Category Archives: Animal welfare

The Adventures of Firebolt. This is going to be Furtastic!

Mawson’s Guardian Says: Calling all dogs, cats, and fur-friends.  Flop your bellies down and flap your ears up, for we have news. Now available are ( the Furtastics!

Now everyone can enjoy the adventures of Shelby and her friends as they gain super powers, discover the hero life – and get to wear great costumes!


We’ve been thrilled to read the first adventure of The Adventures of Firebolt.  My goodness, this is just the right sort of read for Little People and all those who love them. It’s just right for reading aloud and smiling together at what Shelby gets up to.

In the opening story we meet Shelby. She is an ordinary dog who likes to play catch and snuggle on the recliner along side her friend Chester the Cat. Then, one morning, after a mysterious encounter with her water bowl, she gains super powers. She doesn’t even realise it at first. But with Chester’s help, and a great costume, Shelby can become Firebolt!

 Firebolt is based on Shelby, the heroine dog from the 2019 movie A Dogs Way HomeWe are going to also meet Fast Eddie, Captain K9 and Aero Star. ( Here you can see the inspiration for Fast Eddie – what a hero!)

We are also excited by the motivation behind these stories, which authors Debbie Pearl and Brittany Nicole Lewis describe as follows:  “Teaching children “invisible lessons” with stories that promote healing and well-being, bringing happiness and comfort to children all over the world. “

You can sniff out The Adventures of Firebolt, of course, on Amazon.

And follow Firebolt and his Furtastic friends on Twitter here and you can also get links to video teasers . Learn more about Firebolt and the Furtastics and their creators at

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .
Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.” Review by Lady Bracknell

Free the Bears, by Mary Hutton and Julie Miller

Mission of Free The Bears: To protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world.

Mawson’s guardian Mark says: Today I am proud to talk about the book ‘Free The Bears’. It is the story of a rescue organisation which I have supported for twenty years. This fascinating and often heartbreaking read is about a long hard battle to better the lot of cruelly treated animals.

It is now widely known that for the sake of the supposed ‘properties’ of their bile thousands of bears have been imprisoned and cruelly treated. In Perth, Australia, one evening in 1993, Mary Hutton watched in horror as the first footage of the practice played on the TV. ‘It was the eyes that did it, those limpid black pools, pleading and frightened’. After weeks of sleepless nights she decided that she ‘had to do something’. But what? All she could think of was drawing up a handwritten petition and nervously standing in the local shopping centre.

‘Would you like to sign a petition to help the bears in China’, I said in a weak voice. ‘Too right I would, love! Just give me the bloody pencil’. .. After half an hour people were queuing to sign. Ch. 1

And so it began. A 55 year old housewife and mother soon found her name linked with the bears’ plight in newspapers, even Parliament. ‘What can we do to help?’, strangers began to ask. ‘It was then I realised I could not stop with this one petition .. I had to help free the bears, one step at a time’.

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The sloth bear on the back cover had a miserable existance ‘dancing’ for tourists. Now he lives safe and pampered. In exchange, his Kandahar owner received seed money for a small business.

In the early days the small but fast growing group focused on raising money to direct to those on the ground, in particular Jill Robertson who later formed Animals Asia and who has done so much fine work. Out of the blue ‘Free The Bears’ was asked to help with little Sun bears in Cambodia and destined for a horrible fate (I will not describe it here: it still upsets me). This mission seemed impossible and was not helped by some idiocies of bureaucracy at the Australian end. But again, good people rallied: a member of Parliament, a television crew, an airline, Taronga zoo and many more. The saved bears, ‘Lucille’, ‘Victoria’, and ‘Mr Hobbs’ touched down in Sydney in 1997.

Since that time Free the Bears has worked ceaselessly, one step at a time, first in Cambodia then Laos and Vietnam, to build and run sanctuaries for the animals. Teaming with local groups and agencies, Free The Bears has helped raise awareness in these nations about their precious wildlife. Humans are helped too: some of the very villagers who, driven by extreme poverty, once poached bears, are now equipped and trained to be rangers, diligently protecting the wildlife in their territories.

Such was the success in Cambodia that Mary was approached in 2002 by Mrs Maneka Ghandi and Wildlife SOS of India. They wanted to do something both about the plight of sloth bears forced to ‘perform’ for tourists, and about the poverty of their owners, the Kandahar people. Could Free the bears help? Free the Bears did. More than five hundred bears later, a great day arrived in 2009.

I watch with a lump in my throat as Raju, the last known dancing bear of India, walks the road to freedom. This is animal welfare history in the making.

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Mawson Bear has always sat up proudly in support of ‘Free The Bears’ which works for fellow bears everywhere.

Mary speaks not just of the good days and successes but of the struggles, the disappointments, and of personal loss. We are also confronted, sadly, with the seeming unending capacity of some humans for the ghastly treatment of animals. Some of the rescued bears were so badly injured and weak they could not survive. Others had lost limbs, or had organ troubles, or had lost all their teeth, or were blind. Twenty six years after Mary Hutton stood up alone in that shopping centre, and despite all the work achieved by Free the Bears, and by similar organisations around the world, the need is as great as ever. Yet every single bear rescued can now live a safe and pampered life in a sanctuary.

The light is back in their eyes.

Ways to help: One way would be to buy and read this book and share it about. All proceeds go to the bears.

Where to find Free the Bears published by Pan Macmillan Australia (2013), ISBN13: 9781742611969. Please consider buying direct from FreeTheBears.Org. Here you can even get a signed copy; also merchandise like the cute teddies in my photos. A book or a teddy or a donation, or just sharing on this post: it all helps.

Useful links: The book can also be found at Amazon and and at .

Writer Julie Miller is passionate about travel, animal welfare, and Thailand in particular.

At FreeTheBears.Org and also on Instagram you can can see the latest on the work. Sometimes (and this shows how the effort is needed as much as ever) you can follow a rescue in progress.

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

Wildlife SOS does tremendous work with bears and elephants.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Between naps in gardens, Mawson ponders about Baffling Things. He is the Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .