Monthly Archives: February 2015

Truths: Persecuting the good kids? This has gone too far.

Deep breath I tell myself.  Think don’t react.  I cannot.  This has gone too far to feel anything but outrage.

Let me be upfront.  I do NOT believe in organized religion. I choose to believe in something bigger than myself and I also choose to be a good person because it is the right thing to do, not because I am afraid of what lies ahead of me.  I don’t need guilt or shame or fear to know that being a compassionate person is my goal in this lifetime.

That out of the way, let’s talk about the utter, yet, infuriating nonsense taking place in my community.

Our girls basketball team won regionals on Thursday.  The tournament was held at a Catholic high school.  In the moments of excitement and glory, they made a split decision to hold up a Barbie doll, their mascot of girl power, to the cross that was hanging in the gym and take a picture.

From the reaction of the Catholic community, you would believe they murdered someone.

Let me first say something else that is bothering me… why are public school athletes subject to seeing a cross on the court?  What happened to the separation of church and state?

Back to the situation.  If the local scrutiny wasn’t bad enough, the newspapers took hold of it and last night it made the evening news.

Sadly, our district seemed to have no problem throwing the girls and their coach under the bus.

Why?  Why is a public school allowing the beliefs of a few to erase all of the good in the players and the coach?

The girls on our basketball team are honor role students.  They participate in community outreach, they don’t get in trouble at school and they do not have criminal records.  They are upstanding citizens.

If the school and the community can’t see that because of a split decision they made in a moment of excitement, I am appalled.

I strongly believe in freedom.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of personal choice.  I am free to hold a Barbie on a cross, and others are free to bitch about it.  And while many Americans don’t like it, anyone is free to burn the American flag.  That is the beauty of our country.  We are FREE.

What the girls did could be seen as disrespectful to SOME, not all.  But, the adults of this community have turned it into persecution. Those that expect forgiveness on Sundays can’t seem to offer it any other day of the week.

The community is bullying these girls.  They are making them feel shame for who they are.  To SOME, they made mistake.  A single mistake.  Let’s not lose sight of who they are as individuals.  In a world full of gangs and drugs and shootings, why is it that something as basic as exercising freedom of speech has become an opportunity to destroy all the good these girls have accomplished?

The girls and the coach have nothing to be ashamed of.  It is the righteous adults of the community that need to look deep within themselves and question if they are as perfect as they are expecting the girls to be.

I can answer that: no.




Tails: The truth behind the ribbons

I did a short rant on my fb page today, but I feel the need to write more.  You don’t spend 7 years fighting for better legislation for puppy-mill dogs and then, feel at peace when watching a dog show.

I have loved dogs all of my life.  I feel rather competent when it comes to identifying breeds and have always enjoyed watching the dog shows.  People who know me, know that I could love any dog at any given time.  From Shih Tzu to English Bulldog to Great Dane to Chinese Crested.  The dog show is like a candy store for me so many to choose from.

Sadly, after attending my first dog auction 7 years ago, I find it hard to watch the shows without feeling complete heartache.  Sure those dogs prancing the ring are beautifully groomed.  Their teeth glisten and their tails wag.  But, what goes on behind the ring, behind the ribbons is anything but bright and shiny.

Let’s make the assumption, as huge as it may be, that the breeders of the dog show dogs are good breeders.  I won’t lie.  There is proof floating around now that many of the best in show dogs have found themselves abandoned when they grow old and unworthy.  There are pics circulating of past winners now emaciated and left for dead.  So, my assumption is weak at best, but to keep things simple, let’s go with it.

The dog shows fuel mass breeding.  Beautiful dogs big and small grace the stage and send ignorant people into pet stores to buy one just like the one they saw on TV.  Mark my words… the pet stores will begin stocking up on Beagles now that Miss P took “Best in Show.”

This means two things: puppy-millers will get rid of some of their other breeds to make room for Beagle stock.  By get rid, I mean kill, abandon, whatever… Those breeding dogs have such little value to them.  They will bring in lots of Beagles to make more Beagles and next year when the Shih Tzu wins the show (should have this year, I am a little biased) they will throw out the Beagles and bring in the Shih Tzu.

It is nothing more than business to them.  Those dogs aren’t man’s best friend, they are products bought and sold like canned goods and produce.

It was even said that Miss P can retire to motherhood now as her pups will bring in big dollars.  Even on the “good” side of breeding, it is all about money.  Why can’t Miss P just be a family dog now that she has earned her title.  I know that is not how it works.

There has always been a part of me who strongly believes that there should be NO more breeding until every homeless dog has a home.  Yet, the other part of me does see value in having so many different breeds to choose from.  Not everyone wants a Chihuahua nor does everyone want a Mastiff.

But the whole thing, ALL of the breeding, is fueled by greed.  Whether it be the backyard breeder or the grand champion breeder, it always comes down to money.  Is there anyone doing it ONLY because they love the breed?

I think the only ones doing it for the sake of the breed are the rescues.  They take in countless animals on death row and find ways to pay for their vet bills and adopt them into loving homes.  Breed rescues are the only ones doing it for the breed.

Why haven’t breeders (at least the good ones) fought harder for better legislation to protect the breeds they say they love?  Why is it that the American Kennel Club (AKC) has fought nearly every bill that attempted to improve the lives of breeding dogs.  It is all about money.  For every dog registered to the AKC there is $50.  Imagine if there were less dogs being bred… less money for the AKC.  Simple math.  Simple greed.

The rescues are the only ones fighting to protect the breeds.  No money there, just love.

As I type this, I look across the room and see my AKC Shih Tzu and my AKC Chinese Crested.  I bought both dogs at an Amish dog auction.  They were matted and sick and afraid of humans.  When I watch a glamorous dog show, they sit next to me, a constant reminder that behind all the shiny ribbons is a business that  profits from cruelty and neglect.