Hi! I'm a taxidermist.
To me, Nature is God. Without it, we simply would not exist. Conserving the world’s natural spaces and the creatures that live there is paramount to the survival of humans as a species, and I have therefore dedicated my life to studying environmentalism in order to help people co-exist more successfully and sustainably with the natural world.
All natural materials I use in my creations are either sourced from roadkill, Fish and Game, secondhand sources such as fellow artists and estate sales, or are antique. In this way, I'm ensuring that no animals were needlessly killed for the sake of the artwork I produce. I fully believe that no part of any creature should go to waste if a purpose can be found for it, but I do NOT support trophy hunters or overseas fur farms by buying 'byproducts' like bones, skulls, or claws directly from them. The only exception I make for this rule is for parts from animals legally culled for population control programs approved by Fish and Wildlife.
As a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, I've been involved with many fantastic organizations such as Images4Life and Wild Tiger, as well as the Sierra Club and many smaller, local groups.
I've been published, interviewed, and even featured on Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”)'s personal networking website, SoulPancake.com.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to visit many of the world’s most amazing wild places, like Komodo Island, Bali, Lombok, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands, and have even documented entirely new species previously unknown to science.
Other interests include: Wilderness survival, primitive skills, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, boffing, airsoft, snowboarding, meandering around town, and caving.
nikifag said: That’s a lovely Light Sussex pullet you have there
She’s actually a light Brahma, but I can see the similarities! Sussex don’t have feathered feet, though; and ours does. Andrew’s brother named her, “Boots Wit Da Fur” because of that trait. :)
Went to the vet today to get Jude’s ear injury checked out, and to have his microchip information scanned and updated. As I was waiting by the front desk, I heard the vets and their assistants murmuring behind the counter: “…And he’s got that wolf tail…Lanky build…” etc. I’d already made certain to ask the office before calling in my appointment if they felt comfortable working on wolfdogs, and was assured that “It should be okay.”
I think they told me that because they thought I was going to be another wulfdoge owner with a malamute mix of some kind. The vet seemed a little surprised to see that Jude actually had wolf traits, and was curious to know more about him.
We discussed behavior, health, build, prey model raw diets, Jude’s breeder, and finally landed on the topic of wolfdog/rabies legalities. This was the first time I’d been able to actually sit down and chat with an educated veterinarian about this issue, and was very pleased with her willingness to go the extra mile for me.
She called the State agricultural department and even the people who manufacture the rabies vaccines to confirm, first and foremost, that it is legal to give an F6 wolfdog the vaccine in the first place, but, more importantly, to ensure that the vaccine would not harm Jude given his biological uniqueness. We were informed that, on account of his low-content, it wouldn’t provide any issue, but apparent, for high-content animals, there are some concerns on both the health and legality fronts.
This re-confirmed what I already thought to be true concerning the wolfdog/rabies issue: Higher-content animals are not approved for vaccination, but lower-content animals are. It’s a deeply political problem, and one that is muddled even further by the manufacturer’s own business interests.
At any rate, Jude got everything he needed and was given a clean bill of health. I was pleased to find a vet who *FINALLY* knows what she’s talking about when it comes to wolfdogs and their care, so will be going to her for all of out animal-care-related needs from now on.
I had a dream last night that I was trapped on a tropical island prison - it’s a recurring theme in my dreams which is, I have determined, likely a throwback to my life in the Cayman Islands. The prison-island is always tropical, and I always get unique treatment and freedoms because I have been there far longer than the other inmates. The guards and staff treat me almost as an equal, even if they do so rather begrudgingly. They all know I cannot leave the island, and I think they all feel a little sorry for me. I have, after all, done nothing to deserve my time there; I’ve merely been abandoned on the island, though I never know why in my dreams.
This time, the island-prison is a little different. It’s not bright and sunny in a dull and imposing way. It’s actually evening this time ‘round, and the sky is a stunning shade of royal blue with clouds lit up in every shade of deep azure and perfect purple you can imagine. The ocean is calm, with small waves lapping occasionally at the shore. The sea grapes are in full bloom.
I am sitting atop a high ironstone mountain at the center of the island prison grounds. A spring here has carved away a pool which cascades down a natural water slide into several smaller pools. I typically enjoy this hidden luxury on my own, but today, a family of other inmates has gathered with me. I know none of them, but feel that they are good people, despite being imprisoned with me on a desolate island. The teenage daughter and I get along right off the bat, and she makes a point of introducing me to her two older brothers; they look to be in their mid-twenties or early thirties, and are simply visiting the rest of the family there during their 5-year sentence.
I never do learn what they’re in for. But that isn’t really an important point to the dream.
What is important is that one of the brothers - the younger of the two, I think, asks me to swim in the pools with him, and so we end up playing on the water slides together, and exploring caves in the ironstone as the moon emerges from the clouds and sends out an unnatural opal glow.
We have a wonderful time that night. In my dream, it’s the first time in a long time that I’ve felt happy. And it’s certainly the first time I’ve felt anything other than an obligatory neutral emotion toward a fellow human being there. I am elated. And apparently, so is he.
He asks me if I’d like to escape the island with him. He says he had discussed the notion with his family and they’ve all agreed to help. I feel suddenly that I am blessed by the kindness and courage of my new friends and I feel a bit like crying. But there is work to do, and so we disperse with a plan in mind.
The rest of my dream alternated between me sweet-talking the prison guards into bringing me supplies for my escape (though they obviously just thought I was working on an art project), and scenes of the young man who offered to rescue me, as he and I deepened our friendship to the point of becoming enthralled with one-another. It was nice to feel the warm embrace of another person after being alone and sad for so long on the island. I felt like I had found something profoundly special and knew that I would fight to keep it, no matter what.
But one of the prison guards apparently caught wind of what was going on between the young man and I. He was jealous, as he’d apparently admired me from afar for some time. He was determined to keep me on the island so that I would be his own.
The dream gets a little hazy now - I can’t remember exactly what lead to this next situation - but I am suddenly in a solitary confinement cell fashioned from an underground ironstone cave. I’m chained to the wall, and I am pissed off as all hell. I know, though, that ironstone is not strong, especially this far beneath the earth where it’s cool and damp, and so I begin to carve away at it with anything I can - the handle of a plastic spoon, my own fingernails, and finally, a metal screw I loosen from my cot with my own teeth. I am finally able to free myself from the chains, and use them to beat the shit out of my captor when he arrives to torment me. I think I may have killed him.
I escape, and return to the above-ground world of my familiar island-prison. Though many hours have passed, it’s still dusk outside, and the clouds are still thick on the horizon.
I spend the rest of my dream searching for the young man who was set to rescue me, but soon realize that he is gone; in fact, everyone is gone. The entire island is deserted. No inmates, no guards, no family; just me.
I woke up.