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Animal Rights Shelters Versus Animal Joys

By KrisSmith | February 3, 2017

Bird Dogs’ Birthright Animal Rights Shelters versus Hunting Dogs     In another blog post about the fawns I helped raise after they were orphaned during the Mt St Helens eruption, I proclaimed, “I’m an animal advocate, not a hunter helper.” And that’s true. But I’m not a zealot. I am an animal welfare advocate,…

Mt St Helens Fawns

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Mount St Helen’s Fawns Not long after Mount St Helens blew its top on May 18, 1980 I was contacted by Fish and Game. (A quick aside: my “serval son” Deaken had just turned a year old two days earlier. We were at Ocean Shores in a tent on vacation when the mountain blew, and…

Fancy the Skunk

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

My mother Dorothea Hope Smith was a saint. Here I could wax poetic and “count the ways” in which she earned the title, but the one that would probably prevail in your mind is the fact that she let her middle daughter—me—have so many pets, tame, exotic and wild even though her childhood and adulthood…

IVAN The Gorilla

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Ivan the Gorilla Unless you grew up in western Washington State, as I did, Ivan the Gorilla may not have been a known entity to you—or, if he was—he was an absent ape who lived and died more or less anonymously. Not as well known as Penny Patterson’s Koko, Ivan was as well-loved and as…

Last of the Close Calls

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Last of the Close Calls Calf Near-Scalping When my family lived on a ranch in Cle Elum in the 60’s, we were all involved with the care, maintenance and feeding of the cattle, horses and hogs we raised. We would put the larger calves into stanchions to tag, brand, castrate, de-horn and immunize them. One…

Bruised by a Bruin

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Bruised by a Bruin Bitten By a Real Bear While I was a student at an animal training school, I was exposed to animals from four different continents. One of them was a black bear named Bruno used in TV and motion pictures. (He was Gentle Ben for those of you old enough to remember…

More Close Calls with Captive Cats

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

More Close Calls with Captive Cats Caracal Swipe The only time I was injured by a wild captive animal was at the Pacific NW sanctuary where I was a volunteer, and the injury was minor. I went into the caracals’ enclosure to clean up and refresh the water. The male caracal, Spock, was traipsing around…

Cougar in the Car

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Cougar in the Car Cougar in the Car In the late 70’s, when the wildlife park called Northwest Trek in western Washington was a tadpole—just getting its sea legs under it– the cat sanctuary where I was volunteering was invited to bring a female cougar named Poppy to an educational event there. The Sanctuary owner…

Dreyfuss Leopard

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Dreyfuss (Excerpt from Let No Day Dawn that the Animals Cannot Share) Another time I was walking a leopard/jaguar hybrid. Because he was part jaguar, this was the BIGGEST, but easily the SWEETEST, leopard God ever made. He was three times the size of your average leopard—I’m guessing he weighed 230 pounds or more. NONE…

Close Calls

By KrisSmith | February 2, 2017

Too Close for Comfort CLOSE CALLS Whenever you’re dealing with animals (or humans, or mechanical devices and conveyances) there’s the potential for calamitous injury. Fortunately, the risk rarely keeps us from “boldly going”—including, at times, to places where even Starship Enterprise crew members, left defenseless and to their own devices, would hesitate–at least temporarily! The…