January 31, 2009

Gaaahhh...! Fix your ear!!

You talking to me?

Here are some snaps from a lazy weekend.

Smoky has one of those barks that's more of a single, sustained roar. Doesn't bark much, though — he's too busy chewing everything in sight. Also: he is a genius. The other dogs are going nuts but the vet says quarantine for two more weeks. Pup's much perkier, but still with the snotty nose, eeewwwww.

His fave toy is that red thing, which is one of the best toys evah. No, I don't get a commission.

Ingrid Newkirk hopes your dog gets cancer

Not just Ingrid Newkirk, and not just any cancer, either.

Ingrid Newkirk of PETA and R. Rex Parris, the Mayor of Lancaster, California, both hope your dogs get bone sarcoma. Bone cancer, for crissakes! It's the law. Move out of town, minority scum, or we'll kill your Rottweilers and your pit bulls! Ingrid says: I love this law! Let's kill all the pit bulls!

This just in: when you slap a mandatory spay/neuter law on a breed like the Rottweiler [and in 2009, what society hacks off body parts as punishment?], you are sentencing dogs to death by cancer. Don't believe me? Here's the PubMed abstract. Excerpt:
Risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy. Male and female [Rottweilers] that underwent gonadectomy before 1 year of age had an approximate one in four lifetime risk for bone sarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop bone sarcoma than dogs that were sexually intact.
What part of these findings don't Ingrid Newkirk and Mayor R. Rex Parris understand?

Seriously, people — bone cancer. One in four Rotties will suffer from it, if spayed or neutered before a year of age. [Other large breeds are also at risk.] Lancaster wants them all "fixed" before they're four months old.

It should be glaringly obvious by now that Newkirk, the so-called "animal rights" pooh-bah, doesn't give a rat's patoot about dogs. She wants them gone from our lives, one breed at a time or in bunches, by lingering deaths or quick ones, by stealth or by whatever canine version of Jim Crow she can espouse.

And Mayor R. Rex Parris doesn't give a rat's patoot about his law-abiding fellow citizens. He's happy as a clam to impose a death sentence on their dogs and subject families to the anguish of losing a friendly companion to confiscation or cancer. Maybe you shouldn't have let your tattoo show when you took the dog for a walk, eh? Maybe your son shouldn't have dressed like a normal middle-school student the last time he was in the front yard playing with your new Rott mix, eh? That'll teach you. Lancaster doesn't want your kind.

And for the record: When Newkirk says, among other truthinesses, "Pits and pit mixes are responsible for more attacks than other dogs - not just fatal attacks, but ones in which an eye or limb or self-confidence is lost for life," she's lying through her teeth. She's talking out of her elbow. She has no verifiable studies — because there aren't any — to back up her rant o' crazy. Don't take my word for it: pick up the phone, you folks who call yourselves journalists, and run Newkirk's nutty quotes by the real experts at the CDC and the AVMA.

What sort of mayor writes a bad law with the intention of wielding it selectively against people he doesn't like? What sort of person tells lies in order to have good dogs taken from their families and put to death?

[And why, oh why is anyone still listening to PETA?]

"Dogs deserve justice" — the irony, it burns!

PETA wants to kill my dogs -- and yours
Dogs white people like

January 28, 2009

In which I make an executive decision

He is a Mountain Cur. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

He has border collie eyes and a body like a little presa canario.

Vet says Smoke's about five and a half months old and very ill with a respiratory thing, so please hold good thoughts.

First thing I did when we got home from the vet's was give him a nice hot-but-not-too-hot bath, to get rid of the grime and the shelter smell. So now Smoky is shiny and new, and he ate his dinner like he was going to a fire, and the other dogs can't meet him for two or three weeks, oy — but he loves people and we're bonding nicely. Tired but happy, that's me. No, wait: that's us ;~)

January 27, 2009

Book deal for Sports Illustrated editor: "The Lost Dogs"

"A good listener, Jonny helps Calvin feel more comfortable reading aloud." [Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice for SI.]

This just in from the Bad Rap blog: Sports Illustrated's Jim Gorant, whose cover story on the Vick dogs made us all very happy, has landed a book deal:
Jim Gorant – the Sports Illustrated Editor/writer and author of “Fanatic: Ten Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die”, has signed a deal to write “THE LOST DOGS.”

The book is being billed as an inspirational account of the rescue and “adoption” of Michael Vick's abused pit bulls.
Read the rest of the announcement here. Who could have imagined it? And all because some brave souls said to PETA, the HSUS and their media sycophants, "No. We will not stand by while you lobby for good dogs to be killed."

January 24, 2009

There's this pup at the pound

I'm just saying. The truth is, I need another dog like I need a third nostril.

He's about four months old and plain as a mud fence. Brindle.

Fond of people:

Side views. Oy:

This one's a little better:

I'm guessing he's part pit bull and maybe part German shepherd. He keeps his eyes on you and looks you full in the face, like this:

And his feet are sore and he's on meds for a cough. I don't think he's ever been on a leash. [My collies had scarcely been on leashes either, at his age — but that's different.]

So anyhow, he was picked up by animal control on January 13, no one practically no one has expressed an interest in the little soul, and his PTS date was the 22nd but the pound keeps dogs as long as they can, so if you know anyone who's interested, tell 'em they better step up to the plate. He's pretty ugly and a little on the big side, but it isn't every day you meet a friendly stray pup that looks you in the eye the way he does.

Edited to add: Did I mention he's extremely vocal? Little whines and woo-woos and yodels. Plott mix, maybe? That would be incredibly cool.

January 20, 2009

Edited to add:

Patrick was there. O.M.G. Visit Terrierman for the deets. I hope his feet thaw out OK.

Also: I forgot to post sources for the photos in the previous post. The wonderful thumbs-up shot is from Danielle Belton's The Black Snob. More from the Snob [I love this photo so much I could just diiieeeee]:

All the other photos in the previous post [and the small photo above] were liberated from the most excellent Spanish news site El País. Check out their photos of Inauguration Day here.

Inauguration Day Photos

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." President Obama

Just a few. Oh, and the White House web site features a new look, a new agenda and a new blog.

Didn't think I'd live to see the day. Yay us!

Inauguration Day 2009

Related posts:
Election Day 2008

January 18, 2009

The New Patriot Act: Go to the Pound

Dear President Obama,

Here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter.
2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet.
4. Walk to the Oval Office.
5. Sit down in a chair.
6. Put hand-sanitizer on hands.
7. Enjoy moment.
8. Get up.
9. Get in car.
10. Go to the dog pound.

Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

More advice for the new president here.

Patrick [Terrierman] went to DC and reports that the crowds were much smaller than anticipated. Kidding!

Read Terrierman's report here.

The TVs at work better be ready Tuesday morning, is all I can say.

Another New York Story

This one is also true and quite wonderful. It's called The Man Who Walked Between The Towers.

H/T: Nag on the Lake.

January 17, 2009

Hudson River video: plane lands, rescuers arrive

Awe-inspiring work by the ferry crews [including a 20 year old captain]. Plane appears at about the two-minute mark:

H/T to The Edge of the American West, where the whole incredible event is described to perfection. "This was really a test-run for a new Hollywood blockbuster, right?" Coulda fooled me.

January 14, 2009

Incredibly cool sheep barn

For when I win the lottery.

In the city of Almere, Netherlands, 70F Architecture projected this beautiful sheep stable that can house from 100 to 150 sheep.
More photos and info at CoolBoom.

The worst...! bloggers...! in the woooorld...!!

How the mighty have fallen! [Shut up, S. J. Perelman.] The Los Angeles Times used to be a splendid, not merely solvent but proud and prize-winning newspaper with money to burn and a worldwide staff of excellent reporters. Today the paper is a wan tabloid on the edge of bankruptcy. Most of the journalists are gone. Drifting in their wake: a shuffle of press-release collectors, some of whom love love love animals. Their blog at the Times is called L.A. Unleashed, and it's so horribly, painfully bad that I could beat my head on rocks.

David Foster Wallace describes the phenomenon: "the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved."

Unleashed operates like this: Post a press release. Count comments. Repeat. "What do you think -- is PETA right on or out of line?" I know fourteen-year-olds who can track down facts and ask sharper questions than these people. Blogging doesn't relieve you of the responsibility to be honest and knowledgeable about a subject. Blogging means you should be more honest and more knowledgeable.

Is Unleashed the worst blog on earth? It's quite possibly the worst blog published under the aegis of a major newspaper, or what used to be a major newspaper. I suspect the bloggers are paid per comment and poked with sharp sticks for attempting what reporters in the old days called "research." They are that fact-averse.

Bill Fosher:
[I]t seems that the approach is to do one-source, non-critical stories. If anything, the approach to blunting this seems to be to do a follow up story that provides the same level of credulity and obsequiousness to the opposing view a day or two later.

Efforts at synthesizing information, critical analysis, and good old fashioned truth squadding are down the toilet...
Can you imagine Jim Murray as an Unleashed blogger? OMG, I have to go scrub my brain with bleach now. Rest in peace, L.A. Times. I knew you when you were a real newspaper [weeps].

I'm Shepard Fairey!

And you can, too. Use this web site to make Shepard Fairey-like images of your iconic selves.


[Hat tip: The Edge of the American West.]

January 13, 2009

Super-size? No, thanks

This has stuck in my mind: something I read years ago about a hiker running down a wilderness trail, distraught, calling for help because his dog was hurt. Not just hurt, either, but badly hurt, unable to walk and too heavy to carry -- and left alone on the mountain while the hiker went to seek assistance. That article scared the bejeezus out of me. The older I get, the more hesitant I am about taking responsibility for a dog I can't pick up and carry in case of emergency.

I learned the hard way, decades ago, that an ill or injured dog can be an absolute bear to lift. After my Airedale suffered a seizure, I couldn't pick her up to save my life. I was a good deal stronger then than I am now, and at 50 lb she was usually easy for me to lift. But a frightened, flailing animal with no sense of balance is worse than dead weight, and there was no one I could call for help. Getting her downstairs and into the car was a nightmare.

My good boy weighed a solid 55 lb, which isn't the same as a pallet of cinder blocks but is still pretty heavy. As his health declined, my biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to lift him into the back seat of the truck if he took a sudden turn for the worse. I've made a new rule for myself: no dogs over 35 lb or so from now on. We'll see if it sticks.

The photo above [click for big] was taken up at the cabin: he was maybe ten months old and working on his Lion King face. The house is very empty and still without him.

January 6, 2009

Join the army... and lose your dog?

From the comments section of this post:
My husband is in the army and we travel from state to state every two or three years. We currently live off post and were trying move on post. We were all ready to move, had the paper work filled out, and the very same day a nationwide ban on every military post was sent out for 6 breeds of dogs. One of the breeds was a Doberman, and since we own a Doberman, we can now never again live on post. Since my husband will be in the army for 10 more years this is very upsetting to us. Yes we can live off post, but along with that we give up a lot of convienience - and all because we own a Doberman. I'm looking for people to help me pettition this ban and would like to know if anyone here would want to help?? Just let me know and we can exchange contact info...thanks.
At a time when BSL is being rejected elsewhere as a failed ideology, and with all that's asked of them already, what a shame that some army families must deal with this. Where is General Patton when we need him?

"Faithful friend mourns American hero. Along with the many millions to mourn the passing of American hero, General George S. Patton, Jr., is his dog 'Willie,' the late general's pet bull terrier. Bad Nauheim, Germany." [Photo: Wikimedia Commons.]

January 3, 2009

A poem by Antonio Machado

The poetry gods will smite me for this: 1) for having the damn-fool nerve to translate as best I can [which is to say, badly] something by one of the greatest poets that ever lived, and 2) for the suggestion, however unintended, that a dog's death is in any way comparable to the death of a person; but what the heck - this is a great, great poem and I like translating things. Plus, you know, death.

The Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote this poem in the spring of 1912. His wife Leonor had been diagnosed with advanced tuberculosis — she died in August of that year.
A un olmo seco

  Al olmo viejo, hendido por el rayo
y en su mitad podrido,
con las lluvias de abril y el sol de mayo,
algunas hojas verdes le han salido.
  ¡El olmo centenario en la colina
que lame el Duero! Un musgo amarillento
le mancha la corteza blanquecina
al tronco carcomido y polvoriento.
  No será, cual los álamos cantores
que guardan el camino y la ribera,
habitado de pardos ruiseñores.
  Ejército de hormigas en hilera
va trepando por él, y en sus entrañas
urden sus telas grises las arañas.
  Antes que te derribe, olmo del Duero,
con su hacha el leñador, y el carpintero
te convierta en melena de campana,
lanza de carro o yugo de carreta;
antes que rojo en el hogar, mañana,
ardas en alguna mísera caseta,
al borde de un camino;
antes que te descuaje un torbellino
y tronche el soplo de las sierras blancas;
antes que el río hasta la mar te empuje
por valles y barrancas,
olmo, quiero anotar en mi cartera
la gracia de tu rama verdecida.
Mi corazón espera
también, hacia la luz y hacia la vida,
otro milagro de la primavera.

  The old elm, split by lightning
and rotted inside,
with the rains in April and the sun in May
has sprouted a few green leaves.
  The hundred-year-old elm on the hill
lapped by the Duero! Yellow moss
mottles the pale bark
of its trunk, worm-eaten and dusty.
  It won't be like the singing cottonwoods
along the road and the riverbank,
the home of brown nightingales.
  An army of ants in single file
goes climbing through it, and in its hollows
spiders weave their grey webs.
  Before he chops you down, Duero elm,
with his woodcutter's axe,
and the carpenter makes a bell's beam of you,
or a cart tongue or a wagon yoke;
before you redden the hearth of some poor shelter, tomorrow,
at the road's edge;
before a dust storm uproots you
and winds from the white mountains tear you apart;
before the river carries you to the sea
through valleys and canyons,
elm, I long to put into words
the grace of your green bough.
And my heart also
yearns, towards light and towards life,
for another miracle of spring.

The Duero. Photo by Denis Doyle for the New York Times.

January 1, 2009

Safe journey

Didio leaving, by Samuel Barrera.

My good little man, my best boy, was born sometime in the fall of 1996 and died on the last day of 2008. These photos of him were taken at home and up at the cabin. He was the dearest, gentlest soul ever. I'll write more about him after a while — "after a while" meaning "if I can ever stop crying my eyes out." My good little lamb, I love you more than anything.