Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kane the Paniolo - Day 2

Thank y'all for the warm welcome!

From what I can tell those Yankees are some might fine folks! In addition to my new pa, I've heard Ms. Lynn talk about a lot of people from Yankeeville that are real hospitable and very kind. They must have hearts of gold to want to take in all those juvenile delinquents from the doggie jail!

A few of y'all have asked my age. I'm not sure exactly how old I am. The people at jail thought I was just a young buck, probably not even a year old. The Doc thought I might be older, maybe 1 to 2 years old, but he was an old geyser with bad eyes. I get to go see a new Doc on Monday so maybe he can tell me if I'm old enough to get my licker license yet!

The new Doc is going to tell Ms. Lynn how to get the worms out of my heart and back on the fishin' poles where they belong. I'm supposed to be going to a big party Tuesday to receive something called a neuter, but the Doc already told Ms. Lynn that those darn worms might be mighty big and that party might get postponed because it might not be safe to give me any laughing gas. I'm pretty bummed about that 'cause even though I don't know what a neuter party is, anything with laughin' gas sounds like a good time and I can't wait! I know Ms. Lynn is REALLY roaring to get me to that party too so hopefully those worms won't put off my fun much longer.

Ms. Lynn and the Yankee have been talking about
me all day and they are pretty sure that I did have a home where at least I wasn't abused or got in no fights or nothing. I don't have any fears of loud noises or fast movements and I don't show no matter when they slide my food away from me. Even though the folks I used to live with obviously didn't take me to no Neuter Parties or give me those candies that keep the worms out of my heart, I don't show no fear of much and even don't bother those wiley cats or pay no mind when those Da Zees thieves bark or whine at me to come closer to them. I'm just a cool paniolo minding my own business.

Of course, Ms. Lynn is stumped as she said that most of my pibble cousins and I have something called an even temperament, so it's kind of hard to tell what my background is. I don't know how she knows I have an even temperament as I ain't seen her measure me with no level or anything.

She also said that there's something to consider called the Honeymoon. Now, I don't remember getting married, but there was that wild night down in Charlotte that's still a blur, so who knows. Anyway, Ms. Lynn says that we're all in the Honeymoon and we need to give it some time before we make any assumptions about anything. There's also that business with the worms, that slows me down a lot, so I'm probably not as energetic now as I might be when I get better.

I did get my very own crate today. Ms. Lynn was kind of worried that I wouldn't like my own bunk but once she put my food in it, I walk right in. When she closed the door, I turned and said "Thanks for the privacy" and went back to finish my chow. She left me be and when she came back about 20 minutes later I was taking a nap with my head in the chow bowl. She laughed at me, but I tell you, I shore do like that new stainless steel. It was smooth and cool and a great place to lie down my tired paniolo head for a bit.

So, my day was pretty nice here at Pibble Creek. I can tell Ms. Lynn is worried about my health and such but she ain't got no need to be. I'm a Pibble Paniolo and we're as tough as they come!

Kane Agape

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Howdy Y'all from a Pibble Paniolo

Howdy Y'all! Well, I just thought I'd mosey in here and introduce myself. Up until yesterday, I was sitting in a doggie jail in a very small town in North Cackalacki. I'd got busted for loitering on the streets. The sheriff and his deputy were pretty nice fellas and had told me I could stay awhile until the right person came along and sprung me from the joint. However, They didn't plan on a bunch of doggie rustlers being apprehended and filling up the jail. They picked up 23 of those varmits in one afternoon and several more the next day. The jail only has 6 cells and they found they had about 50 fugitives on their hands. Many of these fugitives were juvenile delinquents or midgets, as they were mighty small. I overhead the sheriff and deputy talking about a lady that put mini gangsters like this on a stagecoach and sends 'em up north where they get rehabilitated and sent to some kind of "homes". They were trying to decide what to do with the rest of us and I heard them say that I might have to be put down. Now, I don't know why they looked so sad because if the others were going up north, I just figured I was going down south and I'm not sure what all the hooplah and crying was about because I like it in the south. Needless to say, Sheriff Ted decided that I was too sweet to go down and he schemed up a plan to contact some lady named Ms. Lynn that runs a boarding house over yonder. I heard them say that Ms. Lynn's boarding house was full but they said they'd send her on a guilt trip (maybe to the north) and if needed, give her something called chocolate so she'd give me a room. Must be some pretty fancy stuff, that chocolate, 'cause I know that no one has never given me any.

Well, it must have worked because yesterday they took me over to Doc's place and I got some shots and a lot of medicine. I guess Ms. Lynn's place must be really packed because they wouldn't let all my fleas and ticks come alone with me and made me leave them behind. The doc put me in another cell and soon after Ms. Lynn and a man showed up and came in and talked to me. Now that Ms. Lynn is one purty lady.
Well, I think she is. I didn't really look at her face but she had a picture on her shirt that looked just like one of my cousins, so I liked her right away and immediately attached myself to her leg. The man was really nice too, but he talks funny. One of the other doggies told me that he heard talk like that before and that the man must be from Yankeeville.I asked where that was and he said it was up north. I sure hope all those juvenile delinquents will learn to bark Yankee when they get there.

Ms. Lynn and The Yankee was really friendly to me but when it was just us around, they kept talking about how dirty I was and how I needed my Saturday night bath right away! I heard them talking to Doc and he said that I was a big hearted fella and it was a good thing because I guess there are some worms in my heart taking up the extra space. Ms. Lynn said that she's take me to a doc near the boarding house to get that taken care of. That's ok with me because I don't really like worms. I guess my time in the joint took a toll on me, as my ribs are showing but Ms. Lynn said she's get me some good vittles from a nice Ranch called Flint River to fatten me right up.

All the dogs that were headed up north were at the doc's place too
so it was louder than the saloon on Saturday night. I tried to count them dirty convicts but used all my claws and ran out before I was done. The lady running that stagecoach told Ms. Lynn they were taking about 30 of those ruffians to places called Virginy, Con-Ed Cut, New Ham Shire and Mass Achoo Sets. Not sure why anyone would want to live around sneezing hams but she seemed excited about it. I hope they can find a nice Yankee like the one who came for me to get them all back on the straight and narrow. That lady then gave Ms. Lynn a big hug and was crying too. She said she was so happy that Ms. Lynn and the Yankee were saving me. Not sure what I needed saving from but I guess I'm glad they did it.

After we got on Ms. Lynn's
stagecoach, I could barely keep my eyes open and immediately took a nap. Not sure how long I was out but we was still driving when I woke up so I took advantage of the fact that the Yankee was steering the horses and cuddled up with Ms. Lynn in the back. She kept picking dead fleas off of me and throwing them out the window. I felt so much better with all those varmits off of me that I kept sneaking her kisses whenever I could.

After we got to the boarding house, Ms. Lynn walked me around the ranch for awhile and from far away I saw three other dogs in a big corral. They barked out a howdy to me and wanted to know who I was but I kept quiet. Not sure who they are and whether they are hooligans, but they can't be too bad because I saw the nice Yankee out there playing some foolishness with them. I think they might be bank robbers though because Ms. Lynn said it would be several weeks before I could meet them as they might try to take any Da Zees I have. Not sure if I got any Da Zees but I'm going to be sure and leave them with the Doc for safe keeping if I do so those dogs can't get to them.

The Yankee and Ms. Lynn then gave me a long bath. They both were just a scrubbing and scrubbing but it felt so good, I didn't complain. They found some stowaway ticks in my ears and had to pull those out. One of those buggers was in there deep and I let out a little "ouch" when they grabbed him but the rest of the time, I could't stop smiling. It was getting dark by this time so Ms. Lynn said it was time to get me a room. She asked what my name was but I told her I ain't got no name. The deputy at the jail kept calling me Rob, but that's because he kept confusing me with the drunk in the next cell who tried to hold up the blacksmith with a slingshot. The blacksmith nailed him with a horseshoe and carried him over to the jail.

Ms. Lynn and the Yankee decided I need a strong name that reflected my courage and also my big heart (you know the one with the worms in it). They told me that I would be called Kane Agape. Sounded kind of funny to me but I guess this is something called a Hay-why-an type ranch and their cowboys are called paniolos and I needs me a Hay-why-an name. They tried to explain the name to me but all I got was something about a god of creation and total love and I guess my new name loosely means starting a new life with unconditional love. Hmmm, that sounds purty good so I guess I'll keep it.

The Yankee and Ms. Lynn then told me to come into the boarding house but I was a little uneasy about that. They had to lure me in with some tasty vittles. I walked around a bit and didn't see no other critters but I could tell by the smells that those three De Zees thieves had been in there and I also smelled the scent of those things I'd met at the jail called Cats. You'd better watch out for them Cats, as they can be pretty sneaky. I didn't see any, but I know they're hiding around here someplace.

They showed me to a big room that had a bed and a washboard and some kind of small box they called a crate. Ms. Lynn told the Yankee to hang out with me for a bit and that she was going to go take care of the other inmates and she'd be back for some crate training, whatever that is. The Yankee picked me up and put me on the big bed with him and turned on a box that had little people in it. I curled up in the crook of his arm and promptly fell asleep.

I faintly remember Ms. Lynn coming back in the room and telling that Yankee that he was in big trouble. I kept my eyes closed and played dumb. She told him that she was mighty tired and was going to have a big slumber party out in the parlor with those Da Zees Thiefs and wiley Cats. I was a little worried about her being out there alone with all those troublemakers but she seems like a pretty tough cookie and I'm sure she can keep them in line. She gave him some papers that looked like a long list of rules to me and told him that if I woke up causing a ruckus that he would just have to follow the rules from Michele G. and give me my crate training. Now, I don't know who Michele G. is, but I think she must be the Queen of all the boarding houses 'cause Ms. Lynn looked pretty serious about it. I played it safe, kept my eyes closed and went back to sleep. I didn't wake up until Ms. Lynn came and got me this morning.

I'm not sure what I got myself into or what's in store for me. I heard Ms. Lynn and the Yankee were talking and they said that I'm going to stay at the boarding house while the doc gets rid of the worms in my heart and I get some training on my new job of ambassador. Wow, I didn't know I was going to get to work as an ambassador. I would have settled for Justice of the Peace or maybe Mayor or something. They said if I get along with those The Da Zees Thieves and those dastardly Cats, then maybe I can stay on here at the ranch for the rest of my life.

So folks, I'm sorry this is such a long introduction but I sure had a lot to tell you about and I hope that y'all will help Ms. Lynn make me into a real fine ranch hand so that I can live here a Pibble Creek with
The Da Zees Thieves, The Cats and that real nice Yankee! I'm attaching my mug shot from the jail so that y'all can see what a pretty Paniolo I am!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Verizon Pit-Bull Ad Unleashes Flurry of Complaints

Humane Society, ASPCA Say Dogs Depicted Unfairly in LG Dare Spots; Marketer Will Keep Airing Them

NEW YORK ( -- Verizon Wireless has stepped into a steaming pile of complaints from animal lovers over commercials for its LG Dare phone, but the marketer is sticking with the 30-second spot.

Animal-rights groups protest pits' portrayal in ad.
Animal-rights groups protest pits' portrayal in ad.

The commercial shows a young man trying to obtain the phone by climbing a junkyard fence, when he is instantly greeted by two pit bulls. The dogs, with cropped ears and metal choke collars, bark ferociously and lunge at the intruder. They are just a hair's breadth away from the phone because their heavy metal chains do not quite extend far enough.

The spot has infuriated groups from the Humane Society of the U.S. -- which has asked Verizon to pull the ad -- to PETA, the ASPCA and dozens of pet-related websites, which have posted petitions and message boards on the web protesting the ad with slogans like "Can They Hear Us Now?"

Veterinarian Susan Ralston sent Ad Age her letter of complaint to Verizon, which says, in part: "I don't know what your company was thinking. I don't know how much money was wasted on this despicable ad. Perhaps you should donate the million or so spent on that 'creative' to pit-bull rescue in an attempt to undo the damage. I switched my BlackBerry to T-Mobile. Maybe if enough folks do the same, it'll get your attention."

Brenda Raney, a spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, said the ads were never intended to offend. There are two ads that focus on the Dare, she said; the other depicts a woman on a ledge. "These are fictional ads, designed to be over-the-top, to break through the clutter and get our message across." Verizon is not pulling the spots, she said. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York, is Verizon's agency and created the ad.

Inappropriate and inaccurate
Kathy Bauch, senior director-corporate relations and promotion at the Humane Society, said the ad could further inflame an already outstanding prejudice against pit bulls. "We understand why advertisers use stereotypes. It resonates and people get the point," she said. "But this perpetuates the idea that it is OK to chain dogs and it is OK to have guard dogs."

Mary Harwelik, founder and director of The Real Pit Bull, an education and advocacy organization, said, "This is big news in the pit-bull world. People are outraged." Describing the ad as inappropriate and inaccurate, she said, "Pit bulls are not guard dogs and they were never meant to be guard dogs."

A statement released by the ASPCA in response to the ads says, "These dogs can make wonderful additions to a family. The public also showed their support for the evaluation and rehabilitation of the pit bulls rescued from the Michael Vick case, suggesting that they are ahead of the corporate world in their understanding of pit bulls."

Pit bulls often victims
Mr. Vick, former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted last year on counts of illegal dog-fighting. When authorities raided his home, they found 66 dogs, including 50 pit bulls. While two of the dogs were eventually euthanized, many have been rehabilitated and adopted. Mr. Vick is serving a 23-month sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., and still faces gambling charges upon his release.

"These dogs are often the victims of abuse," said Adam Goldfarb, animal-companion-issues specialist at the Humane Society.

Ms. Bauch said the Humane Society only rarely asks companies to pull ads. The last time was in 2004, when Energizer ran a spot that depicted a mother expressing displeasure at finding a cat in the dryer that had been put there by her son. Energizer complied and replaced the scene.

Monday, July 21, 2008

News: Animal Gives Emotional Bite to PSA On Behalf of Dogs Forced to Fight

by Cow News Droid on Jun 17, 2008 at 4:38:47 pm (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--June 17, 2008)

Creative director Michael Killen of visual effects commercial production company Animal was driving into work one morning listening to the then- breaking and shocking story about NFL star Michael Vick’s involvement in dog fighting
and horrendous accusations of animal cruelty.

Killen reflected on the
impact the story would have on his children, particularly his young daughter, Erin, who is a passionate lover of all animals.

With a company named Animal, known for making animals speak via the magic of animation, Killen felt compelled to do something on behalf of dogs that are suffering and tell their story in a way that would touch people on a personal level.

He and his partner Jim Kreitzburg made a name for Animal by realistically animating, among numerous television ad campaigns, the speech of the Taco Bell Chihuahua and the California Cheese Cows in a humorous series of famous and widely popular TV spots.
What better way to give dogs subjected to illegal dog fighting a voice than to create a spot where they dramatically told their stories from their own perspective?

Killen consulted with partner and executive producer, Kathy Dziubek, who loved the idea immediately, and together they decided to reverse the usual business process and approach an advertising agency for their help. Having done a lot of work for Smith Brothers Advertising, Pittsburgh, and, respecting the agency’s creative style and approach, they met with partners Lindsey and Bronson Smith to discuss the best way to confront the serious issue of dog fighting and powerfully communicate a message that would inspire people to action. “The goal,” said Killen, “was to make people think. We agreed that the spot should be brutally honest about what happens to dogs forced to fight, but without being violent or visually graphic.”

Senior writer for Smith Brothers, Cathy Bowen, researched the issue intensely and produced a poignant and
unforgettable script that captured the desired message perfectly. “Animals have thoughts and feelings and feel pain just like we do,” observed Killen, “so how can people do this to them, unless those people are the real animals.”

Now the team had to find the right dogs that were the types of breeds typically used in dog fighting.

Animal producer Nancy Richert put the shoot together. Experienced at hiring animals for productions, Richert found the dogs (some actually rescued from dog fighting, including a fighting champion American Pit Bull Terrier named “Cookie” and an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy named “Dena” who was raised to fight). The cast of canines also included a Rottweiler named “Mason,” an Akita named “Neelix” and a Cane Corso named “Luca.”

With the help of Killen’s daughter, Erin, who was in charge of bringing the dogs to the set and petting them as needed, the shoot went smoothly with the dogs cooperating and delivering good performances.

The creative team members, including people from Animal, Smith Brothers and Market Street Sound, provided the voices of the dogs. Editor Beth Voltz of Animal, took the footage and the voice recordings and put together a very tender edit. Rob Deener of Market Street Sound composed an original guitar piece that beautifully and simply conveyed the emotion of the spot.

Animating the speaking dogs’ mouths was the last part to be done and it had to be done very subtly to make the words believable. Killen and Kreitzburg went to great effort to make of the speech look real (not comical) so that the thoughts and feelings would be real.

Finally, Animal enlisted the support of the Animal Rescue Association of America, a non-profit organization that supports member animal rescue organizations, shelters and veterinarians across the country.

The spot is beginning to air on several television networks and stations nationwide.

To view the PSA, please go to:

For more information on Animal, please visit:

For more information about the Animal Rescue Association of America, please visit: