Friday, May 28, 2010

Say "Cheese-burger"

Look at that smile. This Jack Russell Terrier's name is Blue. Best I could tell he is wily and tenacious, and well-loved. I hope his owner will stop by here and tell us a good story about him. For the few minutes I spent with him on the livin' lot, he was both engaged and engaging. Without a doubt, he'd rather run than have his picture made. This was a lucky shot that only happened because of a nice woman named Linda.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Like most dogs, she has a variety of tennis balls but for Polly, there's really only one of them she wants to fetch. Polly's family tree is mixed but Retriever is her middle name. Once she knows you'll throw the ball, you're pretty much hooked. I was thoroughly impressed with her etiquette. Unlike some dogs (ahem), ninety percent of the time she drops the ball so gently in your hand it's a pleasure to keep the game going. Polly has a pool to relax in next to her motor home (Home Depot, don't ask me what department). Vern, her owner says she has a bigger version of it at home, but this is their travel size. She also goes for a dip on command which is pretty entertaining all in itself.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Road dogs

It's been a while since we met any new carny dogs. Stella and I have been hanging around with the North American Midway Entertainment folks this last week though and they're awfully good to their dogs over there. Some of you may remember Dolly from last year. She's doing great and has grown into a beautiful and totally lovable (OMG) dog. It's safe to say that when she found Kathryn & Rod, it was the luckiest day of her life and despite the fact that she occasionally snacks on their furniture, she's a keeper.

Dolly isn't the only canine we ran into. There was Polly and Blue, Yoshi and a rumored ten Poodles which (unfortunately) I wasn't able to verify with pictures. Stella and I did walk by their motor home early on though at which point they tried to tear the blinds off the windows. Stella just stood there looking dumbfounded. It was like somebody turned on a tornado inside that big bus.

Not to be outdone, I should mention that we met some carny cats while we were there too. Casey, Birdie, & Ruthless. All of these creatures and their humans are currently on the way to a fair in St. Louis but I'll post a few of their pictures here in the next couple of days. People who don't live on the road often assume that carny dogs and cats have it rough. Some do of course, but most of the time that isn't the case. Most of the time they're above average, well-loved and well adjusted, social butterflies with a lifestyle and privileges that suburban dogs could never know or understand. Oh, and they do have rather idyllic access to french fries and other canine culinary delights.

As for the photos, until today I had no idea there was a population of seemingly intelligent people with good paying jobs no less, who spend time thinking about why Goofy leads a relatively human existence while Pluto is forever relegated to being a dawg (link). Understand the same could be said of yours truly for reading it. There's no clear answer to this question of course but I if you look around on the midway next time you're there, you'll find both characters kicking it down in Kiddieland. Disneyland is sweet and all but Pluto and Goofy - they're carny dogs at heart.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Snacks & Kisses

She barks in her sleep.
Likes to eat that grass pâté the yard guy leaves behind.
After a particularly good walk I bought her a rubber duck (like the ones they have at the carnival).

She chewed its head off.
Took three minutes.

A couple of weeks ago a little girl we'd never met, four years old, grabbed her by her muzzle with both hands and planted a big ol' kiss right on her mouth.

Me and the woman with the child nearly fainted on that one.

We went to a craft fair last weekend.
It was very crowded with people and dogs.
There was a couple walking behind us and the man started talking
about how he didn't trust "those" dogs.
They were "violent" he said, and "dangerous".

He rambled on as if I couldn't hear him.

We pulled over to the side long enough to let them step ahead of us
and spent the next few minutes tailgating them.

Just for fun I gave Stella the same speech about middle-aged men in khaki pants.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flood inspection

Stella and I went downtown on Monday (along with about twenty thousand other people) and shot a few pictures of the flood water. We also went to a couple of other places we normally walk and though the water was gone, the damage was significant. One thing many people tend to overlook in this town is the number of hills and creeks there are before you ever get to the Cumberland River. They're where the trouble started. The river didn't rise until the sun was already out.

One thing that became apparent (and I don't mean to minimize anyone's disaster) after the water receded was how filthy the streets of Nashville usually are. On Monday they were sparkling clean with the exception of the worst areas, which is of course where all the dirt and litter ended up. Once everything is under control I think Nashville should launch a campaign, I mean - one would think a city worthy of a half a billion dollar convention center would also have clean streets, no?

Tricky Treat

About two weeks ago, Stella and I took neighbor Judy to see the doctor. We usually walk the fitness trail around their parking lot (it's a hospital) while Judy sees the doctor and along the route we pass a preschool. When we passed it that day, the kids were all playing in a fenced area and their teacher took this opportunity to teach them the word "dog". Naturally, they all ran over to the fence and waved to Stella. I told Stella to sit and she did and I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if Stella could wave back?

That night I decided to try teaching her this trick and it took about five tries before she did it perfectly. I expect it'll be a while before she'll do it for strangers out in the world but when she'll be serious fun. On that note, training one dog to do a trick is pretty simple. Training a whole pack of dogs to do synchronized tricks is something altogether different and I'm glad I don't have that on my list of things to do anytime soon. Check out this incredibly fun video sent in by regular visitor, Susan Rose.(Thanks Susan)