Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, I am going to end this semester with superpowers. This is not because Allen and I have been experimenting with disastrous chemical compounds or doing dry runs of superhero vs. villain (Allen is the reluctant villain, of course) in our spare time. No, it is because I spend one evening a week yelling at people in a darkened basement. This by itself is OK, because basements aren’t that scary and I have full audio/video hookup to play as many Real Housewives videos as I want, but I am also across the hall from the “cancer risk” lab and next door to “possible radiation.” Down the hall is a room full of cut-up dead people that scared the shit out of me when I was forced to visit it in high school (not as a punishment but as a science learning experience).

I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of power I will develop, and I’ve narrowed it down to something that would have to do with being slightly dangerous, overwhelmingly adorable, and able to take naps in any location or position (god, I love to nap). In short, I will likely be able to morph into a sloth at will.

Being a sloth will be awesome because sloths are really in right now. For instance, only recently, amazing celebrity Kristen Bell (omg! I have all of Veronica Mars on DVD! I once cut a whole week of college just to watch two entire seasons of that show!) had a full-on panic attack upon discovering that a sloth was nearby.

Could you imagine how awesome it would be if your superpower was to make other people have anxiety attacks of happiness? No one would be able to rob a bank while I was nearby! Murders would be a thing of the past! “Adore my cuteness!” would be my battle cry!

After fighting evil (Allen), I would happily go and hang out with my sloth friends on a sloth farm and eat bananas and leafy greens. I would just have to make sure the other sloths wouldn’t be as adorable and try to take over my turf. They’ve already beaten Lady and the Tramp. Check out the two adorable sloths that are sharing some sort of bean. Adorable.

Although I would be a sloth I would also be an honorary opossum and chill with my pals Pear and Pearl. I know I’ve featured Pearl before but this was before I knew that she was certified in the art of animal psychoanalysis.

I went to school for many years in order to practice therapy on humans, but I can’t even come close to the way Pearl handles rapport, alliance, and resistance. I wish she would open her own graduate school where I could supplement my degree with a Ph.D in hanging out with adorable animals. Call me, Pearl, I want to enroll!

That’s it for this week. Please send me links for next week, and try not to rob a bank this Wednesday. I haven’t gained my superpowers yet!

[baby sloth photo by Lucy Cooke. Can’t see the videos? Watch them on!]


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Are you watching as much reality T.V. as I am? I’m watching more trashy television than I ever have. Before you get worried, it is important to realize that I am categorically NOT watching anything that involves the Kardashians. That is strictly Allen territory. Allen and Ernie territory, actually. For anyone not familiar (which would be everyone), Ernie is what my father likes to call himself. He would also like you to call him that. At my last birthday party one of my friends mistakenly referred to him as Mr. Shrayber and my dad looked at her like she was crazy before loudly exclaiming “Who the hell is Mr.Shrayber, man? My name is Ernie!” in his thick Russian accent. My dad is hardcore. And he loves the Kardashians. And talking about the Kardashians with Allen. Which is good, because I was always worried that my father and my boyfriend would have nothing to talk about before Kim Kardashian’s sex tape came along.

Speaking of reality T.V., who else is enjoying the hours of cringe-worthy entertainment of Platinum Hit and The Glee Project? Honestly, I don’t even know how this Glee monstrosity is a thing; it should be a crime to put teenage drama club members on television. There is just so much crying and overacting and “feeling vulnerable” that I don’t know how the camera people are not constantly dropping their equipment to throw up. That’s got to be a liability lawsuit right there, and the worst part is that it would probably just give these teenspians (I just made that up! It is a combination of “teen” and “thespian”! Now I am going to write a book, just like Teresa Guidice!) more fodder. One insufferable young monster named Lindsey (aren’t they always?) would be all, “When Rodney dropped his camera and upchucked into the bushes, I knew that I was doing something right. He was obviously touched by my heart-wrenching and vulnerable performance of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” She is probably going to win.

There is a better class of reality shows out there, but you’re not going to find them on television. For instance, I am certain that not even Logo (which runs basically anything, if you’ve seen The A-List or Setup Squad) would air this delightful tutorial on how to give an opossum a pedicure, even though it is probably one of the most entertaining things you will ever see. The video features jokes (“I said hoary!”), admonitions to never put false fingernails on an opossum, and best of all, five minutes with Pearl, the creator of the video, whose backstory claims that she was raised by squirrels. After watching this entire thing, I am not sure it isn’t true. I am also not entirely sure that this isn’t just Mary Steenburgen playing an elaborate prank on all of us (favorite actress ever) but who cares? The "Opossum Pedicure Song" makes life worth living!

On a side note, I have no idea how this woman makes it so that the opossum lets her paint its nails. I used to have to give my rabbit a pedicure and let me tell you, that was an ordeal. I would have to first trick Ms. Cleo onto a towel or blanket, and then swaddle her in it as quickly as possible in order to disarm her and make sure she did not take huge chunks out of me with her claws and teeth—once she scratched the inside of my arm and it totally looked like I had tried to slit my wrists; I had a lot of explaining to do when Allen got home—before pulling out a paw to check for overgrown nails. And even then there was like a 75 percent chance I’d get scratched in the face. I was barely able to cut her nails, let alone file and paint them. How does she do it?

In case you don’t believe that animals can be incredibly evil, I introduce you to Animals Being Dicks, a compendium of .gifs that exhibit our furred and feathered friends at their very crankiest and most evil. I particularly like the video of the dog projectile-defecating on the woman who has just lifted his tail. Yes, very disgusting, and it teaches us an important lesson: one should not go around inspecting the private areas of another loving being without due cause. This I learned in preschool as I ran screaming from my friend Luyba as she lifted up her shirt to show me what she had under there while we were behind her house. I ran all the way home and told my mother, who forbade me from ever playing with Luyba again. Which was good, because besides wanting to show me things I had no interest in seeing, she was also incredibly mean, always finding ways to get me in trouble. Moral of story: private parts are private. That’s all for this week. Please send me links for next week and have a non-volatile Wednesday!

[opossum photo by forever souls and rabbit photo by stirwise via Flickr]


The Search Dog Foundation puts more rescued dogs to work rescuing people!  »

Did you want more Search Dog Foundation news? Of course you did, those dogs are awesome! Our friend Mike let us know that two search teams were deployed on Monday, May 23 to Joplin, Mo. to work in the wreckage of the tornado that demolished the area over the weekend.

Check it out: both dogs are “rescued dogs turned rescuers,” and they’re California dogs—Huck comes from the East Bay SPCA, and Jagger from the Haven Humane Society in Anderson (near Redding)—just like Pearl! Huck was too possessive of his toys, and Jagger was “high-energy and ball-driven.” After successful training, Huck now lives with his partner, Oklahoma City firefighter and FEMA Canine Coordinator Brent Koeninger, and Jagger with his partner, Oklahoma City firefighter Jason Smith.

You can keep up with all of SDF’s graduations on the site, where there’s currently a video of Huck at work! Of course this would be more exciting if Huck and Jagger’s work weren’t “finding victims of a natural disaster,” you know? While we are extremely happy to see more proof that rescued dogs are the most deserving dogs, we feel terrible for the people of Joplin and all that they’ve suffered in the past week. Best of luck to Huck and Jagger and their partners in the wonderful work they’re doing. Dogs are seriously the best. SDF Lead Trainer Puis Davern says, “Watching these once cast-off dogs that with training have become life-saving tools fills me with unmitigated pride and a deep humility for this species that can and does do so much for humankind.” You guys, my heart.

Update! As of Tuesday night, Huck and Jagger are home. Jason Smith told SDF that “Brent and I are leaving Joplin now after almost two full days of searching. Our Task Force has completed its work in the area assigned to them and has been released by Command. We are headed home to the severe weather and tornadoes that await us in Oklahoma.” Good luck, teams.

[photo via the Search Dog Foundation. Thanks to Mike for the tip!]


Pearl the search and rescue dog: still amazing!  »

Pearl, the ASPCA dog of the year 2010, was deployed to Japan in March following the massive earthquake and tsunami. They were in the Ofunato City area on the northeast coast, and worked from Mar. 14 to 21. So heroic! The Search Dog Foundation has more information—including videos—on Pearl and her team’s work.

Our friend Mike from Occupied Las Vegas visited the SDF and got to see some training exercises. Very dramatic.

Mike also told us that Pearl was on Wheel of Fortune on Mar. 15 as well (obviously a pre-taped episode). Your Vegansaurus is very sorry not to have reported that so you could’ve watched it, but our SDF/Pearl correspondent was having some internet-access issues during, um, February through April. Ahem. Nevertheless, we are dedicated to bringing you the SDF/Pearl news you need.

And more news! Allyn Lee told us in mid-March that A New Job for Pearl reached its sales goal, so they can sponsor a new dog to undergo the SDF training. Allyn records their progress on their Facebook page, where you can also learn about the other dogs she rescues, including a very special pit bull mix called Vinnie, whom she saved from euthanasia in April. Allyn Lee’s just giving dogs a chance to be great—and look at how great some of them can be! This means that if you haven’t bought a copy of A New Job for Pearl yet, you should; proceeds will continue to sponsor dogs at the SDF. Belated congratulations to Allyn and all the creators of A New Job for Pearl, and thanks to Pearl and her handler Ron Horetski for doing their important work. Also thanks to Mike for the information. We love tips!

[photo courtesy friend-of-Vegansaurus Mike from Occupied Las Vegas!]


Allyn Lee, author of A New Job for Pearl, sent me a copy of the book! You remember how great I said it was? It’s still great! And there are still 100 copies to sell before they can sponsor a rescue dog at the  National Disaster Search Dog Foundation!
Hang on, Meave, you may be saying, what is the author doing sending you a book for free, when giving copies away doesn’t get them any closer to their sponsorship goal? The answer is that the copy I got is actually a reprint by the ASPCA, independent of Ms. Lee and the kids’ fundraising! All sending it to me did was remind me that this is a great cause to which we all might want to contribute.
Your Vegansaurus: always ready with another charitable way for you to spend your disposable income!

Allyn Lee, author of A New Job for Pearl, sent me a copy of the book! You remember how great I said it was? It’s still great! And there are still 100 copies to sell before they can sponsor a rescue dog at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation!

Hang on, Meave, you may be saying, what is the author doing sending you a book for free, when giving copies away doesn’t get them any closer to their sponsorship goal? The answer is that the copy I got is actually a reprint by the ASPCA, independent of Ms. Lee and the kids’ fundraising! All sending it to me did was remind me that this is a great cause to which we all might want to contribute.

Your Vegansaurus: always ready with another charitable way for you to spend your disposable income!


Book review: A New Job for Pearl!  »

You remember Pearl
, the ASPCA Dog of the Year 2010; Mike from Occupied Las Vegas told us about her, and her biography that was written by Allyn Lee and illustrated by the students of Connie Forslind’s 2010 second-grade class. Over the holiday, Mike sent me his copy of this book, A New Job for Pearl, to share with all of Vegansaurus!

It’s really simply put together; each page is a different picture drawn by a different kid, generally illustrating the few sentences on it, no fancy margin-work or fonts or anything—the focus is clearly the pictures. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any sample pages online, so I had to photograph a couple for you.

Someone studied the canine form before she drew her shelter dogs!

Pearl’s at work, and deliriously happy.

All the profits from its sale will go toward the $10,000 required to sponsor “the training of a search dog” at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). Author Allyn Lee explains that “the standard SDF way involves the sponsor ‘adopting’ a paired handler-dog team. This way it is a sure thing, because the standards these dogs have to meet are remarkable, and SDF wants the sponsor to know that the team has been tested and will put the extensive (and expensive!) training to work.” It’s not guaranteed that the dog they sponsor will be a rescue dog like Pearl, and although SDF offered to direct A New Job for Pearl's money to pay for Pearl's continued training, Lee says she really wanted to help out a newer dog to the program. She says that “SDF will match us with a dog in Northern California so we can meet with the dog initially and continue to stay in contact over time…when we are ready to sponsor.”

What does “ready to sponsor” mean? It means, when they finally have the $10,000 to cover the cost of the program, which they’ll earn by selling all 1,000 copies of the first edition of A New Job for Pearl. It’s only $12.50 with shipping, and Lee says that they still have 120 books left unsold! You guys, they’re so close to their goal. This is where your Vegansaurus says, If you care about rescue dogs, or Search and Rescue dogs, you really should buy this book. Make everyone you know with kids buy this book too, to help enforce the idea that Rescued Dogs Are the Most Deserving Dogs. Aside from which, the illustrations are SO SWEET AND CUTE, and Pearl’s story is such a lovely, happy one. Buy the book! And know your money will go to helping another dog become a hero.

[Thanks to Mike for lending us his book and for being so vigilant on behalf of the dogs of Lied Animal Shelter!]


Paris Hilton, human being, loves Lied Animal Shelter!  »

[photo via
Las Vegas Sun]

Paris Hilton: she has to perform 200 community service, because jail. And she gets to choose where to work off those hours, because—well, she worked a day at Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas, and at the end adopted a dog. Aww! An idle rich using some of that endless free time to do something good! Do you think she’ll add to her menagerie in the future exclusively by adopting animals?

Mike from Occupied Las Vegas, our number-one source for Las Vegas animal news, nots that, reputation aside, if “[Paris Hilton] can influence legions of slack jawed gossip zombies not to buy dogs from pet stores then that’s a win. You know, the demographic who fills the shelters with dalmatians and chihuahuas after the release of a popular Disney movie or a Taco Bell commercial. If Bruce Willis would just make ADOPT HARD, the shelters would be empty tomorrow.”

[Pearl—furthest right—with the rest of her team in Haiti. See more photos here!]

Lied Animal Shelter, if you recall, is the home of Crosby and many other potential search and rescue dogs. The ASPCA Dog of the Year 2010 is a search and rescue dog, actually; her name is Pearl, and she was deployed to Haiti to help save lives after the earthquake. Pearl is A HERO*, you guys, and two nice teachers from Rancho Romero School in Alamo, Calif. wrote a book about her. It’s called A New Job for Pearl, and all the profits from its sale are donated to the Search Dog Foundation center in Ojai, Calif. AWWW, YOU GUYS, buy the nice book for your little relations! Then you can explain why no one should ever, ever buy a dog when they can adopt one, because the dogs who don’t get adopted and don’t find good jobs WILL BE MURDERED.

Merry Christmas! Adopt an animal!

*You know “heroine” is going the way of “actress,” right? English allows for gender neutrality, let’s embrace it. Imagine if we still used “authoress” or “poetess”—BARF.

[Thanks to Mike from Occupied Las Vegas for the tips!]

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