Doggie Debacle- March 30, 2010

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                I prepared for the dog-walking trip yesterday by calling off work and arranging to get out of class five minutes early.  I ran to my room, quickly changed my clothes, and was out the door with two release forms in hand for my two new recruits, Christine and Andrea. 

                After they signed the release forms, we drove out to the Humane Society, walked in, and signed in only to have one of the workers inform us that there was a clinic that started at 2 and goes on every Tuesday.  They nicely told us that they basically didn’t want us because it was “going to be getting pretty hectic.” 

                The first thing that popped into my mind was well it would have been nice to know that before I gathered people, called off work, and drove out here.  I was mad at myself mainly and a little at the Humane Society.  Maybe they told me at one point (at which case it’s all my fault), but I can’t recall them ever telling me that they have clinics on Tuesdays so I can’t bring people to walk the dogs.  All I remember is being told that anytime between 1 and 4 Monday through Friday would be good.

                Why didn’t I call or at least tell them on Monday that I was coming on Tuesday?  Well, Monday it slipped my mind.  I was just so excited to be there that I forgot to mention that unlike usual, I’d be back the next day.  I didn’t call because I had called before and the person who answered always seemed to not really care that I was coming.  I can’t really describe the impression I got from her voice, but it wasn’t that of not caring exactly…it was more of a I’ll see you when you get here tone as in she didn’t understand why I would call ahead of time to inform her of that.

                So the lesson I learned yesterday was to always call and confirm.  From now on, I will make sure that it is ok that we are coming every time we go.  It was bad enough that I disturbed my own schedule by calling off work, but I disturbed the schedules of others.  Thankfully, Andrea and Christine seemed to be pretty understanding and said they’d come and help next time on a Thursday instead.  I was so looking forward to walking the dogs…

 

One of the dogs, Mandy, I was looking forward to walking below.

 

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Check out my other posts about dog walking!

1) Seton Hill Students Help Humane Society

2) 2nd Humane Society Trip: Crazy dog!

3) March 29, 2010- A Rainy Expedition

March 29, 2010- A Rainy Expedition

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  Thumbnail image for DSC01080.JPGToday, Greta, Kalie, and I went to walk the dogs again at Westmoreland County Humane Society.  It was a lot of the same stuff all over again, except for the fact that it was lightly drizzling outside.  I came in from outside looking and smelling like the animals I was walking. 

There were four dogs at the Humane Society that were there the last time we walked a week ago.  This is a relatively high turn out rate for these dogs.  Orchid (my favorite) was adopted and so was the other pit bull pup that we loved.  I'm glad to see these great dogs got to go home with good families.

Most of the dogs I walked this time were relaxed and well behaved, except for one that was a little hyper.  We went out on four walks total in order to get all of the dogs.  I walked a really nice, calm dog named Chaos, who was a husky mix.  He was well-behaved and seemed to get along well with the other dogs that were getting walked at the same time as him. 

Breeze, a sand-colored mixed breed with a black muzzle, was my favorite today.  She was sweet and a little hyper (like I like them).  She gave me a little bit of a challenge when I tried to get the dog that was in the same cage as her out to walk him.  I leashed him and then tried to open the door when *whoosh!* the skinny Breeze blew through the door.  I managed to grab her collar and I tried to finagle her back into the cage but Trisha, one of the workers, was luckily nearby so she grabbed Seth and I brought Breeze back into the cage. 

I also had a “chix,” as I called him (which I found out meant Chihuahua mix) who successfully lifted his leg and pooped on a wall.  I’m not quite sure how he even managed that, but I was shocked to discover we was number twoing where I thought he was number oneing. 

Since I’ve been back in my dorm  room, I feel rather calm and relaxed.  I’m also stoked to get the chance to take a completely different group back tomorrow.  I believe this is the first time I’ll be going without having Greta and Kalie with me.  Instead, I have two newbies, so I’m pretty excited to introduce them to the wonderful world of volunteer dog-walking.  I’m pretty sure dog-walking is going to be an Olympic sport for the Summer 2010 Olympic Games that are going to be held in London, England.

All kidding aside, I just want to stress to anyone reading this how important it is to make sure that you are prepared to put the time and energy into adopting a pet.  I understand that sometimes good dogs who had loving families end up in shelters because of bad situations.  But, I have to say that the majority of these dogs were probably split second decisions or the people didn't research the breed of dog before adopting.  I have been to the humane society three times so far and I've seen three beagles.  Just because they have floppy ears and a cute face does not make them the right dog for everyone. 

  Check out my past two blogs about dog walking.

1) Seton Hill Students Help Humane Society

2) 2nd Humane Society Trip: Crazy dog!

2nd Humane Society Trip: Crazy dog!

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Today was the second trip to the Humane Society that almost didn't happen.  I got a few wires crossed but managed to scrounge up two people to go with me to walk the dogs.

When we walked into where the dogs are kept, it was surprising to see that not one of the dogs from the trip before were still there!  This is great news, and for once, I'm happy to not see a dog again because they got new families.

Unlike the last time, there was pretty much at least one dog per cage, so this weekend must have not had as many adoptions as the time before.  There were a two pitbull mixes, what looked like a german shepherd mix, a beagle, a basset hound, and a four other dogs.  Greta, Kalie, and I each walked three dogs (and one very hyper dog got walked twice).

That hyper pitbull mix was my favorite dog of the day.  Her name is Orchid and she is anything but an orchid.  The name "Orchid" implies a pretty, fragile dog, but Orchid was a firecracker.  On her walk, she took off in front of me, practically dragging me along and choking herself.  After dragging me for about 30 seconds, she would turn around to Greta's very calm pitbull mix and try to play with her.  Greta's very sweet dog was a little afraid of my overly excited puppy, and mainly hid behind Greta's legs.  My dog, who I swear had ADHD, would then repeat the whole cycle by attempting to drag me and then trying to play with Greta's dog.  Finally, the two seemed to get used to each other and Greta's dog became a little less skiddish.  They played for a little while on a hill.

I'd have to say that that sparkplug of a dog was a reminder to me of how to have fun.  She seemed to get as much out of her walk as was physically possible (I wish I had had my running shoes and it wasn't so muddy because I would have run with her).  She was so hyper that when Kalie and I both had two unwalked dogs for our third and final walk, and Greta was left with no dogs to walk, she decided to walk Orchid again.  Orchid was overjoyed and was still very high energy.  This dog also had a softer side though.  When I took her into her cage, she came over and leaned against me while I scratched her side.  She was very good with people and other dogs, although she'd be better with a younger, more high-energy dog who could play with her.  I hope she finds a good, permanent home very soon.

Once again, walking dogs was very relaxing.  I was all worked up about all of the homework I need to do, but now I have calmed down and realized that I'll be fine and have plenty of time to get it done.  I also got a good bit of exercise.  I probably walked at least a mile on unlevel ground with the three dogs.  

I would also like to thank Greta and Kalie for going dog walking with me both times I've gone.  You two have made my experiences this far a lot of fun and less stressful.  Thanks for coming walking with me on such short notice!

If you happen to see this and you are thinking about buying a dog, please go to a shelter!!!  They have both purebred dogs and mutts.  There are also a number of temperments and ages there.  (The Humane Society of Westmoreland County actually probably has more young dogs right now than old.)  

The last thing I want to say is if you are thinking about adopting a dog, please, PLEASE, make sure you are ready to do so.  Do not adopt a puppy because he/she looks cute, but you really do not have the space, stability, or time to devote to him/her.  Be sure that your choice of dog is a good one for your lifestyle and make sure that if you adopt a puppy, you train him/her basic skills like socialization (with both people and other dogs).  If you teach them a few tricks as well it can help you better control them and help strengthen your bond.

Feel free to leave comments below.

See my other blog entry about dog walking 

Seton Hill Students Help Humane Society

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My name is Angela Palumbo and I am a currently a junior English major.  For my honors capstone project I decided to do two things:

1) Collect towels, garbage bags, paper towels, bleach, gift cards, and laundry detergent for the Human Society

2) Take a group of five students to the Humane Society to help them walk their dogs.

 

     Today, February 22, was the first of what will be many visits to the Humane Society to walk dogs.  What started out as an idea has blossomed into what I see as a future passion.  I love animals so much.  Being about to help them in any way possible has made my day today.  It was a wonderful break from the mundane Monday where I go to class and do homework.  I felt that in some small way, I was making a difference in the animals' lives and also in the lives of the Humane Society workers.  The dogs were so happy to get to go out on walks.  Their tails were going, and they were anxious to be out of the cages.

     I would be lying if I said that the dogs and the workers at the Humane Society were the only ones who benefitted from our visit.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment wash over me after I left.  While I was there, nothing else in the world existed but the dogs.  My stress disappeared and I left a much happier person than I came in. 

     I also received good feedback from the people who helped me do it.  Many of them made the event their Facebook status, commenting on the great dogs and their need for happy homes.  These people also expressed interest in going out again to walk the dogs. 

     I have proposed to all those who are helping me that I make this activity a club.  This club can partner with the Humane Society to aide them in walking dogs or anything else that they may need.  We can take up collections.  Also, the Humane Soceity holds events like the Cash Bash in which they have requested student help.  I can definately see this idea going places other than where I had originally intended, and that's a good thing.

In order to help Humane Society Animals in your area you can:

1) Adopt a pet from there but only if you have the time, space, and dedication to make your home a "forever home" for the animal 

2) Take up a collection around your school or workplace

3) Donate your time to a shelter.  Ask them what they need and offer them your survices.

4) Raise the awareness of homeless animals by talking about adopting dogs and cats from shelters instead of the pet stores.

5) Encourage people to not impulse buy an animal.  Many times people go to a pet store and see that "little doggie in the window;" they decide to take it home on the spot.  In three months, and five pairs of chewed up shoes later, that "bad dog" is taken to a shelter because it is "untrainable."  If you don't have the time to donate to training an animal, don't adopt one.

If you have any suggestions or additions, feel free to comment below.

I'm not positive but this might be my last portfolio ever.  It's been a fun ride and as much as I've complained over the years, I've learned by blogging and interacting with my peers.

News writing has been an interesting class.  I have to agree with Greta on this one; I'm not the biggest news writing fan and I'm pretty sure that I could never be a journalist in real life.  I'm so used to writing academic essays that journalism was pretty hard for me.  I like the chronology of writing an academic essay.  It's organized and flows.  Nonetheless, journalistic writing definately has its place.  Nobody wants to sift through all of the flourishes of academic writing.  That just weighs down the paper.  People just want to get the information.  It's not chronological because sometimes the most important information comes at the end.

Here are the best entries from the end of this semester (which means all of them because there aren't that many)

Coverage:

Depth:

  • I'm Gettin' Wired! gives an overview of the wired website and an article about electric cars.  The links function really well within this article, taking you to previous, related articles.
  • Petland and Puppy Mills definately is one of my best.  I would consider it in depth because I worked really hard researching good websites that I could use in writing my article. 
  • Too Much Freedom!? is a little bit of a rant.  I can't believe that someone, let alone 53% of Americans, would make the suggestion that journalists have too much freedom.  Even though it's a bit of a rant, I make some really good points.

Interaction:

Discussion:

  • Pleasing the Eye is all about the aesthetics of online news.  Using multimedia adds another level to the story and gives online news the edge over printed news.  A few people had a lot to say about the subject and I returned to comment on what they said. 
  • This is ok...I give it a C+ stimulated a lot of conversation.  I was really harsh on The Harvard Crimson's website and some people agreed and some disagreed.  I returned twice to keep the conversation going and give my readers feedback.

Timeliness:

  • This Is Garbage! was turned in on time, as was all ov these entries.  I tried really hard to get everything done on time during the hell time of November.

Xenoblogging:

  • I took the opportunity in Too Much Freedom!? to promote Derek's article because he made some good points in his entry and it also related to my entry.  Check it out!
  • Freedom, Fairness, and Futility is Derek's entry that I mentioned above.  I was the comment primo on his blog.  The conversation was rolling well.

Wildcard:

 

Here are all of my portfolios for this class:

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How to Not Have a Massive Heart Attack During Finals Week

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It's that time again, everyone!  To steal a line from Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Only one week left until yet another semester is over.  Just one more hurdle to overcome, but this may just be the hardest week of them all: finals week.

How do get your work and studying done without going crazy?  Well, obviously it depends on the amount of work you have but here's a few tips to help get you through the week.

  1. Manage your time wisely.  If you have one final a day, study the night before.  Then look at it again before your test.  Go through all of the information, especially the important information that you are likely to see again.  The more times you see it, the more likely you are to remember it.  Do not try to cram one hour before the test.  That's how to have a nervous breakdown.
  2. Find a study technique that works for you.  If your teacher is nice enough to give you a study sheet, make sure you go through the terms/questions.  Make a copy of the blank sheet then write the answers on one of the sheets.  Fill out one sheet with the answers.  Then practice filling in the information on the other sheet.  Notecards really work for me.  Put the term/question on the front and the answers on the back.  Try writing on the cards in different colors so you don't get bored.  Also, there is a program called CueCard that allows you to digitally make your own flashcards.  It's easy and free!  If you don't have a study guide, go over the things the teacher stressed several times.  Read your notes again and again.
  3. If at all possible, get away from all distractions or at least put them away.  Don't have facebook on or the TV.  Tell your boyfriend/girlfriend not to text you for a few hours.  If you are more concentrated, you are more likely to retain the information and your studying will go faster.
  4. Take breaks!  Don't study for six hours straight.  You're going to kill your brain.  Take a breather and eat a snack or check your email.  Just remember how much time you want to spend on that break and stick to it.  Don't get into watching a movie and decide not to study.  You'll end up kicking yourself later if you do.
  5. Eat regular meals.  Don't skip meals to study.  Your body needs food to function, so you need to eat to be able to think.
  6. Try not to stress when going into a test.  Chew some peppermint gum to alleviate tension and stimulate your brain.  Take deep breaths.  Everything is going to be fine.

Good luck on your tests!

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Too Much Freedom!?

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From Haiman’s Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists:

 

“In a 1999 survey sponsored by the First Amendment Center, 53% of Americans

said they believed the press has too much freedom,” (72).

Too much freedom?  How can one have too much freedom to say what’s on their minds?  If the government decided to take away some of our First Amendment rights, people would go nuts!  I guarantee at least 90% of the 53% would change their minds if this were to happen. 

It is the newspaper itself that should regulate what their reporters say.  If a reporter is unfair and the newspaper finds out about it, there should be harsh penalties.  The reporter should at least have to issue a public apology to whomever he/she deceived or represented unfairly.

When people start suggesting that our government take away rights it just shows that people don’t appreciate what they have.  I know I’m getting patriotic but we live in a country that permits us to write what we want.  Freedom isn’t free and we’ve had a lot of people pay the ultimate price to keep rights like freedom of the press.  What’s next?  Are these people going to start suggesting that we don’t write articles that critique the president?  Or that people can only write articles that are told from a republican point of view?  Or what if the government told people that they were going to take away our freedom to tell a lie?  I’d like to talk to this 53%.   I honestly don’t think these people thought this question over when they answered.

Is my anger justified?  Did anyone else get this feeling when they read this statistic?

Derek discusses freedom on his page as well.  Check it out!

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I have a few issues/concerns about writing my investigative report.  I thought it might be helpful if I asked the questions online.

As part of my investigative report, I called one of the companies that distributes to Petland.  When I did this, I put my phone on speaker phone and had my friend listen to the answers as I asked the questions.

1) How do I talk about how I called the company in my article without referring to myself?  I can't say, "When I called Petland..."can I?

2) My friend, in some of her quotes, referred to we (as in her and I) and Angela, so I can't really avoid bringing myself into it if I use some of these quotes.  How should I deal with this?

3) Is it a problem that I was unable to get the name of the person I talked to when I called Mid America Pet?

4) Is it ethical to mention the name of the guy who I talked to from Petland in Monroeville since a person could actually track him down?

 

News writing page

This website gets a solid B

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      I am more impressed with the webpage for the University of Virginia’s online newspaper called The Cavalier Daily.  I like how there are a lot of pictures on the top of the page and then distinct sections going down the page.  There is still a lot to try to take in like The Harvard Crimson.  However, it looks a lot better than Harvard’s online paper.  I like how the masthead isn’t hidden at the top like Harvard’s paper.  It’s more in the middle and is aesthetically pleasing.  I do feel the page is lacking pictures when you scroll down.  Too much text there.  I’d like to see graphics to accompany the story headlines.  I’d be more prone to click on something with a picture.  Other than that, it’s pretty good.  See what I had to say about Harvard's newspaper website.

    

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This is ok...I give it a C+

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Well apparently you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or go to Harvard to know how to do layout.  I think that the main page for The Harvard Crimson is an average-looking site.  I don’t want to say it looks bad, it doesn’t.  But there is nothing particularly eye-catching, nothing that really demands your attention.  I like the changing picture in the middle of the page.  It’s cool.  But really, it’s Harvard!  Shouldn’t there be blinking lights or awesome fonts or something to spice it up?  They could even lay it out to look like a printed paper.  Create a template of some sort as to catch the eye of the viewer.  I’m disappointed.  I do like the “featured galleries” at the bottom of the page, though.  It looks nice and is a little different from what I’ve seen before.  Too bad the rest of the layout isn’t as cool.

 

What do others think?

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