Madison WI

Taken from The Puppy Up Foundation Blog by Erich Trapp

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On Sunday, May 7th over 1,300 people and 900 dogs attended the 4th Annual PuppyUp Madison Walk at McKee Farms in Fitchburg, WI. This is the largest PuppyUp Walk the Foundation holds each year, and each year the PuppyUp Madison Team surpasses their goals.

Their beginning goal in 2014 was $ 10,000 and 50 participants and they passed that goal by raising approximately $ 87,000 with over 750 participants. This year the goal was $ 135,000 and 1,000 participants; they again blew their goals out of the water by raising over $ 156,000, having 106 Teams and 52 Sponsors and vendors.
Success at this level is not gained over night. Many steps are planned with precision for months, progress is monitored daily and often by the minute. The dedication and passion of the Madison Committee (Beth Viney, Dr. Kai-Biu Shiu, Ann Lippincott, Lana Hesch, Mel Stodola Taylor, Mary Ann Francis, Katie Martz, Danielle Kay, Courtney Tyson, Jennifer Schleicher, Vicki Nussbaum, Lori Gibson and Dr. Linda Sullivan) inspires all who meet them. The hours they spend away from their dogs, family and friends in order to fight cancer in pets and people is much appreciated not just by me, Luke and our Board of Directors, but by all the people they encounter along the way. They have created a community in which others feel free to seek help, advice and even a shoulder to cry on. Many now feel that there is hope that one day we will have better cancer treatments for our two and four legged companions. And some day through the research that we are funding …. a cure, so that others do not lose loved ones to this horrible disease.
A special thanks to Beth Viney (co-founder of PuppyUp Madison) who works tirelessly in memory of Czar and is an inspiration to all who meet her; Ann Lippincott (2017 Chair) who dedicates her fight against cancer to Velma, (or Miss V as she is sometimes called); and Dr. Kai Shiu (co-founder of PuppyUp Madison, Veterinary Oncologist and Chair of the Puppy Up Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee) who fights cancer on all fronts in his office, and for the Foundation.
Through their efforts, they have raised $ 500,000 in the past 4 years allowing the Foundation to add funding to much needed research, awareness and education.
When asked to comment about the 2017 PuppyUp Madison Walk, Luke Robinson, the Founder of the Puppy Up Foundation stated “Trail Magic has taken The Puppy Up Foundation from just 2 dogs and a homeless dude to funding cutting edge, peer reviewed cancer research in exciting areas like immunotherapy at world class institutions, and it led us to Madison, WI. And where Kai and Beth and all of Team Madison have taken it from there is nothing short of awesomeness! My proudest achievement aside from getting the Fuzzybutts safely across 4,000 miles for this cause is how Puppy Up Nation has inspired the best and greatest in all of us.”
We’re looking forward to 2018 PuppyUp Madison.
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YBD’s Notes – the photo above is of the Puppy Power Team led by Michael, a 9 year old lad I had the honor of meeting who became one of Madison’s top fundraisers and at last count that was $ 5,800.  Congrats and cheers to a job well done!
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Of course, Hudson, the famous Fuzzybutt, had his own take on Madison.  As some of you know, he’s become some what of a degenerate in his old age, humping indiscriminately.  Boy dog, girl dog it doesn’t seem to matter one bit earning him the nickname Humpson we just chalk it up to the French in him. The Old Perv wrote a Haiku about his recent time up in Madison WI, home of the Badgers, and what’s become the town where the Fuzzybutts ring in summertime.  
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Hudson Haiku

Madison blossoms.  
Where is dat lil badger at?
I hump it too!

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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8 Stylish + Cozy Throw Blankets

Stylish and Cozy Throw Blankets for Fall and Winter

I have this thing for blankets. I’m not sure if it’s because I appreciate the fact that they are basically the most useful pieces of decor ever invented (a blanket thrown over the back of a chair or sofa can make a room) or just that I’m always cold, but I have a large basket full of them in my living room, as well as several strewn across furniture at all times. With the season of cozy quickly approaching, I thought this was the perfect time to share some of my current favorite throw blankets with all of you.

Who else is a throw blanket junkie? Which one above is your favorite?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Homage to the Syrian hamster

golden hamster

Photo by Robert Maier.

It should be little surprise to readers of this blog that I have always been a bit into animals. My childhood dogs have featured heavily on this space, but the truth is I’ve had a wide variety of animals when I was a kid.

From grades 4-6, I was a hamster fanatic. At the time, it was very difficult for North American children to buy dwarf hamsters. The mainstay of the hamster world was the golden or Syrian hamster, and there were very few people breeding for docility in pet hamster strains. The goal was to produce as many different morphs as possible with very little regard to the temperament of the hamster.

As a result, many children from my generation have horror stories about biting hamsters.  Over my years of hamster keeping, I came to accept their bites as part of keeping them.

I got into hamsters rather on a lark. I was always reading the Barron’s pet guides, many of which were translations of German pet manuals, and the one on hamsters was written by Otto von Frisch.

hamster otto von frisch

This book created my hamster obsession.

The book was not just a pet care manual. It was full of anecdotes about pet hamsters, as well as discussions of scientific studies on their behavior.  It also talked a lot about the Central European ideas about hamster, for as I learned from that book, that there are hamsters native to Germany and Austria (the very large common hamster).  The species was well-known to farmers in the region as an agricultural pest and as a rather vicious creature that shouldn’t be messed with.  As someone who predominant ancestry is from that region, I was quite fascinated by these accounts.

And I knew I had to have a pet hamster.

After much pleading, I was given permission to get a hamster, provided I kept it at my grandparents’ house. My mother was an extreme murophobe, and I had to accept her conditions.

The first hamster I got was what was called a black-eyed cream. I named her Linda, because I was a child and thought that was a nice name.  And her variety may have been black-eyed cream, but her tendency to bite led to her receiving the moniker “the black-eyed bitch.”

I soon found that it was very easy to get hamsters. People were quite literally giving me new ones, including an old long-haired female that live for about two weeks then fell over dead from old age.

I longed, though, for a true “wild type” hamster.  I wanted one that was marked just as the wild ones are in Syria, with white cheek flashes and sabled golden coats.

I never was able to purchase such an animal. The closed I got was what was called a cinnamon hamster. She was marked just like a wild type, but she had no black hair at all on her pelt.

She had come from Walmart, where she had been kept in a cage with several banded hamsters. The banded ones were wild type in color, but they had a white band going through their mid-section. I had managed to get two females from that cage:  this cinnamon one and a banded one.

Two weeks later, the cinnamon hamster dropped pink babies all over her cage. Apparently, a male hamster had been kept with her, and she was just in the early days of her pregnancy when I got her.

In five days, their fur started to grow in. 9 were wild-type but banded, but one was wild type in full!

I didn’t understand my Mendel in those days.  The banded trait is dominant over the non-banded, and the wild-type markings are dominant over the cinnamon. Cinnamon bred to a banded wild-type would produce young that were banded wild-type, but if the wild-type were a carrier for a non-banded hamster, it is possible to get at least one in the litter that lacked a white band.

That’s what this hamster was, and I was instantly transfixed. I spent my summer that year handling hamster babies, knowing fully-well the stories of mother hamsters eating their young if they were stressed.

The young wild-type hamster was a male, and he became the tamest hamster I ever knew. I named him Houdini, after a children’s book I had read, but he really didn’t live up to his namesake. He escaped a few times– always because I left a latch on the cage a little loose– but he was easily recovered.

One time, he did escape and was gone for several days. I was certain that he had wandered out of the house and had eventually fallen prey to some nocturnal predator.

I had all but given up on him, so I sat with a heavy heart in my grandparents’ guest room watching Nature on PBS.  I heard some rumbling sounds in the wall.  I thought I was hearing things, but the rumbling sound grew louder and louder.

I then caught movement out of the corner of my eye. It was Houdini crawling along the side of the wall. He stopped and sniffed the air, and he scurried right up to me and let me pick him up.

My childhood mind said that Houdini came to me because he loved me. My adult mind now recognizes that Houdini recognized me as a source for food. He had spent several days wandering around the walls of my grandparents’ house and had become famished in his freedom. He caught my scent on his evening travels, and he came to me to figure out if I might have some food.

But a child’s mind saw Houdini as the Lassie of the hamsters. He’d come home out of the walls just because he loved me.

Despite that childhood flight of fancy, the hamsters taught me much. I learned what it was like to be around an animal that utterly has no use for humanity.  Dogs and horses are personable animals, but a hamster is solitary, remote, and mostly nocturnal (at least in captivity).

The world they reveal is a world in which territory matters the most. The males have greasy scent glands on their hips that they rub along their tunnels to mark their realms.  The females have a musty odor, and when they are receptive to males– every four days if not bred–they get quite stinky indeed.

I got to where I could tell if a female hamster was receptive just by the intensity of the odor. This odor is an adaptation to a species with such hyper territorial behavior that they are forced to live pretty far from each other. The strong estrus odor of a female hamster is necessary to announce to the male that it is okay for him to enter her territory and mate with her. When she is not receptive, she will attack any hamster, male or female, that comes near. In this species the females are bigger and fatter than the males, and males that don’t heed the odors wind up with a dangerous situation indeed.

These captive hamsters– all derived from a single litter captured near Aleppo in the 1930s– opened my eyes to another world.

The solitary Syrian hamster lives and breeds well in captivity, but it is still mostly a wild animal. In the past few years, breeders have produced truly more docile strains of hamster, but I knew them in the raw.

In fact, I think that if I were ever to be a hamster keeper again, I would try to get a little more of the more rugged strain. I would not be buying a cute pet for the kids. I would be be buying an animal that I wish to appreciate as a wild being with its own instincts and drives and desires.  I would want to be the naturalist hamster lover again. I would keep them with the cool detachment of an adult who understands animal behavior and not the childhood anthropomorphism or “cynomorphism” that turned them into furry people or severely debased dogs.

The Syrian hamster will always mean a lot to me. They were terrible pets for the typical child, but they were the ideal subjects for a budding young naturalist who needed to know animals that weren’t dogs or horses.

They opened my mind to something else, and I will always appreciate them for their indifference and their solitary grumpiness and their general remoteness.

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This is my contribution to Rodent Week.

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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Fall Walks with PooVault | #Giveaway

After our long (long!) summers, we like nothing better than the crisp days that autumn brings Texas. We’re just now seeing cool mornings, hours that are clear and crisp–and perfect for…



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DogTipper

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The size of a chihuahua

Imagine being the size of a chihuahua amongst all those legs…  it must be like living in the Land of the Giants!
RIVIERA DOGS

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