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Adopt a Dog

Xingyiquan – Twelve Animals Kung Fu and Applications

Okay, I’ll admit that one of the first things I noticed when reading the back of the DVD cover was that the DVD was 45 minutes long. The reason this stood out is because I’m so used to YMAA DVDs containing two and three hour programs. Even with the shorter length, “Xingyiquan: Twelve Animals Kung Fu and Applications” with Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and Master Liang, Shou-Yu is an informative and well produced DVD reference on this Chinese internal martial art that can be translated to “Shape-Mind Fist.”
The program begins with an introduction explaining what Xingyiquan is and some basics regarding the history and art. This is taught with a voice over and subtitles and you see demonstrations of movements without instruction and some charts to illustrate points. This brief introduction also points out that this DVD accompanies the book Xingyiquan by Master Liang, Shou-Yi and Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. While the DVD provides good information, using it with the text will provide a much more complete understanding of this art.
The program progresses in the same way, with a voice over explaining certain movements and concepts and on the screen mainly students demonstrating. While the program and book were written by Dr. Yang and Master Liang, Dr. Yang does not appear in the DVD except for some still photographs near the end. Master Liang is shown in some scenes demonstrating certain movements, but he doesn’t “teach” to the camera. The only speaking is done through the voice over, and the program is demonstration, not instruction.
A person is not going to learn Xingyiquan from this DVD. It is however, a good demonstration of the art. Fundamental postures, explanations of the postures and their relationship to the Five Elements, two -person Five Phases Matching exercise and Linking sequences are demonstrated. Movements based on the twelve animals; Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Water Lizard, Chicken, Harrier, Swallow, Snake, Chinese Ostrich, Eagle, and Bear are demonstrated along with martial applications of the movements.
I see two groups of people who will find value in this DVD. The first group are those who are learning this art and want an additional resource for home. The book accompanied by this DVD would be good to review if you are already learning the art. Again, you won’t learn it from this DVD, but it will assist you if you are learning from a qualified instructor. The second group would be people like myself. I enjoyed learning a bit about the art and seeing the movements demonstrated for a better understanding of the art for my global perspective on martial arts as a whole. I like to learn about all arts, and once in a while borrow things to include in my training which has the Korean art of Hapkido as its core. I don’t anticipate trying to learn how to perform these animal forms, but I enjoyed learning about them. The video is a little slow to watch repeatedly, but I liked watching it to just find out more about this art.
It’s a well produced DVD, but I think it has a limited audience. You must enjoy learning about all martial arts like I do, or be a practitioner of Xingyiquan to gain value, and for deeper instruction and information you need the book that this DVD accompanies. And to learn the art, you will need a qualified instructor.…

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Dog Shelter

Fluffy Bedding is Dangerous to Small Animals

Fluffy Bedding is a cotton wool like material distributed as a nesting material for pocket pets. It comes in numerous colours and under various product names. It is sold as a harmless, cozy place for your pet to curl up and sleep, unfortunately it is not safe in the least.
Many deaths and injuries have been caused by this product. The material used does not breakdown if consumed, and it is very easy for your pet to become entangled in it. It may tighten around limbs, cutting off circulation. if the animal is not able to get his limb free, it can cause damage to the tissue causing the limb to swell up painfully. In a short amount of time the limb will turn black from tissue death potentially spreading infection throughout the body. In an attempt to escape from the pain, your pet may chew the limb off which could result in death from blood loss, shock or infection.
The bedding may also become wound around his neck strangling him. If your hamster delivers a litter in the fluffy bedding, it could result in the passing of the litter.
Hamsters have cheek pouches which they use to carry food and bedding to their nests. The bedding can become trapped in the pouch, causing an impacted pouch. An impacted pouch will frequently become infected making eating and drinking painful. Impacted pouches require a trip to the veterinarian for treatment which may include a surgical procedure.
If the animal swallows the bedding material it will not break up in his gastrointestinal tract and may cause an obstruction. This requires a surgical operation to correct, however, if not discovered soon enough it will result in death.
What can I use for safe bedding material?
A simple way to tell if the bedding/nesting material you are using is safe is to place some in water. If it breaks apart, the way bathroom tissue does, then it will also break down if consumed and is easy to tear should it become wrapped around your pet. As a matter of fact the most harmless, risk-free thing to use for nesting material is plain, unscented bathroom tissue. Your pet will have fun ripping it up, fluffing it and hauling it around the cage. It is warm and soft to sleep in and is also inexpensive and easy to obtain.…

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Animal Shelter

Animals: More Human Than Humans

What can we say about pets? They are warm, loving, always there wanting our affection; simply put to love and be loved. For many animals small animals especially, it is a simple life they are able to lead in homes where they are welcomed and treated as one of the family. In a perfect world this would be the scenario that all pets would have going for each and every one of them. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world and the reality is there are many pets that are beaten, abused, and treated downright inhumanely by owners who choose to take their issues out on an innocent animal who can not fight back. For these unfortunate lost pets they are truly more human than the humans whose care they live under.
We see this kind of behaviour wherever we turn it’s sad to say; walking down the street the echoing sounds of a person screaming at their pet that quickly turns to violence and the painful cries of the innocent animal haunt our thoughts as we are forced to let it be. There are the advertisements from the SPCA or organizations similar in nature that show beaten, bruised, and scarred lost pets who have been rescued from the cruel habitat they were raised in; their eyes being in such broken pain that are begging for a home that will be humane for them, a home where they can be loved. It breaks our hearts seeing this kind of pain in these innocent animals knowing that the cause is because of a human, a human who by all regards is fully capable of exerting dominance over his/her pet with no regard for the deep pain he/she is actually causing. What’s worse is many of these cruel owners disregard that they are even doing anything wrong when in actuality beating down a pet morally and what should be legally, is as wrong as domestic violence towards a spouse or a child.
Now many people will argue that animals may not be as innocent as they appear to be arguing for example, a dog’s bite can be as dangerous as a human’s fist. While there is truth that a dog bite can be painful and possibly infectious, most dogs if treated right, will only lash out and bite in a defensive mechanism such as if they can’t see or sense someone sneaking up on their backside. Studies have shown that animals who are treated respectfully and with the care that would be shown to a child in return are very calm, very welcoming in return and as such are not violent by nature. To say then that a dog’s ability to bite out at a person justifies violently attacking the dog in return is ludicrous; by nature pets are to be loving and gentle provided they are not treated intolerably. It may be a cliche but the old rule ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’ is more valid than in just social scenarios with fellow people.
Animals have rights that are as valid as humans and to those that choose to disregard them, there should be punishable laws set against them. Children that are rescued from abusive families can lead to punishable imprisonment for their abuser(s); thus for pets, there should be no difference. Abuse is abuse whether to an innocent child or an innocent pet; domestic abuse is a punishable crime and should be enforced by those championing animal rights. Adjustments to the laws need to be made to help save more animals from being caught between a rock and a hard place in being homeless strays or victims of abuse. We as humans have humanity inside us for a reason and must use that inherent goodness to stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves.
Now sometimes people can go too far in their protests; a recent example is the PETA member from the States who came to Canada and slammed a pie in the face of one of our Members of Parliament. Granted for those of us who hate all politicians for THEIR inherent greed, sense of entitlement, and corrupt nature the sight of one of them being slammed with a pie so hard it could nearly break her nose is hilarious; but that very act of violence simple as it may be, hypocritically goes against what the member of PETA was trying to stand up against. Being a champion of animal rights and fighting against cruelty to animals does not give you the right to leave your country, come to another country, and assault a member of that country’s government to make your point. Peaceful protests, rallies; these can make the point and can gather the attention needed to spread the message. …