creaturesall creaturesall

Issue 17 Aug-Sept/2008 sharing the planet with our fellow creatures

Issue 17


Graphic Design & Story Inquiries Bob Fielder Account Information Linda Fielder

In This Issue
Little Boy Blue
– the hospital stays started getting longer and more frequent

– He wanted Turbo,

Velociraptor of the Desert
he was going to beat her up
Printing The Prolific Group Mailing address: creaturesall P.O. Box 126, Langdon, AB T0J 1X0 403-512-9544
creaturesall is published 6 times per year (February, April, June, August, October and December) by 1160613 ALBERTA LTD. and distributed freely in Alberta or via subscription the first week of the publication month. Advertisers and contributors assume responsibility and liability for the accuracy of their claims and statements. The opinions and views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect those of the Publisher or advertisers. creaturesall reserves the right to refuse any advertising. Written submissions become the property of creaturesall on publication. By proferring your photographs or written submission you grant us permission to reproduce it in creaturesall, other printed media, on our web site or as a component of an online download. All submissions will receive a reply if email address is provided.
Writers & Cover Artists may make submissions by email to:

– Woo hoo!

Hollyhock, Robert Bateman and Me
We get to learn some “secrets”!

16 24 29

Hidden Pain

– I overheard two of my co-workers

talking about a dog

Manor Beast

– it seems I’m a bit of a mastermind

Wagging Tales
– Dr R Weger - Calgary North Vet Hospital – Cyril Brass - photographer & writer – A.I.W.C.

11 13 15 19 21 23 27 28 30

Creature Feature

Taking Down the Fences Youth Said It

– it’s raining fish – the Nature Conservancy of Canada
Copyright 2005 by 1160613 ALBERTA LTD.

Spaces and Species Wingin’ It

Cover Artist
Anne Watson Anne Watson has a Bachelor of Design from the ACAD, where she majored in illustration. Her range of work is eclectic and her style reflects a passion for children’s literature and a deep connection to nature. Her portfolio includes, but is not limited to, children’s book illustrations, pet portraits, intaglio prints and oil and watercolor paintings. Animals and the natural world are her favorite subjects. She has traveled to all sorts of interesting places around the globe, but currently calls Black Diamond, Alberta, home. Anne is available for a variety of commissions and can be reached at or check out her website:

– Myrna Pearlman - Ellis Bird Farm – Elaine Rude - master gardener

The Gardening Bug Obsolete

– cari-creatures by Sean Skerry – doggerel

The Final Word

Publisher’s Note Letters In Passing

5 7 26


com Hurry! Get back indoors. north of Hwy 8 for 3 kms. 403-686-0120 Illustrator & Artist * accepting new commisions starting this november crystaldriedger. Blah Blah publisher@creaturesall.ab. before the sweet days of winter arrive. It’s a great way to escape the summer page4 .Eagle Feather Riding A TOTAL EQUINE EXPERIENCE Bareback Lessons • Camps • Birthdays Trail Rides • Adventures • Group Functions Just east of Bragg Creek. and send us your story or cover art. AB on Hwy 22.

” No stranger myself to frustration. destroyed work of art in hand. I looked about for a large sheet of glass that was close in size to the now matted print. in just the right light. and I slipped a telephone message into Jim’s slot saying. but instead have opted for this particular. off to the front reception area.000. them what sells the product and them what makes the product. “Sorry. paper tore. far more practical. look to be filled with TNT.” Well. I donned safety goggles and a thick leather shop apron and with conviction. I left for the plant and. Dazed. put more accurately. I love a good practical joke. you oughta be home with your family. I spotted the company CEO sitting.. With each salesperson vying to out-charm the others. Here’s my cell number. After gulping down a late and reheated supper. he turned and met my gaze. At $6. was a 10!” ca Advertiser and Story Submission Deadline for Next Issue – Sept 5th/08 page5 . “Gotcha!” I said. I removed it from its frame and hid it and the glass from within the frame in a separate cabinet. “I hope you have insurance. I love playing a good practical joke. press sheet in hand and proceeded to spray glue it to a cardboard backing. The next step in this most impractical of jokes required me to return to my place of work on Saturday afternoon. They are often overly complex. brought my heaviest hammer down upon the whole shebang! Glass smashed. Still. I am no stranger to workplace fun. “Client will drop by at 9:30 Monday to pick up his original. opened the large drawered cabinet and took out the artist’s framed original painting..PUBLISHER’S NOTE encouraging you to read. Very carefully. I dutifully spent several hours of my otherwise free Friday night alone at my desk. I had yet to hear from Jim. ‘cause this is gonna cost us big time!!” I gulped. Jim was unique in that he just didn’t seem to buy into the whole ‘charm’ thing. Now. it requires the accomplished charm of a snake oil salesman to convince folks in production to bump their jobs to the front of the line. Next. oh so carefully concluded by placing the client’s original frame atop the entire staged presentation. was standing and ranting. stepped up behind Jim and tapped him on the shoulder.” he once told me. It was fairly large and matched in size exactly that of the original. Jim had one particular job of his already off press and sitting in the pressroom awaiting shipping. leaning over the seemingly destroyed client painting spread before him on the boardroom table. fine art print. practical jokes have almost no air of practicality about them.” he unconvincingly apologized. “That. I went to my workshop. untangling the morass of chaos and confusion that many salespeople routinely submitted as ‘job materials’. a beautiful. Rather. Lastly. Bob grinned. “No need for that tonight Bob. Sometime around 9:00 PM I phoned Jim and let him know his stuff was sorted and ready. Once done. These are high stress occupations with every job needing to be treated as the most important one in the building. “someday you are going to see me pull up in front of the building wearing a vest that might. I found myself nonplussed one particular Friday evening when Jim grumpily hoisted a ton o’ work on my desk. To my chagrin. face up in position where the original had first been stored. I went to bed with thoughts of sweet revenge dancing in my mind. in order to complete the illusion. I spread the large shards of glass I had created in my workshop that morning in what I thought was a very convincing pattern on top of the destroyed print.” Well. There are essentially two types of folks in the media business. bowed and shaking head in hands. by 9:15. he often took the opposite approach. Jim. a very expensive original it was. “Bob. as luck would have it. course of action? By and large. Opening the client art cabinet. Following that itinerary exactly. A drawn out and relief filled moment later Jim smiled and replied. of a whale diving off the coast of Hawaii. leaving me somewhat nervous when. ol’ pal. with his back to the door. Laying the glass on top of the print. I scooped up a press sheet from the discard pile and set off for the company board room. then write Bob & Linda Fielder DIDJA EVER WONDER WHY THEY’RE called practical jokes? Doesn’t that imply there are all sorts of other impractical options you could choose from to make someone look silly. it was a refreshing treat to deal with Jim. upon arrival. I first placed the smashed press print. I left for home with the press sheet in hand. “I gotta have this done tonight. require extensive planning and entail far too many variables to label them anything but the most impractical of options available. Approaching the boardroom. my friend. Call me at home when you’ve got it done and I’ll try to drop in over the weekend to have a look. I. Having spent several decades in the printing/advertising business. That would be your cue to exit via the back door. Slipping into the abandoned press room. I’ll look at it sometime next week. and with tear filled eyes.” Monday arrived. With up to a hundred or more jobs from a dozen or more salespeople floating around at any given moment. he responded with just a hint of triumph in his voice. As a matter of fact. Awaking Saturday morning. limited edition. set in play phase 2.

asp Unveiling of: M U R A L M O S A I C Celebrating the strength. I rework the heavy gauge metal using an assortment of tools and techniques which owe much to the now bygone age when blacksmithing and handcraftsmanship were the only options available. sunflowers. “The Masters” Spruce Meadows — Calgary. All of my pieces are created from the recycled hoods of cars and dogs. historic buildings. Membership is limited to 500 Signature Members worldwide. AB Sept 3/08 (on display until Sept 7/08) WENDY PALMER artist For more info on events and Limited Edition Giclée reproductions visit: www. I do take orders for gift-giving and keep an inventory of a variety of sculptures on hand. COUNTRY CREATIONS Metal Sculptures hnhdougan@shaw. Some of the sculptures I have completed include pheasants. www. frogs.Wendy is honored to have been recently accepted as a Signature Member of the Artists For Conservation (AFC).ca Harvey Dougan 403-934-3640 page6 .natureartists. roses. mushrooms and cat-tails. beauty and energy of the horse through art.

Please renew my subscription. those with humans and those without. My medium of choice is pyrography. It's time I started paying. It’s just wonderful. Lisa Adamuik I loved the issue that I found on a boat in Russia. somewhere between St Petersburg and Moscow. It's the best animal book published don't want to miss one. GA page7 . NJ I've been in other magazines and you are by far the best I've worked with thus far. and have great respect for the artists. I wish to explore with you the possibility of including my artwork on one of your magazine covers. I have five parrots and love to read about other people's pet experiences.LETTERS paw prints and pen scratches readers write I have always enjoyed creaturesall and have been very moved by many of the accounts of animals. sporting dogs and equine. You are easy to deal with. I've been sharing the magazine with my relatives. I will hope that I can contribute (artistically) to the magazine. Vera Clark I just love this magazine. Please start my subscription with the next issue. Crystal Driedger I have enjoyed your free issues so much. Joan Rasmussen Please allow me to introduce myself. Julie Bender Atlanta. I am a fine artist with a focus on wildlife. Thank you for loving the animals I love. Stan Cohen Glen Rock. Thanks Rosemary Wilson I enjoyed reading your issue 15 which I accessed in Canmore. They love it too. Karen Probert. June Ferguson My friend directed me to your magazine and she picked up a free copy in Edmonton.

Steve never startled Razzle. Razzle never lost his tough guy persona when Steve was around. however.. all while I watched. the first time he falls asleep on your tummy. Most women have that one moment when they just know this is the man they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. page8 . Steve was very interested in taking the time to bond with Razzle. his favorites being “Edelweiss”. I understand – I was in that same boat before July 3. poked or prodded him. He would never quill up at me anymore. tolerate you. It was the start to a beautiful relationship.” Hedgehogs are prey animals. With me. These events are life changing.. no matter how loving you are. and gentleness to eventually coax a hedgehog to trust you (or at the very least. Hedgehogs are not friendly creatures by nature. hamburger or salmon. “Any animal that has evolved to include barbed spikes on its body probably isn’t naturally the most cuddly creature in the world. I would sing him songs. He was gentle and approached Razzle cautiously. Steve sat motionless on the couch while Razzle hissed and huffed on Steve’s shirt. He spoke softly and we placed Razzle on Steve’s chest. It was on that day that I first laid eyes on my quivering bundle of spikes that would soon become one of the most important things in my life: my baby Razzle. Razzle was a cuddly baby. because hedgehogs do not let their guard down for just anyone. My moment was when I introduced Steve to Razzle. Caring for a hedgehog is truly an act of utter selflessness. The next question was. a hedgehog will seemingly hate you immediately. and therefore extremely skittish and shy. He would watch Animal Planet with us at night. Unlike a dog that will love you immediately and unconditionally. time. You’ve earned the trust of a hedgehog. a stubborn boy who liked to maintain his ‘tough guy image’. He would eat and explore and run on his wheel. care. Though remarkably more relaxed as time went on. Razzle. Steve let out a few quiet. nor do they know you could have one as a pet. and football games with Steve. “May I see a picture of him?”. “Ow. Many people have never seen a hedgehog. I met my boyfriend Steve in the late summer of 2005. the little breakthroughs are momentous: the first time he doesn’t flinch when you go to pick him up. He loved when we would make him a special treat of mealworms.LITTLE B O Y by BLUE “ ” Deborah Wolley A hedgehog? That was usually the first response I would hear when I told people about my Razzle.ow!’s” as Razzle’s quills spiked up and pierced through. was slowly taken over by his curiosity of Steve and eventually poked his nose out to give a few sniffs around before retreating back under his veil of barbs. It takes a lot of patience. 2004. to which I would cheerfully oblige. As one astute individual commented upon seeing Razzle’s picture.) However. “Little Boy Blue” and “Puff the Magic Dragon”. the first time he lets you watch him run on his wheel.

For months following Razzle’s passing. ca To see Razzle’s tribute video. We said our tearful good-byes. my baby. Thank you for letting me love you and for giving me your trust. It’s a gift I’ll cherish forever. Letting your pet go is like saying goodbye to a member of your family. and after several days in intensive care. please visit http://youtube. the pendulum would soon swing again. On July 3. which were very stressful for Razzle. We drove to the vet’s office knowing this would be our last trip. so trying to find a stable balance was key. bad news would soon come on the heels of the good. Eventually. 2007. By July page9 . Razzle’s heart was not strong enough to undergo surgery yet. we celebrated Razzle’s 3rd birthday. Razzle came home and his pathology report came back clear! However. requiring several days in the hospital again. It is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Even today. this time with a different E complication from his condition. Steve and I would visit Razzle every night he was in the hospital. We had checkups every 2 weeks. I looked at the clock on my computer with tearstained eyes: it was 11:49 AM. it looked like Razzle was starting to have some trouble walking. As I typed that paragraph about saying our good-byes at 11:49 AM. so we had to wait a month before any operation could take place. We soon saw the frightening and heartbreaking pattern when the hospital stays started getting longer and more frequent. We did not get good news at his first check up. 2007. It was so hard to see him there. I wished we could have spent the day together. although Razzle was not feeling very well. obviously scared and wanting to be home. Medications that are good for a congested heart are not so good for the kidneys. successfully. Razzle’s congestion increased. However. Each time Razzle was released from the hospital. I spoke to our vet who confirmed that it may be time. but I feared he was in pain at this point and I couldn’t let him suffer.verything changed in January of 2007 when Razzle was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. he would look fantastic – full of energy. Razzle was immediately put on a round of heart medications. seeing a huge rainbow fill the sky on my birthday immediately after I made my birthday wish (“I hope my Razzle is happy”). which we did without seeing much turnaround. We stood outside for a few moments in the warm July sun and let Razzle sniff the air. I wish I could have taken the medicines for him. I feel Razzle’s spirit around me. my sweet Razzle was put to rest. I know you’re here with me. the tumor was removed. It was the same downward spiral we had seen many times before where he was lethargic and was refusing to eat. as I write this story. and I will love you always. He looked so tired and weak. We also had to monitor Razzle very carefully. Razzle hated them and fought me every step of the way. Although his heart was functioning better and his kidneys looked good. which needed to be administered day and night. and at 11:49 AM on July 5. I miss you so very much. Hi. The vet instructed us to syringe him food and water every 2 hours. Writing about Razzle’s passing is still an extremely emotional thing for me. a small but growing tumor was found on Razzle’s underbelly. and Razzle would be back in intensive care. both Steve and I received many signs that we truly believe were from Razzle: hearing “Edelweiss” in random places. eating up a storm and so obviously happy to be back home sleeping in the comforts of his warm fleece igloo.

com Paintbrush Garden Design and Consulting Elaine Rude MASTER GARDENER 403.Luv2Garden.241.vboulayart.3688 elaine@Luv2Garden.“Pine Cree” Virginia Boulay fine artist and illustrator (403) 242-4628 page10 .

” ca Dr. Mendel. he told me his plan.cnvet. It was my second day at veterinary school and today began our training as full fledged veterinarians! We were all dressed in the traditional vet student garb of green overalls and rubber boots signaling our readiness to get “down and dirty”. Collectively we were herded to a cattle holding facility which upon inspection was very reminiscent of a police line up. I looked into the eyes of the horse. Stan’s face morphed from self-confidence to unbridled fear. Holding firmly onto the reins. Utilizing what ever genetic memory that I might possess. that would expose who was “farm” and who was “city”. What was he up to? Finally. I found him stunned. but with no major injuries. intrusion. Stan and I hit it off and decided that we would be partners for the rest of the day’s activities. “I’m going to ride this filly!” he exclaimed. the once peaceful horse transformed into a bucking bronco determined to rid itself of its unwanted passenger. We were each instructed to pick a cow and to start getting comfortable with placing our arms in the rectum. After finishing my assessment. I examined the horse without fear of physical backlash. at least he survived the dethroning. Our next learning experience was to practice handling and examining horses. I mentally picked the cow that I believed would be the least resistant to my advances. I helped him to his feet. I slowly approached “cow 42”. Richard Weger is a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. I have a special connection with them. With keen scrutiny. the professor gave a speech regarding how some of these animals were “touchy” and that under no circumstances were we to try to ride them.Sc. he elected to restrain while I did the primary examination. Exotic Veterinary Care and Referral Service: Calgary North Veterinary Hospital (403)277-0135 www. and related that during his childhood whilst growing up on an acreage. the cow reacted to this breach of good manners and proceeded to evacuate with fecal fury what seemed like two tons of manure onto my head. and reflected back to me was one single thought. glad that his “special horse connection” hadn’t lead to a smashed noggin. he exclaimed in a booming voice “I’m king of the world!” With an anger born of trespass. I have been around horses all my life. specializing in exotic veterinary medicine. “I wouldn’t if I were you. Hearing a large guffaw I turned to see an adjacent vet student laughing hysterically at my defecation dilemma. except instead of the cow’s face being towards us we were greeted by an enormous rear end. He stood there looking at the horse and finally a strange smirk emerged on his face. Feeling confident. he introduced himself as Stan. and looked for hidden cues and clues. Rushing over. It was my secret agenda to hook up as a partner with somebody who was “in the know”.WAGGING TALES stories from a veterinarian’s clinic by Dr..” Turning my head. After regaining his senses. Sensing a colonic intrusion.” Stan gave me one of those “I know what I’m doing” looks (which in the future I would recognize as a prelude to trouble).com page11 . and Celine Dion™. Our first endeavor was going to be the palpation of the reproductive tract of the cow. he had accumulated an extensive amount of large animal experience. He is currently owned by his Senegal parrot. Doing his best impression of Superman. Did I ally myself with a madman? “Are you sure that’s a good idea? The professor said these horses can be somewhat cranky. Stan hoisted himself onto the horse. Prior to being assigned our horse volunteers. DVM stood nervously among my new colleagues searching for a friendly face to latch onto. I surveyed the student body. nodded my silent greeting to the standing cow’s backside and slowly inserted my arm deep into the gaping dark rectum. B. “Although the king’s reign was short lived. Tiko and his cat. Sitting triumphantly on the horse’s back.” Grabbing the reins. finally crashing down into a nearby bush. Richard Weger. My eyes widened. he was thrown off the horse and flew violently through the air. Stan rolled his I eyes at the professor’s comments and set off to retrieve one of the horses from the corral. “Rich. Our esteemed professors had created a series of activities designed to familiarize ourselves with the large animal section of the curriculum which was comprised primarily of horses and cattle. Despite our different backgrounds. I smiled at him and calmly stated. I switched places with Stan.

tossed. mice. landing about 20 feet from the truck. “Do roadrunners eat dogs?” whispered Reg. it was obvious. They grab their prey and beat it to death on a rock.. George began feeding the baby birds by hand until they started by Helen Paris learning to hunt on their own. trying to convince my husband that it wasn’t my fault.” The pet roadrunners even killed a large cotton rat that lived in a stone wall near their house. as did Reg and I. Roadrunners are intelligent creatures and quite curious about humans. They eat anything they can slip down their throat.“Turbo No!” As soon as I opened the truck door to get back in. a dart across the open. playing with each other and catching insects. they like to be alone. head bobbing. though only because she’s too big and hairy for him to swallow. centipedes. They can run up to fifteen miles per hour and they don’t fly very well. the rat’s considerable size keeping him safe. but one day the two birds attacked as a team and pinched. swallowing more as the first bit is digested. racing across the empty Arizona road and toward the trees on the other side. he was going to beat her up.they urged me on with grunts. A clattering sound came from beaks that banged together in fury. Thankful that there was no traffic I went to retrieve the barking dog. brought her back to the truck and sat inside with her. They eat lizards. and they like to fight. Turbo bolted. unleashed. you could see it. He approached the truck. and we were filled with nervous admiration for the confident and angry bird. they would frighten their prey into the air. feeding them treats to keep them nearby. Then the bird attacked. Some folk like to befriend these birds.. They are solitary. possibly because he eats the bad guys. insects and rattlesnakes. Outside the window the bird came closer and bobbed sharply again. and raced back and forth in an ecstasy of anticipation. He reared them from babies and found them. Two large birds flapped awkwardly from the asphalt to safety higher up. flipping their tail from side to side. clattering its challenge to the soft and pudgy Bichon who had disturbed its mating dance. all we knew was that we had disgruntled a spitfire. so that one cannot tell from the tracks which direction a roadrunner was going! VELOCIRAPTOR of the DESERT The roadrunner is well liked by the people who live in the desert southwest. “With a bound over low weeds. We found out later that roadrunners are indeed carnivores. trotting up close to peer from under shaggy head feathers. and George would take them for walks where they would run by his side and capture the bugs disturbed by George’s feet. and “no sooner did one get the rat halfway down than the other would be tugging on the free end. a final rush with outspread wings and tail. they’ll walk around with the hind end of a rattlesnake sticking out of their mouth. that noise coming from his mouth. They had watched it for weeks. Two became the pets of George Sutton in the 1920’s. and to the floor he would drop. buffeted and dealt blows to the extent that they won. leap nimbly after him. they can pluck hummingbirds from the air mid-flight. Roadrunners live in the southwestern United States and all the way into Central Mexico. Turbo looked round eyed through the window. The difficulty lay in which bird would swallow him. bit gently at my hands. nab him unerringly with their bills. they’ll rip the legs off a tarantula and eat the juicy body.” The birds ran about his yard. ca . That day. scorpions. face angry. He wanted Turbo. “. and descend gracefully on outspread wings to beat him to insensibility with a whack or two on a stone. On their fast little feet two toes face forward and two toes face backward. and the rat perished. as we carefully drove away with our windows rolled up. Down from the tree he came.” It turns out that the roadrunner probably wouldn’t eat our Bichon. If he paused near a flat stone. eyes bold. “the most entertaining pets I ever had”. tail raising and lowering. They’ll even fight their own reflection in a mirror.

The S-shaped neck allows for a more accelerated strike towards its prey. the Anhinga swims in the water with only its long neck and thin head visible above the surface. With no insulating layer of feathers on its body. The Anhinga does not hang out in large flocks. The habitats of the Anhinga must have consistent amounts of sunshine and hot tem- peratures year round. resulting in these unusual titles given to it. On a cloudy day the Anhinga is not as active due to lack of sunshine and heat. It’s always exciting and rewarding to go on a wildlife excursion into the tropical jungles of Costa Rica. spearing the fish with a lightening fast jab of its long serrated beak. several Anhingas were perched on low-lying branches A waiting for their feathers to dry. a Water Turkey and a Darter? These are some commonly used names for the large black aquatic bird. Seeing a large black bird perched on a branch. With outstretched wings. A Water Turkey. With its long neck. lakes. Without the oily covered feathers. But what appears to be a disadvantage to the Anhinga can also be used to its benefit. As we quietly floated along the water. I have watched this skillful diver plunge deep into the waters. Eventually the snake-like neck and head pop back above the surface in a far off unsuspecting direction. a Snakebird. The Anhinga. which swim on top of the water. like an arrow hitting the target. streams and lagoons. These graceful fliers soar high in the sky like hawks and vultures. swamps and lagoons.. The encroaching trees and marshes in this inter-connected water highway provide ideal habitats for many species of birds like the egret. The Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica is an ideal environment for the Anhinga as well as many other waterfowl species. being a water bird. Water Turkey. you can notice the long fanned-out tail similar to a turkey’s tail.. a skillful diver and hunter. but is mostly a solitary bird when hunting. The Anhinga has no oil glands therefore its feathers are not waterproof like ducks and other waterfowl. This is the most identifiable characteristic of the Anhinga.cyrilbrass. the wet feathers actually help the Anhinga dive and stalk its prey underwater for long periods of time. As it absorbs the suns rays with wings spread open. it must stand in the sun for long periods with its wings spread out to allow the feathers to dry. it quickly strikes out. Darter . as the dense forest borders the connecting canals.CREATURE FEATURE snake bird by Cyril Brass Snake Bird. wondering where and when it would reappear. But what about a Snake Bird. resting and drying out.. Unlike most waterfowl. A flick of its bill and the fish flies into the air and is gulped down headfirst. the hot sunshine is essential to maintain its body temperature.. however it can be seen with other wetland birds like herons. the Anhinga needs to be close to slow moving bodies of water like streams. the Anhinga will get waterlogged causing it to be less and less buoyant. A relative to the Cormorant and Pelican. riding the warm air currents overhead. while drying out its plumage. As well as drying out the feathers. the Anhinga possesses several unique characteristics. If the Anhinga must escape from potential danger. the Anhinga. I knew it was an Anhinga. it is still able to fly but with more difficulty and effort. A Darter. Thus given the name Snake Bird. it loses body heat quickly while in the water. they travel long distances without flapping their wings. Thus given the name Water Turkey. ca www. heron and kingfisher. giving the appearance of a snake gliding through the water. It stretches its head and neck flat on the water surface. Eventually. Thus it is given the name Darter. After being in the water for some time. As well. It was very impressive to see this large aquatic bird up close. This was the case as I traveled into the coastal rainforest on a flat-bottomed boat along an infinite maze of meandering channels and streams of the Tortuguero National Park in Costa .

dianeandersontymarc. Upcoming 2008 Exhibitions: Spruce Meadows Masters Masters Tournament Sep 3-7 www. Just a tymarc@xplornet. Anderson page14 .com 403-637-2274 403-803-8039 Diane M.memories made timeless We welcome you to visit the studio on our farm near Cremona. beautiful drive north of Calgary.

Growing stronger. The next morning she lapped from a dish as she lay with her head supported. her transformation was miraculous. she was rehydrated and then fed through a tube. While MBD can be painful and exhausting. aligning the bone ends to enable it to heal and serve as a splint for the adjacent ulna. ca page15 . and she was taking 20 steps at a time! Two weeks later her splints are off. Her leg bones were unusually soft and curved. Agile and with catlike stealth. despite being roughly the same age. it is to rise above adversity! It is hoped they can be released together in the fall. well. leading to malnutrition. Today foxes are increasingly appreciated as consumers of mice. They also have a reputation as relentless chicken thieves. intelligence and a passion for life. In early June. so splints were applied to support two of her legs. it is also known to be r e v e r s i b l e if caught early. fox milk. At first he hid in his box and then he came out guns-a-blazing. there was no other fox for him to recuperate with. the fox continually tried to entice people to his cage door and engage them T in play. pocket gophers and insects. At first he was shy and preferred to hide inside a cardboard “den” watching the busy goings-on in the wildlife centre as he unknowingly awaited surgery to repair his limb. a hawk dropped the chick he was eating on the floor. all signs of head trauma were gone. and mice pieces were introduced. She likely migrated to the ditches to feed on road kill. her exam revealed she was in rough shape. rolling and somersaulting to get her attention! The little female kit was too weak to pay much attention. anyone – including a juvenile badger housed nearby – by yelping and pawing at the bars. a nutritional disorder that develops rapidly in a young animal deprived of sufficient dietary calcium. foxes are rarely seen beyond the tip of a bushy tail disappearing into the brush. In fables. when another fox was placed before him. exercise and good nutrition. By day 3. nutritional supplements. His radius was repaired with a surgical plate by Dr. she weighed 50% less than him. Dehydrated and wasted. Sadly. where she was at risk of being hit by a vehicle. If there is a moral to this story. Embleton. his behaviour changed as he began communicating his desire to interact and play with. After a few days. He ate the mice left in his cage but retreated when people were near. With the bones well supported. On day one. she took 3-4 wobbly steps in the grass before face planting. her eyes twitched and she had several tremulous seizures. but still smaller than the dandelions. curiousity. The right side of her head was swollen and she showed signs of head trauma as her head tilted to the left. she eats on her own and exercises for two half hour periods outside daily! At this rate she may be up for a “play date” with the male fox very soon! With continued rest. both are expected to make a full recovery. In the coming days. indicative of metabolic bone disease (MBD). vitamin D or a correct calcium to phosphorus ratio. At one point. Each spring. After 3 months. These foxes have demonstrated resilience. Startled. Over the next 48 hours. He was in good shape apart from fractured radius and ulna bones of his right forearm. who at some point got separated from her family. the fox was encouraged to walk around the room for light exercise. Found unresponsive in the ditch near Lethbridge. foxes are depicted as cunning characters prone to trickery and deceit. foxes pair up to raise young and form tight family units with both parents hunting and caring for the kits. the fox scurried to hide but then quickly circled back and stole the chick! Growing increasingly restless. the family splits up and the foxes spend much of autumn and winter alone. AIWC admitted a young male fox who was brought home by the family dog.TAKING DOWN THE FENCES outfoxed by Robyn Roper he red fox is an elusive wild canine inhabiting Alberta’s prairies and woodlands. Imagine his delight however. soft puppy food. It is suspected she was the runt of the litter.

“Midnight Black Wolf”. I learned that Hollyhock is meant to inspire. After introductions had been made and we began to settle in. I made some great friends and connections with artists from all over the continent. He feels. sugar. in what seemed a lost world. I was to learn we are all both teachers and students. movies and nature itself. through Avenida Art Gallery. was inspired by the Disney movie Fantasia. and artistic techniques. Great art should have a sense of mystery. I fell in love with the medium and the techniques. 2008 I arrived safely at Hollyhock and found myself. (Okay. they will not learn to love their environment. music. April 30. Robert Bateman. Painting God’s creation is so rewarding. which I had brought along. weaving his techniques amongst stories of his life. even at 12 years old. like Robert Bateman’s character. One of Robert’s paintings. What follows is a vignette from my journal of those five days spent with him at Hollyhock. BC. humor. this painting was Friday. He felt this was perfect for his wolf. but he felt I needed some fine-tuning. In the dragon scene in Night on Bald Mountain. or become passionate caretakers of it. page16 . Robert Bateman launched the seminar by showing us a painting of an Elk he did for his mother when he was 12 years old. but soon I was able to offer some of my own tips. Boy do I have a lot to learn! One of his passions is a concern for our youth. with many more tips and stories. It is these changes I like to capture in my art. he critiqued my portfolio. as black eyes hold that sense of mystery. The beauty of nature is that it is constantly changing. Robert reveals some of his personal life and shows off his home and his studio. a turning point for him. the no caffeine thing threw me a bit. an island getaway health retreat centre on Cortes Island. Initially I felt a little out of my league while networking with the others. televisions or locks on any doors. A great storyteller and fascinating teacher. Robert told me I did not need to pursue a formal art degree. his passions regarding the environment and humorous experiences with famous individuals. my goal is to have an art studio like this!) He explains how a lot of his paintings are inspired by art.I was excited about starting my first painting class in March 2002. Hollyhock is a world of vegetarian meals. After a conversation with him regarding my art. 2008 Today was our technical day!!! Woo hoo! We get to learn some “secrets”! The master artist shares everything with our small group. I totally believe this!!!!! My boys are in for an awakening when I get home! Thursday. along with 22 other artists. offering so much and. I felt more deserving to be there. art history. A few years later I was introduced to Canada’s worldrenowned master wildlife artist and conservationist. Feeling as if I had gone back to a time when the world was less frantic and more peaceful. Wednesday. 2008 Another wonderful day spent with our host and the other artists. the dragon had dark eyes with no pupils. in that they are missing out by living in a virtual world! If our children do not experience life’s real places in their hearts. a birthday present from my husband who knew I had been longing to paint for some time. his seminar is a mixture of life stories. When I saw the other artists were grateful to me for sharing. May 1. heritage. as the composition and style of that painting are much the same as he employs today. With that in mind he asked me to join him in his Master Artist Seminar. every last detail. After contemplating the hectic pace of the past month. meat. with no caffeine. and a few from overseas. I have always had a creative flair and. May 2. is not predictable. comprised of a very small group of artists mainly from North America. As far back as I can remember. after trying my hand at acrylics. and the fact I did not have any formal training. nourish and support people who are trying to make a better world. Sometimes nature is dark and sometimes beautiful. phones.

we are saddened to leave. Some artists had spotted a cougar earlier. nor does lots of detail have anything to do with the quality of a painting. depression. during which time the lions disappeared. sketch and watch Robert finish up his painting. “Many children today can recognize over 1000 corporate logos. 2008 We wake to sorely missed sunny skies. with the sun shining. Quickly returning to our senses. Wanting to get some photos. we enjoyed a lot of laughs and felt our bond increase. when we smell smoke.” Lots of stitches don’t make a great sweater. unscathed. resulting in children suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. also getting some great photos. He ran for his life and luckily met up with his family again. “I love your sweater because it has so many stitches. he noticed two lionesses stalking him in the tall grass! He slowly made his way toward the meeting spot. He said it showed a good comprehension of muscle and bone structure and that the anatomy was well reflected in the final piece.” After the very full day. Robert Bateman. but form and rhythm. our group goes for a hike with Robert to photograph and sketch as he instructs us on gathering reference material. he asked his wife to take the jeep and meet him at a certain spot. which happened while in Africa with his family. Many people say they love Bateman’s work because it is so detailed. “Autumn Thunder”. ADHD. In the morning. After supper. Important to me was Robert’s opinion of the first painting of horses that I had ever done. There is wildlife everywhere. we each sit for personal critiques of We head into the sunshine to photograph. I went out before breakfast to practice my sketching. Kelly Dodge. “however they can’t name ten species of animals in their own neighborhood. Quality results from form and rhythm.Later that evening. I leave for home with my head swimming with tips. We bird watch and enjoy the abundant landscape all around us. Squirrels are dashing about the trees. To him that is like saying.wendypalmer-artist. we try to identify the sounds of animals we can hear. some of us casually got together with Robert to relax and unwind. His story capped off a fun evening. May 4. Left alone. alcoholism and drug abuse decrease while school grades improve. bullying. techniques. It is so quiet and To view more of Wendy Palmer’s art visit: www. This morning Robert is going to begin his demonstration painting and show us some of his works in progress. All in all he felt “Autumn Thunder” was a successful painting. and a heart full of thanks for the friends I have made and the joy it was to share these past few days in the company of a true master artist. PROTEIN! Our mouths are salivating. a deer bounds into the woods. obesity. We head back to our cabins — who knows what may be lurking in the woods?! Sunday. We hear the waves crashing against the shoreline and so decide to venture out and enjoy the stars. and the Black Oystercatchers are whisking their way above the ocean. ca page17 . One fellow artist. ideas. Bald Eagles are flying overhead. suicides. and all of a sudden it seems the entire forest has come to life with song. Blue Herons are high above. May 3. If we put kids back into nature. Robert shared his scariest moment. After another vegetarian lunch. It proved both a relief to have his approval and an honor that he had taken the time to share his opinions with me. An oyster roast – FISH. Kelly and I get together at night to digest everything that we had experienced. Robert gives a wonderful talk about his environmental initiatives and his book “Thinking Like a Mountain”. we decide that two women wandering the shoreline alone in the dark probably isn’t the safest thing. He does not seek detail. shared how by Wendy Palmer she has the gift of taming wild birds. 2008 Our last day together and.” he said. our work. and the plants and flowers glow in the sun’s rays.

from a baby to a grandparent. AB “Our Planet Earth” Our planet is a beautiful place. They are like a bus for pollen because their fur is hairy. Benjamin Driedger Age 8 Calgary. visit www. We live on it and care for it. AB “Flower Days” Marie Brausen-Ollie Age 9 Spruce Grove. from a seed to a forest.gettoknow. AB To view all winning entries from across Canada. Chase Pulleyblank Age 8 Barrhead. available from All winners of the 2008 contest from across Canada are featured in the 2009 Robert Bateman Get to Know page18 . We need pollinators to make our food and owers. From a drop of water to an ocean. The hummingbird is a pollinator too because the pollen sticks on their wings when it ies to owers. We can make a di erence. AB “Pollinators” Pollinators keep our environment beautiful and the air the Alberta winners of the 2008 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest “Lavender with Bumblebee” Marina Malik Age 17 Calgary. Animals like bears are pollinators.

Earlier this spring. d e e r. It was still alive so we got a clean garbage can and one of the teachers took it back to the lake and when it was released. right before my eyes.YOUTH SAID IT it’s raining fish by Jarod Sillem y name is Jarod Sillem. You’ve heard the saying. I think the fish was pretty happy that it had survived a lucky day! ca page19 . Ospreys are huge birds that live here in the summer and migrate to the warmer south for the winters. and ospreys.” Well. I thought to myself. white tailed ptarmigans. “It’s raining cats and dogs. We went over to the fish which was now lying on the ground. golden eagles. Later on we heard that the osprey came back. somet i m e s moose. bald eagles. elk. They sometimes even drop their fish because the golden eagles are sometimes too lazy to get their own fish so the eagles try to steal from the ospreys. owls. I am nine years o l d and I live in Windermere. I was up to bat. They only eat fish. Our school is only a short distance away from Lake Windermere where the ospreys love to catch their fish. and sometimes even bears. w i l d turkeys. it swam away. My class of grade 4/5 was playing baseball on the baseball diamond. woodpeckers. British Columbia with my parents and my two brothers. In Windermere you also see lots of different birds than you would see if you lived in the city like hummingbirds. Bodie and Gabriel. my class and I witnessed a very cool bird situation while we were in the schoolyard. Well …. A girl in my class got a tub from the school and we put water into it for the fish. It was just an ordinary day on the school grounds and pretty much an osprey fly away. “It’s raining fish!” a n d then I s aw birds. and I realized it was a pretty big fish and it was still alive! Then I realized that a golden eagle had been able to get the fish away from the osprey but neither of the birds could hold onto it. I moved here about 2 years ago from Calgary. We see lots of wildlife nearly ever y d a y like M every class was outside. flying over the schoolyard looking for his stolen supper. a fish fell out of the sky and onto our school field. It is really different here. Before I hit the ball I glanced up at the sky.

When nature speaks. Trees got web sites? Yeah. answering nature’s call page20 .creaturesall... take a moment to listen. and it’s so easy to ‘log’ on...

we were trying to prevent a similar fate for the Piping Plover in Alberta. it has a higher pitch. At our Conservation Volunteers event. If all else fails. it has a lower pitch). then moving away and crouching again in a different for more information. Avocets start thinking about family. page21 . like the American Avocet. the Piping Plover may someday return to having a secure population in Alberta. Avocet parents will mislead predators by crouching on the ground as if incubating. Their long. thanks to the knowledgeable staff from Alberta Conservation Association and Ducks Unlimited that helped out that day. up curving black to help conserve habitat for these important endangered species. it’s no wonder we had a great day watching them. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs. chicks are born. swimming. We’d love your help with habitat restoration and other important conservation work. While we didn’t see any Plovers. some going as far as southern Mexico. Development and Communications Coordinator/photo courtesy: NCC funny thing happened while we were out looking for the endangered Piping Plover: we found the American Avocet. And they like to take their legs and beaks on the road: American Avocets are migratory. the chicks are walking. Visit www. Wherever we work in Alberta. The female American Avocet typically lays between three and four eggs in a depression on sun-dried mud. After they’ve made themselves at home in Alberta. as they approach a predator. Avocet parents will physically attack predators like Northern Harriers or Common Ravens to protect their young. they only remain in Alberta. Part of the year they have a grayish head and neck with a white rump and tail. NCC’s Conservation Volunteers Program is in full swing. they leave their parents’ protection and start fattening up for A the flight south. Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. They start arriving in Alberta in April and usually head south to warmer climates by the end of September. like our good friend Blue Shanks. not everyone can be so lucky.SPACES and SPECIES blue shanks by Andy Lilley. but during breeding season they have a distinctive cinnamon-colored head and neck. thin. blue legs have given them the nickname Blue Shanks. although they are occasionally seen in Alberta as late as November. The American Avocet is strange looking. Occasionally. diving under the water and finding their own food. after it passes. making their approach seem faster (think how an ambulance sounds: as it gets nearer. Their long bill allows them to snap up food when they see it. With all of the American Avocets’ interesting behaviors. ca The Nature Conservancy of Canada is dedicated to conserving habitat for wildlife species like the American Avocet and the Piping Plover. Less than twenty-fours after that. we did come up with ideas for improving the habitat on the property where the event was held. Blue Shanks’ long legs allow them to wade through shallow water looking for food like aquatic insects. Those legs. Unfortunately. which simulates the Doppler effect. Please contact us at 1-877-262-1253 or alberta@natureconservancy. Six weeks after that. With some hard work. along with their long. Why do American Avocets look the way they do? Well. In Canada. small fish and seeds. make them easy to pick out of a crowd (or a flock). we always see something amazing. A little over three weeks later. They sometimes move toward a terrestrial predator. Sometimes American Avocets find food by touch. chicks are well-protected. even by bird standards. While in their parents’ care. At the beginning of the twentieth century. wobbling with their wings outstretched as if trying to maintain their balance. by sweeping their bill through the water with scythe-like motions. the American Avocet was extirpated (wiped out entirely) from most of its eastern range. Avocets will sing a series of notes of increasingly higher pitch.conservationvolunteers.

SW (MARDA LOOP) COMMISSIONED ARTWORK • GR APHIC DESIGN SERVICES • (403) 245-4386 page22 .Need a mural for your deck? This one was done on a covered-over doorway to compliment a wood mask. MandaLeaf D E S I G N SELECTED MANDALEAF ITEMS AVAILABLE AT: “OUR ANGELS’ CENTER FOR WELL BEING” 2032 .34TH AVE.

cities. Tragedy stuck. Hordes of waxwings would descend into their yard to dine at pie-plate feeders brimming with chopped apples mixed with raisins. the Ellis farm supported what is believed to be the highest concentration of mountain bluebirds ever recorded – about 60 pairs. Charlie never kept track of population numbers after that. Charlie was so incensed to witness this event that he “declared war” on the sparrows. when a male House Sparrow entered the box and pecked the mother swallow and her six nestlings to death. in fact. It is an honour to join the ranks of creaturesall contributors. I thought it fitting to provide some background about Charlie and Winnie Ellis. that his bird feeding stations consisted of cattle troughs that he would fill with a scoop shovel. and their beloved bluebirds. Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays. They were thrilled when a pair of Tree Swallows took up immediate residence and proceeded to raise a family. Rather. swallows and purple martins. Initially. I look forward to sharing stories about this beautiful place and the wild creatures we share it with. NY. acreages and farms.WINGIN’ IT stories from the bird farm by Myrna Pearlman. the Ellis’s were soon rewarded by the return of songbirds to their gardens and swallows to the nestboxes. siskins and myriads of other summer garden birds. They so enjoyed feeding winter birds that Charlie would buy sunflower seeds by the truck-load. However. set it out in their front yard.continued next issue Ellis Bird Farm is open to the public from May 19 to Sept 1. Biologist & Sight Services Manager — Ellis Bird Farm Ltd. The Ellis’s spent their retirement years surrounded by the beauty of nature—the garden birds they attracted with plantings. Most exciting. predictable world all ended one afternoon in 1979 with a single phone call. when spring arrived.ab.ellisbirdfarm. birdbaths and feeders. however. the deer and other wild creatures they attracted to the wetlands and woodlots. They both excelled at school and became keenly interested in global issues. he decided to build a bird box and. By the late 1880s the gravity of the mistake had been realized. but it was by then too late to control their numbers. abundant in towns. The birds would routinely consume two tons of sunflower seeds each winter. and. the males use their sturdy beaks as efficient weapons to peck the occupants to death. www. For information and to make Tea House bookings. so he was thrilled when they returned – one pair the first year. change the world. where it was thought that they would help control an insect outbreak. It was a blustery winter day. It was a phone call that would change their lives. when Charlie happened to be flipping through a farm magazine. kept chickens and tended a bountiful orchard. During summers. Over the course of a week. Ellis Bird Farm Ltd. Winnie gardened. in the early 1900s they moved with their family from the Calgary area to a homestead near Lacombe. in no small measure. They not only usurp nesting sites. he was content to rise early each morning during the nesting season to walk the cross fences and check each box.. feeding large flocks of grosbeaks. was the appearance in 1956 of a single pair of Mountain Bluebirds. sometime in the mid 1950s. House Sparrows spread like an avian plague. three pairs the second and seven pairs the third. enjoying watching the birds attracted to the habitat they lovingly provided around the farm site. brought over from Europe to North America in the mid 1800s. however.. AB. by the late 1970s. So large. their gardens were alive with hummingbirds. but remained on the farm together for their entire lives. their small. Both were amateur naturalists. Relentless in their efforts to eliminate sparrows. whose love for wild birds has been preserved through a unique nonprofit company. ca . Such was the situation that Charlie happened upon with his nest of Tree Swallows. During the long winter months. He built nestboxes by the hundred and set them out along the fences and cross fences. C harlie and Winnie Ellis were children when. goldfinches. House Sparrows are pest birds. House Sparrows are now the most ubiquitous birds on the planet. The magazine carried a story about birds and the accompanying plans for a birdhouse piqued his interest. Charlie had noticed that the bluebirds of his youth had disappeared from the area. call page23 . he would inspect all 300 boxes. The bluebirds flourished and their numbers increased each year until. Charlie was a progressive and successful farmer. From their original release sites in Brooklyn.

Marcie left. a Yorkshire/Maltese Terrier cross. in the dark and closed off from the stimulus of everyday life. On one occasion. weighing about 13 pounds . The following day she was ready to come home and I couldn’t wait to pick her up. I watched intently when suddenly a small. I wasn’t surprised when Marcie said. I felt something wasn’t right with my girl but was unsure of what it could be. I knelt down. the dog sniffed out every corner until the other family dog came to greet her. I said to Marcie. Scamp always made herself scarce by taking cover under my bed whenever I was away from home. At this time. Mom then gently rolled her on her side and pulled her out by her front feet. she walked down the hallway to the spare room and turned on the light. with a small shapely body. this highly energized dog with her long. stepping on my toes and barking uncontrollably. “Why don’t I go get my dog so you can see her for yourself. which had to be given away to a new home. After a few questions. Still no signs or sounds came from the room. Unexpectedly. Her surgery date arrived and I reluctantly took her in.” D Although Marcie was surprised.” I was enthralled with how this dog stayed so close to me. so with great interest. even though she would still be groggy page24 . I would love to take this furry ball of energy home with me. Shortly after. Marcie gave my new dog and me a ride home. smiling at this playful and rambunctious dog and I knew she had a zest for life. She is so cute!” As Marcie left me standing in the living room. I soon learned that the dog was locked in a kennel. feeling sad for this sweet little girl. leaving me to be entertained by my new pal. I overheard two of my co-workers talking about a dog that belonged to one of them. “If you are still willing. Mom tried coaxing Scamp to come out from under the bed but was unsuccessful. Then as the three of us walked into my backyard we latched the gate behind us. So. “Gee. I held back tears as I listened to how she had been unable to move. I was happy to have a dog of my own now. Not a good situation I thought. As the hustle & bustle of people disbursed. I could sense tension building between them. but eventually they started accepting one another. I arranged with my co-worker Marcie to meet with her furry little friend in the afternoon of the Stampede Parade. reaching in she realized that Scamp was stuck as the vertebrae from her backbone interlocked with the boards of the box spring. A few months later. she was happy to find a good home for her dog. Scamp. I joined into the conversation. I took Scamp to the vet as her yearly shots were due and she needed to be spayed. Marcie said. I thought upon entering? It seemed too quiet. Marcie and I walked to her apartment that was only a couple of blocks away from Sheila Wirsch uring Stampede week of July 1996. I could see it was hard on Marcie but she felt she was making the right decision. With great curiosity. Marcie gathered up her dog’s possessions while I kept the playful pooch busy. When I arrived home from work. I always wanted a dog. she’s my dog and she never greets me like that. flowing hair started licking my hands. Finally. black ball of exuberant fur came bounding towards me. She went straight to you. Scamp was terrified. where is this dog.

I was ecstatic that she was going to pull through this sickness. and she fought less with the family dog. He said that she was extremely malnourished. tempers and aggravations were changing. After listening to the options. She improved dramatically and the doctor was very impressed by how well and quickly she was recovering. I made another appointment and took her in. anger and aggression. she’d snarl and once again be primed for another attack. With the love. We succumbed to her temper and somehow tolerated her fits of rage. She’d cower when newspapers were thrown onto the porch. or if something held in my hand was brushed over or around her. She’d viciously attack if I’d flutter a wave at her or if a finger was pointed in her direction. Her attacks decreased. Within two days. With close monitoring and several trips back and forth to the vet. Scamp healed up from her surgery and started enjoying her days again. growled deeply and stared at me. With treatment. Everyone learned to respect her and be cautious of every movement while in her view. The poor little dog accepted very little affection from anyone. she barred her teeth. I could do more with her than anyone else. She was settling down. She started gaining weight in leaps and bounds. although not as often. She slowly started mellowing but still stood her ground and attacked when least expected. I treated her like gold as I gently placed her into the car. ca page25 . becoming more relaxed and less aggressive. The entire family was fearful of Scamps attitude and unsure how to approach her. Once again I took Scamp to the vet. I had also bought dog vitamins and gave them to her twice a day. At 14 years old and weighing 33 pounds. Scamp is now living her life out in peace and harmony. As her boldness and confidence grew she started showing her true personality by becoming more aggressive. Scamp and I arrived back home and she settled in comfortably and slept the rest of the day. Scamp was miserable to be around and the ten- sion was high everywhere. When I went to check on her later. or if petted or brushed for too long at a time she’d snap. even though she was vicious. Worried now. then attack. patience and understanding she has received. she is showing a gentler side of herself by nudging everyone for a friendly pat. meaner and vicious. I knew then to leave her alone as she was in pain. The doctor suggested a full blood workup as a precaution. He wanted to see me with Scamp to explain her situation. the rage. Scamp eventually overcame her illness. she showed a stronger trust towards me and was less aggressive to me. Scamp was pulled off the other family dog during fits of rage and the fights were happening more often and sometimes for no reason. it was becoming very obvious that she had been abused.from the anesthetic. But. anger and aggression that built up from the pain of abuse have decreased immensely. If she was shown a treat on the floor she’d lunge. as her energy levels seemed to be diminishing. If my foot moved or if I’d wiggle my toes. Several months later. I agreed and the process began. I now understood why she was given away. the doctor made it clear that Scamp had only a 40%-50% chance of survival. her mood swings. her enzyme levels were completely out of sync and he explained the seriousness of this illness for this type of breed. Her temper appeared to be subsiding but she was becoming bolder and more confident within her new surroundings. She’d attack when her food dish was picked up. then bite. Today. I chose to take a chance with her. As a lump came into my throat. as I couldn’t say a final goodbye. I received a call from the vet.

or the spirit of that great. Sooty was almost twelve. I will never forget those last minutes as long as I live. He appeared to be much more sensitive to our moods than did Jay. fur that felt like air. He loved us and we adored him. while enjoying several minutes of making the crackling sound from the plastic that covered the new wet cement. he had lost some mobility in his hind legs and. a boisterous golden lab. Once her Mom had wiped her daughter’s face and cuddled her happy again. and he loved everyone. Two Decembers before last. he never complained and remained an even-tempered. there she was knuckling away the tears that Sooty hadn’t already licked off her face. Passed away 12/23/06 Send your tribute to publisher@creaturesall. The light had gone out of his eyes. When my husband relaxed into his battered old easy chair. Soon everyone loved him. noble cat. He had his own furniture and ball of purple yarn. a large. prodded or otherwise treated during his annual vet check. page26 . we failed to notice her five-year-old daughter falling behind us. I only had to tell Sooty to find him and he would. ears like an Abyssinian and a tail like a plume. Consequently my husband and I became the companions I’d expected the dogs to be. happy dog. Include ‘Passed Away on: date’ and a 300 dpi photo in jpg or tif. was having a great time galloping about with other dogs. Passed away 05/14/08 Caspar Caspar was our 15 and 1/2 year old cat. a good but not great age. most telling of all. during my two-week vacation with my family in England. he reminded me loudly. he never really showed it. strong. If I wanted to know where my husband was. lost in reminiscences of this and that mutually known place. confident dog but after that there was no looking back. In the sidewalk in front of our house there are large footprints that Caspar left behind several years ago. If he was in pain. was a tremendous treat. always there for me. I think back over my ‘dog’ years and can’t imagine what they would have been like if not for my four-legged wonders. Whenever I went out to the patio with my coffee or wine and neglected to bring his drink. But. stoic. long-haired male ginger tabby with feet like a bulldog. I held him and stroked him as he stood on the table in front of me. If I was tired it was his head on my knee. still loved people and still tolerated Jay. He’d remained pressed by her side while their family dog. Sooty never really learnt to play but enjoyed his daily walks. Walking in the park one day with a fellow Brit. he did not want to eat. Arthritis and heart problems began to slow him down. I knew that I had to put Caspar down due to various increasing health problems. He stared up at my face and repeatedly bumped the top of his head in to my stomach which cats do to show affection or perhaps to reassert their connections with us. and I like to think that we made him as happy as he made us. When I got home I was shocked to see how quickly he had gone downhill. He and Jay did not bond in the way I had hoped. Learning to live in a house with just one other dog and two people appeared to concern him greatly. his nose in my hand. which he guarded from the other cat. Several seizures must have further weakened his system but he always seemed to bounce back. Monty his litter-mate and nemesis for years. his coat was dry. as if he knew his job was done. The coffee pot dripping or the kettle boiling had him cowering under a table.IN PASSING celebrating the lives of animal friends Sooty He came to me as a shy boy of eighteen months old. Sooty trotted on up the path ahead of us. He was always ready for his walk. Heavy hearted. the good friend who cared for the dogs during my absence almost phoned me to give me a heads up on his condition and ask what she should do. it quickly became obvious that this dog was going to take quite a time to become a companion to anyone. He thought that a mug of water in the right circumstances. in the yard and on the brick patio at the rear of the yard where he rolled on the warm bricks and lay on my magazines. He loved to be with both of us on the couch sitting on part of the Globe and All material subject to editing for space. The sound of a letter being ripped open would have him running in circles. made evident by the plume of his gaily waving tail. merely tolerated each other. As I waited with Caspar in the Vet's office. He was especially happy if we could find something for him to jump over. When we did look back. Jay. It took nearly a year of constant effort to turn our shy boy into a happy. especially Sooty who was the kindest and gentlest soul of them all. Ostensibly a companion for my first dog. If he had to be poked. I took him to my vet who agreed that parting with him was now the kindest thing I could do. Sooty would slide in behind his legs. The rustle of a plastic bag would induce a look of panic in his eyes.

Two sleepless nights. as prior to married bliss we would head out every evening to go riding in the country. we were overjoyed the third morning to spot him trotting down the road. Lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” and “did you see that one” are punctuated by nervous panting. was not well equipped to deal with the calamity that greeted me. haunted by dreams of Tommy’s laughing face. we were returning from dropping my mom off at the airport when he started to scream. However. all our attention was focussed on him. A particularly violent storm passed through last week. life was good. What is it about dogs and loud noises? Of the four dogs I have been privileged to call friends. is grinning from ear to ear. Tommy would return on his own. My one remaining nerve. As new parents with a colicky baby. He too tried returning to our old home in Cochrane—a 25 km distance—during a storm. eau de doggy breath heavy upon the air. No surprise there! Having gone astray before. Only the look of panic in his eyes belies the terror he is feeling. I was a little surprised when no panic stricken dog greeted me. Master Gardener low rumble off to the north signals another storm on its way. a whiff of doggy breath floating past. life had changed! To conclude. I began to flirt with the idea that some horrible fate had befallen him. Canoeing allowed Spud to indulge his passion. Tommy. When I became hooked on gardening. Luckily. Tommy. On frequent trips to Barrier Lake he would alternate running on shore. I believe part of this is due to the amount of time the dogs spend with me. two days later and no sign of Tommy. by now perilously thin. Scouring the countryside—no easy task with lots of countryside around—there was still no sign. having squeezed himself into the tightest spot possible. However. He’s seeking some security from that terrifying entity. Having resigned ourselves to the possibility of Tommy not returning. We race for the porch. ca page27 .THE GARDENING BUG thunderbolts & lightening by Elaine Rude. our Australian Shepherd cross. Spud. Yes. Over time. I’ve left it a tad too late. an interim sense of safety seems to be achieved by plastering themselves to me. Spud would accompany me. When Jeff was 6 weeks old. Then some- thing happened: a little screaming human arrived and Spud’s life changed forever. We greeted him with open arms. The family has assembled in chairs on the porch. Caught at the grocery store it was half an hour before I reached home. With all the dogs. This is not a social call. other benefits arrived with the new family member. snoozing in the sun while I planted and weeded. immediately sidles over smiling into my face. had come through the kitchen window leaving a gaping hole in the screen. wearing all the skin off the pads of her feet. three of them have been terrified by thunder. hadn’t noticed anything amiss. the thunderstorm! Racing to get the last plants into the ground. a terrible sense of foreboding settled upon us. The boys. and making the move to Alberta with me. A gunshot-like crack rips overhead and the skies open up. ran several miles to our old house during a rare storm (thunderstorms being rare in Vancouver). swimming after sticks or captaining the vessel. I am pleased to report a happy ending to this tale. it’s usually me that the dogs search out. Consequently. became a quivering mass of jelly at any loud noise. waiting patiently in the back of the pickup while attending university classes. I’ve resigned myself to this behaviour but it drives my husband to distraction. he was intercepted. swimming. canoeing. a border collie. for reasons known only to him. a spaniel cross. consequently the amount of attention Spud received suffered. sopping wet and exhausted. continuing all the way to Cochrane. Ahh. Casey was my constant traveling companion: running alongside my bike as we made the twice daily trip to feed my horse. having arrived earlier by bus. My second dog Spud. This was not really his bag. A My first dog Casey.

young and old! Mr. Len Webber .Proud to support creaturesall in sharing enriching stories with Alberta readers. MLA Member of the Legislative Assembly Proudly representing the Calgary communities of: Citadel • Edgemont • Hamptons Hidden Valley • Kincora • Sherwood Calgary-Foothills Constituency 403•288•4453 in the Alberta Legislature page28 .

of decency and propriety. is somewhat dense. I see. dear child. He knows when to bite and when to nip. you’ve much to learn of the complex animal mind. It seems I’m a bit of a mastermind. The trick. He snarls if he wants my pillow. are dull witted beasts. While men. Such a level of obedience you’ve never seen the like. And all this. what carpets require staining. I’m proud to boast. a whisperer of magical forces. and the right to share my sun. I am wise you see. He growls when I am reading. Spike. by and large. He bites if it doesn’t come fast. you see. He knows to tip his water dish if not filled with the bottled variety. undeniably a master of canine sense. is always to show you’re the Alpha of the pack. The wisdom I’ve gained over life’s long years has left most of the world behind. A dog knows less about dogs than I. He chomps my leg just ‘cause he can. dear child. MANOR BEAST by © Très Bore page29 . I’ve left you in awe. next to me. I put before you the example of my own trusted dog. You can’t believe you have won the right to share in my wisdom. far more slower than faster. dear child. After years under my tutelage his repertoire is vast. such as my own humble self. He barks at me to get supper. Dogs. are born to the role of master. He lets go once I start bleeding.You see. He’s a model of decorum. Dominate with your superior brain and then their spirit will crack. results from my excellent training. My knowledge of canine quirks and traits you’ll not get from other sources.

String bean. Nanzo. Foolish nicknames come with love. And waits. Now who could shout a name like that on the berm? We called her just plain Anna. But like the greats. Nanny. My husband calls her “Lovely. Too soon. Small bean. Anna Magdelena. with due respect. But the As and Ns got jumbled and soon turned into Naan.THE FINAL WORD doggerel by Janice McCrum The girls named her Anna Magdelena after Bach’s second wife. or to the valley. for his noises. page30 . That’s flatbread.” She stares at him with roses in her eyes. Where months ago she chased bunnies. she’s old. not a name for a yellow Labrador. nobility deserves a lofty name. every morning. Her hips won’t get her up the stairs. you’ve earned your titled fame. I said. Wee bean. Yet Naan seemed to stick to that soft fur coat flopped at our feet. though she weighed 80 pounds and more. and then it was Bean. paddled creeks and fed her freedom. her reason to rise. his touch.

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