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Bulls

I heard about some bulls in Spain that put a couple of bullfighters (Matadors) in the hospital and the bullfighting had to be suspended. I read up a little about it today but it makes me feel very uneasy and sad. I am, in case you do not know this about me (yet) for animal rights and I do not like to see animals get hurt, mistreated, I don't like zoo's and circuses and any other event that puts animals at risk for the sake of human enjoyment. Bullfighting and that other thing they do in Spain, running with the bulls is barbaric and I can't understand why people would even want to attend a bullfight or go running with the bulls. Oy vey, the Matadors got injured.....poor them! It wouldn't matter to me if they died from their injuries. I am sure that the bulls died a slow and painful death while thousands of people watched and cheered on like bloodthirsty maniacs.....sometimes human beings haven't evolved much since the days of fighting in the Colosseum, which was done to keep the masses happy and oblivious.
Yes, I have been to zoo's and to the circus and to Sea World, a long time ago before I really started thinking about the lives the animals must endure locked up like that. No more such visits for me. Unless I go there to report on some problem or investigate something.You want the circus? Go see Cirque du Solei. You want a zoo? Go to a strip club. You want a bullfight? Go to a some event where people beat or wrestle with each other.
And while I am on this topic about animal rights, let me talk about eating meat. I very rarely eat meat (yes, this includes chicken and fish). I think I've had meat twice this year. And there have been years of no meat at all. People erroneously believe that they need a lot of meat to grow strong and healthy, preferably everyday. This is what the meat industry wants us to believe, because the meat industry makes a lot of money. If people stopped and thought about, or saw with their own eyes, how most of those animals live (if you can call that awful existence living) and under what conditions, some would probably refrain from meat. And the animals are also given all kinds of poison (antibiotics) plus get fed some weird mixture of food that many times is not natural for them to eat (like ground up animals).
If you truly love your pet that you have at home then I think you can take that love a little further and start thinking about how the animals that you consume lived their life before they ended up on your plate or in that burger you ordered form the drive-thru. I have been around enough pigs, cows and horses to be convinced that they have feelings and think, I believe that animals are sentient beings. You can tell when you look into their eyes. So please, I ask you to be gentler to the animals, yourself and the planet and at least reduce your meat intake. Most likely you will get healthier from eating less meat. I have zero meat cravings (except when I visit the Polish Deli in Vegas and see and smell the Kabanosy sausages) and don't miss eating meat. And I feel and look healthy.
But before I start pointing fingers and pontificating, I am not innocent and free from flaws.
I do eat eggs once in a while, I could put in more effort to find eggs from local farmers where I live, where the chickens live good lives. I could and I should! I do eat milk products like cheese and yogurt. And those lattes I drink have milk in them. I tried soy but I don't like it plus I don't know what to think about the reports about linking soy and cancer, they are conflicting.
I know that there is almond milk and other milk alternatives, so I can definitely improve in that area. Yes, I can do more and improve myself, absolutely.

Look at this cutie! I want to give him hugs and kisses!



Happy Ending

Last night I left for work, running about ten minutes late. We are supposed to be there by 10 pm and I'm usually on time.....but not always. While driving along K-Beach (Kalifornsky Beach Road) when I see two dogs, weaving in and out of traffic......both lanes. The dogs were side by side and would not leave the road. The cars were plenty and all slowed down, I was praying that the dogs wouldn't get hit. When I finally caught up to them, I put my hazard lights on and slowed down. Then I pulled over to the side and got out of my car, hoping that the dogs would get in the car. They did come up to my briefly but then they started running again. So I continued a bit more until I could turn around......I parked the car and called the dogs to me. Then I managed to coax them away from the road into an area where there is cattle and rodeo's in the summer time. Again, I got them to come up to me and tried to get them in my car. The dogs looked tired but were frantic and confused, panting acting nervous but friendly. They drank water out of a large puddle and chewed on a pile of manure, obviously hungry. Then they ran away from me again, I kept calling them while they ran towards K-Beach. Luckily another person stopped and she got out of her car and opened the back of her SUV and the dogs jumped right in. I got on the phone with the police and they said somebody was on their way. I drove up to the lady that had the dogs. I think they were more familiar with jumping into the SUV because it was lower to the ground, my truck is high and they probably didn't understand what to do. We chatted, petted the dogs that dug into some burritos she had from Taco Bell in the car. You could see them relaxing by the minute, they had been so stressed out. The police called me back and asked if I could take the dogs to the animal shelter, we decided that the lady would take them into the shelter since the dogs were in her car already and I continued to work. This morning I got a text from the lady, she informed me that she had tracked down the owners through Facebook, the dogs are show dogs and got loose somehow but they are now safely back home.
I can just imagine Chhaya running down a busy road, scared and confused not knowing what to do. I can just hope that somebody would try to save her from getting hit by a car or injured somehow. I tell her frequently that she always has to stay by the house, in the yard with Mommy and that cars are "ouchie". I'm so glad that the dogs are OK, a happy ending!




Raspy

Woke up with a raspy throat today.....raspy and full of mucus. I got very cold at work a few nights ago, therefore the raspy throat. Not a big fan of icy cold strip clubs, HELLO I'm wearing heels and lingerie, OK? Thought about working tonight but decided to stay in, got some soup at Cafe Rio and an extra hot chai with whipped from Starbucks. Starbucks and Nordstrom have the best whipped cream, I decided. And you know that you can always ask them to make your latte or chai extra hot, right? I always ask for that, I don't like lukewarm drinks.....either hot or iced. So Cafe Rio, Mikey took me there today, my first time and they serve Mexican. Have to say that I had the best tortilla EVER, they make them there in front of you, delicious.



Have you read about the Mickey the "pitbull" that bit the toddler? Well, it says that the dog MAULED the toddler, it looks more sensational like that. Also there are some conflicting reports to what exact breed Mickey actually is. And of course it makes the headlines when there is a pitbull involved, much juicier than lets' say a poodle. I of course hoped that the dog would NOT get euthanized after reading the story. The dog did not charge and attack out of nowhere and unprovoked. I do agree that the boys face is badly injured after seeing some pics. And it is very sad for that little boy. Usually there is a reason why dogs bite, I got bit twice by our dog when I was a toddler and my Mom did not put the dog down. Not because she valued the dog more than me, that is being discussed in Mickey's case, no because she knew I did something to annoy the dog. And I did. Toddlers and family pets do not always go together, unless your family pet is a caged bird or a fish. I don't let toddlers around Chhaya, one she doesn't really like them and two I don't trust the toddlers. No way I would put Chhaya down if she snapped at some kid because it pulled her tail or something. Yes, I LOVE my dog, she is MY baby and I am proud to say that. So Mickey gets to live but I guess the judge ordered that his canines gets removed.....that is kind of mean but whatever. Mickey is alive, he is a cutie, I wish I could adopt him but I can't....so I hope he finds a good and loving home where he can be a member of the family instead of being chained up. In case some of you don't know, dogs are pack animals and they do not do good if they are kept outside and on a chain. They belong inside with their family = YOU. Obviously Mickey's former owner missed out on that. Some people should not be pet owners, ever. Also always supervise your kids around dogs, even small dogs, especially if there is food involved. Chhaya lets me stick my hands into her food bowl but I know I would be irresponsible if I thought somebody but me could get away with that unharmed. Chhaya is a DOG, not a human, therefore she reacts different than me. Although human being are way more dangerous to our own kind and every other living being on this planet than the animals could ever be.
Yes yes.....I know that dogs sometimes do major harm, seemingly for no reason. But if I was an animal, I too would be majorly pissed off at humans.....humans mistreat, torture and slaughter animals on a daily basis.

Mickey



Xena.....innocent puppy abused by a human. You can read about her online or search for Xena in my search bar to see what I wrote.



Xena

I guess most people in the US are thinking about and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Spending time with family and friends, eating a lot and having a good time if you are amongst the fortunate ones. Maybe being hungry, cold and lonely if you are not so fortunate. Although, just because you are with a group of people doesn't mean that you are happy......you know, happy and content with yourself. I see that a lot, people that make sure they laugh the loudest, put on a big show of fake happiness and grandiose gestures and loud talk when really on the inside they are just miserable. And it is so very obvious to the people observing them. Just because you put on a show of being "social and happy" doesn't mean that you are. Far from it. Sometimes (often) the people that don't feel the need to put on a fake show for others are the ones that truly are at peace and happy.
I am thankful for a LOT. For my family and my friends (although they live far away), for the love of my life Chhaya, for having a safe and warm place to call home, that I get to eat every day and all the other comforts that I get to enjoy, for my health, for my amazingly good looks (HA HA!). I am thankful when I savor moments of feeling alive. For that sip of latte that tastes so good. When laying in a warm bath. When curling up under my covers with a great book. When I travel and experience new things. When dancing to some great music. That I am free and get to make my own choices. And no.....I am not having any turkey on Thanksgiving. Chhaya can have some but I will refrain.

Now to XENA. I read about her today and since this is a wonderful story it needs to be on my blog. Xena was horribly maltreated as a puppy. Once again, some sorry excuse for a human did this to an animal. Heartless and sick. One more example of how cruel human being are. And I will say this again, people that do this to animals deserve execution. This is my opinion.



Today this beautiful girl is the best friend of autistic little boy. Since Xena came into his life he has developed a lot. They say that it is believed that Xena is a Staffordshire terrier mix, she looks like a pitbull to me. Her and Chhaya look similar, just different colors. You can read more about this story if you search for Xena the Warrior Puppy. And on that happy note.....
I have to go. It is a rather gloomy day, the kind when you don't really want to do a whole lot......but I have to get going, things are awaiting.



Good Girl

I'm in bed, snacking on pistachios and laughing at Jimmy Fallon. I guess it's Miley's 21st birthday next week and she is planning on a wild and fun party to celebrate. THAT is a party I would loooooove to attend, I bet it's going to be amazing! Miley......please send Tatiana an invitation! You won't regret it....... ;-)

Anyhow. Chhaya attended the doggy class this evening, she was a really good girl. I think we might start going to a class in January so Chhaya can do something different to break up the regular routine and be around other dogs.



I want to touch on a subject that I feel strongly about. When I was in South Dakota (Winner) for work I met a very nice gentleman and we talked about our dogs. He told me about his wonderful Labrador companion and friend but then he said something that made me sad, although I chose not to say anything to him because I didn't want to offend him, or actually offend his wife (that was not present I should add). He told me that his dog is never allowed in the house because his wife thinks that the dog is dirty. So the dog sleeps in a doghouse outside, they live in Canada. It gets cold there. I know people do this and they seem to think that it is perfectly normal and that their dogs are fine and happy living like that. Well, I say they are not and so do many others. Dogs are pack animals, their human family are their pack so when you leave your dog outside you shut them out and they suffer. Of course dogs like to be outside but when you are keeping them company. I do let Chhaya out for a quick pee first thing in the morning and last thing at night, she does her thing and then she runs back home and stands outside the door and I let her back in. Later on in the day we go for walks and/or play outside together. I can never imagine not letting her in and watching her watch me from the outside in with sad eyes, that would be so wrong! Every dog deserves to live as part of it's family regardless of size and breed. If you think your dog is dirty then brush it, groom it and bathe it. Sure Chhaya brings in dirt and gets my bed dirty. But I bring in dirt too, therefore I clean.....besides some dirt won't kill me. Chhaya is curled up in bed with me right now and the companionship and joy she brings into my life is priceless. I can wash my sheets or get new ones but Chhaya is irreplaceable.
If you know somebody that keeps their dog/s outside, please show them the link I am providing and hopefully they will change their mind about keeping their companion outside. ❤

http://www.dogsdeservebetter.com

Do I have any other plans this very cold evening? It's - 2 °F that is - 19 °C, in case somebody from Europe is reading this. Brrrrrrrr!
I am going to trim some hair in the neither region. Why? Maybe it's pool time or perhaps work time again? So I am bringing out the heavy equipment for said task. Check back tomorrow for before and after pics!



One more thing before I go. Look at these two cuties, my heart melts over this......I LOVE animals! Jeffrey and Jermaine, two brothers (Lab and pitbull mix), were found abandoned. Jeffrey is blind and Jermaine helps him out. They are now safe at a shelter that took them in and the shelter is looking for a good home for them. I am sure they will find a great place for these two wonderful cuties. Look at them cuddle as they sleep.......awwwwwww! ❤



Photo Credit: Operation Ava

On My Mind

What's on my mind today......animals. And how we treat them. Overall they are treated awful. We eat them, use them and abuse them.
Let's start with the fur industry. I have nothing made of real fur. Fake fur is just as nice and nobody (unless you are an expert) can tell the difference. To wear a coat made from the fur of some animal that was only brought up to be slaughtered for it's fur is just horrible. Or how about the coyotes that are trapped so their fur can be used for Canada Goose jackets?
After seeing these pictures, could you bring yourself to wear a Canada Goose jacket? The pain and suffering is written all over those poor animals. Don't you agree after looking at these pictures?



Canada Goose claim that they use real fur instead of fake fur because real fur is warmer and their product is intended for colder weather, like in North America where you would want to protect your face from frostbite. OK, I live in Alaska and I have never experienced frostbite even when walking Chhaya in - 20 and - 30 °F. I just bundle up and cover my face with a scarf, sure I have been cold, even very cold but it's not like I am climbing Mount Everest or anything. Even the guys that work up on the North Slope here in Alaska during the cold months don't wear fur jackets.
Canada Goose also claim that their use of fur is ethical and responsible. To me it looks like those animals are suffering A LOT. It's one thing to shoot an animal dead on the spot and a completely different story to trap it and let it suffer until it slowly dies in pain. If you had to pick a way to die, would you rather die quickly and somewhat painlessly or drag it out for days while trapped somewhere?



I do not want to be a hypocrite here. I do have stuff made of leather and I own a down jacket. But I am not going to buy another down jacket now that I know more about that industry.
I got my last down jacket in 2006. There is a product out there called PrimaLoft and it is a great alternative to down. I also have shoes and pants made of leather. That leather is a by product of the meat industry, so basically the animal was killed for it's meat and after that the leftover skin was made into a leather product. I wonder if there is a manufacturer out there that makes leather products of animals that die from natural causes? I need to look into that.
As far as eating animals, I have mainly not been eating animals since more than 12 years now. Yes, I do make exceptions now and then but I have went through periods of years without a bite of meat. I am not a vegan, I do eat milk products and eggs. It is proven that most of the slaughtered animals that end up at your table or when you get that KFC or burger in the drive through have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. That is poison that you eat too. Their lives are miserable and they go through enormous stress and are treated horrible. I can also tell you this.....when I first arrived to the US I went to McDonald's and ordered a Big Mac. It tasted so weird and off to me that I couldn't finish it, that was my last Big Mac. There was something with the meat, it tasted different in the US than it did in Sweden, it tasted BAD.
People that claim they need meat to survive don't know what they are talking about, they base their opinion on some facts they haven't even bothered to look up. I think that I look perfectly healthy and I also feel healthy and I can get plenty of protein from yoghurt, nuts and grains like quinoa. I can get my iron intake from vegetables and fruit, no need to get it from the blood of an animal.
Also, most vegetarians are indeed healthier than meat eaters. Just some examples, lower BMI, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower incidents of colon cancer. There you go!
There was a Greek philosopher and mathematician that lived in the 6th century BC, Pythagoras. A very intelligent man, he called himself a lover of wisdom and I think that is beautiful. He did contribute to a lot of important developments, read up on him and marvel at his intelligence! He was also a vegetarian. Actually before non meat eaters were called vegetarians they were called Pythagoreans. He believed that non violence towards animals was the first step towards the same amongst humans. Kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

Here are some quotes by Pythagoras that I found.

"When you place the flesh of slaughtered cattle in your mouths, know and feel, that you are devouring your fellow-creature."

"Alas, what wickedness to swallow flesh into our own flesh, to fatten our greedy bodies by cramming in other bodies, to have one living creature fed by the death of another! In the midst of such wealth as earth, the best of mothers, provides, nothing forsooth satisfies you, but to behave like the Cyclopes, inflicting sorry wounds with cruel teeth! You cannot appease the hungry cravings of your wicked, gluttonous stomachs except by destroying some other life."

"As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."

"Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul."

"If men with fleshly mortals must be fed,
And chew with bleeding teeth the breathing bread;
What else is this but to devour our guests,
And barbarously renew Cyclopean feasts?
While Earth not only can your needs supply,
But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury;
A guiltless feast administers with ease,
And without blood is prodigal to please."

I wonder how a person that lived in the 6th century BC held so much wisdom and compassion in a time when people survived without the comforts and distractions that we are accustomed to and take for granted today, while so many of us today in "modern times" are so barbaric towards animals. Why is that?

I am getting sad and upset in my heart while writing this. I'm at Coffee Roaster and I don't want to cry. Let's leave this discussion with a fitting quote by Mahatma Gandhi.



I wrote a blog a while back that I called Meat Free Monday. I think that everybody can make an effort in eating less meat. Read that blog here
One of my very nice readers say that I have a sphere of influence. Maybe I do.....I hope that I have influenced at least SOMEBODY with this entry to stop and think and make a better and more compassionate choice from now on whether it's about not wearing fur or eating less meat or perhaps maybe becoming a vegetarian. The Golden Rule is to treat others the way you want to be treated, that includes animals, they are our friends! ❤


I Agree

When I was in Anchorage yesterday I picked up The Anchorage Press, a free weekly magazine. I read the letters to the editor and really like and very much agree with what a person contributed, so I am going to share it with you.

"This is a response to the article "Eating Eddie" (July 4, page 22) about raising, slaughtering and eating a pig. Raising animals to kill and eat isn't bucolic and romantic, it's gruesome and stupid. It kills the best of what it means to be human. Our advances in technology mean nothing if our ethics do not advance as well. Twenty-first century technology has made the lives of humans infinitely better, and the lives of factory animals a true living hell. People believe the lies and deceptions of the meat industry because they want to be deceived, so they don't have to change ("Change is what people fear most, " Fyodor Dostoevsky). What is morally wrong cannot be culturally, scientifically right. Progress means advancing compassion not only to the persecuted of our own sentient species, but to the persecuted of other sentient species as well. Although the author rightly condemns and rejects the factory farm and slaughterhouse, rejecting animals as food instead elevating them to their rightful place as sentient beings that humans have no right to brutalize, must be the goal of 21st century ethics."
- Thomas H. Morse, Anchorage

I agree with this SO much. The part that our technological advances mean nothing if we do not advance our ethics, ring so true to me. Sometimes I wonder if some people even know what ethics mean.....or if they possess any. I try to improve myself as a person on this journey of my life. Sometimes I get lost, off track and forget but I try to better myself. And I do see animals as sentient beings, anyone that has spent quality time with an animal should know that.
Here are my animal friends. Chhaya looking pretty by the wheelbarrow that holds water for the moose that comes through the yard.



And the cat I found in the crawlspace the other day. I don't know if I can keep it but I will make sure to find a home for it if I don't. It is super cute and cuddly.



Whatever



So Wizard, the husky that bit the two year old got put down today. :-(
His owner decided this or Wizard would had faced a long confinement in some shelter. I hope the responsible (sarcasm) Mom of the two year old feels like something GOOD came out of this situation now. Feel good now Mom? Happy? Yes, I know her kid got bit and hurt and that is really unfortunate but maybe Mom should had not put three children in that situation in the first place. Then this could had been avoided. We all make mistakes, it is human to make mistakes. But how is this outcome making the situation any better? I am sure that Wizard could had continued living his life without any other incidents like this.
This makes me angry. If some kids would walk into my yard and get bit by Chhaya I would not see that as my fault or Chhaya's fault. Keep track of your kids. OK? WHATEVER!


Bored

I am feeling so bored and unmotivated.......I don't know why. Well, I DO know why.
I live in the most boring place ever. There is nothing going on here and my days look the same, everyday is the same. I can't wait to move. Maybe soon.
Yes, I might......MIGHT be leaving Alaska in the not so distant future.
So today when I pulled up to Coffee Roasters (my excitement for this afternoon, yippie!) I noticed a little lost girl dog. All alone, scurrying around and looking nervous. She had a collar. I got out of the car and tried to get her to come over to me but she got scared and took off running across the parking lot and towards the busy road. I felt so bad and scared that she would get hit by a car. I hope somebody will be able to pick her up and return her to her owner.
I saw a cat get hit by two cars a long time ago. It was awful, that poor thing tumbled across the road and I can still remember his face. It makes my stomach ache when I think back to that and I want to cry.
I know that some people around here let their dogs run loose but I would think twice about doing that. Some people shoot stray dogs that go in on their property, it's crazy but they do. Each year there is a discussion around here about people that shoot other people's dogs.
I am lucky with Chhaya, I can let her outside and she will stay close to the house.
Either lay right outside on the porch or in the grass. Or go sniff close by in the forest. She always comes right away when I call her. If I had an issue with her running away I would not risk it and keep her supervised at all times or on a long leash. If I would lose her it would be entirely my fault and I would be devastated.
One more thing about dogs. I have spoken to a few people in the last couple of weeks that got rid of their dog (euthanized) because the dog bit somebody else in a situation that could had been prevented. When I was a little, around three years old we had a dog and a cat in the household. The dog bit me and the cat scratched me. I pulled on the cats tail while it tried to get away from me under the bed. I was probably pestering it and naturally the poor cat turned around and scratched me. The dog bit me because I climbed on top of him and bounced up and down on his back. He growled, the baby sitter didn't react in time and the dog bit me on my ear. I remember a lot of blood and laying in bed when my Mom came home. Did my Mom get rid of her pets? Of course not. They were not viscous. They reacted in a normal way. My Mom had told me many times not to bother the cat or the dog but when you are a toddler you are a toddler. Therefore when you have small children around animals you should always pay extra attention to make sure to avoid situations like these. The bite from the dog healed and I learned my lesson and the scratch from the cat healed too. I would never let a small child be around Chhaya's food bowl when she eats. That is a given. You can have the friendliest dog but when there is food involved they react in a way that is natural for them. The pack mentality and hierarchy. I can stick my fingers in Chhaya's bowl and take it away from her if I want to, she lets me. I don't bother her like that on purpose, I leave her alone when she eats but I have been feeding her all her life and she feels secure with me and her food. I can put food in my mouth and she will gently take it.
But I would not let a child stick their fingers in her bowl, even come close to Chhaya when she eats, chances are she would bite and I would never get rid of Chhaya if that happened. Ever. A situation like that can happen in an instant but it can also be prevented. How sad to put down a beloved dog because you did something stupid that could had been prevented. It's not the dogs fault. In general small children should always be supervised with animals.
One more thing that popped up in my inbox today. Police shooting dogs. I have seen that a lot and it really bothers me. They seem to be way too trigger happy when it comes to shooting dogs. For no reason than some excessive barking in some instances. I don't want trigger happy cops out there. Cops are just as unbalanced and psychotic as the rest of the crazies out in society. It doesn't make me feel safe when I know that they have no qualms about shooting an innocent animal. What if this happened to your beloved dog? You should sign this petition. SIGN





Loser

I wish I was a superheroine today because I would jump into my costume and fly down to some crummy trailer park in Georgia and personally re arrange the face of a loser dude that unleashed his two dogs on a little cute pet piggy that got lost inside the park. Then he stabbed the little piggy several times (23) in front of some kids. This idiot was also charged with animal cruelty a few years ago for keeping dogs and cats in dirty cages with no food and water. SO WHY is he today the owner of (at least) two dogs I am wondering?!
The little piggy survived but is in critical condition at a vet's office. I don't know what is going to happen to the two dogs, unfortunately they are pitbulls and because of that fact alone the chances are high that they will be put down. I hope some animal lover gets involved and offers them a good home. I am sure they are good dogs that ended up with a shitty owner, something that happens all the time.
I hope the trashy ghetto loser gets jail time and I also hope that he gets raped repeatedly in jail by some large dudes until he bleeds profusely out of his ass.
I HATE people that mistreat animals. I wouldn't mind beating the shit out of those so called human beings myself, I would get immense pleasure from that. One more thing, since this guy obviously is cruel and unintelligent he should also be chemically castrated so he doesn't produce any kids that grow up to be like him. But since he is 23 already and lives in some trailer park in Georgia, chances are high that he already managed to impregnate a few chick. Too bad. But it is still not too late to castrate him to prevent any further spawning. I believe in population control and I don't want to share this planet with imbeciles like him and others that are like that.

Well, I have to take MY pitbull for a walk in the sun. If you have a pet I do hope that you love it and spoil it, if not you should not be a pet owner. Some people are not made to be parents or have pets, that is just how it is.
After the walk I am going to get ready. I am meeting up with some girlfriends for dinner later.