Sunday, September 25, 2016

What is the "Beagle Freedom Project"?

The Beagle Freedom Project is an organization that needs your help and was created in 2010 to make people aware that laboratories USE BEAGLES for product testing!

Every month, 90 beagles that are subject to testing are "discarded" - and the Beagle Freedom Project usually only saves a very few. I was told that these testing facilities actually break the back of the dogs to kill them. PLEASE HELP stop this insanity. 

On Facebook:

Believe it or not, “there are nearly 70 thousand dogs in US labs right now, and 96% of them are beagles” explains Shannon Keith, President and Founder of BFP, adding that they “are the breed of choice because they are so gentle, docile and forgiving.” Aside from rescuing hundreds of dogs so far, the organization has pushed the passing of the Beagle Freedom Bill in four states.

VIDEO: Beagle Freedom Project rescued 40 beagles from a laboratory in Spain
On November 23, 2011, ARME's Beagle Freedom Project rescued 40 beagles from a laboratory in Spain where some had spent their entire lives. Others had come from other labs to the lab in Spain, only to be tested on in there. When we heard the lab was closing and the dogs would be killed, we stepped in and rescued them by flying them to Los Angeles, CA, to BFP Headquarters.

Beagle Freedom Project, founded in 2010, is a unique program run by the Los Angeles-based non-profit Animal Rescue, Media, and Education (ARME). Beagle Freedom Project negotiates with laboratories across the world to secure the release of dogs and other animals and give them a chance at a normal home life after everything they have endured for vanity and scientific curiosity.
The organization uses the rescues to draw public attention to the plight of animals languishing in labs and to promote cruelty-free lifestyle choices everyone can make. The beagles act as ambassadors who give faces to animal testing victims and remind the public that these animals are not just furry test-tubes, but dogs no different from their pets.
To date, Beagle Freedom Project has rescued over 500 beagles, mixed-breed hounds, cats, rabbits, ponies, pigs, goats, guinea pigs, rats, and even goldfish from laboratories. Beagle Freedom Project has given hope and homes to these research survivors in 35 states and 6 countries. Their stories of recovery have been covered extensively by local and national media, such as CNN, NBC Nightly News, HLN, The L.A. Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo! News, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and many more.
Beagle Freedom Project has an ambitious immediate and long-term agenda that is both political and pragmatic. The organization is working toward the release of more animals and an end to animal testing altogether.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another Great Dixie Hemingway Pet Sitter's Mystery: Cat Sitter's Cradle

Cat Sitter's Cradle, is another great Dixie Hemingway Pet Sitter's Mystery. by Blaize and John Clement.

Since I (Rob) took the Amtrak train to Bridgeport, Connecticut to sell my books at the CT Pet Expo, I had time to read, and finished this great book really quickly. This is the 7th in the series. Unfortunately, Blaize Clement who created and wrote the Dixie Hemingway mysteries passed away either during or before this book was finished, but her son John is also a great writer and is listed as co-author. The characters were vivid and enjoyable.

The mystery was yet another that kept you guessing, and I love the Dixie Hemingway character. She's a 30 something widower, whose husband and young daughter were tragically killed by an elderly driver many years before and she resigned from her position as deputy in the town to become a pet sitter. She lives in an apt. over the house of Michael, her gay firefighter brother and his partner Paco, and undercover agent. She's trying to figure out her relationship with a local lawyer, too. Mix in murder, pets and other personalities and it's a great story.

BOOK SUMMARY: Dixie has built a nice, quiet life for herself in the sleepy town of Siesta Key, a sandy resort island off the coast of Florida. In fact, her pet-sitting business is going so well she's even taken on part-time help: Kenny, a handsome young surfer who lives alone in a rickety old houseboat. But things get a little messy when, on an early morning walk in the park with a client's schnauzer, Dixie makes a shocking discovery. Hidden among the leafy brambles is a homeless girl, alone and afraid, cradling a newborn baby in her arms.
Dixie takes the young girl under her wing, even though she's just been hired by Roy Harwick, the snarky executive of a multi-national oil company, to care for his equally snarky Siamese cat, Charlotte, along with his wife's priceless collection of rare, tropical fish. It's not long before Dixie stumbles upon a dead body in the unlikeliest of places, and soon she's set adrift in a murky and dangerous world in which no one is who they appear to be.

Friday, September 23, 2016

CT Pet Expo: Part 3: The Drunken Hotel Guests

In Part 3 of my (Rob) adventure to the CT Pet Expo, you'll learn about the craziness at the hotel where I stayed.
Over the weekend of Sept. 10-11, I went to Bridgeport, CT to give a talk about "Pets and the Afterlife" represent the DC Area Weimaraner Rescue,and sell my books. I stayed at the Holiday Inn on Main Street.

NICE HOTEL - The hotel is really nice. It's clean, comfortable, has a really nice lobby, a pool, a gym, and great staff. One of the front desk staff, and I don't remember his name, was really nice and answered questions and was extremely helpful. He was a younger, well-muscled African-American man. I wish I got his name so I could give him a good write up (It's important to compliment people who do a good job).    They even have a plain clothes security guard in the lobby who was very busy the night I came back from the Pet Expo.

THE CHOKER - As I was returning to the hotel after a great Italian dinner (at Ralph and Rich's where Tom and I got married, btw), there were firetrucks and an ambulance outside. Inside was a 40 year old (big) white guy with beat-red cheeks sitting in a chair surrounded by firemen. He apparently got drunk and choked on a steak (I heard it all standing in line for the front desk to ask where the gym was located). He refused the ambulance and just sat there.
  At the Front desk talking with the clerk was another guy trying to check in who was also watching and listening to that drama. Then MORE DRAMA...

THE SHIRTLESS DRUNK  - Minutes later a 20-something muscular young black man wearing no shirt (who was in really  good shape), and who was clearly drunk walked up to the front desk. He was accompanied by a very large friend (about 250+ pounds). The 20-something interrupted the desk clerk and said someone stole his shirt from the pool area. 
  Fortunately, the lobby security guard caught his attention and took him and his friend back to the pool area to look for the shirt.

THE ELEVATOR - After the two drunks were being attended to, I got in the elevator with the guy who was standing at the desk trying to check in, so we could go up to our respective floors. I said "That was quite a welcome to Bridgeport for you." He replied, "Yes, between the drunk in the chair and the shirtless guy parading around in the lobby..." and the elevator door opened on Floor 2 (where the pool was) and IN walked the shirtless guy (still shirtless) and his friend. The other guy I was talking to at the time turned red and put his head down. Fortunately, the two young drunk guys didn't hear him talking about them and got off on the next floor. 
   I have to wonder if a week later he's still walking around looking for his shirt!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

CT Pet Expo Adventure/ Photos: Part 2 the Expo!

An Australian Shepherd
In Part 2 of my (Rob) adventure to the CT Pet Expo, we'll give you
a bunch of pictures of attendees (well the dogs). 
Rob's table at the Expo
Two Bulldogs
   Over the weekend of Sept. 10-11, I took an Amtrak train up to Bridgeport, CT to the Connecticut Pet Expo to give a talk about "Pets and the Afterlife", represent the DC Area Weimaraner Rescue,and sell my books. 

This guy was a husky mix I was told
A 11 year old Dachshund that reminded me of Franklin
MY TALK- I had about 15 minutes to give an overview of the books from the main stage. I've been doing it so long I don't use notes and it went really well. In fact, most of the chairs were full, which was nice to see. Afterward, several people came over to me to share their stories or ask questions. One young couple, Eric and Emily had what appeared to be the happiest dog ever.

The DC Area Weimaraner part of the table
   There were a lot of great dogs and nice people there. This is a  pictorial of some of the dogs I met!

NEXT: The Craziness at the Hotel

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CT Pet Expo Adventure: Part 1 - Amtrak

Banners for my book and the Weimaraner Rescue I put up
Over the weekend of Sept. 10-11, I (Rob) took an Amtrak train up to Bridgeport, CT to the Connecticut Pet Expo to give a talk about "Pets and the Afterlife", represent the DC Area Weimaraner Rescue, sell my books, and also pitch my friend Nadine Poper's children's books about Dachshunds (check them on Amazon). Tom stayed home with the kids, so they were in good hands.

A Basset Hound at the Expo
   AMTRAK - If there's a way to travel, Amtrak is a great way to go. Trains are usually on time (within 5 minutes) and are clean. I had no issues with the train rides. Just a couple of notes.
1) CUSHION EXPERIENCE - The seat in the front of the car where I sat (because I had a very heavy suitcase packed with books) was apparently a common seat used by heavy people, because there was ZERO padding left in it.  - When I later moved I found the cushion was supposed to be 3" thick, not 1/2" thick! :)
 2) PACK FOOD AND BOTTLED WATER- I packed crackers and cookies. Getting up when you travel alone is not a good idea because your luggage sits there. Fortunately, I also sat near the restroom end of the car.
3) NICE RIDE- From Baltimore to Bridgeport, Connecticut the ride was about 6 hours.
4) CONVENIENT - What was convenient about the Pet Expo is that it was 3 blocks from the Amtrak Station, so I walked with my suitcases (I had 2). The hotel was just another 4 blocks away, so that was also easy to walk to, and there were both a DUNKIN DONUTS and an Italian Restaurant called "Ralph and Rich's"  (best Italian food!) where Tom and I got married in 2009, btw. So it was all convenient.
Ralph and Rich's in Bridgeport Great Italian Food

- After I got off the train I went right to the expo and set up my booth. I checked in the hotel and then had a nice Italian dinner at Ralph and Rich's restaurant.  The next day was the Pet Expo.




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For Dachshund and other dog Parents - A Back Bracer

Our 12 year old red, smooth Dachshund Franklin had back surgery in Sept. 2014 and could have benefited by a back brace to help keep his spine straight. Despite our rehab efforts his back side walks with a slight curve to the right. He still walks and chases squirrels and even runs.
Just recently (thanks to Facebook posts) we learned about something for all dachshunds AND other dogs who endure the back surgery. It's called "Lil Back Bracer."  They can be found on Facebook at:  
The Lil Back Bracer is a back brace designed for Dachshunds & other small dogs suffering from IVDD or other back problems.
 **I read the reviews and they all rave about it, so after talking with our vet we're getting one for Franklin in hopes that it will help reduce the curvature of his spine near his rear end.
 The company is in Spokane, WA 99228 and can be reached by (855) 364-2225  Website:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dog Collage Day!

Last week I decided to try and take some good pics of our three kids, Dolly, Franklin and Tyler. Here are all of the photos I took. Let me know which you think is best. 











Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14