Archive for Animals Posts

published in Animals, Inspiration, Photos, Travel, Workplace Safety by Maryanne | November 1, 2017 | 6 Comments

Pig Pen Happiness – Priscilla, Pippa & Pixie the Piglet


Priscilla enjoying breakfast

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a home of my own at the moment. If I did, I may well have brought back a PET PIG from Saskatchewan yesterday!

MA bottle feeding Pixie

My friend, Jackie, has just started breeding “kunekune” pigs on their ranch near Foam Lake.

Jackie with Priscilla & Pippa

The kunekune is a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy, with a rotund build and may bear wattles hanging from their lower jaws (Priscilla, Pippa and even baby Pixie all had wattles). Their colour ranges from black and white, to ginger, cream, gold-tip, black, brown and tricoloured. They have a docile, friendly nature, and – like the pot-bellied pig – are now often kept as pets.

I can see why.

MA with Priscilla

Kunekune are suitable for a novice owner, as they are placid, friendly, and love human company. They are easy to train and intelligent.

MA rubbing Pippa’s belly


The resultant HUGE smile on Pippa’s face!

The native Māori people of New Zealand adopted kunekune. The word kunekune means “fat and round” in the Māori language…kinda perfect!

If you happen to be interested in learning more about kunekune pigs, you can contact Jackie through Facebook.

Oh and yes, I did take a few photos of humans, too 🙂

L to R: Mac, Lexi, Shade & Jackie

And prior to visiting the Foam Lake homestead, I spent a weekend with my friend, Colleen, and her family in Saskatoon. This is a cute shot of me & Col in the brand new Remai Modern Art Gallery:

I was actually in Saskatoon to deliver a couple of JPMF workplace safety presentations at the Mine Your Potential conference (for women in mining and nuclear), so naturally had to stretch that out into a week of visiting friends!

And I just received this bit of feedback from one of the conference organizers:

“Thank you so much for your participation in our event. I hope you get a lot more requests from Saskatchewan, now that word is spreading about how powerful your talk was. You are such a natural speaker. Your talk will be one of my long lasting memories of this conference. I am so sorry for your tragedy. It is awesome that you are helping to make the work environment safer for so many other first responders.”

– Donna Beneteau, PEng, MASc, University of Saskatchewan

That’s it from this bohogazelle…have a safe & productive week!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Animals, Change, Environment, Nature, Wolves by Maryanne | August 29, 2017 | No Comment

One Quick Way YOU Can Help Stop Wolf Cull in BC

(And no…you don’t have to be a BC resident)



“Gunning wolves from helicopters and using strangling snares on the ground have been the main tools used in an ongoing experiment to recover caribou herds protected by federal law.  These herds were pushed to the brink of extinction not because of wolves, but due to continued destruction and fragmentation of their habitat by logging, resource extraction and motorized recreation.”

– Wolf Awareness Inc


If you’ve heard about the wolf cull in BC and don’t support it:

One quick way you can take action, right now, to speak up on behalf of wolves in BC is to fill out this quick survey at

If you’re not familiar with the culling practice, here’s a bit of background from Wolf Awareness Inc:

On Feb 24th, 2017, British Columbia announced that aerial gunning of wolves would begin in a new area – Revelstoke-Shushwap – as the third provincially designated “wolf kill zone.”

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations stated they are “taking immediate action to save the Columbia North caribou herd from wolf predation.”

But killing wolves won’t repair what’s been damaged. Instead of protecting the homes and habitat caribou require, industrial interests have been allowed to trump conservation, ecology and ethics.

Over the winters of 2015 & 2016, a minimum of 288 wolves were killed in BC – most often through callous methods that prolonged suffering – under the guise of conservation.

More than $1.5 million tax dollars have been spent on aerial gunning wolves, despite no evidence to show this is increasing caribou numbers. In fact, there is a lack of scientific evidence that wolf kill programs will increase caribou populations.

Scientists and governments recognize that caribou populations are low because of ongoing destruction and impoverishment of the habitat they need to survive. Yet destruction and impoverishment of critical caribou habitat continues for industrial and recreational interests.


Killing wolves over a prolonged period creates major ecological repercussions that negatively impact many plants and animals in the ecosystem.

Those involved in planning the expanded wolf and cougar kill disregard the considerable damage that scientists understand happens in ecosystems when top predators are removed, and callously exhibit an indifference to the suffering experienced by wolf families as pack members are killed.”

– Chris Genovali, Executive Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation

How you can take action:

If you haven’t already, please take the 5-minute survey (it actually only takes 3 minutes) at

If you are on Twitter, please follow Wolf Awareness Inc @wolfawareness and use the hashtag #NoWolfCull


About Wolf Awareness Inc.

Wolf Awareness Inc. is a non-profit charitable foundation, established in 1987,  whose primary goal is to promote positive attitudes towards predators in general, the wolf in particular, and to foster an appreciation for the environment of which we are all a part. They achieve their mission through the development and implementation of educational programs and by supporting scientific wolf research. Please visit for details.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Wolf Bounties Abound in Alberta

A Wolf Named Nakoda

Wolves in British Columbia Need Our Help

Help Stop Wolf Cull in Alberta

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.




published in Animals, Environment, Face the Future, Nature by Maryanne | April 20, 2017 | No Comment

This is the 6th and final blog in the Spring 2017 Face the Future blog series:

Plant Milkweed for the Monarch Butterfly


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~Maya Angelou

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Down Again 🙁

The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27 percent this year, reversing last year’s recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released in February 2017.

The experts say the decline could be due to late winter storms last year that blew down more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico.

Millions of monarchs make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada each year, and they cluster tightly in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City. They are counted not by individuals, but by the area they cover.

Another problem has been the loss of milkweed—the plant monarchs rely on for food—in the United States and Canada, because of the increased use of herbicides and the conversion of land to development.

The loss of forests in Mexico and milkweed north of the border has proved devastating.

For further details, please click here to read the entire report.

What you can do…

Plant milkweed in your garden!


Why Milkweed?

In their early caterpillar stage, the monarch’s source of food is the milkweed plant (World Wildlife Fund). Butterflies will usually lay their eggs on milkweed plants so that once they hatch, the caterpillar can start feeding on the milkweed leaves. Once the butterflies turn into adults, they can start sipping the nectar from the flowers.

Where to Find Milkweed Seeds

One place you can order milkweed seeds on-line is through the Save our Monarchs website.

New Butterflyway Project Taking Flight

The goal of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project is to provide food and shelter for butterflies and bees by establishing a network of wildflower patches through neighbourhoods across Canada, starting in five cities in 2017.

This Mother’s Day, send the moms in your life a beautiful, original card. Your gift will help the Butterflyway Project welcome butterflies and other pollinators across Canada.

For further info on all things pertaining to milkweed and Monarch butterflies, please check out this link.

Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time.

The 2017 blog series runs from Mar 24th to Apr 28th. To receive the weekly blogs via e-mail, here is the link to subscribe . Face the Future is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.