Archive for Animals Posts

published in Animals, Change, Charities, John Petropoulos Memorial Fund, Police, Wolves, Workplace Safety by Maryanne | September 14, 2019 | No Comment

Can a Sad Story Save a Life?

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Can a sad story save a life?

I don’t know. But this much I do know: doing nothing in the wake of a preventable tragedy won’t bring about a better future. That’s the belief I’ve built my life on for the past 19 years.

When John died of a brain injury after stepping through an unmarked false ceiling in 2000, several of his police recruit classmates stepped up to the plate and started a memorial fund in his honour. Nearly two decades later, the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund is still going strong, raising public awareness about why & how people can make their workplaces safer for everyone, including first responders.

Over the past 19 years, the JPMF has produced eight 30-second workplace safety public service announcements that have aired over 2 million times on TV. The Fund’s powerful 10-minute safety video has been viewed in presentations, at conferences and on-line thousands of times.

In 2020, the JPMF will be producing a new PSA that will raise awareness about the shocking fact that since John’s death in 2000, nearly 20,000 Canadians have died as the result of a workplace injury or illness.

Yes, you read correctly: 20,000 Canadians.

From my perspective, one workplace fatality is one too many; 20,000 deaths (and thousands of life-altering injuries and occupational illnesses) is unacceptable.

It’s time to create a new legacy for workers – and their families – in Canada.

For further information on the new PSA and/or to make a donation to assist with production costs, here is the link.

Or perhaps this fundraiser might be of interest…

John and I both loved wolves. I suppose you could say wolves were our spirit animal…whatever that might mean to you. What that means to me is that, as a person and a police officer, John shared similar characteristics to that of a wolf: integrity, honour, courage, dedication, loyalty, commitment to excellence and being a strong team player.

John and I used to sponsor a wolf in Alberta through the organization, Wolf Awareness. Our sponsored wolf’s name was Nakoda and she was the alpha female of the Peter Lougheed Pack. John and I used to love reading updates about her and her pack’s activities.

When John and Nakoda died within a week of each other, I began to wonder if there really was some sort of connection between John and I and wolves?

I’ll never know for sure, of course. But the JPMF chose the wolf as the logo because the police pack is rather like a wolf pack…

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

– Rudyard Kipling

Since 2005, more than 2000 wolves in Alberta alone have been killed inhumanely: shot from helicopters, poisoned with Strychnine or caught in strangling snares. Wolves in Western Canada are running out of places to hide…they need our help.

And so, as a fundraiser – and to raise awareness – for both the JPMF and Wolf Awareness, I wrote a little story: A Wolf Called Nakoda. 

The story is $9.95 (plus $2 shipping), with $2 from each story sold going to the JPMF and $2 to Wolf Awareness.

The story is printed on small cards (2.5 inches x 2.5 inches), held together by a stainless-steel book ring and packaged in a pretty little gauze bag with matching tag. The story is 900 words, 22 cards total.

To order, please visit our Etsy store.

Can a sad story save a life…of a wolf and/or a worker? 

That remains to be seen. But this I know: raising awareness about issues that matter is an integral part of bringing about change for the better…and organizations such as the JPMF and Wolf Awareness are doing just that.

Thank you for caring…and for sharing.

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 weekly blog, please sign up here.

 

 

 

 

 

published in Animals, Beauty, Dreams/Goals, Inspiration, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | August 15, 2019 | 2 Comments

Great Galapagos…is That a Giant Tortoise or What?! – Ecuador Photo Blog #4

 

Iguana pals on rock, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin, 1800 – 1882

Wow, wow, wow…

From sea lions, sharks and dolphins to iguanas (land and marine), Blue Footed Boobies, Darwin’s famous finches, flamingos and, of course, the giant tortoises, seeing the wildlife of the Galapagos was a dream come true.

Our five days there were jam-packed with seeing animals, swimming, snorkeling, eating, boating, hiking…and locking out my travel companion’s credit card. Oops 🙂

Let’s start with the giant tortoises…

The males can weigh up to 500 pounds. A giant tortoise can live up to 150 years.

Whoops…wrong end.

Tortoise love

Iguanas…

Iguana in the mangroves, Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz Island

Iguana crossing

“Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius.”

– Edward O. Wilson

Sassy Sea Lions…

Sea lion yoga on dock, Santa Cruz Island

 

Sea lions lounging on park bench, Isabella Island

Snorkeling Shenanigans (Homo Sapiens)…

MA & Lynne happy on boat (before the credit card incident)

Team Snorkel

 

A delightful lunch on board…

 

Back home again in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island

Lovely Isabella Island…

White-tipped reef shark

 

Lone flamingo

And then we had crepes…

Right after this photo was taken, Lynne and I had a scrumptious feed of crepes and beer…possibly more beer than crepes, which might partly explain the credit card faux pas. When the time came for me to pay my bill, I cheerfully punched in my PIN. Wrong number. I punched it in again. Wrong number. I punched it in a third time, which is when I remembered that you only get three chances. Wrong number again.

“That’s odd,” I (finally) thought to myself then pulled my credit card out of the machine.

Except, of course, it was not my credit card. It was Lynne’s. No wonder my PIN didn’t work! So I casually handed Lynne her card back and said (rather softly), “Your card is probably locked out.”

“Pardon me?” she said.

“I’m pretty sure your card won’t work anymore,” I said sheepishly, then took another sip of beer (why stop now?).

It didn’t (which was confirmed after a rather panicky call to her credit card company). There ended Lynne’s access to her credit card.

Thankfully, she had a second card. So all’s well that’s end well. The moral of this story is be careful who you travel with. No wait…that’s not right. Always have a back-up credit card…yes, that’s the lesson here 🙂

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Surviving Inti Raymi – Ecuador Photo Blog #3

Magical Moran – Ecuador Photo Blog #2

Walking the Line – Ecuador Photo Blog #1

Celebrate Good Times – Saying Goodbye to Sadie Pope

About Experience International Study Tours

Experience International (EI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Bellingham, Washington. Incorporated in 1988, their mission is to embrace and create opportunities for international understanding and human resource development through technical and cultural exchange in a wide spectrum of disciplines including but not limited to agriculture and natural resources. EI also works with community and choral groups of all ages that travel and often sing to celebrate human diversity, peace, and social justice; to exchange and share with local groups and communities off the beaten track.  Please click here for details. 

About Altropico

Altropico is an organization committed to social and environmental causes in the binational region of Ecuador and Colombia. They collaborate with indigenous, afro-descendant and mestizo organizations, with programs and projects oriented to the good living of their populations. Please click here for further info.

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 weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in A Widow's Awakening Book, Animals, Death, Dogs, Grief, Inspiration, Synchronicity, Widowhood by Maryanne | August 1, 2019 | No Comment

Podcast – Heartfelt Interview with Karin Sieger

 

Sometimes you really have to wonder at the timing of it all

The day before I was to leave for Ecuador, I had a phone interview with Karin Sieger – a therapist, writer & podcaster out of the UK – for her podcast, Soul Cravings.

Karin is a delightful person and I felt comfortable sharing some pretty personal material (about organ donation, grief, being widowed young, falling in love again, the role my dogs have played in my life, etc) in our 50-minute heartfelt interview.

Halfway through our phone call, my dog, Sadie, gave a few cursory barks from the back yard – just to let me know she had finished the chewie I had given her (to keep her quiet while I was on the phone…so much for that idea).

Sadie was insistent enough in her barks that I had to stop the interview to give her another chewie…which, of course, she didn’t really want. What she wanted was my attention. All this, of course, was being recorded in our interview. So much for professionalism. Thankfully, Karin was very understanding (she has a Diva dog of her own).

I ended up bringing Sadie inside, where she promptly lay down and fell fast asleep. Karin and I finished our interview and that was that.

Not quite.

Two hours later, I took Sadie to the vet for her ear infection – and ended up hearing the diagnosis of bone cancer. The next morning, I had to put her down. And let me tell you, it was really strange (not to mention heart-wrenchingly painful) holding Sadie’s paw as she passed between life and death…right after I had been telling Karin what it was like to hold my husband John’s hand in the ICU, as he succumbed to his injuries.

At any rate, after Sadie passed away, I e-mailed Karin to let her know. And she kindly dedicated our podcast interview to Sadie. Thank you, Karin!

If you would like to listen to the 50 minute podcast entitled,Coping with the death of your soul mate,” please click here.

Related blogs by Maryanne

Awakening the Soul – Loss as a Wake-Up Call

Walking the Line – Ecuador Photo Blog #1

Celebrate Good Times – Saying Goodbye to Sadie Pope

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 weekly blog, please sign up here.