Kobe. No, not the basketball star Kobe, the bull terrier. Kobe is
believed to have been born in a puppy mill.
A puppy mill is a breeding
facility housing multiple dogs of various
breeds in horrendous conditions, subjecting them to horrible lives of
over breeding, cross breeding, often not mentioned in the resulting
puppies’ pedigree, and in breeding. Confined to small cages without
enough food or water, no sanitation to remove waste and little or no
veterinary care most puppy mill dogs either die as breeding animals or
from illnesses acquired as puppies, never making it to adulthood or the
pet shop to be sold. However, those that do make it to a saleable age
(six weeks in most states) are cleaned up and shipped off in hot,
non-air-conditioned, or cold and non heated trucks for several days on
the road, usually without adequate food and water. It’s common, if not
routine, to lose some of the puppies during shipping to illness,
exposure, hypothermia, heat stroke, thirst or starvation.
Probably to be bought from a
pet store, he survived. Kobe contracted
mange or already had it without visible symptoms, prior to being
purchased. Mange is a parasitic mite infection of the skin,
particularly common in dogs, resulting in hair loss, severe itching and
inflammation of the skin.
The couple that bought Kobe
took him to the vet and he was treated with
medication he turned out to be allergic to. The allergic reaction
combined with the ongoing mange resulted in an explosion of the
condition. As a result, the couple decided they didn’t want him around
their baby and Kobe was relegated to a kennel out back and left
Kobe suffered in silence for
two and a half years until John and Lynn
took him in as foster parents. Kobe weighed 30 pounds (the standard
weight for a bull terrier is fifty to sixty pounds), had little to no
hair left on his body, was terrified of everything and everyone due to
his confinement and lack of socialization and was so weakened by his
condition he could do little more than sleep.
They began feeding him a raw
food diet and slowly he gained weight and
muscle. They also sought proper treatment for Kobe’s mange. After two
and a half years, Kobe was on the road to recovery and the possibility
of a permanent and loving home. He found that home in the form of VHR’s
Rain (Ranch #172), when she and her family met him and his foster
parents at a Bull Terrier Dog Show. Even then, he was terrified and
spent most of his time hiding behind his foster parents and refused to
do more at all without being on a leash. A few months later, Kobe went
to live with Rain permanently where he continued to gain weight and is
now a healthy fifty pounds.
Today, while Kobe will
forever carry the scars of his youthful neglect,
he will never have hair on top of his feet, his face and his belly, he
now spends his time commandeering the couch as the resident couch
sausage, harassing the cats, napping in a choice patch of sunlight,
running in circles when someone comes home and professing undying love
for them, particularly if that love results in snacks.
Kobe found his forever home,
but the plight of puppy mill dogs grows
ever worse. Make sure the next puppy you buy isn’t from a puppy mill.
Do the research and discover what puppy mills are all about. Or better
yet, adopt an animal from your local shelter Millions of animals end up
in shelters ever day, most if not all would make an ideal pet. The pet
you save will thank you, and Kobe would too.
Scary Celebrations Coming Your Way...Or Not.
Halloween has existed
in one form or another for at least two thousand
years. Its predecessor was Samhain celebrated by the Celts in ancient
Ireland, The United Kingdom and northern France.
For the Celts, Samhain
marked the end of summer, the end of harvest and
the beginning of winter. Associated with death, Samhain was the time
when offerings were made to honor the deceased, livestock were taken
into account and decisions were made about which animals to slaughter
for food and to maintain the herds during the coming winter. Crops were
stored away against need and preparations for the cold were made.
Bonfires were set and general merry making ensued, to honor the season,
the harvest and their gods.
became the popular religion, Samhain became Hallowmas
encompassing All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day from
Oct 31 to Nov 2 and is still practiced by Catholics today. Eventually,
All Hallow’s Eve became truncated into Halloween.
Many of the pagan
beliefs mixed with the new Christian ones and from
this came the idea of costumes during modern Halloween festivities,
since costumes were often worn during Celtic celebrations. People would
dress as demons and monsters, believing that on All Hallow’s Eve such
creatures walked among us and dressed as one of them to protect
themselves from becoming their victims, hoping to escape their notice.
Today Halloween is
celebrated as a secular and religious holiday in
many places. The United States is probably the best known place that
Halloween is celebrated in the most recognized form. Children dress in
costumes and “Trick or Treat” from one house to another collecting
candy and treats. Parties are held with Halloween themes and games like
bobbing for apples, creepy foods are often served. Some examples of
those are, eye balls (peeled grapes) brains (Jell-O usually) guts
(usually thick pasta noodles covered in pasta sauce and arranged to
look disgusting), and worms (the gummy variety or another pasta dish).
Candied and caramel apples are also very popular this time of year.
Some parties include having your fortune told or haunted houses.
Haunted Houses where you pay to enter are also very popular and spring
up regularly during the season.
Pumpkins are carved
with gap toothed faces traditionally but you can
find many done in very elaboration etchings. The original purpose of
these were to scare away evil spirits and are called Jack-o-lanterns.
The origin of this practice stems from the legend of Stingy Jack who
tricked the devil into several different ventures and eventually into
never claiming his soul should he die. When he did, God did not want
such a deceitful person in heaven and true to his word the devil
wouldn’t claim his soul either. So the devil sent him back to earth to
wander forever with nothing but a burning coal to light his way. He
hollowed a turnip to carry it in, and the Irish called him Jack Of The
Lantern which eventually became jack-o-lantern. They carved their own
from turnips or potatoes to scare him away should he come calling. The
English make their own from large beets. When English and Irish
immigrants came to America they brought the tradition with them, but
found that pumpkins were far better suited to the practice.
El Dia De Los Muertos
or The Day of the Dead, which takes the place of
Hallowmas, is actually celebrated from Oct 31 to Nov 3, and reflects
modern Halloween celebrations in some of its customs. The name denoting
it as only a day is a bit of a misnomer. The favorite foods of the dead
are set out on an altar for them to partake of, confections in the
shape of comical skulls are common place, as is the wearing of skull
mask. Wash basins are placed with towels so the dearly departed may
wash before eating. Graves are tended to and decorated and picnics are
held there to remember the dead. Some of them even include music!
Britain has it’s own
version of Halloween events. Halloween itself
isn’t celebrated in Britain, having faded from popularity when the
Protestant Reformation began. But Guy Fawkes Day is. Guy Fawkes Day is
celebrated on Nov 5 and bonfires with effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned
throughout Britain. The celebration commemorates the execution of this
nefarious English traitor and so has it’s own macabre origins. Guy
Fawkes was a member of a Catholic group that wanted to removal of
Protestant King James from power. He was executed as a traitor and the
first Guy Fawkes Day directly followed his death. Though for two
hundred years it was effigies of the Pope that were burned before the
switch to Guy Fawkes. Children are often seen carrying an effigy or
“guy” and ask passers by for “a penny for the guy”, much as American
children solicit candy. Guy Fawkes Day is also celebrated in New
Zealand but is celebrated more like the US’s Fourth Of July, with lots
In Ireland, the holiday
is still celebrated much as it is in the United
States. The festivities include trick or treating, bobbing for apples,
bonfires, and costume parties. Some of the differences include a game
called “snap apple” where an apple is tired from a string on a door
frame and participants must try to bite the apple without using their
hands. Some parents have candy and/or pastry treasure hunts as opposed
to trick or treating, and there is a card game often played where candy
or other treats are hidden under cards turned face down on a table.
What ever card is chosen the child wins the prize beneath.
Some traditional foods
are also commonly eaten, one being barmbrack, a
kind of fruitcake. In the center of the cake is a muslin wrapped
surprise alleged to tell the eater’s future. A ring for marriage, or
straw for a prosperous year ahead for example. Children also play
“knock a dolly” where they knock on a door and run away before the
occupant of the home can open it, reminiscent of some of the pranks
played in the US.
Like Britain, Australia
doesn’t really celebrate Halloween. Though some
immigrants will occasionally hold their own festivities they have never
taken hold, the extent of Halloween celebrations mostly consist of
costume parties or masquerades, with lots of music and refreshments.
Halloween and its kin have been celebrated for thousands of years and
will probably continue to be, in one form or another for hundreds if
not thousands of years to come. So here’s wishing you a Frightfully Fun
Halloween (and it’s derivatives)...or not, as the case may be.
Take the first Orbis Games Newsletter Quiz and see your name featured
in next months issue! Just click on the image and log in.
|Alabama - Editor in Chief
Bara - Jack of all trades
|Legends ... PAGE 1
Community ... PAGE 2
The Legend of Halloween
with an OP
VHR Breed of the Month
SBF Player of the Month
Block Parties & Art Attacks
Werewolves, Bark or Bite?
How to Make A
| The Animals ... PAGE 3
Would You Like Some Eggs with that Spam?
Not So Friendly Foods for Pets
Black Cat Crossing
Real Life Pumpkin Ponies?
Art and Diversity