Is a curious thing.
It forgives and forgets
It punishes and at times,
Whether footsteps towards
Or footsteps away
Not on any day
Those that step
There are no manmade laws
Just the awe
Of living on The Road
YBD’s Notes 1: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. This poem was inspired by the Irish saying, ‘May the road rise to meet you.”.
YBD’s Notes 2: Bollocks.
YBD’s Notes 3: The Road represents the path in life you take. May YOU rise to meet The Road.
2 Dogs 2,000 Miles
There’s nothing worse than sticking your foot in your mouth. I hate that feeling when the words escape your mouth and hang there, floating in the air, as it slowly dawns on you what horrible thing you’ve just said.
I try to be cognizant of these things in my work as a vet. I’m pretty sure I’ve said some awful things unintentionally, and the most I can do is hope the person didn’t actually really register it. Like when I’m coughing in the middle of a euthanasia, and I apologize by saying, “My allergies are killing me today.” AW DANGIT I DIDN’T…UGH…. that sort of thing.
Unintentional gaffes, awkward as they are, are still better than remarks that are just plain oblivious. People who have adopted children can usually rattle off at least 20 awful things people have said. The always uncomfortable “When are you due?” question to a woman who is not actually pregnant. “Well, you can always get another one” to someone who has just lost a beloved pet. Or, “Who died?” to someone who has just actually lost someone.
I went to Disneyland this week, my first trip since the time they lost my wheelchair bound aunt on the Haunted Mansion. As fate would have it, she was with me again this time. There are few places better for people watching than Disneyland, a location of highly concentrated humanity teeming with all its best and worst attributes desperately, painfully intent on having a VERY MAGICAL DAY.
As we were waiting in line for our magical $ 15 burgers, I watched a member of the self-appointed mood police harass the cashier in front of me. She was very neutrally taking orders, neither kind nor unkind, simply doing her job. This man was having none of it. “Where’s that SMILE?” he asked, loudly.
She looked up, confused.
“Where’s your SMILE?” he asked again, a bit aggressively, forced cheer pulling his mouth into a rictus. SEE? LIKE THIS?
She gave him a wan smile. She looked tired. She was a captive audience, though, so she tried her best.
“I knew you had it in you!” he boomed in response to her most unenthusiastic ‘smile’, before engaging her in a totally unnecessary discussion of drink preferences. (The line is piling up behind him by this point.)
“I usually drink regular soda,” she said in response to his inquiry. “I like things sweet.”
“Yes,” he said, smirking. “You look like you like things sweet.” It was clearly a comment on her size. He looked up and around, proud of himself and his wittiness, and I slowly shook my head at him. His wife stared at her feet. I doubt this was the first time he’s said things like that.
I bumped into the same guy not 10 minutes later, as I was heading back out to the patio area with a tray of food. My aunt was waiting with the kids, sitting in her motorized wheelchair we had rented from Disneyland. Keep in mind, this is the standard grey wheelchair anyone can rent. It was not special in any way, an unwieldy, functional looking thing with a metal bumper on the front and a small metal basket.
Our friend paused, and pointed to it with a big grin on his face.
“How’s that working for you?” he asked. “You liking that thing?” He asked this the way one might admire a new Porsche 911, or a Harley, instead of an industrial grade medical device.
“Oh yes,” my aunt said without missing a beat. He nodded in admiration. “Yes, I love being in a wheelchair.” Then she turned her back to him while his wife stared on in embarrassment.
“How are you liking walking?” I started to say, but my mother saw the look on my face and kicked me before I could get past opening my mouth. She knows me well.
This is precisely why I prefer working with dogs.
Some cool Flea images:
Flea Market & RV Park at Menge
Image by MissMalaprop
Flea Market & RV Park at Menge, Pass Christian, Mississippi
San Francisco is the only city to have once been the home of the Emperor of the United States, so it’s not surprising that the city’s political life definitely has a down-the-rabbit-hole quality. That is, even more than usual.
Mayoral elections are always especially interesting to watch. There’s a real tradition of things skewing into the strange and surreal in elections. A particularly legendary example is the 1979 election, when the candidates included Sister Boom Boom (aka Jack Fertig), who was a prominent member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Jello Biafra, the lead singer of noted punk rock band the Dead Kennedys. Biafra’s campaign slogan was, naturally, “There’s always room for Jello.” His platform included a proposal to require businessmen to wear clown suits between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and one banning cars from the city limits. He came in third out of 11 candidates. Comedian Will Durst later ran and finished fourth out of 11.
So, really, while it might seem weird in the rest of the country, DOGTV's idea to elect dogs as mayors throughout the country isn't really that odd here. The campaign is drawing to an end today (March 20), so if you want to have a say in what dog rules the political landscape of your town, this is your opportunity. The winners will take office March 25 and receive a 6-month subscription to DOGTV online, plus a 3-month subscription to PetBox for the top 10 winners. (I have to admit feeling a little disappointed that bribery and graft are happening so openly before the candidates have even taken office.)
The primaries have already been held, of course, and DOGTV has narrowed each city's candidates down to about three or four, based on their "adorableness and ambition." The latter is certainly common among human politicians, although you rarely see them promoting their adorableness.
Go to the Facebook page linked above, and you can see a big wall of doggies, just begging to be voted for with a small bit of text describing their platform. For those of us here in San Francisco, we're faced with three choices: Izzy (who "Enjoys partying like a rock star"), Spud (whose efforts towards green politics include "eats his own poo as well as all muffin wrappers, take-out containers, and other garbage that he comes across on the street") and Pismo (who "is strong willed and respectful to his council").
It's a close race, but I think I'm going for Spud, despite the fact that he shares most of a first name with a rather annoying corporate icon from the 1980s. Why? First, because he's shown that he's willing to eat his own poop, which is an essential qualification to prove integrity for politicians in any part of the country. And second, he's got the gender-bending sympathies that make him perfect for a town like San Francisco. According to his bio, "Though born male, Spud still squats to pee like a lady in a bid to close the gender gap one squirt at a time." Yeah, that's a San Francisco dog.
What do you think? Is it time to start putting more dogs into office? Let us know if you're happy with who wins in your area.
Check out these adorable stories on Dogster:
- We Love These Pictures of Dog-Pooping Photobombs
- Go Home, the Internet Has Been Won by These Chihuahua and Chicken BFFs
- Everybody's Doing It: The Dog Breed Group Personality Quiz
One of the more ignorant assertions by the animal rights morons people is that Iditarod dogs are beaten, starved and forced to run hundreds of miles. The fact is that every racing sled dog consumes around 12,000 calories daily, food that the musher must prepare and have flown to the various checkpoints of the race. That is the caloric equivalent of 25 Big Macs every day of racing. Yet the dogs weigh only 40-60 pounds….
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog
Dogs in poor shape are quite frequent in Sri Lanka and remain an unfamiliar sight to visitors from europe where such animals will be taken care in some way o…
Video Rating: 3 / 5
My name is Susie the Survivor. I’m a little Coton De Tulear. Most people have never heard of my breed, but those who have know that my brothers and sisters and I are expensive dogs to purchase. We usually can only be found by contacting a specialized breeder. Maybe in my case the word “breeder” is a misnomer (see, I can use big words because we are intelligent dogs). I was born and raised in a “puppy mill”, definitely a dirty word in my limited vocabulary.
We Coton De Tulears are favored for our happy, playful, clownish, loving, gentle and friendly demeanor. We never tire of giving and receiving love, and we want to be an important part of a family, and always – the center of attention. We become very attached to our owners and love to be cuddled. We are fairly easy to train, quick to learn and eager to work, although occasionally we can be a bit stubborn.
I’m covered with fluffy white and black hair which only needs an occasional brushing. My coat is quite long and feels cottony. In fact, my name is derived from the French word for “cotton.”
My forebears came from Madagascar and I am related to other French Bichon dogs like the Havanese and the Bolognese. My ancestors arrived in Madagascar during the 15th century, apparently brought by either sailors or French troops, no one knows for sure. Eventually we became the favored pet of wealthy families in the city of Tulear, and our breed became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar”.
I should be a happy and proud dog with a background like that. But I’m not. You see, I was born in, and grew up in a puppy mill. A puppy mill is a horrible place that no animal should be subjected to. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about dog breeders. I’m referring to puppy mills where greedy people keep hundreds of dogs and make them have puppies over and over again.
We had no dog houses, no blankets or pillows to sleep on, not even bowls for our food and water. Some of us were kept in cages all the time. The food they fed us was rotten and smelled terrible – raw chickens, cow udders and pig intestines – stuff that tasted terrible.
Nobody ever paid any attention to us, we were never cuddled or loved by anyone. Every day was a fight for survival. In the winter it was freezing cold, and in summer it would get very hot and humid and the rain would soak the ground beneath our cages. Some of the dogs died from lack of decent care. Nobody ever cleaned the place and we had to live in all that filth. We were always scared and I often felt threatened by everything.
Some of the dogs were at the puppy mill for years, especially the female dogs who had to give birth to many litters. A lot of them were very sick with open sores and cancerous growths on their bodies. It was a horrible and scary place.
One day a group of strangers arrived at the puppy mill. They were accompanied by a television crew with cameras and everybody acted angry and upset. They started inspecting all of us dogs and then carried away the ones who were sickest. All the mothers who had a litter of new puppies were also carried away. I was one of the lucky puppies, still healthy enough to be considered a survivor. We were all removed from that horrible place and taken to a clean and spacious shelter where we all were examined by the doctor, and those who needed it were given medications and watched over by a loving staff of young men and women.
Some of my friends from the puppy mill needed surgery, and unfortunately some were just too sick to be saved. But I was feeling much better, and for the first time in my life I was clean, free of fleas, and hunkered down in a warm and safe place with clean blankets and fresh food and water.
After a few weeks at the shelter, most of my brothers and sisters were rescued from the puppy mill and were adopted by families looking for a nice puppy for their children. I was beginning to worry that I would soon be left all alone here while all my friends would be gone, living in happiness with the family they had only dreamed about when they lived at the puppy mill. Then the next day, a nice smelling, older lady arrived, wrapped me in a warm, clean blanket and took me home with her. She spoke softly to me and petted me every time she had to wait at a stoplight.
At my new home I was taken out of the car and put on the freshly mowed lawn. It smelled so good I could have fallen asleep on it right then. A few minutes later a whole pack of dogs came tearing out of the woman’s house. They all seemed very happy to see me. Then we all went inside and the nice lady gave me fresh water. Later I had special food, just like all the other dogs – I counted 6 more, all of them apparently older than me. No raw chickens and nothing green and smelly.
It took some time for me to get used to this new life. Ever since birth I was surrounded by ailing, scared, and distressed dogs and puppies. Now suddenly, everything was new and strange. There were so many new sounds, different tastes and things to learn, like potty training. I wasn’t house trained obviously and no one had ever fed me a treat, given me a bath or groomed me.
After a lifetime of sleeping on cold, hard surfaces and fighting for my share of the food, it took a while to realize that it was okay to eat when I was hungry, sleep when I was tired, and learn to share my food and toys with the other dogs, all of whom I had become fast friends with. I soon became house trained just by watching what all the other dogs did.
My new home has a big garden that we all play in. There are lots and lots of toys to share and many soft, warm and clean places to sleep all over the house. My life is so much different from what it had been at the puppy mill. I heard the nice lady talking on the phone yesterday, telling someone that most of my rescued friends had also been adopted by new owners. I hope all of them are as happy as I am and that all the other dogs still in puppy mills will soon be rescued. I also hope that more people become aware of the intolerable cruelty that so many innocent animals suffer at the hands of some very bad humans. I am ever so happy that I was rescued from a puppy mill.
Share and Enjoy:
This lovely cocker spaniel was enjoying the Combat Naval Fleuri at Villefranche sur Mer yesterday. Walking on a sea on a confetti!