Grüner See (Green Lake) is a lake in Styria, Austria. In the winter you’ll find crisp, tranquil grasslands and lake that is only about 3 to 6 feet deep. However, during the spring, when the temperature rises and the snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 40 feet from mid-May to June and is claimed to look the most beautiful at this time.
GRADUATION CEREMONY HELD FOR PRISON DOG-TRAINING PROGRAM - “We save the lives of at-risk shelter dogs by training prison inmates to care for, and socialize them to enhance their adoptability.”
This past Monday, a graduation ceremony was held at the Philadelphia Prison System for participants in the “New Leash on Life USA" training program. New Leash on Life USA is an organization that helps shelter dogs by pairing them up with inmates for training. The program lasts for 12 weeks. Here’s more from CBS Philly:
“These dogs have had very terrible past lives, and we want them to be in the right homes,” said Marchese.
One of them, Gouda, even has the personality and traits to become a service dog, for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One of the trainers, Juan Bennett, who was matched up with Bleu, was dressed in street clothes, rather than an orange prison jumpsuit. He was released three weeks early, but asked to stay for three weeks to finish the program with his team. It wasn’t allowed, but he was applauded for the thought.
Another former inmate, Dwayne Marks, was Alumnus Guest Speaker.
“I’m a veterinary nurse, now,” Marks said.
He was part of a 2012 graduating class with rescue dogs from the city shelter, named after Phillies players; he had Shane.
Part of this year’s graduating class, inmate-trainer Kenneth Robinson, who spent time with Cheddar, thanked New Leash On Life for the opportunity to learn how to train and care for dogs.
“That’s exactly what this program is about. It’s about second chances,” Robinson said.
World travelers Jürgen and Mike of For 91 Days recently visited an amazing temple in Setagaya, Tokyo. The Gōtoku-ji temple contains an awesome shrine dedicated to the Maneki-neko, or “Beckoning Cat”, a symbol of good luck and one of Japan’s most iconic images.
Setagaya is the setting of one of the Maneki-neko’s origin stories: It was there long ago that a wealthy feudal lord took shelter during a storm under a tree near Gōtoku-ji temple. “The lord saw the temple priest’s cat beckoning to him and followed; a moment later the tree was struck by lightning. The wealthy man became friends with the poor priest and the temple became prosperous. When the cat died, supposedly the first maneki-neko was made in his honor.”
"Worshipers at the Gotoku-ji often bring a Maneki Neko statue to leave for good luck. The result is a little surreal, with hundreds of cats sitting along a set of shelves outside a shrine. Except in size, they’re are all identical, exactly the same model with the same paw raised and the same beatific expression on their face.
The cat shrine is just one tiny section of the expansive Gotoku-ji temple, which, thanks to its location on the outskirts of the city, is usually very quiet.”
As you can see from these photos, there really are countless ceramic Maneki-neko figurines all over the place. To get an even better sense of just how densely populate the shrine is, check out Jürgen and Mike’s brief video panning across the grounds. There are also many more photos to be seen over at Tokyo For 91 Days.