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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers


Oh, what a happy find!

I love finding new blogs, especially blogs on writing. What a way to begin a week with a peek at juicy links for writers and readers. Do go and enjoy L.N. Holmes’ blog. I found her blog through a comment she posted on Kristin Lamb’s Blog. Visit and read Kristin Lamb’s Blog too, because she keeps up fun, witty and encouraging advice to writers. Be sure not to miss Lamb’s post “What Makes a “Real” Writer?

Laughter and poetry?

Due to luck and the pursuit of a face to face writers’ group, Monday has turned into golden day for me. For about eight weeks now, I now meet with poetry critique group. What joy to find dozen other writers, who not only love poetry, read poetry and write it, but also work to understand and revise their own poems. Seems like I feel I am the odd duck in any room, but now I’m the ugly duckling with a room full of other youthful swans. I find the sound of original poetry read aloud, thrilling. A large turning of dozens of years writing poetry in journals has led to this profusion of language and image, a riot of exotic settings and ages all made from a few words. By studying fiction for years both by reading and writing plus in a critique group I find myself in a field of dreams, exploring the details of grammar, noting time, word choices, a wide span of poetic forms written and read. Monday Poets I hope we keep celebrating beyond our first eight weeks.

What fun to learn, I have landed in a peer group of high spirits, high standards and a few former professors of literature! Today, we shared a great deal of laughter. Laughing loud and long, we Monday poets critiqued six poems today.

I like poetry  that makes me laugh.
A good dog and a good book, what more do you want?

Have fun dear writer pals, while I revise my blog drafts not yet polished enough to see the light of day.

Top of the week to you, Deborah

Originally posted on A Vase of Wildflowers:

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Exercising Brains: Yours plus your dog’s


Use your dog’s head plus yours

Now this topic got me going this morning. Playing games with our dogs not only keeps our dogs’ brains active and young and most dog lovers want their dogs to live long and healthy lives.

I think each time I play a game or introduce a new game, like the one in this post am reblogging, my brain starts zooming. Fresh hope, happiness and ideas race about as new possibilities.

Working for food? Not work for me!
Treat under plastic pots for a nose work game


So read this fine blog by C-Dog & Company then go play games with your dogs.

DIY pet toys? Yes, you can

3 dog toys you can make from things around the house 

Originally posted on C-Dog & Company:

Bodies aren’t the only things that need to be exercised. Brains need some calisthenics as well.

Last night I stretched my gray matter watching the movie Birdman, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, 2014. I have to admit, I wasn’t really prepared to like the film. But it was funny and philosophical and post-modern, and Michael Keaton, Ed Norton and Naomi Watts were simply wonderful (I thought Norton stole the film, and my only real disappointment was that his character simply disappeared at the end). Birdman reminded me of Magnolia and Synecdoche, New York, two other post-modern dramas that push the envelope in a good way. Anyway, I’m no movie critic (that’s sort of a pun), but I do highly recommend the movie (especially if you’re a Ray Carver fan, as I am — see March 20, 2015 post).

Here’s a not-so-brilliant transition to my post at hand…

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3 reasons funny dogs make you crazy


Like funny photos?

Love silly dog photos? Then please follow PETanimals because their WordPress blog just keeps the dogs coming. Thought I had seen this photograph of  an underwater dog before, perhaps in a book?

Any of you know this photograph’s source? I like to credit sources.

3 reasons funny dogs drive you crazy

  1. You look at funny dog photographs.
  2. You look for more funny dog photographs.
  3. You think with the right dog and camera you could make even funnier dog photographs.

Our Saturday contribution of Sydney in a wig.

I feel something dark coming for me.
Disguise or new personality?

Originally posted on PETimals:

they call me crazy &You thinkYou’reCrazy ??? :)


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Learn the Secret Life of Dogs


Keep learning from dogs

Seems surprising at in the year 2015, we (humans) barely understand the abilities and innate talents of dogs. Dogs live in the present moment. They know instantly, using sensory abilities to smell and to hear, far beyond our awareness. Yet how many times to we say, “Stop barking, Go lay down.” to our dogs? Is if we (humans) know everything they smell and hear?

  • Can you smell cancer? Dogs can.
  • Can you pick out the scent of a single man from a mile over a huge city? Dogs can.
  • Can you feel an earthquake coming 4 days before it hits?

Dogs did! In the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Four days before the 1906 earthquake shook the city of San Fransisco, the horses and dogs knew something terrible would soon arrive. Records written at that time reported that fire truck horses and family dogs became uncontrollable, ran away or fought their caregivers. Four days before.

Hey, I'm a cool dog.
Chilling between his families feet

Time to listen to our dogs. Time to visit Paul’s constantly fascinating blog, Learning from Dogs.

Thanks Paul for your permission to reblog this post.

Originally posted on Learning from Dogs:

Dogs watch us all the time and read our body language like a sixth sense.

A fascinating, and inspiring, insight into our favourite animal companion.

Published on Jan 26, 2014

Check out BBC Earth on BBC online
Dogs watch us all the time and read our body language like a sixth sense. They also smell our bodies for changes.

Max smelt cancer in Maureen before any medical scans could pick it up. Dogs do this naturally and can be trained to pick up on tiny volatile chemicals given off by cancerous tumors. They can even be taught to alert diabetics to low blood sugar levels.

Then read this, courtesy of the EarthSky Blog.

This dog can smell cancer

This is Frankie, a German shepherd mix. He can sniff out thyroid cancer in patients’ urine samples with 88% accuracy, according to a new study.

Image via The Endocrine Society. Image via The Endocrine Society.


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Why Irish greyhound dogs need our help

The first greyhounds lived esteemed and loved

Drawings and paintings of greyhounds date back 4,000 years. From the ancient Egyptians to Homer’s Odyssey to the Bible, greyhound dogs lived as companions to royalty. Laws in many societies forbid commoners from owning or breeding greyhounds. At one point, greyhound dogs, known as sight hounds and used in hunting, lived protected and valued far more than a human life. Want to know more? Visit “History of the Greyhound Dog Breed” on Golden State Greyhound Adoption.

Help Irish Greyhound race track dogs

Irish Greyhounds need our help. Puppies and dogs that prove they do not love to chase a lure or lose a race suffer being euthanized. Dogs that run in races live in filthy small crates, travel long distances without water or food. Help change the laws to match the standards in the United Kingdom.

Please sign this Care2 petition. Tell the Irish government that the world’s dog lovers CARE about the dogs who make dog racing possible in their country. Save racetrack greyhounds from suffering horrible treatment and death.

The story of this ongoing tragic abuse needs voices from people all over the world. My friend, Rosee believes that signatures from citizens in the Untied States of America, can make a difference by signing this petition and changing the laws in Ireland. Read more on my 1 Minute for Irish Greyhounds.

Meet Speedy, a lucky Irish greyhound, before and after

an Irish underfed track dog
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland.

Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer

Please sign this petition NOW.  Please share this post and the Care2 petition on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and in emails to friends. Care2 Petition Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the UK Thanks for caring, Deborah Taylor-French

Speedy now lives with Rosee. Notice Speedy’s shiny coat, clear strong gaze and well-fed muscles?

Former Irish racing greyhound, now safe & happy
Former Irish racing greyhound, now safe & happy

Photo credit: Judith Utner

1 minute for Irish Greyhounds

 Please help Irish Greyhounds by signing this Care2 petition

Save greyhound dogs’ lives in less than 1 minute

Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the United Kingdom

I will not submit my readers to the horrors racing greyhounds endure or lose their lives from. I never thought any thing could be worst than dogs bred in puppy mills. After reading the Care2 petition’s explanation of the conditions and animal cruelty in Ireland’s dog racing world, now I feel sadder but an informed and wiser person.

My friend, Rosee Riggs, sent me this petition. The situation and welfare for dogs on Irish racetracks distresses all animal lovers everywhere. Without boring you with research and background, the essence of this petition effort targets raising Irish greyhound racing rules to match those in Great Britain.

4 great things about greyhound dogs

When living in a home with a family

  1. Greyhounds love to snuggle
  2. Greyhounds enjoy being couch potatoes
  3. Rescued track greyhounds often hate to run
  4. Greyhounds cannot swim. They sink due to extremely low body fat

Myth buster: Not true that former track greyhounds become runaway dogs

This is Rosee’s dog, Speedy. Read more about him on her site Good Dog Practice.

Speedy pausing to smile
Former Irish greyhound, now safe and happy

Photo credit: Judith Utner

 From Care2: legal changes needed to better protect Irish track greyhounds

  • Have a veterinarian present at all race meetings, trials and sales trials who must inspect every greyhound before it runs;
  • Provide the veterinarian with appropriate facilities;
  • Provide suitable kennels, diet, hygiene standards, for all greyhounds that are going to run in a race or trial and for the dogs NOT to be muzzled for 23-24 hours a day; Ensure that the greyhounds have access to an outside area for exercise and be supplied with food and water.
  • Only allow greyhounds that are healthy, micro-chipped, registered and, were required, tattooed, to run in a race or trial
  • Keep up to date records of owners, trainers, greyhounds and any injuries/deaths to greyhounds.
  • Monitor all licensed and private Breeders to reduce excess Dogs thereby reducing the need to euthanize/kill unwanted puppies
  • To regulate Ireland’s greyhound breeders, not governed by the same regulations & welfare stipulations as the UK.  All aspects of greyhound dog breeding, training and kenneling
  • To provide adequate travel facilities, breaks (on long journeys) and water/food as required
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland.
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland. Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer

Care2 Petition Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the UK

Please sign and share

Thanks for reading, Deborah Taylor-French


3 things dogs hate

Dogs hate three things

Living with people for thousands of years, dogs have changed. They have learned much about people, in general and in specific.. Of course genetically, dogs as a species continue to change and be changed by human neglect or human intention.

Science continues to study dogs. All over the world, canine and brain researchers keep learning new things about dogs all the time.

  • Dogs have a high pain tolerance, so don’t test it.
  • Dogs have a sense of fairness, did you know that?
  • Dogs have super sensitive hearing.

Do not do these 3 things to your dog

  1. Never use a choke collar.
  2. Never give other pets treats without giving your dog treats too.
  3. Never yell at your dog.

Number 1: The delicate breathing system and swallowing, which include drinking and eating, receive permanent  damage from choke and prong collars. See my No More Death by Collar

Number 2: The research proves animals have a sense of fairness and that dogs can count, at least enough to know unfair giving of rewards.

Number 3: The top trainers, canine behaviorists and research show that yelling will make your dog afraid of you.

Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin
Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin












Thanks for reading Dog Leader Mysteries. 

Deborah Taylor-French

Please add to my list. Leave a comment for me because I’m sure dogs hate more than these three things.

Heal dog hot spots

Need to treat your dog’s hot spots?

Confused on what to use?

You are not alone. We fell into the same confusion. After searching the Internet for an effective hot spot treatment, my eyes and mind felt scrambled.

  • Why so many YouTube videos, exactly 10,100 claiming hot spot cures?
  • A Google search came back with a mind-boggling  517,000 results!
  • We needed to know what was effective and to start treatment fast.

Sometimes searching the World Wide Web turns into a big time suck. Luckily, we have several local family pet  businesses nearby. Good thing that they thrive despite big box stores. Marc drove to 49er Pet Shop. Of course, they had several product options. Marc knew that one of the most important ingredients should be something distasteful to Sydney.

The dog who ate dirt.
Sydney ready to gobble a dog treat or a piece of carrot, etc.

Does your dog lick everything?

  • Our dog licks dirt.
  • He likes and licks sunblock and lotion.
  • He enjoys licking cayenne  pepper.
  • He eats raw vegetables.
  • Our dog has an allergy to grass (which he rolls in at every opportunity).

We treated our dog, Sydney, successfully, with Aller-911™ Hot Spot Foam Spray. We took a photograph of the product so you can see the label clearly.

NaturVet – Our Story

“In the summer of 1994, my wife Traci rescued our white lab Winston, who was diagnosed with arthritis and hip dysplasia. Several veterinarians recommended putting him down, but this was never an option for us. We began researching alternative medicine while working with Dr. Pedro Rivera, a renowned holistic veterinarian. After several months, we developed a natural joint formula that gave Winston a second chance at life. Winston went on to enjoy ten long years of playing and swimming with his brothers. We soon found others who wanted only the best for their pets as well – NaturVet natural pet supplements were born.”

NaturVet makes healthy stuff for cats & horses too.

Not only has our dog Sydney stopped licking and biting his hot spots, both spots appear to be healing nicely. A relief for our dog and for our family members worried about our dog.

Try me. I work fast.
Try me. I work fast.

What is your favorite healthy dog product?

Please comment so we can share it.

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Deborah Taylor-French

PS. My Internet search turned up a deep, dog care site. 

On this Website I read simple explanations of hot spots and other terms Vet’s give hot spots, plus a list of common causes. The post writer thoughtfully included suggestions for keeping your dog hot spot free.

Go see what Dog Care Knowledge has to say about hot spots on dogs.


Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter

What took me so long?

Just stumbled on this PetMD Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter. What a helpful and important resource, just type in what type of chocolate your dog ate and the meter states how toxic it is. My mission rolls out in my blog’s tagline “saving dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity.” Four years ago, I set my purpose yet I have strayed a bit from it.

Blogging goals for 2015?

My goals for 2015 include sticking to this mission statement tighter in order to write and publish e-books, relating strongly to my purpose for Dog Leader Mysteries.

The thought just struck me to call this “Mystery Monday” and begin sharing my fiction on Monday. Perhaps, I will need to wait a bit due to the need to choose between WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com. In the meantime, you will find my blog on WordPress.com, until I get this all figured out.

PetMD Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter

Beware of what goes in my mouth.
Beware of what goes in my mouth.

Thanks for reading, sharing and caring about dogs.

Deborah Taylor-French





Lost a pet? 4 tips to search Facebook

 Search Facebook to find a lost pet

Here is an idea I did not think up. Using a hashtag to search Facebook for a lost pet. Yes. A hashtag tags any post makes it searchable by others.

Hashtag Tips

  1. Begin with the number sign # then add a top key word or words (run together like a web address or link) such as #lostdog and where you lost your pet such as this hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets.
  2. You can then update or comment using up to three hashtage per entry.
  3. Include a photograph of your pet.
  4. Add a description and any medical needs

A new writer friend, Brigid Wasson, shared this information on Facebook. If you live in Sonoma County, this could get your pet back quickly. Also if you live in a different California County, contact your county animal control and see if they have a Facebook Page and a way to connect with you on social media.

Of course if you have lost or found a specific breed of dog, cat or rabbit in a location you can label, add those as hashtags too.

Waiting is hard to do.
Waiting is hard to do.


Lost a pet? Found a pet? Inserting the hashtag #SonomaCountyLostPets into your lost/found Facebook posts will connect them with all other posts so tagged. Click in the link in this post to check it out. Remember if you want more than your friends to see these posts you’ll need to mark them “Public.”” Brigid Wasson, Director of Animal Services at County of Sonoma.

Found a lost pet? Hashtags can help you too.

 Deborah Taylor-French

Join us. Help animals.
Blog the Change for Animals

 Thanks for caring and for helping lost pets find their way home.


Dog driving you nuts? 6 things to try

Got dog troubles?

Whether the dog in question happens to be your first rescue dog, first puppy not responding to house training or your fifth dog that loves to hear himself bark, you are not alone. We know. Why? Think of the thousands of dog lovers who have felt overwhelmed at one point or another. We have been there, a few times (or more).

Some dog lovers ask other dog parents for advice. Others consult books, dog trainers, canine behavior experts and veterinarians. The feeling of being driven nuts can bring up the fear of living out of control. Perhaps, you feel a little scared faced with a new dog’s difficult behavior or canine health problem?

You want me to do slide down, right now?
You want me to do slide down, now?

Six tips for your sanity

to retain one’s reason in unreasonable times

  1. Describe the problem.
  2. Write the problem down.
  3. How bad is this problem? Rate the problem on a scale of 1 to 10. Make 10 the most difficult or distressing.
  4. Name parts of the problem and details such as the time the problem began, describe the situation(s) where it happens, ask as many rational questions as you can.
  5. Come to your senses. Take time to observe, listen, note the cycle of behaviors or signs that signal another round of stomach trouble. Make this a lucid interval. Be curious about every observable clue.
  6. Make every effort to not respond in a manner, which might be making things worse.

Stress trumps sanity

Synonyms for sanity; a soundness of mind; sobriety, lucidity.

We need to think clearly before we take actions to help our pets.

Of course, these steps may all seem common sense. With hindsight, we have not always responded with these logical and sane questions. Stress in the form of our own or a family member’s illness clouded our logic. When time to think over our dog’s problem may have been lacking, working a high stress job or running a business was all-absorbing (if not physically and mentally exhausting) we had to reach out to others.

Yes, we have experienced how stress shrinks thinking abilities. One rather embarrassing story, that we have not shared before, goes like this.

Ideas about ideal dog behavior wrecks logic

While both running our own businesses, we moved from southern California to northern California. Due to living in an apartment, we had not had a dog in many years. So I felt an urgent need to find our perfect dog. Perfect is not a word I often use. Maybe “dreamed of dog” fits better? After visiting the Petaluma branch of the Sonoma County Library and we discussed the type of personality we wanted in a dog. Both very fit, we wanted to hike and to run on the beach with our dog. Planning our family to include children, our very top priority meant a dog that demonstrated patience with children with a calm temperament. Plus being educated we hoped our dream dog would come to us both smart and motivated to learn.

Soon, we began contacting dog experts in our area for local keeshond breeders and rescues. We wanted a female dog. Without attachment to getting a puppy, we made an attempt to contact a Marin County keeshond rescue. That effort proved unsuccessful. We visited three breeders who fit an ethical breeding profile, each raised beautiful, loving and calm dogs. Each never let a puppy or dog end up in an animal shelter.

Got milk?
Hi, I’m Dawn, a keeshond dog with my very own girl.

Ethical breeder defined

Please read more about ethical breeders and their lifetime buy back contract at “Photo Friday: California Dreaming.” Then we heard of a one-year-old female that had been returned to breeder.

Dream dog trouble?

Of course we fell head over heels and signed the contract. We thought we had done all our homework. Ha!#@? A few more questions, would have saved us worry, time and money.

Mixed advice gave mixed results. Dawn, our first dog, a one year old spayed female had two problems in the first 24 hours. She refused to go potty. She happily went for walks, sniffed grass, drank water, but NO GO. Her first morning with us, she limped displaying a lame front paw. Off to the Vet we went.

I have run out of time. Tune in next Tuesday for the conclusion of our first 24 hours with our dream dog, Dawn.

Deborah Taylor-French

Neuroscience key to animal happiness

“…research in neuroscience has been showing that emotions drive behavior, and my thirty-five years of experience working with animals have shown me that this is true. Emotions come first. You have to go back to the brain to understand animal welfare.”

Animals Make Us Human : Creating the best life  for  Animals

by Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park
Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park

By Deborah Taylor-French

Those of us who live and/or work with animals know…

animals have emotions.

Temple Grandin has made the understanding, care and handling of farm animals her life’s work. I refer to her book Animals Make Us Human because not only has she studied farm animals, but she also loves and lives with pets. In her books, especial this one, she insists that we must understand how animals brains work, how they see, hear and smell every sensory detail in their surroundings.

Animals emotions drive their behavior.

To make a better life for our pets, for domestic and wild animals we must understand the main emotions that drive behavior. This will help us to turn on their positive emotions and avoid turning on FEAR, RAGE and GRIEF.

Example: Rabbits and horses are prey animals.

  • Never chase either rabbits or horses.
  • Teach your pet rabbit or horse come to you.
  • Always reward them for recognizing their name and coming when called.
  • When you chase a prey animal, you make him or her fearful of you!

Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this. When it comes to animal welfare we can always do better. Most of the time “good welfare” is not “good enough.”

The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff.

Dogs Depend on us for freedom from fear and safety

  • Never tied up your dog unless it is in your company in a human training session.
  • A dog needs to feel he call flee to safety.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s fear signals and show him you will protect and calm him.
  • Increase your dogs positive emotions by interesting, but not overstimulating activities.
  • Always stop training before your dog gets tired.

Dogs are the only animals that live with us inside of their flight zone.

Dogs depend on us for positive and playful lives

When you help increase an animal’s curiosity, you turn on his or her positive emotions of SEEKING and PLAY.

Example: Dogs love to play.

  • Find a time and place when both you and your dog seem relaxed.
  • Invite your dog to play by doing a play bow or picking up his favorite toy.
  • Use an excited and happy tone of voice to call your dog.
  • Run away.
  • When your dog chases you, stop.
  • Wait for your dog to run then chase.
  • Always stop before your dog seems fearful or overexcited.

Dogs love this game, which dog lovers know dogs play every chance they get.

Temple Grandin Website and Book Orders

Blog the Change for Animals
Blog the Change for Animals

Thank you for reading.

Please share for the sake of all animals, because as

Temple Grandin says,

“Animals make us human.”

Please visit and share Blog for the Change for Animals – this October 15, 2013

Animals defy our tendency to define their lives and their limits.

For further information on brain research, emotions in animals and the primary-process emotional-affective networks of mammalian brains read US National Library of Medicine  National Institutes of Health on the work of Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression


Today Show: American Kennel Club Approved Puppy Mill Pups

A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society
A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Help stop puppy mill breeders from parading as American Kennel Club approved breeders.

Please share and reblog.

“New accusations that one of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, isn’t doing enough to protect animals. TODAY National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen reports.”  

Do you know that the American Kennel Club has only nine inspectors for the entire United States of America?

In my opinion, this is NOT nearly enough inspectors to do site visits at even 10% of all AKC approved breeders. AKC pedigreed puppies should be bred for healthy lives and under humane conditions. Don’t the dogs and the dog buyers deserve this?

What do you think? 

Can 9 breeder inspectors protect all AKC registered breed dogs across American from unethical and inhumane puppy mill breeders?

American Kennel Club Hounds
American Kennel Club Hounds (Photo credit: eschipul)


Video: One of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, is facing new accusations from the Humane Society and the ASPCA saying that some AKC-registered breeders are raising dogs in filthy, inhumane conditions. NBC’s Jeff Rossen investigates.”

The Today Show

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Please share this Today Show news and video.

AKC-registered breeders raising dogs in ‘miserable’ conditions

Help dog buyers stop buying puppy mill dogs approved by the American Kennel Club. Help dog lovers find breed rescue groups and shut puppy mills. No more animal cruelty under the AKC stamp of approval. Dogs lives and futures depend on us. Be their voice. Speak up. Write for dog rescue and adoption.

Yours most truly,

Deborah Taylor-French