Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And they call it puppy love - Winnipeg Free Press

I read this story and just needed to give it more exposure, please, read on.

Maybe it was the body of a frozen puppy, with a living, breathing pup standing less than a metre away, oblivious to the carcass. Maybe it was the dogs with wagging tails that bobbed their heads for a friendly pat from the stranger in the RCMP uniform. Or the kids who'd tell the constable where one pup or another was holed up, homeless and hungry.
Before Christmas, RCMP Const. Gennifer Furkalo sent a letter to the editor of her local paper in Neepawa in an effort to save the feral packs of neglected dogs roaming wild in Shamattawa.
She said her letter sparked responses that overwhelmed her as much for the negative stereotypes they reflected as for positive offers of help.
"I'm trying to do a good deed. I didn't know it would be as controversial as it was," Furkalo said from the remote northern outpost. "I've gotten a lot of reactions. There are lots of people willing to help."
Seven people have offered to adopt dogs. "I've had responses from all over Manitoba, from across Canada."
Furkalo said the Winnipeg Humane Society has offered to fly in a spay-and-neuter clinic if she can raise $1,000 to pay for airfare for the vets and $25 per dog to be fixed.
She figures she's spent upwards of $2,000 feeding animals and deworming some of them. She's shipped seven dogs south since October at $80 per dog. "Max, a husky cross, went to Brandon. He was about four months old. Remi went to Portage. She was about three months."
Shamattawa is a fly-in Cree community 750 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The population of 1,400 people has an average income of $15,000 a year, and less than 200 people have a high school diploma, according to Indian Affairs.
Furkalo said she's doing her best to ignore stereotypes that fill feedback comments on media websites related to her appeal for help.
"There is a lot of negative light shed on northern communities," she said, adding it is true attitudes towards pets are vastly different on First Nations communities compared with southern suburbs. "I can understand the community's point of view. The dogs are seen as a nuisance."
The 23-year-old was transferred to Shamattawa at the end of September, her second posting with the RCMP. Her first was Gillam.
"The first thing I saw was the amount of animals. It was saddening," she said. Dogs occasionally attack kids, but not often, she said. For the most part, the dogs are not vicious.
"These are dogs that are hungry. You see them sitting beside houses. They want to be part of a family and they're all over town. There's no doubt, definitely, there are hundreds," Furkalo said.
The First Nation keeps conducts routine culls every three months. It's not a practice Furkalo supports. "I have a soft side for animals. I hope this is a positive project for them."
How to Help: Anyone wishing to help Cst. Furkalo can reach her at Box 180, Shamattawa, MB, ROB 1KO or 204-565-2524.

And they call it puppy love - Winnipeg Free Press

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Doctors who dig art do better?

Yes, they do! An experimental course out of Harvard and a similar class being taught out of McMaster's is having impressive results in developing future doctor's observational skills, awareness of their own biases and being more emotionally attuned to their patients which, in turn, results in more accurate diagnosis.
The humanities has much to teach science, and science is really just beginning to get that.

Thanks to the CBC for this report.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For the Love of Good Cousins

I just got back from my annual pilgrimage to visit my Mom. It includes a stop-over at my cousin's as my flights never link up and it always takes two days to get there. Anyway, these cousin's of mine are absolutely stellar people. They have to drive clear across the whole city to pick me up at the airport and take me back there the next day and they make me feel so absolutely comfortable it's truly like a home away from home.

I found out my cousin LOVES palm trees and I decided to do this original acrylic painting (painted on gessoed illustration board) in a format that would fit the frame she had bought for the photos she had taken while in Hawaii but didn't turn out. Soooo, I decided to surprise her and whip this up and mail it to her before Christmas. I just have to varnish it and it's good to go.

I really wish I could have painted this on location!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2011 Official Color - Honeysuckle? Really - Honeysuckle?

Yep, here it is, the official color of 2011 - Pantone's 18-2120 TCX Honeysuckle. Now don't get me wrong, I am not against this color, in fact, it is a very vibrant, lively and can be, in small amounts, an uplifting and energizing color but this is not the color I would have chosen for this upcoming predicted year of more challenges. After the turquoise reminiscent of the 50's of last year (which depressed me I gotta say) I find this color choice is too forceful in trying to coerce a happy and vibrant atmosphere in the midst of such stress and strain. It offers no relief, and does not succeed in conveying true optimism.

A better choice, IMHO, would have been something like this healing ethereal spring green.

This beautiful uplifting color would have given relief to an over-stimulated and over-stressed society. We are being pushed to deal with many challenges from a variety of areas in life these days and what we REALLY need is a quiet healing escape that is rejuvenating and uplifting. With this then we could then re-enter the fray with renewed energy and and optimism.

So if you are having to have the first honeysuckle color in your home or accessories, to mitigate its possible over-exciting nature couple it with the above color which is in the complementary color to the vibrating honeysuckle. It's all about maintaining a balance or one is under or overstimulated and both can lead to lethargy, depression and rash irrationality. Happy decorating : )