Live like you are dying

Got the radio going in the truck the other day and the first song that the station searcher came to was the country song Live Like You are Dying. The writer of that song has obviously not been spending much time in the oncology ward at the hospital. As a caregiver for someone with cancer I have some knowledge about living like you are dying and I can say it isn’t a party. The pasty gray faces streaming through the infusion center show no interest in riding a “bull named Fumanchu or sky diving”. For some, just walking into the place is tantamount to running a marathon.

Living like you are dying is real for cancer victims and it becomes an entire lifestyle. In addition to endless visits to the hospital, every aspect of life is affected. Medicine and supplements to keep a person alive are expensive. Finances are drained, jobs lost, businesses shut down, homes mortgaged and even homes lost. Entire families can be destroyed as the wreckage extends beyond the sick person to others who have to take up the slack. Unlike the writer of the song, I don’t wish it upon anyone to have to live like they are dying.

The movie Bucket List might be a more accurate example of living like you are dying, assuming you run across a billionaire who can finance a short spending spree. On the lighter side, I have been wanting to try some Chock Full of Nuts coffee ever since I first watched the movie. My can of Family Dollar coffee is running low, so yesterday as I stood facing the selection of coffee at the grocery store I noticed that City Market has stocked Chock Full of Nuts and I am now looking forward to my first cup of that beverage in the near future. But that is a subject for another blog.

So if you know a person who is forced to live like they are dying, don’t just pay them a visit. Visits are nice for people who are healthy. Their houses are tidy and well stocked with food and drink to offer visitors and taking time out for a chat can be a nice break. There are no breaks for the cancer victim. Maybe a better gesture would be a tank full of gas to help get to cancer treatments, or an oil change to maintain a car that has been overworked with no funds to maintain it. Sick people and the ones taking care of them may not have the strength to keep up with the laundry, so picking up a load of clothes to wash might be nice, or a lawn mowed, snow scooped or leaves raked. And don’t ask the sick person if they need it done, they already feel like they can’t pull their own load anymore. If it is obvious that it needs done just show up and do it. Small things to a healthy person can be huge for a family with a dying person, so it may not take much to make life a little better for someone forced to live like they are dying.

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Despicable

I was planning on taking a break from writing about wolves for awhile lest I be thought narrow minded. However, a video I was watching this morning has compelled me to write of them at least one more time. The video was an interesting story about a guy from Iowa who at age 50 had decided to move to Alaska and live off the land. The story showed how he had built a cabin with only hand tools and his bare hands and how he was providing for his own food mostly by fishing and gathering berries and such.

Coyote

Coyote & Magpie

One day when he was out exploring he came across a frozen carcass that had not been eaten and surmised that wolves had killed the animal for sport. He commented that the wolves had lost a couple of points in his eyes. Of course it is a myth that wolves kill for sport. It is extremely difficult and dangerous for wolves to kill a large animal and they are not often successful. In actuality, wolves are not very good hunters, so when they are successful they do not waste the opportunity to eat.

But that is not the point of this blog post. Man uses the myth that wolves hunt for sport as an excuse to persecute wolves beyond all measure of rationality. What struck me as interesting is that although man thinks the wolf despicable for allegedly hunting for sport, he does not think of himself in the same way. In fact man thinks of himself as courageous and skillful for sneaking up on an animal minding its own business and killing it with a high powered rifle without warning from a long distance, well out of danger of retaliation from his prey. Man thinks of himself as clever, having photographs made of himself standing near a wolf caught in a vicious leg hold trap, the nearby ground soaked in blood from the animal that has been struggling in terror for up to a week before the so called hunter decides to put down his beer and get up off the couch to go check the trap line. Man is so proud of his sport hunting that he has the animals stuffed and mounted as monuments to his manhood. Of course no discussion of despicable can go without mention of the most despicable of all the so called hunters, the canned hunter. These are the people who pay large sums of money to travel to the big game countries and shoot a defenseless animal trapped in a cage while the killer stands outside the cage, completely out of danger. Man apparently does not consider this activity to be despicable enough to have it banned, yet the wolf is hunted mercilessly for far less than this.

I do believe that sport hunting is every bit as despicable as the wolf killers attribute to the wolves. However I also believe that man should hold himself to the same standard. I wonder if they realize that the majority of us do hold them to that standard and find them to be the despicable ones, not the animals that they pursue.

Wolf Action Group

I am happy to report that everything came together and my interview with the Wolf and Wildlife Action Group (WWAG) article is published on the Examiner. The response has been swift and spirited with my greatest one day readership of any article I have written as of this time. It seems the subject has struck a nerve.

It is fascinating that no other animal evokes such emotion as the wolf. Most people are captivated by its majestic beauty and freedom. Few other creatures are as photographed as the wolf. However, just as the animal is loved by the many it is despised with a pathological hatred by the few who have somehow interjected themselves into positions of power and authority and are determined to wipe the wolf off the face of the earth.

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

I am saddened to report that the very day that my article was published, fresh images of bloody dead dogs crossed my news feed following a vicious wolf hounding attack, probably in Wisconsin where this sadistic activity is legal, even encouraged. There are also reports that a new wolf and coyote slaughter contest was approved in Idaho complete with wildlife officials encouraging children to join in on the bloody fun.

I am astonished at the ignorance and stupidity of an entire fringe of our modern society that seems to believe that an entire species of animal is lurking in the woods with a plan to cause problems for humans. Such an evil plan that the normal rules against animal cruelty for rest of society are suspended for their holy war on the wolf. Rules that have landed many dog fighters in prison with felony convictions do not apply in the war on the wolf. Dog fighters are considered some of the most despicable of all people for their cruelty, yet this fringe group of so called hunters is given a pass.

Perhaps the war on the wolf is allowed to continue because the word hasn’t gotten out to enough good people in this country. Stay tuned as the WWAG continues its war against cruelty. There will be more campaigns at the capitals of the wolf killing states and I will be publishing more interviews on the Examiner. Be sure to subscribe to my news feed on the Examiner to receive free updates and articles. In individual articles the “subscribe to author” button is located near the bottom of the page.

Wolves

Today my heart and mind is with the wolves as a new hunting season begins. After being hunted, trapped and poisoned nearly to extinction during the previous century they were saved by the Endangered Species Act and efforts to save them converged upon Yellowstone National Park as new packs were introduced into the wilderness. However, just as they were beginning to thrive, the Bush administration removed them from the list.

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Now, hunting and trapping have resumed with the mindless hatred and ferocity that nearly permanently removed them from the face of the American landscape. Barbaric trapping and hunting practices that would result in felony animal cruelty charges and prison time for the normal citizen are supported morally and financially by the states that promised the Bush administration that they would develop responsible wildlife management plans. These magnificent animals are trapped with barbaric leg hold traps and left for days to suffer in the elements without food or water. In Wisconsin, hounders are allowed to unleash packs of dogs to rip wolves and their pups apart in vicious encounters that often leave dogs dead as well as the wolves they are pursuing. The government encourages it and even reimburses the so called hunters for the loss of their dogs. One famous rocker and gun rights activist advocates shooting the wolves in the stomach with a .22 rifle to prolong their suffering.

I have recently met a new group of online friends who are doing something about it. They are taking the fight for these noble animals to the doorsteps of the capitols in the states where these sadistic activities are advocated. They say “The pen is mightier than the sword.”, so I will be using my digital pen to raise awareness of this group’s activities to win the hearts and minds of citizens in these states. Perhaps together we will be able to bring about change and once again save the wolf from destruction. Subscribe to my S. W. Krull Imaging Examiner news feed to receive free coverage of our fight for the wolves.