I had a conversation with a friend where we have agreed to disagree. This thought came to me this morning. Let’s turn off the news for a short time. There’s only one subject in the news these days. Let’s now get to the topics that aren’t taking up the news anymore such as homelessness, rampant drug use, teen and young people suicides. There are all getting lost in the Trump Twitter wars and misdirecting us from important work. We maybe can’t change what is happening with our words so we need to get back to caring for the people by our actions. And working on things we can do something about such as helping food shelves, working with the Back Pack Programs in schools, helping the homeless find housing and skills, packing for Feed The Starving Children , programs for intervention for youths so the suicide rate goes down, intervention for depression and mental health and drugs, caring for the elderly and more and teaching kids how to have respect for others and this beautiful earth that is God’s Creation. Take your eyes off the news and look around at your neighbor, what you see happening in your city. Rural is different than city. What are the needs of your area? It’s not helping us stressing out and battling each other over the headlines. Stand up for what you believe, step in to change what you can, watch your words because the person we alienate with them might be the person that needs our help or we may need theirs some day. Put the headlines back on the issues such as these. We will get through this divide together but we need to not get lost in the rhetoric and bring our focus back to what is needed, right here, right now, in our communities and with our neighbors.
Column the week of February 20, 2017,Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday in the Albert Lea Tribune. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today is Presidents Day. Do you know why we celebrate this day? I am one of those people who have not paid much attention as to the observance, other than it is a holiday to shop and have a long weekend.
I decided to look up a little history, and then I thought it might be fun to look a little into the history of first dogs, too. Those presidents loved their animals.
Following George Washington’s death in 1799, the day of his birthday, Feb. 22, became a day of remembrance because at the time he was venerated as one of the most important people in history. It wasn’t until 1879 that President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a law declaring it a national holiday. Presidents Day isn’t celebrated on any president’s actual birthday but on the third Monday of February. Today it is a holiday to recognize the achievements of all of America’s chief executives.
If you enjoyed the little tidbits about the day, visit the History Channel at history.com for more.
In researching some of the information for Presidents Day, I found many of our presidents had first dogs. I always feel you can tell a lot about a person by the animals they have. Or the fact they are an animal lover at all. Our past presidents loved animals.
In fact, Franklin D. Roosevelt had a Scottish Terrier named Fala. Fala had his own press secretary.
Did you know John F. Kennedy was allergic to dogs, but in spite of his allergies they had nine dogs, one of which was named Pushinka, which was a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Herbert Hoover used his dog, King Tut, in his campaign photos in 1928. They say it could be possible it was his police dog that helped him win the election.
During George W. Bush’s reign his Scottish terrier, Barney, was an internet sensation with his “Barney Cam” videos.
The website dogtime.com has an impressive list of presidents and their dogs, plus the other animals in their lives.
George Washington had interesting names for his dogs: Sweet Lips, Scentwell and Vulcan were American staghounds. I can guess what President Washington had on his mind when he named his black and tan coonhounds, Drunkard, Taster, Tipler and Tipsy.
Maybe the name Fido for a dog caught on when Abraham Lincoln named his dog, Fido.
Calvin Coolidge said, “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.” He certainly had the dogs to back up his statement. He named his dogs, Peter Pan, Paul Pry, Calamity Jane, Tiny Tim, Blackberry, Ruby Rouch, Boston Beans, King Cole, Palo Alto and Bessie. The most famous of their dogs were Rob Roy and Prudence Prim. These dogs got baths with bluing to make their coats look whiter.
These are just a few of the White House dogs. My research found 32 presidents owned dogs, but this number is a little fuzzy depending on the resource. These dogs came in all shapes and sizes from terriers to collies to sheepdogs and yes, let us not forget Bo, President’s Obama’s Portuguese terrier. That I could find he is the only president that brought a Portuguese terrier to the White House.
Richard Nixon’s dog, Checkers, is immortalized in history in the Checkers Speech. Unfortunately Checkers’s life ended and Checkers never made it to the presidency, only the vice presidency.
Other animals that helped the presidents in the White House were mockingbirds, parrots, an alligator, silk worms, horses, tiger cubs, a goat, a cow, an elephant, white mice, cats, a Piebald rat, a zebra, a hyena and many more usual and unusual creatures.
Perhaps Dwight D. Eisenhower summed up the reason we have had so many first dogs.
“The friendship of a dog is precious. It becomes even more so when one is so far removed from him … I have a Scottie. In him I find consolation and diversion … he is the “one person” to whom I can talk without the conversation turning back to war.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Today let us also remember those first dogs, that as Dwight D. Eisenhower said, bring consolation, diversion and solace to the past presidents. We might owe them more than we know
An excellent post by author Linda Crowder.
I have published six books but it’s only recently I’ve begun telling people I am a writer. Before my dizzying dance on the top of the Amazon Best Seller list, I defined myself as my day job, a career coach who by the way, wrote books. Being a writer was something I thought only other people did, even as my books appeared on the bookshelves of tens of thousands of people.
Being a writer, really BEING a writer, takes a serious investment of time and energy. My characters sit in the back of my mind, whispering ideas, suggesting scenes and waking me up at night to get it on paper before I miss the solution to a thorny plot problem.
To jump-start my creative energy, I write for ten minutes a day. It doesn’t matter what I write about, only that I write. I’ve written a short story that I’ve…
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