Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

2012 Goals – Check Point

Six months ago I wrote a post titled 2012 Goals, I thought it might be a good time to review those goals and see how I’m doing.

The Blog.


I wrote: The last time I published a post WordPress informed me I have 54 WordPress subscribers and 164 Twitter followers.  My goal for 2012 is to double my WordPress subscribers.

Update: I currently have 105 WordPress subscribers, and 187 twitter subscribers.  I’m quite pleased with this, if my subscriptions continue in the fashion I will reach and surpass my goal before the year is up!

Subscribers = A

Author’s Note: For some reason WordPress keeps changing the way they show their statistics, a week or so ago they began combining my facebook followers as subscribers.

When I checked the blog and it said I had 475 followers I almost fell over.  I quickly checked the front page to see if I’d been pressed.

Being freshly pressed = Epic fail.


I wrote:  My plan is to continue to post every, single day.  If I make it, that will be two full years of daily blogging.

Update: So far I’ve been able to post every single day, and I don’t at this time see any reason for this to change.

Posting every day = A.

Product Review.

I wrote:  I would like to be able to do a product review on this blog.  Preferably a product I like, so I can write a glowing review.

Update: I’m holding off at the moment because there are certain things you can and cannot do with the free WordPress account, until I can move the blog to self-hosted, I will proceed with caution.

Product review = C.



I wrote:  My Twitter goal is to learn to tweet.  Seriously.

Update: Yeah, I’ve tweeted some but it’s just not something that comes naturally.  My niece who is a great tweeter, says you just do it.  I haven’t figured it out on my phone and I just can’t sit there with my twitter feed open all day long.

Twitter = D-.

Twitter Followers.

I wrote:  My other Twitter goal is to get Bob Harper to follow me.   I know, it will be tough but I think I’m up for the challenge.

Update:  This has proven harder than I expected.  You’d think with a twitter name like AuntieJodi you could practically shame someone into following you!   Bob Harper, follow your AuntieJodi, I mean really, what must his followers think?  He doesn’t even follow his own aunt. 🙂

Twitter Goal Bob Harper = Epic Fail.


Paid Writing.

I wrote:  I’m not going to say I want to get a full-time writing job, but I would like to get paid to write something.  Anything.  I don’t care if someone pays me to write a freakin’ ad on Craig’s list.  I just want to be able to say I made money by writing.

Update: I haven’t really pursued this one either.  I did enter a writing contest, which technically would have counted.

Yes it would.  But I didn’t even place.

Paid Writing = D-.

My Book.

I wrote:  I’m writing a book.  There I said it!  Now you know.  Taking a page from Donna and the Dogs, I will be posting a line at the end of each blog letting you know how many words I currently have.

My goal is to write a little bit for my book each day.  In three days I have slightly over 1.000 words, I need to pick up the pace on that, because I hope to have the book complete (in rough form of course) by the time this blog is two years old.

Update: My book has stalled, it’s not that I don’t want to write it anymore, I just kind of lost steam.  I’m on vacation this week so I hope to get some writing in.  The last time I checked I think I had somewhere around 27,000 words.  So it’s not a total loss, I’ve written 26,000 more words than I had in January.

My book = C.

Sampson and Delilah.

I wrote:  My goal for Sampson and Delilah never changes.  It is to give them the best life I can and enjoy the time I have with them.

Update: I think Sampson and Delilah are doing great, they are happy, fairly well-adjusted dogs.  They require a lot of work, but they are totally worth it.

Sampson and Delilah = A+.

How about you, have you made progress with  any of your goals, either professionally or personally?

W.T.F. Wednesday

Joseph and Margaret Trueman were newlyweds when they left Ireland for America at the turn of the 20th century.

Carefully transported in her trunk, Margaret brought the family bible.  If you turn the delicate gold-edged pages to the section separating the old testament from the new testament, you will find the meticulously recorded births of all five of her sons, as well as the death of the one who did not survive.

Margaret Trueman was my great-grandmother, I found her bible when I was cleaning out my grandmother’s basement.  The cover has seen better days, but the words transcribed inside still remain to this day.

Many has been the day when I carefully turn the pages of that old bible, running my hands along the soft, silky pages and thinking of her and the life she left behind in Ireland.

I wonder, what dreams compelled her to leave the only home she knew and travel to another country far away from home and kin.  I wonder if  America helped her fulfill those dreams.

She died when I was very small and sadly I have no memory of her.

My whole life I’ve dreamed of going to Ireland, to the family farm for visits with cousins so far removed we can’t even determine how we are related.  Settled in at the old kitchen table, over cups of tea, with cream made fresh on the farm, we will get to know each other, to share our lives and dreams.

Today I dream of a world, where pets aren’t yanked out of loving arms and condemned to die, just because of the way they look.

Hey Belfast City Council, today’s WTF Wednesday is all yours.

Lennox the dog ‘humanely put to sleep’ – Belfast, Ireland

I don’t know about you, but I call bullshit.

There is nothing humane about what the Belfast City Council did to Lennox or his family.

If you live in the ‘dog’ world, you more than likely know about Lennox, deemed a ‘dangerous breed’ by the Belfast City Council, he was removed from his family and sentenced to die.

For the last two years, Lennox remained isolated from his family, alone but certainly not forgotten.  For two years his family fought valiantly for his return but they were denied every step of the way.

Despite the fact that well-known dog trainers offered to take Lennox and bring him to the United States, the city council refused.

Victoria Stillwell flew to Ireland prepared to take Lennox on a moment’s notice, still the council refused.

No, the Nazi’s of the dog world had spoken.

This morning the sad news was released that Lennox was put to sleep.

Truthfully I’m not surprised and I’ll tell you why.

My belief is that Lennox has been gone for quite some time.  What other explanation is there for not allowing anyone to see the dog in two years, why would they refuse to allow the family to have the body of the dog?  Why did the council vehemently refuse any and all offers to re-home the dog?

Because the dog was already gone.

Whether he died from their negligence or whether they just went ahead and euthanized him before all efforts in court were exhausted, I truly believe they COULD NOT produce the dog.

Run Fast, Run Free Lennox

Sadly Ireland does not stand alone in their ignorance.  Many cities in this country have Breed Specific Legislation and it’s wrong.  A dog should never be judged on looks alone.

When will we learn to punish the deed and not the breed?

I have a dream that one day we all will be judged by what’s in our hearts, not by how we look.

Run Fast, Run Free Lennox, you may be gone but those you left behind will continue to fight.

What’s Right For Your Dog?

Today’s post was inspired by my friend Donna over at Donna and the Dogs.

I opened my google reader this morning and was greeted by this, When Did We All Become BAD Dog Owners?

It seems Donna’s been noticing a trend of people (including yours truly) who feel guilty about the amount of exercise their dogs have been (or not been) getting.

I feel like it’s important to know your dog and know what your dog requires for exercise AND to try different things to find the perfect fit.  Not every dog needs the same kind or amount of exercise.

When we got Sampson at eight weeks old, he didn’t get  a lot of exercise.  I started taking him for walks after work but as he got bigger he became more and more of a punk, so I stopped walking him.

We tried to play fetch with him, but it wasn’t his thing.  He would chase the ball once or twice and then lay on it as if to say, I’m done.

He did like puppy play group which took place one day per week, and of course we did the standard obedience training.  That was it.   We had a really laid back, low-key lifestyle and Sampson adjusted to it.

When he was a bit older we started hiking on the weekends and quickly realized this was something he loved.  The hiking stopped for a while when Delilah joined our pack but I’ve recently taken it up again.

What I’ve discovered from Delilah’s addition to our pack is that in terms of quality and quantity of exercise, I have two vastly different dogs.

Sampson really, really loves his walk.  If he never got another lick of exercise in his life as long as he had an off-leash walk he’s quite content.

Delilah LOVES to play fetch in the water and can do it for hours, Sampson hates it.

Delilah is also very happy to take a walk, but she has a different level of energy and she also needs some mental stimulation, which is why I started taking her to agility class.

Sampson HATES agility.

Delilah, I’m not so sure, but I’m working on finding different things to try with her.

I’m always amazed at the dogs participating in our Thursday night agility class.  Last week we had an Alaskan Malamute, an Akita, two Labs, an Australian Shepard, a Pittie mix and two other breeds I’m unsure of.

Two weeks ago, I watched the Pittie’s mom struggle through the course using bits of food for motivation,  it seems Brisco only wanted to play with the squeaky ball.  Sara suggested instead of treats that the mom use the ball as a reward.  Brisco had a much better run.

This past week I happened to be next to her in class and I observed the two of them together, she was still struggling.  This guy has a LOT of energy, he’s actually quite a hoot to watch.   I wondered as I stood there, if maybe agility just wasn’t his thing.

But how do you say that to someone?

When we had each completed our runs I asked her if she had considered fly ball for Brisco or Treibball.  She had never heard of either so I quickly pulled up a Treibball video on youtube and let her check it out and explained as best I could what flyball was.

I don’t ever want to discourage anyone from interacting with their dogs, but I also believe that not all dogs are cut out for all things.  If you find something that your dog loves to do, then you should do it.

It shouldn’t matter if your neighbor next door takes their dog running every morning, it might not be YOUR dog’s thing.

Find something you and your dog both like and do it, don’t worry what anyone else is doing, the important thing is that you are BOTH enjoying it.

Just Be The Dog.

Don’t Project – Be The Dog

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there are some blogs that I just can’t wait to read.  When I sign into my google reader I go straight for those blogs.  Of course I won’t tell you which ones I read first, because that would be like telling one of your kids that you liked them better than the other. 🙂

I’m going to go on record right now saying, I want to be your favorite blog in your google reader, and I plan on working hard to make it so.

I’m loving the “Be The Dog” slogan, that’s all I’ve thought about since yesterday.  There are so many lessons we can learn from our dogs, not least of which is not to project what is going to happen, but to live in the now.

We all know dogs are not linear thinkers, they do not have the capabilities of projecting (or anticipating if you will) what will happen next.

There have been a couple of times while out walking where I’ve lost Sampson.   Usually it is because he has seen or smelled something and run off to investigate.  In the meantime I have continued walking but Sampson doesn’t understand the concept that I was here and now I’m there.  He cannot project where I will be upon his return.  He only knows where I was when he left me.  Sampson lives in the now.

As you know Delilah has run off on me a number of times, the worst (for me) being the day she got stuck under someone’s air conditioner. Delilah does not project the outcome when she runs off.  All she knows is there is something far more exciting than whatever it is that I have in my treat bag.  She does not project that if she runs off, on our next walk she will be on leash and not allowed those freedoms.  Delilah lives in the now.

We need to learn to live in the now.  To not project what will happen if we write that slightly controversial blog post, or submit a query letter to an agent.  You will never know unless you try.

When you are older, sitting on the porch in your rocking chair telling stories to your great-grand children let them be stories about things you’ve accomplished, don’t let them be regrets for not having tried.

If it is something you want to do, just DO IT.  Don’t be afraid about what might happen. Don’t put that kind of restriction on yourself, live in the now.

Don’t Project – Be The Dog.

It Won’t Kill Them To Miss A Day

But it might kill them if you walk them.

That’s the conversation I had with Hubby last night about walking the dogs today.  Let me just say that Hubby’s not that big on walking the dogs.  Most days I walk them myself, in the park/woods at the top of our street.  Some days he will join us, but most times when I ask (even on the weekends) he prefers not to do it.  If I have a day where I can’t walk them at lunch or after work, I will ask him to walk around the block with me after dinner.   Most times he does this reluctantly.  It is only about an 18 minute walk, but it’s better than nothing.

Yesterday was the first day of summer and the eastern half of the country kicked it off in a big, hot, way.   Here in New England it reached into the upper 90’s and it was extremely humid.  Too hot even for my little grandson to start his first day of baseball. 😦

There was no way I was going to walk the dogs at lunch.  I debated going to work late and walking them early but in the end decided to shoot for an around the block walk, after dinner.

We ventured out about 8:40 pm and it was still hot, so hot that both dogs were panting half-way thru the walk.  Back into the air conditioning we headed.  Delilah was still panting an hour later.

About 10 PM the dogs headed out for a last potty break before bed.  When I opened the door, it was still like opening an oven door.  I have no idea what the temperature was but it was ugly.

Once everyone was settled in bed, I debated our exercise for today.  Temperatures are expected to reach the high 90’s if not into the 100’s.  Since my niece is graduating from High School at 6:00 pm my choices for walking the dogs are very limited.  There is NO WAY I would walk them in the heat of the day, which leaves later in the evening with Mr. Reluctant or first thing this morning.

As the opening lines read, Mr. Reluctant feels it won’t hurt them to miss a day of exercise.

I disagree.

I opted for a quick 20 minute walk first thing this morning.  We were at the park at 6:40 am, and it was already 73 degrees outside.  Both dogs were panting by the end of the 20 minute walk, so we went home and I had them lie in the bedroom with the air conditioning on to help cool them off, and wait for their tummies to settle before getting their breakfast.

I’m not sure what time we’ll be back from graduation tonight so eating their breakfast a little late will work to my/their benefit, and I figure when I get home I can work a little with them on training.  Specifically Delilah on her drop it command.

I’m pretty sure she ate part of a potato in the field this morning.

How do you make adjustments to your exercise schedule when the weather just isn’t cooperating?

Hot Car = Dead Dog

With the onset of summer comes the stupid people who leave their dogs in cars.

You know it’s true.

A number of my fellow bloggers have been posting about this topic in the past couple of weeks.

Have you seen, Once Again: Dog + Hot Car = Dead…Get It? by Mel at No Dog About It Blog or Dogs And Hot Cars : The Real Tragedy by Kristine at Rescued Insanity?

I’ve been known to hear a dog bark in a parking lot and troll the area looking for the dog, and then I will call the cops.

I work for an engineering firm.  Last week my boss sent me to a local town hall to drop something off.  I pulled into a parking spot and a pick up truck pulled in next to me.  Seeing as 1) I’m a woman and have had it drilled into my head to be aware of my surroundings and 2) I’m a writer with a very active imagination I looked over.  I saw the tell-tale ears indicating there was a dog in the truck. 😦

As I approached the door to the building the man (probably in his late 50’s/early 60’s) was right behind me.  I paused and asked him if he intended on being in the building long.  He said no.  Then almost as an afterthought asked, “Why?”

I explained that I worried about the dog being left in the vehicle as most people aren’t aware how quickly the vehicle heats up.  He responded that he was aware of vehicles heating up, which was why he needed someone to help him.  (I took that to mean, he was going to use that to get a quick response.)

My business took 5 minutes or less.  When I came back out to my car I noted that his truck was still parked there and the windows weren’t cracked very much at all.  It was a nice day, probably in the 70’s and not humid, but still my car was warm after me being only gone 5 minutes!  I debated on what to do.

I had to go to the post office which was about 30 seconds down the street, so I made an agreement with myself that I would do my business and then check back on the truck.  If it was still there I would go inside and raise the roof or at the very least call the police.

When I came back from the post office (possibly 10 minutes later) I breathed a great sigh of relief to see the truck gone.  I can tell you my heart was pounding in my chest as I approached the town hall.

This morning I saw another post Is That Outfit Really Worth Your Dog Dying? by Jen from My Brown Newfies.  Jen works for a vet’s office and her post explained a lot about the physical reaction a dog has when it’s in a hot car.

In the comments Jodi Chick mentioned how she carries thermometers from the Dollar Store and bumper stickers and slips them inside the windows.  (She’s brilliant if you ask me, besides with a name like Jodi…)

Ever since I’ve read that I’ve been on the internet hunt for bumper stickers but I keep coming up busted.  I did however use the website that was posted on Jen’s blog picture and found where you can download and order fliers.

I still would like a bumper sticker though, preferably a magnet so if anyone knows where I might find one……I’d be really grateful. 🙂

Tasty Tuesday

We have two vastly different treat eaters in our house.

Mr. Picky Sampson who has been known to accept a milk bone and then drop it in my purse because it wasn’t to his liking.

And I’ll eat a rock if you tell me it’s a treat Delilah who will eat almost anything you hand to her.

Sara at The Mellow Mutt started carrying an Australian line of dog treats and I picked up some Kangaroo.

It comes in three or four different flavors but Sampson absolutely loves the Kangaroo.  In fact the couple of times I’ve used it to lure him into his spot on the bed, I thought he was going to do flips for it.

I’m always on the lookout for new, high value treats which can be used on our walks to work on our recalls.   In one of my recent posts I asked you all what yummy, low carb treats you used and I got a lot of answers.  I plan on putting a post together for anyone else who might be interested in the same thing.

Saturday I headed to the pet store armed with your treat suggestions and came up empty.  Pfffft!

I did however find this one which looked somewhat appealing to me.  So I picked it up.

Usually I’m pretty good about reading the label to see where it is manufactured, but I dropped the ball on this one.  The distributor is in CA but the treats are a product of China.  😦

I did check out the websites and looked at recall lists and I could not find anything negative on them, so I figured big dogs/small doses we should be ok.  These treats are really soft and easy to break into smaller pieces.

Mr. Picky Sampson LOVED them!

Hubby and I have an agreement, I get up with the dogs on Saturday and he gets up with them on Sunday, this way each of us gets a day to sleep in…..unless Hubby has to work on Saturdays.  Then my Sunday becomes his, which was the case this past weekend.

So at 6:15 am Sunday I was up with Delilah.  Sampson decided he didn’t want to get up, so he climbed up on the bed next to Hubby.  But I know how his mind works…..he will lie there for a short while then Hubby will roll over and since he can’t sleep with his mouth closed, will blow his stinky morning breath out and Sampson will start licking at that stank his mouth.

Most days when I need to coax Sampson out of the bedroom I will use a carrot, but Sunday I thought, let me try these new duck treats.  I fed one to Delilah and told her to stay, then went into the bedroom where I stuck the treat in front of Sampson’s nose.

Have you ever seen a big old alligator move like lightning?  YUP that’s what my puppy turned into.  He took the treat out of my hand faster than Shiva snarfs mud.  In fact, I had to reach in and take it out in order to coax him from the room.

I would have to say, these treats are a hit in my house.  I’ve been dishing them out sparingly and if Sampson knows I have them on our walk, he keeps running back like Delilah does.

Considering they are a product of China, would you have tried them with your pup?

Would you believe I’m taking part in the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever?  You can get your linky code at either of their blogs. (The free wordpress does not support the linky tool.)

Just One Day

Today was Just One Day.

I feel really bad that I haven’t posted about this event before now.  When I first heard about it I thought what a great idea, liked it on facebook, shared it when I saw it pop up in my feed, but totally forgot to blog about it.

In retrospect I should have blogged about it sooner so YOU could have blogged, tweeted, and shared it yourselves.  Ah the best laid plans.

If you haven’t heard about it, let me share their goal from their website, “We are asking animal shelters across the USA to take a pledge not to kill any savable animals on June 11, 2012. For Just One Day, “Euthanasia Technicians” will put down their syringes and pick up cameras. Instead of injecting animals with lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital, they will photograph them and post them on the Internet, on Facebook, on twitter. On June 11, 2012, they will market their animals to the public, they will reach out to rescue groups, they will host adoption events with discounted rates, they will stay open for extended hours, and they will ask their communities to help them empty the shelter the good way.”

Their facebook page had a map of the United States with a color chart at the bottom.  Each color represented a number of shelters and as shelters joined the cause, colors changed and the update would say, “California just turned pink.”  It was exciting to see the amount of shelters participating in such a worthwhile cause.  California was the winner with 41 to 50 shelters participating.

My facebook page kept getting updated with the exciting news like this, “More exciting news: Roanoke Valley SPCA in Virginia reports 33 adoptions on a day they are normally closed. They report adoptions at the municipal shelter, which is also normally closed. And they report a full parking lot. Way to go Roanoke!

Meanwhile, one shelter ran out of animals after their 186th adoption in Florida, another shelter was emptied in Tennessee, another in Arizona report lots and lots of empty cages as animals are being adopted in droves! “

When I took a look at the map I realized every single state had organizations that participated. Some of the shelters were reporting they don’t have hard numbers on how many animals have been adopted because their computer systems just couldn’t keep up, they won’t have hard figures until tomorrow.

I’m not sure when there will be a total number but I just can’t wait to hear about it.

Now doesn’t THAT warm the cockles of your heart?

Holy Smack Down Batman!

When we got to the park last night the LaCrosse team was there. 😦

Lately someone has been opening the gate to the park so most of the cars drive right in.  It was kind of overcast and pretty windy and at one point in our walk I said, “We’re going to get some weather tonight.”  Of course neither one of the dogs answered me because….well they’re dogs and they can’t talk.

While we were walking Hubby called and said he was on his way home, he said he’d meet us at the park.  I figured he’d be getting there pretty close to the time we were leaving and I was right.

Hubby drives a Jeep Wrangler, it’s his baby.  He’s had it lifted, he puts accessories on it, he loves it. He has a soft top and soft doors so the hard ones can come off in the summer and he can remove the soft doors when the weather is nice and he takes the top down.  It is a boy’s toy.  Did I mention he loves it?

I figured when Hubby came to the park he would drive the jeep right in and I was right, since the gate is rarely open and he likes driving his jeep in the woods. He thinks it’s cool. Go figure.  He was driving up the main path as we were walking down.

Sampson and Delilah were excited to see him but we were on our way out, so I asked them to sit so Hubby could pass (they did of course.)  Hubby said, “You can go ahead, I’ll go slow.”

So Sampson, Delilah and I started out of the park with Hubby driving behind us. Sampson kept running back to the jeep wanting to go with Daddy, but the jeep following us was freaking Delilah out.  She kept turning around and looking and after about 30 seconds of this I said to Hubby, “Go ahead, she doesn’t care to have you behind us.”

After we had exited the park Hubby asked Sampson if he would like to ride home with Daddy.  I’d like to say Sampson jumped at the chance but truthfully the jeep is so high that neither one of us can hike our fat butts into it.  Daddy had to help him up.

Delilah of course, went with me.

Hubby has this thing about parking behind me.  I could speculate about the reasoning, why men like to be behind women, but then I don’t really think this would be a dog blog. 🙂

So Hubby sat in the road while I drove around him.

Sometimes I have premonitions.  Scoff if you’d like but it’s true.  It is usually just a strange or random thought and I never realize it’s a premonition until after, and it’s usually fairly quickly after.

In this case, I drove by the jeep on the passenger side and noticed Sampson sitting there, with no seat belt and no doors.  I thought to myself, “I don’t like the idea of him in the jeep with no doors on it.”  This (in retrospect) was the premonition.

It’s a very quick trip from the park to our house with about seven houses on each side of the street.  From the park down the hill our house is on the left.  Since we are in America and not in Europe, I was driving on the right-hand side of the road.

Just as I got ready to pull into our driveway, I heard a very loud, whooshing sound.  I turned around just as this really large branch fell from the very top of a tree, missing the jeep by inches.

It may not look it, but it’s a VERY large branch.

I’m almost 100% certain that my eyes were wide and my mouth was open and I was doing a fairly good impression of a tree frog trapped by a snake.

We pulled into our driveway and Hubby and I got out of our vehicles in a bit of shock.  Hubby said the tree branch did in fact hit the top of the jeep and scared my punkin so, that he actually climbed onto Hubby’s lap.  (OMD I just got a case of the giggles thinking of  big ole Sampson squishing himself between Hubby’s tummy and the steering wheel.)  Hubby lifted up his shirt and had a huge scratch where Sampson scrabbled over him.  My poor, poor punkin was so scared.

Thankfully he seemed fine when he got out of the jeep.

We put the dogs in the house and went over to help the neighbor.  She’s an older woman suffering from MS and she uses a walker.  She was actually out there picking up the smaller pieces and putting them on her walker and chuffing them up the driveway.

So whaddaya say?  Was that a premonition or not?

I say it’s the Saturday morning blog hop hosted by our friends at Two Little Cavaliers, Confessions of the Plume, and Life With Dogs.

You can link up at any of the above hosts.  Enjoy your Saturday!


Since the LaCrosse team has commandeered our park the dogs don’t get a lot of time in the field anymore.  The majority of our walks are taken on the trails.

Yesterday there was no LaCrosse so after a quick trip on one of the trails I thought it might be nice to walk around the field a couple of times.

Since we started walking every day I do try to spice of their walks just a bit.  I decided yesterday to run a little bit in preparation for K-9 Kamp.  I thought it might be interesting to shoot a video of the dogs running.

I was so busy paying attention to the camera and trying to make sure the dogs stayed in the frame that I failed to notice one of the friendly people we’ve met on our walks was crossing our path.  Sampson of course saw him and once he started running, well Delilah did to.

Thankfully I didn’t fall on my bum, but once I watched it I thought it might give you a chuckle as well. “-)  Enjoy.

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