Thursday, December 16, 2010

Xmas 2010

Xmas 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Economic crisis and pets

Economic crisis and pets

The Portuguese crisis remains the national spotlight and no one speaks of the consequences that arise from this crisis.

I think many have yet to feel the cuts in their budgets or job losses.

Just go to large supermarkets or shopping centers to continue to see people buying non essential products in force.

But the reality is out there and in a few months will hit all of us.

The reality behind the reality lies in the ability to feed our children, both the 2 leg and 4 legged ones.

How to cope with the crisis that no one talks about ?

Look, maybe because I am a mother and my major concern continues to be, feeding in a reasonable way, I have been reading a lot about the vegetable garden that has make me thinking that lot of us, with little effort, could probably complement their food budget.

I read on a website that a person devoting his time of one hour per day, could produce enough for a family of 10 people (something to think about).

Another way is to eliminate the "luxury" of our menu and return to the basics of our grandparents, a bowl of soup (made with the vegetables from our garden) and a piece of meat feeds and it is more healthy.

For the canines, like it or not, back to what our grandparents gave. Rice with shredded chicken (yes, no bones and no spice) mixed with dry food. If you can not afford the expensive dry food, look for the cheapest!

Do not forget that the crisis is hitting everyone doorstep and deliver one more animal to the overpopulated shelters and associations does not help anyone.

Every day there are fewer donations, more needy, so save and try to prevent in advance the more difficult times that will come.

The international financial crisis has directly affected the lives of pets. Aiming to reduce spending, families of first world countries like England and America have abandoned their pets on the streets.

According to British newspaper The Times, animal protection societies recorded an increase in the number of dogs and cats. The increase may be due to the increase of the annual budget for creating a pet, which is 24% higher.

In the U.S. the situation is repeated. According to the BBC Brazil, only in New York, about 44 000 dogs and cats are abandoned each year. The number is increasing because many families say they have less money because of the crisis and end up choosing to leave the animals in shelters or in the streets.

The stories most commonly alleged by the owners when they leave their pets at shelters is that they lost their jobs and can not afford to feed and vet bills. The NGO Dog Trust, however, advises owners to seek cheaper diets but to not abandon their pets.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dog trekking to a museum

dog trekking group

The group concentration near the complex of buildings belonging to Museum de Odrinhas

pé ante pataOn the weekend of November 7th we went to another Dog Trekking organized by the association Pé ante Pata with two of our four leg companions, Teco my Australian Shepherd leaded by me, and Bianca, Golden Retriever, leaded by Gabriel, my sun.

australian shepherd and golden retriever in dog trekking
australian shepherd and golden retriever in dog trekking
My sun in front of the complex of buildings belonging to Museu de Odrinhas with Teco, Australian Shepherd and Bianca, Golden Retriever

This time the association wanted to go further and organized a dog trekking that not only would provide the participants with the spectacular contact with nature, but also would provide some unusual experiences.

So they began the adventure by a visit to a museum together with our 4 legged friends. The museum that accepted the challenge was the Museum de Odrinhas located in Sintra.

australian shepherd and golden retriever in Museum de Odrinhas
Inside of the Archaeological Museum of San Miguel de Odrinhas in the Roman Basilica

australian shepherd and golden retriever in Museum de Odrinhas
Inside of the Archaeological Museum of San Miguel de Odrinhas in the Roman Basilica , with Teco, Australian Shepherd, Bianca, Golden Retriever and the remaining human and canine group

australian shepherd and golden retriever in Museum de Odrinhas
Inside of the Archaeological Museum of San Miguel de Odrinhas in the Etrusca Crypt, with Teco, Australian Shepherd and Bianca, Golden Retriever

the ruins of a Roman dwelling romana
The ruins of a Roman dwelling

Medieval church
The Medieval church built with stones of the roman ruins

This museum not only opened the door without any prejudice to our canine companions, but also provided a guided tour through their archaeological discoveries that gave us the opportunity (very well apreciated by my sun) to culturally enrich us.

So a very well appreciated visit to a museum that I didn't know !

australian shepherd and golden retriever in dog trekking
View of the beautiful hills in the dog trekking

australian shepherd and golden retriever in dog trekking
Stop in one of the village community water fountains.

Then we were led through the hills to a famous house of homemade bread with sausage, which was a delight to our taste and that we shared with our canine companions(a delicious idea).

australian shepherd and golden retriever in dog trekking
View of Windmills

With full stomachs we set off to visit a local "ghost town", the Village of Broas, which is one of the most emblematic and typical villages of Mafra county. Here once again, the dedicated attention and care by the organization provided us with an explanation of the village origins and history, offering at the some time tea, made on the spot, under a huge tree that was the concentration of the village community (unique !!).

australian shepherd and golden retriever in Village of Broas
Hearing the explanation and resting with a cup of tea under the community tree of the Village of Broas

australian shepherd and golden retriever in Village of Broas
In front of a typical house of the Village of Broas with Teco, Australian Shepherd and Bianca, Golden Retriever

After this rest and gathering we return ... and almost regret the end of the trip.

I can only add my many thanks to the organization that provides in a altruistic way, people, time, and will to organize these tours that provide moments of happiness, delight and cultural enrichment, with no cost, except that of our effort and time.

Other trips and travel:

Friday, October 29, 2010

All Saints Day

All Saints Day

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Demos in VI Animal Show

VI Animal Show
On this weekend took place the VI Animal Show, on Jardim Almeida Garrett, in Portela (Loures).

These initiatives are created with the goal to promote and educate the population in their relation with their pets.

Since the dog is the pet more adopted by the families has their 4 leg companion, it is on him that this kind of events is more focus.

Pedro Araujo, Doggy Clube in Obedience

Pedro Araújo of Doggy Clube presented by João Sá, of the Os Cãogurus, the school that organized the event

As such, in this event, several schools, associations and other entities were represented and it was possible to watch a demonstration of physical therapy and its benefits organized by the Monte dos Vendavais, watch a demonstration of obedience organized by Os Cãogurus, where the Obedience National Champion made a demo temperate by a Frisbee game, and watch a agility demonstration also organized by the school Os Cãogurus.

Pedro Araujo, Doggy Clube in Obedience
João Sá of Os Cãogurus presents Pedro Araújo of Doggy Clube in a very excitement demo of Obedience and Frisbee

Other initiatives, like adoption of animals, interaction with animal, like rabbits, ponies and horses (made available by Escola Profissional Agrícola D. DINIS - Paiã), were also available to the visitors.

Me and my sun, as members of the team Os Cãogurus, couldn’t have ceased to be at this event to help represent the school.

For my sun it was a very positive experience, because, until now, no working or showing attitude was requested to him as a representative of his work with Bianca, his Golden Retriever.

golden retriever in agility
My sun and Bianca, his Golden Retriever, in the Agility demonstration

Of course, not all was gold, since as a child, he was extremely exited with the games that were available for the kids in the event, or he was exited with riding the horse and ponies, or he was exited with the other animals like rabbits, or … So it was difficult for him to calm down and focus on the important task of represent the club and some exercises were forgotten (I hope the master wasn’t to mad).

teco, bianca and my sun
Teco, Bianca, my sun and a little friend

But to be fair, Bianca in her Golden Retrievernature and in the middle of much pamper from the children also forgets to turn off the “pamper” mode and turn on the “working” mode, so she doesn’t focus on the demanding tasks (yes a lot of patience is required) and so adding the Bianca excitement with my sun excitement we got ...

Well, but his mother wasn’t exactly perfect and she is older and experience.

australian shepherd in obedience

It is never easy to work with dogs in a middle of a crowd and with extra distractions like smells, other animals and females in that “hiper appealing” phase, is lesser easier. So in the obedience demo, me and Teco, my Australian Shepherd, on the first day wasn’t so bad, but on the 2º day he wasn’t foul by the tasty rewards and the “hiper appealing” colleague odour attract him (I thought in placing a nose mask) and his work was far from good (oh, well, now the master can shoot us).

australian shepherd in agility
Angel, my Australian Shepherd in the agility demonstration

At this stage I thought that Angel, my Australian Shepherd, would save our good name and represent us in a glorious manner … but or her owner, like a crooked head she sometimes is, got wrong in leading, or the distractions were so many that we couldn’t got the slalom right, witch left us frustrated and very sad.

Well, we went, make our presence, showed will and tried to shine ... only it was a very low fainted shine ... << sigh >>

Pedro Araújo of Doggy Clube in a very excitement demo of Obedience and Frisbee

Anyway it was always a learning experience and we only have to thank our presence to the school Os Cãogurus and to the organization by Câmara Municipal de Loures.

Other activities:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

State Budget 2011 - a reality

With great apprehension I have seen, heard and even dream about our nation state!

Because I am the sole provider in my house and doing every month gymnastics to our income in order to keep providing, I am worried about the future cuts to our budget and future increase to our expenses, and therefore have to make decisions, perhaps severe within my family.

It is easy to read, talk and even suggest austerity measures to others, but when they reach to our door, it is a different story.

I am not the only soul to cry out for social justice and above all, to cry out to all of those that are taken decisions about our lives, stating that wages above 700 € are too high, should be the first to try to live and support their families with that amount.

Anyway ...

In front of this facts I am thinking, if in 2011, when the year starts, with less money and more expenses in basic needs, like food, water, gas, electric, school (yes, since my sun only has public school until 13 h), social pass, diesel, where am I going to stretch once more ?

At this point, people that wish me and my sun well, ask (yes, once again) if “it is time to reduce my dog number ?”

Since I am a mother and I fear to look in the future to my Sun and say I don’t have hot water for him to take a bath, or in worst case, give him to eat … also … I start thinking … “is it that time ?”

Anyone who knows me, knows that I've been through a divorce, several job changes, several house moves and two major changes in area of residence, health problems and have always achieved (yes sometimes better, sometimes in worst conditions) to keep my four leg family.

But …

Lets face our national reality … for sure I am not the only one to face budget and psychological stress of a uncertain future (no one guarantees that this measures are the solution, for the contrary), so, even those that do like the monkeys (not see, listen, and talk) will also face on 2011 the consequences of all that is happening (no my friends, it will not go away).

Well if it isn’t me that for years lived, fought and shared the good and the bad with my four leg family, that I love, who is ? and this, my friends, is the reality of it …

Oh yes, some clame that there are those that have better conditions … can pay better food … that … and I answer yes, there is, but that can’t be so next year when the economy stops and more people become unemployed … and them ? wasn’t I who make the promises to my dogs to keep in their side until they die ? so will not be on me the responsibility of what happens to them in the future ? … oh yes … maybe the abandon and passage of responsibility to others (so typical of our rulers) isn’t the solution.

It is very annoying to have consciousness, isn’t it ? I wish this country was rule with the some level of consciousness …

So my friends, soup for the two leg members, economic ration for the four paws, electricity, water and gas on the minimum (one bath per week … ) and really nothing of nothing of extras may be the solution.

So, once again I am appealing, don’t abandon your pets and don’t deliver then to the kennels, they are your responsibility and a responsibility that one day you took !

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dog trekking in Almada

Australian Shepherd and Golden Retriever

Cookie, Australian Shepherd and Bri, Golden Retriever

The goal to initiate my sun in trekking is to try to maintain some level of physical activity, adding the learning of our natural and cultural environment, and sincerely without having money for more, trying to avoid him from occupying his free time with sedentary activities, like video games and TV.

Of course in our case, that we train our dogs exists a big component in our lives out of the sedentary environment, but I still feel that our return to Lisbon drastically reduced our outdoor activity (or maybe this feeling is caused by our agility performance being largely overcame by our dogs running capability … anyway ...)

Golden Retriever in dog trekking
My sun with Bri, Golden Retriever

As such I try to keep the spirit of doing a physical activity with our 4 leg family members, were we can meet other people and at some time do some physical activity.

As it is obvious, this time, I appeal to the spirit of helping an association for abandon dogs has a last push and there we went, with an additional reason to go, and walk with our four leg friends.

Golden Retriever and Australian Shepherd on dog trekking
Me with Bri, Golden Retriever and Cookie, Australian Shepherd

So, armed with a solidarity spirit, we participate in the dog trekking organized by the HousePet in Almada. It was a city dog trekking without the natural beauty of our previous adventure, but even so, an excellent opportunity to make new friends and support a very close cause.
We brought Cookie, my Australian Shepherd and Bri, Golden Retriever witch is Bianca mother.

A lot of people went and so I have to admire the several people solidarity spirit!

Dog trekking in Almada 2010
The group

Other trips and travel:

Monday, October 04, 2010

St. Francis of Assisi and Animal day !

 St. Francis of Assisi

Today is 4 of October, the St. Francis of Assisi and Animal day !

St. Francis of Assisi was dear to my father and he always said that when he would dye it was to his heavenly garden he would go to help St. Francis of Assisi to take care of the animals over there, so it is where I imagine my father soul.

For those that don’t know St. Francis of Assisi, he was a man that was born in a very rich family and along his live path decided to dedicate his life to the church and animals. He defended the ideal of a brotherhood that would integrate men with nature and animals.
For him each living being was an expression of God kindness and to love an animal was to love God and his creation.

This year, the lost of members of my four leg family, were high and it is to then I dedicate today my memory and prays. It wasn’t suppose for then to go so soon … and certainly not without having the chance to give their best and enjoy life.

celestial garden

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dog trekking in Serra de Sintra

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra

Me and my sun

association pé ante pata
This weekend I took my sun, his Golden Retriever, Bianca, and my Australian Shepherd , Teco, to a hiking with dogs organized by the association Pé ante Pata, on Serra de Sintra.

It isn’t the first hiking the association organizes, but we couldn’t go before, and since this opportunity emerged I started to foreseen our change to go, and engaged on the “art” to persuade my sun to put aside the commodity and embark in this adventure.

The Serra de Sintra it is, in my opinion, one of the beutiful places to visit. We can go there 10 times, and still find something new to see and know !
serra de sintra
Recently it was classified has a Humanity Heritage and that reason brought an extra incentive to the preservation of its historical and natural environment.

Of course, what I know of Serra de Sintra it is its tourist and famous site, so I anticipate in this, a chance to know more deeply its natural ecosystem, for witch the mountain is also famous. But without a guide or sharing of knowledge from someone that knows, it is difficult for us to find for ourselves.

Like everything that is organized in portuguese lands we went prepared for three options:
1) the possibility of being organized by enthusiasts, but without knowledge that would end in a dog confusion
2) the possibility of being organized by experienced experts without patience for beginners
3) the possibility of being well organized and becoming a good adventure

Of course, if the two first possibilities would occur, I would take my son and four leg companions to a more traditional path were we would enjoy and wouldn’t have any possibility of getting lost.

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
My sun, with his Bianca, and another little companion

But, with a great relief, the third possibility occur, and I find out that we have on national lands people that organize events with no profit in mind, offering their effort, time and knowledge, to provide us, enthusiasts and curios, an well spent adventure, with our 4 leg friends, in the middle of people with the some taste and will.
It isn’t easy to find people like that in Portugal. And the simple detail of having 6 people, 2 in front, 2 in middle and 2 in the end of the group, taking care of the group and dedicating their energy in keeping the rhythm and enthusiasm, was frankly something to bring tears to my eyes …

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
Here we are in the meeting place

The trekking itself it is only easy for our four leg companions that were in heaven with this new adventure provided by their crazy owner. Bianca, like a Golden Retriever , enjoy the attention and petting of everybody, Teco, in his Australian Shepherd way, enjoyed the natural environment, the virgin territory, and the chance to know new four leg friends.

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
Here I am in one of the tracks with our four leg companions

For us humans, it was a success to reach to the end of the trekking, the enormous pleasure to be in the middle of nature, the chance to know a new aspect of Serra de Sintra ecosystem and the enjoyment to spend well a Sunday morning in the middle of dog loving people.

An adventure that I hope to have a change to do it again !

Guincho beach view from Serra de Sintra
One of the beutifull views of Guincho beach

Guincho beach viewfrom Serra de Sintra
A stop to enjoy the view to Guincho beach

Palácio da Pena
For everyone that doubt we were in Serra de Sintra, here it is the famous Palácio da Pena

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
A group photo

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
A neolitique tume

australian shepherd and golden retriever in serra de sintra
Marco geofisico

Other trips and travel:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

candle of prayer

When nothing is left ... I light a candle and pray for my children

Sunday, August 29, 2010