Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Raising awareness

Last Saturday was National Pit Bull Awareness Day and as I mentioned earlier in the week, Stella and I followed our noses across town to the festivities. I admit that I kind of dropped the ball on some of it photographically, but we were busy celebrating & making new friends. We missed some good shots, I'm sure of it.

We started the morning off with a long walk and a trip to the dog park. I've mentioned before that Pit bulls (or any dogs that resemble a Pit bulls) are banned from the city's dog parks in Nashville. There's a sign on the gate with the rules of the dog park and that's the very first rule. People from other, more civilized cities are pretty much horrified by it but we've always been surrounded by xenophobes in this part of the world so it comes as no real surprise that one (non-fatal) incident would set the stage for everyone else. It'll take a younger, smarter generation of council members to kill it though, so we wait. The up side however, is that the people who passed the ordinance generally aren't the same people that go to the dog park so for the most part, people overlook it. Yes, we've made a couple of people nervous but more often (in my limited experience anyway) they're charmed by the Pit bulls who do show up. Sometimes, as in our case, they aren't even sure they're Pit bulls until someone asks. Bunch of outlaws.

The problem with making such rules is that the dogs they're trying to keep out, the aggressive, unruly, apt to eat a Pomeranian-type dogs aren't on their way to the dog park any time soon. The dogs they're trying to keep out are unfortunately chained to a tree somewhere. They're sitting on a wet cardboard box wishing they were at the dog park or anywhere else for that matter. They're busy shredding a plastic two-liter bottle their owner just lobbed in their direction for six seconds of personal entertainment; right before they go back in the house for that next PS2 round of Grand Theft Auto. Don't get me wrong, there are some drawbacks to the dog park culture and occasionally, those dogs do show up, they generally don't last very long - but just like people, they come in all shapes and sizes. But I digress.

The event on Saturday was fun despite the fact that we missed the parade. Again, I got distracted for six seconds and everyone left without us which was too bad since that's the photo I was really hoping for. There was some great art to look at and a ton of wonderful dogs (only one clueless owner it seemed, in the whole bunch). We'll probably go back next year. Maybe they'll have it right outside the dog park :)

This beautiful creature (below) was in fact, spotted at the dog park. He's a Basset Hound-Dalmatian mix. There was also a Pit bull - Dalmatian, a great match for Stella, but I didn't get a good shot of him.

And here are a few from the Pit bull Awareness Day celebration.

Finally, here's a video (it wasn't from the Nashville event although there were some folks with video cameras there - I'll keep looking)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost Scary

Just wanted to let everyone know that all of the kittens have been adopted! Roy and Buck were adopted together and now there is only Minnie Pearl (the mama cat) left at PetSmart. I still have my fingers crossed for her. A couple of people have asked why anyone is adopting out black cats this time of year and the only answer I can come up with is that the fee for adoption is a hundred dollars. I'm thinking few people would be foolish enough to pay that kind of money and then mistreat the animal.

Here's a photo of my leaf carpet. Looking at it from this angle it's easy to understand why my neighbors might be a little intimidated. A good wind could really stir things up :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lazy Day

The leaves are raining from the trees here though still no real rain to speak of - in the last three months. It's hard to believe anything is still green. Stella and I have been dodging what seems like a constant hailstorm of acorns and black walnuts on our walks. The squirrels are out in force (always a good time) and people are just beginning to decorate their yards for Halloween. I'm thinking that got put off until now because just a week ago it was still ninety-seven degrees.

In just a few days my entire front yard became blanketed with yellow maple leaves which is always gorgeous until I have to rake them; thirty four-bags if I remember correctly. My dream is that sixteen boy scouts will show up and it'll all be done in about two hours. The chances of that happening are remote. I'd leave it but they blow into all the surrounding yards and the neighbors begin having less than happy thoughts when they see me.

This Saturday Stella and I are going to celebrate Pitbull Awareness Day over on the east side of town. We haven't gone before so I'm looking forward to it and you know how Stella loves a parade.

Whoever is responsible for this yard art (below) unfortunately missed the initial response of the young impressionable canine pictured above. Again - it was a video moment - lost.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Visiting With Edgar

Poe's house and his grave are about half a mile apart. He's buried in an ancient church yard. It's not just any old church yard either. It's Westminster Burial Ground and Poe isn't the only notable resident. There are others.
The last unfinished manuscript of Edgar Allan Poe was ironically (in our case) about a lighthouse keeper. I'm still not sure how you can call four pages a manuscript but then I'm not a literary scholar.

Here's something fun and strangely appropriate (I thought) - John Cusack to play Poe

The history of Poe's grave

I'm not sure dogs are actually allowed in here. We didn't ask permission but Stella was on her best behavior.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Exception

The rule in our house is dogs don't sleep in the bed. It works out great because Stella knows that occasionally I'll invite her to lie on my bed during the day or under certain circumstances but when night falls, her bed is hers.

When we went to Baltimore and Atlantic City last month I didn't even take her bed along with us so all bets were off and we shared the bed. One day we hiked (not very far, I think it was a mile and a half) up to the home of Edgar Allen Poe. It was hot as Hell and included buses, construction, big noise and hordes of people going to and from work, not to mention at some point, all the accoutrements of ghetto sidewalks (broken glass, syringes, beer cans, used condoms and the like). I doubt Stella even noticed any of this but without so much as a band-aid on me, I certainly did. It was a tough three miles brightened only by the fact that we made it back without injury or dognapping. I don't know how many of you (goofy-ass white women) have strolled through the ghetto lately with your pit bull but the locals, though extremely friendly, had a look of disbelief on their faces usually reserved for things like mirages - or ghosts. Had it not been for the dog, I would've spent a lot more time up there and made pictures of them all but it was clear early on that we were in dog fighting country. I felt at the time, it was best to keep moving so we pressed on. Unfortunately, the Poe House was closed when we finally got there but I did take a photo of it. I'll put it in the next post.

When we returned to the hotel I left Stella for a bit to go and get something to eat. I made a point of getting back as soon as possible thinking she'd be pacing the floor and feeling abandoned in this new strange place.

Uh - negative. When I returned this (above) is how I found her. She didn't even notice I was gone.

On the morning of our departure we took a vote and decided that the beds in Heaven couldn't possibly be any better than the ones at Hotel Monaco.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fingers Crossed

Two spays, two neuters, four combo tests,
Seven FVRCP shots, hook worms, eight doses of dewormer,
One dose of antibiotic, three vacuum cleaner bags,
Fifty-four POUNDS of cat litter.
Carried to a trashcan - in one pound bags.

Five trips to the vet.
Eleven pounds of cat food. One very nice cat-sitter.
Fifty-thousand fleas. Sure, I'll repeat it:
Fifty. Thousand. Fleas.
That's an estimate; I stopped counting and started
going off my nut at twenty thousand.
Four doses of flea medication. Five, if you count my own cat;
who by the way, didn't have a flea all summer long.

I officially hate my neighbor now, but I'm trying to work through it.

Praise Jesus and knock on wood, as of tomorrow, Roy, Buck, and Lulu
are about be out of my basement; for a little while anyway.
Mama isn't far behind.
Run, don't walk over to PetSmart at Hundred Oaks and get yourself one.
They couldn't be any healthier than they are right this minute.
They're really sweet too.
And well-behaved.
They haven't turned over or climbed a single thing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Close encounters

These were leftover from last weeks Pooch Plunge. Aren't the two of them wonderful? With all due respect, I think they should enter a dog/owner look a like contest. The best part is they didn't do it for my benefit. I took that first shot before anyone knew I was there. Apparently that's a pretty nice dog too.

Last night I found out that some friends of mine have a dog that does Fly Ball competitively. It even has a pretty high ranking and they're going to Indiana next week to compete. They were supposed to go to the event last week too so of course, I confessed again about that rogue dog that crashed their demonstration :)

Okay, moving on. Stella and I were charged the other day by a dog we'd never seen before. This time it wasn't a purse dog though. It was a Pit Bull that first barked at us from behind a fence. It sounded pretty vicious but I didn't give it much thought since Stella sounds exactly the same way on occasion. I have to say though that it was early in the morning and when that dog came charging (across a busy street) at us I was more than a little freaked out. In the background I head a little boy scream "Spiiiike!!!" I stepped in front of Stella and did my best halt command; big man voice added to the traffic cop hand, and the dog (I'm happy to report) stopped in its tracks.

The dog's owner laughed at me and announced: "Don't worry he's friendly."

All I could think of to say "I guess you're lucky mine is too."

It definitely sounded a little bitchy but I couldn't help myself. There's nothing like having all the plaque in your arteries loosened at seven-thirty in the morning.