SEE THE FLYING SQUIRRELS? – Marilyn Armstrong

I thought those were leaves hanging on the trees. Then I cropped the rather huge picture way down in size and suddenly, I realized there are no leaves on the trees. It’s the beginning of March. There won’t be any leaves for another three months.

A squirrel on the feeder and a whole bunch on the tree!

A flying squirrel on his way to the big feeder

Flying squirrels on the feeder. I don’t know how many, but quite a few

So what were those things hanging on the tree? If not leaves, then what are they?

Look at all those flying squirrels

Can you see the flying squirrel clinging to the post, near the top?

It turns out it is a mass of flying squirrels. For some reason, last night we didn’t have any raccoons, but we had a plethora, a big gathering of flying squirrels. In the air, on the feeders, in the tree.

I wonder why we didn’t get any raccoons?

ARE FLOPPY EARED DOGS SAFER THAN POINTY EARED DOGS? — BY ELLIN CURLEY

The TSA uses about 1200 dogs at airports to screen passengers and baggage. These dogs are from seven breeds, two of which have pointy ears, including German Shepherds. But four out of five of the recent additions to the canine corps have droopy ears. Why?

Because the TSA decided, purely anecdotally, that people generally view floppy-eared dogs as more docile and friendly and pointy-eared dogs as more aggressive.

Allegedly, floppy-eared dogs don’t scare children but the pointy-eared dogs do.

Floppy-eared Golden Retriever

There is some research that supports the idea that people view pointy-eared dogs as more intimidating. This is a totally unsupported prejudice and it’s unfair to dogs because many dogs with pointy ears have had their naturally floppy ears cropped as puppies. Others have been genetically engineered by breeders to look that way.

Let’s be clear – pointy ears do not indicate an aggressive or dominant temperament. Ear configuration has no relationship to a dog’s disposition. This fear of pointy-eared dogs has been called ‘canine racism.’

Pointy-eared German Shepard at airport

I know a lot about doggie discrimination.

My daughter, Sarah, works with a Pit Bull rescue group in LA called Angel City Pit Bulls. One of their missions is to fight breed discrimination, like breed specific legislation which prohibits Pits from certain buildings and even certain cities. London had a Pit Bull ban and Montreal is trying to enact one. This forces people to choose between living where they want and giving up their beloved pet or finding somewhere else to live with their dog.

Pit Bulls are the canine ‘bad guys’ du jour. In the past, German Shepherds were shunned as aggressive and dangerous but now are used as companions and seeing-eye dogs. Then Rottweilers became the ‘bad dog’ du jour — and they don’t even have pointy ears!

Rottweiler

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Pit Bulls were used as the ‘nanny’ dog – to protect children and be their early companions. They were considered the ideal family pet and many family photos from the period include young children with their Pit Bulls.

Old photo of Pit Bull with his child

What’s even more galling about Pit Bull discrimination is that ‘Pit Bull’ isn’t even a legitimate breed. It’s an umbrella label that encompasses dogs from at least four different breeds, including Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog.

In shelters, dogs are labeled ‘Pit Bull’ if someone thinks they have some Pit Bull in them. The designation is totally arbitrary and subjective. And there are more Pits in shelters than any other breed and they are euthanized at a higher rate than any other breed.

Modern Pit and baby

To add insult to injury, the breeds that make up the faux category ‘Pit Bull’, are smack in the middle of the ratings for aggressiveness by breed. They are rated between Labs and Golden Retrievers! Clearly, these dogs are nowhere near being the most aggressive dogs.

In fact, the two most aggressive breeds are Chihuahuas and Dachshunds. But no one lodges complaints when attacked by a Chihuahua, probably because it would be embarrassing.

Sweet-faced Pit Bull

The most dominant traits in Pit Bull breeds are their gentleness and sweetness, their friendliness and their desire to please their humans. They got a bad reputation decades ago when dog fight promoters started training Pit Bulls to fight.

Remember, any dog can be trained to be aggressive and fight. And Pits are especially trainable because of their desire to please. Many Pits who have been rescued from dog fighting rings have been successfully rehabilitated and have been adopted as family pets – even after being trained to be aggressive.

So there is no basis for the widespread perception that Pit Bulls are more dangerous than other breeds. There is also no basis for the perception that pointy-eared dogs should be feared more than floppy eared dogs.

People seem to need to discriminate. They discriminate against people and dogs. We should fight prejudice and discrimination wherever we find it, even when it’s dogs. Mostly, dogs are nicer than people anyway.

Support dogs!

GUEST BLOG: DENTISTRY: NO LONGER AS SIMPLE AS PULLING TEETH – JOHN H. CORCORAN, JR.

Dear Friend,

If the Corona Virus makes inroads at or near pandemic level, we cannot fully anticipate how it will change our day to day habits. especially regarding healthcare. John H. Corcoran, Jr., makes a rare foray into serious journalism and reports on the shocking findings of Dr. Skippy Gzitzman, DDS. They may save your life.


Dentistry: No Longer as Simple as Pulling Teeth
by John H. Corcoran, Jr.

There are several critical aspects of the Corona Virus (aka COVID-19) that will change the way health treatment is applied. As a public service, here is one way to help you prepare for changes and to eliminate that worry-free weekend you’d been so looking forward to. Today, we’ll talk about your teeth. I just talked about mine with my dentist, Dr. Skippy Gzitzman.

Dr. Skippy says if COVID-19 becomes a Pandemic either countrywide or in your neighborhood, you will have a quandary when and if that aching Bicuspid turns into absolute agony and must be pulled.

The current “best advice” for people to avoid transmitting Corona Virus to others is to sneeze into your own sleeve, fart into your own shorts, and never touch your lips with your own fingers or someone else’s toes. The problem for the practitioners of the Dental Arts is that dentists and hygienists don’t have a choice. They have long been required to not only touch their patient’s lips, but essentially dunk their digits in your abundant mouth slobber.

Dr. Skippy explained how he will now be able to extract a tooth while all but eliminating his own chance of infection. “My office is on the fifth floor. I’ve just rented a suite of offices on the tenth floor, directly above it. Upon arrival at the building, a voice-message will direct the patient to the tenth floor. There an intern will affix an extraction device to the bad tooth and push the patient out the window.

“The anchoring pulley removes the tooth—no muss, no fuss—completing the extraction procedure as it passes by five floors below. If you survive the fall, you then pay for services and we send you on your merry way.”

“Wouldn’t a ten-story fall with tooth extraction be painful?”

“Probably. But we’ll keep our windows shut during the procedure so it’s hard to hear the screaming.”

“What about fillings?”

“Three words. Remote-controlled blasting caps.”

“Still it sounds very dangerous for the intern who comes in contact with the patient.”

“Not a problem. Interns are easily replaced.”

“Any other potential complication for the patient?”

“Only if the extraction wire wraps around their neck. We’ve had a couple of full and partial decapitations, but we sell the videos to reduce costs for you, our valued customer. I’ve seen them. Excellent production values and editing. The head popping off looks like a blood-filled Piñata nailed right on the button.”

“And where are you during all this, Doctor?”

“Drinking Brandy Alexander’s on the veranda,” he said. “Now then, let’s get you into X-ray.”


Copyright 2020 – John H.Corcoran, Jr.
John “Cork” Corcoran Jr.

HAVING A COLD IN A TIME OF PLAGUE – Marilyn Armstrong

Everyone catches colds, especially this time of year. The end of winter is prime time for sore throats, sniffles, laryngitis, and everything else. Getting a cold this time of year is absolutely normal, especially for us. We seem to have gotten particularly prone to colds that seem to go on forever. What used to last a few days now lasts a week or more as we pass them back and forth between us.

The current known spread of the virus

Except now it’s different. With Covid 19 spreading rapidly and this cold that seems to be getting worse rather than better — and a lack of tests to even find out what we have got, telling anyone we have colds sets off sirens and alarms. Not only are we worried about our own health, but we are also worried about whether or not we are contagious and what exactly we are carrying.



The number of cases of Covid 19 doubled overnight and that’s just the tip of the iceberg because most hospitals and doctor’s offices don’t have tests. So really, all we know are the people who have been tested which doesn’t give us an honest result. It doesn’t give the medical community knowledge of what they are dealing with or what they might be dealing with soon. Even our pathetic version of a government has had to come forward and admit we don’t have nearly enough tests or any accurate idea of how many cases we already have in this country.

It leaves us a little bit at sea. I’m not entirely sure what the symptoms are. I know what some of them are, but not all of them. I’m sure that even this government has this information available. We might not have tests, but there have been tens of thousands of cases worldwide. Surely this has given them a pretty good idea of the symptoms for which we should be looking.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus can mimic the flu or even a common cold. (Image: © Shutterstock)

No matter how many times I look up “symptoms for Covid 19,” I get vague answers. I don’t know what I’m looking for and I’m sure neither does anyone else. Shouldn’t there be a valid, high-quality explanation of what those of us who are sniffling and have other physical problems that make getting this disease dangerous? People with bad hearts and valve implants, who already have other kinds of illnesses which reduce immunity should know.

I need to know and I don’t.

I’m supposed to go to the hospital tomorrow to have my pacemaker checked. Should I go? What if this cold is more than a cold? I’m assuming it’s just a cold but maybe it isn’t. Someone should be giving out this information, It should be clear and unambiguous, don’t you think?