Archive for the ‘Juno’s Blog’ Category
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Kids are my most favorite people ever and not only cause they smell like food. It’s because they have angel hearts kind of like dogs do. Hearts filled with love and hugs, exactly what a beagle of my size needs.
This mornin an important email came to our house. It said, hey you guys get that cute beagle back to Newtown CT for a memorial event marking the 6 month anniversary of the bad things that happened there. In case you missed my blog about Newtown, my visit to one of the schools there in January of this year was to help their angel hearts stop hurting so much.
The last time we were there I could tell that their tiny hearts were sad and a little bit scared too. I helped them by sitting close to them and letting them squeeze me til I could barely breathe. It’s okay I like hugs like that; I never had them before in my last life and can’t seem to ever get enough of them now.
Sometimes bein an ambassador has to go in the back seat cause someone needs a therapy dog more that they need educations about animal testing. Most of them don’t know about where I came from cause when I am a therapy dog we don’t tell them. Sometimes they see my ear tattoos and ask why I have them. We tell them that I got them from a different place before I came to my forever home; a place where I learned how important it is to be brave. When I go I’ll tell them that sometimes it’s hard to be brave when you’re scared, I understand. It’s okay, us dogs are going to hang around until you feel safe and brave again.
So on Saturday June 15th please remember in yur own hearts to think of all the peoples in Newtown.
Luv n Wags,
Juno’s First Therapy Dog Visit ~ June 2011
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Today, in Washington DC, a memorial statue was dedicated to Rosa Parks, icon of the Civil Rights Movement, for her part in ending the segregation of African Americans in Alabama and subsequently across the nation. Today I learned a lot about who Rosa Parks was, what she stood for and what she believed in. Sometimes believing in a cause means moving off the path of least resistance and having the courage to take the road less followed. It is written that well-behaved women rarely make history and sometimes the same can be said for well-behaved ambassadors. Have you ever felt powerless to make a difference, wishing that things were different? Most people feel helpless when it comes to change feeling that perhaps as just one person what good can they possibly do to benefit humanity. Yet here today we celebrate Rosa Parks, a woman small in stature but huge in her convictions. As Rosa believed in the desire for equality so do I believe in equality for animals the world over to be free from abuse and free from animal testing. And who am I? A small dog with a big heart asking you to stand up for the animals and to make maybe some difficult choices in your life. Supporting your favorite charity does not have to end but putting your dollars towards programs instead of research is a much better use of funding, Helping charities who do not fund animal research but in vitro (in a test tube) will not only save the animals but help to find a cure faster. Remember we are animals not humans and greater that 90% of research is deemed inconclusive. Why throw your dollars towards that? You are not only funding the loss of animals but prolonging the race for a cure as millions of animals are sacrificed needlessly. Cancer was cured in mice many years ago, not in humans. When we collectively stand up against big pharma and say enough is enough is when change will happen. My Mom made me a promise the day she brought me home to my happily ever after. She vowed to advocate for those without a voice. To teach young and old what it means to support animal testing from the products you buy to the charities you support, and like those advocates before me I will not rest until the laboratories are empty of animals and the scientists of this world can learn to adopt a more peaceful approach to combating disease.
Cosmetics companies in the European Union (EU) are being required to abandon all animal testing by March 11, 2013. They were given over two years to phase out animal testing and develop new protocols for testing their products. Recently several large companies lobbied for an extension to that law claiming that they were not given enough time. Luckily, for my brethren across the ocean the deadline was not extended and in a few short weeks the animals of the EU will no longer be subjected to useless and painful procedures for whiter teeth and silkier hair. The time is now to help us in supporting organizations that are actively lobbying in the US for an end to the cosmetics testing. You vote, every one of you, when you shop. If the product is not on my Compassionate Shopping Guide or Leaping Bunny’s or PETA’s lists then you are supporting animal testing. It is not difficult or expensive to support the companies who do not test or contract to conduct animal testing. Knowledge is power and when you walk down the aisle of your supermarket or discount store, be aware of what you are voting for. We are all equally responsible for making the right choices to help put an end to animal research. Without people like Rosa Parks this country would perhaps not be what it is today. If she were alive today she would be close to celebrating her 100th birthday. I can only hope that the legacy of ending animal testing and our part in ending it will be alive and remembered long after I too am gone.
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” ― Rosa Parks
For the sake of the animals please do the right thing.
Luv n Wags,
Juno the Courageous ~2013
Friday, January 4th, 2013
As we prepared to bid goodbye to 2012 and hello to a new year full of promise and adventure a message came to us marked urgent. Less of a message and more of an invitation. Because sometimes the best medicine for a broken heart is the love of something soft and fluffy, the presence of Raven and me was requested to help our neighbors heal their broken hearts. These hearts were not just ordinary hearts but the hearts of some really special children facing the difficult and maybe even scary thought of going back to school this week.
As I sat in the car during the long ride I simultaneously dozed and got my ears scritched by Mommy. We arrived midday in a freezing and blustery parking lot. As I got out of the car I smelled the other dogs right away. But my nose smelled something else too, sadness, overwhelming profound sorrow. As my bandanna was secured around my neck I went to work. In this world there are lots of working dogs and each offers such a valuable part of themselves to their humans, none more important than another as we each serve our own purpose.
As we were buzzed in through the locked doors a small rush of children were suddenly surrounding me. “Oh, she’s so cute.” “Oh pet her ears, they are soooo soft.” “Boy or girl?” ” What’s her name?” “How old is she?” “Why did you name her Juno?” “What do these numbers in her ear mean?” The same questions over and over. Mommy happily answered each one as I sat quietly allowing all of the children to fight their way to see me, pet me, hug me and allow me to heal their tiny wounded hearts. When I woke up this morning I had no idea what an important day it was for me. And as I was petted and scratched and yes even some tail and ear pulling I found out one thing I will never forget. One heart was back for the very first time today. As we shared a special moment and they hugged me tight I felt something almost desperate. I did the only thing I know how to do, submit and be loved. As they left the room an adult pulled Mommy aside. “They have lost someone dear to them and are back today for the first time. You have no idea how therapeutic that moment was they just shared with your dog.” Such a young fragile heart to be broken into so many pieces. Mommy sat on the floor for a few minutes alone with me, face buried in my soft scruff, digesting what she just heard. Today we learned that not all of our adventures are easy.
We left later in the day as the sun began to set over the mountains with promises to return. The gratitude from all was overwhelming. I wanted to say no no no it is us who are grateful. Thankful that by virtue of our presence we made today just a bit more bearable. We will be back until their hearts are healed and they can get through their days without us. For some we know that there will always be a piece of your heart unable to heal and for those we will just sit and let you love us.
As I sleep soundly I dream of all the children, their squeals of delight over all the dogs. I also dream of a day when we can all be safe and accounted for no matter where we go. And as my dreams fade into the background and I awake slowly I still see the face of a child, the one child I was sent to today, special delivery.
Luv n Wags,
Angels Among Us 2012
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Since the day I came into my forever home he was known by many things, mostly Max the Frog. As a whole new world opened up around me I learned that Max was not a frog at all but a dog like me. He had many names, Maxy, Muddy Boy and Buddy Boy. He wasn’t much for playing because he had one other name, Grandpa. Here is what he liked, eating, sleeping, hiking and swimming, but not necessarily in that order. His tummy had it’s own internal alarm clock that could guess 6:00 on the button. If dinner was late he would begin to sound the foghorn as we called it. Forget daylight savings cause that confused him for weeks.
Max was the first dog to call this his forever home. His story is kinda cool and I think you will want to know. So I’m lending my blog space to Mommy for this story cause she was there from the beginning…..
Luv n Wags,
(Exactly as written)
You can bring me presants if you wont to but all i really wont is a dog.
Mom: Paul, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Paul: A dog…
The neighborhood kids have a play-date.
Nick: I am the Dad, Emma is the Mom and Paul who do you want to be?
Paul: The dog…
Imagine for a moment being in a public place and your four year old decided to drop to his knees barking and panting. Curious onlookers smiled, commented, looked away or gave me disapproving stares as my child lay splayed on a public walkway pretending to be a dog. I learned the hard way that by trying to stop him I only encouraged this behavior. So instead I played along, earning more than my share of disapproval from perfect moms and grandmothers everywhere as I stroked his head telling him what a good dog he was. I have to admit that this suspension of belief became so commonplace I did begin to worry, privately of course, that my son was a little off his rocker. But as any good parenting book will tell you, a child, as long as they are safe, should be allowed to explore all of the possibilities their imaginations can dream up. This is the same child who became the class clown and the “project” of his first grade teacher because he managed to get a rise out of her every single day just by being silly. Thankfully his second grade teacher knew his type and the letters home stopped. Throughout his adolescence he never wavered in his desire to have a dog. A buddy and someone to call all his own.
Raising my two boys alone was challenging enough without the added stress of another mouth to feed and take care of. Having dogs growing up I always knew we would adopt one someday, but I had to be ready. I can’t say that I had a date or magical number in mind but I will say that one day I woke up and said to myself, it’s time for a family dog. In spite of knowing that our family cat, Merlin, would never forgive me I began my secret search. I told no one of my plan except for a friend of mine who I swore to secrecy. As the days stretched into weeks I stopped at every shelter I would come within 10 miles of in my travels. I was greeted with the same question each time. What kind of dog are you looking for? Honestly, I had no idea, but I knew that when I laid eyes in him or her I would know. Call it blind faith but I felt very strongly about it. So my search continued. And then one day I found the Humane Society of Blooming Grove and decided to drive over on my lunch break. As I entered the shelter I was greeted by several volunteers who asked me that age old question. What kind of dog are you looking for? I asked to see the dogs and was ushered into the adjoining room. The moment the door was opened a cacophony of howls ensued. Jumping from every direction, over each other vying for my attention. Oh pick me, pick me they all seemed to howl. It can be overwhelming to say the least. As I made my way through my eyes met his. He sat quietly in spite of the obvious excitement of all the other dogs around him. His eyes drew me in. My first thought was this baby does not belong here, he is so beautiful. As I approached his cage he gingerly and sweetly nuzzled my hand as I attempted to pet him through the chain link fence. It was love at first sight. I knew my gut instincts to let the dog pick me were correct. The volunteer caught up to me and I turned to her and said I want him. She smiled sweetly and said that he was picked up as a stray that morning and policy was to hold him for seven days. My heart sank, I knew he didn’t belong there. They promised me that I was the first to inquire about him and that if he was not claimed in one week that I would be able adopt him. I filled out all the paperwork and was approved before I left the building. I’m pretty sure I drove them mad with my daily phone calls to see if this beauty was claimed yet. Secretly, I wanted them to remember that if no one else claimed him that I wanted him. And then on day six the phone rang, it was a Saturday and I was home with the kids. It was the shelter letting me know that his owners had shown up. My heart sank and I could feel the tears hot behind my eyes. I had so easily fallen in love with him that I already felt he was mine. As I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be bringing him home the voice on the other end of the phone said this. His owners have decided they don’t want him anymore and if you are still interested they want to give him to you. I couldn’t believe it and the tears of sadness suddenly became tears of joy. A friend of mine offered to go pick him up while I prepared the house. Mind you the boys still had no idea that a new family member was about to be introduced. Neither did the cat I’m afraid. And all at once there he was, bounding into the house. I wish I had snapped a photo of the looks on my kids faces as I announced that he was ours. The cat took all of three seconds to let the dog know his place in the house with a well aimed swipe across his nose. Nuf said the dog seemed to say, you’re the boss. In the minutes that followed there were some intense negotiations over who would be holding the leash first and whose dog he really was. Paul was bestowed the honor of first walker and the title of lord and master. As we walked Max to the ball field at the end of the street my heart sung over the life we had saved and at the joy he had already brought us. Once at the ball field Nick announced his turn to walk the dog. Paul stood, back to me, watching his big brother walk his dog. I noticed his shoulders begin to shake up and down and as I walked over to him I saw that he was crying. When I asked him why he said because it was the happiest day of his life because all he ever wanted was a dog.
As Max settled into his new digs I couldn’t get over what a great dog he was. My friend who picked him up had met Max’s previous owners who filled him on on Max. He was about one and a half years old and unneutered. They were his second owners and didn’t want him anymore because he kept running away. Skinny and still intact I made him an appointment with the vet the day after. There were enough unwanted dogs in the shelters without contributing to the pet overpopulation not to mention Max’s desire to roam.
Max was with us for over 11 years, in that time he never ran away once. Loyal to a fault he gave Paul what every little boy wants, a trusted friend always there for him. Because of Max I took up hiking again as we explored the beautiful Hudson Valley together. Always ready for an adventure the only thing he loved more that hiking was swimming. Best guess he was a cross between a yellow lab and golden retriever. He was the best dog ever. Two weeks ago I held him in my arms as he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. His old body had given up on him. I spoke softly to him in his final moments thanking him for giving of himself so selflessly for so many years. For always taking the back seat to his pesky attention hogging canine sisters. Happy to just be noticed we sometimes called him Eeyore .. Thanks for noticing. I forced back my tears as I held him in his final moments, there would be plenty of time to cry later, now was about him and it was my turn to be selfless. We all knew that Max’s days were numbered once his diagnosis was given but we just didn’t know how long we had. Days, weeks, months? Calling Paul in those final hours was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. All he ever wanted was dying in my arms and I was powerless to stop it. Powerless to take his pain or Max’s for that matter. I held the phone to Max’s ear as Paul said his goodbyes. Within a minute of Paul doing so Max passed. Only then did I uncheck my emotions. For days I couldn’t sleep. I still go to grab his food bowl at meal time. Old habits die hard I suppose. I will miss his downy soft fur and his dopey old self. We always joked that Max had only two brain cells in his head. But you know what? Those two brain cells were filled with more love and devotion that one could ever imagine.
Maxy I will always miss you, sweet Muddy Boy! You brought us so much happiness and laughter. I will miss your army crawl on command, your dog hair everywhere, the foghorn dinner bell but mostly I will just miss burying my face in your soft scruff when I’ve had a bad day. Thanks for just being you. I love you.
If I have made you cry I am sorry. This is cathartic for me, to share the memory of my sweet Max and to honor his life as he deserves it to be. I am honored to have been a part of it and to have been loved by him.
Note: I am happy to report that as of my last conversation with Paul, now in his senior year at college, he is indeed not a dog but a Computer Science/Information Systems major. So to all the perfect mothers out there who looked down their perfect noses at me and who didn’t allow their perfect kids to be dogs in public, I have tech support for life…nanny nanny poo poo!!
Max visits Paul at school for his birthday ~ April 2011
Ole Muddy Boy after a swim in the lake ~ July 2011
Sunday, July 29th, 2012
Road trips are the most exciting thing to do besides tryin to catch the groundhog under the deck, oh and snacks and noms and hikin. As bags got packed all the dogs ran under Mommy’s feet waiting to see who the lucky one would be. Being a smartish beagle I know that the red harness is mine so when she picked it up I knew she picked me! As she packed the car Max began to cry cause somehow he knows when she is leaving him for more than a day, maybe even a hundred years. I was too excited to care about that as I was busy running smallish circles winding up getting ready to go. Being strapped in the back of the car is less fun than going in the front where I can watch Mommy and she can rub my belly. So buckled into the back for a long long ride from our home to a new place called Washington DC. Here are some things I finded out on the way there.
1. New Jersey is very longish and sometimes fast and then other times, most times actually very slow.
2. If you take a short nap or maybe even blink you will miss a place called Delaware.
3. Washington DC doesn’t have a sign that says hey Juno welcome! I should write a letter for next time.
After about five hundred hours we arrived to the hottest day of the year, 104 degrees of hots. I think I bringed the wavey heats, but maybe someone else did. Be we left home just in time cause the whole world called us to say cannonballs were fallin from the sky and shaking the windows at home.
We went with the car way under the ground and them Mommy pulled everything out of it and tried to drag it behind us as I kept tryin to run this way and that way to find all the new smells. We got stopped about two thousand or maybe three or four times by people who wanted to say hello. They all had to leave their doggie and kitties home so they have to borrow me so they can have some dog hair on their clothes. I’m proud to tell you that I was not even as far as the lobby when I stopped to make some new friends who were from the Humane Society of the United States. Oh, they said can we say hello? Oh yes and please rub my belly! By the next morning there was no where in this big hotel I couldn’t go where people would either stop to say hello or shout out as they passed… Oh look it’s Juno!
While I was there I gots invited to the Humane Society University party where my new friend Stephanie decided that I would make something called an adjunct professor to help teach humane education to middle school kids. That sounded really important to help teach kids about animal testing and how they can be helpers to end it. I never knew I wanted to be a professor but now I think I might be pretty good at it. I hope my job comes with a hat.
My first day in the exhibition hall as a very busy one and I got belly rubs from so many people. So many wonderful people who miss their own pets stop by for some free pets and leave with a hole in their hearts cause they learned something they didn’t know before. I don’t want them to be sad but to help me to make a difference because together is how we get things done. I gots to go to a lecture about animal testing and got belly rubs from some people who are working hard on something called the Great Ape Protection and Cost Saving Act.
On Saturday night I met a very special new friend during the banquet dinner. He was a Congressman from a place called California which is a little bigger than Delaware. Congressman Sam Farr who has a long name but luvs animals a lot. He helped with something called the Puppy Uniform Protection Stature also known as the PUPS Bill – to help animals in bad bad puppy mills. He is also a co-sponsor of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act to help end chimpanzee testing. He was honored by the Humane Society in 2009 for his all his good works helping the animals. He asked me to sit on his lap for a photo and didn’t even mind that I got dog hair all over his suit. He kissed me and told me what a good girl I was and to keep up my good works because mostly it takes just one person or Spokes-beagle to start a movement. Thank you Congressman Farr for your good works and your words of encouragement. It’s good to know the animals have a friend on Capitol Hill.
Today is my last day here in Washington DC and while it’s been a busyish trip meeting important peoples and all Idecided to sleep the whole way home. I’ll prolly dream about all the things I did and also dream about the other animals who still are locked away and have no names. I do this for all of you so that some day you can dream and snore like I do in a home of your own.
Luv n Wags,
Juno with Congressman Sam Farr – TAFA 2012
Friday, July 6th, 2012
Fifteen years ago three visionaries had a dream. Unsatisfied with the beauty market color void they put their collective minds together and created an alternative cosmetic company to satisfy those who wanted more than plain beige and pink. In 1996 with a line of 10 lipsticks and 12 nail colors Urban Decay was born. With their fabulous colorful line of beauty products, some vegan, Urban Decay has graced the list of compassionate companies for many years, certified by both Leaping Bunny and PETA and more recently by ME! In recent months in an effort to keep up with the “big guys” they made a decision to begin selling their products overseas in countries where animal testing is still required, by law, to bring household and cosmetics products to market. Sadly, this seemed to be the direction many other companies who previously held compassionate status were headed. Losing their compassionate rating with Leaping Bunny, PETA and Juno loyal Urban Decay customers were soon outraged. Facebook was a buzz with customers speaking their minds about why they chose Urban Decay over other companies. A single thread of truth held throughout all the comments. Customers loyal to the brand for their commitment to end animal testing were leaving in droves. Customers who cared more for the welfare of the animals than the loyalty to their makeup. I am blessed to know some of them and call them friends. Today after much reconsideration Urban Decay has changed their decision to sell in countries that require animal testing until such a time that alternative, non animal testing methods are adopted.
Once in a while it does my beagle heart good to see that as small as we may occasionally feel sometimes when we put our voices together we can achieve something wonderful and important. Today, friends is one of those days. To those who feel hopeless or wonder how they themselves can make a difference in the world for a laboratory animal when they feel their voice not heard listen closely cause the beagle has something to say. We did it, we did it!!! You did it and they did it and your friends may have done it to. We put our voices together and we were heard. On behalf of all of the animals, thank you for your commitment. I hope you know how important you are to me and all the other laboratory animals. Today we will quietly celebrate this victory but we will hold back the zoomies until all laboratory animals go home.
And that my friends is how we get things done.
Luv n Wags,
Juno – “Get er Done “- July 2012
Monday, May 7th, 2012
At the back of the classroom she sat slumped, annoyed and disliking biology and school in general. The handout gave directions for the next lab scheduled for later in the week. Frog dissection? Gross, she thought. Why do I need to cut open a dead frog to see it’s guts? I have a textbook with all that information so what is the purpose? Without another thought her plan was in place. She didn’t realize it at the time but for the first time in her life she was defying her elders for something she believed was wrong. Raised in a strict household where children were best seen and not heard this felt wrong but thrilling. Just the thought of breaking the rules was a head rush. She could barely contain herself for the rest of the class. Suddenly energized, what she could never know was that her life would never ever be the same.
As the minutes ticked until the bell rang the girls bathroom at the high school was no different than any other. More a social than functional place filled with girls crowding the mirrors fixing lip gloss and chattering loudly mostly about boys and clothes. She picked the stall furthest from the door and waited. The crowd slowly thinned and the room became still. The ringing in her ears and rapid heartbeat a signal that this time cutting class was not for the usual reason, going to the mall. This time it was for ethical reasons. Always a bit of a rebel, a self proclaimed tough girl who never let anyone or anything get to her, at least on the outside. Show me a teenage girl who doesn’t, in her own private thoughts, have doubts about herself and I will give up cookies forever. I would like to tell you that there was a bit commotion with sirens and fireworks but alas nothing. The 45 minutes ticked by incredibly slowly as her legs began to ache from her perch on the toilet to keep her feet off the floor and away from the possibility of a truant sweep through the bathroom. Occasionally someone would enter the bathroom. Almost certain they could hear her labored breathing from the next stall and her cover would be blown she held her breath only exhaling as the sound of their footsteps would retreat down the hallway. As the period came to an end and the hallways and bathroom once again were filled with students she emerged from her hiding spot to make her way to her next class. Never telling another soul for fear of ridicule. For being “afraid” to dissect a frog.
When her biology teacher inquired as to her absence she mumbled a vague wasn’t feeling well reply. She was told she would have to make up the lab to which she only nodded slightly. She kept a low profile for the rest of the year, sneaking past her biology teacher coming and going. Hoping that she would forget the whole thing. Some people don’t believe prayers work but she knew otherwise because as the year came to a close there was never again mention of the missing lab. Only after her final exam and subsequent report card and a B in bio was she able to breath again.
After graduation and acceptance to a large metropolitan art school she vowed to never ever take biology again. Of course we know that in order to graduate even with an art degree one must take biology. Full of anxiety the first day of class she approached her professor and meekly asked if they would be dissecting anything that semester. He could clearly see her wariness and assured her that in his biological science class there would be no dissection. The weight that lifted from her shoulders that day was like getting a new lease on life as she knew at that moment that she would be able to finish school. From graduation to work to kids to adopting a cat to adopting first one dog then another and then to rescue a smallish laboratory beagle and naming her Juno. Thank you Mommy for taking a stand even though you didn’t realize it at the time.
Luv n Wags,
Mommy n Me – 2011
For some practical information about public and private school policies and the laws in some states that do not require a child to participate in any type of animal dissection please visit
The New England Anti Vivisection Society
Monday, April 30th, 2012
Friends of mine have been asking me… “Juno,” they say, “How is it you know Mama Micki? And what’s so special about her cookies?” Aside from the obvious reason that it’s always a good time to eat cookies and to give them as gifts especially to a famished doggie here are a few things you might want to know about Mama Micki’s and her famous cookies.
A. They are delicious!
B. They are made with all natural ingredients. Nothing artificial and no refined sugars!
C. They are locally made in by Micki herself in Scituate Ma.
D. Mama Micki’s makes vegan and non-vegan cookies.
E. They also make doggie cookies of several varieties… ~faint~
Mama Micki had always dreamed of opening her own bakery. One day, when her sons were teenagers her husband said to her, “you never opened that bakery – it’s time”. That was about 10 years ago. She opened it and loved it. Then, about 5 years ago life events forced Micki to close her business. Over the years Micki had been steadily losing her hearing and the time had come for a cochlear implant in an attempt to restore her hearing. During this difficult time her Mom had also become ill and it was up to Micki to care for her. And then one day she suddenly had what she called her “mid-life epiphany”! Being tired and overweight and feeling terribly unhealthy all of the time Micki realized that she just wasn’t taking good care of herself.This ah ha moment for her helped her to change her diet and give up refined sugars and all artificial ingredients. And while the implants did nothing to help her hearing about three weeks after switching her diet something amazing began to happen. Her hearing began to improve dramatically. We’ve all heard the saying, you are what you eat and here is living proof that switching up your diet can have a huge impact on your overall well being. Since that time Micki has committed herself to a new lifestyle and about one year ago was able to reopen Mama Micki’s an all natural and organic bakery. The bakery offers both vegan and non vegan choices and since Micki does all of the baking herself you can be assured that vegan and non-vegan cookies are baked on different days assuring no cross contamination with animal ingredients. The vegan cookies are certified by Vegan Action. On a typical day Micki can bake up to 40 dozen cookies. She is a hands on owner and does most of the work herself from the baking to packaging, label making and sealing. She also conducts her experimental new recipes in her kitchen with her husband and their doggie. (Did I mention that Micki also makes doggie cookies? ~faint~)
Micki’s strong commitment to her own wellbeing has spilled over into her bakery as her philosophy is that chemicals and additives have no place in our food system. Her products are all baked with only the finest ingredients free from harmful chemicals, pesticides, GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) or preservatives. In fact Mama Micki’s has applied for their organic certification with the hopes of gaining that approval by the end of summer 2012.
Mama Micki’s All Natural Bakery also believes in giving back. Most recently they participated in the Fishkill Cares for Cats event donating a basket full of cookies! During World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week Mama Micki’s offered my friends a 10% discount and also included a 10% sponsorship to the Juno Humane Education Program which helps to offset my expenses as I travel to help educate people about animal testing and the small steps each of us can make to help bring about an end to this inhumane practice. With all that said I think this smallish doggie can safely say that biting into a Mama Micki cookie just might be the highlight of your day! Good for you, your family and the Juno Humane Education Program. Thank you Micki for loving the animals that much.
Luv n Wags,
Mama Micki in her kitchen – April 2012
Sunday, April 29th, 2012
“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally ok to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
– Professor Charles R. Magel (1980)
Good morning compassionate friends. As the sun rises on the final day of World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week I ask you to take a few moments to consider those animals who awoke this morning with nothing more to look forward to than the peace of not being subjected to testing today, a Sunday. To please consider them and what they endure for the sake of mankind. As we move forward let us not let a day go by without keeping those animals on our minds. Remember, above all, to keep them close to the heart when you shop and donate to charity. Change happens when we all decide collectively that enough is enough. As this week of awareness ends know that my advocacy will not. My wish is for all animals to be free and loved especially those like me. I thank you all for your never ending support and encouragement. You are all the reason we hold hope within. For now I work towards the day when animal testing is nothing more than a distant memory.
Luv n Wags,
Belly rub time for Juno – April 2012
Friday, April 27th, 2012
As part of World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week I have asked my human brother, Paul to be my guest blogger. His writing professor assigned the task of writing a compelling argument. Paul chose animal testing as his topic. While difficult to read at times his argument presents the facts of animal testing and why this outdated practice has run it’s course and needs to end. Thank you Paul and you deserved every bit of the A your professor gave you.
Luv n Wags,
by Paul Aubry
Poor helpless animals are being put through constant torture in order to ensure the safety of the products we use every day. But what makes human safety more important than the lives of these defenseless creatures we share this earth with? Rats and mice are not the only animals tested on. Dogs, rabbits, monkeys, cats, and pigs are only a short list of other animals that are induced with toxic chemicals for the safety of man. Roughly 100 million mice and rats are killed a year in the United States; as well as 1.13 million dogs, cats, monkeys and pigs are tested on in a year. (peta.org) Prior to their death; these animals will be subject to forced inhalation and ingestion of various chemicals and products. Others will be placed in restraints and have their heads drilled, for experimentation purposes, whilst still conscious and without being administered any sort of anesthetic. The large corporations of America are mostly responsible for this torture. Corporations ranging from beauty products like Dove, to cleaning products like Arm and Hammer. (peta.org) These companies test products regardless if they have been previously tested and continue to produce the same results of dead or sickly animals time and time again.
There are three main types of tests administered to animals for cosmetic or beauty supplies. The first being the eye irritancy test. This is when chemicals are forced into an animal’s eyes in order to see how much it irritates the eye. For example they will take shampoo and insert it into rabbit’s eyes to determine that yes shampoo does in fact hurt your eyes. The rabbits will be in a head restraint whilst being performed on and it is not uncommon that they flail around and eventually snap their spinal column in an attempt to break free from the torture; which ultimately kills the animal. (massanimalrights.org) The second main type of animal testing is the skin irritancy test. This is similar to the eye irritancy test; however in this test they shave the animal’s fur to administer the chemical to the epidermis. In most cases they will simultaneously cut the animals skin and induce the chemical to determine if it also causes burns beneath the skin. Chemical burns are very common along with bleeding and inflammation of muscle tissue. Pain relievers are not administered for any animal testing. (massanimalrights.org) The third type of testing is oral toxicity. For this test chemicals are force fed to animals for 14-28 days or until they die to determine any short term effects if ingestion.
Cats specifically are used in medical training as well as medical experiments. In other types of animal testing as indicated by PETA include invasive brain procedures where “… [the] cats have holes drilled into their skulls and electrodes implanted into their brains in order to measure brainwave activity.” This is done to measure the different feelings the cat experiences during the experiments and is administered while the cat is fully conscious and without the aid of anesthetics. (Peta.org) In some hospitals and universities cats are used for medical training in lieu of dummies. The cats will have intubation tubes continuously shoved down their windpipe without regard to the fact that cats and humans have significantly different diameter windpipes. This practice often times results in “…bleeding, swelling, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death.” (Peta.org) Other experiments done on cats for vision may include treacherous conditions such as being born and bred in complete darkness for their whole life. Others have one or both of their eyes either sewn shut or removed entirely, as further explained by PETA; “At Michigan State University, experimenters cut into cats’ faces, crushed their optic nerves, removed their eyes, and then killed them.” (Peta.org) Cats are not the only animal tested on for medical purposes though. According to the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition many animals are “…burned, cut, maimed, addicted to drugs, starved, and given fatal diseases…” in the name of medical research. (Massanimalrights.org) Mass Animal Rights adds that there are “…no federal law regulates what happens to animals during actual experiments.” So these animals are stricken from their right to live only because they were not born into a loving family. These animals are taken against their will and put through torture and never get to experience the riches that a life with a loving family or a life in the wild may provide.
Animal testing has been proven to be highly inaccurate. According to the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition the results of testing certain known harmful chemicals on animals has “proven” that chemicals such as asbestos, arsenic, glass fibers, and cigarette smoke were all found to be safe to ingest. One argument proposed by the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition suggests that animal testing is only prominent today because it provides a legal defense for companies. Not-so-recent breakthroughs have proven that animal testing is in fact obsolete. Companies that participate in cruelty free practice are getting their information from computer simulation software. In fact the sale of animal tested cosmetics in Europe will be banned in the year 2013. (humanesociety.org) Another alternative to testing on animals is the use of human based cells placed in a test tube and analyzed for toxicity. (John) These cells are mostly liver cells as the liver is what breaks down the unwanted chemicals in your body. Scientists are also able to use brain imaging equipment such as an MRI scan to study the human brain in lieu of cutting into monkey or cat brains. (John) Test tubes filled with cells from other parts of the body have also proven very effective. The National Cancer Institute has used human skin tissue to conduct tests ranging from cosmetics, radiation exposure and even burn research. (John) All of which provided more accurate results mainly because the tests conducted on animals aren’t exactly relevant to humans since the body structures are completely different. As explained by Dr. Richard Klausner, National Cancer Institute Director, “We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans.” (John) These physical differences cannot be compensated for in the lab, so why are these tests being conducted when computer simulation programs are available and proven to work?
The lives of these animals when not being tested on are no walk in the park either. In fact most of these animals will never see the light of day; literally. In July of 2010 a laboratory left 120 beagles to die when they filed for bankruptcy. The company found it more beneficial to simply close the doors and leave their test subjects behind. If it had not been for animal advocacy groups Best Friends Animal Society and Pets Alive these animals would have died in only a few days as their bodies were severely malnourished. The beagles were all put up for adoption, and on this day my mother decided we would receive a new addition to our family; we named her Juno. When these beagles first exited the laboratory they were stricken with fear as they did not know what this stringy green stuff was under their paws; the stringy green stuff we call grass. These dogs has not seen anything more than the inside of their cage their whole life. But once introduced to the world some were unable to cope while others developed serious medical and psychological problems that will require special treatment and in some cases medication for the remainder of the dogs life. Most of the beagles were fully able to adapt, however all of the dogs exhibit slightly irregular behavior such as extremely fast eating habits. These habits could have been induced from the conditions and testing done. If the animal is eating fast and is protective of their food then it is obvious that they have great value for food and fear it being taken away.
What gives humans the right to take the right to live from another living creature? According to Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher “…if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that it floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world.” (Nietzsche 44)Nietzsche is saying humans give themselves the sense of importance as if we had a grand positive effect on the planet, when in fact we are the most detrimental aspect of it. Therefore the only possible reason for animal testing is the same self importance over other creates we bestow upon ourselves. The good news is that consumers have a choice when it comes to supporting companies that conduct animal testing. If a product contains a phrase similar to “Cruelty Free”, or “Not Tested on Animals”, on the label then the product as well as the chemicals used in the product is not tested on animals. However if these words appear to be absent from the products label then it is more likely than not that they test on animals. Pharmaceutical products, on the other hand, are required by law to be tested on animals.
Paul with his dog Max – April 2012
. “Cats in Laboratories.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA, n.d. Web. 14 Mar 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/cats-in-laboratories.asp&xgt;.
John, D.. “Alternatives to Animal Testing.” Animal testing 101. PETA, 2011. Web. 14 Mar 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-to-animal-testing.asp&xgt;.
. “Animal experiments: Overview.” People for the ethical treatment of animals. PETA, 2011. Web. 14 Mar 2012. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal-experiments-overview.asp&xgt;.
. “Vivisection: Outdated, Cruel, and Unnecessary.”MASSCHUSETTS ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION. The Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition, n.d. Web. 14 Mar 2012. <http://www.massanimalrights.org/labs.html>.
Nietzsche, F. W. The Portable Nietzsche. New York: Penguin Group USA, 1954. 44.