S is for… and Caturday Art!!

0422It’s Saturday So it’s appropriate that today is “S” day!!! It’s alSo Caturday Art day So you’ll have to gueSS which pet I’m with today! (No peeking!) We’re going to learn about Saur, Sage, and Sergeant Stubby.

Saur was another dog-king! He ruled over Norway’s Uplands in the early 1100s. Norway’s king at that time was Eystein. He and his son Onund were hated by the Uplands people so Eystein told them since they refused to be ruled by him or his son, they could choose between the king’s manservant or his dog. The people took a vote and decided on the dog. A throne was built for Saur and he was carried when the weather was bad so he wouldn’t get his feet wet; he also signed decrees with a stamp of his paw. There is, however, no record of the ‘man’ behind the throne! Unfortunately, Saur had a short reign of three years. He died with dignity in battle with a pack of wolves that attacked the royal sheep.0422 king-saur

 

A border collie from England named Sage became a FEMA dog. Her partner, D. Whetsel, calls her a “canine Brainiac” – a very smart and quick student. After training Sage’s first mission was on 9/11. She is the dog who found the remains of the terrorist who had flown the plane into the Pentagon. Later, Sage and Diane went to Iraq for 6 months searching for missing American soldiers, both in water and on land. Also, while in Iraq, she served as a therapy dog, bringing joy and comfort to the soldier’s lives. At ten-years-old and back home, Sage was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the cancer the way she did everything – full-tilt. While battling the disease, she became a therapy dog at Camp Enchantment, where kids with cancer go to get a boost in their lives. She fit right in with the kids! When she died in 2012, Whetsel started the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve, whose mission is “to promote the welfare of dogs who have faithfully served in wars, police work, crime prevention, and rescue efforts through education and increased public awareness.”

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There were many hero dogs of World War I but one in particular was the most famous dog of his day. Sergeant Stubby was a small pit bull/Boston terrier mix and he was smart and brave. In July 1917, he wandered into army training grounds in New Haven, Connecticut and was eventually adopted by Corporal Robert Conroy. Conroy smuggled Stubby on the troop ship and into France. When his commanding officer found out about Stubby, the pup saluted the officer the way he had been trained by Conroy and Stubby was allowed to stay with the 102nd Infantry.0422 stubby a

One morning in Autumn of 1918 Stubby caught a German spy mapping out American trenches – literally by the seat of his pants. Stubby held on to the man’s backside until the soldiers arrived. With that capture, he was made a sergeant, the first dog to be given a rank in the U.S. armed forces (although there is some mild controversy about whether his rank was ‘official’ or not).

The war dog learned to live with the noises of war and when high-pitched shells were incoming, he would go to ground and cover his ears with his paws. The soldiers learned that this was a sign to take cover before the shells hit. Early one morning while the unit was asleep Stubby woke smelling a gas attack and howled an alarm. The soldiers were able to wake up in time and put on gas masks. He led lost and injured soldiers back to camp, led medics to injured soldiers and carried messages in a can attached to his collar. He served 19 months overseas and survived 17 battles. When he and Robert finally went home, they worked together to raise money for the war effort. Sgt. Stubby died in his sleep in 1926. Conroy had Stubby taxidermied and in 1957 donated the war dog to the Smithsonian.

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For Caturday Art I went back in time and sat on a parade float with Sgt. Stubby!!0422 stubby art

So, it waS So nice of you to Stop by!!! AlaS I have to Say Sayonara until Sunday!!! Love and Sweet KiSSeS to you all, Toby

 

fRiday fill-ins and R is foR…

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Finally Friday – as my mom likes to announce to the world!! It’s also “R” day! Today I will be telling you about a famous Rhinoceros and a mare named Reckless!

Cacareco, a black African Rhinoceros living in a Sao Paulo, Brazil zoo was surprisingly elected to the city council in 1959. The people of the city were fed up with food shortages, the high cost of living, unpaved streets and open sewers. So, in protest more than 100,000 people wrote Cacareco’s name on the ballot and amazingly, she received more votes than anyone else. The closest human runner-up received only 10,079 votes!!

Here’s a fun fact: from 1963-1993 the Rhinoceros Party of Canada was active in politics. I’m not sure what good (if any) they did but I like this quote I found on Wikipedia: It [the Party] declared that the rhinoceros was an appropriate symbol for a political party since politicians, by nature, are “thick-skinned, slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and have large, hairy horns growing out of the middle of their faces.”

(Evan Kayne (January 12, 2006). “Federal election in dire need of laughs”. FFWD Weekly.)

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Also back in the 50’s, during the Korean War a US Marine Corp officer purchased a former racehorse, little mare named Reckless (1949-1968), to help carry supplies for them. Soon she became part of the troop and was trained to carry guns and wounded soldiers. In 1953 there was a terrible battle and the Marines were trapped on a mountainside. Reckless worked all day carrying guns and bullets up the mountain and wounded or dead soldiers down the mountain—all by herself. Up and down she went, all day, some 51 times. With thousands of bullets and shells flying and bombs exploding all around her, she was only slightly wounded twice and never gave up. After the war, Reckless retired to a life of luxury at Camp Pendleton and was given the rank of Sergeant. In 2016 she was posthumously awarded the Dicken Medal, Great Britain’s highest award of valor for animals. 

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That Reckless was pretty amazing!

 

Now on to Friday Fill-ins!!

As always, Mom answers in Pink and my answers are in Orange!

1. The most interesting museum I have been to is the Hirshorn, part of the Smithsonian in D.C. I was there about 10 years ago. The reason its the most interesting is because of the sculpture garden& the Calder exhibitions – but really its because of the dude pictured here. He is so real looking – if he wasn’t 6 feet taller than me sitting down, he looks like he’s going to get up and walk away. The dude is sitting there naked and – according to my sister (I think) – anatomically correct. I was too embarrassed to look. He’s a part of their permanent collection, so if you’re headed that way – take a peek and let me know!!!014
2. The most interesting historical place I have been to is the “Cottages” of  Newport, Rhode Island. Gorgeous homes for zillionaires.cliffwalk
3. Warm weather is back! That means outside time for me!!!0215b

4. I was surprised when mom first brought LadyBird home; then she let PeggySue and MerryBelle in the house; then Mabel and Matilda! And she told me my giant cousin Buddy will be staying with us in July while Granmama goes out of town. Mom is so surprising! I wonder what else she has up her sleeve!!0421

 

ellen_cat_badge_2-1 Thanks Miss Ellen and McGuffy for hosting!

gentlecatsThanks foR stopping by on “R” Day! I Really appReciate it!!! With Respectful Regards, Toby

Q is for …

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Not only is it Tuxie-Tuesday-on-Thursday but it’s also Thankful Thursday and it’s an appropriate day for “Q”! The two pets I have to share today are both heroes and their humans are thankful for them! There’s a very small Quaker parrot named Willie and a very large Quarter horse named Stormy!

0420 willieWillie, a small lime-green Quaker parrot loves to talk. He calls his human, Meagan “mama” all the time. One afternoon Meagan was babysitting a friend’s two-year-old daughter, Hannah, and while they played and watched TV Willie was in his cage chattering away like normal. Meagan got up to run to the bathroom and left Hannah, happily munching on a Pop-Tart. As soon as Meagan left the room, Willie started screaming and going crazy in his cage. He was flapping his wings and screaming “Mama baby!” over and over as loud as he could. Meagan ran back in the room and saw Hannah on the floor choking and turning blue. She immediately went to the little girl and performed the Heimlich maneuver which dislodged the Pop-Tart. Hannah started breathing again and her color returned. Both Meagan and Hannah’s mom credit Willie for saving the toddler’s life. She said he added the word ‘baby’ to ‘Mama’ on his own and that’s what really got her attention.

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Two wings up for Willie!!! And human kids? You can’t leave them alone like mother cats do; our mom’s leave us alone even while nursing so they can get a break and replenish their tummy’s!

 
0420 stormySiblings Emma (9-years-old) and Liam (7-years-old) were out one afternoon exploring the woods near their home in Louisiana. Emma was riding her Quarter horse, Stormy, while Liam was on the ground walking ahead on the trail. Stormy became skittish and difficult to control and Emma didn’t know why. All of a sudden, a wild pig came crashing through the undergrowth, stopping barely 6 feet from Liam. The boar was really big with brown bristles and sharp tusks. He was making aggressive clicking noises and making ready to charge at Liam. Meagan yelled at her brother to run but he was frozen in fear. Stormy took charge of the situation. She trotted around and put herself between Liam and the boar and nudged him back toward home. She then moved so her rear end was in front of the boar. With one swift kick, she struck the boar right in the snout. The wild pig squealed in pain and ran away as the kids and Stormy ran in the other direction toward home. Liam and Meagan’s mom said “Stormy took care of those kids and we will be forever grateful.”

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Instead of ride’em, cowboy!! It’s punch’em, Stormy! To tell you the truth I wouldn’t want to get near any horses’ hooves – even on a good day!!!

 

queen catI hope you enjoyed “Q”. And thank you, Toby, for letting me represent today!!! It’s time to make my Queenly quitting of this blog. Hoping for a quiet evening, BobbieSue

 

 

P is for …

 

0419Good morning everyone!! Today is “P” day – no, not ‘pee-day’ but “P” for the Blogging Challenge!! Sadly, I only have two P’s today: Pekingese and Pangur Ban.

Emperor Ling Ti ruled China from 168 to 189 CE (the Han Dynasty) and he loved his Pekingese dogs. Four of the dogs went with him everywhere he went – two preceding him barking his arrival and two more carried his robe behind him. One of his very favorites was given an esteemed honor, the Chin Hsien, a literary award similar to today’s Nobel prize in literature. Some dogs received the rank of k’ai fu, or viceroy; others were granted the rank of yi tung, or imperial guardian. The pampered Pekingese were guarded by imperial soldiers and chefs prepared the best meat and rice for them. I guess it does pay to be a dog sometimes!!! 

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This isn’t the Emporer! I searched for a likeness of him but wasn’t able to find anything.

Emperor Ling’s reign was not a good one – he had to deal with multiple assignation attempts while enjoying a decadent lifestyle and basically ignoring the needs of his people in favor of his own personal needs. He was not greatly mourned when he died, except for maybe by his dogs.

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Banqueting scene circa Han Dynasty

 
0419 Pangur banThe first named cat known to history in Europe is Pangur Ban. He was a real cat whose human was an anonymous Irish monk living in the monastery of Carinthia in Austria during the 9th century CE. Why is he remembered by name and not his human after all these years? Because the poem the monk wrote about Pangur has been preserved and is considered the most famous surviving poem from Early Ireland.

The poet wrote eight verses in the Old Irish language comparing his cat’s hunting of mice with his own hunting of knowledge. The cat’s name, Pangur Ban, means Fuller White. Legend states Pangur was white and I wonder if he was ‘fuller’ than all the other cats because he enjoyed hunting mice so much!

The poem is preserved in the Recihenau Primer and kept safe in St. Paul’s Abbey in Austria. And there is statue of him and his monk in the lobby of the Irish Folklore Department at University College in Dublin.0419 pangur ban a

Now, for your enjoyment, the poem Pangur Ban, as translated by Robin Flower from Old Irish.

I and Pangur Bán my cat,
‘Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

‘Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light

 

Thank you for stopping by on “P” day!! Since tomorrow is Tuxie Tuesday on Thursday, BobbieSue will be sharing with you “Q” Day!!! I’ll see you back on Friday for “R” and fRiday fill-ins!!!! 

peace outPeace out, dudes and dudettes – – Toby

 

 

 

O is for…

O is for… Oh I’m so sad…my sweet friend Miss Nellie has left us. I know many of you know this already but, like all of us, I have my own special memories of her and I wanted to share our time together. After that I’ll do my A to Z post!

nellies mice Do you remember these guys? They’re Nellie’s mice! After Nellie posted about them, they visited LadyBird while she was sleeping!

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ladybird & nellie The next night, Nellie visited LadyBird in her dreams!!

nellie-ladybirddisco-copy Nellie was a wild child – she took LadyBird dancing!!!

5thBlogoversary  LadyBird had a great time at Nellie’s party!

The after LadyBird went to the Bridge (I’m sure those two are kicking up their heels now!) Nellie befriended me and taught me her wild ways!!nellie and toby

 

0609c This past summer when Miss Nellie was running Joe and Smoke’s Presidential campaign, she came to Virginia Beach to put up signs and we went sight seeing and had a great seafood supper!!

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tobywreckingcrew This past October we joined Nellie’s pumpkin Patch!

And finally, this past February, my Sweetheart Penny and I visited the royal palace of Queen Nellie and brought her many gifts. Your Majesty, Queen Nellie

 

gift25 And she sent me this thank you in return.

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Au revoir sweet Nellie. You will be missed but never forgotten.

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Let’s dry our tears and switch gears…

HellO fOlks! tOday is “O” day!! tOday I have fOr yOu twO dOgs – Oscar and Owney! Why dOn’t we get started with Oscar!!

When Hollywood comes calling for dogs of a specific breed, animal trainers sometimes have to search everywhere for the right dog. For the movie, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, the producers wanted an Anatolian Shepherd to play a lead role, “Butch.” The trainer called the Anatolian Shepherd Rescue group to help him find the perfect “Butch.” He eventually found Oscar in California, working as a guard dog for a herd of miniature horses. The trainer took him home and Oscar began his short movie career. He did very well on the movie, mostly because he loved working – no just herding/guarding. He had a brief role with Blythe Danner in the movie, The Lucky One. Anatolians are big dogs, but Oscar was 165 pounds and when he stood on his hind legs he was over 6 feet tall!

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In 1888, a scruffy terrier mix named Owney started hanging around an Albany, NY post office. To keep warm, he would sleep on the mailbags and eventually started following the mailbags onto the mail trains. The Albany Post Office sort of adopted him – as much as anyone could adopt a wandering dog. When Owney decided to start hopping trains, the folks in Albany didn’t want to lose him so they put a collar and tag on him explaining who he was and where he belonged. He ended up visiting all 48 contiguous states and became quite popular. Although train accidents in the late 1800s were fairly common, any train Owney road on never had an accident. So on Owney rode, hopping from train to train, eventually traveling over 140,000 miles. Mail carriers all over the country “adopted” Owney as a mascot and they put hundreds of medals and tags on his collar/harness to show where he visited. He died in June 1897 and his ‘stuffed’ remains are on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Well, if you’ve stuck with me through this very long post, thank you! I know we started off a little sad but we ended with our A to Z post. Tomorrow is “P” day and I hope you’ll come back.