Tales of Awe
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 Magnificent!!! Friesian Horses

These horses were originally bred as "war horses" in the days of knights and armor.  As armor got heavier, bigger horses were needed but since then the Friesian almost became extinct.  They are back and are one of the prettiest horses in stature as well as gait.

Just watching them becomes an emotional experience. Can you imagine what it would be like to ride one?
Their manes and tails are the longest that I have seen and I noticed that when performing on grass, their hoofs do not kick up a divot (they land flat footed).

Creatures such as these are what makes this world so special.  These horses are native to the Netherlands.

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 Remember me... posted 7/30/2011   A 15 year old girl Lizzie Palmer made this. It puts to shame the output of a number of Hollywood producers and/or directors. It is the hottest thing on the internet and on Fox News today. There have been over 3,000,000 hits as of this morning.   In case you missed it, here it is.   Watch all of it.......and please, pass it on!!

 Freedom and Jeff

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.   She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.   Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places.
She's my baby.

When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes.   We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her.   I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started
doing education programs for schools in western Washington .  We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere),  so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000 the day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup.   I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for
the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her
up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long . That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her.   His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.   I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as

Cancer is a strange cell.    You can go along for years in remission and then one day it pops its head up again.   If you ever have it you will never be free of it.

A small request.....Just one line please let your friends know about this story, even if it's only one more person, in memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it

This story came as an e-mail from a friend - origin is unknown

 SUICIDE DOGS The Overtoun Bridge Mystery - Posted 8/14/2011

In 2005 I was asked by a television director, Matthew Burgess of Making Time TV, if I believed it was possible for dogs to ‘commit suicide’. My immediate reaction was to reply that it was impossible for a dog to premeditate its own death. I discussed with Matthew that whilst many animals appear to be able to ‘sense’ that their death is imminent it is wrong to humanise a dog in terms of human behaviour.   It is also true that some infirm animals are known to seek out a quiet sheltered place to experience a final resting place in what we would call a dignified end to life.   An example of this is that some African elephants, when they are nearing the end of life, are known to make one last journey to a place referred to as ‘the elephant's graveyard’. Instinctively, these giants, the largest of land mammals on this planet, appear to know that this rather sad mission has to be made.   It is also known that domesticated animals, pet dogs and cats, may search out a ‘bolt hole’ from which to leave this world.   However, in contrast the people in the majority of human suicide cases are recognised not to have made the same type of instinctive decision.   In the mist of acute depression suffers cannot make rationale decisions and ‘ending it all’ becomes a dreadful option because they cannot ‘see’ a way out of their situation.   So when I replied ‘no’ so emphatically my next step was to ask Matthew why he wanted to know whether I believed that dogs could commit ‘suicide’ or not.   He then explained that a number of dogs, over a period of decades, had inexplicably lost their lives ‘jumping off’ Overtoun Bridge, near Dumbarton, in Scotland.   Locals had believed in a range of conspiracy theories - dogs were mesmerised or attracted to the sound of water or some kind of ‘optical illusion’ - others believed that nearby electricity pylons produced something that confused the dogs. There was even the suggestion the bridge might be haunted as a local man, now sectioned under the Mental Health act, had thrown his baby off the bridge.   However, I was looking for a more scientific explanation.   The preliminary guesswork, based on my research as a human and animal behaviourist, eventually proved to be the most likely explanation.

When I first stepped onto Overtoun bridge, on a cold winters morning, I was struck by its striking Gothic structure. Behind me, Overtoun House was, quite literally, shrouded in a Hammer House of Horror fog.   The building, once home to Lord and Lady Overtoun was left to people of Dumbarton by the wealthy Victorian philanthropist.   I was eventually joined on the bridge by Donna.   She was one of the people who, on a family walk the previous year had lost a lively Border Collie named Ben.   She gently described how she and her husband walked happily onto the bridge with their young son as the dog explored.   Suddenly, without warning, Ben jumped onto the parapet wall and dropped out of sight. It was not difficult to imagine their sense of panic as Donna's husband struggled down the steep bank to the gorge river below.

When Donna left me alone on the bridge and strolled back towards the grand house I walked its full length and tried to put my mind into that of a dog.   The entry point at the far side of the bridge stands at the end of an innocuous looking tarmacadam pathway lined either side by trees and impenetrable bushes. The path slopes downwards and curves away until it disappears.   A family with a dog would approach the walkway like any other in a local park with the same pathway.   A lively dog would probably criss-cross from either side and explore the undergrowth. There are no slopes or cliff edges on this approaching path. Once on the bridge at the first of four sets of parallel parapets, my first thoughts were that the solid stone walls would create both visual and sound barriers to a dog.   In addition, the initial top of the bridge walls are covered with ivy that could add an optical illusion.   A casual look down, from human height, makes it obvious that on the other side of the walls and semicircular parapets there is 40-50 foot drop to the gorge below.   A dog might not be made aware of that factor until the last moment when momentum would carry it too far. Another factor that struck me was the presence of the continual sound of water rushing between the river bound boulders.   This sound dominates the air and dense foliage chokes the scene immediately beyond the bridge and serves to hide all but the largest of the water falls down below in the gorge.

I had predicted from the onset there might be some type of strong scent around the parapets that was over-stimulating a dog's senses.   However, I needed some evidence of something more tangible.   I knew there would be scenting from rats, squirrels, stoats, pine-martins or the related, but much large, mink.   The latter creature first introduced from North America into the UK for farming and inadvertently (or deliberately) released into our countryside.   The dogs death-records date back to the onset of mink farming and this factor offered an additional clue.   Evidence of mink was confirmed in the area not only by a naturalist, who spotted droppings beneath the bridge, but also by Kenny, who explained as an angler that the top hill quarry had lakes that contained trout (perfect mink diet).   James, my brother in law, confirmed the presence of mink who calmly watched one follow a trail behind me as I was being filmed.   The acoustic sweep suggested nothing untoward.

During the making of the program to be screened later this year I supervised various experiments with dogs at Lords House Farm at Rishton (East Lancashire) including ones based on wall-jumping and scent-reacting.   The answer to the so-called ‘dog-bridge suicides’ is a secret but it lies in a combination of factors.   This story is one that I know fascinates dog owners around the world.   I enjoyed my research and investigations.   Suffice it to say my final verdict is one of misadventure rather than suicide.

 See the space station

 Posted 7/12/2011:  Over 1,800 lb. wild boar Killed by a medical Radiology worker in Conroe, Texas, near the County Airport , East of I-45 and near the community of Cut and Shoot.  Yes, there is such a place.

What would you do if this beast was coming at you?  Run for dear life? Climb a tree?  Or simply grab your gun off the gun rack in your truck?   I think I would do something which involved a bodily function!

Cute little Texas Pig!   Got this from my Nice.  She got it from a friend who said "One of my buddies sent this one to me".  It was sent to him by one of his friends who said it was shot near her daddy's place.

My thoughts:  bacon & eggs, ham & eggs, ham & sweet potatoes, ham sandwiches, pork chops, pork steaks, etc., etc.,  :o). 

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Seems a sheep farmer was puzzled about the disappearance of some sheep on his farm.  After a few weeks the farmer decided to put up an electric fence.  About a week later, this is what he found!  Now, I know we've all heard of people being eaten by snakes and I bet most of us have said, "If a snake tried to eat me, I'd blah, blah, blah and get away."   Well, this is a Python and they're extremely aggressive and have a few teeth that they use to hold the prey while they wrap around it and then constrict.  Could you get away if this one bit you and held on with it's "few teeth?"
(Note: The wires are 10 inches (25 cm) apart.  The mouth is opened to 51 cm)  
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A R-eel Fish Story

Two weeks ago a group of four men, Steve Hoyland Jr. with friends Bruce, Ken and Erik, set off on an overnight offshore fishing trip. They left at noon on a Tuesday and went about 120 miles out into the Gulf. They were having a great night of fishing, catching big snapper, grouper, ling and kings. About 3 AM two of them went down below to catch some sleep. The two remaining on deck were catching fish and drinking beer, enjoying the warm tropical night air.

All at once, Bruce got a big run on his line. This thing went all around the boat and took more than twenty minutes, to bring up to the surface. When they got it to the surface they could nut tell what it was, it looked prehistoric.

Steve Jr. put a gaff in it and the two men dragged it aboard the 33-foot boat. As soon the big creature hit the deck, it went crazy, attacking them. It was an eel over six feet long, weighing close to 100 pounds. It had a mouth full of sharp teeth and was extremely pissed off.

The eel was later estimated to be sixty years old. Bruce said it came at him and Steve Jr. like an anaconda, rearing its head up and striking at them like a rattlesnake. It was highly agitated and quite energetic.

In the midst of thrashing around, the creature fell down below onto the floor between the two sleeping men, Erik and Ken. When they heard the thud and turned on the light, the eel raised its head right above Ken's face. Erik rolled over and grabbed his 9 mm pistol. Steve Jr. started yelling, "Don't shoot the gun in the boat! We're 120 miles from land!” Next thing you know, all four fishermen were on the deck and the gigantic eel had sole possession of the bottom of the boat.

The four needed to work up a plan of action, so they drank beer while considering a strategy. It was determined that Steve Jr. would distract the eel because he had drank the most beer and believed he was bulletproof. He opened up the sliding door down below to see what the "monster" was doing. As the door opened, the eel came up the two steps biting at anything along the way. The four brave men then ran to the wheelhouse like women and slammed the door shut. They never did identify which one of them screamed like a girl.

Inside the wheelhouse, they started calming down and decided they would drink a couple more beers. Then they hatched a new battle plan. Steve Jr. went out on the deck to get the beast's attention. The eel attacked and Steve Jr. climbed up on top of the captain's chair. Ken threw a blanket on top of the giant eel while Erik and Bruce beat the hell out of it with a steel gaff and a large ice chest lid. After the creature was finally subdued, they put it into a large ice chest, and closed the lid on it.

The four brave sailors all got themselves a beer and were laughing at the situation when the lid of the ice chest was suddenly knocked off and the eel sprang out onto the deck and resumed its attack. Bruce stated that the eel was clearly out for vengeance. The four men each picked up something and the fight was on. After beating the creature with gaffs, ice chest lids and fire extinguishers again, they once more subdued the massive carnivore and put it back into the ice chest. This time, they tied the lid down and put another ice chest on top of that one.

Eighteen hours later they returned to the dock and started unloading the boat. None of them was anxious to open the lid to the ice chest, in fact, they did "rock, paper, scissors" to determine who would pop the lid!

Above is a picture of Bruce Gordy with the eel that he caught and bravely fought in that epic and desperate battle for control on the high seas. (Steve Hoyland, Sr.)

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 Man Builds Noah's Ark (exact scale given in Bible)

Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opened In SCHAGEN, Netherlands . The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark was opened the first crowd of curious townsfolk to behold the wonder. Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark , built by Dutch Creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.

The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house. Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold. A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine. Biblical Scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.

Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and with occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005. On the uncovered top deck - not quite ready in time for the opening - will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel.

Visitors on the first day were stunned. 'It's past comprehension', said Mary Louise Starosciak, who happened to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw the ark looming over the local landscape.

'I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.' There is enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater where kids can watch a video that tells the story of Noah and his ark. Huibers, a Christian man, said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands , where church going has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.

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