Category Archives: Winter Edition 2013




Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 1000 01 November 2013 at Pier One, Naval Station San Diego we will hold the Decommissioning Ceremony for USS THACH (FFG 43). All family and friends of current THACH sailors, former THACH sailors or other interested parties can request an invitation by sending an email to .

If you will be coming to the ceremony with a current THACH sailor there is no need for an invitation just let your sailor know that you will attending.

Please help us get the word out. We do not have a lot of contact information for former COs , XOs, Command Master Chiefs, crew members, etc… So if you do please reach out to them and let then know when the ceremony is going to be.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All My Best,

CDR Hans Lynch
Commanding Officer

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Winter Edition 2013 cover


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By Lynne Harpst Koen

It’s the day before Halloween, but I’m not going to candy coat anything. Yes, I am that “Dog Lady”.

I’m not over the top PETA queen, but I do consider my dogs as very much a part of the family. It’s always been that way as far back as I can remember. I was maybe three years old when I figured out my Mom loved the dog more than she did me. It didn’t bother me, it just was. During my first 17 years of life, we had several dogs at home. Only one at a time though. These dogs were from circumstances beyond our comprehension — abandoned, abused, neglected, left to starve.

I never knew it was possible to just go out and BUY a dog. I thought they showed up mysteriously in the night and then we took care of them for the rest of their lives!

When I was in college and living on my own, I got a dog and named him “JD” (just a dog). Oh, how I loved that boy! He was a shaggy, black-and-white mutt with the sweetest disposition. My tiny back yard had an alley behind it. One day as JD and I were playing in the yard, I heard some commotion in the alley — rummaging of some sort and then a crash! I flew out to the alley to see what happened. There I found the skinniest little dog. She could barely walk. Upon closer inspection, I saw she had a badly broken leg. She had probably been hit by a car — no tags or collar. I got some blankets, wrapped her up, and gently put her in the car. She was so frightened. She was shaking uncontrollably. The vet said I should have her put down because she probably had numerous problems aside from her obvious malnutrition and busted leg. I told him to do whatever it took to make her well enough so I could care for her at home. He looked at me like I had three heads but agreed to treat her. A week later, I had two dogs in my little yard on I Avenue! I decided to name my new girl dog “Rosie” after the wildly popular Saturday Night Live character Roseanne Rosanna Danna (played by Gilda Radnor). Rosie and JD got along great. They were best friends from day one!

This was back in the 1970s. That’s when I started the “Noah’s Ark” theory. From that time on, I always had two dogs in residence. When I had my babies and didn’t have as much time for the dogs, JD and Rosie had each other. They both lived long, happy lives and eventually passed away of old age. They were so special to me as they were my very first fur-babies. Since then we’ve had more dogs, cats, birds, horses, and even goats join the family! The interesting thing is that since the Rosie rescue, the animals have come to me much like they did to my Mom when I lived at home. I’ve always rooted for the underdog, pun intended!

Our animals were special in that they seemed to choose us rather than the other way around. Not one pure breed in the bunch. Just sweet, simple creatures who needed a loving home. Most had special needs that some people would not have tolerated or bothered with. To me, having a pet is like having a child. If there’s something wrong, you handle it. Plain and simple. I was in it for the long haul no matter what. This is the way God intended it to be. In my book anyway!

I’ve always treated my critters with love and respect. They return that affection 100+ fold in most cases. Only twice have I had to find other homes for my dogs. Both cases were because the dogs presented a danger to my children. The first case was Norman named after Norman Bates in Psycho. I knew Norman was odd, but I did my very best to accommodate him. However, it turned out he wasn’t a family-type dog at all. One Christmas, he bit just about everyone in the family. Norman had to go. Luckily, I found him a good home with an older couple who lived by themselves. Happy ending.

The other dog “Wendy” did not like children. As I had four kids in residence at the time, Wendy couldn’t stay. I tried so hard to find her a home, but everyone I knew had young kids like I did. Everyone except my Mom that is. Mom was “dogless” at the time. She really liked Wendy and Wendy liked her. However, Mom swore she’d never have another dog. Hard sell. I tried for months to convince Mom that Wendy was perfect for her. I begged and pleaded. The answer wasn’t just “no” but it was HELL NO. So the sad day came when I was going to take Wendy to the shelter. I was crying and so depressed. I thought what do I have to lose, so I tried asking Mom just one more time. She resounded with a very grouchy “Oh, alright.” I was overjoyed! Wendy was treated like a queen, living a life of luxury at Mom’s. It was truly a perfect match. One that God Himself had made to be sure.

I’ve always loved my dogs with all my heart. My single complaint is that they don’t live long enough. There comes a time when their quality of life slowly descends. Putting a dog to rest is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, hands down. Each time I literally thought I’d die from the grief. It never gets any easier, no matter what people may say. Now I have dog rescues that I help support. I usually stick to the smaller ones. That way I actually know where my money goes! I’ve taken to fostering dogs from time to time. That can be pretty tricky when there are resident dogs who get a bit jealous. Each time I’ve fostered, it’s been in pairs. Dogs who have been together all their lives who are up for adoption. The only criteria I’ve insisted upon is that the dogs are adopted together. Not everyone wants to take on two strange dogs at once. However, there are people who will. I know this to be true as they’ve all gone to great families. It just sometimes takes longer to make the right match.

Last year, a friend of mine went to a local estate sale. She mentioned to me that the matriarch of this family had passed away and left two animals behind — a dog and a cat. Turned out nobody in this family wanted the animals because they were both quite elderly. The dog “Peaches” was 14 and the cat was 12. This story made me so sad. I already had my hands full with our resident dog “Rockit” and our newly adopted dog “Boomer”, but I somehow HAD to meet Peaches! I just couldn’t ignore the circumstances. So my husband and I took our dogs over to Peaches’ house for a meet-and-greet session. Everybody did just fine! So Peaches came to live with us later that same day.

She was surprisingly fit for such an elderly lady. She was almost blind and completely deaf, but she got around amazingly well. She’d follow me everywhere. I loved her instantly. My husband thought I was nuts taking on such an old gal. He was just trying to protect me from the inevitable, Peaches being called to Heaven. For the next six months, Peaches was very much a part of the family. Our boy dogs readily accepted her, and everybody who met her loved her at first sight. She brought such joy to me. Sometimes I think I can still hear her tiny paws clicking on the tile floors! If my friend hadn’t have gone to that estate sale, I never would have known that Peaches needed a home. As with all the others, Divine Intervention. No doubt about it!

There are cute little puppies at every pet store. I don’t deny the fact they need good homes, but there are literally thousands upon thousands unwanted dogs at shelters and rescues. It’s heartbreaking beyond belief. These dogs’ days are numbered as there are very few “no kill” shelters. The majority of these dogs are there because of human error. Someone gets a cute puppy then that puppy grows up. Maybe that pup hasn’t been trained correctly so it acts badly and ends up in a shelter. Like children, dogs don’t naturally know how to behave. They must be taught. Training takes time. If you don’t have the time, then don’t get a dog — especially a puppy! Adopting an older dog can have it’s challenges, but it’s so worthwhile.

In a perfect world, all dogs would have happy, loving forever homes. No dog would be mistreated, cold, lonely, or hungry. However, life can be cruel; so it’s up to us as humans to help as much as we possibly can. I know that having a dog isn’t for everyone, but we can still help out by donating to a local shelter, and/or rescue. If you do decide to adopt, make it stick. Think about it like you would as if you were adopting a child. You don’t just throw a child away because he/she misbehaves! Adopting a dog is a permanent commitment. Not to be taken lightly or done on impulse. If done correctly, a decision to adopt can change your life for the greater good. The love of a dog is like nothing else in life. Dogs are not judgemental. Their love is unconditional. Dogs are loyal, furry blessings with cold noses. People can learn much from dogs!



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About that hissing sound in your ear? In the early 19th century a startling discovery was made that proved Darwin’s theory of evolution before he ever dreamed of joining the voyage of the Beagle. This discovery was made by a German biologist, Karl Reichert, who to his great astonishment found that two of the ear bones in mammals are the same thing as parts of the jaw bones in reptiles. In short, two of the ear bones in mammals -including homo sapiens– came from the gill arch that formed the jaw of a reptile.

In his brilliant bestseller, Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year  History of the Human Body, paleontologist, Neil Shibun, by examining fossils and DNA shows how our hands evolved from fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and how major segments of our human genome look and function like those or worms and bacteria.

But perhaps none are as fascinating as the evolutionary history of our human middle ear, which like all mammals has three bones. Reptiles and amphibians have only one bone; fish none.

Building on Rechert’s amazing discovery around 1912 another German anatomist, Ernst Gaupp found that the single bone in the reptilian middle ear is the same as the stapes of mammals and that the the two other bones of the middle ear -the malleus and incus- evolved from bones set in the back of the reptilian jaw.

Neil Shibun asks: Why do mammals  need a three-boned middle ear? His answer: “This little linkage forms a lever system that allows mammals to hear higher-frequency sounds than animals with a single middle-ear bone. Bones originally used by reptiles to chew evolved in mammals to assist in hearing.”

Who says science isn’t awesome!

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 Horse Protects Owner from a Raging Cow

Rancher Fiona Boyd was leading a stray calf into a shed when the calf’s enraged mother suddenly charged her, knocked her down, and proceeded to stampede over her. “I was absolutely terrified and remember rolling up into a ball to protect my head from her hooves,” she recalled. That’s when Kerry, who was grazing nearby, immediately leaped to assist her. The horse bucked and kicked at the cow until it moved away likely saving Boyd from being trampled to death.

Pig Dashes into Street for Heart Attack Victim

JoAnn Altsman had a heart attack and collapsed to the ground. Lulu, her daughter’s pot-bellied pig, rushed out of the house lying down in the street to stop traffic. The pig tried relentlessly to get help, returning to the house to check on JoAnn, only to rush back to the street for help. Finally, one person stopped and followed the determined pig back to the house, where they found Altsman in pain on the floor. She was immediately rushed to a hospital.

Gorilla Protects Boy who Falls into Zoo Enclosure

Here’s the remarkable story of Jambo, a silverback gorilla at the Jersey Zoo. After a young boy, Levan, fell into the gorilla’s zoo enclosure, fracturing his skull and breaking limbs, Jambo immediately came to his aid. The silverback stood firmly next to the young boy, and even stroked his back in comfort, protecting the boy from danger. When Levan woke up and began to cry, Jambo lead his entire troop away so human rescuers could reach the boy.
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Lots of mothers wake in the middle of the night to feed their babies, but not many get up to give a bottle to an infant elephant. Jenny Webb adopted a baby boy elephant who was just a few weeks old in February. The orphaned elephant calf was named Moses after being found in the grasses of a riverbed by game rangers at Vwazi Wildlife Reserve in northern Malawi. Rangers tried to find his family herd for two days without success, said the 48-year-old Webb, adding that the calf’s mother was likely killed by elephant poachers. The illegal killing of elephants is rife in Africa with conservation groups saying that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed each year for their ivory tusks. Malawi’s national parks did not have the funds to raise the young elephant, so Webb, the founder of the Jumbo Foundation an orphanage for large animals, took on the job of caring for the little pachyderm. Moses weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and each day he drinks 24 liters (6.3 gallons) of an infant formula that is boosted with coconut milk and 14 other ingredients.

Webb has placed a mattress on the dining room floor where she and Moses curl up for the night. Moses gets up about every two hours and shuffles around the room until Webb wakes and gives him his bottle feed. In the mornings, as Webb has a coffee and watches television, Moses throws his trunk over her shoulder and nuzzles his head against her. In the wild, a baby elephant would shelter underneath his mother to be shielded from the sun and remain warm and safe. To emulate this, Webb puts a blanket over Moses. His still tender hide is also protected with sunscreen and moisturizer.   Caring for the baby elephant is a 24-hour job. Webb gets help from two employees, Matimat Julius and Jim Tembo. All three take turns playing with Moses and using their arms to sweep the dust, the way a mother elephant would do with her trunk.

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Our country’s veterans are our most honored heroes. We cannot thank them enough for the sacrifices that they make, have made, or will make to keep us safe and protect our country’s freedom. Therefore, it is important that we help them or inform them of all the ways that they can continue to stay healthy after they leave the battlefield. Their health is just as important here at home as it is abroad. After our country’s veterans return home, they should be sure to do all they possibly can to continue to stay healthy.

Eating Healthy
One of the most important things that veterans need to continue to do when they return home is eat healthy. After a veteran has been away from home for months or years at a time, one of the first things that he or she wants to do when returning home is drive by a fast-food restaurant. While a large, greasy hamburger is fine in moderation, the veteran should be sure to not make a habit of eating these foods. An unhealthy diet can lead to many problems including liver problems. If a veteran is unsure of the best type of diet that he or she needs, then he or she can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to speak with the many registered dieticians that work with the DVA. 

Exercise is great for the veteran’s mental and physical well-being. A veteran sacrifices so much for his or her country. Being involved in and witnessing some of the events of war, a veteran can easily become stressed. However, by continuing to exercise, the veteran greatly improves his or her mood and reduces his or her stress and anxiety.  With improved technology, almost all veterans have the opportunity to get exercise.  Veterans who have been injured can take advantage of technological assistance devices to help with their exercise abilities.  The Department of Veterans Affairs has many robotics that will improve the physical function of veterans who may have been injured.

Getting Physical Examinations
Regular physical examinations are so important for veterans to get. Being in different environments, being exposed to different smells, and being exposed to different chemicals, veterans should make sure they get their physical examinations to make sure they are healthy when they return home. Some of the chemicals that veterans can be exposed to may cause illnesses such as mesothelioma cancer. Also, during these physical examinations, many doctors are trained to determine if the veteran may need a mental examination from the stress that he or she endured while protecting our country.

When it comes to veterans, we salute them for all of the sacrifices that they make to keep us safe. We also encourage them to continue to stay healthy when they come home and enjoy the freedom that they have fought so hard for this country to enjoy. 

Posted in Clarion Causes, Winter Edition 2013 | 1 Comment


sandmanA battered cardboard sign sitting on the corner of Third and Orange reads:


He gave one last interview before he left, he was short on words. “I am going to miss Coronado and the people who treated me nice, and maybe one day I will come back to visit.”

“What will you do in Texas?” I asked.

He thought for a moment and through a toothless grin he said, “I will become The Texas Sandman!”

Goodbye Albert and a fond farewell.

Thank you for leaving us all so many fabulous images of you art. They will always be remembered.

Al Graham



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I’m not sure where my love for animals came from. We had the usual dogs and cats growing up. In my teenage years, I grew fond of cocker spaniels. I bought one from a breeder. I didn’t have much knowledge of adopting back in the 60 and 70s but only knew of breeders. I had five cockers in all throughout my adult life: gold, black, red, tri- color, and red and white.

In 1993, I lived in Newport Beach when the horrible fires broke out in Laguna Beach. I moved to Laguna Beach in 1995 and in 1997 when the terrible rains and mud slides came, it basically flooded all of Laguna Beach and Laguna Canyon. All three animal facilities were flooded out and severely damaged. They were the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and the Blue Bell Cat Foundation.

One day my friend Larry Wilson and I were talking about doing something to help raise money for these facilities as they needed so many repairs. Larry had just adopted a greyhound named Maui and had a great love for dogs. We brain-stormed and came up with a chili cook off and pet parade. So in 1997, the first annual Laguna Beach Pet Parade and Chili Cook Off was born.

Throughout the next 15 years, we raised approximately $225,000 for those three groups, and we became the largest family event in Laguna Beach averaging upwards of 400 to 500 people and 100 animals each year.

We created five categories changing them throughout the years as we would see few sign ups in categories such as owner lookalikes. We ended up with the perfect fit: Most Handsome Male, Prettiest Female, Best Costume, the Most Beautiful Rescue, and the Most Gorgeous Senior Pet (12 years and older). This seemed to satisfy all animal owners. I say “animal” because this was not just for dogs — We had cats, birds, rats, ducks, guinea pigs, and pot-belly pigs.

I returned to Coronado in November of 2011 and started noticing that Coronado was a very animal/dog-friendly town, and it seemed that there were more dogs than people here. So it was a no-brainer that this event would fit well into this community. I found out who the local animal charities were here and gave them a call. I met with them to see if this would be a good fit for my event. Of course it was, and then I was off to get all the players in place. First on the agenda was to see who might be the sponsor of this event. Being that I am a real estate agent, it only seemed fit to approach CREA (Coronado Real Estate Association). They loved the idea and so off I went. I met with Mayor Tanaka to invite him to be a judge for our event. I was thinking since he had just adopted a dog, he would make a great pet judge. But because of his love for food so he said, he also wanted to be a chili judge…love that. He loved this idea of the event and shared it with the city manager, Blair King. Blair also thought it was great and offered to co-sponsor with the Coronado Real Estate Association. Music to my ears, they donated the location of Promenade Park as the venue — perfect location and perfect place to hold our event. We confirmed the date of October 8, 2012 — This was a Monday and a holiday which meant kids were out of school and so we went for it.

In the meantime, I strategically picked judges for the pets and the chili — people that are highly respected in our community and that have a love for animals and chili. The chili judges were Police Chief Lou Scanlon, Fire Chief Mike Blood, Susan Keith, Mayor Casey Tanaka, and gourmet chef/cookbook author Jill O’Connor. The pet judges were Mayor Casey Tanaka, Dean Echenroth (owner/publisher of The Eagle/Journal), Councilwoman Barbara Denny, Leslie Crawford (Welcome to Coronado web site), and Melanie Parks (Wag ‘n’ Tails).

We had a beautiful day for our first event. 200 people showed up to taste six different chili recipes, browse through the vendor booths, and participate in the pet parade. We had 73 dogs and 2 cats enter the pet parade. We brought in proceeds of over $20,000 for the event. We presented a check to PAWS of Coronado in the amount of $14,000. A great day and event was had by all. Next year will be on Sunday, September 22, 2013 — Save the date!

Caroline Haines

Presenting Sponsor : Lynne Harpst Koen Family

The Coronado Real Estate Association and The City of Coronado….benefiting PAWS of Coronado Gold Sponsors:

Coronado Lifestyle Magazine
Eagle/Journal Newspaper
Coronado Brewery Company
Sharon Lynn Sherman (Attorney at law)
Willis Allen Real Estate
Park Life Real Estate
Lee Mather Co. Realty
Del Coronado Realty..Ruth Ann Fisher


 Michelle Adcock, First American Home Warranty
La Jolla Termite & Pest Control
Flagship Properties


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Females are 27 inches (69cm) at the withers. Male Komondorok are a minimum of 28 inches at the withers, but many are over 30 inches tall, making this one of the larger common breeds of dog. The body is not overly coarse or heavy, however, and people unfamiliar with the breed are often surprised by how quick and agile the dogs are.

Its long, thick, strikingly corded white coat (the heaviest amount of fur in the canine world) resembles dreadlocks or a mop. The puppy coat is soft and fluffy. However, the coat is wavy and tends to curl as the puppy matures. A fully mature coat is formed naturally from the soft undercoat and the coarser outer coat combining to form tassels, or cords. Some help is needed in separating the cords so the dog does not turn into one large matted mess. The length of the cords increases with time as the coat grows. Shedding is very minimal with this breed, contrary to what one might think (once cords are fully formed). The only substantial shedding occurs as a puppy before the dreadlocks fully form. The Komondor is born with only a white coat, unlike the similar-looking Puli, which is usually white, black, or sometimes grayish. However, a working Komondor’s coat may be discolored by the elements and may appear off-white if not washed regularly.




The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is a strepsirrhine native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate and is characterized by its unique method of finding food — It taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood, and inserts its elongated middle finger to pull the grubs out.




Tarsiers are prosimian primates of the genus Tarsius, a monotypic genus in the family Tarsiidae which is itself the lone extant family within the infraorder Tarsiiformes. The phylogenetic position of extant tarsiers within the order Primates has been debated for much of the past century, and tarsiers have alternately been classified with strepsirrhine primates in the suborder Prosimii or as the sister group to the simians (=Anthropoidea) in the infraorder Haplorrhini. Analysis of SINE insertions, a type of macromutation to the DNA, is argued to offer very persuasive evidence for the monophyly of Haplorrhini, where other lines of evidence, such as DNA sequence data, had remained ambiguous. Thus, some systematists argue that the debate is conclusively settled in favor of a monophyletic Haplorrhini.

Tarsiers have enormous eyes and long feet. Their feet have extremely elongated tarsus bones which is how they got their name. They are primarily insectivorous and catch insects by jumping at them. They are also known to prey on birds and snakes. As they jump from tree to tree, tarsiers can catch even birds in motion. Gestation takes about six months, and tarsiers give birth to single offspring. All tarsier species are nocturnal in their habits, but like many nocturnal organisms, some individuals may show more or less activity during the daytime. Unlike many nocturnal animals, however, tarsiers lack a light-reflecting area (tapetum lucidum) of the eye. They also have a fovea, atypical for nocturnal animals.

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dog quotes

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” ― Groucho Marx

“Dogs never bite me, just humans.” — Marilyn Monroe

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”  — Mark Twain

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”  — Winston Churchill
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace.” — Milan Kundera 
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”  — Josh Billings
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” — Will Rogers 
 “You think those dogs will not be in Heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson
“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs; dangerous people have dangerous ones.”  — Arthur Conan Doyle

“If your dog doesn’t like someone, you shouldn’t either.” — Unknown

 “Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.” — Gene Hill
Posted in Winter Edition 2013 | 1 Comment


istanbul cat1The Cats of Istanbul

Turkey has introduced a new law  that would make it a crime punishable by jail time to mistreat, torture, or leave animals without food or water.
Cats are the unofficial mascots of this city. They are everywhere, so many well-cared for strays. People put out cat food all over the city. But more than that, it is the kindness that Istanbul residents bestow on the feline population that truly impresses us. Some cats probably have regular homes, but there must be many times more living on the streets in this fairly temperate city. People seem to adopt street cats near where they work — feeding them, playing with them, even brushing them. A security guard, in the midst of the busy square where he was stationed, retrieves a cat brush from his booth in order to brush a cat, who was obviously familiar with the practice. Doormen at hotels sneak to planters to pet their cat neighbors. There is a cat wandering the Hagia Sophia that visitors know by name. People are so consistently tender that the strays here are nearly all tame.
Islamic tradition holds cats in high esteem. Muhammad was a cat lover, and there are stories passed down about Muhammad and the regard he had for his cat, Muezza. Muhammad purportedly said that cats should be treated as members of the family, and mistreating a cat was punishable by torture in hell.
One of the strangest things we have seen in Istanbul was the mass gathering of cats under a park gazebo. Someone had placed a large piece of carpet there, and a couple dozen cats were all napping together. We have also seen a heap of cats in the corner of the Fatih cemetery, an area with a large and well-loved population of felines.
It seems mysterious that the cats often look so clean especially all the white-furred varieties. There is a special breed here called the “Turkish Van” cat that is mostly white and has a supposed love for water and swimming. Some white cats are for sale in cages in the pet market, and perhaps these are the special water-loving Vans. Even if they could swim the width of the Bosphorus, charging money for a cat in this city seems hilarious to us. Maybe it is the ultimate test of the Turkish salesman: if you can sell a cat in Istanbul, you can sell anything.

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dogs dont know1

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Understanding Like Moving

Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.
I know this because my boyfriend Duncan and I moved from Montana to Oregon last month. But as harrowing as the move was for us, it was nothing compared to the confusion and insecurity our two dogs had to endure.
Our first dog is — to put it delicately — simple-minded. Our other dog is a neurotic German shepherd who is mixed with agonizingly low self-esteem and has taken on the role of “helper dog” for our simple dog. Neither dog is well-equipped with coping mechanisms of any kind.
When we started packing, the helper dog knew immediately that something was going on. I could tell that she knew because she becomes extremely melodramatic when faced with even a trivial amount of uncertainty. She started following me everywhere pausing every so often to flop to the ground in an exaggeratedly morose fashion because maybe that would make me realize how selfish I was being by continuing to pack despite her obvious emotional discomfort.
When the soul-penetrating pathos she was beaming at me failed to prevent me from continuing to put things in boxes, the helper dog became increasingly alarmed. Over the ensuing few days, she slowly descended into psychological chaos. The simple dog remained unphased.
Unfortunately for the helper dog, it took us nearly a week to get everything packed up.  By the time we were ready to begin the first part of our two-day journey to Oregon, she seemed almost entirely convinced that she was going to die at any moment. She spent the entire car ride drooling and shaking uncontrollably. But the simple dog seemed to enjoy the trip. We tried them on the helper dog and the same one seemed to work for her. Here goes:
dogs dont know2
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human beast

The Human Beast, by Nigel Barber, Ph.D.

Why are humans and dogs so good at living together? Do dogs or humans gain more from our ancient association?

Dogs have a special chemistry with humans that goes back many tens of thousands of years. Researchers investigated this special evolutionary relationship from a number of different angles. Their results are surprising.

The Social Unit — Domestic dogs are descended from wolves so recently that they remain wolves in all biological essentials including their social behavior. Wolf packs have some intriguing parallels with human families: They are territorial. They hunt cooperatively. Pack members are emotionally bonded and greet each other enthusiastically after they have been separated. In a wolf pack, only the alpha male and female are sexually active even though other pack members are sexually mature.

The social adaptations of dogs and humans are similar enough that dogs can live perfectly happy lives surrounded by humans and vice versa. Dogs are pampered with the best of food and medical care frequently sleeping in their owners’ comfortable beds.

A Family Member — Why do people lavish so much care on a member of an alien species? A short answer is that on an emotional plane, families do not see the dog as alien. According to John Archer of the University of Central Lancashire, who has conducted a detailed study of human-dog relations from an evolutionary perspective, about 40 percent of owners identify their dog as a family member reflecting social compatibility between our two species.

Dogs are extraordinarily attentive and have an uncanny ability to predict what their owners will do, whether getting the dog a meal or preparing to go on a walk. Experiments show that dogs and wolves can be astute readers of human body language using the direction of our gaze to locate hidden food — a problem that is beyond chimps.

Dogs also seem attuned to the emotional state of their masters and express contrition when the owner is annoyed, for example. Otherwise, the capacity to express affection unconditionally makes the dog a valued “family member.”

Domesticating Each Other? — Dogs were the first domestic animal with whom we developed a close association. Mitochondrial DNA research suggests that most domestic dogs have been genetically separate from wolves for at least 100,000 years so that we have associated with dogs for as long as we have been around as a species (Homo sapiens). Indeed, some enthusiasts including Colin Groves of the Australian National University in Canberra, believe that our success as a species is partly due to help from dogs.

According to Groves: “The human-dog relationship amounts to a very long-lasting symbiosis. Dogs acted as human’s alarm systems, trackers and hunting aides, garbage disposal facilities, hot water bottles, and children’s guardians and playmates. Humans provided dogs with food and security. The relationship was stable over 100,000 years or so and intensified in the Holocene into mutual domestication. Humans domesticated dogs and dogs domesticated humans.”

Relying on dogs to hear the approach of danger and to sniff out the scent of prey animals, our ancestors experienced a decline in these sensory abilities compared to other primates. This conclusion is confirmed by shrinkage of brain regions devoted to these senses (the olfactory bulb and lateral geniculate body).

During the long period of our association, dogs’ brains have shrunk by about 20 percent, typical for animals such as sheep and pigs who enjoy our protection. Domesticated animals undergo tissue loss in the cerebral hemispheres critical for learning and cognition. If we relied on dogs to do the hearing and smelling, they evidently relied on us to do some of their thinking.

If Groves is correct that dogs have domesticated humans, then the human brain would also have gotten smaller. Surprisingly, human brains have actually shrunk but by only a tenth suggesting that dogs got more out of the deal than we did.

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Photography By David LeVine

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Three rescue dogs in New Zealand have been taught how to drive a car to prove how intelligent dogs can be, in an attempt to encourage more potential owners to come forward.

The drive for publicity by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals saw Monty, Porter and Ginny spend weeks getting to grips with the 4-wheelers, Sky News reported.

The dogs – a giant schnauzer, a whippet cross and a beardie cross – can change gear, steer and apply brake.

The dogs sit in a driving position on their haunches and respond to the instructions called out from the dog behaviour experts.

Animal trainer Mark Vette and his team began training the dogs by using a mock vehicle before introducing them to a real car – a Mini especially adapted for paws.

“We chain behaviours together… in this case we’ve got 10 behaviours we’re putting together,” Vette said.

“Then you put them into a sequence. It’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time.

“So we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon (=drive fast) along the straight and then stop,” he said.

However, Vette said that things did not always go smoothly when the dogs get inside the real car.

“A couple of days ago the car was going too fast, the trainer nearly got run over,” he said.

The dogs are scheduled to show off their skills on live TV in New Zealand next week.

For the final test they will also have to brake when they drive along a narrow lane.


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 By: Lynne Harpst Koen

Welcome to “New Hamptons”.  My name is Godzilla.  I’ll be your cosmic guide in how “The Green Meanies” completely wiped clean the carbon footprint of what used to be called “Coronado Island”.

But I digress…  

Once upon a time, there was an “Enchanted Isle”.  Some used to call it “The Crown City”.  Now me being Godzilla and all, I love stomping out entire cities as much as the next guy, but I always keep it to the East, the Far East.  What happened to Coronado was such a travesty not even my arch enemy, Mothra, would pull a stunt like that!  It even bummed ME out, not to mention, the little woman was inconsolable.

 Some old timers can still recall the “Camelot Days” in Coronado.  The Green Meanies have since banished these people – also known as “locals” to a ramshackle home in the hills of yesteryear.  The locals huddle together for warmth and tell tales of the good times when New Hamptons was simply Coronado.  They talk of a time when magical ferries transported them to their jobs in the big city of San Diego as it was hard for the locals to leave their Emerald Isle.  There were only so many jobs to be had.

The lucky ones got to stay on the Island!  They worked at now mythical places like The Department Store, Perkins Bookworm, Bayberry Tree, Marco’s, Free Brothers Market, La Avenida, and of course, the old glory of Crown Town – the Hotel Del Coronado.  This place used to be quite popular I’m told, but the Green Meanies needed the beachfront property  to build a new jail. 

Crime rates soared during the destruction years.  The Green Meanies call them construction years.  Tomato, tomato – back to our story!

The destruction process actually began around 1969.  Back then there were few Green Meanies.  They infiltrated slowly with the building of a massive eyesore of a bridge.  The magical ferries were soon a thing of the past and “The Bridge” opened the floodgates for Green Meanies.  The change had come.  The Green Meanies came from far away – places with odd names of Eastern U.S. origin.  

The Green Meanies were so excited to destruct Coronado, they barely ate or slept.  They only saw green – their favorite color – the color of big money.  Why should they care about the actual town or its people?

At first, the Green Meanies attempted to blend in with the locals.  They quietly started buying up the Island.  They joined groups and clubs and organizations making it seem like they really cared about Coronado.  They saw GREEN!  On the other hand, the locals saw RED!

Coronado was such a small, family-oriented town that everybody knew each other.  The Green Meanies’ attempts to “blend” was a huge red flag to the locals.  But the locals were a peace-loving bunch.  They didn’t turn the Green Meanies away.  The destruction had begun.

The Mom and Pop stores and restaurants were replaced with horrid chains.  Sweet little Spanish casitas and charming beach homes were destroyed without a wink.  The Green Meanies had no history here.  What did they care?  Stomp.  Stomp.

The Crown City underwent a change so drastic that some of the locals had to be sedated.  What happened to Coronado?  How was the mass destruction even allowed?  Some say the Green Meanies put chemicals in the town’s water supply in order to lobotomize the locals into submission.

As old Coronado went out, New Hamptoms came in as the Green Meanies grew in power and money.  They also became much more public no longer trying to blend in.  The once sleepy little town became what can only be compared to a battlefield of torn-down homes and empty lots.

Then came “The Men” — the men with large diesel machines spewing poison throughout the town.  The men began to build a horrific array of Hampton-esque monstrosities where proud old Coronado homes once stood.  The residents were warned not to stand in the way.  Everyone had to wear gas masks and earplugs lest they got sick or went mad.  Only the Green Meanies were immune to the pollution and piercing noise.  Stomp.  Stomp.

They gained momentum and could not be stopped or even slowed down for that matter.  It was too late.  The Green Meanies had come in and completely erased the entire history of a once-magical town.

But, the locals had their memories.  So they secretly wrote books about Coronado as it was meant to be – how Coronado was a friendly, family-oriented town, proud of her military history and home-town values, a lovely place with mature landscaping and even an annual Flower Show!  Kids used to actually ride bikes around the Island stopping to visit friends, playing in the parks, and swimming in the Ocean!  Of course, none of this would ever be allowed now as the Green Meanies have banned all manners of fun and healthy recreational activities.  Gone are the gathering places where the locals would sing and play.  The Green Meanies have covered every inch of the Island with high rises that block out the sun.  The once happy and healthy residents are now pale and frail except the Green Meanies, of course, who are greener than ever!

Odd thing though, even though the Green Meanies have completely destroyed an entire city, they’re still not satisfied.  They thought that changing the name of the town might cheer them up, but they are meaner and greener than ever before.  Some say they won’t be satisfied until they flip everywhere between the West Coast and the Evil East to their specifications.

The old locals say there’s still time for some places to save themselves.  Their advice?  Do not become brainwashed by the promises of the Green Meanies and their “Eastern Nouveau Riche Ways”.  Stand up for your town!  Implement a ban on construction/destruction!  Encourage people to remodel!  Make it worth their while.  Give them tax breaks.  Use Coronado as an example of what can happen when you’re not looking.  If you all band together, you can at least keep the Green Meanies at bay.

Last and most importantly, when it comes time to vote, make sure it’s for powers that be who really care about your town!   Make sure these people are properly backgrounded and given tests to rule out any green blood.

Go now!  It’s not too late.

RIP Coronado.

“Money – So they say, is the root of all evil today.”  (Pink Floyd) 

Posted in Clarion Causes, Winter Edition 2013 | 2 Comments

DOG OF THE YEAR (back cover)

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