Animals In Entertainment: The Roadrunner

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The Road Runner was introduced to T.V. screens in 1949 in a short film called “Fast and Furry-ous,” along with his long-time rival Wile E. Coyote. The duo continued to enjoy life on the silver screen from that point on until the 1980’s.

The creator of the Road Runner was a man by the name of Chuck Jones, who worked for Warner Bros Studios. Jones also created beloved characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepe Le’ Pew, Marvin The Martian, and more.

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The Road Runner and his foe Wile E. Coyote

Jones already had the Wile E. Coyote character in mind, based off of a Mark Twain description. “The coyote is a long, slim, sick, and sorry-looking skeleton.” “… He is always poor, out of luck …”

All Jones needed now was a partner. Every character he had previously created had one. Bugs Bunny (inspired by cigar smoking Groucho Marx) had Elmer Fudd, and Porky Pig had Daffy Duck. What better foe for a skinny, starving coyote than a native, flightless bird who he can never catch!

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Chuck Jones had a very specific set of rules that he kept himself to when writing each set of animated episodes. For example, “Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy,” and “The Road Runner must stay on the road, for no other reason than that he is a Roadrunner.”

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The Plymouth Road Runner car, built between the years 1968 and 1980 in the US, uses the Warner Bros. character as a notable emblem on their models. As the story goes, one Saturday morning while watching cartoons with his children, the Chrysler-Plymouth design planning analyst Gordon Cherry, realized that the Road Runner always manages to elude his nemesis Wile E. Coyote. Cherry then realized that this was the exact kind of image Plymouth had been hoping to cultivate when planning their next muscle car design.

Plymouth paid Warner Bros. Studios $50,000 to use the cartoon character. Warner Bros. earned $10,000 as well from Plymouth when they created a “beep beep” horn that resembles the iconic character’s soundbite.

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The Geococcyx californianus and G. velox species also known as Roadrunners, can be found in Mexico, Central America, and Southwestern U.S.

The cartoon Road Runner’s creator was not far from reality when depicting the character. One of Jones’ rules after all was that, “All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters- the American Southwest.”

Although in every cartoon episode and per Jones’ Rules, the Coyote would never be allowed to catch the Road Runner; According to wildlife experts, a coyote can actually run faster than a Roadrunner. Since coyotes can reach a speed up to 43 mph, the Roadrunner’s 20 mph limit would mean the end for the Roadrunner.

The Roadrunner has unusual X-shaped footprints which Native Americans believed could ward off evil spirits.

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The Greater Roadrunner is a monogamous species who keeps the same mate for life. Which can help to explain why after each escape from the Coyote’s grasp, he comes back for more.

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The Mainely Pets Foundation

It is rare to find individuals who genuinely enjoy their jobs. Those who wake up everyday with a sense of duty and with a keen, open eye for the next step in their pursuit of their passion. As rare as these individuals are, it is even more rare to find people who dare to take that passion further.

For a small group of Veterinary Doctors in Maine, providing outstanding care for every animal that came into their office, simply wasn’t enough. The sense that more could be done in helping animals and their owners, became a powerful driving force that did not go unheard.

DVM Oonagh Wack

 

DVM Brian Graves
DVM Douglas Andrews

 

So in August of 2017, DVMs Oonagh Wack, Brian Graves, Doug Andrews and a handful of other individuals, created a non-profit foundation.

This foundation brought together their passion, committment, and talent for veterinary medicine. With their collaborative minds they created a very unique organization.

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They recognized that more animals are in need of medical care than just the ones that come into their exam rooms. They also recognized that not every one is able to afford that medical care for their pets in need.

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Their process is incredibly simple. With approval of a submitted application, Mainely Pets Foundation will help pet owners and rescue groups, cover the cost of medical care.

If you have found yourself in a tough financial situation, and your animal needs immediate medical care; do not let your pet suffer and please reach out to this organization.

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Bubba

I’m sure most of you remember Bubba from my “Tips From Bubba” series.

Bubba had a tremendously painful gum disease which caused him to experience pain all day and night and especially when he ate. Bubba’s pain was so bad that he immediately would turn away when offered food. The cost of care to even begin correcting his Stomatitis was tremendous. That was where Mainely Pets Foundation stepped in.

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Bubba asks for fresh water from the tub faucet shortly after his mouth surgery

If you live in the state of Maine in the US, and are in need of financial aid for your pets medical care, you can submit an application request by clicking this link.

To donate to this amazing foundation and help them to continue helping pets like Bubba, click here.

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If your pet needs help, please reach out. There are other foundations similar to Mainely Pets in the U.S., that can help residents off all states. The Pet Fund is one example. There are also MANY foundations country-wide, that aim at covering spay/neuter costs. In fact, that number is so great, I would not be able to list them all in this post, so if you’re animal is in need of spay/neuter help, call a local veterinarian in your area or a local animal shelter who will be able to tell you more.

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Lakes Custom Creations

Lakes Custom Creations is a budding new business that combines lifelong passion and experience in woodworking and customizations, along with a love for pets.

Started by husband and wife, Jason and Kate Lake, Lakes Custom Creations makes unique products geared towards pets.

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Raised bowls with built-in food storage  

Each product is handmade in Maine and primarily uses Maine pine when building each product. Hardwoods can be used at a higher cost. 

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Standard templates can be used should a person want a more standardized look, however customization is an option as well. Customization can include specific sizing measurements and decorative painting or personalizations such as pet’s names.

Although pet products are not the only thing that they can make. Additional products include signage,

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kitchen racks, festive decor, and more!

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“We can make just about anything out of wood.,” says co-founder Kate Lake. “In fact, our motto is: Let your inspiration become our creation.”

More products can be found here in this Etsy link.

Shipping is not included in the price of the product and is paid for by the purchaser. It is for that reason that products can be shipped anywhere across the globe so long as the purchaser is willing to pay for shipping costs.

Please be aware that if being shipped outside of the U.S., it is common for arrival delay due to the Customs process when entering/exiting countries.

Click this link for Lakes Custom Creations Facebook page. Also, orders can be placed directly via email at lakescustomcreations@gmail.com. To receive a 10% discount on pricing, mention that you saw it here and give the code FFF10 when placing your order.

Animal Abuse In America

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I have anxiously awaited the writing of this post. Although many statistics, information, and ideas come about with this subject, I’ve postponed writing until the right words could shine through.

Chances are, the people reading this are not the ones abusing and neglecting animals. However, those reading this are still impacted by animal cruelty. The disgustingly horrific photos and videos that are seen on television, the internet, and in the news, often leave animal advocates and animal lovers disheartened. There is no harsher feeling than seeing an animal being tortured, knowing that animal abuse exists, and having no idea what to do about it or where to go.

Here are things that everyday people like you and me can do to help prevent and potentially stop animal abuse.

ANIMAL ABUSE IS:

The legal definition of animal abuse is the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death onto a tame animal, beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous that the animal has suffered, died, or been put in imminent danger of death.

Animal abuse is commonly known as cruel acts and neglect. Psychological terror and torment is also a form of animal cruelty, for example: the constant creation of fear by the owner to the animal.

Physical abuse such as burning, cutting, using excessive force on an animal

Psychological torture such as routinely performing an act which knowingly creates fear for the animal with the intention of scaring the animal (for example: holding an animal out of the window of a moving vehicle.)

Neglect, such as withholding food, water, shelter, basic grooming needs, or medical care (often found in hoarding situations)

Are all forms of animal cruelty.  

 

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Below is a chart defining the frequency and types of REPORTED animal abuse cases in the United States in 2013.

 

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A quick mention on obesity in the US: A stagggering number of American pets are obese. Although this is not a direct form of abuse or neglect, obesity can and often does create many health challenges for the pet and can and often does, limit the animals life longevity, and health. Routine exercise is an essential need for many animals.

THE PROFILE OF AN ANIMAL ABUSER:

Animal abusers find all kinds of different and sick ways of harming an animal.  For whatever illogical reason, these types of people do not see anything wrong with their actions or behaviors. Common traits include:

  • May perform acts of cruelty or torture for religious, cultural, or artistic reasons.
  • Most likely have psychological/ personality/sexual disorders. Antisocial personality disorder in particular revels the highest incidents of intentional animal cruelty according to Psychology Today.
  • Likely to be impulsive, selfish, controlling, attempts to be intimidating, and shows great lack of remorse
  • May have been a victim of violence themselves or have been witness to violent/abusive acts
  • Highly likely to be domestic abusers as well. 71%- 88% of abusers were abusive towards spouse and/or children as well
  • Predominately men under 30 years old and women over 60 years old

 

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Example:

A woman you work with often comes to work bruised. She admits that she and her children are a victim to domestic violence by her husband. Given the woman’s testament, would you consider her dog to be safe in the household as well?

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:

Learn the signs of animal abuse.

Notice your surroundings and environment on a daily basis. Some signs of abuse and neglect are quite evident. However be careful in drawing assumptions.

Example: “Every time I drive home from work, I notice my neighbor’s dog outside. The dog is outside from the time I drive into work and from the time I drive home.”

The owner may have brought the animal indoors between these two times, however since you are at work, you are not able to see that fact. When presenting an accusation of animal cruelty, it is imperitive that your observations/facts be concrete enough to stand up in court.

Gather evidence if possible.

Create a record or log documenting what you see on a daily basis, the animal’s location,  health condition (skinny, dirty, mange-like, etc), living conditions (no shelter, living in feces, etc) Take photos if possible. In general, it is not wise to confront the animal abuser yourself. Law enforcement personnel are trained to deal with situations such as this, because remember; animal abusers may also be violent towards human beings as well.

Don’t be afraid to speak out against the abuse

Even if it means continuous phone calls to law enforcement or someone else of authority. Even if they don’t seem to care (they could be animal abusers as well) Keep placing complaints, making phone calls, and advocating for the animal.

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If your local authorities are not being responsive, call:

PETA at 757-622-7382 or,

the Animal Humane Society at 612-772-9999 email: investigations@animalhumanesociety.org

Call your local animal shelter

In some U.S. states such as New York and Texas, dialing code 311 will put you in direct contact with someone who can help with animal cruelty.

If you are witnessing animal cruelty as it is happening and the animal’s life is in imminent danger, call 911.

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IN THE UK:

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If you have viewed animal cruelty on the internet, click here to report it. You can also click here. You may need the direct video link when reporting or in some cases, the IP address of the website. In order to assist law enforcement, this link allows for easy look-up of the website creator’s contact information.

Be active with your local animal shelter

This seems a very after-the-fact avenue and for the most part that is true however the local animal shelter is where many neglected and abused animals end up. Many of these shelters are non-profit and depend solely on contributions made by their community to care for their animals. Help the relief effort by volunteering with your local shelter or providing donations if possible.

Encourage tougher animal cruelty laws in your local legislation

Which could mean organizing a citizens’ initiative/petition or writing your local representative and advocating for tougher animal rights laws.

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Right now in Denver, CO, efforts are being made to legally prohibit convicted animal abusers from ever owing an animal again. Similar legislation exists in California.

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Although many US states have felony laws for animal abuse, SOUTH DAKOTA is one of the US states WITHOUT felony-level animal cruelty laws.

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Education

Educating youth on proper animal care can prevent animal abuse in the future.

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Not everyone understands that animal abuse is NOT okay. 

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The Canary

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Yellow Canary

A Canary is a small bird that is descended from the wild Atlantic Canary. Part of the Finch family; Atlantic Canaries are primarily found in the places they originated: The Canary Islands, Azores, and Madeira. However some were brought by man-kind in the mid 1900’s to the northwest Hawaiian Islands and Bermuda, where they can be found as well.

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Atlantic Canary

A look into the history of the Canary Islands lends a great deal of information as to how these birds became their own “domesticated” breed.

When Roman sailors discovered the islands, there were a tremendous number of wild dogs roaming about a particular island. Therefore, the Romans named the entire chain of islands Canaria. With Canis meaning dog, Canaria means the Great Island of Dogs.

In the 1400’s Spain began their expansion efforts and very soon after they conquered the small Canary and Madeira Islands, (around 1500’s) They began to import it’s small, delightful and bright signing birds.

The little birds of Las Islas Canarias were quickly passed all over Europe. Noblemen and Monks began to extensively breed their song birds and quickly gave rise to 29 different types of domestic Canaries.

Current day Canaries are typically divided into three groups.

  1. Color
  2. Type
  3. Song

Color birds are known for their varying degrees of color. For example, one of the earliest forms of this selective breeding is the Yellow Canary, which dates back to 1670, and is the most common. Colors range from red, white, and orange.

The Type Category is comprised of birds such as the Yorkshire and Raza Esponala. These birds are bred for particular shape and sizes.

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Yorkshire Canary

And finally, Song canaries are bred for their singing abilities. These birds are the most sought after in all of the canary groups. The Harz Roller (German Roller,) The Waterslager (bred in Belgium from Harz Roller lines,) and The American Singer (circa 1930’s) are among the top performing canaries in this category. The Spanish Timbrado is reported to be able to sing a song containing up to 12 notes.

Timbrado Canary
Spanish Timbrado

Which leads to a forgotten history of the Canary. I’ll need the help of world-renowned musician Sting from his former band The Police to help me exemplify this next topic. “You live your life like a Canary in a Coalmine.”

What Sting is referring to in this song dates back to point in our worlds history when Canaries were used in coal mining. Canaries were used primarily in the UK to aid coal miners during their workday. Having a considerably smaller size and higher metabolic rate than their human counterparts, Canaries were placed in mines alongside working men. If any toxic gases had been unknowingly released via the digging process of mining, such as carbon monoxide or methane; the Canary would presumably stop singing and succumb to the toxic gases before the larger-bodied workers. Thus giving coal miners the ability to know of the impending danger and provide time for the men to safely exit the mine.

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Coal Miner and his Canary

A canary can live 15 years or more. They are very friendly, social birds and perfer warmer climates. As with other birds in this variety they enjoy fruit, veggies, and high-protein diets.

A canary is able to contract Cholera, Diphtheria, lice, and eye diseases. So be sure to take your canary to the vet if they tend to keep their head low or seem lethargic.

Canaries are timorous. They can easily become nervous so be weary when letting them fly around the house since they are more apt to bump their heads off of objects. Also, their timorous nature makes them more sensitive to changes made in the household (moving furniture, new smells, etc.)

For a listen to a Canary’s song, click here for a link to YouTube.