Black and White

What is so special about B&W photographs? Maybe the lack of color ignites the mind to explore more possibilities and bring black and white pictures to life.


Are the shadows and darker images more mysterious?


Does the black and white bring back nostalgic memories of years gone by?


I do not know these answers, perhaps it’s all of the above. I do know that when done right black and white photography is absolute spellbinding and beautiful to look at. It’s new to me and not new. But I am practicing.

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Featured post

Old Sacramento Gold Rush Days


Old Sacramento, California, the heat wasn’t an issue  this year, the unbearable humidity and smokey air was bad. But that didn’t stop the dedication of the cowboys, cowgirls, pony express riders, carriage ride and many people to come out and visit the Gold Rush Days. Although a little smaller and time changed for the bad air quality it was a nice turn out and very fun. they were giving away some snacks across from  the old school house.

DSC09898.jpg What a great location among Old Sacramento and the history the streets and buildings have here.

The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum was dedicated on Admission Day, September, 1977. The design and contents closely match those of the one-room Canon School, built in 1884 to serve students in the Northern California community of Brooks in the Capay Valley (located in Yolo County).


At first Old Sac was quiet with few people. So we walked the lonely streets while the sun started to shine brighter.

We strolled to the river dock and took in the Delta King and the Tower bridge over the Sacramento River.



We were by the trains at this point and they were getting them all ready to start loading passengers for the day.

We walked toward the grassy knoll and as we passed the Theater we stopped for some entertainment. How can you resist the gals in the dresses and the men in their cowboy hats! Now some people were showing up and things were about to get lively!

After the show we headed out and it looked like things were heating up and I didn’t mean the weather. There is a new sheriff in town. DSC09757

We went through the tents and salon to the grassy area to watch the canon fire. This little tent town was amazing with saloon, bath, funeral director. The Sacramento History Museum was there and my daughter ran into her favorite person from her School.

Tent City: A recreation of town life in early Sacramento City where you can visit saloons, a gambling tent, doctors, dentists, and even an undertaker! Tent City also offered a variety of tasty treats available for purchase, including fish & chips, roasted corn on the cob, fresh-made kettle korn, homemade sarsaparilla, root beer, draft ale, local wines, and more!

At the lawn they did an introduction to the canon and what each tool was for and demonstrated each job. The cleared the path in front and proceeded to fire the cannon. It’s a process.

Cover the air vent to choke the barrel and suffocate any sparks that may remain from previous firings. Failure to do this may result in the cannon firing when it is not safe for it to do so.
Insert a damp sponge rod into the barrel of the cannon to clear out any hot debris that may remain in the barrel from previous firings. This may seem like a waste of time, particularly in a real war situation, but it is another necessary safety measure.
Ready a charge by removing the charge from its bag and placing it down the barrel of the cannon.
Ram the charge down to the base of the cannon’s barrel using a ramrod.
Insert a cannon ball into the firearm.
Remove cover from the air vent and carefully insert a priming wire (fuse). Be certain to insert the fuse deep enough to make contact with the charge, but not so deep that you cannot light it.
Aim the cannon taking into account distance, trajectory and wind speed.
Light the fuse, and run away.

What was great is that they fired it twice and the guy at the end of the field actually caught the cannon ball!!! 🙂

DSC09810We then strolled some more, checked out some of the fascinating shops in Old Sacramento. While we strolled the horse carriage were up and giving old west rides through Old Sacramento. It sounded terrific on the cobblestone. Just like it would have sounded back in the 1800’s. DSC09744

Watching the people in the era fashion work it. They are natural like they were brought back to this world just for this. It made me want to be a part of it all.

DSC09750However trouble was brewing. You could feel it in the air. It started to crackle and then you heard it BAM the gunshot. A gunfight broke out. Be carful sheriff!

We survived the street battle and went on to see the old horse drawn fire trucks.

We came around to the Pony Express. Many memories here. Just like Sutter’s Fort. My Dad took me to all these places.

We had seen them earlier but I didn’t realize who they were.

The carriage rides came back through and another play and gun fight were starting up. Appeared to be over a lady this time.

When the sheriff came up the street everyone scattered. DSC09994

The day was drawing to a close.  thank you Old Sac and everyone who was a part of my first Gold Rush Days. What an awesome event.

This was a nice first time for the Gold Rush Days for us. I believe next year with some better weather and a bigger turn out it will be a good time to try on some costumes.

We strolled back through old sac, saw the puppeteer and then thru K street tunnel and there were a couple guys banging on the drums. It sounded great! We danced a little before we left. Always a good time.

We walked thru the K street tunnel into Old Sacramento. I love the art in the tunnel. Bright and beautiful.


Travels In August

August was a good month. Some days off. Many miles. New places. I like new places. And thanks to the Sacramento Photography Facebook and the San Francisco Photography Facebook pages I am learning about some places that are close to me to visit.

It was a Thursday, the first day of my mini vacation and I had to get out of town. I grabbed the oldest daughter and we split that afternoon.

I wanted to visit the Pacifica Pier. I have never been there. When we arrived in Pacifica we stopped at the Safeway off Linda Mar Blvd. and had a nice deli lunch. From there we went to the Pacifica State beach.

Then we found the beach and parked. We did the free 30 minute parking. It’s a nice beach, a lot of surfers out that day. It looked like maybe a high school surfing team practice.originalDSC09023

We took the wrong road into the neighborhood and decided to price some houses in the area. Holy molly! Like this beautiful 2 million dollar home on Danmann Ave we decided that was too much for us and settled on this little 600k home.

We left there are dipped into the parking lot off Cabrillo Highway.  We parked by the Best Western and took a stroll to down the trail. We were met by some very happy squirrels to see us. The pigeons also ran up to us.

These are some spoiled animals. This was a nice little section with hotels and shopping and a tourist information area. Calera Creek also runs into the ocean here for some very nice pictures.

From here we went to the Pacifica Pier.  It’s an interesting place right along the main road are beach houses. And some real gorgeous and expensive ones. I really liked 1977 Beach Blvd  and 2305 Beach.  I could definitely live here.

We walked along the beach to the bottom of the pier, then went up on the pier and all the way out. Many fishermen and some people making some good catches. It does appear to be their lively hood for many of these people.

Pacifica Pier is a fishing pier in Pacifica, in western San Mateo County, California. The L shaped pier spans out into the Pacific Ocean for a quarter mile from the City of Pacifica. Wikipedia

We took a small stroll on the other side of the pier  on the beach. I apparently got some sand in my Sony A5000 and didn’t realize it until editing some photos I had dots in some pictures. I have since cleaned the camera and the pictures has some slight edits to color and spot removal.


From here we went on a thrift store adventure. We went to Goodwill Boutique, Salvation Army, Goodwill in Daly City. We passed the old cemetery’s of South SF while visiting the Salvation Army. I picked up two nice frames from there and some shoes at the other Goodwill.   We are so going to make another thrift store trip out there one day. We are also planning on hitting the cemeteries.

From here we wanted to see the City at night so we started back up the Highway 1. We passed Fort Funston and I did a U-Turn and went back. It was nearly sunset and I thought it was a good place to watch it.

I didn’t know this was hangglider hill. There was one parked there and we spoke to him for a moment.

Then went through the trails and took some pictures at  the cliffs then went and sat at the over look location and watch the sun disappear from view. It’s an old military location with closed off bunkers and cannon holes. I loved the lost and found board. All kinds of glasses and keys.

We got into SF from the south and came up the Great Highway by the Cliff House. I decided to take her to a new place and we parked at the Sutro Park. It was dark now so we grabbed out mace and stun gun and alarms and flashlights and went up the hill. It’s a beautiful overlook and probably a beautiful park. We looked at the bon fires not he beach and how we want to do that also.

From there we stopped Palace of Fine Arts. It’s a beautiful place at night. Even the swans were having a good night.


It was warm but was cooling down. We went to the Marina to see the Golden Gate and then to Fishermans Wharf.originalggb


We parked and ate at Boudins. It was yummy. Walked around a bit and hit the road. Got a bit lost and found our way again. Hitting Coit Tower on the way out. We found the Bay Bridge and crossed to go home.


It was about midnight by now. It was a great drive home, no traffic.



Next stop will be the flea markets of Treasure island.

Highway 101 North From Santa Cruz

You need your own vacation to travel Highway 101. And a driver. It’s scenic, serene, majestic. You need a full tank of gas before you leave and there is not much cell phone signal. A perfect road.

Leaving Santa Cruz and stopping at the Surf Museum is a must for anyone. We got a good parking spot and walked up to the little café and store. The tress and trails here are wind-swept and iconic beach trees. It’s a beautiful day, the fog is gone and nothing but sunshine and bikinis and wetsuits.

The museum is a small lighthouse. It has the history of the surfing cove and the history of Santa Cruz surfing as well as many iconic old boards. Some great sales in the clearance bin also.

While at the museum you will notice the cliffs are fenced off with the sign that read do not cross. People come here 1) to surf 2) to watch the surfers. You have the seals of Seal Rock watching and laughing in the back ground.


Today was special. We walked passed the light house to the other side. It’s an entire new world. The Natural Bridge State Park.  This is is just the beginning of what you can find on your way home from Santa Cruz.


We walked down to the beach and along the shore. All the dogs are friendly and having fun, the kids are having a blast. the teenage daredevils are jumping from the cliffs by the museum. DSC09603

Parents are playing or sunning. The birds are squawking in the succulents. A they say Life is a Beach. If only it could stay that way.


We couldn’t walk under the bridge and I didn’t think about walking over. It was time to leave. As we meandered back past the lighthouse we made one more stop at the surfers memorial and watch them catch a few waves.

Once we left it was nice drive. We stayed mostly along the coast line watching state park beach after state park beach go by. It’s a rugged area with cliffs but there are many state park entrances and people will just pull off the road to visit them and some have parking lots. Surprising we passed farm after farm. So much coastal farm land and small communities. I want to have breakfast at the little inn through Davenport. And just have an RV to take our time and visit all these amazing places.

Driving along I couldn’t pass up another farm. We stopped at the Swanton Farm.

We couldn’t resist the fresh strawberries, jams and pies.


But I was really loving the picture opportunities. The naturalness and the sea salt air was a mix to my lungs that was so refreshing and uplifting. You really can have everything.

Leaving here we made another stop at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. this lighthouse is also a Hostel and so there are many people who come through here. Parking can be tough sometimes but there is plenty. I would love to be able to spend a night here. Being my second time here it was the first time in the store and light museum. total fascinating and the guides are wonderful.

We crossed through Half Moon bay and ran into a major traffic jam. I guess it was everyone time to adult and get ready for the work week. It was a nice break from driving through thou and I was able to sight see a little during my drive into Hayward as I never been that direction before. Sometimes you have to take an unknown path.


Leaving Santa Cruz

Leaving Santa Cruz is not an easy task. It was a spur of the moment trip and only one night. Waking up to the smell of fresh air is something I hold dear. The fog had rolled in so I was not able to get a sunrise picture but we did wake up for an early walk on the beach. It would be another glorious day here. By the time we completed the walk the fog had lifted and people were claiming their space on the beach.


We started on the west side of the pier. This is were the caves used to be. I remember as a child following my sister and cousin into the caves. Making sure it was low tide. Now nothing but a cliff with a natural barricade in place to prevent cave access-it’s like they erased them completely.  The fog was thick and the early morning light was barley making it’s way through. Yet so many surfers and surf school ready to go into the water.


We walked along the shore that morning. Oblivious to reality of having to head home. Finding shells and ocean glass, finding what the tides brought in and what the birds had to eat the night before. DSC09483DSC09498

We walked to the end of the caves, turned around and headed back towards the pier. We crossed under the pier and onto the boardwalk side of the beach. Again people jogging on the beach, swimmers coming out of nowhere from the ocean in  their wetsuits. Sailboats appearing in the distance as the fog lifts. Everyone saying good morning. The water felt nice on my toes.


The tide was heading out, you could see a water line from were it came up over the night. Sandcastles were demolished, a few spared. The waves were rough and harder then the day before. The surfers seemed to enjoy this. Walking the beach in the morning you loose all sense of time. You enter a new state of being, one that your relaxed in with no cares. At the other end of the beach and boardwalk is the San Lorenzo River empties into the ocean.


Looking at the train bridge that crosses this inlet I can recall as a kid walking across it to get to the beach. The cliffs on the other side of the inlet are vacation homes. This was my summer stomping ground as a kid. More memorable is the scenes from the movie The Lost Boys. Recall the dark night, dark bridge, cannot see the ground but can hear the surf crashing against the shore. They did a mighty fine job with this scene because as a crazy teenager I walked across these planks in the dead of the night. Black rails against a black drop against a black river with no moon. Please do not do this. I will never forget that. Or this bridge. It’s a nice old train bridge. I am not sure if it is active .


Here the sand melts under your feet. You sink in with every step, the water is warm on your feet. You can find a place to walk across to the other side. All the birds are here taking in the morning breakfast. The fog lifting and the sun is quickly taking over. people are tagging their places at the shore line and setting up seats and umbrellas.

We walked back. Somber, wanting to stay. We rode the carousel again and we to pack up the hotel room.



We packed up and left. We located Santa Cruz diner and had a good breakfast. We headed to the Surf Museum and then to 101 North.


Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Beach

Santa Cruz California. Movies are made here. Memoires are made here. You will notice that life is  different here. Locals are among tourist and every single person will say hello to you, especially in the early morning walks along the beach.


Surf and skate boards are the main source of travel for locals. Bicycles have surf board racks. The homeless/or gypsies  have surfboards and skateboards. There are many hotels for people staying. One on the beach, most on the board walk and tucked back. Howard Johnsons closer to the pier suited us perfect. It was also next to the free Santa Cruz Museum.


It was a beautiful day for the beach. Bikinis, shorts, dresses. Kids squealing and running from the incoming wake of a wave. Adults squealing when that cold refreshing salt water wraps around their feet and ankles, splashing up to the knees. People looking for shells, building sand castles. And I must say I was very impressed that I only picked up 3 pieces of plastic litter. Good job people of Santa Cruz. Please protect the beach and ocean. Thank you to the dedication of the life guards who endlessly watch over the people at the beach.


Endless sunshine on the beach, waves crashing against the shore. Sucking out the water and pushing it back in. the catamaran, the sail boats, the kayaks, the paddleboards and of course the surfers all playing out in the distance of the ocean for what seems like forever and so far out there. Even my NEX e-mount 80-200 mm F4.0 had trouble catching everything.


A sunset on the pier is a beautiful reminder of the blessed day you just had and the fun the night will bring.

When the night came down on the beach it was just a fabulous experience. To catch the dark blue of the night, with the lights reflecting off the water. Some people on the beach, couples on the beach. Boats on the night water, probably looking at shore. Maybe toasting to a great catch. The beach at night is a mystical place. When you can’t see much but you can feel everything. The breeze on your face, the sand between your toes. You can hear the ocean rage against the shore. When the fog starts to get closer and it cools down and you get a shiver. But all you want to do is look at the vastness that is before you.


You feel like a king on the beach at night. Like it’s your own place, it all belongs to you. the salty night air clearing your head, the waves. You can still see because the lights from the boardwalk illuminate the sand in front of you. You can see some things people forgot, or maybe left for the next day. Sandals, a chair. Very little trash. You can see other foot prints, bird prints. What is left off sand castles, many that are just holes in the water now.


Back on the boardwalk the kids and adults are still eating, drinking and having a merry time. Getting on the thrill rides, screaming in terror behind a laugh. Running out of the exit to the next ride or to get back in line. Playing the amusement games and winning stuffed toys for the girlfriend. the boardwalk brings it all back. What it’s meant to have fun and even some chivalry as the men escort their ladies around.


When the board walk closes and the lights go out. People all start to leave. There is a quiet like no other. Even on a warm Saturday night. The only sounds you can hear is the ocean trying to get on up the shore banks.

I am sure the overnight life on the beach will pick up at this time. The people passing through even the people without a place to stay will now come and start to set up their little area. they are respectful. they wait and do not intrude on families and people but you know they are going to be there. Why not, it’s a perfect night in a perfect place living the dream sometimes I wish I could live.





1911 Looff Carousel

Santa Cruz California. Home to the 1911 Looff Carousel.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia- Santa Cruz Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster On The Beach Boardwalk is a National Historic Landmark composed of two parts, a Looff carousel and the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Music for the carousel is provided by a 342-pipe Ruth und Sohn band organ built in 1894. National historic landmarks the carousel has been bringing smiles for over a century.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles I. D. Looff was an American master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels and amusement rides. Looff built the first carousel at Coney Island in 1876. During his lifetime, he built over 40 carousels, several amusements parks, numerous roller coasters and Ferris wheels, and built California’s famous Santa Monica Pier. He became famous for creating the unique Coney Island style of carousel carving. A carousel museum is located at 2500 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, California.

I have been riding this carousel since I was a child many many years ago. My sister, my cousin we would all double grab the rings and toss them at the clown. We were pretty good back in the day. Back then I did not know the history behind the carousel. What I did know is that it was the coolest one around. Grab the ring, throw it at the clown. No other carousel I have been on does this.

In 1993 I developed an interest in carousel history. I learned about the lead horse on a carousel, standers, jumpers, chariots. I learned about amour and trappings. And the intricate work and detail that was all created by hand.

I also learned the it’s difficult to keep a national treasure. Many carousels were lost in floods, fires and neglect and deterioration.  The National Carousel Association is a wonderful group that helps maintain carousels and their history. Their data base on lost carousels has 26 listed. Carousels have also been broken up or sold. Meaning that the horses went individually to other people or places. You can still find them for sale but there also many reproductions especially at EBay. Please see these tips if you looking to buy a piece of history.

1911 Looff Carousel: Fun Facts
 There are 73 horses (and two chariots) on the Boardwalk carousel; the 71 “jumpers” move up and down; the other two are stationary “standers,” considered more valuable.
  • Typical of a “golden age” carousel, the chariots ensured that ladies of the early 1900s could observe modesty and safety by not having to sit astride or sidesaddle on a horse.
  • Each horse has an individual number, stamped on a brass circle on its left cheek.
  • According to family members, when European carver Charles I.D. Looff immigrated into the U.S. he was asked his middle name, “…for ID.” Not having a middle name, he simply chose “I.D.” Originally a furniture carver, Looff was to become one of the world’s foremost carousel makers and produced Coney Island’s first merry-go-round.
  • Looff was known for carving some of his horses with their mouths closed, an uncommon characteristic; the Boardwalk ride has six of these unusual and attractive horses.
  • The carousel is notable in that it has always operated in the same spot. It is known as a “pure” carousel, meaning that all of the horses were produced by the original company.
  • Like many early 1900 carousels carved by immigrant artists, several of the horses have a patriotic American theme; look for details such as flags and eagles.
  • The Boardwalk’s 1894 Ruth & Sohn band organ is original, delivered in 1911. It received a new facade in 2009.
  • The horses all have real horsehair tails.
The Carousel’s “rings”:
  • Over 40,000 rings are replaced each year, mostly taken home as souvenirs; for every 6.5 people who ride the carousel, one takes a ring. But filching rings is nothing new — a photo taken in 1911 when the ride first opened clearly shows a sign stating, “Please Do Not Take Rings.”
  • The ring machine holds approximately 5,000 of the 1.5” diameter rings at one time.
  • Originally, rings were fed manually into the metal arm by a park worker (who also added one brass ring per ride, redeemable for a free ride). The process was mechanized around 1950.
  • The rings used now are all steel; brass ones are only added for special occasions.
  • In the 1970s the rings were discontinued briefly — ridership plummeted about 75%.
  • There are less than 20 working carousel ring machines left in the U.S.
General Carousel Facts:
  • American “carousels” are also sometimes called merry-go-rounds, flying horses, and whirligigs; British names include roundabouts, gallopers, and tilts.
  • Carousels run clockwise in the United Kingdom, the opposite of all American ones and most worldwide; a British outer horse’s left side faces out, and therefore is the more elaborate, or “romance,” view.
  • As many as 3,000 carousels were produced in the U.S. during the “golden age” of American wooden carousels (early 1800s to early 1930s); today there are less than 175 operating.

Please consider join the NCA to help with preserving this wonderful art and fun. I can go on and on about carousels but there is so much information about them I will let you read at your own leisure. Please take a moment to visit some museums and operating antique carousels. And next time the fee feels too much to ride – ride anyway to help fund the preservation.

As a child I would get on the fanciest horse on the outside. I was never an inner rider. I would also grab the highest mount to I could climb on with my horsemanship skills.

As a young adult I began to appreciate the beauty of the “Romance” side of the carousel. When I learned that the animals were hand carved so long ago and that each piece was then put together to form his magical horse I was in awe. I started collecting the carousel figures, pictures, ads of ones for sale.

As I aged I lost my collection but I still have my prized print Charles Peterson “Carousel Horses” I still have my books and postcards and memories.

I went to Santa Cruz with the family in August of 2017. The first thing we did was walk on the boardwalk to the carousel. I went to the corner with the rings and just watched it spin by me. Adults acting like kids, kids being kids. Everyone happy and smiling and giggling. Some whooping and hollering in defeat as the miss the clown mouth, others yelling triumphantly as they make the clown whistle and light up with a ring right through the mouth. I leaned on the rail. I watched. I listened the grand organ playing music. I listened to the laughter and hollers. And when the rings were stopped or depleted you could hear the ahhh’s. Some people putting a ring or more in their pockets. People still reaching for the ring, some pretending to grab one, others giving the bar a tap. Then the ride ended and everyone got off. Kids ran to their folks and wanted to ride again and ran back in line. Some adults ran ahead of the kids to get back in line. Others were high fiving each other with their scores of the clown.

This is what life is supposed to be. Happy, fun and childlike.


We left, played in the ocean. Went to dinner, went back to the carousel. When it was our turn there were no more outside row horses so we waited. It was so worth the wait. I was on a beautiful brown jumper. With a curved neck and roman mane and smiling open mouth.


My daughter wanted the one in back.  A beautiful white amour jumper. After it started and we went around and around, I cannot throw a ring any more! While my daughter hit the clown I only got close. I really need a few days to practice *wink*. We rode the carousel 4 times that night and once the next day before we left. My heart has been healed. All the memories came back and new ones were made.  It was their first time on the carousel. Definitely not the last.

Thank you to everyone who has been working to save the carousels.

100 Years of Looff Trivia
— Since 1911, each original carousel horse has traveled a distance greater than circumnavigating the globe 12 times.
— No two Looff horses are alike, and each has an individual number stamped on a brass circle on its left cheek.
— The entire carousel cost $18,000 in 1911; now that price wouldn’t buy two Looff horses.
— When the carousel arrived at the Boardwalk in 1911, passengers paid a nickel to ride the painted ponies. Today, a ride costs $3.
— There are 73 horses and two chariots on the carousel. Seventy-one of the horses are “jumpers,” which move up and down, and the remaining two are “standers.”
— Chariots were included on the original carousel so women could ride modestly and safely, without having to lift their skirts over a horse or ride sidesaddle.
— In 1911, 100 rocking chairs were placed in the carousel building so mothers could relax while their children rode.
— The ring machine holds approximately 5,000 1.5-inch diameter rings.
— Park workers fed rings manually into the metal arm until the process was mechanized in 1950.
— In the early days, one brass ring was added per ride; the lucky recipient would redeem it for a free ride.
— Number of rings the Boardwalk has to buy each year to replace those filched as souvenirs? Over 40,000! One in 6.5 riders can’t resist pocketing a ring – despite the sign that’s been posted since 1911, stating “Please Do Not Take Rings.”
— The Looff carousel has appeared in a number of feature films, including “The Lost Boys” (1987), “The King of Love” (1987), “Brotherhood of Justice” (1986) and “Sudden Impact” (1983).

1911 Loof Carousel inner rows


Honor the Working Class

‘Horses need jobs too’: New York horse carriage drivers protest proposed ban New York horse carriage drivers protest proposed ban.

Carriage rides in Old Sacramento  


There is a new breed of animal now. Turning animals into a common animal or pet. The humans that are creating these common pets are a danger to them and the entire animal / pet world. They are creating an animal that has no purpose, that has no job and that is disposable.

Every animal was on this earth to provide a service. That service could be hard labor such as plowing a field, transportation of people, couriers and war animals, service animals and even a job to be a lap dog to serve a master.

With modern machines taking over many of these jobs it has left an animal without a job, without a reason to be here and a surplus of animals.

Livestock is the obvious, they are bred with a purpose of work or food.

Some livestock is specifically bred for sports. Such as endurance, jumping, racing, showing and rodeo.

The other animals are ones we have as pets. most notably the cats and the dogs. These animals were even bred for a purpose. Hunting, companionship, sporting, guarding, pulling among so much more.

Thank you Laura for the pictures of Noble

Throughout time their actual need has been replaced by machinery. Take for example my breed the English Mastiff. Bred to protect castles and be war dogs they have a long history. During the World Wars, Mastiff were used to pull munitions carts on the fronts. After the war they were almost extinct.

Laura Gravis-Lautner’s beautiful English Mastiff Noble. Thank you for the pictures.



Mastiffs began to decline in popularity until the late 1800’s, when interest revived briefly, and Mastiffs started to be imported into America.

World War I saw their decline again in England, and by the 1920’s they were almost extinct in that country in their pure form. It was considered unpatriotic to keep dogs alive who ate as much in a day as a soldier; entire huge kennels were put down as a result.

World War II all but finished the breed in England. At the end of the war, fresh blood was imported from Canada and the United States to revive the breed.

Now, fortunately, Mastiffs are well established again, the United States having perhaps the greatest number.

But these days there is a new war. It’s the Animal Rights war. Please do not misunderstand. I am all for the best treatment of animals and animal welfare. However I am not for Animal Rights. These people want animals to be fat and lazy with absolutely no purpose but to be an ornate in view. This is not the purpose of an animal or a pet.

We have to keep the pet active. We have to keep them entertained and to have a purpose. Keep their minds sharp and keep them healthy.

How? We have sports and activities. We have agility, herding, weight pulling, obedience, schutzhund, rally, field trials, hunting, racing, service animals and many more.  I do not regard dog fighting, baiting or another extreme as a sport. these are not sports, they do not have a purpose except blood and gore.

Without these activities are common pets will have even less purpose and not be giving the dogs what they were bred to do an outlet for their purpose. The fattest dogs. 

Yes- there are some people who do not do things correctly and animals will suffer. This is in all things even things we deem good like rescue. Dogs Rescued from Rescue

But banning an entire sport for someone’s wrong doing is like banning a human  race because they are a majority behind bars. You have to go to the specific source of the issue and not a band aid of a solution. People need to tune out the media because they only report bad  things. Instead go to and learn about what you do not understand. By doing this you will not just save a life, but you could save an entire breed from homelessness or extinction.

Why am I writing this post? Because someone informed me that canine weight pulling competition was abuse. Because I had someone tell me that canine racing was unethical. And that horse racing should be banned along with rodeos. That carriage horses should be removed from duty. This is far from truth but no one wants to explore the truth. They want to rely on government and orgs who sensualize something and make it bad. They do not want to think with an open mind. The truth can and will set you free however it is much more work knowing the truth.

All sports can have injuries and be dangerous. Cheerleading, Canine agility etc. Even walking down a street can be dangerous. We should not ban these things.

Dog Agilty Injuries

People would rather keep the shelters and rescues in business then to have the pets in a good  active home. Overbreeding of greyhounds, racehorses, dogs, any species is not the cause of the shelter / homeless issue. It’s a lack of responsible owners and people who cannot keep a pet. It’s the lack of having a purpose for the animal. Why- maybe because they are not fully committed and actively involved with their pet. Sports and recreation can help with this. That and people who stop getting worked up over an animal doing what it is supposed to do and doing it well.

Quote from This ex-shelter dog is helping rescue Harvey victims

Rocket, a border collie mix, was awaiting euthanasia in 2012 because he was considered too high-energy to be adopted from his Sacramento shelter, The Sacramento Bee reported.

But the city’s SPCA quickly realized that same energy would make Rocket a good disaster search dog, the paper reported.

He failed the test at first — but a canine recruiter from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation couldn’t get him out of her mind. She adopted him and brought him on search expeditions with her own dog — until he took the test again and passed in 2013, according to the report.

Please help keep the dogs active and engaged and keep owners who love their dogs active in the sports they love.

Honor  the Working Dog. Sign the Petition.


Injuries Down in horse racing

The NWDA is an organization that is dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the working dog heritage

The International Weight Pull association is a non-profit association that promotes the sport of dog pulling through well organized, sanctioned events. We have an elected Board of Directors.

Dog Pulling is akin to a tractor pull. Dogs compete to see who can pull the most weight 16 feet. They pull a wheeled cart on an earthen surface, or a sled on snow. The handler has no contact with the dog during the pull, so it is up to the dogs willingness to pull. Safety of the dog is of paramount concern. Since IWPA’s organization in 1984, no dogs have been hurt in competition.

IWPA was organized in November 1984 when a group of dog pulling enthusiasts saw a need for an organization to promote this specialized sport. Our season for sanctioned pulls runs from September through March. We currently sanction around one hundred pulls a season throughout the contiguous United States and Canada. Membership currently runs around 250 to 300 with around 400 to 600 dogs in competition. We are open to all dogs, mixed breed or purebred.

The objective of a competition is to see which dogs (within their weight class) can pull the most weight 16 feet within one minute. A tie is broken by the dog that pulled in the least amount of time on the preceding weight. Dogs compete within their own weight class, of which there are nine: 0-10#, 11-20#, 21-40#, 41-60#, 61-80#, 81-100#, 101-125# , 126-150#, 151#and over.


The American Working Dog Association

The American Working Dog Association is dedicated to providing Police & SAR working dog teams with strict and realistic certifications along with the latest in todays top training methods to assure your K9 team is ready to deploy in a professional and safe manner. AWDA holds K9 seminars, workshops and certifications throughout the year all over the United States and abroad.

Equine Injury Database

Rodeo Horses

Cheerleading: High Rates of Catastrophic Injuries and Concussions 
 24,675 (351 of which, or 1.4%) being concussion-related.

The American Working Dog Association The International Weight Pull association is a non-profit association that promotes the sport of dog pulling through well organized, sanctioned events. We have an elected Board of Directors.

Quote from : The Dark Underside of the Show World

It was a declaration of war. The most direct and dramatic way to convey its message, PETA decided, was through “disruption,” causing disturbances inside actual events. To accomplish this, PETA U.K. used its campaign coordinator, 27-year-old animal-rights activist Kirsty Henderson, who told me she was “responsible for protests, disruption, demonstrations, and other campaign actions.” No one associated with PETA would ever even consider poisoning a dog, Henderson insisted. But she readily admitted they had been out to poison the world’s biggest dog show.

Yes there are injuries, death, accidents. This is with every part of life. Some avoidable, some are not. Yes some is abuse, most is not. But you cannot go after a whole in order to bring justice to a part of it. It’s not fair to the one your trying to being justice on. Focus on one at a time. Go after the bad ones, concentrate money and time to the ones who deserve to be out of the game. But reward those who do it right and do not take away their job or lively hood.

Truth about carriage horses

For many people, the closest they’ll ever experience a living, breathing horse is seeing a carriage horse in a city. We owe it to the horses to honor their partnership with us in building our civilization–not by banishing horses to some unknown fate “out there”–but by celebrating the honest labor of mankind’s most important animal companion. For 6000 years, horse and human have enjoyed each other’s company and worked together as partners.

  • Working in harness is not cruel or abusive. The harness is a tool that helps the horse do his job, easily and comfortably.
  • Horses belong with people, not out ‘running wild and free’ someplace. ‘Wild and free’ is a euphemism for neglected and unloved.
  • Carriage drivers and owners love and care for their horses.
  • A happy, well-cared-for carriage horse is a BEAUTIFUL HORSE.

If you want to help horses, take a carriage ride! Your fare supports the care and well-being of the carriage horses. Please also support your local horse rescue that cares for the homeless horses in your area who are not as fortunate as the carriage horses are.


Truth And Consequence: A Carriage Horse Fact Sheet, Amazing Stats 

So that’s my fact sheet. If the carriage horses couldn’t earn money, it is likely that most of them would be dead by now, as is the fate of so many horses. I hope they stay, I hope they get to live and work in New York. I hope they aren’t sacrificed in order to be saved.  I value the truth, I am most impressed by facts, not arguments, there are two sides to everything. I love the romance and the magic of them, I do not wish to ever ride in a vintage electric car. I have tried to record these facts faithfully and be honest about my own feelings. I am a trained journalist, I respect the truth. And I think truth has taken a real beating for some time now.

Horse-drawn fire engines The horses were very well trained. At some stations when the alarm would sound the horses’ stall doors would open and they would walk out and position themselves in the exact spot so the harness could be quickly applied.


What is this golden drink about?

I could really use a strong cup of coffee right now. Like an Espresso with whip cream. Interesting blog.


This golden drink, one of the most popular drinks in the world. I think we can all agree on why. It’s a drink people love to have a conversation over while with a group of friends. By doing this, we tend to refer to ourselves as “coffee lovers” or maybe “coffee fanatics”, because we love the idea of going to coffee shops and have coffee or just because we all appreciate a good old cup of coffee.

But do we really have what it takes to refer to ourselves as “coffee lovers”? Do we really know what this intriguing cup of coffee is all about? The process it went through from bean to cup covered with exquisite foam art?

What is the story behind coffee?

Coffee is a hot drink brewed from roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical plant. The beans come from the seeds produced by the…

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