Sunday, September 25, 2016

Silky - our canine family member.

In almost my entire life, there was always a German Shepherd dog, each of them had their own distinguishable personalities, as well as their peculiarities and I can still vividly remember all of them.  But, there was never a German Shepherd like Silky; she was one of a kind.

It hadn’t been long since we had lost “Toby” our German Shepherd dog, through scrub tick paralysis, a real curse, and endemic to North Australia. With our cabinet making business at the back of our premises, we urgently needed a guard dog first of all – a pet was only a distant consideration, although all our dogs were always considered as a part of our family. I often said that if I get reincarnated as an animal, I would want to be a dog in the Schmidlin Family.

We were scanning the newspaper for advertisements – to find a replacement.  So, on a Saturday an advertisement in “The Cairns Post” caught my eye “German Shepherd puppies for sale,” at Freshwater. We rang the advertisers to make an appointment to see the puppies and possibly find one we’d like.  “We’ll be home all afternoon, come anytime, I was told. I decided to go for a drive and call in on the way home, but the kids were all psyched up to see the puppies so we went there first.

When we arrived at the place we were led to an enclosed compound at the back of the yard, which contained a German Shepherd bitch surrounded by eleven gorgeous pure bred pups. Now came the difficult part, which one to pick. “Take that one, no take the other one, no take that one over there,” the children called out with pointed fingers and enthusiasm.  Karola said: “This is hard, they are all beautiful”. It became obvious to me very soon that I had to take over the pup selection task.

Beforehand, Karola and I agreed that we would take a female this time.  We took into consideration past experiences, males tend to roam the countryside when “love is in the air,” a bitch in season.  Sex is the only thing on their brain then, being a guard dog becomes only a far distant secondary consideration – if any at all.

The picking task had now become considerably easier; there were only five females.
One particular pup caught my eyes, it was standing out from the rest, and it had beautiful markings on its fur, was particularly lively, but was only half the size of the others.  The reason it was so small was, we were told, because the mother had only ten teats and one pup too many.  This one was pushed away at feeding time and had to be content with the “leftovers” after the ten bigger pups had their fill.

“What is the gender of this particular one?” I asked the lady owning the dogs, “it’s a female”, she responded.  “Could I get a closer look at that little dog, please?” I asked. “Certainly,” said the lady and went into the pen and handed me a delightful furry “ball”. The coat of the puppy felt so soft and it felt as if I had a silky fur ball in my arms. It seemed to be quite happy to be in my arms and away from her milk depriving “tormentors.”  We all had a good look at the pup, but something inside me said repeatedly take this one – and that’s what we did. When it came to giving the pup a name, we all agreed that “Silky” would be most appropriate.

We paid for Silky and went straightaway to the veterinarian in Cairns, Mr. Kenny, who lived behind his surgery and was always on call. He examined the pup, checked its weight, gave it the necessary injection and medicine and, gave us some good advice. Silky’s, weight was a mere two pounds. Needless to say that this was the end of our planned Saturday afternoon drive, going home with the new acquired family member became the preferred option.

Silky settled nicely into her new place of abode, we kept her inside for the first night and her bed was a big carton.  She got into her food with gusto and gobbled it down quickly. No doubt, in the back of her mind must have been the thought about being pushed away by her siblings and missing out on one of her mother teats.  Within a week she had doubled her weight and looked like a fury ball with four little outriggers attached to it, and having difficulty walking as the underbelly was just about dragging on the floor.

At the time, we also had three cats, the mother cat and her two half grown kittens.
They all became friendly with this “fury ball,” played with each other, ate their food from one plate, at times Silky dragged a kitten to the plate as if to tell her, you eat this.  We were really amazed about this congenial cat & dog relationship; normally there is the inherent and mutual hostility for each other.

This unusual relationship lasted about nine months, until Silky came into season for the first time - then things changed dramatically.
The chemistry in Silky must have changed with her gaining the equivalent of a dog’s adulthood.  Her attitude towards the cats changed to hatred and she killed both kittens. This was a real enigma for us. How could such a sudden change take place? We asked.  Perhaps the intrinsic hatred for cats was dormant in Silky until her maturity, we speculated.

The mother cat was so frightened that she went into hiding during the day and visited us only late at night or early in the morning, when Silky was locked in her kennel. She announced her presence by miaowing in front of the door. We would let her in to give her milk and food and then she would disappear again until the next evening or morning. Some time later, when the cat did her usual miaowing in front of the door, Silky jumped at the kennel door, which opened and she made a beeline for the cat and up the external stairs. By the time Karola opened the door, our cat was dead on the top of the stairs.

Silky looked at Karola with a pleased facial expression. She was wagging her tail and the body language indicated that she expected a pat and praise for her “magnificent” deed.  This wasn’t forthcoming. Instead she was severely scolded, but we were sure Silky wondered why. What else could we do than to forgive Silky for her, in human terms, terrible misdemeanour, but in a dog’s way of thinking she did exactly what her instinct told her to do. The cause of this calamity was, it appeared, one of the children didn’t shut the bolt of the kennel door properly when locking Silky up for the night.

Silky grew into a beautiful dog, with a wonderful silver fawn coat; she was an excellent watchdog, exceptionally loyal, clever, obedient and, very easy and a pleasure to train. When customers or friends arrived, she barked until we said, "That’s enough, Silky." But she never took her eye off them, nor did she allow herself to be befriended. People used to ask for her name, so they could call her.  Silky, however, totally ignored them and pretended not to hear. If there was a persistent person who called “Silky” more than twice, she would look at the person, lift her lips, show them her white teeth and give off a growl – making it manifestly clear that she wanted to be left alone and didn’t want to befriend other people.

After a few years I decided to have Silky mated – to the chagrin of Karola and, oblivious to me at that time, of what I had let myself into.  In the meantime, Mr. Kenny’s veterinary clinic had been bought by a young veterinarian, Bob Griffith & his wife Pam.  Silky was regularly taken to Bob & Pam for examination during her pregnancy. As the pregnancy drew to the end, Bob gave me instructions in (dog) “obstetrics.”  He said everything seemed normal and he expected no trouble when the time came for Silky to give birth. “Once the waters break, things should proceed rapidly, and you, as the “chief obstetrician” should not encounter any problems.  If however,” Bob concluded, “things don’t go smoothly after Silky's waters have broken– give me a ring.”

In anticipation to this event I constructed a 1.5 x 1.5 meter enclosure with a bottom, serving as the “maternity ward.” I felt relaxed and calm, knowing that everything was under control and I was prepared for the “happy” event.  What I hadn’t anticipated was that Silky would start her "labour" late on a Sunday afternoon.  The “maternity ward” was in my workshop and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d spent the night with Silky in the workshop. However, the mosquitoes took a liking to my blood, and after 9 pm I shifted the maternity ward into the more comfortable lounge room.

When Bob told me to give him a ring if the waters had broken and nothing happened, he would have hoped that Silky started her birth during the normal office hours – not on a Sunday night.  At 11 pm the waters broke and I waited in anticipation for pups to appear. An hour passed and nothing happened. “Oh my God,” I thought, “do I have to ring Bob at this ungodly hour and tell him that the waters had gone, but the pups refuse to come out?” 

Bob & Pam lived in a Townhouse in Cairns and I was mulling and agonising, whether to ring or not to ring. Eventually I bit the bullet and rang.  I apologised profusely for ringing him at this time, but Bob said,"That’s OK, don’t worry. Give Silky another hour and if after that time still nothing has happened, ring me again.”  I waited two hours before I rang Bob again; it was just after 2 am Monday morning.  “Bring the dog in straight away!” Bob said. “We’ll be waiting for you downstairs.” I started the onerous task of getting Silky into the car; I had the backseat covered with old blankets.  With all the commotion, Karola woke up and helped me to lift Silky into the car.  Fifteen minutes later I arrived at Bob’s townhouse.  Bob & Pam had the lights on and the door open, and had the bathroom downstairs converted into a maternity ward. It was a relief to hand Silky over into good care. I was prepared to stay there, knowing too well that Silky was strictly a “one person” dog and doesn’t take easily to strangers, and I made this clear to Bob. But Bob said, “That’ll be OK, you go home and get some sleep.”

I arrived home just before three am, had a shower, and went to bed, but the though of not being with Silky and leaving her with strangers prevented me from sleeping.

Karola left just before 5 am, as usual for her job as a breakfast cook at the Imperial Hotel in Cairns. At seven o’clock I went to my workshop to work on a new kitchen for a customer, but I couldn’t get Silky out of my mind, nor could I concentrate on my work.  I just had to ring Bob again to see how things were progressing. “Everything’s fine, we have one pup and will take both down to the clinic at 8 O’clock.” Bob said.

But despite all the assurances given to me I just couldn’t get Silky out of my mind and wished I could be with her. Shortly after 8 am I rang the clinic and Pam told me that they had just delivered another pup, but it had to be induced with a drug injection. “Are you sure, that you don’t want me at the clinic, just in case Silky causes trouble?” I asked Pam, in the forlorn hope that she might say yes, come in. “Don’t worry, Werner, we are quite sure we’ll be alright. She’s no problem and we will keep you informed of Silky’s progress." After I got off the phone I felt utter uneasiness, knowing too well that Silky never made friends with strangers and now with her pups around her, that would be really unusual.  Perhaps, she has mellowed since becoming a mother; I tried to tell myself, hoping to ease my disappointment of not being with her.

I had hardly taken ten steps away from the phone, when it rang again. “Hi Werner, this is Pam. We have a big problem, Silky won’t let us go near her.  Would you please come in as soon as possible?”  This was like music to my ears, and told me that Silky was still her old self. “I’ll be on my way, Pam. I’ll see you shortly, bye.”  I rang Karola at work and told here what had transpired and where I was going.

At the veterinary clinic I was led straight to the enclosure where Silky was. Pam opened the gate, I went in and she shut it quickly behind me.  Silky was so glad to see me, and that was mutual.  She greeted me like a long lost friend, wagged her tail profusely and the look on her face was very close to a big “smile.” The enclosure had a low ceiling and I couldn’t stand up, so Pam brought me a footstool to sit on.   This was now my “prison” for the rest of the day.  As it happened, this was a difficult and drawn out pup delivery affair. Silky needed an injection to bring on the birth for every pup.  Karola called in after work, shortly after 2.30 in the afternoon, by then, we had accumulated 4 pups.  The 5th died as it had a torn navel cord and Bob couldn’t stop the bleeding.  By 4 pm the 6th pup was born and I was hoping it would be the last one, as I wanted to get out of this claustrophobic box. Bob examined Silky and was convinced that it was the last pup and said that I could go home with my “menagerie.”

The first night we kept silky and her litter in my purpose-build “maternity ward” in the lounge room so that we could keep an eye on things. While having breakfast, the following morning Silky started to mill around inside the enclosure arching her back and it seemed that something was wrong. I rang Bob and told him what was happening, and asked Bob, “Surely she wouldn’t get another pup, would she?”  “No, I don’t think so, but you better bring her in immediately.”  Bob had just uttered the last word, when I sprang in, “Bob! Silky has just given birth to another pup!” “Oh my God, that’s unbelievable, get in here fast.”
Unfortunately the pup was dead, most likely too long in her mother's womb. I rushed into town dreading the thought of spending more time with Silky in a low ceiling box. Bob gave Silky a thorough going over and assured me that it was definitely the last pup – and thank goodness, it was. When I got home, I shifted the pups into their new domicile, a big doghouse, large enough for three adults to sleep in, and it was made dog proof as well as mosquito proof.  It was also surrounded by a fence so the pups had some space to run. From time to time we let Silky out; in order to get some peace and respite from her demanding pups.
Our property didn’t have a fence then and one late afternoon I looked out of the kitchen window, where the Kennel and dog enclosure was and I saw a beautiful male Corgi approaching the enclosure.  I hurried out to chase him away, but I was too late and I found a dead Corgi lying prostrate in front of Silky who looked at me with great satisfaction and wagging her tail profusely. I thought, “Oh my God, I needed this like a hole in my head."  Karola had observed the whole incident through the kitchen window. “Silky,” she recounted, “grabbed the Corgi by the scruff of the neck and shook it a couple of times." And so ended the life of a male Corgi, which had the audacity to approach Silky’s domain and her pups. I agonised for some considerable time, what to do with the dead Corgi.  To find the owner was out of the question, as I though it would be better for them not to know what happened to their pet, and there could have been a hostile reaction about something I had no control over.  After dark I put the corgi in my Ute, went to a friend’s cane farm and buried it.

A couple of weeks later, Karola went to the Yorkeys Knob Post office and she was introduced to a lady by the postmistress. She went on to tell Karola that this lady lost a male Corgi recently and may perhaps want to replace it with one of our pups. The lady explained to Karola that she was puzzled by the sudden disappearance of her Corgi, but she thought that because it was such a friendly dog and would go with anybody, she was convinced that somebody piked him up and took him away.  She told Karola where she lived and that was 1.5km away from our place. Karola though it best not to tell what really happened with her dog and let the lady live with her assumption.
Silky’s extreme dislike of cats hadn’t diminished, no cat dared to come into our yard and disturb my vegetable plants, except when she was secure in her kennel or inside the house. But she was able to sense, hear or smell when a cat was in the yard and went nearly berserk and wanted to desperately go outside - and we knew exactly why and tried to calm her down. But on one occasion Silky was so determined to go out that she  put a slit in the door's mosquito screen with her claws – and the end result was, the neighbour’s cat was badly mauled and the vet had to put it down. After this incident I put lattice work on the bottom half of our mosquito screened doors.
In the early 1970s I managed a cane farm in Smithfield for a Cairns doctor. The Farm was located on the Captain Cook Highway as well as halfway down Yorkeys Knob Road.  The tractor shed and one of the farm houses, which was occupied at that time by an old pensioner, was on the Captain Cook Highway side and the house we lived in was on the Yorkeys Knob side. The pensioner had rescued a terribly skinny mother cat from a cane fire; her teats were full with milk and looked as if they would burst any moment. This of course indicated that she had kittens in the cane, which perished in the fire. This lucky cat had found a new home and the old man nurtured her back to good health.
One Sunday morning, I had to go over to the other side of the farm to check out the irrigation pump. Silky stood beside the “Land Rover” wagging her tail so profusely that that the whole hindquarter went from side to side,  indicating that she would like to come along for the ride, something which she absolutely loved doing. I opened the door and she waited for my command to say “jump in” and she sat on the passenger seat next to the open window. We drove into the farmyard and there was the cat walking leisurely across the lawn.  I stopped immediately, as I wanted to close the car door window on Silky’s side. However, Silky saw the cat and jumped through the open window.

I yelled at her, but despite being a very obedient dog, whenever she saw a cat her hearing went into selective mode, and she was oblivious to commands from her master. The cat tried to run up a palm tree, but with Silky in hot pursuit the cat had no chance.  The cat was about 1.5 meters up the somewhat leaning palm trunk and Silky grabbed the cat by the tail, pulled her down and shook her a couple of times and, the poor cat was dead. All this happened in a matter of seconds, much faster than I can tell the tale. By the time Silky died, she had killed nine cats. This was not a pleasant record in human terms, but for a dog’s way of thinking to kill its arch enemy is ingrained in their psyche and they just act instinctively.  Nevertheless, despite this unwelcome trait we couldn’t help loving Silky.
Silky was an extremely intelligent and a loyal family friend and it was a pleasure to train her all sorts of things very easily.  One of the first things she had to learn was not to run over my vegetable garden beds when chasing birds or cats, or when the kids played “catch ball” with her. She always followed diligently, after only a few lessons, the pathway between the beds.  Silky, obeyed any command given by family members when I wasn’t present, but in my presence she ignored them and looked at me, and waited for me to say, “It’s Ok Silky.” Only then did she carry out the command.

Since Karola had to get up at 4 am to get ready and go to work, she knocked off at 2pm and when she got home she always let Silky off the chain and let her into the house while she had a bit of a nap. So one day Edna, her workmate, who had a day off and was in the area, thought to call in quickly to see Karola and have a cup of coffee and a chat. Edna was well known to Silky and she let her in, but Edna found that Karola was fast asleep and decided to depart quietly. However, Silky had other ideas. As soon as Edna touched the doorknob, Silky bailed her up showed her lovely white teeth and growled. Edna backed slowly away from the door and sat in a chair and didn’t dare to move, and Silky didn’t take her eyes off her. When Karola finally woke up and walked into the lounge room she found Edna meekly sitting in the chair, with Silky close by. Edna's involuntary confinement lasted about half an hour, but the consolation prize was a belated cup of coffee, and Silky didn’t object to Edna’s leaving afterwards.
When Silky was about one year old, two tourists drove past and saw Silky in front of our house. They turned around and called in. They said what a beautiful dog she was and said that if she ever has pups, they would like to have one. We promised them that we would let them know. We gave each other our addresses and phone numbers. The people had a sheep station near Canberra ACT.

Five years had passed before Silky had pups and I thought the people from Canberra would have, by now, gotten a German Sheppard, but since I'd promised them to let them know, I rang them. I introduced myself and said, “I just wanted to let you know that Silky has pups now, but I’m sure that you would have gotten a German Sheppard in the meantime.”  “Yes, we did, but it is a male.  Would you please send us a female so that we can breed?” said the lady on the phone. At that time we had the two domestic airlines, the government owned TAA airline and the privately owned Ansett airline. Ansett had also an airfreight service, so I rang them to make inquiries to find out how I could send a puppy by air to Canberra, and when it had to be at the airport. I was instructed that I had to make a box with a waterproof bottom, the dog had to be given a tranquiliser and I could bring the box in any day at 4.30 am.
Constructing the box was no problem as I was a cabinetmaker and I made the box big enough for the puppy to lie down and stretch out. I also had a tin tray made by a plumber with a 5 cm high edge around it, to make the box waterproof. The morning arrived when I had to get up at the “iniquitous” hour of 3.30 am to tranquilise the pup with a tablet and put it into the box and take the whole dog cargo to the airport at Cairns. After all the formalities had been completed and the box weighed I had to pay the clerk $35.00. I handed him two twenty dollar bills and he gave me $5.00 back. Then another employee walked in and said this edge on the tray on the bottom of the box is not high enough and the box cannot be accepted. Arguing with him that the dog had little to drink, is tranquilised and would sleep all the way to Canberra and, that besides that, the dog wouldn’t piddle that much as to cause the tray to overflow, was to no avail. So, I was handed back my $35.00 and contemplated what I should do next?
I thought, I’ll just go to TAA and see if they will take my puppy to Canberra. To my surprise I found Tom Reid on duty, a German, for whom I had only recently installed a new kitchen, and whom I knew very well. Tom greeted me with, “Werner what are you doing at the airport at this hour?”(I didn’t tell him that I'd gone to the opposition first)  “Well, Tom, I have a box with a puppy in the car. Could you get it to Canberra for me?“  “No trouble, bring it in,” Tom said. I handed Tom the box and asked how much it was and he said, "Nothing”. “What do you mean, nothing?" I queried. “Nothing!” Tom repeated again, just go home and go to bed.  I left as I didn’t want to make a case about payment, especially since other people had arrived. When I got home I rang Tom and asked him how he gets away with not charging me, and Tom explained that Airline employees are allowed to send a certain amount of airfreight for free, and he sent it under his name. As the saying goes “all is well that ends well”. This certainly ended particularly well for me and I wasn’t sure if I should have rung the Ansett employee who told me that they cannot accept the box and thank him for saving me $35.00.
It was an Easter Sunday afternoon, many years later, Silky had reached the ripe old age for a dog of well over sixteen years, and this is really a very old age for a dog in the tropics. We were having a cup of coffee with friends, when Silky wanted to get up.  She got halfway up and collapsed and we could hear a distinctive sound like snapping or breaking of a bone. I lifted Silky up and found that her right hind leg was sort of dangling, there was no doubt that Silky had broken her hipbone.  I rang Bob, but I couldn’t get him, but finally got him Easter Monday and he told me to bring her to the surgery. After examining her, my worst fears were confirmed; her hipbone was broken right on the top.
“Werner, it is very difficult to put a plaster where the break is, also this would take a long time to heal, and her age is another factor against her. We could try to plaster it, but with the dog wanting to move around it would not be a success,” Bob said. “What is the alternative?” I asked Bob.  “The only alternative is, and I hate to tell you this, is to put her down.” This was very hard to take; I had never thought that I had ever to make such a difficult decision to end the life of my loyal and wonderful companion of so many years. I agonised for a long time, realising that what Bob said is true and that age is against her. With a very heavy heart I agreed to have Silky put to sleep. Bob said, “You don’t want to see this, you better go home. I stroked Silky, gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead and left. I stopped at the door and gave her one last glance and I never ever forget the look on her face - it said, “You are abandoning me now.”
I became absolutely overwhelmed by emotion and burst into tears and they were freely flowing all the way home. Karola knew straightaway what had transpired, I didn’t have to say a word. I never ever forget the look on Silky’s face and I ever regret not to have stayed with her till her last breath.  As I write this, it brings once again tears to my eyes. The passing of Silky ended a wonderful chapter in our lives; Silky was an extraordinary dog and one of a kind. We had five more German Shepherds after Silky, all with their distinctive characteristics and personalities, but none of them could surpass Silky. Of these five only one was acquired as a pup, the other four were abandoned adult dogs we rescued from the council pound.
On one occasion, our son was looking for a dog and saw a photo in the newspaper of an abandoned German Sheppard, at the council pound. We went there on behalf of our son. But the dog was in a terrible state with all the ribs and the rib-cage showing, the head looked bigger in proportion to the body and the whole dog looked scraggly and had hardly any hair - in short it was a total wreck of a dog.  I said to Karola, “We can’t get this dog for our son in such a condition.” But the dog looked at us with sad and pleading eyes.  Karola nearly cried and insisted that we rescue this poor soul. I was very reluctant, mainly because we came here for a dog for our son, but Karola insisted and said, “We cannot leave this dog here, it well break my heart,” so we bought it and kept it ourselves.  It was company for the other German Shepherd we already had.   She was a female and her name, given by the pound, was Kora.  It took some tender loving care to get Kora back into shape, but in time she was in a good condition and turned out a wonderful dog and came close to the characteristics of Silky.

All of them eventually had to be put to sleep, either because of sickness or old age or both. But I stayed with each of them till their last breath. When we lost our last one in 1998 because of kidney failure, we decided not to get another dog. This time, age, we thought, is against us and it is so hard on you when you lose your dog.  What took a long time to get used to, was not to be greeted by our canine friend when we came home. I hope you enjoyed reading this story. – Werner
My thought for today. - Werner Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Why our drinking water shouldn’t be poisoned with fluoride.

There are better, and cheaper ways of protecting our teeth than water fluoridation. Vested interests that may have financial benefits are pushing the introduction of water fluoridation in Cairns again to mass medicate the whole population just because of a few young people who drink coca cola and other sugary drinks, and don’t practice proper dental care.
What many, if not all of the proponents of this insidious practice don’t know or want you to know is that Magnesium is an important mineral for the body and is needed to make the nutrients available to our body. Iodine is also a vital nutrient that is needed for proper thyroid function. Fluoride binds to both magnesium and iodine in the body, and thus deprives our body of nutrients important for our health.  And we are wondering why we have so many sick people.

What the fluoridate proponents also don’t want you to know is that they want to put silicofluoride into our water, which is a toxic waste product from the fertilizer and aluminum industries. All is imported at great cost from China, where, interestingly water fluoridation is not allowed. The Chinese must be laughing all the way to the bank at our stupidity in paying to dispose of their toxic waste through our drinking water system. Why should the rate payer be burdened again with this tremendous cost, for this unhealthy practice?  Following are some quotes from eminent scientists and other people who researched this subject for many years, and “Fluoridation facts you may not know”.  - Werner
1. "We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we do add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic." ----Dr. John Yiamouyianni

2. "Here in Toronto we've been fluoridating for 36 years.
Yet Vancouver - which has never fluoridated - has a cavity rate lower than Toronto's." --Dr. Hardy Limeback, B.Sc., Ph.D., in Biochemistry, D.D.S., head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry for the University of Toronto, and president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

Fluoridation Facts You May Not Know.

By Prof. Paul Connett - Fluoride Action Network: ( )

(1). 98% Of Western Europe Has Rejected Water Fluoridation. This includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The predominant reason for Europe's rejection is the belief that public drinking water is NOT the appropriate vehicle with which to deliver medication to a population.

 (2). Fluoride Is Not An Essential Nutrient, which means that no human disease (including dental decay) has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency.

 (3). The fluoride used to fluoridate water is an industrial waste product from the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is an unprocessed hazardous waste, contaminated with a number of toxins, particularly arsenic.

 (4). Fluoridation adds between 0.1 and 1.6 parts per billion (ppb) Arsenic to drinking water, and therefore violates the EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for arsenic - which is 0 ppb. Hydrofluorosilicic acid & sodium silicofluoride are the chemicals used, to fluoridate 91% of fluoridated water in the US. They have Never Been Tested for safety and effectiveness.

 (5). According to a November 16, 2000 letter from the EPA: "to answer your question on whether we have in our possession empirical scientific data on the effects of fluosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride on health and behavior, the answer is no."

 (6). Most dental authorities are now conceding that there is little, if any, benefit from swallowing fluoride, and that fluoride's benefits (whatever they are) come from topical application.

 (7). When water fluoridation began 50 years ago, it was believed that fluoride needed to be ingested in order to be effective. This is NO longer the view of the dental establishment, which now generally concedes that fluoride's benefits are derived primarily from topical application.
 (8). According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,"Laboratory and epidemiologic research suggests that fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children."

 (9). All fluoride products designed to be ingested (e.g. fluoride supplements) are available by prescription only. No fluoride products designed for ingestion have ever been approved as safe or effective by the US Food & Drug Administration.  (By Logical Extension Fluoridated Water Can Appropriately Be Classified As An Unapproved Prescription Drug).

 (10). The dental community concedes that fluoride is ineffective at preventing the most common type of dental decay - Pit & fissure decay - which is the decay found in the crevices of the chewing surfaces - accounts for upwards of 85% of dental decay now experienced in the US. (This suggests that fluoridation is either unnecessary or doesn't work).

(11). Cavities have declined at similarly impressive rates throughout  the entire western, industrialized world over the past half century. This decline has occurred irrespective of a country's fluoridation status. Western Europe, which is 98% unfluoridated, has experienced the SAME decline in cavities as the heavily fluoridated US, and today enjoys the SAME low level of tooth decay.

(12). The largest dental survey ever conducted in the US found virtually no difference in dental decay between children living in fluoridated vs. unfluoridated areas. The study, which was conducted by the National Institute Of Dental Research (NIDR), found that the average difference in tooth decay (0.6 tooth surfaces) between children living in fluoridated vs unfluoridated areas amounted to LESS than 0.5% of the 128 total tooth surfaces in a12-year-old child's mouth.

 (13). Five recently published peer-reviewed studies have found that dental decay DOES NOT increase when communities stop fluoridation.

(14). The rhetoric supporting fluoridation is increasingly centered around the notion that fluoridation benefits the neediest in society the most.This claim flies in the face of the experience of most US inner cities over the past 50 years. Despite the fact that nearly all large US cities have been fluoridated for decades, dental decay is currently rampant in virtually all poor urban areas.

 (15). One of the major dental health problems experienced in poor communities is a debilitating condition known as "baby bottle tooth decay" which is also referred to as "early childhood caries." This condition, which results from excessive consumption of sweetened liquids at a young age, is not prevented by water fluoridation. According to a study in Pediatric Nursing "Data from Head Start surveys show the prevalence of baby bottle tooth decay is about three times the national average among poor urban children, even in communities with a fluoridated water supply."

 (16). Fluoride Is A Very Toxic Substance, which is why it is the active ingredient in a number of pesticides. Just 2 grams of fluoride is enough to kill an adult, and just 500 mg is enough to kill a child. In the US, people have died, and many have become sick, when faltering fluoridation equipment has pumped excess fluoride into the water.

(17). Poor nutrition exacerbates the toxic effects of fluoride exposure, which is a further reason why it's wrong to target poor communities with fluoridation (as poor nutrition is more prevalent in low income communities).

 (18). According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, "Existing data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium and/or vitamin C and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems."
 (19). Contaminated Food Chain - Many of the processed beverages and foods sold in the US contain elevated levels of fluoride due to the use of fluoridated water during manufacturing, and the presence of fluoride pesticides.

 (20). Total fluoride exposure has increased substantially since the early days of fluoridation. When fluoridation first began, exposure to fluoride from sources other than fluoridated water, was minimal. Today that is not the case. People now receive fluoride from a whole host of sources, including pesticide residues, fluoridated dental products, mechanically deboned meat, fluoride air pollution, and processed foods & beverages prepared with fluoridated water (e.g. soda, juice, beer, cereal, etc).

 (21). It has now reached the point where most people receive the "optimal" 1 mg/day of fluoride (which fluoridated water was designed to deliver) without ever drinking a glass of fluoridated water.

 (22). Despite the increase in total fluoride exposure, the concentration of fluoride added to drinking water (0.7-1.2 mg/L) as prescribed by the US Government, is still the same as it was back in the 1940s. Due to the increase in total fluoride exposure, there has been a major increase in the rate of dental fluorosis found among American children. According to the US Government, approximately 1 in 3 children living in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis on at least 2 teeth.

 (23). Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign that fluoride has poisoned enzymes in the body.
 (24). Approximately half of the fluoride we ingest each day accumulates in our bodies, primarily in the bones, but also in soft tissues. High levels of naturally occurring fluoride causes a crippling bone disease known as skeletal fluorosis. According to UNICEF, skeletal fluorosis is endemic "in at least 25 countries across the globe"  with the problem particularly acute in India, China and other developing countries.

 (25). Skeletal fluorosis comes in varying degrees of severity depending on the level of exposure. The earliest symptoms are characterized by joint pain that is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish from arthritis. According to a review on fluoridation by Chemical & Engineering News: "Because some of the clinical symptoms mimic arthritis, the first two clinical phases of skeletal fluorosis could be easily misdiagnosed [as arthritis]." The World Health Organization states that "early cases [of skeletal fluorosis] may be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis."

(26). It is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis, the most common type being osteoarthritis.

 (27). Fluoride stimulates abnormal bone development. Clinical trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Bone and Mineral Research report that high dose fluoride treatment increases bone mass but that the newly formed bone is "structurally unsound". Thus, instead of reducing hip fracture, the studies found that high doses of fluoride increase hip fracture.

 (28). There is concern that "low" doses of fluoride, taken over long periods of time (e.g. fluoridated water), may also increase the rate of hip fracture. Approximately 20 recent studies have investigated the relationship between fluoridated water and hip fracture, with approximately half of the studies finding an association.

 (29). A 1995 study in the journal Neurtoxicology and Teratology, found that fluoride accumulated in the brain of rats and produced age-specific behavioral deficits typical of most neurotoxic agents.  In the study, fluoride induced damage to the hippocampal region of the brain. Damage to the hippocampal region has been linked to hyperactivity and cognitive deficits. Based on the results, the lead author of the study, Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, has come out and advised against water fluoridation.

 (30). Twenty recent peer reviewed studies from China have found an association between elevated fluoride exposure and decreased IQs in children - an effect that would be expected based on Mullenix's research.

 (31). In the late 1990s, a British scientist discovered that fluoride accumulates to very high levels (avg = 9000 ppm) in the crystallized tissue of the human pineal gland. A subsequent animal study found that fluoride interferes with the pineal gland's production of melatonin, a hormone which helps regulate the onset of PUBERTY. In the study, animals dosed with fluoride had reduced levels of melatonin metabolites in their urine and had earlier onsets of puberty than the controls.

 (32). Up until the 1950s, European doctors used fluoride to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for people suffering from overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).The daily dose of fluoride which people are now receiving in fluoridated communities (1.6 to 6.6 mg/day) actually exceeds the dose of fluoride which was found to depress the thyroid gland (2.3 to 4.5 mg/day).

 (33). Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) is currently one of the most common medical problems in the United States. Synthroid, the drug doctors prescribe to treat hypothyroidism, was the fourth most prescribed drug in the US in the year 2000. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased cholesterol levels, and heart disease.

 (34). A recent study published in the journal Brain Research found that 1 PPM fluoride in water facilitated the uptake of aluminum into the brain of rats, producing the type of brain tangles (amyloid deposits) that are associated with Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia.

 (35). An epidemiological study published in the December 2000 issue of the journal Neurotoxicology, found that fluoridated water was associated with elevated levels of lead in children's blood. The study's findings parallel the findings of an earlier study published in the September 1999 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Studies.  Lead in the blood is associated with a variety of neurological problems, including reduced intelligence, aggression and hyperactivity.

 (36). Dozens of laboratory studies have found that fluoride is a mutagen. - (A classification which frequently indicates that a substance is carcinogenic -i.e. that it causes cancer). A cancer bioassay conducted by the National Toxicology Program found that rats dosed with fluoride had a statistically significant increase in bone tumors (osteosarcomas), which were not found among the controls. The initial review of the study also reported that the fluoride-dosed rats had tumors of the thyroid, oral cavity and rare tumors of the liver; however these tumors were later downgraded under conspicuous and controversial circumstances. According to Dr. William Marcus, the Chief Toxicologist at the EPA's Office of Drinking Water, the downgrading of the tumors was politically motivated and not scientifically defensible.

 (37). A recent epidemiological study conducted by a scientist from the US Public Health Service found that female infertility was associated with elevated levels of fluoride ( >3ppm) in drinking water. The study concluded that more emphasis needs to be given to the effects on health from total fluoride exposure - not just exposure to fluoridated drinking water.

 (38). In light of the recent research indicating health risks from low level fluoride exposure, the Union of Scientists and professionals at EPA headquarters has voted to oppose fluoridation and has called upon the US Congress to issue a "national moratorium" on the fifty year old policy. - According to the Vice President of the Union, Dr. J. William Hirzy: - "In summary, we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk. That is, the toxicity of fluoride is so great and the purported benefits associated with it are so small - if there are any at all - that requiring every man, woman and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior on the part of governments."

 (39). After years of overlooking the problems with fluoride & fluoridation, the environmental community is finally beginning to address the issue. In September of 2001, the Sierra Club announced that: "There are now valid concerns regarding the potential adverse impact of fluoridation on the environment, wildlife, and human health. The Sierra Club therefore supports giving communities the option of rejecting mandatory fluoridation of their water supplies. To protect sensitive populations, and because safer strategies and methods for preventing tooth decay are now available, we recommend that these safer alternatives be made available and promoted."
Here are more links for your elucidation.
1. 50 Reason to oppose fluoridation. Prof. Paul Connet

2. Professional Perspectives. Video. Featuring three panellists from the National Research Council’s landmark report on fluoride; the 2000 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine/Physiology; and other leading professionals.

3. Fluoride hardens the arteries. Dr. Mercola

Mackay Fluoride Forum.
My quote for today. – Werner
"Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century, if not of all time." -- Robert Carton, Ph.D. former US EPA scientist.