Tag Archives: Animal

Animal Crossing New Horizons Box Art Trailer

Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizons

Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizons

One of the most highly anticipated games coming out in the new decade is Animal Crossing: New HorizonsAnimal Crossing: New Horizons will let players create a custom character that will live on a deserted island after purchasing the vacation package from Tom Nook.  These characters can fish, collect bugs, invite players on their island, chop wood, go camping, and other useful tasks.

Animal Crossing fans are even more hyped as Nintendo kicked off the brand new year with a yet ANOTHER trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizons trailer

Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizons Box Art

This new trailer was presented as a commercial piece for Nook Inc.’s Deserted Island Getaway Package.  Various Animal Crossing characters gather round to watch clips of some of the new tasks you will be able to perform in the game.  Such tasks include paving new pathways with the new trowel tool and collecting material to craft furniture.  One of those characters from the audience that will be in the game is Isabelle (who first appeared in Animal Crossing: New Leaf).  The trailer ends with the reveal of the new box art.

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Watching this trailer a few times certainly got me much more excited about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchise and its still gaining widespread popularity in the new year. I have been listening to random Animal Crossing music mixes on YouTube after seeing the other trailers for the game.

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This will be quite a long wait until Spring as Animal Crossing: New Horizons won’t release until March 20th.

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Be sure to get your vacation package from Tom Nook on Animal Crossing: New Horizons this Spring.

Southwest Airline Serving up Service Animals

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Image result for United Airlines Dress Code

Airline companies dealt with some major PR nightmares this past year.  United Airlines faced backlash over their sexist dress code (read more on that here) and their airline representatives even used unnecessary force to a poor passenger on the plane (check out that horror story here).  It seems as though some of companies just can’t get with the times these days.

As the years go on, there is always some new societal norm that people are following these days.  Southwest Airline is dealing with the new norm of service animals for emotional support.  Their newest policy allows people to bring in – wait for it – miniature horses.

Image result for southwest airlines miniature horse

Image result for southwest airlines miniature horse

Image result for southwest airlines miniature horse

That’s right, people – miniature horses are now allowed onboard as service animals.  The policy kicks in next month, including mini horses to be brought onto the plane.  Other than miniature horses, passengers will be allowed to bring in a cat or dog as well.  Some animals that won’t be allowed on the flights include insects, rabbits, spiders, rodents, and even ferrets.

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Before this was announced, other airline companies initiated their own policy for service and emotional support animals.  Back in January, United Airlines rejected a woman’s effort to bring a peacock onto her flight that would be her emotional support bird.  Delta Airlines changed its policy in January after seeing an 84% increase in incidents of animals biting and urinating since 2016.

Image result for Southwest Airline Miniature Horse

Image result for Southwest Airline Miniature Horse

This certainly makes for a bizarre PR miracle for the people.  On the one hand, passengers can bring in miniature horses as their service animal onto the plane; but that policy could pose as a serious risk for other passengers onboard as well.  Not only could they do physical harm to other passengers, but they could affect those who are allergic to horses also.

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But think about this for a second – an airplane is certainly not a place for animals at all.  An airplane is a small, dark, cramped mode of transportation with very little wiggle room.  Those service dogs, cats, even miniature horses won’t be too happy with the amount of leg room they have to wander around.  Miniature horses were meant to run free in the open field, not tied up onto a metal armrest of an airplane.

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Service animals can be helpful at times; but in this case, an airplane certainly isn’t a safe place for both human beings and animals alike.  Some passengers are deathly allergic to animals and those animals aren’t too happy being tied up in a cramped airplane.

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In the end, we will have to see how this PR miracle plays out for Southwestern Airlines and its passengers.  Who knows, this PR miracle could become a nightmare in disguise.  We will have to catch up to with Southwestern Airline later on to see how it plays out.

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With that, you can enjoy life more knowing that you can bring your service miniature horse onboard an airplane flown by Southwest Airline.

A Dog’s Purpose: Running into Hot, Troubled Waters

For one of my birthday celebrations, I invited my friends from Doyon school to go see My Dog Skip at Chunky’s.  My Dog Skip was about a 9-year-old kid named Willie Morris (played by Frankie Muniz) who was given a Jack Russell terrier for his birthday.  The story showcases how the dog fundamentally changes various aspects of Willie’s life.  It released on March 3rd, 2000 and featured Diane Lane, Kevin Bacon, Luke Wilson, Clint Howard, and other notable actors.

It was an incredible family drama that starred one of the coolest dogs as a cast.  When watching the film, I enjoyed watching Skip as the main character.  My Dog Skip was one of many heartfelt films featuring an animal as the main star.  There are a wide range of films where animals become the stars rather than the actual actors/actresses.  Most of these films broke major bank at the box office because human beings are compassionate towards animals.  One upcoming film has everyone in uproars after a disturbing video was released.

Last week TMZ released a video showing a frightened German shepherd being forced into the turbulent waters during the set of A Dog’s Purpose.  The video shows an animal handler grabbing the dog by the collar and forcing him into the water while the dog tries to scurry off from the set.  It goes on for about 40 seconds before cutting to a clip of a scene being filmed.  This video spread like wildfire, sparking outrage among the social media community.

Millions of people rallied to boycott the film and employees are scrambling to fix the PR nightmare that was created from the clip.  Just days before the film is released, several employees involved in the film are offering more details on what happened in the video.  Many of them are divided over condemning the actions and some insist that the treatment wasn’t as bad as it looked.  Whatever the case may be, this PR nightmare spread like wildfire and it isn’t ceasing anytime soon.

Dennis Quaid, who is one of the stars of the film, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss his thoughts on the controversial video.  He stated that, “the video does not tell the entire story,” and that the animals “were treated with the greatest respect and care and compassion.”  On that note, he also added that he wasn’t present when the scene was shot in October 2015.  Even though he wasn’t present for that video, it was interesting that he defended the video that sparked so much outrage.

Whatever the case may be about the provocative clip, it certainly sparked nationwide outrage with its audience.  The film is still set to release on January 27th even after all the backlash.  This is an interesting PR nightmare where social media provided a horrific glimpse of how films are really made when they involve animals.  But if social media wasn’t around, would there still have been backlash?  There’s been many films where live animals were used on the set, yet they never suffered the same PR nightmare that is going on today.

This is an interesting case where various factors were involved in this PR nightmare.  Social media started booming around 2010 and people stayed in tune with what’s really happening in the world.  But on another note, America’s social culture gradually evolved over the past 20-30 years.  So, the questions we have to ask ourselves is: did social media gradually shift our social culture over the years?  Or have people seen enough animal cruelty over time that we really started getting serious about this?  And if so, did social media play a part in enhancing people’s awareness of animal cruelty in society?

In this 21st century, we have to ask ourselves some hard questions about what is socially acceptable in our country.  What was once socially acceptable 20-30 years ago doesn’t sit well with the majority of Americans.  We have seen gay marriage become legal in all 50 states, recreational cannabis use legal in 1/5 of the country, and woman have become more proactive in standing up for their human rights.  Social media opened up a window of opportunities for us to explore, thus gradually shifting the social culture here in America.  It’s reasons like this why A Dog’s Purpose received so much backlash over the controversial video that was released a week ago.

This was an interesting PR nightmare to explore!  I am definitely against animal cruelty or abuse of any kind.  It really is an issue that we need to deplete in order to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all animals.  I love my cat Beavis and wouldn’t even think to abuse her ever!

While I stand against animal abuse, it was interesting to write about this controversial video that was released last week.  Animal abuse has no place here in America and animals deserve the same love that we give to our friends/family.  It’ll be interesting to see what kind of numbers show up on the box office for A Dog’s Purpose when it releases tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe the video could still hurt the film’s publicity in the long run.  For now, let’s take a moment to show some love to our amazing pets that we have in our lives.


Love Hemp’s Canine-Abis is the Cat’s Meow! Woof!



I’ve discussed some personal experiences at the end of some news that came out, but what some of you may not know is that I have a pet at home.  I have a grey tiger cat named Beavis who has been around my life since my junior year of high school.  Beavis has grown from a sweet, loveable kitten to a calm and friendly cat that loves company.  We originally got her and a black-and-white cat, that we named Butthead (yes, they were called Beavis & Butthead!), but she ran away while back in Ipswich.

Now as you know, I’ve been discussing a lot more news about the cannabis industry since question 4 passed in November (#Grassachusetts!).  I’ve always wondered if cannabis products have been specially made for pets.  We already have tons of products out made for human beings, but there are times that I wish Beavis would get the same satisfaction as I do.  I love my cat and it was then that I asked myself: Are there any safe cannabis products out there for Beavis to enjoy?

Well I just happened to stumble onto some ground-breaking products that recently came out. British hemp company Love Hemp released a product called ‘Canine-Abis’, a CBD extract oil for dogs and cats.  This product comes in either liquid drops or as atomizer sprays form.  The sprays can either be consumed straight or mixed with food/drinks.  Recommended dosage is set at four drops per 1kg of body weight at least two-three times a day.  And the best part?  It DOESN’T get your dog or cat stoned!

CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive chemical of cannabis, whereas THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) causes the ‘high’ from consuming the plant.  Cannabidiol is still a relatively new chemical and scientists are still studying the various benefits it provides.  Some benefits of consuming CBD include relieving anxiety, diabetes, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and other medicinal benefits.

While this product does work for cats, Canine-Abis has already become pretty popular with the dog-owning audiences.  Tens of billions of dollars are spent on pets every year, with the pet industry growing as new products/services are released.  People really love their pets and these figures definitely show much they care for them.  In fact, some people spend more on their cat/dog than on regular expenses (I’ll never understand why people purchase an expensive small coat for their dog.  Hundreds of dollars on a coat…for their dog!).  As cannabis becomes much more mainstream in the next few years, more products/services will be geared towards audiences that enjoy having a cat or dog in their household.

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I’m so glad that there’s CBD products out for animals!  It’s great that we’re generating some cannabis-infused products geared towards giving our dog/cat a healthier life.  Before the years of mainstream cannabis, dogs and cats would just get stoned from second-hand smoke (and FYI, it’s TOTALLY healthy for your pets to take it in!).

Other than helping out our furry friends, it creates a new niche audiences of pet owners that are curious about the effects of CBD.  Most pet owners are compassionate about helping animals and this product would definitely fit their needs.  CBD oil is an astounding alternative for medicine and we should able to share the medicinal wealth with our furry friends as well.

In the end, I love my cat Beavis and would definitely think about purchasing this product for her.  She is friendly around company, but she does need to calm down a bit when she gets too excited!  If anyone is looking for healthier alternatives to helping their pets, I would definitely look into CBD oil extracts like the ones from Love Hemp.  Cause even pets need to chill with some 4/20 vibes as well!


RIP Ringling Brothers Circus: 1871-2017

Like most kids growing up in the 90s, I went to see the circus with my family.  The circus performance came with typical skits – the ringleader introducing the show, clowns running around playing pranks on each other, elephants playing with beach balls, and even tigers walking through a balance beam.  It was all part of good ol’ fashion fun for American families.  Circuses are still around these days, but one major circus performing company is pulling the curtains on their shows this year.

After 146 years of show business, The Ringling Brothers Circus is closing its doors this year.  The owner of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey announced that their final show will be on May.  Thirty shows will be performed between now and May with major stops including Washington, Philadelphia Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Boston.  A variety of factors caused a decline in attendance over the last decade.

Ringling Brothers Circus has been an American staple of entertainment since performing their first show on 1871.  Phineas Taylor Barnum was a showman/businessman who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Before diving into the circus, Barnum was known as a showman who promoted celebrated hoaxes for his audience.  He wasn’t shy of entertainers/vendors utilizing hype (or in his own words, “humbug”) in promoting materials as long as the public was getting their value for money.

P.T. Barnum was so strategic as a publicist that he was considered a master of PR manipulation in the 19th century.  Public Relations didn’t gain its popularity until the early 20th century, but Barnum was actually utilizing PR before it was even a thing!  Phineas Barnum is considered a legend within the PR world.

Surprisingly enough, Phineas didn’t enter the circus business until he was 60 years old.  His first gig was in Delavan, Wisconsin in 1870 where established “P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome”, a traveling circus featuring menagerie and a museum of “freaks”.  It went through multiple name changes until an 1881 merger with James Bailey and James L. Hutchinson shortened the business title to “Barnum and Bailey’s”.  Barnum and Bailey split up for a bit in 1885, but reunited in 1888 to form “Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth”.

Other than being a legendary figure of public relations, Barnum also became known as the Shakespeare of Advertising because of his innovative and impressive ideas.  He figured out how to draw in the patrons, giving them a short glimpse of something they have never seen before.  His advertising strategy revolves around indulging in the truth and making it seem more appealing.

It’s been decades since his traveling circus took off and now it’s being geared off the rails by May.  Many PR problems caused attendance to drop like flies, but one unfortunate reality that led to the closing is what initially drew millions of spectators in the first place: the animals.  After a costly and long legal battle in May 2016, Ringling Brothers removed the elephants from their shows and sent them to live on a conservation farm in Florida.  Animals have always been the main symbol of the circus since Barnum bought the Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882.

Even after the battle in May 2016, public opinion was still shifting.  Los Angeles and Oakland prohibited the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers/handlers.  Asheville, North Carolina dropped wild or exotic animals from performing at the U.S. Cellular Center.  As a side note, just go home and watch Disney’s Dumbo if you want to know how bad animal cruelty wasIt’s a classic children’s film that will give you a glimpse of how horrifying elephant captivity was decades ago.

These events mirror off of similar actions that happened after Blackfish was released back in 2013 (read more about Blackfish here).  Attendance has always been dropping the past 10 years (with audiences favoring digital entertainment more than performances), but attendance dropped dramatically after the elephants left.  Case in point: the animals served as the main drive for Barnum & Bailey, but trending shifts towards animal activism in the 21st century caused the circus to take a serious nosedive.

Make no mistake, Ringling Brothers DID try to remain relevant in the digital age.  Actions such as hiring its first African-American ringmaster or launching an interactive app were interesting strategies to keep up with the current trends.  But these strategies were no match for games like Pokémon GO and a generation of kids that looked up to YouTube celebrities.

And with that, it was the end of a glorious era of performance entertainment for Ringling Brothers.  What was once a spectacle showcasing mystery and curiosity has now been replaced by iPads and VR games.  This goes beyond just the death of a company: it’s the death of timeless entertainment for the United States.  Gone are the days of kids being enthralled by elephants balancing on a beach ball for a few minutes.

This was sad news to hear!  I remember going to the circus a few times with my family and it was fun to watch the animals perform.  On the plus side, it’s great that the animals will finally be released back in the wild after all those years of performing.  Blackfish basically ruined the reputation of animal performances for Orcas, as well as elephants.

Time played a factor for the cultural shift against animal cruelty.  Before the age of social media, we were naïve about how the animals were treated after the performances were over.  Social media provided us a window to the bleak truth of companies conducting animal cruelty towards their animals.  We are now informed of these controversies, forcing us to act upon these problems to create a better world for our future generation.  Our history won’t ever be erased, but we can definitely learn from our mistakes and create meaningful entertainment that doesn’t endanger animals’ lives.