Hello dog lovers,

I have some good news, and some troubling news. I’ll give you the good news first. A mama pit bull and her three pups were rescued from Chicago Animal Care and Control a few nights ago. Here is where it starts to get troubling. There had been four pups but they lost one the first night, sadly.

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My friends at A & S Rescue could use some help. Mama Sophie and her babies are terribly malnourished and dehydrated.

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While I wrote this post, another pup was lost. Now just two remain. If at all possible, please donate what you can to A & S. They do such good work, and will be caring for this canine family for quite some time. Vet bills are piling up for these new rescues, and there are still other fosters to care for.

You can visit A & S Rescue on Facebook.

You can donate at aandsrescue.com/helping.

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There is disturbingly little news on our Free Pathetic Dog. The most I have found is this article which says the Craigslist ad was taken down just hours after it was posted, but not before it went viral.

Google searches find tons of requests for updates on the situation, but so far I find no real info. I’ll add my request to the pile: If you know anything, let me know.

I should be writing my novel. Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. Sometimes I have to get other stuff out of my head before I can settle down and write fiction, though. That’s what blogging is for. Something that has been on my mind lately is the way that babies have become an accessory to the Pinterest Moms out there. I am amazed by all the handcrafted stuff out there that new moms will allow their children to have just because it is adorable. Of course we all want our babies to be Instagram-ready at all times and look like a Pottery Barn Kids ad. Moms from the pre-Pinterest era will remind you that some items give up some form in favor of function, however.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a mother. I am an aunt. I am a former babysitter. I am a former child care worker. Before you spout any, “you’re not a mom; you wouldn’t understand,” nonsense, Pinterest Moms, I will tell you that I have a huge extended family (lots of babies) and have been listening to child safety warnings since I was babysitting you for pocket money in middle school and high school. Not being a mother does not make me less knowledgeable than you. It does not take a genius, nor a mother, to recognize that hand-crafted does not equal safe.

Recently, I was put in my place by a gaggle of new moms when I tried to tell them one of their adorable Pinterest items was a choking hazard. I politely stated that I did not want to be a buzz kill but was concerned for child safety. I was basically laughed at. For my readers, the image below is not the exact product. It is an example of the product being discussed. Now, pacifier clips have been around for years and years. They come in quite handy. I am all for pacifier clips. They will usually be included in my baby shower gifts. I have nothing against Crystal Dream, who makes product shown below. I only chose this image because I think it is adorable. If I had babies and could be convinced this product is safe, this is the one I would choose.

Courtesy Crystal Dream

 

Beads and buttons. Top items on the choking hazards list since the term choking hazard was invented. Why are they being used in a product we encourage our babies to put in their mouths? The only reason I see is because they are cute. Is that a good enough reason to train your child that beads and buttons belong anywhere near your mouth? I do not believe so.

What the Pinterest Moms told me was that they are completely safe. They are “made with a special 75lb weight string.” Well, I hope it is not string. The constant wetting and drying would rot string quickly enough. I assume that it is actually 75lb test fishing line, if they know the strength of the string. That is what is often used in crafting. Do you know what 75lb test actually means? I did not debate it with these woman. I opted to pick my battles, so to speak. I spoke my mind and left it at that. What 75lb test means is this: the weakest point of the line will withstand 75lbs of pressure so that the line doesn’t snap while reeling in a fish. It is made for fishing. You catch a fish with it. If it was too damaged while reeling in the fish, you cut the damaged line. Imagine a baby with one of these pacifier clips. Pretty, shiny beads are going to get their attention. They are going to play with it. That line holding it all together is going to go through hell. Just because an average baby cannot pull it apart, doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. The line will be bent, stretched, and twisted. The pacifier will get caught. That line will be yanked on repeatedly. All of this assumes that it is the line that will break. In reality, this line is only as strong as the knot at each end.

My one argument with the Pinterest Moms was that there is a reason this type of clip is not sold by the major baby products manufacturers. I was told that they are made by the major companies, and sold in Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, and Buy Buy Baby. This was shocking to me. I was going to write to these retailers. When I checked their websites, I found no beaded, buttoned, nor pearled pacifier clips. Not a single one. All there were, on all four sites, were the traditional, safe clips as pictured below.

Courtesy Babies R Us

Maybe you’re still asking, “What’s the difference? How do you know the boutique pacifier clips are not safe?” Read their disclaimers. They will at least say not to leave baby unattended with the product. Many add that it is a possible choking hazard. You will not find any safety ratings for these products. You can easily find safety ratings for products from major retailers, like the MAM pacifier from Babies R Us, shown above. Major retailers have Research & Development, Legal teams, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) all making sure that product is safe as humanly possible. Boutiques and DIYers don’t have that sort of oversight. They may have done what testing they think they need to do, but I suspect that the vast majority are relying on things like “75lb test” for their safety measures.

We may have to agree to disagree when it comes to choking hazards, but what about the sanitary aspect? I cannot fathom how many germs and food particles are going to get trapped in those beads. It turns my stomach thinking about it. The hefty ribbon a retailer like MAM uses is designed to be washed, and to stand up to repeated washing. That adorable Etsy product, not so much. Sure, you can hand wash it, but how sure are you that you are getting all the soap and yucky dish water out from between the beads and from the line running through them? Remember, this is going in your child’s mouth. This is an irresistible item to teethe on. I am certain that heat from the dishwasher, and possibly even the detergent, would weaken the line over time. Using the washing machine is asking for it to get tangled and break in the wash.

I am not anti-DIY. There is a lot that can be improved by DIY or from buying from a DIYer. I am pro-local business, pro-small business. Quite a few of these boutique business are focusing on eco-friendly alternatives. I am ALL for that. Organic yarns and fabrics for baby clothes, bedding, and stuffed animals is fantastic for children who have allergies and sensitive skin. There is a trade-off there in that these fabrics are not flame retardant, but that is an individual choice. I understand the need to put children in clothes that won’t make them miserable every day of their lives, and to give them toys that won’t make them ill. To me foregoing the flame retardant fabric makes sense in a case like that. I can even understand the “hippy” parent who is taking a stand and reducing their impact on the environment. My hat is off to those parents, truly.

What I don’t understand is foregoing safety for fashion. This is your baby, your offspring. You are responsible for raising a happy, healthy, well-adjusted human being to adulthood. If you want an adorable diaper bag, that’s great. You can treat that as an accessory, like your shoes or your purse. Please, don’t treat your children like accessories. They are not Pinterest models designed to make you look good. They are individuals. Treat them with more respect. Better yet, ask yourself: as a parent, how would you feel if your child did choke on such an accessory when non-choking hazard versions were in abundance?

 

 

 

Seriously?! I AM LIVID!

This is a Craigslist ad that I just saw shared on Facebook. Craigslist
Just in case the ad disappears, here is what the despicable owner said:

phfzv-4153266780@comm.craigslist.org [?]

Posted: 3 days ago
Doesn’t bark, doesn’t play, just cowers: free pathetic dog. (Pfafftown)

Found this 20lb. mixed breed dog last Christmas in Monterey Park, Los Angeles. According to what the vet says, she’s probably 2.5 years old now. Looks like a Jack Russell’s drug-addled second cousin (but she’s healthy).

PROS: Does not bark, or shed much to speak of. House trained. Does not overeat, so you can just leave her dry dog food in a bowl and refill when it’s empty. Has stuck close to an unfenced residence and not run away when let outside unmonitored on a daily basis. (Well… I tried… but she won’t leave.)

CONS: Does not know what ‘play’ is. If you throw a ball at her, she will run and hide. Any treats given to her have to be handed directly (thrown ones will scare her). More importantly, she cannot keep up as a serious jogging partner.

Friendly and compliant, will sit in your lap if you put her there. Not the cleverest about “jumping” or other “tricks”. Never seen a dog where chasing a treat thrown was a “trick”… but to her, that’s a trick.

Took in for sympathy, but planning a downtown move where dogs won’t be welcome. Would make a good pet for someone who wants a non-barking, non-biting, non-playing dog just to hang out with. She’s cool with pretty much anything… dressing her up in costumes, drawing on her with a sharpie, no problem. (Just don’t throw a treat toward her.)

Food, crate, harness, leash, rawhide chews, flea bath additives, etc. included.

    Location: Pfafftown
    it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Posting ID: 4153266780

Posted: 3 days ago

Updated: 3 days ago

How is this OK?! Oh I’m so mad I can’t even post anything more about it. I will just post the photos from the ad and come back later.

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I mean WTF! ^^^

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Thank goodness, we have a suspect in the Puppy Doe case! I know you were all as relieved as I was that there was a break in the case. As I had suggested in previous posts, they just weren’t telling us everything. It’s a good thing too. The guy had already fled the state. Who knows were he was planning to go when he checked out of the La Quinta. By the way, I don’t blame him at all for staying there. I love La Quinta. Excellent choice.

As you all know by now. The man accused of torturing our Puppy is Radoslow Czerkawski, 32, of Poland. I will not honor him with a photo or further mention of his name. He is here illegally, and has no permanent residence in the States. I am sure this contributed to the $500,000 bond that was issued. Blah blah blah…you know all of that.

What you might not know is that the 11 counts he was charged with are stack-able. I have this information from a representative of the MSPCA, Raina Connelly. She seemed to be just as excited as I was about my question as to whether the counts are stack-able. She did not know they were stack-able, until she researched it for me.

What this means is that each count he is charged with that falls under Animal Cruelty carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a possible $2500 fine. I am unclear on all that he has been charged with. I have read 11 counts of Animal Cruelty. I have also read 11 total counts, including Animal Cruelty and Obstruction of Justice. Let’s say that it’s 11 counts of Animal Cruelty, plus additional charges, for now. With the charges being stack-able, he could get a maximum of 55 years in prison and $27,500 in fines just for in Animal Cruelty convictions. There would be additional time and fines for the other charges. I know we all hope for stricter laws for Animal Cruelty cases everywhere, but let us just be thankful that MA changed this from a misdemeanor to a felony a few years ago.

Now, have you all noticed that the news is reporting that he was a care taker for an elderly woman in Quincy? Yes, apparently he was a care taker, without having the certification to be a care taker. This troubles me greatly. This sort of under the table job is exactly what a budding serial killer might need to set himself up to prey on the weak. Worse, the woman for which he was caring died the very same day that Puppy Doe was found, August 31. All reports I have read so far say she died of “natural causes” and that the dead is “not suspicious.” I hope that there is a side investigation going that they are not telling us about yet. The woman died on the very day that the suspect needed to flee. That in itself is suspicious to me. I hope there was an thorough autopsy.

Thanks to Examiner.com, for the link to this petition to get the maximum sentence for the Puppy Doe Case.

Most of my current readers are here because of Puppy Doe. I just got some news, that I am excited to start writing about, but I have to get something off my chest first. I hope you don’t mind if I blog about other things. If you have read my old stuff, you know I blogged about whatever is on my mind. At the time it was mostly Twilight. Today I need to vent about something that just happened in what I thought was a support group. I won’t name the group or the people. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus. I’m just venting. I’ll understand if you want to look away now.

My day was going great. I recently started a fund raiser to help me through some rough times, being unemployed. Today, I am setting up social media and inviting people to follow me. As I am a writer, and NaNoWriMo starts in a few short days, I decided to raise funds for NaNoWriMo, too. My promise is to give back to the NaNoWriMo community by donating to NaNoWriMo.org, when my fundraiser is complete. I think it’s Win-Win. Thinking that my fellow writers were the best bet for helping me spread the word, I posted on the group’s page. I did not ask for donations from them. I asked them to “help me spread the word,” and posted a link to my fundraiser page (you’ll also notice a donation button on the front page). I thought they would enjoy that I was going to donate to NaNoWriMo. Boy, was I wrong. I got a scathing comment saying that this was, “wildly inappropriate,” and that I, “need to stop making excuses and get a job.”

Ouch. I have been job hunting and interviewing since June, when getting rehired by my old employer fell through. It took two months for them to tell me that they could not take me back. Naturally, in that time, I was not job hunting. Since then, I have been though. I even got hired at one point, but my employer exercised their right to say it wasn’t a good fit within a few days. It’s a Right To Work state. It happens.

I am sure that the people who scolded me did not follow the link and read my letter, in which I explain what I am asking for and why. I hope so anyway. If not, these people must have a very low opinion of crowd funding to begin with. I think it’s great. I would much rather someone get help from people who choose to help, than go on Welfare and make everyone pay. The karma just seems better that way, to me.

Yep, it’s a ramble. Sorry about that. You’ll find that I do that sometimes. It helps me get my thoughts in order. Not all of my writing is as organized as I would like.

Anyway, I removed my post from the page. After the long scolding, someone Liked the scolding I got and then continued with a scolding of their own. I do feel bad that I offended them, but I think if they had actually read my plea they would not have been offended. It’s not like I don’t want to do my part for society, and I’m just trying to sit around and collect money. The Universe just seems to be telling me that I need to be writing right now. Job after job that I am SO qualified for are refusing interviews or giving the job to others. Meanwhile, total strangers are finding my blog and saying things like, “I hope you are a writer.” I’m in a real pickle. If I am to write, I need funds….hence a fundraiser. Being fully aware that I can’t just panhandle to support myself, I added the charity piece. It’s no lie. I fully intend to give to charity. It’s something I need to make me feel better about asking for help, which I have been avoiding doing for months, and to help hold me accountable for the writing I need to do.

I am putting it out in the Universe that they never have to rely on the kindness of strangers, because karma isn’t a bitch, as it is so often said. It is a mirror.

Thanks for reading this far,

Christa

You guys, this just tickled my funny bone. I was reading up on recent events on the Puppy Doe case. It seems that the guy was caught at a La Quinta. Well, there was an ad for La Quinta in the side bar. I wish I could have gotten a screenshot before the ad changed. Advertising quirks like that amuse me.

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