a difference and prepares us for the next step.

If you’re not already a vegetarian or vegan, you might want to consider something like Meatless Mondays.

Thanks for reading.

Avocado vegan pudding in blue cup (2)

Vegan Chocolate Pudding with cocoa, almond milk, and avocados. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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One-Liner Wednesday: Let Me Help You

Screenshot_2020-02-11 Reminiscence Photography on Instagram “Let me help you Once Humanity dying in Mankind, sometime anima[...]

Let me help you?

That might be what the orangutan is trying to communicate to the conservation guard half-submerged  in muddy, snake infested water.  What a generous offer of kindness. Sure looks that way to me. What do you think?

For more of the story, click on this CNN article.

 

Featured Image -- 28190

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. For more One-liners, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/12/one-liner-wednesday-thanks-internet/

Here are the guidelines:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

 

 


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Good News Tuesday: Donating Profits, Kidney Stone Treatment, Education for Girls, Compassion for Animals, and A Reunion

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Scientist Donates Her Profits for Anti-Cancer Drug to Charity

On this “Giving Tuesday,” I honor Professor Nicola Curtin of Newcastle University, part of a team who worked for 30 years to produce Rubraca, an anti-cancer drug. Professor Curtin used her £865,000 share of the profits from her work to create a community organization to help people overcome barriers in education and employment. Independent provides details in this article. Check out Professor Curtin’s blue/purple hair.

New Treatment to Help with Kidney Stones

Researchers MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that two medications could help relax the ureter walls to allow kidney stones to pass quicker and with less pain.  For details, click the link below:

https://news.mit.edu/2019/treatment-kidney-stone-passing-easier-1202

Free Education for Girls in Punjab

paraphrase this: “The Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to PhD.” free textbooks will be provided to all students in government schools from the next academic session. He also said that Nursery and LKG classes will be reintroduced in government schools from next year. Fulfilling another election promise Singh also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges. According to the census of India 2011, the literacy rate in Punjab is 75.84% which is better than the national average of 73.0%. The total number of literates in Punjab is 1,87,07,137. The male literacy rate is 80.44% and female literacy rate is 70.73%.

Source: India Times Lifestyle Network

Cruelty to Animals Becomes a Federal Crime in the US

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) passed both houses of the US congress and was signed into law by the US President. The law makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause serious harm to “living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians, as reported by NPR.  The law also criminalizes videos depicting serious harm to animals. While there are exceptions, it will be interesting to see how this new law could help animals on factory farms and in research. Lawmakers, human service workers, and criminal justice officials recognize the link between animal cruelty and violence toward people. More people are beginning to understand that all beings deserve compassion.

92 Year Old Meets Descendants of the Holocaust Survivors She Saved

Today’s Video shares the reunion Melpomeni Dina with members of the Mordechai  family she saved over 75 years ago when Nazis occupied Greece.

Got good news?

Please Share in the comments!

 


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#WATWB: Helping Australia’s Koalas

The devastation from fires in Australia is hard to watch.  But there are helpers. A group of quilters in The Netherlands is making mittens for koalas and pouches for kangaroos suffering burns from the bush fires. The mittens and pouches must be made entirely from cotton. Here’s more of the story.

Thank you to all the helpers, including the staff of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.  Here’s the link for their gofundme page.

Below are two videos of people helping koalas

….

We Are The World Blogfest in white

We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) brings us positive stories on the last Friday of every month. For more light in the darkness, visit the WATWB Facebook page:

For more details on WATWB, click here.

This month’s co-hosts,Sylvia McGrath, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in.

 


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Good News Tuesday: Redirecting Unused Food, Dissection Alternatives, Helping Koalas, and New Zealand’s Legislation for the Planet

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Italian Law Directs Wasted Food to the Hungry

Global Citizen reports that Italy has passed a law to send unsold food to charities.  It’s shameful how much food is thrown away when so many people are hungry. The article gives example of how much of the food thrown away is edible:

“….if white rice is mis-labeled basmati rice, it’s food waste. If a vegetable is misshapen it’s food waste. If a cereal box has a tear, food waste. A can with a ripped label also food waste. A bruised fruit, yup, food waste.”

While some countries impose penalties for wasted food, Italy is providing incentives.

You can read more about Italy’s initiative here.

 

Frog, Green, Green Frog, Pond, High, Water, Frog Pond

Realistic Replica Can Save Frogs from Dissection

SynDaver—the world’s leading manufacturer of hyper-realistic, synthetic human and animal surgical trainers has created a realistic enough non-living frog model for dissection. Despite the replica being more expensive than a real frog, its synthetic tissues are reusable and free of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. At least 3 million frogs are killed annually in the name of educational dissection. Isn’t it time we moved toward more humane educational pursuits?

If you’d like to read more about this innovation, click here for the Good News Network article.

Animal, Koala, Marsupial, Fur, Nature, Wildlife

Helping Koalas and Kangaroos in Australia

A group of Dutch quilters making mittens for koalas and pouches for kangaroos suffering from fires in Australia. The mittens and pouches must be made entirely of cotton. Here’s the story from SBS  Dutch.

Other good news within this terrible fire, is that $1,705,390 has been raised to help animals in Australia. Here’s a link to the fundraiserfor the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.  THANK YOU to all the helpers!

New Zealand Commits to Becoming Carbon Neutral by 2050

“In a historic show of bipartisan agreement” New Zealand passed a new law that will require the nation to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.  The Good News Network provides details, and Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, inspires:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

 


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Good News Tuesday: Hostage Release, Orangutan Sanctuary, Altruistic Service, and a Rescue

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Hostage Release

The Taliban released two hostages who were kidnapped in 2016. American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks who were both professors at the American University of Afghanistan were released in a prisoner exchange.

I appreciate finding this story in my email homepage headlines which rarely include good news.  For details, you can check out this NBC article.

Sanctuary for Sandra

An orangutan named Sandra was born in a Germany zoo in 1986. In 1994, she was moved to a zoo in Buenos Ares, Argentina where “she lived alone in a small and barren enclosure.” In 2015, Argentina’s high court Judge, Elena Liberatori, ruled that a zoo orangutan was a “non-human person” who had a right to a life with dignity. This ruling led to the zoo’s decision to close and find sanctuaries for all remaining animals. After   research and a period of quarantine in a Kansas zoo, Sandra finally arrived at the Center for Great Apes in Florida last month. Here’s the story from The Good News Network.

Altruistic Service

This article from The Guardian tells about a hairdresser, a plumber, and a beautician in the UK who provide free services to people in need.

Salem is Home Safe

Finally, here’s a story about the rescue of an 8 year old girl from a kidnapper. I watched a few different videos of this incident and picked the least scary video I could find, one that did not show the  perpetrator who was tearful and in custody.

The good news: Thanks to tips from regular citizens that helped police find her, Salem is home safe. 

 

What’s your good news?

Please share in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday: Animal Cruelty Legislation, A Message from a Father, and Prison Reform’s Early Release

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

US House Votes to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

The US house of representatives voted unanimously to approve a bill to make animal cruelty a federal offense with a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

Republican co-sponsor, Vern Buchanan said in a statement that the bill’s prospects of becoming law were favorable.

“This is a landmark bill that establishes for the first time a federal offense against the malicious torturing of animals,” Mr. Buchanan said. He added, “We are optimistic it will pass the Senate, which has already supported the bill in two previous sessions of Congress.”

Representatives recognize that animal cruelty is closely related to abuse of children and domestic violence. We are making progress.

Here’s the story from The New York Times

 

Fathers and Daughters: A Comforting Answer Four Years Later

Chastity Patterson lost her father in 2015. She continued to send text messages to his phone number for four years about what was going on in her life: overcoming challenges, graduating from college, and her continuing love. On the eve of the fourth anniversary of her father’s death, 23 year old Chastity was ready to let go with a final message when she received a response. It was from a father who had lost his daughter.

Please read this story from the Good News Network.

Prison Reform Early Release

527 prisoners were released in Oklahoma yesterday. The release was part of the state’s criminal justice reform which made drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. All the sentences commuted were for low level crimes like drug possession and property theft. Here’s more:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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Prayer for a Lost Dog

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. You can read my favorite Saint Francis story in this post about Saint Francis and the wolf.

The following events happened just a few days ago.

dogs running Pixabay (2)

 

On the way to the laundromat to wash my 17-year-old dog’s favorite bed, I saw a dog running down the busy street in the opposite direction. It was a dark grey dog, maybe a hound/pit bull mix, running with that panicked, I’m lost gait. Without thinking, I pulled onto a side street to turn around and fished out the leash I kept in the console. I couldn’t see the dog, but traffic had slowed considerably, and people were honking ahead of me.

I prayed out loud: “God please help that dog! Please get him off the road! Help him Now! (I had no idea if the dog was a male, but that’s what came out.) Within a few seconds I saw the dog, several cars ahead, make a right turn into an apartment complex. Okay, he’s safe. You have things to do, I told myself.  But somehow, my car turned into the apartment complex. He’s not safe; he’s scared.  Maybe he’ll come to me, said my other voice, brushing aside thoughts of then what are you going to do if you catch him?  I parked my car and started walking through the apartment complex carrying the leash. A guy near the pool house asked if I was looking for a dog.

“Yeah but it’s not mine. He was running down the street. I thought I might be able to catch him.”

“He went that way,” the pool guy said pointing further into the complex.

I kept walking, past the dumpsters and around a corner, seeing no sign of the dog.  He’s gone. Let it go. At least he’s not on the street. Maybe he’ll find his way home, I told myself. But for some reason, I kept walking through the unfamiliar apartment complex.

Then, I saw a young woman walking toward me. She must have seen the leash. “Are you looking for a dog?”

“Yes, but he’s not mine. He was running down the street,” I said pointing in the direction of the busy road.

“He’s in my apartment. He came right to my boyfriend.”

“Oh, good. Thank you. I’m glad he’s safe.”

“I work for a vet,” she said. “I’ll take him into work so see if he has a microchip.”

“Thank you so much for taking him in,” I said bowing slightly with praying hands.

“Thank you for looking for him,” she said.

“Of course.”

I walked back to my car feeling grateful that the dog found a safe place and someone in a position to help him, and that I’d kept walking long enough to find that out.

Back in my car, I said to God, “I didn’t mean to be rude with that, now! part.

God just smiled.

(The photo from pixabay reminded me of the dog.)

 

Happy Saint Francis Day!

st-francis-of-assisi-and-birds from Robert Kennedy's book

This picture is from the book Saint Francis of Assisi, A Life of Joy,

by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.