It is sad that any being should be in this condition, especially those that can not help themselves. Let's make sure that Ernest Alexander and the others involved are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Most importantly that Ernest Alexander never be in a position to to deal with animals again. It is hard for me to believe that Ernest Alexander had the "proper credentials" to mananage an Animal Shelter. Hope they will make his resume public, this was a position that paid over $92,000/year. This is from Myron Lowery, Memphis City Councilman in reply to my Email. This is what I said:
The City of Memphis, which I called home for over 20 years, before leaving 5 years ago, should be ashamed of their Animal Shelter and the treatment of those innocent souls. Please tell me there is a plan in place to make the necessary changes so the well-being of these unfortunate animals will be foremost on the minds of your shelter workers.
~A society will be judged on how it looks after it's most vulnerable members“. - William Dean ~
I pray that this will NEVER happen again, in Memphis or anywhere else.
This was the reply from Mr. Lowery:
Mayor A C Wharton said he fired Memphis Animal Services director Ernest Alexander because animal shelter employees appeared unable to complete basic tasks, such as following procedures for euthanasia animals and completing paperwork.
Wharton’s decision to fire Alexander Thursday night, nine days after law enforcement authorities raided the shelter and shut it down, came after shelter employees improperly euthanized a dog this week and preliminary results of an investigation showed poor management by Alexander at the city-owned shelter.
“You’ve got a mayor now who, perhaps to a fault, likes to be hands on,” said Wharton during a morning press conference at the shelter. “I am not an expert on (animal shelters), but I can walk in there and tell you if there is enough food or water in the bowl, or if they followed our own procedures.”
Despite allegations of mistreatment of the animals he oversaw at a shelter in Albuquerque, N.M., Alexander arrived in Memphis in the spring of 2008 after former mayor Willie Herenton launched a nationwide search for an administrator who could improve conditions at the shelter, long a source of controversy for local animal rights activists.
In addition to Alexander’s termination, three other shelter employees remain suspended with pay until the city investigation is complete.
Wharton said Darrell Eldred, the former deputy director of the General Services Division, who returned to City Hall to work for Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons, will serve on a temporary basis as the operations manager at the shelter until a full-time replacement can be found.
Saying animals deserve treatment that is as caring and professional as that for humans, Wharton also hired Lucy Shaw, who once ran the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, as a consultant to assess standards at the shelter and how they measure up to other shelters around the country.
“The bottom line is, where are we now and where do we want to go?” said Shaw.
Public pressure for Wharton to take dramatic action on the shelter has been building since Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies raided the facility on Wharton’s first full day as mayor, culminating in a candlelight vigil outside the shelter last night where many attendees said they wanted Alexander and other shelter staff members fired. Authorities have said at least three animals starved to death while in the shelter’s care.
“I believe in doing things right instead of doing them fast,” said Wharton. “I see (the public reaction) as a strong sign that the city cares, that we have a conscience.”
Wharton said he was stunned to learn that a dog had been euthanized this week before its owners could be contacted and surprised to see how sloppy the record keeping at the shelter was, including important documents on the drugs used to kill animals.
“If you’re lax on these records that can send you to jail, heaven forbid, what are you doing with records on how much food or water they have?” said Wharton. “That’s why it disgusted me so much that a pet was put down under questionable circumstances.”
A search warrant delivered during last week’s raid stated that authorities believed Alexander and shelter employees had violated laws. District Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons has said criminal charges are likely.
1. If your notice your dog scratching its ears, it doesn't necessarily have fleas. It could have any number of issues including ear mites, yeast, etc and should be seen by your vet.
2. Many dogs are mildly allergic to perfume scented shampoos. Consider using a mild oatmeal based shampoo when bathing your dog or you may end up with an itchy pup!
3. If you notice your dog having an unusually foul odor, don’t assume he or she is not clean. She may have an ear or skin infection. The smell of infection is somewhat comparable to vomit and mildew.
4. Dogs naturally like to play keep-away better than fetch. You'll need to train your dog to play fetch, but not keep-away.
5. Most dogs really don't like to play dress up. Sorry. (Though there are exceptions to this rule)
6. Some dogs need their anal glands expressed or else you will witness a “scooting” behavior where they rub their behinds on the ground. This is a simple procedure that can be done by most groomers or at your veterinarians.
7. Dogs with deep wrinkles need to be washed daily. Dirt can build up leading to odor or infection.
8. Dogs don't understand pointing. They focus on the tip of your finger, not the item you are pointing at.
9. Just like people, dogs have phobias too. Some examples of phobias we've encountered include thunder, stairs, hair dryers, water, lawn mowers, vacuums, balloons, and buses.
10. Dogs aren't really racist. When dogs bark at unknown people, it is often because they are unfamiliar with their body type or skin color.
11. Not all dogs are born swimmers. Some dogs need to be encouraged to swim. Some breeds are more natural swimmers than others.
12. Body harnesses actually encourage pulling. While they may seem like they give you more control, the pressure points on a harness make your dog respond by pulling forward.
13. Dogs dislike being bored and easily get into trouble when left to their own devices. Think of creative ways to keep your dog's mind active.
14. Dogs need mental stimulation as much as physical stimulation.
15. Dogs often react differently to human males and females.
16. Dogs can know you as much by scent as by eyesight (if not more!), and you can help them feel secure when you leave by providing a soft object that has your scent on it. (A sweatshirt or blanket you sleep with)
17. Social status is very important to dogs and many canine behaviors are determined by their attempts to establish their roles (belly up submission, standing tall/over another dog, jumping on, standing ground and not flinching)
18. Dogs can get jealous. They may try and interrupt a hugging couple or bark for attention when you are on the telephone!
19. Dogs can be trained not to beg at the table. Never feed your dog off of your plate as it only encourages begging behavior.
20. Dogs are creatures of habit. They like familiarity and form expectations and schedules.
21. Dogs like to playfully taunt to encourage play (especially keep away). The classic play stance is the “bow”. A dog puts its front paws down on the ground and its tail end up in the air.
22. Many dogs love car rides. Be sure to keep your dog secured with a seat belt or other safety device.
23. Some dogs lick their paws and then rub their paws on their head to clean themselves, much like a cat!
24. Many breeds are escape artists - if you're not careful, your dog might decide to take a swim in the neighbor's kiddie pool, or bring home a new toy. Basenjis are especially known for their ability to escape from yards.
25. An unsupervised dog will get bored in a back yard very quickly. It is never safe to leave your dog unattended in the yard.
26. Dogs bark for a large number of reasons, but often do so to get attention from other people or other dogs. Some other reasons that dogs bark include: to protect their territory, express a need or to initiate play.
27. Dogs communicate with their tail. A wag can mean many things - an aggressive dog may wag their tail, but it will be held high and moving rapidly. A playful dog will also hold his tail high, but it will be wagging in big arches from side to side. Meanwhile a dog that is afraid will hold his tail low and may wag it stiffly back and forth.
28. Most dogs don't like their own poop and will intentionally avoid it.
Halloween is a fun time for children to dress up as their favorite character and get tons of free candy, but before you put your wiener dog in a set of buns and mustard, let’s go over some basic safety.
Many dogs are scared of people wearing costumes and are easily frightened during Trick or Treat. If on a walk, the stress of all the increased activity can cause your dog to jerk away from you, so be sure to keep a tight grip on the leash.
Be sure that your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag, incase he does escape.
Unless your dog is extremely friendly and outgoing, keeping him in for the night might be best. If he is afraid of loud noises or crowds you may consider placing him in a quiet room as far from your front door as possible during the time of trick or treat.
If you do not have a room for your pup, consider a crate. This could make him feel secure and greatly reduce a chance of escape. You can provide him with his favorite toy and blanket to reduce his stress level. Play soft music or turn on the TV to further relax him.
If you want to have your dog greet your ghostly visitors, be cautious. A nervous dog is an unpredictable dog.
The extra stress of goblins asking for candy might make him feel threatened and cause him to growl, lunge, or even bite.
It is not a good idea to leave your dog loose in the yard during Halloween festivities. In addition to strange looking figures lurking the sidewalks, many people use Halloween as an excuse to tease and harm pets. Also, don’t forget your feline friends.
It is a good idea to bring them indoors too. Black cats are a definite target for Halloween tormenters.
Save the candy and chocolate for the ghouls and away from your four legged friends. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and death in dogs.
The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is, so do not give your pet even a small amount. Some signs of chocolate poisoning are excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and coma.
Candy wrappers are also dangerous. They can cause choking or an intestinal obstruction.
Pet costumes are cute, but can be highly annoying to Fido. But, if he does not seem to mind his festive outfit and you decided to go for it, don’t for get common sense safety.
Double check to make sure he can breathe easily, see and hear, and that it is flame retardant. If the costume has any small, dangling accessories, remove them so that they are not swallowed or choked on.
Halloween can be a time for fun for the entire family. Keeping safety as a priority will keep you home eating left over candy and out of the animal ER. Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.
This was the scene at last years Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade. Over 600 dogs participated in last years event and they are expecting the turnout this year will be similar!
Halloween Day, Sat., Oct. 31, 2009, 2:30 p.m. The start/finish is at Livingston Park, 4900 E. Livingston Dr. (@ Park Ave. in Belmont Shore), Long Beach, 90803. The vendor fair and pet adoption fair is in the park from noon to 5 p.m.
A little GhostBust’n today in Savannah, Georgia, I am told there are lots of Ghosts in Savannah to be Busted! Anyway, I am on the lookout right now, walk’n around in Bonaventure Cemetery this morning tying to stir a few ghosts into action. I hear there are plenty of Ghosts here. They give tours of Bonaventure Cemetery; they say it takes about 4 hours to see it all. Bonaventure was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Had to catch a ride out here, since it is not within walk’n distance of the Historic District of Savannah where I am stay’n! It was worth the trip!
Now it is back to the Historic District of Savannah, think I will stop first at 17-Hundred-90 Restaurant and Inn where there is a very friendly ghost named Anne Powers who in the 1800’s jumped to her death from the 3rd floor balcony or was she push, you be the judge…
Then there is The Olde Pink House was the home of James Habersham Jr. and his family. Construction on this home was begun in 1771, but was not completed until 1789, it was built of red brick covered with white plaster, and maybe the quality of the red brick or the white plaster was up to par because the home turned pink. Painted many times, the “pink” just kept coming back. There are many ghosts residing in The Olde Pink House, Habersham can be seen in many place in the home, his grandson usually seen at the bar, a couple of unknown females in the upstairs rooms, and the ghost of a servant girl in the basement. This place is really in need of some GhostBust’n!
The Kehoe House built in 1892 was home to William Kehoe and his large clan. Ten children, maybe more ran through the halls of this home. It is said that visitors to the now B& B often hear the laughter of his children at play.
At the Pirate's House Restaurant, legend has it, that many an unsuspecting man drinking in the restaurant bar in the early days of Savannah, found themselves on a ship sailing to a foreign post when they awoke. It was hard at the time to get the sailors need and the ships’ captains’ would sometimes used this method to man their ships. Poor guys never knew what happened!
Fort Pulaski was completed in 1847. The United States realized it’s vulnerability to attack after the British sailed up the Potomac River and burned the White House during the Revolutionary War. Fort Pulaski was virtually unused until the Civil War. At one time it was a prison for Confederate soldiers captured by the Union Army. The treatment these prisoners received was harsh, many died, and it is believed there are many ghosts of these Confederate prisoners and their Union captors walking the grounds at Fort Pulaski even now.
Here are some video clips of some of the places I visited as well as another Savannah Haunt!
This week I will visit Haunted Houses, it is Howl-O-Ween Week, isn’t it?
Today it will be The Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Seems there are ghosts galore haunting this house. Frank Stranahan was a founding father in Fort Lauderdale. A man of great wealth and prominence, he committed suicide in 1929 after losing his fortune in the stock market crash in 1927 and being held in the grips of the Great Depression that followed.
Stranahan was the first Postmaster in Fort Lauderdale and he established the first banking institution there too. He was on of the largest landowners in the city at the time and donated land for Stranahan Park and for a hospital The Stranahan House began as a Trading Post on the New River and then became home to Frank & Ivy after their 1900 wedding. Ivy continued to reside at Stranahan House until her death in 1971.
It is not just Frank Stranahan who remains an unseen resident at this historic haunted home. As many as six family members have died in the house. The ghost of Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, who died in an upstairs bedroom in 1971, is reported to appear accompanied by the strong scent of an antique fragrance. The uneasy ghost of her father, Augustus Cromartie, who died in that same bedroom years before, is reported to make his presence known on occasion; other ghostly residents include Ivy’s brother and sister and the apparition of an Indian servant girl seen outside the rear of the building.
Tours of the Stranahan House, (which is now a Museum, restored to 1913) are available, so the next time you visit Fort Lauderdale and are in the mood for “haunting” a nice place, come by and meet Frank, Ivy and the rest of the ghostly gang at the Stranahan House.
Walk'n with my feet ten feet off of Beale, yes I am walk'n in Memphis...
Okay, so I am back on the tourist trail. I am walk’n in Memphis, walk’n on Beale as a matter of fact. Yes, Beale Street, the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock & Roll! Historic Beale Street, where I am watching the street performer play’n the harmonica. Down the way I see the dancers, gosh, that guy just did a triple flip! Beale Street Flippers, that's what they call them!
Yes, on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, you can do all that and more. There are taverns, clubs, restaurants, boutiques and even a pool hall and a museum right on Beale. Did you know that cars are not allowed on Beale Street? Well, at least on the part of Beale where all the clubs and stuff are.
On Friday nights, you can buy a Beale Street Wristband and it will get you into all of the participating clubs to see the bands with no “cover charge”. This is a great deal, since the cover charges can set you back quite a bit. Although the names of some of the clubs have changed over the years, the music is still some of the best Memphis has to offer.
The Beale Street Music Festival 2010 will take place from April 30th through May 2nd. The Beale Street Music Festival kicks off Memphis in May festivities which culminates the last weekend in May with the Sunset Symphony. Right smack dab in the middle, they will hold the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest now that is for me!
So if you have a chance to do any Walk’n in Memphis, May is a great month for the walk! If you can’t make it in May, anytime in the Spring or Fall is great, the weather is wonderful. Come stay at the Peabody Hotel and be close to the action, walk to Beale or if you don’t feel like a walk, ride the Main Street Trolley!
Yes that’s right, this morning I arrived in Memphis, Tennessee at the Gates of Graceland! Elvis Presley, the King of Rock & Roll and several member of his family lived here with Elvis and are also buried here on the grounds. Graceland is pretty much preserved as it was in the 1970’s when Elvis was living here, right down to the shag carpet! Although, No Dogs Allowed in Graceland, we can walk right by the front gate and the wall, where fans have left messages for Elvis since his death at Graceland on August 16, 1977.
I will be in Memphis for the next few days visiting all of the attractions. Visit me everyday to see my featured places.
Elvis purchased Graceland Mansion in 1957 for $100,000, seems incredible in these times. The mansion sits on 13.8 acres in Whitehaven, which was located in the Memphis Reserve, allowing for future city growth. Whitehaven was annexed by the City of Memphis in 1969. Secured by a large beautiful gate and surrounding wall, Graceland gave Elvis the privacy he desired. Fans could “cruise” by the Mansion at 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, but Elvis was a guy who pretty much liked to be out of the public eye unless he was performing.
Graceland is made up of several buildings besides the white-columned home that was built in 1939. Elvis had a building just to house his Gold Records and today this building houses those Gold Records and many of his personal items, including the suits he wore when he performed and his military clothing.
Meditation Gardens on the property of Graceland is the final resting place of Elvis, his mother Gladys, his father Vernon and his grandmother Minnie Mae. Meditation Gardens is the last stop on Graceland Tours.
So, the next time you find yourself Walk’n in Memphis, walk right on over to Graceland for a visit with "the King". You know, I was in Burger King just down the road and I saw him, I swear I did!!
I will continue my stay in Key West for another day so I can tell you about a great Key West side trip. About 70 miles west of Key West, Florida lies a chain of seven islands called the Dry Torgugas. These islands make up the most remote of our National Parks, Dry Torgugas National Park. Located on these unspoiled islands is Fort Jefferson.
There are Day Trips available from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park by high speed ferry. These trips are provided by two different ferry services, Yankee Freedom II and Sunny Days Fast Cat leaving mornings from Key West. Because of the location, there is never a bad time of year to vist Dry Tortugas National Park, it is blessed with year-round warm weather.
There is very limited Primitive Camping Sites in the park, restrooms are available, but nothing else, including water. You must bring all of your provisions with you and you must remove everything you brought in when you leave, even your garbage. Lists of needed provisions are available online. The ferry services, in addition to the Day Trips, offer Campers venturing to Dry Tortugas National Park transportation for themselves, their gear and their provisions. This is on a first come, first serve basis and only a limited number of Campers can be transported each day.
Visitors to Dry Tortugas National Park will find unspoiled beauty beyond their imagination. The water surrounding the islands is crystal clear, warm and very inviting for swimmers and snorkelers alike. Visit Fort Jefferson for a look back in history or just relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
By the way, there are "No Dogs Allowed" in this park, but the humans really love it.
About 150 miles south of Miami-Dade County is Key West, Home to the Southern Most Point in the United States. Key West Florida is a very "Animal Friendly" place, home to the decendants of Ernest Hemmingway's 6 toed cats and to chickens that roam the city often entering the Taverns along the way. The chickens decend from the fighting cocks of the early settlers of Key West. The chickens are now locally protected and the cats live mostly in and around the Hemmingway Museum on Whitehead Street near the Southern Most Point. The Hemmingway Museum is open to the public and you will be surprised to find the cats resting in many of the rooms on your tour.
Mallory Square is the official Daily Sunset Celebration Spot. Everyday as the sun sets, hundreds converge on Mallory Square to witness this spectacular event. There is music, food, drinks and of course, places to buy souvenirs.
Great places to eat, drink, dance and party the night away abound. Perhaps, the most famous of them is Sloppy Joe's Bar, known to have been a favorite hangout for Hemmingway. Duval Street is filled with people having a great time shopping and seeing the sights and there is plenty to see in Key West. A great way to see the city is to take a ride on the Conch Train or the Old Town Trolley. You will be given a narrated tour of the entire city.
Key West has many large well known hotels, but there are also many smaller hotels and B&B's located on or near Duval street, the main street in downtown Key West. If you can find a room in these smaller places, you be delighted by the amenities from the hot breakfast to the tropical lagoon style pools to the well appointed rooms. If you stay on or near Duval Street, you can park your car for your entire visit, you will enjoy the strolling down the streets lined with restaurants, taverns and shops.
If you want to get around the entire island, consider renting a bicycle or a scooter, you will have a great time visiting the Fort Zachary Taylor, Hemmingway's Museum, the Southern Most Point, the Key West Beaches and Mallory Square and other points of interest in beautiful historic Key West.
Actually, getting to Key West is half the fun, so on your road trip south through the Florida Keys make sure to take your time and stop along the way, there are spectacular views from almost anywhere in the Keys. You can swim with dolphins, snorkel, dive, fish, or just relax, it is up to you. As you travel US 1 south, you will be surrounded by water, the Gulf of Mexico to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The fishing from the bridges is great and so are the views. Be ready for extrordinary beauty of the Florida Keys and Key West.
I arrived in Miami last night and there were so many places to spotlight, but after careful thought I decided on Vizcaya Gardens & Museum. Although this is NOT a “dog friendly” attraction, it is too beautiful to pass up on my Travels. You will see my picture at the front gate of Vizcaya and that is as far as I go, but my humans love this place.
It was built between 1914 and 1916 on 180 acres in then undeveloped Miami. An Italian Villa sitting on Biscayne Bay, it was built as a winter residence of James Deering, a Chicago agriculture industrialist who spent winter at the Vizcaya from 1916 until his death in 1925. Deering was Vice President of the International Harvester Company.
Work on the Gardens at Vizcaya continued into the 1920 as labor & materials were not readily available due to WWI. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, as it is now called belongs Miami-Dade County, they opened it to the public in 1953 as the Dade County Art Museum. In 1994, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was designated a Nation Historic Landmark.
Today, I have left to white, sugar sand beaches of the Emerald Coast and traveled to the East Coast, The Treasure Coast to be exact. Florida’s Treasure Coast stretches from Sebastian in Indian River County south to Hobe Sound in Martin County. It was given the name Treasure Coast because so many Spanish Galleons with their treasures are ship-wrecked off the coast. Treasures have been found by many, even amateurs.
On the beaches of the Treasure Coast, you will find the sand to be a golden color and a little coarser than the sand you normally find on the Gulf Coast beaches. The waves on the Treasure Coast are also slightly bigger than on the Gulf Coast. Many of the beaches on the Treasure Coast are Dog Friendly, but make sure to inquire locally.
The Treasure Coast is comprised of three Florida counties, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin; cities include Sebastian and Vero in Indian River County, Ft Pierce and Port St Lucie in St Lucie County and Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound in Martin County. The pace on the Treasure Coast is a little slower than on the Gold Coast of South Florida, but there is still much to do and wonderful restaurants for both casual and fine dining. Florida does allow dogs to dine with you on outside patios, but always call first to make sure your “furkid” is welcome.
So today I am in the Florida Panhandle at Seagrove Beach. This is a beautiful wide stretch of sugar sand beach, located about half way between Panama City Beach and Destin on Route 30A. At Seagrove most either walk or ride bikes, it is small, so a car is not a necessity. I am staying in a beach house rented from the owner. There are many such houses available in Seagrove Beach. Smaller homes can accomadate a family and larger ones, a family reunion! Some of the beautiful homes are directly on the sugar sand beach and others are just across the street within an easy walk to the beach. There are several public accesses to the beach and it is public, not owned by the homeowners with homes on the beach. It is an uncrowded beach where you can really relax, as you can tell from the pictures! Winters are cool in Seagrove Beach, but summers are wonderful, warm, sunny and beautiful. There are many kayak and bicycle rentals on the beach and lots of good places to eat. Some restaurants in Florida allow dogs on patios, call the restaurant first to make sure "furkids" are welcome.
Just another day in sunny Florida! This time I am on the Atlantic Coast at the Kennedy Space Center. What a great place to see the history of our Space Travels. From the first Mercury flights to Gemini to Apollo and the moon landing and finally the Space Shuttles, Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor. There were many great triumphs, along with a few disasters, but Space Travel and the wonder of the world beyond keeps us inspired to continue the exploration of space.
Many thanks to Mr_Pinkerton for bringing it to my attention about Dogs being the first astronauts and sharing the picture!
Today I am in Weeki Wachee, Florida, "The City of Mermaids" at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. This park has been a Florida Roadside Attraction for many years, but was only recently added to the Florida State Park System. They offer "live mermaid shows" several times a day and also host a water park called "Buccaneer Bay". You can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle the Weeki Wachee River. The water is crystal clear and 72 degrees year-round. There are many pretty homes on the banks of the river and it flows into the Gulf of Mexico. You will see many birds, maybe even an Eagle or two and lots of fish. You will also most likely encounter a Manatee or maybe even a Manatee Family along the way. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a must see if you are visiting the Central Florida Area.
I am a Havanese breed dog with curly blonde hair. I was adopted from the Humane Society of West Pasco in Central Florida by Gail and Karl, my human Mom and Dad. We live in Aripeka on the central gulf coast of Florida. My Mom helps me with this Blog, I don not type very fast.
Come join in the fun at thedogchannel.com, you will find lots of valuable information and get to meet lots of new friends. Just visit me, Buddy "The Dog" Hosp and I will help you get started meeting new friends. Bark with the Big Dogs, Little Dogs, the Puppies and the Seniors and vote for Dog of the Day, Dog of the Week and Dog of the Month. Try it, you'll like it!