The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cows on the Cushion

I have worked in a "commission-only" sales position for many years. When you work like that, it is said that you go out and get a job every day. Those who simply go to work every day and receive a salary or hourly wage are considered to be "on the cushion." The cow and calf shown in this photo are situated prominently on the cushion. It's a decidedly bovine cushion, but a cushion none-the-less. It's also a very stylish, trendy and controversial cushion. It's the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals cushion.

Helga Tacreiter lives in Shiloh, New Jersey with someone she describes as her "long time companion." Helga rescued a dozen or so cows that were living under various conditions typical of cows, and started a "cow sanctuary." According to their
IRS form 990 for fiscal year 2007, Helga receives $500 a month from PETA.

Beyond rescuing cows from typical cow life, Helga is successful in her own right. According to her website,
Helga's Cowches and Possum Huts, she has been making and selling $800 "Cowches," floor pillows resembling her cows, for over 20 years. In 1994 she made one for the likes of Gateway Computers using their black and white Holstein print logo with an applique of the globe. Helga gets around. In addition to the Cowches, she makes what she calls "Possum Huts," which are hand-made, intricately detailed miniature houses with meticulous interior decor. Those babies have climbed in value from $400 in 1975 to upwards of $50,000, according to her website. She constructs commissioned work and has written a book about her Possum Huts, which was reviewed in Smithsonian Magazine in 1985. Helga really gets around.

In addition, she owns her sanctuary, which is 77 acres of prime real estate in Shiloh, New Jersey. So why exactly does she receive $500 per month in donor money from PETA? Maybe she curried favor with them by embracing their wacko agenda. Maybe they just really like her warm and fake-fuzzy Cowches. Maybe she puts a highly promotable face to an organization that spends millions of hard-earned donation money each year on lobbying, advertising, legal fees and salaries and precious little on actually benefitting animals. I have no idea why they send her a check, and can't even imagine an acceptable answer. But, if I were you, I'd sure find out before I gave them one thin dime, something I, personally, will never do.

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