HEROIC DOGS: First Paw Of Courage Awards for Working Canines


The American Kennel Club Announces First Set Of 2017 AKC Paw Of Courage Awards



We love our heroic dogs.

As a young Boomer, I never missed Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin — always to our rescue.

And real life companions, from Pal — a neighbour’s Golden who adopted me long ago — to our howling husky, King, and big German Shepherd (“Gentle Giant”) family protector, Mocha.

Elsewhere, I’ve written about Canadian Mounted Police dogs from the early-day huskies and wolfdogs to modern heroic canines like Jocko and Tracer.

A new heroic award has been established to recognize the valour and love of humankind’s closest companion.  Making me wonder — Do we deserve their unfailing love?

NEW YORK, March 6, 2017  — The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is honored to announce the first set of 2017 AKC Paw of Courage awards to recognize the working canines that put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.

This award specifically recognizes those who are serving or have served their departments honorably.

“These selfless canines prove their devotion time and time again,” said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. “They demonstrate loyalty, valor and honor in their careers and each of these dogs has made a substantial sacrifice in the line of duty. It is with great esteem that we honor these working dogs with the AKC Paw of Courage as an indication of our appreciation.”

Any working dog is eligible to receive the AKC Paw of Courage; the award is not specific to purebred dogs. To nominate a dog for the next set of Paw of Courage awards, go to the AKC website below.

Recipients of the award, or their human partner, will receive a 2017 AKC Paw of Courage medal along with a certificate. In addition, the recipients will receive a photo and profile on akc.org.

The first set of 2017 AKC Paw of Courage recipients are:

K9 Bruno of Anaheim Police Department, CA

K9 Bruno, a seven-year-old German Shepherd Dog, served with the Anaheim Police Department for six years at the time of his injury. He was given an AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) by the American Kennel Club in 2014 after being shot while assisting the SWAT team with a search.

The bullet went through Bruno’s lower jaw and lodged in his chest, only about an inch from his heart. After the incident, Bruno retired from his K9 duties and lived at home with his partner, Officer R.J. Young. About two years later, K9 Bruno succumbed to complications from his initial injury.

Bruno was one of two dogs who trained to become part of the SWAT team. He graduated first in his class from the K9 academy and also won first place overall in narcotics during his first ever K9 competition. Bruno was credited with finding millions of dollars’ worth of narcotics and narcotic-related money.

He was always full of energy and was well known around the department for disrupting briefings by chewing on his red toy. K9 Bruno was a cherished officer, partner and family companion and will be missed dearly by Officer Young and the Anaheim Police Department, as well as every one of the many lives he has touched.

K9 Mattis of the Alpharetta Police Department, GA

K9 Mattis, a three-year-old German Shepherd Dog, serves with the Alpharetta Police Department. In October of 2016, while handler, Officer Mark Tappan and K9 Mattis were in a foot pursuit, the suspect leapt off a 30-foot retaining wall and Mattis followed without hesitation, leading to his surrender. Mattis was checked for obvious injuries and was quickly on his way to respond to the next call with Officer Tappan.

They were able to track down and apprehend the second suspect shortly before Mattis collapsed from internal injuries from the earlier fall. He was rushed to the emergency vet where he was treated for a lacerated liver and a contusion of his right lung.

Mattis has since made a full recovery and returned to active duty. In his short time with the department, Mattis has contributed to over 100 arrests and has assisted in removing countless amounts of narcotics from the streets. Additionally, he has performed several demonstrations for church groups, schools and various other community groups, often surrounded by the children of the community.

Officer Tappan describes K9 Mattis as a very special blend of tenacious working dog and friendly family pet. Mattis’ lack of hesitation jumping off the wall demonstrates his dedication and loyalty to his work. The sacrifice Mattis made that day to protect his community is truly appreciated by Officer Tappan, the Alpharetta Police Department and the community he serves.

K9 Jardo of the Boise Police Department, ID

K9 Jardo was a six-year-old Belgian Malinois of the Boise Police Department in Idaho when he was shot in the line of duty while confronting an armed suspect.

Jardo was rushed to WestVet Animal Emergency and Specialty Center with at least one gunshot wound to the chest. He underwent surgery and two dogs, both pets of staff members at WestVet, donated blood to Jardo, giving him a life-saving transfusion. The surgery and transfusion were successful and Jardo was expected to make a full recovery. However, about a week later, he succumbed to his injuries.

K9 Jardo was trained to track and apprehend dangerous criminals, find evidence relating to crimes and locate street drugs. He successfully apprehended a dangerous gang member in his very first week on patrol. When he was not on duty, Jardo enjoyed playing with his dog friends and swimming in the canal by his house.

K9 Jardo made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect his community. He will be missed dearly by his handler, Officer Shane Williams, as well as the entire Boise Police Department and each person he has touched throughout his life.

K9 Peydro of the Woodland Police Department, CA

K9 Peydro is a three-year-old German Shepherd Dog, handled by Officer Juan Barrera. He served the Woodland Police Department honorably for a little over a year. In May of 2016, Peydro was struck by a vehicle while he and Officer Barrera were in pursuit of a wanted man.

K9 Peydro was immediately transported to a veterinary hospital and after a successful surgery and blood transfusion, he made a full recovery, but was medically retired in October of 2016. The suspect involved in the incident later turned himself in to the Woodland Police Department.

Peydro was a dual purpose police K9 trained in narcotics, apprehension, and article searching. He weighs about 80 pounds, but Officer Barrera and his family are convinced that he thinks he’s a lap dog. When he’s not on duty, he loves to cuddle up on the couch and balance toys on his nose.

Peydro’s sacrifice in the line of duty was an indication of his courage and commitment to his community. He is now enjoying his retired life with his family.

About the American Kennel Club
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization, which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

“Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @AKCDogLovers.”

Whether we humans deserve it or not, these guys have certainly given their all for us, eh?  Bless ’em!

– Brian Alan Burhoe

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WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE TO READ ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper


SOURCE:  American Kennel Club & PR Newswire

Title: HEROIC DOGS: First Paw Of Courage Awards for Working Canines

Keywords: Brian Alan Burhoe, Bruno, dogs, Jardo, k9, Mattis, Paw Of Courage Awards, Peydro, police dogs, working canines



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WHAT HO Best of Wodehouse, Jeeves, Blandings & Uncle Fred


WHAT HO!  Celebrating The Very Best of P G Wodehouse & My New Friends on Goodreads


One Hundred Years Ago: In 1917, Methuen & Co of London published THE MAN WITH TWO LEFT FEET, a collection of short stories by P G Wodehouse.  One of the stories, “Extricating Young Gussie,” introduced two characters to the Book World for the first time — Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves…


Goodreads has got to be the Ultimate Home for Bookworms.

Created “to help people find and share books they love,” Goodreads has become a kind of library and a kind of gathering of friends.  And every friend there has a deep love of books. And many of those friends share that love in their own words.

I know I’ve discovered many books there.  Some I’d never heard of.  Some were familiar — but I’d never really dipped into those particular pages.

While I’ve never had the time to accept a Reading Challenge, and often go days without getting logged in, I still follow members’ Bookshelves and Recommendations.

I welcome “Be my friend on Goodreads” emails, always hit the ACCEPT button — and spend some time checking out my new friend’s MY BOOKS.

It was on Goodreads that I discovered (Re-discovered, actually) Pelham Grenville “Plum” Wodehouse and his comic stories.  I had only read a few stories of his over the years, usually in humour anthologies, and hadn’t really been captured by Plum’s world.  But lists of Goodreads comic fiction again and again included Wodehouse near the top.  And Jeeves.  And writers like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett loved him…

So after a while I decided to check him out again.


And here’s my latest book review.  It’s my latest read by P G.



With no more works from Terry Pratchett — and my collection-completing edition of John Mortimer’s RUMPOLE AND THE PENGE BUNGALOW MURDERS sitting smug and comfortable on my bookshelves, I’ve welcomed and cheered my late-in-life discovery of Plum Wodehouse.

On the back cover of WHAT HO! THE BEST OF P G WODEHOUSE, you’ll read this little quote by Sebastian Faulks: “P G Wodehouse wrote the best English comic novels of the century.”

I’m not quite ready to agree wholeheartedly with Mr Faulks. Not yet. But with each Jeeves book, each Blandings trove, I’m getting there.

In his Intro to WHAT HO, Stephen Fry tells us: “In my teenage years the writings of P G Wodehouse awoke me to the possibilities of language…”

Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps I discovered Plum too late. Perhaps Jeeves and Lord Emsworth of Blandings, Ukridge and Uncle Fred will never completely overwhelm my deep affection for my personal hero Horace Rumpole, that proud, that defiant Old Bailey Hack. But they’re trying.

WHAT HO is a glorious collection of short stories, letters, articles, notes about writing, and extracts from novels & autobiographies.  What a read!

And being me, my fave story in this collection is a rare exception from his usual lighthearted farce and gentle satire.  “Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend” is heart-felt sentimental comedy, a Chaplinesque story of Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth, and a little Fresh Air Child from London named Gladys, whom he discovers locked in a garden shed for stealing food from the tea tent.  Sentimental comedy requires moments of sadness, tragedy and brief heroics, ingredients not often found in Plum’s writings.

Yes, my fave Plum story so far. Although “Uncle Fred Flits By” is a close second.

Some say WHAT HO! THE BEST OF P G WODEHOUSE isn’t the best introduction to the master’s work.  I say, “Well, my dear old thing! Pack your spare dickey and toothbrush and prepare for a civilized journey to a world of innocent mirth.”

– Brian Alan Burhoe


And — Cheers to My Present & Future Friends on Goodreads!   Join Me Now!  Just CLICK Here…

Brian Burhoe's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)


Title: WHAT HO Best of Wodehouse, Jeeves, Blandings & Uncle Fred

Keywords: Bertie Wooster, best of Wodehouse, book review, friend on goodreads, Horace Rumpole, Jeeves, John Mortimer, P G Wodehouse, Rumpole of the Bailey, Terry Pratchett, Uncle Fred




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Listen To The Young Voices on World Wildlife Day


It’s World Wildlife Day and the IFAW Urges Us To “Listen to the Young Voices!”



This is true: those of us who love animals and care for them have been doing so since childhood.

It does seem that most children love animals.  This seems to be almost universal.  Some folks outgrow this impulse, of course.  As adults, we have too much to else to tackle.

But we may know older folks who will blurt out “I love animals more than people!”  Or “Animals are more loyal and loving than people.”  And Doris Day, who said “I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about people.”  At first we may have been surprised by the sentiment.  As we grow older, well, we start to agree — maybe…

But it remains our children who speak up the most.  It’s our children who can remind us the most of our own once-upon-a-time connection with all living things.

So when the call came this year to “Listen To The Young Voices” we cheered — and cheered big time.


WASHINGTON, March 3, 2017 — Amidst the sixth mass extinction, wildlife conservation has never been more paramount.

“Tackling wildlife trade and empowering youth on World Wildlife Day.”

The UN World Wildlife Day, which takes place globally on the third of March each year, provides an opportunity to emphasize the importance of protecting wild animals and plants.

This year, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) partnered to end rampant illegal wildlife trade and encourage active youth involvement in wildlife protection.

The 2017 theme “Listen to the Young Voices” highlights the critical role youth have to ensure long-term wildlife conservation. Last September, IFAW hosted the inaugural Youth Forum for People and Wildlife in South Africa.

Thirty-four delegates, ages 18 to 25, shared individual animal rescue and species conservation ideas among themselves and member nations at CITES CoP17. Inspired by their experience, the group has since formed a global network, Youth for Wildlife Conservation (Y4WC), which officially launches today, on World Wildlife Day 2017.

“Today we are reminded to listen to young voices and harness their energy and creativity for lasting wildlife protection. I am proud of our next generation of conservation leaders especially those at Youth for Wildlife Conservation.

“They are bringing together their expertise in diverse fields such as research, genetics, law and animal rescue, united by their willingness to collaborate, learn from each other and take action in their local communities,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW President and CEO.

“Our generation has not yet succeeded in securing the future of many wild animals and plants. Meeting this challenge will now be shared with the next generation. World Wildlife Day 2017 gives us the opportunity to inspire young people around the world to actively engage in wildlife conservation efforts. I encourage youth around the world to take a personal interest in wildlife conservation and to help fight wildlife crimes,” said John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General.

Today’s World Wildlife Day event at the UN headquarters in New York, led by the President of the UN General Assembly, provides a platform for youth to voice their dedication to conservation and animal welfare with a specific focus on illicit wildlife trade.

“We are extremely diverse in just about every way. Yet, despite our differences, when we met in South Africa at the Youth Forum, we realized we all share a common goal and a passionate commitment to wildlife conservation. We demonstrate that today’s youth, engaged in conservation efforts worldwide cannot, and will not, stay idle,” said Josephine Crouch, Y4WC Steering Committee member.

Related facts:

  • The Earth is experiencing the worst species die-off since dinosaurs went extinct
  • Individuals under 30 comprise more than 50% of the world’s population
  • Youth Forum delegates hailed from 25 countries and were chosen from a pool of more than 1,000
  • Interactive map detailing World Wildlife Day 2017 events around the world
  • The first UN World Wildlife Day was celebrated on March 3, 2014

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

It’s time, mon ami, to listen to the voices of the children.  Even our own voices, because we were children once — and we still remember…

– Brian Alan Burhoe

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WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE TO READ ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper


SOURCE: International Fund for Animal Welfare & PR Newswire

Title: Listen To The Young Voices on World Wildlife Day

Keywords: Jack London, Listen to Young Voices, prevent cruelty to animals, sixth mass extinction, wildlife, wildlife crimes, World Wildlife Day, World Wildlife Day 2017, wolves, Youth for Wildlife Conservation

Event hashtags include: #WWD2017, #ListenToYoungVoices, #DoOneThingToday, #Youth4Wildlife



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Capturing Russian Beluga Whales – Born To Be Free

“BORN TO BE FREE: Shocking New Film Reveals Reality of Cruel Trade in Russian Beluga Whales!”



Have you ever looked a wild whale in the eye?

Come to Nova Scotia.

Where the most awe-filling wildlife adventure is Whale Watching.  Summertime in the Bay of Funday and off the rugged coast of Cape Breton, the humpbacks and Atlantic Pilot and Minke whales break the cold wild waters.

First the stirring on the blue-green waters.  Then the magnificent animal lunges up before you, twists and crashes back into the sea, sending up a high plume of water.

Altogether, twelve species of whales live off the coasts of Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland).  As well as porpoises, seals and everpresent screaming seagulls.  No wonder people love to travel here. And folk artists love to carve, draw and paint it.

There are fewer whales in the seas.  Some humans still hunt them for more than the thrill of just watching them.  Some humans illegally hunt them for meat.  Some humans hunt them to capture them alive — and imprison them forever.

The latest disturbing news is out of Russia…

MOSCOW, Russia, Feb. 24, 2017 — The cruel trade in Russian beluga whales (the white whale), captured in the wild for sale to aquaria and travelling shows, has been condemned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as shocking new footage reveals the true depth of the animals’ suffering for human entertainment.

The hard-hitting documentary, Born to be Free, follows 18 beluga whales captured from the wild in Russia in 2013 for display at the Georgia Aquarium in the US, who are stuck in tiny holding tanks for years while their ultimate fate is decided.

Public outrage led to an import ban, which started long judicial proceedings and left the belugas in limbo. At least one of the whales featured died and the surviving whales were finally sold and transported to aquariums in China.

In  October, 2015, a federal judge had upheld the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service to block the Georgia Aquarium from importing those 18 captured beluga.

Even after the negative legal decision and bad public feedback, the aquarium continued to argue its position:

“By studying and observing beluga whales in human care,” the aquarium stated on its website, “we are able to create baseline indicators to understand issues threatening this species in the wild.

“Through past research, we have gained insight into the effects of underwater sound levels on belugas, how they respond to increasing pathogens and changing water temperatures in the wild, and nutritional needs of belugas that face increasing challenges for food sources. Due to the remote locations and extreme climate inhabited by belugas, much of this research would be impossible to conduct in the wild.”

But the aquarium’s claim that importing the whales would help promote education and conservation of the animals was rejected.  In the judge’s decision, they had failed to prove how the removal of the whales from the wild was sustainable, and how the permit would not increase future collections of belugas for public display.

The Born to be Free film, showcasing the first investigation of its kind in Russia, shines a light on the secret and often murky international trade in marine mammals. Examining all aspects of the supply chain, it gives a revealing and distressing insight into the reality of a life in captivity for the animal victims.

Masha Vorontsova, IFAW Russia Director, said: “Beluga whales are highly intelligent animals with a very complex and social family structure. IFAW believes that belugas and all whale species are not suited to a life in captivity and belong in the wild.

“Sadly, little thought is given to welfare in this trade driven by profit,” Masha continued. “A captured beluga, once it has been trained to eat dead fish instead of hunting live prey in the wild, can fetch up to US $1million.

“When I heard that three daring young Russian women wanted to document this issue I was very pleased that IFAW could help them tell the story and bring it to public attention. Anyone who doubts the suffering of these animals need only watch this film.

“IFAW urges the Russian government to ban all future wild capture of belugas and other cetaceans. We also ask members of the public not to support shows involving belugas or whales, which fuel this lucrative and unacceptably cruel trade.”

IFAW has worked for more than 20 years to protect Russia’s beluga whales from commercial exploitation for the whale meat trade, aquariums and harmful tourism activities. Since 1995, IFAW and researchers from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology have operated a non-invasive research station monitoring belugas off the coast of the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea and assessing threats to the species. In 1999, IFAW successfully campaigned for a ban on the commercial hunting of Russian belugas to supply whale meat to Japan.

The film, directed by Gayane Petrosyan, premiered in Russia on February 24 at the ECOCUP Green Documentary Film Festival. It’s being distributed by Reflexion Films and Dogwoof International and will be available on Netflix starting March 21.

Watch the Born to Be Free movie trailer on YouTube.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow them on social media: @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.


I know you love wildlife as much as we do, or you wouldn’t have read this far.  Disturbing news, eh?  More than disturbing — it brings out the eco-warrior in us.

Here’s one thing we can both do: don’t go to any aquarium or zoo that imprisons whales.  Do go out in boats that watch them in the wilderness of our seas.

The whales don’t mind.  They love playing for people in boats — if they didn’t they’d be knocking those boats over.

Have you ever looked a wild whale in the eye?  You can!

==>> And to see my Rant on Circuses & Zoos, go to Animal Rights, Circuses, Tarzan & PETA XXX


– Brian Alan Burhoe


SOURCE: International Fund for Animal Welfare & PR Newswire

Title: Capturing Russian Beluga Whales – Born To Be Free

Keywords: $1million, animal welfare, beluga whales, born to be free, humpback whales, IFAW, killer whales, Nova Scotia, save the whales, whales, whale watching




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National Wildlife Refuge Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Zoo

Colorado Sanctuary — Nation’s Oldest Wildlife Refuge — Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Abandoned Argentinian Zoo



“Don’t fence me in!”

Sad, isn’t it?  You’re a grown-up bear, lovin’ the scents of open grass on the free breezes that whisper around you.  And all around you are fences.  And those big primates up there on the wood walkway just keep staring down at you.

But for one big ol’ grizzly bear, this is great!  He’s feelin’ fine.  And he’s feelin’ free.  And the near-blind big male can’t see much of those nosy primates anyway.  Just days ago, he was sick and suffering with his mate in a broken-down Argentinian zoo, imprisoned in a filthy steel cage, struggling to survive under cruel, inhuman conditions.

Now the two bears, as well as other zoo inmates, are on the mend and lovin’ it.

Read on, my friend…

DENVER, Feb. 19, 2017 — The Wild Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit Wildlife Sanctuary, has successfully rescued 3 Bengal Tigers, 2 African Lions and 2 Grizzly Bears from inhumane conditions at a closed zoo in Colon, Argentina.

The five big cats and two bears were the last remaining animals to leave the zoo after closing its gates nearly four years earlier.  City officials contacted the sanctuary after closing their doors due to world-wide protests over the inhumane care and squalid conditions that existed at the zoo.

A team of four staff members including the Sanctuary’s head veterinarian, Dr. Felicia Knightly, visited the zoo in 2014 to determine if the animals were in sufficient condition to undergo the 6,400 mile trip to Colorado.   The non-profit wildlife sanctuary was chosen after numerous attempts to find suitable homes within Argentina failed.

The initial team’s inspection determined the animals needed time to gain weight and receive medical attention in order to safely travel to the United States — which would be accomplished while international paperwork and import/export permits were pursued.

In late January 2017, all seven animals were ready to make the trip, so a new rescue team was sent from the Sanctuary to retrieve the animals.

In early February, the team traveled back to Colon to begin the relocation process.  Once the animals were crated and transported to Buenos Aires, both the animals and human caretakers flew to Miami, Florida where they connected with one of the Sanctuary’s ground transportation teams.

Within 28 hours the animals arrived at their final destination in Keenesburg, Colorado.  Animal care staff at the Sanctuary had spent the previous week preparing special accommodations for the Argentinian refugees, and immediately released the cats and bears into their new homes.

All seven animals successfully made the trip to Colorado without incident, but some had lingering medical issues that would require attention.

The male bear was virtually blind due to an advanced case of cataracts, while his female partner suffered from severe dental problems.

Before leaving Argentina, the rescue team discovered the female bear had a significant nasal cavity infection, which had been caused by numerous broken teeth.  Now that both bears are under the care of the Sanctuary’s highly-experienced doctors, both issues will be corrected through specific medical procedures.

Once all seven animals receive medical clearances, they will begin a rehabilitation process that enables them to be released into large natural habitats where they will live comfortably and roam freely.

The Sanctuary will continue to care for the animals, as well as feed and support their daily needs on a full time basis, just as they do for all rescued animals living at the facility.

Last year marked nearly 37 years of rescuing exotic and endangered animals for the wildlife sanctuary.  The 720-acre facility is located thirty minutes outside of Denver, Colorado and is home to more than 450 large carnivores. The Sanctuary features a mile and a half long elevated walkway that recently received the Guinness World Records award for Longest Footbridge – which enables visitors to walk above and observe rescued animals living in spacious habitats.

To learn more about The Wild Animal Sanctuary, visit their home page at http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org

Sometimes, I wonder about “Wildlife Sanctuaries.”  You see the large open spaces — but you also see the pens and fences.  Are they just glorified Zoos, after all?

The published mission of The Wild Animal Sanctuary is “to rescue captive large carnivores who have been abused, abandoned, illegally kept or exploited; to create for them a wonderful life for as long as they live; and to educate about the causes and solutions to the Captive Wildlife Crisis.”

Since 1980, they’ve taken in well over a 1000 large animals, mostly predators.  These guys range from unwanted pets who got too big for their “owners,” to ill-treated and abandoned zoo and circus animals, including some from Ringling Brothers.

Thing is, these animals couldn’t survive in the real wilderness, if released there.

So, yes, wildlife sanctuaries are a good solution.

I”m sure that our ol’ grizzly bear and his missus will be smiling in their new home.  Bears do smile, you know.  I’ve seen it.

==>> And to see my Rant on Circuses & Zoos, go to Animal Rights, Circuses, Tarzan & PETA XXX


– Brian Alan Burhoe


SOURCE:  The Wild Animal Sanctuary & PR Newswire

Title: National Wildlife Refuge Rescues Lions, Tigers & Bears from Zoo

Keywords: National Wildlife Refuge, rescue bears, save the bears, wildlife refuge near me, zoo



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PAN by Knut Hamsun – Under a Strange Sky


From the Author of GROWTH OF THE SOIL…



PAN, A Northern Novel by Knut Hamsun


“I have gone to the forest.”  The Northland is a world unto itself.  And I grew up in the Northwoods of Canada.  I’m descended from people of the European Northcountry.

Perhaps this is why Norwegian writers have struck such a chord with me.  Writers like Sigrid Undset, Per Petterson, Kjersti Scheen, Gunnar Staalesen, Jo Nesbo and Jørn Lier Horst.  I’ve recently discovered Mikkjel Fønhus’ masterwork TRAIL OF THE ELK and am seeking more of his works in English translation. [1]

Trygve Lund, who journeyed to Canada as a young man, joined the Royal North-West Mounted Police and later wrote about his experiences, has long been a fave of mine. [2]

And then there’s Knut Hamsun.  And GROWTH OF THE SOIL.  I was a young man myself when I first read SOIL and Hamsun’s simple, powerful and haunting story of a man who comes walking north has been part of my soul ever since. [3]

I’ve read Hamsun’s other writings over the years, of course.

When I first read “I have gone to the forest” — the short sentence that began Knut’s LOOK BACK ON HAPPINESS — I felt an almost spiritual connection with those simple words.  “Since the forest will not come to me, I must go to it…”

Loved some of his writings.   Mixed emotions on others.  And of those, it’s PAN that’s come closest to SOIL for me for its artistry and vision.

Here’s my GoodReads Book review of the Knut Hamsun novel…


Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's PapersPan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn’s Papers by Knut Hamsun – a Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When getting ready to write PAN, Knut Hamsun described it in a letter saying, “It will be so beautiful, and will take place in Nordland, a still, red love-story. There will be no polemic in it, just people, under a strange sky.”

And Hamsun wrote his best “love-story” in PAN. A novel literally about the four seasons of love, from the young passions of springtime, through summer and fall, to the dark endings of winter. At his best, Hamsun can catch the psychology of real people — and he does that here.

The retired soldier Glahn lives alone in a cabin with his hunting dog at the edge of the evergreen Northland forest. He knows a great peace and happiness in the deep, wandering woodlands and thinks that this is enough. And then he meets Edvarda…

Hamsun’s love of the Northcountry wilderness is here as it would later be in GROWTH OF THE SOIL.  In itself, that makes this a major work of Norwegian fiction.

Some of Hamsun’s early writing can be too dark, or unformed.  I believe PAN to be the beginning of his great works.

Certainly a tale of romantic love that would be matched only by VICTORIA and WAYFARERS.

Yes, it should always be read.

If I were to sum up Knut Hamsun the man and the writer in one sentence, it would be “There was once a man who never gave in.”  It’s the closing line from Hamsun’s own play, Evening Glow.

– Brian Alan Burhoe


[1] To read more about Mikkjel Fønhus, go to  “Trail of the Elk: Discovering the Northcountry of Mikkjel Fønhus”

[2] To read more about the Life & Works of Trygve Lund, go to  “The GREATEST WRITERS OF NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE FICTION”

[3] To read my book review of SOIL, go to  “Knut Hamsun’s GROWTH OF THE SOIL – A book review”



Did you like this posting?




WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE TO READ ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper


PAN by Knut Hamsun – Under a Strange Sky

Keywords: book review, Growth of the Soil, Knut Hamsun quote, I have gone to the forest, Knut Hamsun, Mikkjel Fønhus, Northcountry, Nordland, Northland, Norwegian fiction, Pan, T Lund, wilderness



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World Wildlife Conservation Day – It Began With Teddy Roosevelt


World Wildlife Conservation Day — It Began With Teddy Roosevelt!




“Here is your country! Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” Teddy Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt was the first world leader to not only talk passionately about Conservation, but to act on it.  Teddy began the movement to proactively protect our wilderness areas and the wildlife that inhabited it.

“It is also vandalism to wantonly destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird.” Teddy continued.  “Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.”

While many countries faltered through the 20th Century, a handful of world leaders were able to pick up the torch and carry on Teddy’s essential fight.

Canada’s Greenest Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, for instance…

In 1987, Conservative Prime Minister Mulroney spearheaded the The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer  — signing nations that committed to reducing, and eventually completely stopping, production of chemicals such as CFCs that contribute to breaking down the ozone layer.  Remember CFCs — Chlorofluorocarbons?  Our refrigerators, air conditioners and spray cans used to be full of them.

And Remember Acid Rain?  Brian Mulroney began negotiations with President Ronald Reagan in 1986 on the deadly phenomenon.  The Canada-US Acid Rain Treaty was signed by Prime Minister Mulroney and President George H W Bush in 1991.  Our Great Lakes are showing sure signs of recovery.

The legacy of Brian Mulroney, Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush to the environment is a proud one.  And a surprise to many.

teddy-roosevelt-climate-changeHistorically, the whole concept of Conservation came from the Right, not the Left.  The very word “Ecology” was coined by German traditional conservative landowners who were fighting the massive destruction of their beloved woodlands and their rich ancestral soil by the new international liberal forces of Progress and coal-fed industrialism.  Valiantly protecting what Wilhelms Riehl called the “mythic darkness of the primordial forest.”

And President Teddy Roosevelt was warning Americans about “Climate Change” and “Deforestation” way back in 1908, in his prophetic  “Eighth Annual Message to the Senate and House of Representatives” —   See Teddy Roosevelt Called it Climate Change in 1908!


“Live Free, Mon Ami!” – Brian Alan Burhoe



Title: World Wildlife Conservation Day — It Began With Teddy Roosevelt

Keywords: Teddy Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt, Climate Change, Deforestation, Conservation, conservative, greenest prime minister, Brian Mulroney, World Wildlife Conservation Day, Quotes




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Canada’s National Bird: Grey Jay, Whiskey Jack – Loon?


Canada’s National Bird: Grey Jay, Whiskey Jack – Loon?



You’ve probably read the reports:

“When news broke that Canadian Geographic had picked the diminutive Grey Jay, also called the Whisky Jack, as its nomination for Canada’s official National Bird, it touched off a cacophony of tweets.”

Well, yes, it was a surprise for those of us who care about such things, eh?

And care we should.  Canadian Culture has been under siege since the 1920’s.  Our enemies have always understood the most basic of facts: destroy a nation’s culture and you destroy that nation. [1]

And our animals are our national totems.  They tell us and they tell the others who we are.  National animals reflect our Sacred Culture.  National animals reveal our souls…

I’ve written elsewhere that I agree that Canada’s National Animal should be rebranded from the Beaver to the Polar Bear. [2]

But I’d always thought that our national bird was the Loon.  Other choices may have been the Canada Goose or Snowy Owl.  Ravens are almost worldwide, but I love the dark eyed Raven.  Much surprised when Canadian Geographic announced it should be the Whiskey Jack (aka Canada Jay or Grey Jay).

Not that I didn’t know about the Whiskey Jacks.  Grey Owl had told me about the notorious wilderness companions/tricksters/camp robbers.  The adventurous birds had eaten out of his hand.  And I believe I have seen and heard them in my boyhood New Brunswick forests.

These birds had accompanied hunting parties, explorers, trappers, canoeists from earliest days in the Canadian wilderness.  The black headed jays were always there for a food hand-out.  A bother to some — a welcome companion to others.  Whiskey Jacks are part of our mythology.

I still think of the Loon first.  I’ve heard them calling across lone Canadian lakes.  What true Canadian hasn’t?  Their call always brings back fragments of my fave boyhood poem, Scott’s UNNAMED LAKE: “It sleeps among the thousand hills where no man ever trod, and only nature’s music fills the silences of God.”

But I could accept the Whiskey Jack, I guess.

Dipping into TALES FROM AN EMPTY CABIN, I listened again to my friend Grey Owl, who had first told me of the Whiskey Jacks, “those companionable, impertinent grey brigands who appear, soundlessly like ghosts from nowhere, at the first stroke of an axe or first wisp of smoke from a camp fire.

“They contrive to make themselves welcome by an ingratiating amiability that may, or may not, be counterfeit.  Their antics are amusing and they provide considerable light entertainment at times that might otherwise be dull.  A man feels that their companionship at a lonely camp fire is worth a few scraps of bannock or meat…

“Gourmands and thieves they undoubtedly are, but they are cheerful, good-natured pirates and good company withal, and these engaging rascals have a pleasant, plaintive little ditty that they sing, as if to please the hearer, but which I gravely suspect is but a siren song used only to charm contributions from reluctant prospects.”

Grey Owl has spoken on the subject.

– Brian Alan Burhoe


lone-wolf-storyDo you love wild animal tales?




WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, FREE to Read ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper


[1] “Canadian Culture has been under siege since the 1920’s…” Canuck Movies – Mounties, Nell Shipman & the Canadian Spirit

[2] “Canada’s National Animal should be rebranded from the Beaver to the Polar Bear…”   What is Canada’s National Animal? The Polar Bear!

Keywords: animal story, Canada’s National Bird, Canada’s National Animal, Gray Jay, Grey Jay, Grey Owl, Loon, polar bear




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Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature


Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature




Yes, it’s true.  For my generation — us Boomers — most of our great writers are our Singer-Songwriters.  They sang our lives.

So I cheered at the Announcement.

Nobel Prize for Literature for Bob Dylan.

And a week later “the elusive, reclusive artist acknowledged his win” by adding “WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE” on his website.

But what was all that indignant muttering about?  Some thought that Bob was just the wrong troubadour, is all — maybe it should be Leonard Cohen.  Others thought that the choice of any singer-songwriter was someone just not “literate enough.”

Me, I cheered and sang a few legendary lines and said, “It’s about time.  The next ten winners should be the Great Ones.  Our Singer-Songwriters!”  Leonard.  Gordon,  Buffy.  John.  Paul.  Pete.  Elton.  Bruce.   _______.  _______. [1]

As I’ve said before, most of my boyhood heroes were writers.

Sir Charles G D Roberts, creator of the Realistic Animal Story, who I met in our elementary school readers.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, who I met everywhere else.

Then wilderness writers like Jack London and Grey Owl.

Later, Andre Norton, Will Henry, Ian Fleming, George Orwell, Edgar Pangborn, Farley Mowat, Pierre Berton, Ross Macdonald, Kurt Vonnegut…

Didn’t think of it at the time, but I was inspired by writers born before my time, men and women of our parent’s and grandparent’s generations.  In the case of scribblers like Fielding and Dickens and Twain and Conan Doyle, even further back.

Then (for me) came Lightfoot.  And Buffy Sainte-Marie.  Dylan.  Lennon and Jagger.  Singing about my own life.  Poets of our own time.

Actually, some of these weren’t Boomers, but War Babies.  Some remembered the crump of bombings and the nightmare of firestorms.  They wrote about it in differing ways.  One was “born in a crossfire hurricane.”  Another said “give Peace a chance.”

And Dylan.  “Come gather ’round people wherever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown…”

And then the younger Boomers.  I’ll get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.  Old man look at my life, I’m a lot like you were.  Who are you — what have you sacrificed?

YES!  For our generation — us Boomers — most of our great writers are our Singer-Songwriters.

Dylan deserves noble prizes.

That very awarding acknowledges their Métier.  They sang our lives.  Hallelujah!

==>> “The first artists to blow the old stuff off the airways for me, who I was aware of as speaking directly to me about my own life, our own times, were…”  To read more go to Life & Works of Brian Alan Burhoe – All About Us & More

Live Free, Mon Ami! – Brian Alan Burhoe


[1] Add your own favourites…

Title: Bob Dylan Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

Keywords: Bob Dylan, Boomer generation, Boomers, Charles G D Roberts, Jack London, Leonard Cohen, lyrics, my generation, Nobel Prize Literature, singer-songwriters



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The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family


The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family – A Tribute



Guess who?  Ha-Ha-Ha Haaa Ha!”

“Everybody thinks I’m crazee-ee-ee.  Yessiree, that’s me, that’s me.  That’s what I’m cracked up to be.  I chop a hole in ev’ry tree-ee-ee.  Knock on wood.  Well, knock on wood-ood-ood.  So I’m crazy.  So what, what can I do?  So are you!” Woody Woodpecker

“Anything for a laugh. That was the kind of picture we used to do, the kind I’ve always done. We never tried to do a cartoon that was abstract, or arty, or difficult to understand, or with some kind of hidden message…  All we ever wanted to do, all I ever do want to do, is make ‘em laugh.” Walter Lantz

Robin Meets Woodpecker: “On behalf of the Academy, I’d like to give you this award for doing strange and wonderful things with a laughing bird.” Robin Williams, on presenting an Honorary Academy Award to Walter Lantz at the 1979 Oscars.


A recent trending hashtag on Twitter — “#MyFavChildhoodCartoon” — sure brought back memories.  Folks young and old had sent out hundreds of wonderful heart-felt postings.  I had to throw in my own Tweet: “LONG TIME AGO, I LOVED KINDLY OL’ WALTER LANTZ’S INTROS TO HIS OWN CREATION WOODY WOODPECKER.”

Yes, stirred memories.

Way back when, I learned to read on Dell comic books.  Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories.  Walter Lantz New Funnies.  Walt Kelly’s Pogo Possum.  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan.   Zane Grey’s King of the Royal Mounted…  Dell even put out a version of my fave Weekend Comics colour feature: Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant.

And also learned from the beginning that all those characters were created by real people, even the capricious cartoon characters.  The creators — writers and artists — enchanted me.

We met kindly ol’ Walter Lantz on the original Woody Woodpecker TV Show.  I was fascinated as a kid by those “Moment with Walter Lantz” clips when he would talk about creating his characters, even show us the drawing and animation process.

walter-lantz-creator-woody-woodpecker5And his animated folk.  There was Woody the Woodpecker, of course.  And Woody’s rambunctious niece and nephew.  Remember their names?  Allll right! [1]

And Andy Panda.  Oswald the Rabbit.  Chilly Willy.  Charlie Chicken.  The big bully Buzz Buzzard.  Homer Pigeon.  Wally Walrus.  Gabby Gator.  Elmer the Great Dane.  Sugarfoot the Horse.  Maw and Paw the Humans.

And, among my later favourites, the bear family named Beary — do you remember their names? [2]

And those fond thoughts made me wonder if Walter had ever written his own memoirs.  Or had anyone penned a full bio?  Well, yes.  Look there.  THE WALTER LANTZ STORY: With Woody Woodpecker and Friends.  Published by Putnam in 1985, while Walter was still alive (Walter Lantz lived to be 95, Bless him).  Hardcover, 254 pages.  “Copiously illustrated with photographs and drawings.”  Written by Joe Adamson, who had also authored TEX AVERY, KING OF CARTOONS and BUGS BUNNY: 50 Years and Only One Grey Hare.  Joe Adamson knows his stuff. [3]

So I logged onto Abebooks and sent for my own used copy (ex-library) through Better World Books.  It arrived in the trustworthy mail the other day.  Yup, it’s out of print, but here’s my GoodReads Book Review telling you some of the reasons why this wonder-filled book should be newly reprinted…


The Walter Lantz StoryThe Walter Lantz Story by Joe Adamson – a Book Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered, like me, who voiced that joyous, rascally, in-your-face Woody Woodpecker Laugh? Film historian Joe Adamson answers that — and more.

If, also like me, you love memoirs and biographies of creative men and women, then I recommend THE WALTER LANTZ STORY. With input from Walter Lantz himself, Adamson has written an astute study of a great artist and the moving life of a warm and kind man.

At age 12, Walter Lantz dropped out of school to work for his father at a mining company commissary deep in the green Northwoods of New England.

While he enjoyed hunting and fishing, he still yearned to educate himself.

Wanting to follow his artistic dreams, the young Walter enrolled in two correspondence courses. One was in the popular field of newspaper cartooning. The other course was in a new art form, “something called Animation.”

Walter Lantz literally started his career at the beginning of animated motion picture shorts — his story is the history of the feature cartoon. And it’s all here in this book — complete with photos and artwork on nearly every page.

And the kindness I spoke of… While Walter lost his mother at an early age, and his father lost the use of his legs, and it became a family struggle just to make a living, Walter kept his warm sense of humour and his deep love of family and friends.

From his early days drawing cartoons for Randolph Hearst’s newspapers to his creative experiences in the newly formed Hollywood animation studios, Walter built a career.

When he first arrived in Hollywood, the animated silent cartoon had fallen on hard times and Walter found himself starring in short two-reel live-action comedies. Working first for Hal Roach, then Canadian Mack Sennet, Walter learned the basics of movie comedy: slapstick and gags.

When the arrival of sound and a young Walt Disney made cartoons a hot item again, Walter Lantz was ready.

First came Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, voice provided by a kid named Mickey Rooney.

Then Andy Panda — inspired by the sudden love affair of North Americans in the Thirties with the Chinese Panda.

And then Woody Woodpecker — inspired by an obnoxious woodpecker tapping noisily on the roof of the lakeside cabin where Walter and his new bride Gracie were attempting to enjoy their honeymoon.

Followed by Chilly Willy, Homer Pigeon, Wally Walrus…

Oh, yes. Who performed Woody’s voice? In 1940, it was Mel Blanc. By the Fifties, Mrs. Gracie Stafford Lantz did Woody’s voice — and that famous laugh.


Five Out of Five BEAR HUGS!

==>> To see another Tribute to a boyhood hero, see Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Tribute to Tarzan’s Creator, A Personal Hero


walter-lantz-creator-woody-woodpecker3Footnotes & Monikers:

[1] Splinter & Knothead.

[2] The put-upon papa bear was Charlie Beary, with mama bear Bessie Beary.  And big Junior and his little sister bear Suzy.  Ah, the memories.

[3] Joe Adamson has also written GROUCHO, HARPO, CHICO AND SOMETIMES ZEPPO: A Celebration of the Marx Brothers & a Satire on the Rest of the World.  And a number of interviews and articles in Film Comment magazine (like “Well, For Heaven’s Sake! Grown Men!”) and The American Animated Cartoon (“Interview With Chuck Jones”), among other television and movie-related projects.

Note on Artwork: Colour photo of Walter Lantz at top of page is a detail from the front jacket of THE WALTER LANTZ STORY, drawing and design by Frank McSavage.

Title: The Walter Lantz Story: Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy & the Beary Family

Meta Description: Read a loving write-up about the well-lived life, worthwhile works and wonderful wacky worlds of Walter Lantz, creator of Woody Woodpecker — and Wally Walrus!

Keywords: animated cartoon, book review, cartoon, Dell comics, Edgar Rice Burroughs, fav childhood cartoon, Joe Adamson, Robin Williams quote, Tarzan, Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, walter lantz cartoons, walter lanz, woody the woodpecker, woody woodpecker episodes, woody woodpecker laugh, Woody Woodpecker song lyrics

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