THE ROCK: Chapter 3 Pet Parenthood

Inflection point –
1. Math. Point on a curve at which the curvature changes from convex to concave or vice versa. 
2. Business. A moment of dramatic change, especially in the development of a company, industry, or market.  
3. Dog Owner. The absolute moment at which you realize you don’t own a dog, it owns you. 
As I reflect back on our first six months together, it’s still surprising that both of us made it out alive. 
But me and Malcolm were now mates, having a helluva lot of fun, mixing it up, playing golf, and side by side twenty four seven.  And we were developing a routine.  As the sun sneaked up over the Medina River that abutted our land, we’d awaken, Malcolm stirring from the blanket beside the couch and me uncrumpling from the two-seater I slept on that didn’t quite fit a man of my size, then head out to the backyard and take our morning piss.  Ah, what a way to start the day. 
At the time I was pursuing a business degree and was thoroughly involved with accounting and finance type clubs but at every study session at Calcutta’s Coffee House and at every school sponsored event I attended, Malcolm came with.  ‘I Go, He Go’ was how we rolled and there were very few exceptions to that rule. 
At one of the FMA or Eco-Finance meetings I was chairing, I can’t recall which, I met a fellow named Eric Gamble, a rapscallion, scraggly looking, screw-the-system sort and we became friends.  He got his rebellious bent and respect and admiration of nature I suppose from his grandfather, the founder of Ozark water, but Eric was more than that to me.  He was a fellow dog lover and at the time, I knew very few of them that I cared for, tolerated talking to, or even respected.   
He and his striking Great Dane, Lily, lived on 200 acres south of San Antonio, a place that became a second home to me and Malcolm.  On any given weekend, we’d go out there to romp and stomp, pound our chests, and explore the wild and untamed.  Cheese-Mo type stuff, you know?  At least I thought it was just that.    
Yep it was beers for me, bitches for him at our weekends at Patron’s Ranchito (as Eric’s place became known by me), and by bitch I’m speaking of the most beautiful Lilith, a name that if you understand its origins, was most aptly picked by Eric.  Fawn colored yet fiercely independent, she was the Mamasita of the little ranch and Malcolm fell in love with her the moment they met.   
One of my favorite memories is driving up the half-mile bumpy, pot ridden, red sandy loam, unpaved drive to Eric’s house and before I had a chance to park the Pathfinder, Malcolm leapt out the half opened passenger seat window to greet her.  Like all proper Southern Belles, Lily asserted and like all proper Southern gentlemen, Malcolm submitted. 
And once the dance was done, they tore off together to wallow in the nearest mud pit or livestock tank, which, for those of you who never grew up on a farm, is like a pond but with an indelible and unforgettable stank to it.  Maybe that’s where the name came from.

Indeed, those were our salad days. 
Back then, I thought that idiomatic expression meant just the good times, the life of Riley.  I don’t know where it came from but I recall the Shakespearean play about it being green in judgment.  And that I was.
You see, it’s easy to be mates as Malcolm and I had become.  Friendship doesn’t and shouldn’t really require a whole lotta moving parts.  Parenting does but at that time, I still didn’t see myself as one.
So at what point does an inflection, the inverse curve, begin?  What causes it and why?  For some I suppose its love, loss, beauty, pain, tragedy, triumph, despair or desperation. 
For me it was fear.  A fear I’ve never felt before the weekend we were at El Ranchito de Patron, one sweet sunny South Texas day.  
I still recall that day with absolute clarity.  It was the day that I became a dad for the first time but it was also the day I almost killed my son. 


Author’s Note to Patron:

Writing about Lily made me miss her.  I don’t have any photos of her with me but if you email me one, I’ll post it here.  She was a beaut and Malcolm adored her.  Great memories.

It felt good to write about them and thank you for helping out and being apart of the San Antonio Puppy Up! walk.  

Stay Righteous My Brother.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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What is a natural way to get rid of fleas?

Question by lovelylove: What is a natural way to get rid of fleas?
I just gave my dog flea medcine and it did not work! (I don’t recomment PetArmor) I’m going to use Frontline Plus next time, but I can’t apply any until next month. I need some safe alternatives and tips on how to get rid of the fleas and their eggs on my dog and all over my house!

Best answer:

Answer by tro
I have tried them all
about once a month I would set off bombs in the house as i was leaving for work and found it helped a while
but until you get rid of the source of the fleas, they will be back

Add your own answer in the comments!

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I was talking with Lorelei the other day about the importance of background.  We differ in our styles and our opinions on some things (which is never a bad thing).

I tend to like photos that don’t have a lot of “clutter” – the focus is on the dog and there is nothing else to distract you from that. We decided that I prefer to document, rather than tell a story and that she is the opposite.  I can appreciate the beauty of an image with a gorgeous background, with small people/pets in the image, but for myself, I want images that show me what they look like at this particular time – I want to see their expressions, not their location.

The one thing I like about studio pics and in particular, Amanda Jones’ studio photos, is that you are left with nothing but the dog.  If I could create an indoor studio big enough to have dogs running at full speeds I’d be a happy girl.  Just think of the detail you could see without anything (aka grass, snow, shrubs, etc.) blocking your view or distracting you.

Lorelei got me to think about what my favourite photos were and I have to admit, the ones that stick out  in my mind were ones with lots of background stuff.  Like these and the cover image of the candids on my website (sorry can’t seem to link directly to picture but you can see it in its entirety if you click on the gallery – it is a few images in).  But what those “pretty” pictures are lacking (at least in my opinion) is activity and expression.  They are nice to look at, but are a little dull, as the dogs are just standing there.

So today I set out to combine the two – pretty pictures with some action.  It was harder than I was expecting, which may explain why I don’t seem to do it very often.  To get the right stride, with the right expression, in the right place, without stray grasses or shrubs blocking her face, all while not dropping the focus off Coulee onto the cluttered background, was hard.  Way harder than I expected.  I only got one that I was really happy with.

 But one is all you need right?  :)

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Outrage in Arkansas: 8 Puppies Are Dumped Inside Plasticware

Ever notice how plasticware reproduces quietly in your cupboards so that your kitchen is practically bursting with unmatched lids and containers and then, one day, when you really need it, it has suddenly vanished into the universe? It’s your fault. You distributed it over time to the houses of your friends as you departed from their potlucks saying over your shoulder, “Oh, just return the plasticware when you’ve finished the casserole.”

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Photo: Plastic food containers by

We hope the folks who dumped a pile of puppies in a big plastic container behind a church in Arkansas never get their storage vessel back and that their cupboards will be forever cursed with ill-fitting lids because really, who does that?

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Who dumps puppies like that?

First of all, spay and neuter your dogs, for puppies' sake! Second, don't leave the resulting offspring in a sealed plastic death trap! If you have to get rid of them, fine, but there are shelters for that.

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So cute!

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The two females (the one with the head tilt and the black one) were also adopted, leaving five males.

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These pups are totally cute, but please, spay and neuter your dogs.

Fortunately, the eight Dachshund puppies were taken in by the church they were dumped at and handed over to Rocky Ridge Refuge, a rescue organization in Arkansas that provides sanctuary for all manner of animals. One of the puppies was adopted by someone at the church, and the remaining seven are  in the care of Rocky Ridge, which aims to find the puppies good homes.

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Butterbean takes in the puppies as if they are her own.

In the meantime, Rocky Ridge's resident dog mama, Butterbean, is helping take care of the pups.

Photos via the Rocky Ridge Facebook page

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Sergeant introduces Pronyl OTC flea and tick spray for dogs, cats

Sergeant introduces Pronyl OTC flea and tick spray for dogs, cats
Pronyl OTC flea and tick spray for dogs and cats contains the same active ingredient found in Frontline spray, Fipronil, but also introduces a new way to apply flea and tick spray to pets. With the Bag-on-Valve (BOV) technology, it allows for a

Nicholas Strain joins the Quali-Pro team as Mid-West Area Sales Manager
CSI has launched 15 new products since 2010, including a microencapsulated portfolio and the first post-patent Fipronil Termiticide/Insecticide. Quali-Pro is an entity of Control Solutions, Inc. serving the turf, nursery and ornamental markets. The
Read more on PR Web (press release)

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Pet Food Recall: Steve’s Real Food Recalls Turducken Canine Recipe Patties

The latest pet food recall is Steve’s Real Food Recalls Turducken Canine Recipe Patties.  The 5 lb. bags of “Turducken Canine Diet – 8oz. Patties are being recalled.  This is due to the possible risk of salmonella.  There haven’t been any reported illnesses from this product.

You can read the official FDA report here.

PetsitUSA Blog

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After the Storm

We didn’t leave the house on Sunday.  Like at all.  The weather was brutal, so we all stayed in snug as a bug.  Yesterday we were all ready to get out there and enjoy it, but no one more so than Lacey.  She was sooooo happy.

Just look at that smile…

Coulee was excited too but I think all the snowballs between her toes were dampening her enthusiasm.

That, and the fact that Lacey was feeling sassy and therefore was always wanting the toy.

Lacey couldn’t even slow down to eat snow.  Here she is right after scooping up a mouthful…

Attempting to eat mid stride…

And giving up and just grinning at me…

Lacey was attempting to recreate the blizzard like conditions from the day before.

Coulee is just wishing I could get on with things and throw the toy.

Now if that isn’t an evil grin, I don’t know what is.

She kept shaking the toy while she was running.  I’m surprised she didn’t fall over.

You gotta keep an eye on your competition when they keep stealing your fun.

She was just so happy. I couldn’t stop taking smiling pictures.  :)  Sorry about that.

Shake it.

Hi Coulee.  Sorry.  You just weren’t as funny on this walk as Lacey.  Hence your lack of photos.

I got quite a few of you just laying there waiting, but that gets dull after a while… I can tell by the fur on your foot that you’ve got quite the snowball build up.  Maybe today I’ll remember your boots.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Sleepy Abby

This is little Abby, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel who lives in Beaulieu-sur-Mer – currently asleep on my coffee table!

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Natural Flea Prevention – Howard Garrett

Got fleas? Howard gives you some tips to help you and your pets.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Eagle Ruins Dinner

True American Dog

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