Blue, aka mainebluedog, Needs Help…

I’ve written about a pit bull puppy named Blue, aka mainebluedog, several times. He was found with his muzzle taped in the mountainous and heavily wooded terrain of Maine at Sunday River Ski Resort on October 2, 2015. Miraculously he was discovered by resort security who called animal control. She in turn immediately took the puppy to Bethel Animal Hospital which is owned by Dr. Gary Stuer, one of Sasha’s veterinarians. He and his staff went to work trying to save as much of the puppy’s lips, mouth and facial tissue as possible.  They estimated he was only between 5-6 months old!  The authorities were notified and the HSUS announced a $5,000 reward however over a year later the monster that did this to an innocent and defenseless puppy has yet to be found. The investigation and reward both remain open.

This is very similar to what the area would have looked like the first week in October.

 

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After staying at Bethel Animal Hospital for nearly one month, the puppy now named “Blue” was adopted by a wonderful family from Maine. Because of the open investigation, they have remained anonymous to protect Blue. Everyone has respected their request for anonymity and continues to do so. Because of the widespread media coverage, many people were interested in Blue so his new family set up an Instagram account hence the name “mainebluedog”. Just looking at the photos and video clips show how very loved he is. I don’t know their names; I reached out to them via his Instagram asking permission to write more about Blue and use some of their photos to which they kindly agreed.

Follow Blue on Instagram

Blue is a very active (you will see for yourself on his Instagram video clips) and well-traveled fellow.  His family noticed that he was limping and took him to their veterinarian. It was discovered that Blue has Medial Compartment Disease in his elbows. The preceding link provides a good overview of the disease as it’s actually composed of several different conditions. Blue is under the care of a veterinary specialist and in mid-December had his elbows scoped. He currently has some restrictions on his level of activity thus the Boo Mobile.

 

Blue had his follow-up appointment on December 29 and his Mom reports that the appointment went well but he’ll remain on exercise restriction for several months at which time they will discuss his progress with the specialist and see what the next steps are.

As you can imagine, the type of special treatment Blue needs is expensive. Whether or not surgery will be needed remains to be seen. A friend of Blue’s family has kindly set up a fundraising page to help with expenses,  Help Blue Get Back On His Feet.  His story is also featured on The Dodo!

 

Blue has such an indomitable spirit and supportive, loving family that I’m confident he’ll meet any challenges head-on. However, everyone needs a bit of help at times and I can’t think of a more worthy cause than Blue’s health. This poor boy hasn’t even reached two and has already endured such trauma. When I think of him as a mere puppy, alone in the woods with his muzzle taped shut my emotions are polarized; I’m thankful that he was found because I’m sure he would have died. At the same time, I’m disgusted by the sadistic and cruel person who committed such a barbaric act against a living, sentient being.

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When my GSD Sasha developed her unique medical issues, there were times I wouldn’t have been able to fully provide what she needed if others hadn’t helped me. It would give me immense pleasure If I can help pay it forward for Blue.

Please consider making a donation to Blue’s fundraiser  Help Blue Get Back On His Feet.; I assure you any amount will be appreciated. Also, if you would kindly share his Go Fund Me link within your social media and email circles it would go far in helping reach the goal. **Goal met!

 

I last wrote about Blue on October 17, 2016, in a post called A Little Joy After My Bleak Posts Of Late…  At the bottom of that are three links to my initial posts which were part of a blog challenge. All four posts have additional links and photographs.

Blue’s a pretty funny boy don’t you agree?

 

In closing, I’d like to explain how I chose the cover photo because I found it significant. Blue is relaxed in the snow looking towards the mountains. Although they aren’t the mountains where he was found, had things turned out differently he wouldn’t have this wonderful life.

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
 ~Karen Davison (The Perfect Companion)

Sisters From Another Mother…

Sisters From Another Mother…

Shortly after Callie was diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma in October, 2015 I joined a Facebook Support Group for Canine Cancer. I saw a post by another member from Maine so began watching for her in the group. One day she posted a photograph of her dog Maddie which took my breath away. Maddie and Callie could have been litter mates they resembled each other so much. Both jet black with flippy floppy ears, deep brown eyes and labrador mix. The poster lives north of me and I adopted Callie Ann from a PAWS shelter in Calais which is also north. Callie Ann was part of a litter of nine jet black puppies so I wondered “Could it be?” I finally got the nerve to ask the owner where she got Maddie and she told me she rescued her off the street. The vet thought she was probably about four months old so the dates didn’t coincide. Yet in my mind I began to think of these two brave fighters as “Sisters from Another Mother”.

Our beloved girls both lost their battles; Callie on November 6 an Maddie on December 7. Maddie’s mom and I shared our grief because Maddie was her “heart” dog just as Callie was mine.

I made up a little poem and started posting it every Sunday morning at 0733 along with a picture that I’d put their names on. I try to use photos that I’ve actually taken (like the cover photo for this post) but must admit that stock photos are usually nicer than anything I photograph. When I decided to leave Facebook, I continued to post the poem and picture on Twitter every Sunday morning and have my daughter post it on her Facebook timeline so that Maddie’s mom can see it. I try to alternate their names weekly ~ Callie first one week and Maddie the next.

“If tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart, for every time you think of me, I’m right here, in your heart.”

#PrayerForMaddie#PrayerFor Callie

#SistersFromAnotherMother

♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

And here are our angels!

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Advice From A Grieving Dog Parent…

Advice From A Grieving Dog Parent…

I lost my beloved dog, Callie Ann, on November 6, 2015. Ironically it was not because of her recent lymphoma diagnosis  but rather irreversible kidney damage brought on due to mismanagement of an extremely high temperature by her local veterinarian of nearly ten years. This was not the scenario I had envisioned for my sweet girl. Just earlier that week her oncologist was excited to report that her lymph nodes had shrunk “90%” after just one IV chemo infusion. Her prognosis was excellent and I thought we’d have “more time”. This post isn’t about laying blame but rather regrets for missed opportunities and suggestions that might keep another person from experiencing the heartache and anguish I’ve gone through and to some extent ~ still am.

♥︎Take lots of photos with both you and your 4 legged companion. Callie had an inmate ability to tell if someone was holding a camera and as a result always turned her head away. I’ve got hundreds of photos and videos of her that I often resorted to subterfuge to get but sadly, only a handful of us together. All because I didn’t want a photo of the back of her head. Now, I’d give anything for more pictures of us together ~ back of the head and all.

♥︎Advocate for your beloved companion just as you would for your child or significant other. Just because the person treating your pet has been their veterinarian for years doesn’t guarantee their diagnosis/treatment is correct. If a little voice creeps into your head questioning the treatment or if you get an uneasy feeling in your stomach ~ act. Question your vet, ask for a second opinion from another doctor in the practice. Don’t just assume that because they have DVM after their name they’re automatically right. Callie is proof that mistakes happen and tragically, the cost of that mistake was her life.

♥︎Don’t allow a vet, their tech or their assistant to intimidate you. They need to  accept that you have your pets best interest at heart and understand when you question something. If they are unwilling to listen then find a new practice.

♥︎Never, ever give up if your pet is given a serious diagnosis like cancer. Don’t let the high cost keep you from getting treatment (if the age and prognosis is favorable). There are many organizations that can hep fund the treatment along with Care Credit, fundraising, social media to name a few.

♥︎Know when to say goodbye. None of us want to lose our beloved pet and sometimes that causes us to hold on “just a little longer”. Ask yourself “Am I doing this for the RIGHT reason? If it was me, would I want my family to keep me alive despite my failing health?” Always remember that it’s the quality of your pet’s life vs the quantity of days. As painful as it is, be prepared to give your faithful friend that one final gift.

♥︎Spay/neuter and keep vaccinations up to date. Yes the vet visit can be expensive but if you can’t afford pet insurance call your vet to ask about prices then incorporate them into your budget so that when the time comes you’ll have the money. Also keep in mind that many communities offer low cost rabies vaccinations and animal organizations offer low cost spay/neuter clinics. Do your homework ~ your pets good health is worth it. Trust me, that mani/pedi can wait; monthly heart worm prevention can’t.

♥︎Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Carve time from your schedule to spend with your faithful friend. Take walks, go to a lake or even a lawn sprinkler in summer. Toss a few snowballs in the winter or frolic in freshly fallen snow.Go hiking whether in the mountains or a stroll on a city sidewalk. Create your own adventure! Talk to your friend while cooking, sewing, working on your car. Surprise them with a treat they love like deer antlers, rawhide or a stuffy. Make a ritual you and your pet can do together and that they can look forward to such as getting the daily newspaper, waiting for the school bus or walking to the post office. We don’t realize it at the time but each interaction fills pages in a memory book that will last forever within our hearts.

♥︎Finally, love them unconditionally just as they do you. In a 100 years, will those occasional dog hairs on your black coat really matter? Trust me, I’d give the world to find some of Callie’s precious black hairs anywhere!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Now go hug your pet!

♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

My Seasons Of Loving You…

My Seasons Of Loving You…

Will Never End…

My favorite Bible verses is Ecclesiastes 3:1–8:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Finally, Justice For K-9 Totti…

Finally, Justice For K-9 Totti…

On July 13 I wrote a post about the death of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections  K9 Totti called RIP K9 Officer Totti ~ End of Watch. K9 Totti, a 2-year-old Golden Labrador, died on July 7, 2016, because he was left in a hot car for 3 hours by his handler, Sgt. Chad Holland. I’m not going to retell all the events of that day as honestly? They make me extremely angry. Totti’s death galvanized me on several levels. He died of heat exhaustion which is how my dog Callie died. Not because I left her in a hot car but because her vet of many years allowed her to languish in one of her exam rooms with a temperature that rose by the hour. By the time I took Callie out and arrived at the emergency veterinary practice, her temperature was past the point of being dangerous. My beloved Callie died because the prolonged and untreated temperature caused sudden onset of irreversible organ damage; she went into acute renal failure. The second reason K9 Totti’s death galvanized me is personal and I’m not “there yet” where I can think about it much less write it; someday. Suffice it to say I am indebted to a K9 officer and in writing about them, I’m paying it forward in my own way.

On October 20, 2016, K9 Totti received justice as her former handler, Chad Holland, following a bench trial, was found guilty of animal cruelty, sentenced to 2 days in a correctional facility and fined $300. There have been several media articles yet whether Holland is still employed as a correctional officer is unclear. Example ~ this article refers to him as “A former central Pennsylvania corrections officer” so to clarify if only for my own edification I reached out to a reporter I know in PA. She’s also curious and will find out from the Department of Corrections (DOC) on Monday.

K9 Totti and his handler were assigned to the Rockview State Prison, located just a few miles from Bellafonte PA, and by prison standards is quite large. Rockview has over 670 full-time employees and on September 30 had  2,367 inmates. It sits on property that consists of several thousand acres. Rockview is also the only PA prion equipped to administer the death penalty. Although technically PA is still a death penalty state, shortly after taking office in 2015  Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he was placing a moratorium on it until he reviewed a report on capital punishment in the state. Pennsylvania hasn’t executed an inmate since 1999 and has carried out only three executions since 1976, making it one of the least-active states with the death penalty. Yet the state also has one of the largest populations of death-row inmates with 176 as of October 3.

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I’ve given you this data on Rockview so you can understand how important of a role K9 Totti had as part of the drug detection unit. Chad Holland had been a handler for 9 years. The car with Totti locked inside sans air conditioning or any type of ventilation was parked only 10 feet from his kennel yet Holland failed to take care of his partner ~ a living sentient being. Instead he talked on the phone, went inside one of the air-conditioned buildings; basically, everything he did was wrong. Holland might as well have put a gun to K9 Totti’s head and pulled the trigger.  I think that we as a society are tired of reading about K9 hot car deaths due to handler negligence. The surrounding towns in PA were in an uproar and held demonstrations. We created a Twitter storm and two of the DOC top brass subsequently locked their Twitter accounts. The petition gathered over 165k signatures.

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Whereas in the past police departments have circled the wagons around a handler, as Bob Dylan sang ~ times they are a-changin’. While I think the punishment given to Chad Holland is quite lenient at least it’s a start. As you saw in some of my other K9 posts, these negligent, irresponsible handlers are being held accountable.

Which brings me to the place I’m going next,  K9 Bak’s murder by his handler, Matthew Peck in Oklahoma. Probably the worst case of wanton abuse committed by an officer. I also wrote about it on August 30 in a post called What Is It With These Psycho Cops???

However, that post was only the beginning of my involvement in K9 Bak’s death. Although unable to establish a relationship with the sheriff, I have with the district attorney and plan on being in OK for Peck’s trial. I’ve kept detailed notes and plan on writing about it. I simply cannot remain silent any longer.

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K9 Bak

 

A Little Joy After My Bleak Posts Of Late…

A Little Joy After My Bleak Posts Of Late…

Some of you may have read my entries when I was nominated for a  (3) day blog challenge on “Quotes”. Of course, I chose dog quotes and I centered them around a pit bull mix puppy, approximately (6) months old named Blue. He had been discovered by security staff from one of Maine’s ski resorts, Sunday River in Newry on October 2, 2015. He was at the edge of the dense woods and to their horror  his muzzle had been taped shut. They called the ACO who in turn took him to  Bethel Animal Hospital which is owned by Dr. Gary Stuer,  part of my GSD Sasha’s medical team.  Honestly? As someone who lives in the Western Mountains of Maine, I can tell you with 100% conviction that it’s a miracle the puppy was discovered. The mountains are high and the woods dense and thick. Bethel and Newry (Sunday River) connect and you can’t tell when you’ve crossed the border of one into the other. 

Despite deep facial tissue damage the puppy  who the staff  named “Blue“,  made a wonderful recovery and was adopted by a lovely family. If you read this article  which also has a short video, you’ll find the link to Blue’s Instagram!

Bethel Animal Hospital had an Open House on October 8 and the guest of honor was no other than Blue! What a strong little guy he is! All muscle and kisses! One of the major networks was there and will be running a feature on him later this month.

They still haven’t found the waste of oxygen that did such a horrid thing to an innocent puppy then left him to die in the woods. I thought with the reward someone would have, as they say in Maine, thrown the culprit under the bus, but not yet and it’s been just over one year.

Blue is such a testament to the indomitable spirit that we all have but sometimes it’s in hiding. Look within yourself and you WILL find it. Maybe not all at once, but bit by bit. The will to survive is strong and a miracle thrown in along the way certainly doesn’t hurt.

My original posts:

Challenge #1  

Challenge #2 

Challenge #3 

“The average dog has one request to all humankind. Love me.”

~ Helen Exley

K9 Deaths; A Minor Accomplishment …

K9 Deaths; A Minor Accomplishment …

I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Partially because I’ve been working on getting my German Shepherd Sasha’s blog online
 and up to date. But I’ve also taken my passion for K9s who die unnecessarily because of handler negligence to a new level. An “I’m in your face and not going away” kind of level. Many animal activists have attempted to enlist me in their causes but emotionally I know my limitations. I’m aware of the dog trade in China, the killing of whales and the lucrative trophy hunting industry but I simply cannot look at graphic images nor participate in campaigns.
What I can do however is use my voice to  both raise public awareness and put pressure on police departments to take punitive action when a K9 officer dies because a handler left the dog in a closed squad car while he ran errands, went to the fair, or helped a friend fix a lawnmower – all in 90 F heat. Departments  have historically circled the wagons around handlers, referring to K9 deaths as “tragic accidents”. Yes its tragic but it’s definitely not an accident.  No responsible law enforcement officer “forgets” his partner, a dog so highly trained  and committed to its job they put themselves in harm’s way to protect the handler. And for the most part, K9 handlers are phenomenal in the care they give their 4 legged partners. Sadly these excellent human/dog teams are being eclipsed by the heinous cruelty of a few. Former Lt. Dan Peabody,  Cherokee County GA, left K9 Inka, 4-year-old  Belgium Malinois, in his hot patrol car where she died ~ suffering terribly in the process as death is neither swift nor kind. Peabody was so emotionally distraught he had to be treated at the hospital. Soon however the dark side emerged, the evil that embodied Dan Peabody  revealed who he really was, a serial dog killer. For not only did he allow K9 Inka to literally roast to death, but he executed his retired K9 Dale ~ a  yellow lab. When authorities excavated Peabody’s yard expecting to find K9 Dale’s remains,  they instead found a third dog who’d been shot in the back of the head. The dog, a female,  had been approximately 10 years old at the time of  death. Since the body exhumed was also a Belgium Malinois, authorities believe the dead female  may have been K9 Inka’s grandmother. Peabody by all accounts seemed “normal”. Heavily tattooed and muscular, he was the affable police lieutenant who, with K9 Inka, was assigned to the Cherokee County School District. As the evidence demonstrated, he was anything but normal. And he’s among a handful of police whose K9 partners have died as a direct result of their callous and irresponsible behaviors. I’ve previously written about K9 Totti  in PA and K9 Bak in OK.  K9 Bak was left in the hot car for over  37 hours without food, water, ventilation;  his handler never once checked on him. Instead, he smelled K9 Bak’s body on the way to work! Yet these are the same individuals we are taught to turn to for help? That their job is to protect us? I wouldn’t trust the care of a houseplant to these irresponsible officers whose negligence causes the deaths of excellent K9 officers in a most excruciating way. Just think about being locked in a hot car and fighting for every  breath until you couldn’t breathe anymore! Very heart wrenching and inexcusable!

 

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The further I dig the more appalled, no make that outraged, I become. Not just with the police but the sick sadistic predators in society who are committing more and more hateful and egregious acts of cruelty against domestic animals. Raping a dog, sodomizing a puppy, strangling kittens with USB cords, stealing and  dismembering a family dog. Is this today’s norm? Has society really disintegrated to the point where people of all ages brutally abuse animals and think its acceptable? Or has it been going on all along but now the burgeoning of  social media brings the horror to our computers and tablets? In a recent case at Baylor University in TX,  Ishmael Zamora was given a 3 game suspension  by the football team after a video appeared online of him beating his young Rottweiler with a belt and kicking him to the point where the dog cried in pain. All because the poor Rottie had a pee accident.

At Missouri State College, yet another football player abused his neighbors dog Luca  whom he was entrusted to watch. Breck Ruddick admitted to “loosing his cool”, striking the 42# dog then allowing him to run away while bleeding. The owner put out an urgent plea on social media and a woman who found the injured and still bleeding dog quickly brought him home. Luca had been struck so hard that his jaw was shattered. Not broken ~ shattered! He required surgery, had 6 teeth removed and received numerous sutures.

In Florida a 20-year-old  UFC student severely abused his 17 week old puppy eventually causing the pups death. Luke Stribling  kicked and punched  his Shibu Inu puppy Julian, also for pee pee accidents. He was ticketed for cruelty in June yet the puppy remained with him until he finally killed him at 17 weeks old!! During the first veterinarian visit (for a broken leg) the vet said Julian had multiple fractures both old and new and that the pup literally shook from severe pain.  She asked Stribling why he didn’t seek medical care earlier for the pain Julian was in; Stribling said he didn’t know. Less than 2 weeks later Stribling  brought the dead puppy to a different vet who notified authorities. Investigators said an autopsy indicated the puppy had suffered severe internal injuries, including a hemorrhaged eye, liver and brain. An innocent puppy, a living sentient being. Tortured and killed for what? Urinating in the student’s apartment? Death at barely  4 months combined with the timeline of his injuries clearly show Julian was abused for most of his life since Stribling got the pup at 8 weeks old.

It takes a very sick and malicious person to do this to any living creature but it’s especially heinous when it’s done to a defenseless animal. Or a K9 officer. Animals look to us for guidance, love, nourishment and safety yet some humans are incapable of rendering the most basic of things.  We have to be their voice for they’re being abused, tortured and killed at an alarming rate. And many by youth who for all intent and purpose represent the leaders of tomorrow. I shudder to think how our country will thrive with evil at the helm.

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As to the title and header picture for this post? It refers to Deputy Tommy Willcox of Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in Alachua County  FL. I’ve been writing and tweeting about him for what seems forever. A brief synopsis about Deputy Willcox. On July 8, 2016 Willcox put his partner K9 Robbie, a 6½-year-old Belgian Malinois, into his squad car at the end of a shift and drove home.  He left K9 Robbie in the car while he went to meet his family at another location. Yes the car was equipped with a safety monitoring system to detect heat but ONLY works if the car is running!  Safety monitoring system aside, how does one “forget” their partner of SIX YEARS? On a day so hot (98) it almost broke a previous record set in 1991? In that type of heat a dog will begin to experience distress in a matter of minutes. K9 Officer Robbie was named after Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller of Oviedo, FL who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008. K9 Robbie however was simply murdered by his partner in America after faithfully serving the department for 6 years. Wilcox had another K9, Kozar, that he adopted when the dog retired. In 2008, Wilcox said Kozar was limping and going blind so this Floridian example of toxic waste had his buddy put on a bite sleeve,  engage Kozar in bite work while Wilcox took his weapon and shot Kozar to death. Wilcox said he considered it a humane form of euthanasia and Sheriff Sadie Darnell supported his decision because Wilcox grew up on on a pig farm .  Sheriff Darnell said “Wilcox had killed more than 100 animals – mostly pigs – that same way.”

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Who gets off in any way, shape or form by being cruel to animals? It is one of the most baffling and sickening psychological perversions I’ve ever encountered. I believe that penalties for the mistreatment of animals must be harsher and more strictly enforced. These people don’t belong among us. Some say, “They’re only animals…” Exactly. Abuse an animal, go to jail. For a long time! And Deputy Wilcox was at the top of my list because there was and still is no way I can condone or even undestand his culpability in the death of TWO dogs. So my campaign began. I stated a media firestorm, targeting not only the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Alachua County but all the Florida media, the Chamber of Commerce, and Tourism Bureau. Let’s put it like this, if there was a organization I found them. I sent Tweets jointly to the Sheriff’s Office  and the County asking how long before Wilcox killed the next K9? I actually scheduled my tweets to ensure I didn’t forget. Finally on Oct  3, three months after K9 Robbie’s death, Deputy Wilcox was suspended for 6 days without pay and removed from the K-9 unit where he had been the lead trainer. While it won’t bring Robbie back nor give Kozar the end of life treatment he deserved,  it’s a small step forward ~ I’ll take it.

K9

The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,
The first to react to protect his master.
The first to enter where danger lurks.
The first to detect the hidden intruder.
The first to take action against violence.
The first to sense his master’s joy.
The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.
The first to give his life in defense of his master.
The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.
They know him as a “Partner,” not just an animal.