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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wolf News

The following is a copy of a newsletter that I receive from Pacific West Wolves. Enjoy!

Hello Wolf Supporters, there’s a lot of wolf news lately:

1. Imnaha Pack Alpha Male Alive and Well!

2. Wenaha Pack Pups Confirmed!

3. Testify for Oregon ’s Wolves on September 2nd!

4. Write Comments to Protect Idaho ’s Lolo Pack by August 30th!

5. Wildlife Services proposes to gas wolf pups in Idaho , comments needed by August 31st!

1. Imnaha Pack Alpha Male Alive and Well!

The Imnaha Pack’s Alpha Male had been missing for several months, and quite frankly, we thought he‘d been shot by an anti-wolf extremist. But late last week, ODFW photographed him on a remote camera. It turns out his GPS collar had died, and he had somehow eluded being photographed or seen all this time. His return ensures more stability for the Imnaha Pack, as he is a survivor who can show the youngsters in the pack how to hunt for wildlife (he doesn’t seem to like cattle) and how to survive in an environment that spans both very remote wild-lands and relatively populated ranch-lands.

[Top Photo: The Imnaha pack’s Alpha Male, caught on remote infra-red camera. He is discernable by the shape of his collar. Photo courtesy of ODFW.]

2. Wenaha Pack Pups Confirmed!

This past weekend, ODFW confirmed pups in the Wenaha Pack – this means Oregon now has two confirmed breeding packs of wolves! ODFW captured two female pups, both weighing about 42 pounds, and both black. They were too young to collar, so ODFW took blood samples, put ear collars in them, and released them. This is yet another example of the Oregon Wolf Plan working successfully!

[Photo: Another of the Wenaha Pack wolves, collared in early August. Photo courtesy of ODFW.]

3. Testify for Oregon ’s Wolves on September 2nd!

As many of you know already, ODFW is in the midst of their Five-year Review of the Oregon Wolf Plan. ODFW is intent on keeping any changes to relatively minor issues, but they are receiving tremendous pressure form the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association to make wholesale changes to the Plan by reducing the number of wolves that would constitute a recovered population and allowing livestock producers to shoot wolves more or less at will.

ODFW must receive the message loud and clear that the majority of Oregonian’s support a healthy wolf population and that we want wolves adequately protected from the anti-wolf extremists.

The ODFW Commissioners will be meeting next week to make the key decisions on which direction to take the Oregon Wolf Plan. Please mark your calendars to attend their meeting on Thursday, September 2nd, at 8am. Address: Washington County Fair Complex, Cloverleaf Building , 873 N.E. 34th Avenue , Hillsboro , Oregon 97124 . Note that the Wolf Plan is the 11th agenda item, and it may be quite some time before they get to it.

Public testimony will be taken. If you speak, the main point to make is that there should be no wholesale changes to the Oregon Wolf Plan without an open and thorough public process, and a reconvening of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Special interest groups (i.e., the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association), should not be allowed to privately push for changes to suit their wants when the original Plan was drafted in a two-year public and open process, in which the OCA participated. And, of course, you should state that all protections for wolves in the Plan should be retained or even strengthened. If you don’t care to speak, please still attend to show support for Oregon ’s wolves!

Also, mark you calendars for September 30-October 1, because the ODFW Commissioners will be voting on the revised Wolf Plan at their meeting to be held then, in Bend .

4. Write Comments to Protect Idaho ’s Lolo Pack by August 30th!

Yes, this is very short notice, but Idaho needs public input on plan to kill wolves – please send your comments in by August 30th!

Idaho wolf managers want to know what the public thinks about their plan to kill dozens of wolves in north central Idaho to help restore elk herds. There are between 75 and 100 wolves around the Lolo elk hunting zone, one of 29 hunting zones the Idaho Department of Fish and Game manages. The agency wants to cut the number of predators here to between 20 to 30 wolves for five years – this could mean killing up to 80% of the wolves in the region!

Please let Idaho Fish & Game know that this is not acceptable! To read the proposal and to submit your comments, please go to:

5. Wildlife Services proposes to gas wolf pups in Idaho, comments needed by August 31st!

The federal Wildlife Services agency (a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is the primary wolf-killer in the United States . Now they want to expand their wolf-killing operations. They plan to work with Idaho officials to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in north-central Idaho by land and from the air.

Their plan also includes killing entire packs -- including gassing helpless wolf pups in their dens -- and surgically sterilizing alpha wolf pairs.

All this despite the fact that wolves in the region are once again protected by federal law.

For details on how to take action, go to Defenders of Wildlife’s website.


Greg Dyson

Executive Director

Hells Canyon Preservation Council

PO Box 2768

La Grande , OR 97850

541-963-3950 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 541-963-3950 end_of_the_skype_highlighting x.22

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Legend of the Fox

Last May, we had a big, stinking storm here in my area....lightening, thunder, you name it. Well, as you know I've got a buckload of Siberian Huskies. Most Siberians are pretty grounded, they don't get scared by Mother Nature. However, my old boy Hu Fei is a nervous dog and is afraid of loud noises like thunder.

About midnight on a Friday, I heard the dogs fussing and ran outside to find a section of my fencing down and several dogs missing, including Hu Fei. I quickly rounded everyone up and settled them for the night, but sadly, Hu wasn't there. I drove for hours looking for him, and in the weeks following, handed out flyers, advertised and kept on looking. After a month, I had given up hope. As I was writing Black Planet: Little Foxes at the time, I changed the heroine's name to 'Hu Fei Lee' in honor of my Hu. BTW, the name is Chinese for Flying Fox.

As July moved in, the temps rose to triple digits on a daily basis. Fourth of July passed, and I worried, because Hu Fei is afraid of fireworks. I was certain he was dead, but still, it bothered me. The month passed, and late one Sunday night, I got a phone call.

"You lose a dog? Named...ah...Hu..."
"Yes...did you find him?"
"Yeah, but can you came get him now? He's pretty sick."

So I rushed downtown, miles from our house and sure enough, there he was. Ragged, starved, sick and infested with ticks and foxtails...Needless to say, I was stunned that he had survived, and in all honesty, it was close. I truly believe he wouldn't have survived another day. He'd dropped from 55 pounds to 35. I brought him home and he tottered around the house until he finally found the crate I keep in the house. I'd moved it from the living room to my office, and except for eating and potty breaks, he moved into his little house for the next couple of weeks.

He was missing for exactly two months, and has now been home for almost a month. He's slowly gaining his weight back, we've spent hours picking stickers from his skin. He's visited the vet weekly since then. Unfortunately, his recovery has been slow and we're now facing the prospect that he might not fully recover, but still, he's home and happy. He's moved out to socialize with the other dogs and is generally found within just a few feet of me. He started howling again a few days ago, he did it while laying on his back under a piece of furniture! LOL!

We many not have much time left with him, but I cherish him now like I never did before. And Hu Fei is just thrilled to have made the permanent move to being a full time house dog.

Losing a pet is truly a harrowing experience. I've been a dog breeder since the early '90s and though we've had a few go for extended runs, I've never had one vanish so completely. The guilt, the just ate away at all of us every day of that two months that he was gone. So here are some tips in case you lose your pet:

  • Hit the street. Talk to people, hand out flyers, recruit neighborhood kids to help look. Put up signs at areas with high traffic automobile and foot traffic. Use brightly colored paper.
  • Remember that even a little dog can cover a lot of ground if it's confused. Move out of your neighborhood.
  • Be sure your dog has a collar and tag. My dogs are also tattooed and chipped, but the majority of the time, the collar and tag will get your dog home to you.
  • Call animal control and report your pet missing. Then get down there and check daily In Person! I can't stress that enough.
  • Utilize free lost and found services. Craig's List is wonderful for spreading the word. Use networking sites like Facebook and My Space. Take out ads in your local paper.
  • Check in with local vets, pet stores and other animal oriented businesses.
  • Talk to people. Call your local kennel club, animal training groups and so forth.
  • Don't give up.
Some hints for preventing the loss of your dog:

  • Keep them in a secure yard.
  • Don't let them roam off lead.
  • Be certain they are easily identifiable. Always keep a collar and tag on them.
  • Be certain that your dog is current on shots, worming and flea/tick preventative. Hu Fei's biggest health issue was infection from the dozens of tick bites that he sustained. He very likely encountered some wild animals and feral dogs, which exposed him to possible illnesses such as parvo and leptospirosis.
  • Don't leave your dog unattended in a vehicle.
  • Make certain that your dog is well-socialized and has basic obedience training.

Hope this helps anyone who has a similar situation!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Aliens Stole My Brain!

I've never been the most focused individual. (In fact, my ex-husband used to say that it was a good thing that I didn't do drugs, because I was already a stoner without them.)
From the time I was a kid, my teachers would complain that 'Belinda is a smart girl, but she's always off in a dream world.' I always felt guilty...I was a lazy kid, a lazy teen. I was much happier inside my head reading a book than applying myself to housework or chores. In time, (skipping a lot of years here) I realized that was simply creativity without any focused direction or discipline. The day I got my laptop, my life changed.

But lets go back a ways. When I got out of high school, I immediately bopped on over to the college, took a semester of ill-advised music classes and promptly dropped out. In time, I grew up a bit, returned to college and this time around, I stuck with it. The major love of my academic career were the classical history classes of Professor Cliff Minor.

Now Professor Minor was just the most wonderful fellow, all dry, acerbic wit and great brilliance. He'd look at a panel of Egyptian hieroglyphs and translate them just as he would translate a poem from Golden Age Greece. He'd then bring it around to where we could understand, usually by using some pop culture reference. I took many of his classes, enough to say that my focus was on Classical History. I took copious notes, produced dozens of papers and in all, I really flew. My grades for this notoriously tough prof generally were B+ to A-, based on my writing. Yeah...comma splices. Still doing it.

There was only one problem: because of an auto accident a few years earlier, I have a flawed short term memory. Those notes, textbooks and essays were my lifeline to holding onto my education. All of my notes were original...we weren't using computers extensively at that time. Many of my textbooks are now out of print. This spring, the storage building that held all of my education was accidentally emptied by a contractor who was clearing out an adjoining building. They had the wrong address. All of my education (and many other things) went to the dump. At the time, the loss didn't really hit me, not compared to the loss of family heirlooms and expensive dog show equipment.

Lately, there's been a poem that's been niggling at the back of my mind; an obscure Greek poet, but I couldn't recall his name. My m/m space opera An Uncommon Whore contains references to Greek culture, specifically to Spartan culture. I wanted to find the poem and refresh my memory, as I'm working on the sequel to that book. So automatically, I get up to walk next door to the truck shop and dig into my notes...but they're gone. Its all gone...

In desperation, I go online to look up my old professor at the University; he liked me and would willingly allow me to pick his brain. In fact, he'd be glad to let me come down and sit in on classes.

He retired.

So I do the obvious thing, I log onto the internet and start putting in the bits and pieces of the poem that I do remember, and in time, I found it. Here was the recent object of my obsession:

Some barbarian is waving my shield,

since I was obliged to

leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind

under a bush.

But I got away, so what does it matter?

Life seemed somehow more precious.

Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good.
~Archilochus~ (7th century, BCE)

So while my brain is a bit leaky, what I thought I lost isn't really gone, I just need to go searching for it. It hurts when I think of all my notebooks and research papers mouldering in a dump somewhere, but the whole point of those years in college wasn't merely to fill up my brain, but to teach me to learn and research and interpret my findings.

The first time I started college, my grandfather said, "That's good...that's really good. They'll never take that away from you."

I'm not sure who "They" were supposed to be, but maybe he was seeing into the future when some idiot contractor read his work order wrong and dumped my boxes of education into a trailer and hauled it away. They might have taken the physical artifacts away, but if I really need it, its all out there waiting to be rediscovered.

Happy Tales!