Year in review

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.. if you don’t celebrate anything I hope you had an equally joyous week. Second, happy new year to everyone.


No animal article today so I wanted to take a few minutes and thank all the readers who have read, shared and commented. You all are wonderful! Without you none of this would be possible.


My very first Animal Article was posted on March 3, 2012 about Cats – Communication, Food, Costs to own, etc. My very first interview was with the wonderful guardians of Oskar the Blind Cat. Which led to more interviews, I became encouraged by my friends and those who I got a chance to interview.

Here’s this year in a nutshell:

I learned about BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) thanks to the guardians of Duke Lloyd, Reggie, Isis, Morgan, Gracie and Reed.

I got three white kittens adopted thanks to my friend Diane, who I met while talking about her cat Brother the Tailless Wonder.

I got to meet Gizzmo and see the baby zombies grow from tiny little things into beautiful kittens.

I joined  the hunt to find Jamie and cried when his body was found and he was finally brought home.

I rejoiced upon hearing that Oskar has won the Friskes Best Cat Video of 2012 Award.

I cried upon hearing that the sweet cat named Penny had passed away suddenly.

I giggled while sitting down for an interview with Fatboy Babushaka.

I was taken by the wonderfully opinionated guinea pigs named Buddy, Nibbles, Nutty and Basil.

I told stories of the survivors of abuse from Mogul to Reed to Dottie to Snow

I’ve covered blind, deaf,  three-legged, extra toed, deaf furbabies from Mea to George to Phaedra to Sage and Neptune.

I had the honor of interviewing the famous Corky, Anakin and Moki

I researched all about black cats and gave Miss Smoky an article to call her own.

Each and every one of my interviewee’s stories are important, they all share love of their guardians. Many of them had rough starts. And to those I haven’t mentioned, you are all wonderful. Each and every one of you shared your story with me and I thank you.

I’ve met lots of wonderful pet guardians as well as their wonderful amazing furry family members. Not only have I been inspired by the stories of courage, bravery, saddened by their losses but given the strength by their fans and my readers to carry on. There is always another animal in need and another story to be told.

Thank you to all the friends I’ve made along the way, I hope that the journey is just as incredible next year.


Changes  in 2013

The Blog will now be posting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

January –  Continuing with animal interviews with some famous facebook cats and dogs

February – Celebrating our small furry, feathered and finned friends

March – Featuring animals with different abilities, three legged, deaf, blind, two legged, etc.

April – Animal Abuse Awareness month – featuring survivors of animal abuse with a very special gathering at the end of the month.

May – Guest Blogs! I’ll be covering my adventures at BlogPaws May 17-19.


This post is dedicated to all the ones furry, feathered and finned family members we’ve lost way too early this year.Run, fly and swim free little ones you brought so much joy to so many people and will continue to bring joy to your family. Please know you were cared for and very much loved.

rainbow bridge2

Guest Post: Hutch Piggies

Guest Post: Hutch Piggies on their New Year’s Resolutions

Author’s Note: The Hutch Piggies were interviewed in November 21st, if you missed their interview, click here to catch up and come back. I wanted to know what the group would be up to for New Year’s so I asked them to be a guest.

Firstly whee have to say how excited whee are to have been invited to do this. Whee can barely contain ourselves! It is such an honor but whee are a little nervous. *waves paws* Hellooooo!

Well 2012 is over, it has certainly been a funny year for efurryone. So much has happened. In a month or so Buddy will have been with us a whole year, Nutty has gotten chubbier, Mummy self published a book on animal rescue, whee lost Bingo, gained Basil and Nibbles has humilated us at the vets! Strange really. Busy even!

Mummy has been telling us a lot about these ‘New Years Resolutions’ recently. She says she has a new one every year and starts it with the best intentions. Apparently best intentions aren’t too helpful when chocolate is involved!


Well whee have decided to come up with some Resolutions and maybe you can help us decide which one to go for!

1) Give up eating socks.

It is a terrible habit whee all have. An addiction almost. Whee see a sock and cannot seem to help ourselves. Omnomnom! It is so much fun particually when a toe is involved. The little hoomans don’t agree but whee are trying to make them forget material things like socks and love the piggy nibbled skin they were born in!

2) Giving up bar biting.

Another terrible habit! Whee are always biting the cage bars to get Mummy’s attention and nothing ever stops us! But if whee don’t do that then what else will whee combine with loud squeaking to get her attention?!

3) Vow to lose the built up Pigmass fat.

Well Winter brings with it less garden time. In fact it stops garden time because the changes of temperature going in and out of the house can make us piggies unwell. That means all runs happen inside. Which means whee have cuddle cosies and fleece blankets. Which in turn explains our Winter laziness and build up of chubby! Mind you, losing weight requires running, exercise and focus. Three things whee all lack skills in! Hmmm maybe something else?

4) Give up complaining.

Oh now whee really are expecting the impossible! Whee are British piggies, like hooman Brits complaining is in our nature! If whee didn’t complain so much there would be far less on our blog. And Mummy messes up often enough that whee need a good moan about her occassionally!

Well whee give up! What are your New Years Resolutions and what do you suggest for ours?

Hope you had a magical Pigmass and wishing you the happiest most wonderful New Year you can imagine!

Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil


Their blog – Hutch a Good Life

Their very first interview with a fellow piggie –Our First Interview

Author’s Note: I wanted to say a very special thank you to the Piggies for sharing their new year’s resolutions with us.


This post is a part of the small pets theme & also a Guest post. Please click on either badge below for more interviews/articles on small pets.


Meet The Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

Meet the Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

How many purrtectors of DragonHold are there?

There are presently 13 Purrtectors of DragonHold.

1. Bunny- A greybie who was born with a leg twisted backwards and an autoimmune disease. The leg was amputated and she has lost almost all her teeth from the disease.
2. Tiki- Was wild when found. I trapped and tamed her and she is a love. She is a bobtail.
3. Rowen- She was in a petting zoo at a Ren Fair on a really hot day. I begged the owner to give her to me cause she was dehydrated. I finally paid him $40.00 to get her, rushed her to the vet and they managed to save her. She is also a bobtail.
4. Moaning Myrtle- Myrt was about 2 weeks old when I got her as a foster. She was a bottle baby. My room mate fell in love with her so she became his Christmas present.
5. Gunnery Sgt. Pepper- Gunny was also wild. I trapped him and tamed him. We think he is related to Tiki but from a later litter.
6. Sassafras- Sassy was found under a cafe at about 6 weeks old. She was another foster that we couldn’t part with.
7. Bandit-  She was found in the middle of the road covered in fleas and starving. The vet thinks she has some genetic issues. She is a year old now and the 5 month old kittens are bigger then her.
8. Beavis- He and his brother were dumped up the road. Unfortunately his brother didn’t make it but he is thriving. He is a bobtail.
9. Big Boy- He was a feral cat living behind the pizza hut. It took me 6 months to get him tame enough to throw him in my car and bring him home. He is a barn cat and follows me all over the farm. He is the only outside cat and the only one not neutered.
10 & 11- Willie Wonka and Billy Bad Azz – Brothers found on the road. They were fosters but I don’t think we can let them go. Billy is a bobtail.
12 & 13- Hannible and Garfield – There were 3 of them but I placed 1 in Ohio. They are supposed to be fosters too but I don’t think they are leaving either. They are siamese bobtails.

How did they come to live at DragonHold?

All of them are rescues. Some were fosters that never left.

How did you come to start rescuing animals?

I have been rescuing animals all my life. I own a horse rescue and volunteer with a cat rescue.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do more to help animals in need?

If you can’t donate money, donate time with your local shelter.

Do the purrtectors receive any fan mail/presents, if so where?

Our address is  1346 Garner Hollow Rd. Pulaski, TN 38478

Are you currently fostering any kittens? If so what do the others think of the visitors?

I was fostering 5 kittens. One has been placed in Ohio. The other 4 will probably stay here. Some of the other cats like them and some don’t but nobody hurts anyone.

And how you ended up with 13?

I never planned on 13 lol. It just happened.

When did you get started with the first purrtector?

Bunny is the first. 2005

Where did the name Purrtectors of the Dragonhold come from?

DragonHold is the name of my farm. I raise English Shire Draft horses and also own and run a horse rescue.

Are there any fights that break out?

Yes, we do have squabbles but no one ever gets hurt.

Are there any that are inside/outside or does everyone stay inside?

All except Big Boy are inside cats. Big Boy stays outside since he is still very feral.

Do they all eat kibble or do they get some human food?

The kittens are on kitten food and the others eat dry food. Bunny gets a special diet of canned food blended with water ( like soup ) since she only has 1 tooth left. They all love people food but we don’t give them much. They do get treats every morning when I get coffee.

Are there any stand out leaders of the group?

Bunny, Tiki and Rowan are the leaders.

Do they have a special place where they like to hang out?

My bed is the favorite spot.
sorry for all the questions, but I like to get a glimpse into how things run in the house with that many cats.. 🙂 Things run well with the 8. The kittens are starting to learn where they fit in. They still sleep in a big double cage since they haven’t started using the big cats litter boxes. Once they all do that they will no longer be caged at night.

Author’s Note:
I wanted to thank the guardian to all the purrtectors of the Dragonhold for sharing a bit about them and herself. Good luck on the fosters. 

Meet Zee & Zoey

Meet Zee & Zoey


How old are Zee & Zoey?

Zee just turned 7 on September 7th and Zoey turned 4 on April 9th.

How did they come into your life?

I got Zee as a kitten for my fiancé, Dan, in 2005 when he moved in with me as a “Welcome to your new life” gift and Zoey came to us after the passing of my 18 year old cat, Kit. I had always wanted a Bengal, but did not want to get one while Kit was ailing because they are a very active breed and I did not want to cause undue stress on Kit. After she passed, Zee became very depressed and needed a playmate, so we decided it was the perfect time to get this incredible breed of cat that I had always wanted – they bonded instantly and it was love at first sight.

Which one is Zee and which one is Zoey?

Zee is our Maine Coon and Zoey is our leopard inspired Bengal.

Why did you decide to write a book about them?

I had always wanted to write a book, but like so many others with dreams, I put it off thinking, “Yeah, maybe one day I’ll get to it,” without actually believing it. Well, completely unexpected, one day did come in the form of two major events – Zee and Zoey had an unplanned litter of kittens together before I could get them spayed and neutered. The other event – I was abruptly laid off and had a lot more free time on my hands.

Prior to the layoff, I had been emailing  various family members, co-workers, and friends documenting the growth process of Zee and Zoey’s kittens with a humorous narrative that was complimented by photographs taken by my fiancé, Dan, who was also laid off on the same day from the same company. These emails were sent out religiously every Friday morning and soon became a sensation, with people clamoring for a book about my feline family.  At this time, the economy was in its beginning stages of the economic crisis that we are currently facing and most people were in a fragile, weak, and vulnerable frame of mind. It seemed my emails were giving them a much needed smile and laugh in light of the very serious and bleak times and I was enjoying the opportunity to share my writing skills.


Without warning, during this timeframe, I was laid off and it resulted in a deep and dark period for me as I quickly realized I had no real value in an economy that was not looking to hire a woman in her late forties and I was in no frame of mind to write the book that I now had all the time in the world to think about. As is with life, often those events that we least expect or least understand, turn out to be a path for something far greater. Those kittens that were unplanned, actually became such wise teachers to me and after a long personal struggle, because of them I literally had my epiphany moment and found the strength, passion, and courage to follow my dream to write a book and that is how and why The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary, my first published book began. I wanted to share my positive message about how special cats are and the book became my tribute to them and how they made me a better person.

To make the book an extraordinary journey as the title suggests, not only is it a humorous, warm, and heartfelt story, but each and every page is filled with stunning photographs and custom artwork.

Where can people find the book?

It is available through my website at or online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Is there any chance of a book tour and getting the book pawtographed?

I did a book blog tour last year, but as far as a traveling tour, that is something I cannot afford at the moment. I am a self-published author who has to work a full time job to pay the bills! All books ordered directly through my website can be autographed and come with a custom bookmark and leopard print tissue wrap that makes a gorgeous gift.

Were you always an cat lover?

I cannot remember a single moment in my life that I have not been consumed with my love for cats.

How have Zee & Zoey changed your life?

They have changed my life in ways so profound that I cannot possibly express the scope with enough justice in mere words.  While I originally thought writing a book meant you wrote the book, and then sold the book, I soon came to the realization that it was actually a springboard for something far greater as my world began to expand through social networking avenues. I have become a strong voice in the world of cat advocacy to help educate on cat responsibly, spaying and neutering, dispelling the misconceptions of feral cats, and so much more. Due to my conviction, I just wrapped up my first fundraising event called “Zee & Zoey’s Cat Ruler of the World Contest and Campaign for a Cause” where I raised close to $9000 in prizes and donations for six shelters that popular cats of the blogosphere were campaigning for.

Do you support any charities/shelters/rescues/organizations? If so which?

I am currently the secretary of a newly formed non-profit called Pawsitively Humane, based out of Miami, Florida that was created to help decrease dogs and cats found on the streets and increase shelter adoptions. I support organizations such as Amazon Cares, Riverfront Cats, Abandoned Pet Rescue and too many more to name.

Is there anything else you would like to add about Zee & Zoey or yourself?

What I want people to take away from myself and Zee and Zoey is that we all have the ability and power  to make a difference to make the world a better place for our feline friends. Whether it is donating financially, spreading the word through writing and blogging about issues such as spaying and neutering and TNR programs, donating supplies, volunteering your time, fostering, or anything else you can think of – it all adds up. The worst thing we can do is think that because we are only one person that we cannot make a difference and should not bother trying..

Links – Zee & Zoey book website – Zee & Zoey blog
Author’s Note: I would like to give my sincerest thanks for Miss Deborah for taking the time to do the interview. Photos were used with permission.

Meet Roxy

Meet Roxy

How old is Roxy?

Roxy is now 3 yrs old approx.

Where did the name Roxy come from?

I named her Roxy because of her stripes & markings along with a tail that doesn’t match
in color to the rest of her. I said she looked liked she was all dolled up for a party & looking foxy so
of course she became Foxy Roxy.

How did she come into your life?

Roxy had a very rough start in life. She came to me in the winter of 2010 when it was
extremely cold in the Northeast. I had been putting food out for a few strays or feral any little one looking for a meal. Roxy showed up everyday about the same time. In the Spring when I could stay out longer I was able to gain her trust and In April 2011 I was finally able to catch her take her to the vet, get her spayed and bring her inside.
All was well Roxy was living the good life for the first time in her life. She was adapting well but still a little “odd” for lack of a better description. In Jan of 2012 Roxy  began to act strange. Hiding under the bed wouldn’t eat and then she started having seizures. We took her to our vet and after several tests they could not find out why she was having these seizures. They sent us to a Neurologist in Red Bank NJ. He took one look at Roxy told us the type of seizures she was having. Of course he couldn’t be sure without an MRI. So it was scheduled for the next day. We drove back up to Red Bank almost 2 hours from home after the MRI to hear the news. Roxy had a large mass on her  brain behind her left eye. Which made sense because she was having trouble with keeping this eye open for a few days prior to the seizures. The surgery was going to be very expensive but Dr. Glass felt that he could remove the mass. We decided to do the surgery so it was scheduled for the following day which was Wed Jan 18th

The surgery was a success and the tissue was sent out for testing. Roxy would be able to come home the following Monday.

On Monday we drove back up to Red Bank to pick up Roxy. She was so thin and weak but happy to see us. She had a huge incision on her head with staples and a cone. She would have to wear the cone for the week and needed round the clock meds. We bought a large dog crate for her to recover in. We put it in my office where I make catnip toys and
work so I could keep my eye on her. Roxy did well and  was such a little fighter for only 5 lbs of kitty. She had temporary blindness from the surgery and she handled it well.

The following week we took her back to get the staples out and find out the diagnosis. I expressed my fear to Dr Glass that she was deaf since the surgery. At first I thought she was going to be blind but her eyesight was improving each day but she wasn’t responding to sound. I would shake the treat bag and no Roxy. She stopped greeting me at the door, I would walk right up to her and she would sleep away. I was pretty sure she was deaf. This was confirmed later that day by Dr. Glass.

Dr. Glass got the results of Roxy’s tests that day as well and he was “shocked” to say the least. Roxy had FIE (Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy) which is a nasty neurological disease contracted by outdoor kitties. The cats are infected with the larvae of the bot fly. In Roxy’s case she inhaled the parasite which traveled to her brain. The strange part is the timing of when she became sick. The bot fly lays its egg in July, August and September but in these months in 2011 Roxy was indoors. The parasite must have been ingested the previous year. So this puzzled Dr. Glass as it is not common for a cat to live that long after being infected. Like I said before Roxy is such a little fighter.

After realizing that Roxy would be a “Special Needs” kitty from now on. I turned to the internet and Facebook where I found lots of kitties with Special Needs like Roxy. One of Roxy’s first friends on Facebook was Bella the Beautiful Blind & Deaf Cat.

Does she have any fursiblings?

She lives with three other kitties…Grease a 16 yr old male all gray, Lilli she is 8 and a calico (still a little
feral).  and her big sister NeveRose (snowshoe siamese).  Roxy loves her sister. They are always together and
NeveRose helps her all the time. Roxy follows her around and looks to NeveRose for guidance.

How did you find out that the surgery made her deaf?

We discovered she was deaf a few weeks after she healed from her surgery. She didn’t come running when we
shook the treat bag, she stopped greeting me at the door, she could sleep through anything including mealtime if
we didn’t wake her up and finally the vacuum cleaner test.  Roxy was deaf.  So she now wears a bell on her collar
this way even if we don’t see her we can hear where she is. Since she can’t hear it doesn’t bother her at all.  We
make sure she doesn’t miss out on anything, we go find her.  We try not to come up behind her so she doesn’t get
startled and jump.  She loves to ride in the car with her sister NeveRose.  They really love each other and she would
be lost without her.

A bit about Roxy’s mom:

I have a Cat Business called Kitty Collage. I grow Organic Catnip and make Catnip Toys. This was the beginning of our “Gift Packages for Kitties with Special Abilitites/Needs”.

Each month Roxy and I pick out kitties like her and Bella and we send them our “Gift Package”. Some of them are Oskar the Blind Cat, Mea the beautiful kitty that’s Blind, George the handsome Deaf & Blind just to name a few.

We love what we do here and we have met so many wonderful Facebook friends (cats and humans too)… Roxy has adjusted well to being deaf. She has lots of Facebook friends lives with three other cats and I can’t imagine life without her. I always said she was sent to me for a reason and I am so happy that she was sent to my back door..

How did you get started with Kitty Collage?

I have been growing catnip and making catnip toys by hand for over 10 years. I used to do lots of Craft Shows but
with the price of gas and the economy I cut back and started my little Etsy/Shop to see how that would do.  But that
too was slow until Roxy came into my life. Then I began to send out our Catnip and toys to cats like Roxy (with special
abilities/needs) that we met on Facebook and my business has taken off ever since then. I give out lots of toys each month along
with bags of catnip.  When donate items for auctions to help raise money for kitties in need.  When people shop with the
cats & I they are helping us to help kitties.  We love what we do and hopefully after the first of the year we will have our
very own website….
UPDATE: Roxy did have one more surgery in the beginning of October for ORS (Ovarian Remnant Syndrome)  She is doing really good now and is  finally gaining  some weight.


Dedicated to the loving sweet memory of Miss Irene Brown, who left her family too soon.

Fly free little one.


Kitty Collage Facebook –

Kitty Collage Etsy-

(Credits go to Fatboy Babushka’s Salon for this picture… used with permission) 

Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Roxy’s wonderful and creative mom. Not only for emailing me about Roxy, but I had gotten a catnip treat as a prize from another cat friend so I was honored to do the story on Roxy. What an amazing little brave little girl. Photos used with permission and they belong to Kitty Collage unless otherwise stated. 

Meet Buddy

Meet Buddy

Buddy shortly after being rescued

How old are you Buddy?

I’m almost 2 years old. Come November, they’re going to be singing “Happy Birthday to Buddy” again.

What type of dog are you (if you know)?

I’m a handsome, charming, and flirty little boy. Oh, did you mean breed? I’m a terrier, maybe with a little yorkie mix. And did I say cute?  I have a couple of girlfriends, you know?

Would you mind sharing how you came into your mom’s life and what happened to you?

 I was born in Georgia. A big dog came along and grabbed me by the neck one day, and shook me up. Some people went and reported what happened to animal control and they came to my house looking for me. When my owner said he wasn’t going to get me any care, and that he would just as soon let me die at home, animal control took me.
Eventually I was rescued by a local rescue group up North. When they asked for a foster for me, mommy volunteered, but someone else beat her to it. Then as luck would have it, the foster mom I had needed to find an emergency replacement and mommy came into my life, but only as my second foster mom at that point.
As time went on and mommy tried to find the best home for me, it became apparent that I was falling in love with her and the rest of my family too (human and canine). Then as some applicants were checking me out, it too became apparent to mommy how much she was falling in love with me. She says it was my eyes. She knew she would not be able to look me in the eyes and say “goodbye Buddy.” So here I am.  Everyone says they saw it coming.
Whirlpool Therapy

Do you still go to therapy? If so how often?

I’m done with therapy finally. I had about 6 months worth of therapy as soon as mommy got me. Then I had surgery too, and Botox injections. We tried everything. But about 9 months down the road I hit a platuea so we stopped. I was kinda glad, cause I hated that loud, swishy tub they would put me in (whirlpool).

Is there an address where people can send you fan mail and/or help donate towards your therapy? (if you accept mail and/or donations)

I live at 20 Grover Street, Succasunna, NJ 07876. I don’t need therapy anymore. I love fan mail, especially from cute, pretty little dogs. Woof~

What advice do you have for other dogs that are disabled?

Never give up. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I couldn’t move at all when I first came to mommy. Now I can use a wheelchair, I can leap with my rear legs, I can flip over. Always believe in yourself. And just because we’re special, doesn’t mean we can’t be happy, loved, and enjoy life.

Is there a link where other pet guardians can find a therapist for their pet?

Not that I know of.  I would just say that mommys and daddys have to turn over every stone and look high and low like my mommy did.

How do you like your wheelchair? Was it specially designed for you?

I love my wheelchair. It took me awhile at first. But I can outrun mommy if she’s running away from me with a treat in her hand. It is custom made by Ruff Rollin Wheelchair for Dogs.

How many siblings do you live with? Do any of them have disabilities?

The last I counted, there were 6 canine and a guinea pig that I’m close with. We have coockoo-crazy Caleb. Does that count?  What about selective hearing? Other than that, no.

Are there any links you would like to share for causes or shelters that you support?

You can follow me on my facebook page (  I am a big advocate against animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.  I don’t like MEAN MONSTERS.  I strongly oppose puppy mills, dog fighting, pet shops, and not altering your animal. One particular shelter that I support in raising pledges is the dogs at San Bernardino Animal Shelter. You can find them on  They are located in Devore, CA 92407.  They have the highest kill rate at 87%.  That means only 13 dogs out of 100 ever walk back out those doors again to freedom.  The epidemic of unwanted dogs in California breaks my heart.
Buddy and his wheels
Author’s Note: I wanted to thank Buddy and his guardian for taking the time to answer the interview questions and supplying some wonderful information on this little guy. All pictures were used with permission. 

Meet Pixel Blue Eyes

Meet Pixel Blue Eyes


How old are you?

I will be five years old in December.

Where did your name come from?

“Pixel” comes from the fact that Mommy is a photographer and has been for many years. I am named after the pixels in digital photos, which are the smallest individual section of a photo or video. Millions of individual pixels make up one digital photograph. The “Blue Eyes” portion comes from the fact that my eyes were almost completely blue for the first couple years of my life. Now, my eyes are blue just in the center, then it fades to a green color, then a golden hazel with a dark brown line around the edge. Different lighting makes my eyes look different from photo to photo.

How did you come into your mom’s life?

Mommy saved me from a bad backyard breeder situation back in 2008. I was very sick and quiet. I was in with a bunch of the other puppies. They were all so loud and barking and jumping. I’d waited my whole life for my Mommy to come for me, and then one day…there she was. I just sat and regarded my Mommy’s face. She says I stared right into her soul. We’ve been inseparable ever since. It took awhile to get me back to health, and to get my stained paws white again, but Mommy took great care of me and I became a very happy little girl, knowing I was safe in the arms and home of love.

What type of dog are you, or do you know?

I am a miniature schnauzer, probably with a little Jack Russell thrown in there for good measure. My good friend Morgan the Pitbull made me an honorary Pittie a few months ago so I hold that with great honor…does that count as part of my breed? *Smiles Big*

I see you are an advocate against BSL, what would you like to say about it?

My Mommy and I believe that Breed Specific Legislation is just as wrong as labeling a human as either dangerous or a bad person based on how they look. I hope this is okay to say, but you could take two photos of two men with blond hair, blue eyes, same height and general look and hold them side by side. One could be a famous actor that everyone loves and the other a criminal. You would never know just by looking at them that one could be dangerous, and it would be crazy for all the blond haired, blue eyed men to be discriminated against because one of them was a criminal. So, my belief, with all my heart, is that a dog (and everyone) should be judged only by their actions, not how they look, where they come from, or what breed they might be. Mommy has photographed many Pit Bull type breeds at the shelter she volunteers at, and she has gotten far more kisses and loving hugs from them than anything else. If you come at a dog aggressively, he/she will respond in the same manner. All that any dog needs is a loving, caring, gentle and patient heart to give them a loving home.

What would you like to tell people about tail docking?


Tail docking is a terrible practice in which various breeds of dogs get their tails removed when they are merely days old. There is no logical reason for it, no matter what tail docking supporters say, and it can cause life long problems in some dogs, as it has for me. Not many people realize that tail docking involves the severing of muscles, spinal vertebrae, tendons and nerves. For me and other dogs many other dogs with docked tails, any excitement or stimulation such as being happy to see Mommy come home, or trying to do other dog things, will send shooting nerve pain and stinging into the tail nub tip. It is like the dog is constantly being electrocuted or poked with a sharp stick. Mommy has spent years trying to help me, and has a long list of symptoms to look for (that a dog is having issues) and ways to help them cope.

There are many symptoms and behaviours that a dog can exhibit when they are having docked tail pain. Here are just a few signs that a puppy or adult dog is having pain, irritation or difficulties with a docked tail:

1. Biting, licking, ‘chasing’ or whining at the tail or back end.
2. Hiding under a bed, or in a crate. Isolation from the family or laying alone in a back room.
3. Difficulty potty training, either on paper or outside. Often difficulty having a normal BM, including running away from a BM as it is occurring.
4. Unexplained potty accidents, even if they are potty trained.
5. Redness, inflammation or scaling at the tail nub tip. I am 4.5 years old and mine still gets red and inflamed at times.
6. The dog acting like they are in trouble or are being punished, including crying out, yelping, or even nipping at someone who tries to pick up the dog, or touch the back end near the tail.
7. Getting excited over a loved one coming home or a fun play time, and then suddenly yelping and ‘going after their tail. Whenever I’d get excited to see Mommy my tail would give me a fit. I couldn’t even show how happy I was to see her without my tail stinging and hurting me. Excitement runs through the nerves in the tail nub as a dog wags with joy.

Things you can do to help ease the stress from the stabbing and stinging nerve pain of a docked tail include:

1. Setting up a ‘safe place’ where the dog can go to such as a crate, or a bed that is just theirs. Make sure you can easily access them if needed. I used to go under the bed, now I have a little crate I can run to if need be and Mommy can come comfort me.
2. Putting a sweater on the dog (amazingly this distracts me from biting at my tail).
3. Help your dog snuggle into a comfy bed and gently wrap them in a blanket if possible. Sit and comfort them.
4. Talk to your vet about your concerns. I am on Neurontin for the nerve pain and I just started taking a natural supplement called ‘Composure’ that has Colostrum, the natural occurring hormone that puppies get from their mother when nursing. Mommy saw a marked difference in me on the very first day.
5. Corrective surgery is an option, and one that my family is now going to do for me. We’ve tried every other avenue and now we must take this final step to make my quality of life better.
Make sure your vet takes you seriously, and if you feel your concerns are not being addressed…go talk to another vet. Docked tail issues are real and valid, and you owe it to your dog to do all you can to help them. I would be honored if everyone went to my “No Tail Left Behind” page (, LIKE it, and help me spread the word and help other dogs that have had their tails docked live a full, happy life. My page is also on Twitter at

Do you have any videos of your tricks that you can do so that you can show off for my readers?

I sure do have videos to share! Here are some links to my favorite videos…
1. Pixel practicing her latest trick of knowing her left from her right. Left paw command is ‘Ask’ and right paw command is ‘Paw’
2. Pixel making her Mommy laugh with her trick “How Does A Car Go?” trick –
3. A video of me last year doing a few tricks. I’ve since mastered them a little better.

What was the hardest trick for you to learn?

I would say the hardest trick was the “How does a car go?” trick, where I make my voice sound like a revving car engine. It took me over a year to master it. We had a great time practicing and working on it.

The hardest command though, was ‘Wait’, in which I stop whatever I am doing and stand or sit still. Mommy taught it to me for protection, so that if I am in any danger or risk, she can get me to stop immediately. It took me forever to get it, and not think I was in trouble or something. She ALWAYS makes learning fun, and always made that command a positive one, so I’d know I would always be safe when she said it.

I see that you won Nurse of the Year in Virginia for 2010 & 2011, how tough was the competition and how did you train to win?

I have a natural ability to know when someone is ill, hurt or in distress, often before they know it, and I am compelled to comfort and attend to them until they are well. I was able to detect that something was wrong with my Mommy’s neck early in 2010. After the doctor corroborated and identified my findings as compressed discs and a bone spur in her cervical spine, I was promoted to full time nurse and got my special uniform. I knew there was something wrong with my grampy’s heart about a month before he had his heart attack. Every time I was near him, I kept sniffing his chest and trying to identify what was wrong. Grampy survived, thank God, and as I cared for both of them while they recovered, I was honored to be named Nurse of the Year in Virginia for 2010, and doubly honored in 2011 for my continued dedication to the sick and injured. I care for all patients, be they human, animal or stuffed animal. Everyone deserves a chance to be well cared for.

Are you competing for the Nurse of the Year in Virginia of 2012?

I am not sure what this year holds for the 2012 title. I did alert the family to something being seriously wrong with my uncle Jessie over the last few months, and now he is having trouble walking and is being cared for by our wonderful vet.

Is there anything the readers can do to help you win?

I am known in the Facebook doggie community as Nurse Pixel, and have had several people and animal pages request my tending to someone in need. It is a real joy for me. If someone I have tended to were to write a little letter about how I helped them, that would be a great honor.

Do you accept fan mail/presents?

I certainly do and have in the past. I am so humbled that anyone would want to write to me or send me something. It is my goal in life to help share all the joy I can, and in turn, I have had many people bring me joy in return. Just the other day (Oct 9), a Facebook doggie friend from South Africa sent me a copy of the calendar that he and his Mommy did for a large rescue place there. Along with the calendar was the most beautiful hand made elephant shaped key-chain made of silver wire and blue beads. I absolutely LOVE it!
My email is and my mailing address is P.O. Box 764, Marion VA 24354.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I wanted to share that Mommy volunteers and takes pet portraits every single week at our local shelter and then optimizes the photos, creating posters for the pets and putting them on the shelter page. I help her get things ready for her next photoshoot every week, like helping her make doggie bandanas and lay next to her while she works on making the pet posters. The shelter page is and the page where Mommy has started celebrating the dogs and cats who find a true forever loving home is at It is so rewarding for us to be able to help them, but sometimes it is certainly heartbreaking. The real reward is that we have helped over 70 dogs & cats, puppies & kittens find homes since July. What an amazing thing to be able to do!


I just celebrated my 5th birthday. Now we are getting ready for Christmas.

I have some wonderful news I wanted to share with you. I am so excited! Mommy just found out that I am one of 100 dogs chosen to be featured in Life and Dog magazine for my ‘No Tail Left Behind’ campaign about tail docking. The article is about dogs ‘changing the world’, can you believe it?? It is going to be in their March 2013 issue.


Pixel’s Blog –
Pixel’s Facebook Page –
Facebook Page dedicated to education people about tail docking-
Real Shelter Pet Portraits –
Author’s Note: A huge thank you goes to Pixel & his mom for answering the interview questions and providing me with wonderful information about tail docking and sharing the videos of his tricks. All photos and videos were used with permission.

Meet Wonky Eye Kitty

Meet Wonky Eye Kitty

(she is another international star, coming all the way from Hoegaarden, Belgium) 

How old are you?

I turned 5 two weeks ago! I’m a big girl now! 🙂

Is your name really Wonky or is it a nickname?

My ‘proper’ name is Lily. But on the interwebs I’m better known as Wonky Eye Kitty. It all started like this: Not long after my brother Jack and I arrived at our forever home, the picture was taken which would make me somewhat of an internet phenomenon 🙂 It first appeared on the worldwide web after my human sent the picture to The Daily Kitten in Dec. 2007 (link: Unbeknownst to us all it was transformed into a Lolcat picture on the Cheezburger website, which is now my Facebook profile picture! Soon after that Christopher Kimball created the ‘Wonky Eye Kitty’ t-shirt based on the Lolcat, which is how my nickname was born! And then, by chance, we stumbled upon it (and couldn’t believe what had been going on behind our backs! 🙂 ). The rest is history…

Miss Lily and her brother, Jack

How did you come into your parents life?

Our humans found us through an ad in a local paper. It’s hard to explain, but as soon as my human saw my cute self she immediately knew I was the cat for her. It sounds a bit corny, but I guess it was ‘love at first sight’. 🙂

I see you won the Cutie Petootie award in 2007, did you do any training for it?

Not particularly, it somehow just comes naturally to me. I suppose I was born with a talent for cute 🙂

Wonky showing some holiday spirit

Do you plan to compete in anything in the future?

If there would be a biscuit making/kneading competition, I’d definitely take part, I’m really good at that! 🙂

May I ask what caused one eye to be bigger than the other?

My wonky eye apparently is a condition called ‘microphthalmia’. It’s a birth defect, but it doesn’t affect me too much, it just makes me supercute. I may have a problem judging length/depth as I am quite famous for missing jumps that most cats could do with their eyes closed 🙂 We prefer to think it gives me super powers like x-ray vision or the ability to see in the dark 🙂 But in all seriousness the condition could make the sight in my little eye deteriorate, so we’re very vigilant.

Enjoying some time in the garden

Do you get to venture outside? If so, what do you think of snow?

I prowl around our garden every day, licking puddles and chasing bugs, but I don’t venture any further. I find snow quite fascinating, but I try to walk around it, rather than in it, as it is a bit chilly to the paws.

What are you favorite things to do?

I love spending time on the sofa with my humans, receiving tummy rubs and giving them headbutts in return. When I’m feeling active I love playing with my kickaroo and jingly toy mice.

Where can people contact you?

People can always contact me through my Facebook fanpage. The more the merrier!

Anything else you would like to add about yourself?

I’d like to add something about my brother, as he has a very strange thing for penguins… He carries his toy penguin all over the house, in his mouth, and my humans even play fetch with him using the penguin! At night he also likes to “sing” while holding the toy in his mouth, which sometimes disturbs my human’s sleep… 🙂 It’s odd, but brilliant!

Miss Lily’s pawprints in the snow


Cutie petootie 2007

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Miss Lily aka Wonky for taking the time to have her human help her answer questions. Photos were used with permission. 

Meet Hobbes aka The Stinky Cat

Meet Hobbes aka the Stinky Cat

a Hobbes checking his facebook page

How old are you?

I am 9 years old

How did you get your name(s)?

Well, when my mommy found me I was this tiny little thing and so skinny.  She took me to the vet and she said I had lots of parasites that were keeping me skinny.  They also made me have stinkies in the litter box, and I tooted a lot!  So she started calling me Stinky cat!  The nickname just stuck.

How did you come into your mom’s life?

She was going through some very hard times.  Her mommy had passed away a few months before and she was very sad.  One night she came home from work and there I was, sleeping on her doormat.  I knew she needed me so I waited for her.  She said I was dirty, hungry, and so little.  But I just purred and purred when she held me…..

I see you’ve one quite a few awards according to your facebook page, may I share them with the readers?

  Oh yes!  I am very proud of them!


  • Cutest Cat Ever 2010
  • Crunch Crunch Ball Champion
  • Song of the Year 2006, The Stinky Dance
  • Most Handsome Ginger Cat 2011
  • Grand Champion of Dancing with the Cats 2011
  • Wrote the song “Hey Fatboy” for his bff Fatboy Babushka

Which one are you most proud of?

Well, I think that would be Crunch Crunch Ball Champion.  Those are my favorite toys and I can run and jump so hig when I play with them!

How long did it take you to write “Hey Fatboy” for your bff Fatboy Babushka?

That song took a couple days to write.  I am such a perfectionist, I wanted to get it right.

Is there a link where the readers can listen to it?

There isn’t, and mommy is having trouble finding the lyrics we wrote!

How long did you have to train for the Most Handsome Ginger Cat Competition?

Well, I’m kinda naturally adorbale so I didn’t have to do much.  MOL

What was your diet for the dance competition?

Oh, mommy has us all on a strict diet.  We only eat 3 small meals a day.  We (my brothers and sister) are not very fond of “the diet”…….

Do you have any advice for any cats seeking to compete?

You have to have the dance in your heart.  That and lots of practice.

Are you going to compete in anything else in the near future?

I think I may be retired from competitive dancing!  But I still like to shake it at parties!

Do you accept fan mail/presents?

I have such wonderful friends I have met on Facebook.  I do receive gifts and cards, it’s so nice!  I also send lots of cards and gifts to my friends.  Mommy and I really enjoy doing that.

How did you meet Fatboy?

I met Fatboy last year right before Christmas.  Something just clicked and we bonded right away.  My mommy and his mommy love each so much, too.  They talk on the phone all the time.  We were all trying to think of ways to help our cat community.  We kept seeing the chip ins of kitties who really needed help.  So after throwing around some ideas we came up with the idea of doing auctions.  The rwason we thought of this was that we also were seeing how many of the mommies were doing these wonderful crafts–knitting, jewelry, etc.  We thought this would be a great way to raise money and to help these mommies display their amazing talents.  Fatboy came up with the “KIN” name (Kitties In Need) so we created a special page where we would hold our auctions.  The first auction we ever did in the Spring of this year raised over $3000 for KIN!  We were so proud.  Then this summer we brainstormed to come up with something different from the other auctions out there.  So we did the Mystery Date Auction!  It was a “fun” auction where you bid on dates with a mystery bachelor kitty.  We actually raised more than we thought we would, a little over $300!  And everyone had a blast!  Did you see the pictures of the Mystery Dates??  Oh, they are so fun!!  You can find them on the Auction for KIN page, and also on Fatboy’s page.  And now we are preparing for our Christmas auction which will have 2 parts–an ornament auction and a “Christmas Gift” auction.  Fatboy came up with the gift auction.  He thought it would be great for early Christmas shopping!  MOL  It began Nov. 15 and I think it went go through the first of December (it’s already over  but stay tuned!  We plan on more auctions!)  We work very hard on putting together an auction, and we are very proud of our wonderful donors and the money we raise for the kitties in our community!

Links –

Hobbes Facebook Page-


This article is dedication to the loving memory of Miss  Deborah Kelley.

Author’s Note: I want to thank Hobbes and his mom for doing the interview. All photos were used with permission. 

Meet Sage Magnolia Schreck-3 Legged Wonderdog

Meet Sage Magnolia Schreck-3 legged Wonderdog

How old are you Sage?

I am 4 and a half years young. The shelter gave me a birthdate of March 10, 2008. This past barkday Mommy threw me a wonderful Barkday Pawty and my Rottweiler furiends Orca and Kaempfer and my brother Sullivan celebrated with me. Mommy had a Barkday cake made for me from a Barkery that was in the shape of a bone. It was made from Peanut Butter, Carrots and Honey. YUMMY! We had the bestest time at my Pawty! We had Pawty favors for everypawdy, balloons and even pawty hats.

Where did your name come from?

Well, I asked my Mommy this very question. So, apparently all of my Kitty brothers and sisters have names that start with “S” and they all have middle names that start with “M”. Mommy and Daddy have S names too. So Mommy said she wanted to give me a pretty one syllable name because she knew she wanted to make my middle name Magnolia because she loves Magnolia trees, and then she said that she thought SAGE was a strong and beautiful name. And I think she’s right, I like my name Sage Magnolia and I know my name very well.

Sage & Sullivan

How did you come to live with your mom?

Well, Mommy and Daddy had six kitties already and had no plans of adopting any more pets. But, well… Mommy heard my story and just had to meet me and the rest is History!!! So, here is the story–Mommy regularly goes to take donations of supplies to the local no kill shelter and while there she always looks around at the animals and visits and talks to them. Then she was talking to the lady that works there and she said this little small doggy (that was me) had just had her leg amputated because she was thrown away like trash onto the side of the highway. Mommy wanted to see me after hearing this story and when she held me I just put on my best little sigh and my little loving head into Mommy’s neck and rested on her shoulder like a baby. (Shhh, I laid it on thick because I already decided this was going to be my Mommy). So just when I thought I was going HOME, the shelter said I had to stay because I had to recover from my surgery and Mommy said something about my new Daddy being out of the country and she had to persuade him that they needed a doggie. But Mommy had already decided that Sage had found her forever home and somehow I knew Mommy was telling me the truth.

Little did I know how clever my Mommy was, she took Daddy to his favorite bar and let him get a few drinks before she told him about me. Daddy said Mommy was crazy and that they had six cats and why on earth did she want a dog. Well Mommy told Daddy my story and Daddy said he couldn’t be the jerk that said NO to the little 3 legged dog. Mommy just has a way of making things make sense to Daddy, you know?? Mommy came to visit me every day at the shelter until I was ready to come home. Then when I came home to my forever family, they had all sorts of cool stuffs for me like a bed and a puppy den and toys and clothes. Oh my DOG it was like Christmas. I never knew what this was like and I loved my new parents instantly. I felt so comfortable in my new home and I let Mommy and Daddy know that I already knew my manners like I knew that I had to Potty outside and I liked my puppy den and I would just go in there whenever it looked like Mommy and Daddy might be leaving the house, I didn’t chew on anything and I loved giving puppy kisses. I even learned to like my kitty siblings even though at first they weren’t so sure about little Sage.

Sage on New Year’s Day 2011

And believe it or not… fast forward a year later and I would get my very own Doggy brother!!! Can you stand the luck?? Mommy saved Sullivan from death row after he was confiscated from bad backyard breeder people who abused him and kept him in a rabbit cage. And again, Daddy was out of the country and Mommy just made an executive decision and got Sulli off of the death row and into our house. He was supposed to be my ‘foster’ brother, but Mommy had to work with him for so long on his fear, anxiety and behavioral issues that after awhile she just told Daddy, “we’re keeping him, it’s good for him and Sage to have each other”. Wow, Mommy worked her magic again and I got a brother. We’re besties and do everything together. Now we are just one big happy family. And Mommy does the rescue stuff now and we have kitty visitors coming to stay sometimes until Mommy gets them their very own new families. We lost our kitty sister Betty two Christmases ago.. this was a very sad time for all of us. So now my immediate family is my Mommy Susan, my Daddy Sven, My kitty brothers Sebastian Madison (12.5 y.o), Socrates Mythos (he’s from Greece-7 y.o.), my kitty sisters Sabrina Monroe (12.5 y.o) and Savannah Montgomery (11 y.o.) and my kitty brother Nixon Roosevelt (14 y.o.). (Ok, so Nixon and Betty were rescue kitties that were abandoned but Mommy already knew their names from their former owner and they knew their names, so Mommy said she couldn’t change them to “S” names) And of course my doggy brother, Sullivan Marshall (he’s almost 3).

Hanging out on her bed.. on mom’s bed

You’ve been in the Spring Edition of the 2012 American Dog Magazine, did you get swarmed by puparazzi after it came out?

Wow, that was so Pawesome! I made so many new furiends on Facebook and Mommy liked that we got more fans on my page and we have been sharing about the power of crossposting death row doggies and kitties and educated people about handicapable pups like me!!!

What organizations are you currently raising funds for and may I share the links?

I have raised money for the no kill shelter where i came from by doing a Dogwalk and have participated in events with several other local rescues to raise money. Mommy has helped plan events for other rescues and gives regularly to small rescues to save death row dogs. However, right now Mommy has just started up Saving Southern Kitties out of sheer necessity to save kitties from a little rural shelter about 40 miles south of us in South Carolina. (They have no rescue help for the kitties and most of them get put down) Mommy saved three kitties recently that had been in a very loving home with an elderly gentleman that got very sick, but two of the three kitties have needed very extensive veterinary care and Mommy had to do a chip in for Princess who went downhill quickly and has several things going on. Mommy paid $600 already out of her own pocket and Princess needs more care. We are praying she doesn’t have cancer. We have to raise more funds for her tests that need to be done.

Catching some z’s after Pups at the Park

Then just today, Mommy learned that her brother, Hoppy, who is now staying here with us will need Orthopedic surgery to fix his foot and he had a bad kitty cold and a few other tests that needed to be done, so Mommy has funded all of this on her own too. We cannot do the surgery without support and donations. Mommy hates to ask but she has to try to get donations for this too and she will work on putting a chip in together for Hoppy. If you go on my page on Facebook, you can find Princesses chip in there. Donations for Hoppy’s orthopedic surgery (and for Princess as well) can be sent via Paypal to . Mommy will work on getting that chip in made for Hoppy, but this information can be given if anyone can help. Mommy also saved a feral mommy cat and her three kittens last year from her old job..they were living under the building. Come to find out the Mommy had been hit by a car and needed lots of medical attention and the 3 kittens needed vet care and shots and Mommy got everyone spayed/neutered. Mommy worked with a feral cat expert to try to rehabilitate and tame the kitties, but they are still pretty wild kitties. They like Mommy, but when people come to meet them to potentially adopt them, they hide and then noone wants them. Aww, this is so sad for them that they are scared. So they are all still living at our house.They have their own bedroom. Mommy’s mission now is to find a wonderful sanctuary where they can all live together.

Did you mom always like animals?

Yes Mommy grew up with animals. My Granddad worked in Veterinary Medicine most of his life, and Mommy learned a lot about caring for animals. Granddad was an animal cruelty investigator for many years, even training and teaching after his retirement. He still occasionally goes on calls with animal control and consults when people need advice on how to handle certain situations. He is an animal advocate and so is my Mommy. Mommy tries to educate people about the pet overpopulation, about toughening laws for cruelty/neglect against animals, how we can achieve “no kill” status at shelters and animal controls throughout the U.S., banning use of gas chamber and heartstick as a means of euthanization, raising awareness about BSL (breed specific legislation) and to educate that Pit Bulls are not violent dogs, and she teaches people how to use social media to advocate for death row animals. Mommy has worked with many groups in the deep south to get death row dogs up north and coordinates transports and helps transport when she can. Mommy just learned about the need from a rural shelter not too far that needs advocates and rescues, especially for the kitties. So Mommy has just decided to start her own rescue and got the first kitties out of there, but without having funding at first, this has set us back. So, now Mommy will work to raise the money needed to get these kitties their surgery and testing and then will be working on some events and fundraisers to get some money on hand to be able to save some other kitties. We are also looking for local fosters in the Charlotte, NC to Chester, SC areas. Mommy is the busiest person I know.. like tonight I’m ready for bed and Mommy is still up. I don’t think Mommy sleeps too much, but me and Sullivan need our puppy rest!!! Anyone interested in becoming a foster or helping Saving Southern Kitties can contact My Mommy, Susan at

Sage & Orca her bestie

Anything else you would like to add about yourself Sage?

Oh, yes I am also a therapy pup and I like to visit the people in the nursing home. I haven’t been in awhile though, but Mommy says we’ll go again once things get sorted with these rescue cats and her rescue efforts. I love the color pink, I have LOTS of clothes and a car seat and a stroller and I LOVE to go to festivals. And Sullivan and I participate in the Halloween Pawty fundraiser at the humane society where I came from and this year we’re going as Spider Man and Wonder Woman!!! YAY!!!! Last year we were a football player and cheerleader. And we loves it when we get to go there and sit with SANTA!!! My boyfuriend is Noodle the Disabled Dachshund who is on Facebook and lives in Australia and my best furiend is a Rottweiler named Orca.. she’s coming to visit me tomorrow. YAY!
People need to take a chance on handicapable animals like me or animals that have social, anxiety, or fear issues like Sullivan, Bully breed pups, black dogs and kitties….those that have tougher times making it out of shelters alive. Sullivan, my kitty siblings and I are so lucky to have been saved and to have found our forever family. Every night I pray that more people will just save ONE animal today.
I also want to say that FOSTERING saves lives. Sometimes a foster is the ONLY bridge between being able to buy the dog or kitty the few days it needs to get out of the shelter alive before going to its forever home. I ask people to open their hearts and homes and consider fostering.
woof woof ,tail wags and hugs!!!!

Miss Sage & Santa


Spring 2012 Edition of American Dog Magazine.


Author’s Note: Many many pets, snuggles and thanks go to Miss Sage for doing the article and letting me borrow some pictures for the article. All of them were used with permission.