Choose Your Battles

Coming out of the grocery store, we were delighted to see this sight!

Click to enlarge the photo

I love that:

  • The driver brought his/her companion animal along.
  • Parked his four-legged friend in the shade, close to the door.
  • The driver provides goggles for a no-bugs-in-the-eyes ride for his/her buddy.

I’m usually an easygoing person, but there are a few things that raise my hackles. One of them is leaving an animal inside of a car on a hot day; I don’t care if the windows are cracked. 

On the Animal Legal Defense website, I learned that in the U.S. over half of the states have “hot car” laws (laws that prohibit leaving unattended animals in vehicles). 

Currently, twenty of these states have “hot car” laws that allow certain public officials (e.g., law enforcement, humane officers) to break into the vehicle to rescue the animal. They include Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

The following states have “Good Samaritan” hot car laws—laws that allow private citizens to take matters into their own hands—or proposed laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Alabama has a “hot car” bill pending.

Shame on New Jersey and West Virginia. In these states, although it is illegal to leave an animal trapped in a hot car, no one is granted the authority to break into the vehicle to save the animal, not even law enforcement.

My state, Idaho, doesn’t have any laws on the books about this one way or another, so I’ve decided it’s a “choose your battles” state. Breaking the window of a car to save an animal is a battle I’d gladly choose. 

Legal or not, would you break a car window on a hot day to save an animal? 


Seeing Spots

Mary Engelbreit is famous for her quote — Everyone needs their own spot — and her colorful, smile-inducing artwork. And while she was referring to dogs in this quote (a big nod to Willa here):

I think everyone needs their own spot, too — as in location. Some indoors, some out, I have several. Here’s one example:

In addition to any animal companions you may have in your life…

Where’s one of your favorite spots?


The Hurl Principle

The scientific community has countless laws, theories, and principles:

The law of gravity, The big bang theory, the law of thermodynamics, Hubble’s law of cosmic expansion, Kepler’s three laws of planetary expansion, Archimedes’ buoyancy principle, and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, to name but a few.

Clearly, one of the most common principles has never been recognized, let alone named. Yet it’s evidenced in thousands of households across the globe — daily. And I’m here to lay claim to fame by pointing it out and naming it — The Hurl Principle.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury (readers), based on evidence I submit below, and with substantiation from your very own households, you can attest to whether or not this principle does, indeed, exist:

Exhibit A
With the exception of two small rugs, our home — like many of yours — has smooth, hard surface floors throughout.

Exhibit B
Be it K9 or feline, a book can not be judged by it’s cover (don’t be sucked in by her regal, yet innocent expression)…

When said K9‘s and/or felines feel like they’re going to toss their cookies, vomit their vittles, or hork their hash — they immediately evacuate all smooth surfaces and without fail, lose their lunch on the closest rug or carpeted surface they can find.

With hundreds of easy-to-clean square feet at their beck and call, they rush to a rug — evan a postage-stamp sized rug will suffice — and belch in braille, chortle their chunks, hork their hooey!

Do you have a companion animal who supports this scientific principle?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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The Art of Sharing

Growing up, when we asked mom for a piece of gum—typically Juicy Fruit or Wrigley’s Spearmint—she usually said yes on the condition that my sister and I would share a piece. The one who did not break the stick in half was the one who got to select the half she wanted—first. That insured that the one who did the breaking did it as evenly as possible!

On a recent drive to check out an airport for glider planes, Len and I took Lexi and Willa along for the ride. Whiskered faces caught G-force out the partially-open windows as ears flapped blissfully in the breeze. The girls were having an enjoyable afternoon.

Until we pulled into their version of heaven on earth—Culver’s. Then tails started whipping in ecstasy as they shifted into unbridled glee! For them, there’s nothing more exciting than sharing a kiddie dish of vanilla ice cream.

What’s the last thing you shared with a friend?


The Paws that Refreshes

The Paws that Refreshes by Laurie Buchanan

The Paws that Refreshes by Laurie Buchanan

Even if we don’t drink it, we all remember Coca-Cola’s slogan: “The Pause that Refreshes.”

Time and time again scientific studies have shown that companion animals have a positive affect on human health:

Physically challenged individuals indicate that their service dogs provide companionship and support, reduce stress, increase their “freedom to be capable,” and provide a sense of purpose.

Quality of life improves in families of epileptic individuals when a dog that responds to seizures is present in the home.

Animal-assisted therapy effectively reduces the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities.

One general study found that cat owners scored better on psychological health ratings than did non-owners. Other studies have been more specific, focusing on groups facing stressful life events such as bereavement, illness, and homelessness. Findings from these studies often indicate that pets—dogs, cats, and birds—play a significant supportive role, reducing depression and loneliness and providing companionship and a need for responsibility.

Even passive interaction with animals can provide benefit. For example, people who watch fish in an aquarium experience decreased pulse rate, increased skin temperature, and decreased muscle tension. Amazingly, the nutritional intake and weight of Alzheimer’s Disease patients increased significantly when fish aquariums were introduced into their dining areas.

Companion animals—truly the paws that refreshes.

Do you have a companion animal? If not now, perhaps one in the past?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

The Dog Blotter – A Tail of Woe

Laurie at the Scene of the Crime by Len Buchanan

Laurie at the Scene of the Crime by Len Buchanan

Friday, July 9. Straight-up Noon. I’m sitting in my office at HolEssence when my hackles go up. Hmmm, I wonder. What’s going on? I make my way to the back of our building and look out the glass door. There’s a cobalt blue, Pontiac Torrent parked in our small parking lot. All of the windows are down half-way, but there’s no human.

There is, however, a black and white dog with his tongue hanging out. I ask Len to check Google for the temperature outside. “It’s 85.5 degrees outside,” he says.

It’s “Sidewalk Sale” days in historic downtown Crystal Lake., It’s clear to me that someone had a difficult time finding parking on the crowded streets and decided to park in one of our spots – and leave their dog unattended on a miserably hot day.

I head to the basement.

“What are you doing?” Len asks.

“I’m getting a bowl of water.”

“Laurie Jean, you could get bit.”

“I’ll take my chances Mr. B.”

[I don’t actually see this, but I feel Len roll his eyes at me.]

I make my way out to the car, talking to the dog as I approach. He’s a bit skittish as I reach the bowl of water in through the window. He nervously takes a test lick, then eagerly laps several tongue-fulls  Wagging his tail, he thanks me.

My razor-sharp mind quickly deduces that the owner is female. She’s not only been irresponsible enough to leave her dog in a deathtrap, but she’s left her purse on the front passenger seat. I swear I can hear the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz singing, “If I only had a brain.” 

I motion Len outside and ask him to call Animal Control. An officer in a large, white panel van, amber light-bar flashing on top, pulls in. I quickly bring him up to speed. He says, “It’s obvious she didn’t leave any food or water in the car for the dog. You understand that even though she’s left the windows down, it’s at least 10 degrees hotter inside the vehicle, don’t you?”

“Yes sir, I’m aware of that. And I’m pretty pissed. Just to let you know.”

He knocks on the back doors of the closest businesses looking for the perp (that’s short for perpetrator, for those of you who are new to crime).

Not at Joe’s Barber Shop. Not at Material Girl (a fabric store). And not at Le Petit Marche (the local bakery).

The officer gets back in the Animal Control van and calls the police. An officer arrives within 5-minutes. I keep giving Hunter water. When the Animal Control officer returns I say, “I’ve given him a lot of water. Pretty soon he’s going to pee on her seats.”

“It’ll serve her right,” he says.

The police officer is parked behind the perp in the event she shows up and wants to skedaddle. His light-bar’s flashing too. The back side of HolEssence looks like a murder scene, [only there’s no blood, no body, and no crime tape].

More water for Hunter (now I’m secretly hoping he’ll pee on her seats).

The police officer asks me if want to press charges for unlawful parking when she arrives. “Damn straight,” I reply.

Eyebrow raised, he looks at me askance and says, “Maybe you’d better go inside, in the event of an altercation.”

I know full well he’s concerned I’m going to scold the person who’s responsible for this.

Inside HolEssence I pace, looking out the treatment room window where I can observe, without being seen.

Len says, “Mrs. Kravitz, what are you doing?” (Remember Mrs. Kravitz from years ago? She was the nosey neighbor on Bewitched).

“I want to see what’s going on. Ohhhhh, here she comes now!

I see a fashionably dressed young woman (early 30’s) sheepishly approach the car, tail between her legs. I can read lips well enough to see that she’s saying, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t intend to be gone that long.”

I see two officers not taken in by sorrowful eyes—probably batting behind her dark sunglasses—and coy pout.

“Way to go, fellas!” I mentally shout, as I jump and fist-punch the air!

I see each of them hand her a piece of paper. The policeman is undoubtedly giving her a ticket for unlawful parking. The Animal Control officer is handing her some type of citation – hopefully there’s a fine associated with it. 

The squad car pulls away first. The perp’s vehicle is next; followed by the Animal Control van.

As they’re driving away I shout to Len, “Oh crap!

What is it now, Mrs. Kravitz?

“I didn’t take any pictures!” I wail; knowing full well that Kathy Drue, Jeff Stroud, and Terrill Welch would have had her mug shot and fingerprinted by now!

So even though I didn’t catch the real-time action, the photo is of the crime scene—the parking space, the sign that clearly says the parking is only for HolEssence customers, and the water bowl I used to quench Hunter’s thirst.  

The moral of the story?

Never be afraid to take a BITE out of crime!

Listen with your heart,  Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.


I can see from the tag on the dog’s collar that his name is “Hunter.” He looks to be half Dalmatian and half French bulldog. Without my glasses I can only make out a 708 area code. That means the city – as in Chicago. We’re at least 1.5 hours north by car.