Desert Mountain Times
Desert Mountain Times - People, Plants and Places of Desert Southwest

Service pets for disabled raises questions of full potential

John-Dylan Cully of Las Cruces, 10, seen at the presentation holding a toy dog similar to the one he'll get next year. (Photo by Rudy Gutierrez, El Paso Times)

EL PASO—A hot-button issue, it is. I’ve hesitated several weeks even bringing this up, since it hits so close to home. But events add weight to an old question:   Are we fully using the intelligence and the loyalty potential of animals, especially pet dogs,  in our daily lives?


Got to thinking of it after reading a recent El Paso Times story about how a Las Cruces boy with muscular dystrophy is scheduled to get a trained service dog next year from a special nonprofit that’ll truly give him a leg up in Life. The dogs adopt their masters, in this instance.


John-Dylan Cully is to receive the animal from Canine Assistants, based in Georgia. Selected dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Golden Labradors and Golden Doodles (retriever-poodle cross), attend classes in a special school that’s part of a 20-acre farm in Milton, GA.


Graduation on this class isn’t until sometime near the end of next summer, however; that’s when he’ll get his gift. Corporate sponsors for John-Dylan’s Canine Assistants’ $20,000-plus project are Sam’s Club and Milk-Bone. The donation was made in a special ceremony March 15 at a Sam’s in El Paso. The El Paso Times story on it is linked here.


After graduations John-Dylan will spend some special time at the Georgia facility and that’s when the selection is actually made. Dog chooses boy, in this case. A special bonding occurs. Most of us have felt that from a pet, right? Continue reading

Pause in Big Bend burros killings worth cheering, but ‘dominion’ thinking still a threat

A Big Bend State Park burro foal. (from a Texas Parks and Wildlife photo by James Marvin Phelps, in the Texas Tribune, March 21)



Look at the above photo of the young burro foal, please.  I remember seeing photos when this uproar first started over the killings at Big Bend Ranch State Park, of mothers and their foals found lying side by side. Each shot point blank in the head. So let’s do an exercise. It’s downriver from El Paso a ways; in our “neck of the woods.”


In the photo, spot an inch or so above and slightly behind that sad, innocent eye you see. That’s where in your righteous indignation over  public crimes this little animal allegedly did or represents you’re going to walk up close with a high-powered rifle and …Boom! Shoot the damn thing! Can you do it? Continue reading

Are ‘The Lorax’ and ‘Conscious Capitalism’ part of a ‘mind over body’ turnaround for society?


Little surprising to read that a “save the environment”  message has been packaged so artfully into a children’s animation movie, but apparently that’s the big point behind The Lorax, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of a forest creature who shares eternal hope for his world. It’s running in movie theaters across the country now.


Whew, I sighed after noting a passage in a movie review. More and more signs of a turnaround toward a moral economy for the world? Maybe there really is something in the wind now. Even a paradigm shift toward a conscious capitalism as some key corporate makeovers are attempting to show?  Read on, my startled friends.


The movie review I found, in all places, was in Wednesday’s business ethics speaker Lauren Bloom’s blog, entitled “A note from The Lorax: Bigger Isn’t  Better!”


Apprehensive on seeing the movie because of so many commercial products tied into it, nevertheless Bloom traipsed off to see the film and was floored by the shocking boldness and simplicity of its environmental message. Her column was a big attaboy, of course. Continue reading

To many, Encyclopedia Britannica offered crutches in a difficult world

You never wanted to be caught without a set of these in your home.



By Dan Bodine



Remember in those homes in the 50s and 60s, where a key spot on an inviting living-room wall was taken by an attractive bookshelf stuffed with a gleaming set of Encyclopedia Britannica? Scene was impressive! Still is to an extent. For us of that generation, no doubt.


News last week that after 244 years the company no longer will publish print editions of its encyclopedia undoubtedly caused millions of people around the globe to flinch a little with those flashbacks, yes.


Those of us in that 50s-60s niche, young startlers we were, coming-of-age readers eager to set ourselves up for financial gains and sustainability in an unfolding world of economic mysteries. We leaned heavily upon the books, you bet. Or at least the image. Continue reading