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31 March 2007

Give a Pet a Home is a web site were there are details of hundreds of abandoned animals that need a new home. Don't think it's just dogs either. They have everything from Gerbils to Horses. is a voluntary run web site that advertises the plight of these animals on behalf of other rescue organisations all over the country. If you know of an animals that needs a new home or you know of someone looking to give a home to a pet this is the web site for them.
The web site also has a auction page where you can bid for pet related paraphernalia. All proceeds go to help run the charity.
Go on...give it a might find the friend of a lifetime.

29 March 2007

Love 2 Lead question 12

Question - "Is Art More Valuable than Science?"

My answer - "I never considered them to be mutually exclusive."

Science is with us whether we embrace it or not. It is everything.

Art is man made. It’s a figment of our imaginations; a form of expression that probably predates language.

Art is not dependant on science nor science on art but they manage to live side by side without conflict and can even compliment each other. Fractals are a good example of science and art.

I am an artist but I am fascinated by science. I mainly use Photoshop as my medium. If it had not been for some very clever scientists developing the computer software like that would not exist.

I have to say I fail to see the point of the question. To me it is a bit like asking what’s better, a potato or the colour green?

27 March 2007

A Little Canine Humour

This was sent to me as an e-mail from a friend. I liked it so I thought I would share it with you all.

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?".

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you anymore. We are lonesome here and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me.

Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.
And it was a good animal.

And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve, and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.

And God said, "No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

And God said, "No problem! I will create for them a companion who will be with them forever and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them.

And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility. And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other.

23 March 2007

Dangerous Dogs or Dangerous Owners?

I have just watched the Tonight program on ITV which was all about the failings of the dangerous dogs act and the recent amnesty in Merseyside. Typically enough, this program, like all the others I have seen on the subject, has completely missed the point. No one ever seems to ask the question "Why are these dogs the way they are?" Instead there is this big label placed on the breed or breed type as if it was something genetic. Well it's not. The dogs that have attacked people did so because they had been brought up and trained by either violent or incompetent owners. Until the law focuses on the owners and not the dog breed it will always be a shambles. I have known several pit bull type dogs that have been totally loving and gentle. They are not my preferred breed but I have nothing against them. The problem is a large proportion of them are owned by people who either want a dog to boost their macho image or want one specifically for dog fighting. What hope have the dogs got?
Dogs only know what we teach them. Placing the blame on the dogs is a cop out when it is the owners or trainers who must take all the blame. These people should be banned from ever owning a dog again.
I felt really sorry for the families in the program who had their innocent dogs removed from them on the suspicion of them being pit bull type breeds. OK so they got them back after a lengthy court case because they were able to prove they were well trained and safe but the law dictated that these dogs had to remain muzzled and on leads when ever they were in public. How ridiculous is that? Some perfectly safe dogs are now to be treated like they're insane. One of these dogs was an American Bulldog, looks like a boxer but the size of a mastiff. Such a dog would require loads of exercise which it simply can't get on a lead. Keeping a dog well exercised is one way of reducing its stress. The other problem with keeping dogs on leads is that dogs are more likely to attack if they are on a lead than if they are free. This is because when a dog is on a lead it feels trapped so if something happens that unnerves it instead of being able to get out of the way and avoid confrontation it is forced to defend itself.
I know, without a doubt, that I could raise a pit bull type dog from a puppy in such a way that it would be as trustworthy and friendly as any other dog.
The dangerous dogs act was written by people who clearly didn't understand dogs and were too frightened to lay the blame where it deserved to the feet of the owners.

22 March 2007

Love 2 Lead Question 11

Question - Is Immigration Destroying National Identity?

My answer - What National Identity? I think we’ve destroyed that for ourselves.

It seems to me that being British is simply not PC. These days it seems we have to be European to be good citizens. But even that isn’t enough. We are now being encouraged to be culturally neutral so as not to offend anyone.

Immigrants are bearing the blame for this but it is really their fault? Are they the ones clamouring for us to change or are we just so scared of upsetting them that we are forcing the changes on ourselves. Let’s face it, the immigrants came here because they wanted to be here. Doesn’t that suggest that most of them liked the place as it is, warts and all? OK, so we do hear about a minority of immigrants that try to upset the status quo but I’m not sure this is reflective of the majority of them.

England has been invaded but immigrants since man first managed to float a boat. It is what has made us who we are so why should we suddenly start worrying about it now? What I believe upsets our population more than the immigrants is having policy makers forcing us to change our ways in order to fit in with our new neighbours. There is so much emphasis these days on keeping tags on everybody’s ethnic background so ensure that no one group is being discriminated against. Schools are discouraged from holding religious assemblies unless they are multi faith. Children are being prevented from wearing any religious symbols in school. Police forces have to discriminate against white European applicants in order to encourage more applicants from ethnic backgrounds. This is all crazy and does not help integration, quite the contrary, it gives us something to rebel against.

Although I don’t think we should fear genuine immigrants I do think we need to deal with illegal immigration swiftly and more effectively. Once a decision has been made to deport this should be done without hesitation. Those that are granted entry into the country should then be welcomed into the welfare system and helped to find employment. Once our immigration policy is seen by the world to be fair and decisive there would be fewer false applicants as we would cease to be seen as the soft target we currently are.

Embracing multiculturalism has made this country strong in the past but enforcing multiculturalism with tear it apart in the future.

16 March 2007

Love 2 Lead Question 10

Question - Will Copyright Pirates Kill Television?

My Answer - Wound it yes, kill it no.

There is no two ways about it, copyright theft is a crime just like shop lifting. It’s no good trying to justify it by saying they can afford it or it’s just a drop in the ocean. Theft is theft. If we engage in any kind of copyright theft we have to admit to ourselves that we are criminals. Small time maybe but still guilty of a crime. The only difference is we haven’t been caught …YET. It happens because it is all too easy, like taking biros from work. But that doesn’t make it right.

Will it bring down the industry? No, I can’t see that. Losses from pirating may seem significant on paper taken in isolation but when they are measured against overall profits it’s not generally a problem provided the industry in healthy. If the industry is already ailing then pirating can certainly add to the coffin nails. Let’s face it, most people are going to want to watch the genuine article on their wide screen TV, not some hacked off copy on a tiny portion of their PC screen.

Once again I know this won't be a popular answer but I have to tell it as I see it and not simply try pandering for votes.

14 March 2007

Pet Portrait Gift Vouchers

I am now producing gift vouchers as part of my pet portrait range. These make ideal presents especially when things have been left to the last minute. The gift vouchers can be for any amount and will be valid for 12 months from date of issue. Each gift voucher will be presented in one of the many cards available on the web site. Please specify which card you would like when ordering. For further information visit the web site at or contact me direct on 07956 448690.

08 March 2007

Love 2 Lead question 9

Question - Is Euthanasia Fundamental To A Civilised Society?
My answer - Civilisation? – Humanity?..probably yes

Basically the question needs re-phrasing. As it is, the answer has to be NO. Humans have been living in civilised societies for thousands of years generally without practicing euthanasia. So unless we are now going to reclassify the term ‘civilisation’ euthanasia isn’t and has never been fundamental to it.

However, if the question was “Is Euthanasia Fundamental To Humanity” I would have a different answer.

If a pet is terminally ill and suffering from its illness most owners would have it put to sleep. It is considered the ‘humane’ thing to do. We take the word humane from ‘human’ and yet we do not apply it to humans. If a human is terminally ill and suffering greatly they have to endure their plight until they eventually die. Can this really be right?

I think the main reason that euthanasia against the law in this country and many others has its roots in religion. It is against our Christian beliefs either to take our own lives or the life of another. Common law was based on the commandments and until about the 1960’s it was illegal to attempt to commit suicide in this country. Things are changing slowly and terminally ill people are often allowed to die in certain circumstances but this still isn’t euthanasia and still allows extended suffering.

In some cases I believe people should be allowed to be euthanized. Were a terminal illness or condition is causing so much suffering the person has no will to go on living they should have the right to choose. However, I feel strongly that no person, whether doctor, nurse or other carer, should be forced to administer any lethal treatment to that person if it is against their beliefs. Any such decision should also be authorised by an independent judge to avoid playing into the hands of people like Harold Shipman.

I have watched 2 close members of my family die from cancer. The last couple of weeks of their suffering is imprinted on me. I cannot say if they would have chosen euthanasia if it had been offered, I can only guess but I can say that what I witness was not humane.

02 March 2007

Obedience Season Begins

Well it's March and the Dog Obedience Season is once more approaching. Cruft starts next week and I have many friends competing. I wish them all luck, their dogs are certainly working well.
As for me, I have a stack of entry forms to sort out and send off. Brac has worked well in training over the winter, I just hope we can hold it together in the ring.
I plan to be more organised this year both in terms of getting my entries sent off in time and remembering to turn up at the stay rings in time. Having said that, I'm sure the year won't be completely free of mistakes on my part. I am only too well aware that if Brac had a better handler he would be a Crufts contender himself. Still, it's a learning process and great fun for him and me so we will just have to keep trying.
Good luck to my friends at Crufts, I'll be gunning for you.

Blog to Lead: Hurrah!!

Blog to Lead: Hurrah!!

Love 2 Lead Question 8

"Can Money Buy Happiness?"

It depends what you mean by Money and how much. It also depends on which side of the fence one is viewing it from so I know there will be people who will argue fiercely against my views. I accept this and they may be right.

When I initially thought about this question I was going to post any answer in the ‘No’ camp but having studied my argument and looked again at the exact wording of the question I had to switch sides. You will see why. The article below is as I wrote it, I just inserted this paragraph afterwards. Remember as you read it I was trying to prove a ‘No’ answer.

Money is just a possession that has no value in itself. It has to be converted into something useful. Money to someone stranded on a dessert island would be completely useless.

There are two types of possessions. Necessities such as food, shelter and clothing; and luxuries anything else that is not either essential to survival or necessary to help us obtain the necessities. I.e. a car is not a necessity as we cannot eat it (although I guess you could use it for shelter) but it may be necessary to have for providing transport to work so we can afford the necessities. In this example it would not be a luxury but a second car probably would.

Happiness depends on us having the necessities in sufficient quantities to keep us healthy plus also having love and companionship of friends and family and sufficient rest. If money provides these things then you could argue that money has bought happiness but not all culture use money.

Having a large excess of money after providing for the necessities will not provide a large excess of happiness. It seems to me there are plenty of miserable rich people in the world. I would guess the percentage of miserable rich to the percentage of miserable people (above the subsistence level) generally is about the same. It’s only when people cannot provide for themselves or their loved ones that the levels of misery really increase and this is normally due to either drought or war, not a lack of money although these people are often poor.

But…can giving money away not bring happiness?

Many people gain a feeling of happiness by giving money to needy charities such as Oxfam or directly to people they know are in need. Doing this certainly gives me a warm feeling of happiness until I then realise that there are thousands of needy causes and should I not give to them all? I can’t afford to give to them all so then I start to feel despondent again. The more I have to give the more inadequate I feel about my ability to give. Shindler never felt truly happy about his ability to save Jews in the war because he always knew there were more that needed his help. His own selflessness caused his unease. I am not trying to place myself with such a great man but if he didn't gain happiness through his amazing acts of charity then I have no hope by donating a few pounds here and there.

OK so what about the recipients, are they not receiving happiness?

Certainly to a degree, but why were they in that position in the first place. Giving money frequently only treats the symptoms and does not provide a cure. Of course, if it is to get someone out of debt it can be the cure provided they are then able to stay out of debt. If on the other hand it is money given to help feed victims of famine then it only treats the symptoms and unless the money is used to find a sustainable source of food there can be no real happiness only starvation or constant need.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying giving money to charity is a waste, it’s just not always the solution to unhappiness.

Some forms of unhappiness can only be eased by companionship and no amount of money will help. Loneliness or grieving for the loss of a loved one for example. Depression caused by a loss of self worth can effect both rich and poor equally. There are many such examples but you get the idea.

I guess the answer to the original question is not so easy to define. I have already shown there are instances in which it can provide happiness to a degree so the answer has to be ‘Yes’, but I don’t think it is necessary for happiness and it certainly can’t guarantee it.

PS My response to the previous question (7) earned me a 3rd place so I'm well chuffed.