Texas Governor Vetoes Anti-Dog Cruelty Legislation

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (screen capture)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed Senate Bill 474, known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, that would have made it illegal to leave dogs chained up outside without drinkable water, adequate shade or shelter.

The bill passed in the Senate 28-3 and the House 83-32.

From the Texas Tribune:

Abbott said Texas already has the statutes in place to protect dogs from animal cruelty, and the penalties proposed in Lucio’s bill seemed excessive.

“Texas is no place for this kind of micro-managing and over-criminalization,” he said in the veto statement.

Shelby Bobosky, executive director of Texas Humane Legislation Network, a nonprofit that lobbies in support of animal rights, said the organization’s members are devastated by the veto, and the bill would have “clarified the vague language that makes the statute completely unenforceable.”

The hashtag #AbbottHatesDogs began trending on Twitter soon after Abbott’s veto.

One Year Ago Today: Snoopy The Wonder Dog

Snoopy the wonder dog

Snoopy the wonder dog

One year ago today our lives were changed for the better when this guy became a part of our family for far too short a time.

Snoopy adopted us on June 22, 2020, after being surrendered by his only family at the age of 14 and a half. A short time later we discovered he had advanced cancer.

We did everything we could for the Snoop, including some chemotherapy treatments. But we kept his quality of life at the center of every decision we made in terms of his care.

We had three amazing, fun-filled months with the Snoop.

June 22, 2020 – the day we met Snoopy

At one point, we noticed he could have a charming gruffness to him that reminded us of Ed Asner’s ‘Lou Grant’ from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. There were moments he was playful as a puppy and other times when he’d look at us and seemed to be channeling Lou Grant’s famous line, “I hate spunk,” and then look away.

I know this could be read as a sad post, but it’s not. The gift of life this guy gave us changed us forever. We miss Snoop every day but we’re so glad he happened to us. Please consider adopting adult/senior dogs.

I made this video for Michael for Christmas celebrating Snoopy and the awesome life he shared with us last summer.

The song – Sammy Davis Jr.’s cover of The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song – is a nod to our ‘Mr. Grant.’ And the lyrics so perfectly described Snoopy’s effect on everyone he met.

First Dog Champ Biden Passes Away At 13

The Biden's 13-year-old German Shepard passed away today.

Champ, the Biden’s 13-year-old German Shepard who brought dog-hood back to the White House, died today.

According to President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Champ “died peacefully at home.”

“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family. Even as Champ’s strength waned in his last days, when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tail always wagging, and nuzzles us for an ear scratch or belly rub.”

“Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us. He loved nothing more than curling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us as a comforting presence in meetings, or sunning himself in the White House garden.

“In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware.”

“In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”

Champ is survived by the Biden’s younger German Shepard, Major, who was rescued from a shelter in 2018.

Mother Shoots Her Son While Firing At 6-Month-Old Puppy

Six-month-old Bruno the Boxer
Six-month-old Bruno the Boxer
Six-month-old Bruno the Boxer (screen capture)

A mother accidentally shot her own 5-year-old son in the stomach while aiming at a 6-month-old puppy.

The mother, Angelia Mia Vargas, has been charged with deadly conduct with a firearm.

From ABC News affiliate KTRK in Houston:

According to neighbors, Vargas, her son, and another family member were riding bikes down the street when a dog ran out.

That dog, named Bruno, is a 6-month-old boxer puppy. Bruno’s owner did not want to appear on camera, but told us what happened.

“I came out of my house because Bruno was barking and barking. I thought my brother was coming,” said the owner, who thought Bruno’s barking was to indicate his brother was at the door. “So, I open the door just a little bit and he comes running out.”

In Ring doorbell video obtained by ABC13, you can see Bruno running out with the owner following immediately behind. The owner can be seen telling the dog to come back in the house. The dog roams out onto the street, and less than a second later, multiple shots rang out. Gunshots were then followed by extended screaming by the little boy’s parents.

Struck in the abdomen by one of three bullets fired, Vargas’s 5-year-old son was rushed to the hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening wounds, police say.

Bruno’s owner told KTRK, “She could have handled it differently. You know, she was there, her husband was there, I was there, nothing would have happened. Nothing bad like that.”

If you watch the video, you can see only a few seconds elapsed from the time Bruno ran out the door to when you hear the bullets. Bruno’s owner was issued a Class C misdemeanor citation for having a loose dog.

It’s worth noting that the Texas legislature recently passed a new law allowing open carry of handguns without a permit or training.

Furry Goodness: Brians And Crop Tops And Bears – Oh My!

PA state Rep. Brian Sims and Bear
PA state Rep. Brian Sims and Bear
PA state Rep. Brian Sims and Bear (via Instagram)

What could be better for ‘Furry Friday’ than a bear in a crop top?

Out Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims recently reversed his opinion about pets in clothes when he posted a pic on Instagram of his adorbs doggo Temper wearing a t-shirt from his campaign store.

“I WAS WRONG: I recently expressed misgivings about pets in clothes, and I was wrong,” admitted bearded Brian. “Clearly Bears in crop tops are the Moment!”

He added the hashtag #Sims4Pa along with a link to his online store as the 42-year-old lawmaker is running for Lieutenant Governor of the Keystone state.

To be honest, both ‘bears’ in the photo are pretty cute.

I’ve been a fan of Sims for a long time because, basically, what’s not to like?

He became the first out lawmaker elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2012, and he’s been loud and proud about LGBTQ issues as well as the BLM movement and women’s equality.

Plus, he’s not shy about expressing himself whether it’s regarding coronavirus recklessness by his colleagues, flipping the bird at former Vice President Mike Pence, or boldly discussing his use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

Head over to his official campaign site for more info about Sims. And while you’re there check out his campaign merch where you can find Bear’s pink & white crop top or this ‘I Believe in Trans Excellence’ t-shirt:

And then there’s Temper, who’s a regular feature (hashtag #BearAttack) on his Instagram. Here’s just a sample of the furry goodness.

A Prince Called Bear

Our youngest dachshund Bear
Our youngest dachshund Bear
Our little prince Bear when he was a pup

It was one year ago today that 16-year-old baby Bear, the youngest of our dachshund dynasty passed away.

As he was born last of the three puppies (in Michael’s hands), we always thought of him as our little prince. But in his last seven months, being the lone dog of the house, he flourished and grew confident as the alpha of the house.

Even on his last day, when the vets came into the house to assist with his crossing the rainbow bridge, he stood up and barked ferociously defending us from what he perceived as a threat.

Our prince had become a knight.

I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging how much we miss him, his dad and mom – Bruno and Sabrina, and siblings Tyler and Bandit.

Since their passing, we have blessed with the amazing wonder beagle Snoopy. And now, mom and pup chihuahuas Scarlett and Brody.

Please know I’m not sad – but happy that Bear and his brood happened to us. Boundless joy that stretched over two decades.

Here’s one of my favorite videos of the Bear. #DogsRule

I took this photo of Bear looking out the front door just days before his passing
Michael with Bear
Me with baby Bear getting some water during the puppy days
The dogs help Michael take a break from work
Me with all five doxies

Bruno being daddy with the puppies as Sabrina looks on

News Round-Up: April 23, 2021

Brody the wonder pup

Some news items you might have missed:

Brody Watch: Long day of real estate-ing for me today, and I come home to this guy (above). Brody was pretty much giving me “Where have you been???” #doglife #CutenessOverload #ThatFace

Washington Blade: President Biden is set to nominate members of the LGBTQ community with a background in LGBTQ rights for high-ranking civilian positions at the Defense Department.

BosGuy: Our stalwart Boston-based blogger offers this week’s ‘Furry Friday’ installment – equal parts cute and sexy. Worth the click 😉

Instagram: My good friend Larry at TheOUTfront.com sent this to me with the caption, “Something tells me his name is Brody.” #NailedIt #elephants

New York Times: Now that more than half of adults in the United States have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and the country has surpassed 200 million administered doses, demand for shots appears to be slowing in many areas. Some county health departments have started closing some of their mass vaccination sites for lack of customers.

NPR: Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist with a reality-show family, announced Friday that she will run for governor of California as the state’s current governor, Gavin Newsom, is likely to face a recall election this year. #NoThankYou

Gr8erDays: Lee Majors (Big Valley, Six Million Dollar Man, The Fall Guy) turns 82 today. Check out photos from across his nearly 6 decades-long career below.

News Round-Up: April 2, 2021

With the warmer weather finally here, make sure you get out in the sun and enjoy the warmer weather.
With spring finally here, make sure you get out in the sun and enjoy the warmer weather.
Time to get outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather (stock image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

Andrew Christian: With the weather finally warming up, it’s time to get out to the great outdoors for a date that includes some Vitamin D. Check out these ideas for you and your boo to do.

LGBTQ Nation: On March 31, Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy White House Press Secretary, became the first out Black woman to host an official White House Press Brief. She delivered the briefing standing mid-flight aboard Air Force One.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Don’t miss Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the best in LGBTQ publications including the feature in Hot Spots Magazine (below) on LGBTQs and our furry family members.

Hot Spots Magazine covers LGBTQ people and their furry family members
(image via Hot Spots Magazine)

Broadway Cares: The virtual edition of Broadway Backwards delivered an exuberant evening of performances and raised a record $749,555 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. The free online event can now be viewed by clicking here through 11:59 pm Eastern on Saturday, April 3.

Instinct Magazine: Virginia is now the 13th state to ban ‘gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ legal defenses in cases of violence and murder on LGBTQ people.

Tostitos: The chip maker brings out Emmy Award winners Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) and Kate McKinnon (SNL) together for this cute new ad spot where the comic geniuses one-up each other describing the flavor of new Habanero Tostitos. McKinnon thinks the chips are “drama” but Levy says they are “pelvicular.”