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Hey folks

It’s Friday and also the opening day for The Secret Life of Pets.

The story focuses on the day to day lives of several pets living in New York City and what they do when their owners are at work or school…

Sound familiar?

Anyone reading this blog has likely read about my series, Hooked on Mutts.

Though it has a similar premise to The Secret Life of Pets there are some differences.

Hooked on Mutts was an idea I had developed long before this movie, the characters in my series are based on pets I’ve owned in real life in addition to ones that belonged to family, friends and neighbors with some original characters in-between. Then there’s the difference in the timeline and location with Hooked on Mutts being set in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Los Angeles.

But overall, the story originated from a what if question…’What if my dog left the house when I wasn’t at home and hung out with other pets in LA who did the same thing on a daily basis?’

Thus far, my idea has received 1st place in the concept/treatment category at the 2013 Beverly Hills Screenplay contest and positive feedback from a film/TV industry group I joined last Summer.

I still plan on getting it out there, possibly through crowdfunding.

Will post how things turn out, until then enjoy this trailer from The Secret Life of Pets:

See ya on Monday!

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Hi all,

And it’s time for my annual To-Do list. I know the year is half over but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to make up for lost time. Anyway on to my list:

Work out a decent routine schedule for my writing, art and other projects.

Enter more writing contests

Purchase needed Art and Writing Supplies

Complete the first drafts for my scripts and other writing projects

Sell artwork on eBay

Self-Publish one of my stories

Register scripts, treatments and pitches with the Writers Guild

Make demo DVD of video projects

Burn Story Soundtrack CDs

Send writing samples to Comic con, Twitter and Facebook contacts

Attend Long Beach Comic Con

Host Crowdfunding page for a writing project

Go to the L.A. Zoo

Raise butterflies

Attend one writer’s group meeting.

Take a screenwriting class

——–

And that concludes my list, will report my status within the next few months as I check off my list.

Off to go celebrate my folks’ 34th anniversary.

See ya on Monday!

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Hey folks, it’s Wednesday!

Still getting myself together but wanted to post this for a long time. This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Best in Show was a Beagle named Ms P. Whenever a breed’s popularity skyrockets people often go online searching for breeders.

Many people don’t support dog shows and have been known to protest outside the show ring feeling that the competition exploits animals and that anyone watching a dog show will see a certain breed they like and will want to go out and buy a puppy. I’ll save that for another day but this post is mainly about a bumper sticker I’ve seen twice.

The sticker referenced the Pitbull, calling it America’s dog. Wait… since when were they called America’s dog? last time I checked Labradors and now English Bulldogs were among America’s favorite dog breeds, not pitbulls.

For those who like or own pitbulls let’s agree to disagree…if you love or own a dog of this breed, good for you. That’s the dog you chose, be happy and enjoy your canine friend.

Now, let’s clear up something… Pitbulls are not an American breed!

Yes, it’s true, this dog actually comes from England so technically it should be called the English Pitbull Terrier not American Pitbull Terrier.

There are many American dog breeds living in the continental U.S. right now that have existed for well over a hundred years. I won’t be listing all of them since there is such a long list but I will be highlighting a few in an upcoming post.

Please don’t try to talk first time  owners into getting an unfamiliar dog breed unless they’ve had some experience with this particular dog.

And that’s it for now.

 

See ya on Friday!

 

 

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Hey folks,

Well I’m back online…

Watched Shark Week for the first time and I have to say, I really did enjoy it.

I’ve got various recordings saved to my DVR, I had heard about Shark Week years ago but didn’t know what it was about. This year I decided to sit down and watch it and I’m glad I did. So I’ll be tuning in next year. One of my favorite specials during Shark Week was The Great White Invasion. Showed how Great White Sharks have moved closer to beaches in Southern California, South Africa and Australia. Overall, I highly recommend watching Shark Week next year if you missed out this summer or go on Amazon and look for Shark Week on DVD.
After watching this year it gave me ideas for a story that will be my newest project for this year.
So check back for details later on.

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks, it’s Wednesday

Also it’s a week since I got back from Comic-Con.

But enough about that, I found out before my trip to L.A. back in June about a protest outside the Orleans hotel in Vegas where Ringling Bros circus performed from June 13 to June 16.

Many groups such as PETA and Last Chance for Animals claim that circuses neglect their animals and use whips, metal rods and tazers to ‘train’ the elephants and big cats featured in the show. Some even refer to Ringling Bros as “The Saddest show on earth”.

Although Ringling has had issues in the past, the case about circuses mistreating their animals has been around for years.

Many animal rights groups feel that Circuses, parks like Seaworld and even zoos are doing animals more harm than good.

This I find very hard to believe, although some roadside zoos should probably be shut down if they are running without a license or go without inspections. I’ll say this without the conservation programs held in zoos many species such as the
Mongolian wild horse would eventually go extinct. Ringling Bros owns the largest herd of Asian elephants in captivity. Big Cat Rescue is also the home to many retired circus cats.

In one published article, it’s been stated many of the ‘undercover’ footage put out by various animal rights groups is actually fake or staged.

In India, circuses provided jobs for homeless and unprivileged teens. The Ring master of one of the country’s remaining circuses said they’ve had major cutbacks in recent years, one of which were their exotic animals due to… yes, animal rights groups. His first job was in the ticket booth when he was 17, later he worked with the clowns and worked his way up. Prior to that he was homeless, he said getting a job at the circus, he got meals and a place to stay.

When I was young, I had never really heard about circuses mistreating their animals, I just knew of the circus as being one of the best places to spend a Saturday afternoon.

A few months back, Ringling Bros, won a lawsuit against an animal rights group, when a former employee gave out information, breaching his contract with the circus.

Ringling Bros also offers backstage passes allowing certain people to view their animals before the show and find out how they are cared for.

When I went to the county fair in 2007 and 2009, two of the traveling shows featured tigers, who like the ones in Ringling Bros were trained to perform various tasks.

Prior to that, I also saw the Cirque du Soleil show, Cavalia which featured many beautiful horses. The horses are all cared for and trainers work hard to prepare them for show business.

Then it hit me, why not do a Cirque show with tigers? that’s when I came up with my own fictional circus Cirque du Tigress.

 

I thought it would be a great idea and came up with a backstory of it being founded back in the 19th century and how since then it became one of the biggest traveling circuses. However, despite the name, tigers are just one of the big cat species in the circus, others include cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions as well as other exotic animals and domestic animals such as horses and dogs. All animals begin training between two and six months of age usually doing small tasks and commands such as sit, lay down, roll over and standing on their hind legs. However they are trained using clickers and are rewarded with food. From six months onward they begin the next level of training from jumping through hoops to working with other animals. They also form friendships with their co-stars, trainers and handlers and are well cared for. In between shows, many of the big cats and other animals take breaks. There’s certain characters in the story such as Shakira, a young white tiger who enjoys when she and her co-stars are allowed to meet and interact with fans, young and old. Many of the exotic animals in the shows are acquired through zoos or hired via auditions.

The story focuses on how the animals handle being in the circus and life on the road among them is Leon, a white South African Lion who has to deal with Rollo(pronounced Rah-low) a Siberian tiger who is the star of Cirque du Tigress.

I’ve given this story some thought and plan to have the story published at some point but would like for it to be an animated mini series or made-for-tv movie. Right now, I’m still working on the characters and their backgrounds plus additional research.

Will post how things go…

See ya on Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey folks, Well my weekend could’ve have been nicer. Spent my Saturday afternoon with some beagles. The Beagle Freedom Project hosted a nationwide house party event. Established in 2010, this group finds retirement homes for ex-lab beagles when they can no longer be used. Since the 19th century Beagles have been used as test subjects because of their calm dispostions. I first heard about beagles being used in labs in the late 1990s when it was made public in the UK. After 100 years, beagles as test subjects in the UK is now illegal. The Beagle is one of the oldest breeds with hounds being traced back as far as 700 B.C. Although many beagles used in labs come from commercial kennels, there are cases of pet beagles being stolen and later sold to laboratories.

Quite a few times when labs or schools who teach veterinary courses buy these dogs from class B dealers they’re unaware that their test subjects or students’ homework could be somebody’s house pet! The 2006 HBO documentary ‘Dealing Dogs’ shows undercover footage of stolen house dogs being sold by class B dealers and bunchers. Beagles came in 4th place on the AKC’s top 10 breeds list. Throughout the 1950s, they were the most popular dog in the U.S. Uno, a champion show beagle won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2008.

Beagles in laboratories, however, have a living situation that is the opposite of their show dog and house pet cousins. Day in and day out, they live in kennels and under go several tests, including those for cosmetics and other products. When dogs hit the retirement age, they are either transferred to other labs or put down.

Several Beagles in a kennel. This laboratory is one of several places where stolen dogs end up. While several dogs have received help with efforts such as the Beagle Freedom Project, many of these good natured and intelligent hounds are used for animal testing, day in and day out.



The goal of the Beagle Freedom Project is to get various laboratories to release their dogs to the group who then find retirement homes for hounds, young and old.

   

Ya’ll ain’t gonna leave me here, right? right?”

“You wouldn’t do this to a dog would you?”
“Help me! I’m not your guinea pig, I’m somebody’s pet!”


(Kennels full of Beagles, above and a Pound Hound)

Many of the dogs leave the lab nervous and uncertain about life outside a kennel or dog run. Even something as simple as, say a car backfiring can cause even the most quiet and submissive hounds to have a panic attack.

After a few months to a year the dogs come around and several become more sociable around people and other dogs. One example is Timmy an ex-lab hound from San Diego,CA. See photo below.

100_1074“Just chillin'”

Overall, the house party event was enjoyable. Lots people and so many Beagles they were coming out of the woodwork… not literally, but close enough.  Although it might seem like an uphill struggle, several beagles have been released from labs in Spain, Italy and the U.K.

Many beagles, young, old, male and female are all waiting for retirement homes outside a laboratory setting. It’s just a matter of when they’ll get them. That’s where the Beagle Freedom Project comes in. So far, over around 100 hounds have found retirement homes. While many groups want animal testing to be completely eradicated, that is still up in the air, however there are new laws being put in place to make improvements for the lives of animal test subjects. One study showed lab rats who are given names instead of numbers actually get better test results

However, not all animal testing is bad. Another type of testing is intelligence,  apes, birds, dogs, dolphins, horses, pigs,  rats and even sharks have all been used as subjects in animal I.Q. tests. This type of testing is done to better understand how these animals go through everyday life which can help make a difference when it comes to animal welfare and conservation issues.

Beagles are intelligent dogs but sadly never received the same recognition as Border Collies or Poodles. Snoopy is the most famous beagle, other famous beagles include Shiloh, Porthos from Star Trek, Lou from the movie, Cats & Dogs and Shoeshine in the Disney adaptation of Underdog. DC Comics even had a character named Beam Beagle, then of course there’s Uno.

Looking for more info? go on over to beaglefreedomproject.org.

That about wraps it up for this post.

See ya in May!

 

 

 

 

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Pet Expo 2013


Hi folks

Went to the Pet Expo on Saturday and it was great!

Lots of dogs, booths and people.

Saw a handsome Golden Eagle named Scout and met Pitboss stars, Shorty Rossi and his dog, Hercules for the second year in row.

I made a sculpture of Hercules, using polymer clay and brought it to the event. This is the first time one of my original pieces has been given to a celebrity!

Overall it went well, met some dogs, got plenty of freebies and passed out several flyers in the hope that somebody will contact me about Rudy. It’s been a year and I really miss my dog.

I have to say it was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Photos coming soon!

See ya on Wednesday!

 

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