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It breaks my heart every time I hear of another pet dying from the 60 million tainted cans and pouches of wet dog and cat food that has been recalled. I get outraged when I realize that there is very little legal recourse that can be taken because animals are considered property rather than a member of the family. Shit! I’ve had some pets I’ve liked better than some members of my family!

It’s been a week since Menu Foods of Canada, told the public of the danger that face their pets if they eat their food sold in the the U.S. under almost 100 different names and they aren’t any closer to finding out what is causing animals to die from kidney failure! What amazes me are the stats released yesterday, which show the company tested the food months ago and one out of six animals died from eating the food! ONE OUT OF SIX! Wasn’t that enough reason to keep the product off the market?

Isn’t anyone out there looking out for our little pals? Where is PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals? Isn’t this a cause they should champion, instead of the self-promoting stunts they pull to draw media attention? Who do you turn to even get information about this crisis? Here’s a place to get daily updates on Menu Foods Pet food recall¬† http://www.howl911.com/¬† but what do we do now?

As I was writing this article, a new exterminator sent by the landlord, came to my door. I told him I had 2 cats and asked him if the chemicals he used would be safe. I also threw in that I was once hospitalized by noxious pesticide fumes and suffered from severe allergies and respritory problems. He smiled and assured me that what he was using was absolutely safe and everything would be ok in 15 minutes.

I quickly drew up a paper I wanted him to sign that said;

I understand that you are highly allergic to pesticide and you and your pets might be at risk. I guarantee that you or your pets will not be harmed from the chemicals I use (please list). Along with his signature I asked for his name, company, drivers license and exterminators license number. At this point he had me speak to his boss. Who said there was no problem and I could come back safely to my house after eight hours. EIGHT HOURS is not 15 minutes! Obviously the exterminator who told me 15 minutes was lying. He wanted to come in, spray, collect his money and leave.

My white tomcat Whoppy is currently under doctors care for an eye infection and I will not put him, his girlfriend Streaker or myself at risk. I asked the landlord to give me at least a weeks notice so I can find a place for us to stay until it’s safe to return to my apartment…fortunately he’s a cat owner, so I don’t anticipate a problem.

I’ve always tried to help animals but now I realize it’s going to take millions of us pet lovers to really make a difference in how pets are perceived and subsequently treated. Does anyone out there have any ideas?

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

 

For a story about my little Cairn Terrier, Nookie, that I brought over from London 30 years ago and our meeting Bette Davis! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/07/08/nookie-with-bette-davis/

For stories of my little Kitty pals Whoppy and Streaker.. including how we faced a California wildfire! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/22/looking-back-with-whoppy-and-streaker/

Here’s an article for people who consider their animals to be friends not property. https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/07/for-cats-and-dogs-who-keep-us-hummin/

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After a domestic dispute with Streaker, Whoppy runs away from home. A neighbor brings him back after finding him stuck in his doggie door!

Did you hear that after Madonna bought a little boy in Africa, she stopped off in Mexico to buy a nanny?

Congratulations to Triumph, the insult comic dog, who just became spokesman for Grey Poopon mustard!

Last night, rapper 50 Cents was arrested outside of a Manhattan dance club for allegedly beating his own ass!

Condoleeza Rice and Hilary Clinton are racing up the pop music charts with their first duet, “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Run This Land!” To hear it just click onto http://i.euniverse.com/funpages/cms_content/13180/HillaryCondi_HoDown.swf

Mel Gibson, still repenting for his drunken anti-semetic remarks, is sending out invitations to his own bris! I guess nothing shows sincerity like a circumcision!

Jessica Simpson, reportedly was an hour late for her doctors appointment because she was studying for her blood test!

Construction worker Dick Hertz, tried to return a monkey’s paw he allegedly found in a bowl of chili at a fast food restaurant. He was promptly arrested for fraud when it was discovered that he used up all three wishes that come with the monkey’s paw.

Simon Cowell, has been named as the new host of “The Price is Right” to replace Bob Barker, who is starting to crumble into dust.

Kelly Clarkson is alive and well although she appears in the video, “Rock and Roll Heaven” which is a tribute to dead rock stars. just click onto https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

Copyright 2006- by Artie Wayne

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Whoppy and Streaker in a reflective mood.

It’s been ten years since Alex, the lovely hostess at Genghis Cohen, gave her boss Allan Rinde, a little calico cat by the name of Streaker. I watched Allan, who had little experience with pets, proceed to spoil her over the next 6 months. I remember going to visit him once and he answered the door with Streaker dangling by her claws, casually, from the bottom of his shirt. That little booger would always manage to do something that would keep me in stiches. She knew how to use the remote control on the TV and would change channels just as a program was starting to get good. Allan thought he had the problem solved when he started using two remotes. Then I remember one night, we were all watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, just as Sarah Michelle Geller was about to drive her point across…Streaker changes the channel! I quickly change it back…and Streaker changes it again! This “duel” goes on for a while until I chase her into the other room where she ducks under the bed. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I could heard her laughing.

This was about the time that Allan and songwriter Toni Wine ( “Groovy Kind Of Love”, “Candida”), who I introduced, were starting to get serious about each other. Allan was spending more and more time in Nashville where Toni lived, so Alex suggested that he should consider getting another cat to keep Streaker company. That’s when she brought a chubby, but dashing little white tomcat over, recently rescued from a crack house fire, whose name was Whoppy.

Allan let me stay in his apartment, after my spinal operation, where I fed and looked after my two little friends. Whoppy, who was now tipping the scales at 25 pounds, would lie on my right hand which, was partially paralyzed until it opened up! Streaker remained aloof with me, but fell in love with “Whop”. When I moved into my own place in Silver Lake, Allan gave me Whoppy as a present. A few weeks later, when he and Toni decided to marry, he asked me if I would take Streaker as well, because Toni was allergic to cats!

It’s been almost four years since the three of us moved here to the desert. Although I hate air conditioning, I turn it on for my little pals when it hits a hundred degrees or when they start sweating…whichever comes first!

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This morning I was in a reflective mood myself and I took a look at the guest book on my website. I was amazed at many of the old and new friends who signed and some of the incredible stories they tell! If you’d like to see it just click onto http://www.artiewayne.com/Guestbook/

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l to r- Streaker, Whoppy…….and Nookie

Whenever there’s a slow news day, they’ll run a heartwarming story about a cat calling 911 and saving it’s masters life or a dog who saves a family by barking relentlessly during a fire. Although these heroes are certainly worthy of media attention, I’d like to pay tribute to the millions of dogs and cats who are more than just companions.

As long as I can remember I’ve had an animal in my life who’s been less of a pet and more of a sidekick. They’ve shared the joy of a new romance with me, as well as the pain of heartbreak. They’ve celebrated buisness triumphs with kisses and wags and helped me get through dozens of setbacks with nuzzles and licks. When you confide in a dog or a cat, you know one thing for sure…they’re not going to gossip!

In the late 70’s I brought Nookie, a Cairn Terrier, over from Harrods in London and he helped me get through some pretty hard times. I remember once I came home after a hard frustrating day and layed down on my back exhausted with tears running down my face. Nookie came over, stood on my chest and dropped his favorite toy, a nasty little hand puppet name “BaBa” on my face. At first I started gagging, then I started laughing uncontrolably. I can’t think of any human who was able to change my mood faster than Nookie could, it was like having a monkey around without all the empty peanut shells.

As a tribute to him, when I was recording my album for Casablanca, Art Munson, Joe Klein and I produced a track, “Is The Puppy Hungry?” that featured Nookie and his friend Lester ( Joe’s dog ), barking in rythym to a reggae track. When the president of the label, Neil Bogart heard it he said, ” This could sell a million records, but not on my label!” I was crushed, but Nookie and Lester kept right on playing. Animals can make a positive difference in your morale which becomes essential if you have health problems. After sharing my life with Nookie for 12 years, he passed away. I felt lost for quite a while and didn’t want the responsibility of having another dog. 10 years ago, when my friend Allan Rinde got married and moved to Nashville, he asked me to take care of his cats, because his wife, Toni, was allergic to them.

I’ve always been a dog person and didn’t even know how to properly pet a cat. It wasn’t long, however, before they had me trained. When I had a spinal operation, my hands closed up on me and my 25 pound cat Whoppy would lie on my right hand to open it up. It wasn’t long before his girlfriend Streaker would lie on my left hand and open that one up as well. I can’t tell you how many times that touching them while they were purring calmed me down when I was stressed out. I don’t know how long they’ll be with me on earth, but I thank God for every minute we’re together.

A couple of years ago when I was able to use my hands again I started using acrylics to create animal portraits on quartz, which I called Petz Rock. Although I’m not making them any longer, I’m really proud of what I created. If you’d like to see some of my favorites, click onto http://artiewayne.com/petz.html

Special thanks to those animals of the present and the past who keep my friends healthy and happy…Waldo, Prince, King Arthur, Tippy, Walter, Gladys, Fluffy, Queenie, Pete, Harold Katz, Chipper, Mutt, Hula, Smarty, Faye, Buster, Alfie, Chuck, Little Bit, Miss Ellie Mae Lovejoy,Tiffany, Jocko, Sugar, Teddy, Girlie Girl, Duke, Max, Chester, Bella, Pico, Bullet, Daive, Rai, Kitty, Lucky, Goofy, Thelma and Louise, Hogart, Tommy, Abby, Chica, Molly, Nancy Sinatra, Pitchy Patch, Whiskie, Keetch, Spats, Ramona, Shasta, Avalon, Merlin, Titchie, Fagin, Nigel, Shasta, Kimbob, Lassie, Pumpkin, Roady. Benjy, Booger, Smiley, Midnight, Floyd, Harley, Lady Stella Stardust, Trigger, Ashley, Bojangles, Charlie, Natasha, Henry, Harpo, Fantoma, Moose, Sherman Ochs, Penny, Scotty, Squeeker, Trips, Bonnie, Cotton, Betty, Cleo and Arfer.

If you’d like to include your own animal friend to this list e-mail me at artie_wayne@yahoo.com

Joe Klein can be reached at http://www.podcastvoiceguys.com

Art Munson can be reached at http://artmunson.com

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I wonder how many people on Earth woke up this morning and realized that the World had changed overnight? It has become a little smaller, and a lot more dangerous than it was before! I celebrated my 39th birthday, this year, for the 25th time, and wonder if I’ll be around next year to tell that stupid joke again? I remember the fall of the Nazis and the victory over Japan, as a little boy, the rise of the Cold War as a young man, and the threat of a nuclear holocaust for most of my adult life. I woke up in the middle of the night and started writing, hoping that hundreds of thousands of bloggers would write what’s in their hearts about the world situation. “If we had Millions Of Hearts with a single thought, Millions Of Hearts with a single dream, Millions Of Hearts with a single prayer, there’s no tellin’what we can do!”

I wrote that song 40 years ago with my late songwriting partner, Ben Raleigh, [“Wonderful, Wonderful”,”Tell Laura I Love Her”] and still believe that today. A few days ago [july 14, 2006] , I wrote out a new lyric on my blog, “You Can’t Push A Bullet Back Into A Gun”. From the overwhelming response, I knew I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

I wanted to turn on the TV and find out how close the California wildfires are, which nearly caused me and my cats, Whoppy and Streaker, to evacuate a few nights ago. After I found out what I needed to know, I quickly turned the TV off. I’m tired of seeing a barrage of disturbing images and breaking news stories, that I can’t do anything about! I went to my friend, Sebastian Prooth’s, blog and read his piece on Mr.Rogers, and watched a six minute video on his childhood TV hero. I wasn’t part of the Mister Rogers generation when I grew up, so I didn’t know much about the man or what he stood for. I didn’t expect to be as touched as I was, when I saw him gently and eloquently ask for government funding of children’s television. Like the stone faced congressman he was addressing, I melted when I heard Mr. Rogers passionate plea.

Then I scrolled down to watch the video, Sebastian, turned me onto a few days ago, by singer and songwriter, Dennis Madalone, “America, We Stand as One”. I’ve never been political, but I’ve always been patriotic! I’m not embarrassed to say that once again, I was brought to tears! Initially I was against Bush sending troops to Iraq, but now I’m glad we have a strong presence there! Thank you, Sebastian Prooth, SebRT.com, Dennis Madelone, and people like you, for giving the rest of us hope!

* “Millions Of Hearts” by Ben Raleigh and Artie Wayne

Copyright 1963/ 2006- Ben Raleigh music and Wayne Art music