Sunday, February 27, 2011
Meet Millie. How can you resist those big brown eyes? Unfortunately, the people she trusted to care for her could. Millie is a rescue from a puppy mill. She is a bichon frise, known for their happy dispositions and loving personalities, but for the six years of her life, Millie was used to produce litter after litter of puppies. She probably never experienced a human touch unless it was to pick her up by the scruff of the neck, as she cringes when someone tries to pet her. She probably never had a bath as she had was covered in twelve-inch dreadlocks that were dirty and crusty with blood and afterbirth. She probably never had her nails trimmed as they looked like twisted twigs. She had ear mites and a yeast infection in her ears. Instead of being given a name, she had a number tattooed in her ear. This is how puppy mills care for their animals.
This is what
Millie is one of the lucky ones. She's been rescued. She has a chance of being adopted and becoming the happy dog she was meant to be.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Last year I had posted my dilemna of where to go on vacation. I was seriously considering a cruise, but wasn't sure it was for me. I still don't know, because I chose Switzerland, about as land-locked a country as you can get. And one of the most beautiful.
The view from my balcony.
I fell in love with everything Swiss. But what I enjoyed most wasn't the mountains (which were breathtaking) or the glacier-fed lakes (so blue and clear you could see the bottom) or even the chocolate (delicious).
It was the people. At a time when I've been battling neighbors who see nothing wrong with turning the car stereo on full volume in the middle of the night, it was a joy to be among people who were considerate and very aware of their impact on other people.
I had been in Switzerland for a week before I realized I hadn't heard a single cell phone ring. I hadn't overheard anyone's potty-mouthed conversation. I hadn't even seen people at dinner texting instead of talking. There were cell phones. I saw people carrying them. Saw them talking on them. Or maybe they were whispering. Because I was never forced to be an unwilling listener to any of their conversations.
Just about everything is recycled. When we arrived at our apartment our landlady gave us directions on kitchen etiquette. From meat to paper towels, just about everything went into a bin to be recycled or composted. The Swiss have the highest recycling rate in the world. Due, in part, to the fact that garbage bags are taxed. The less garbage, the less tax.
Politeness seems to be a way of life over there. Yes, they do put their feet up on the seats of the trains -- after they've taken their shoes off and set a newspaper beneath them. Maybe that's the real reason Swiss trains run like clockwork. It's not that they're obsessed with timeliness. It's just that it would be rude to keep a passenger waiting.