Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Whole New Meaning to the Phrase "Double-Tap"

I did a rare thing this weekend--I took some vacation time.  My folks own property up in the northwoods of Wisconsin, a few of the most beautiful acres in the world, as far as I'm concerned.  Long weekends there mostly involve hanging out outside in one way or another.  We hit a couple of outdoor, dog-friendly art fairs, we took a short hike around Bond Falls (a dog-friendly path), and we went swimming on a dog-friendly beach.

I was particularly looking forward to the latter as this past winter, I'd purchased a life jacket for Prada but hadn't had the opportunity to give it a go yet.  Because Prada is usually uncomfortable in new environments, especially ones where she doesn't feel like she has her feet securely under her, I really didn't know what to expect of the excursion.  I needn't have worried.  Prada paddled her feet for a moment (she's got the instinct for swimming certainly), and then chilled out.  I mean, she relaxed so deeply she almost fell asleep.  I was pretty tickled to say the least.

We didn't stay long.  Even though the water was bathwater warm, it doesn't take much for little dogs to get chilled, and after about fifteen minutes, Prada started shivering and it was time to get out.  But hey, they were a very successful fifteen minutes--it may be time to look up one of the dog-friendly beaches in Chicago I keep hearing about.

Without the dogs, we went four-wheeling (sorry, it's a drought, I can't honestly say we went muddin'), and did some target practice.  My dad has this gorgeous 9mm pistol, a Colt MK IV Series 80, and I had the pleasure of emptying the better part of a clip at the tail end of the weekend.  I'm much more familiar with rifles (though I don't get much practice with those, either, but enough to know I prefer a little bolt-action rifle without too much kick), and after a brief run-down on the mechanics of it, I let loose. 

Our target wasn't exactly high-tech--just a hunter orange circle about four inches in diameter slapped on a pizza sheet, but it did the trick.  Or rather, it probably would have done if I could aim worth a damn.  I hit the tin maybe twice, but not the orange at all.  I'd never be able to hit a zombie in the chest, much less in the head.  I tended to hit a few inches below and to the left of the target--at least I'm consistent.

And now you'll know how to find me in the zombie apocolypse:  I'll be the one being run down by zombies missing their right testicle.


(True:  I never quite understood why it is zombies need to be shot in the head.  Wouldn't fire work, too?  A flame-thrower probably wouldn't require such precise aim.  Just sayin'.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hops in the Right Direction: When People Do Good, Dogs Do Better

After what happened last week to Lennox, I needed to hear something good. 

In my searches for blog material, and just keeping up-to-date with what's going on in the world of dog rescue, I come across so many terrible stories.  Dogs like Lennox, who are euthanized unjustly because of the way they look.  Shelters calling themselves "no-kill" facilities that euthanize healthy dogs and then send postcards to the dogs' sponsors telling them the dog has been adopted.  New breed-specific legislation being passed.  Animals abused or left to live in their own filth or set to fighting.  And it's really easy to get swamped by all of that.  I mean, really easy.  When I do my searches, I know I'm going to need a box of tissues handy.

But it's crucial to remember, for every terrible story that breaks news, there are ten or a hundred or a thousand people working quietly in the background for the betterment of pets.  People who volunteer or donate.  People who train and educate.  People offering affordable veterinary options.  People who work against BSL or for animal advocacy.  People who cuddle their rescue dogs or purchase from reputable breeders or dog-sit for a friend who needs a hand.  People who care.

Here are some of their stories.

Handicapped dog warms hearts in Kentlands (Maryland).

Dog dodged death with role in Annie.

Bringing Savannah home: Family finds lost dog and new life mission.

Toy poodle helps rescue teen from burning home.

Irish Rail uses Twitter to help reunite lost dog with owner.

Oh, I guess I should have mentioned you may still need those tissues.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Calling All Nerds

All right guys:  I'm armed with popcorn and an Internet connection at home finally.  My Netflix account is up and running, but I've only got about 40 shows/movies in my queue, which I hear is embarrassingly small.  And, like, half of those are Doctor Who specials.

Things I like:

-Anything with David Tennant (obviously)
-Robin Hood (BBC series)
-Joss Whedon
-Most anything fantasy/horror lite, sci-fi lite, mysteries, histories
-Long-term plot arcs
-Watching four seasons in a week

Things I don't like:

-Anything with a sad ending (Dude, life is depressing enough.)
-War movies (see above)
-The Walking Dead (I have post-apocolyptic dreams if I want to put myself in a setting where I might be eaten, thanks.)
-Mad Men  (I gave it six episodes.  I still hate everybody.)
-Straight-up cop procedurals (I.e., I like Bones, I hate NYPD anything.)

So, lay it on me.  What do I need to watch?  What do you love?

(True:  Someone in my office just told me I need to become a mouth-breather.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

NOT How I Prefer to Meet People

I saw Magic Mike with some girlfriends yesterday.  Not because it looked like a good movie, of course, but because it looked like a good-looking movie.  I'll admit it:  I like a pretty shirtless man.  I also discovered that seeing a man in a thong makes me giggle like a twelve-year-old.  Especially when there are sock garters involved.

But I think what really made this movie-going experience memorable is what happened after.  The very instant the credits started rolling, the woman two seats down jumped up and rushed out of the aisle.  This normally wouldn't be any big deal, but she was in such a hurry that when I took .3 seconds to reach down and try to grab my purse off the floor and out of her way, she decided to climb over my head instead of waiting.  This struck me as a little odd, and I gaped and stuttered for a moment after.  At which point, she turned around, looked at me like I was crazy, and asked, "Are you all right?"

Honestly.  She had just straddled my head in a movie theater, and she asked what's wrong with me.

Sometimes, my life is so much more interesting than it needs to me.


(True:  I nicked my armpit shaving this morning.  I'd say it's the worst thing ever, but I had my head straddled by a stranger yesterday, which really puts things into perspective.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hops in the Wrong Direction

Sorry I've been MIA this week, but you see, this blog makes me think of dogs.  And this week, dogs make me think of Lennox.  And what happened to Lennox makes me think very uncharitable things.

I have no doubt that Lennox is just one, well-publicized example of what has happened to numerous dog families affected by breed specific legislation, and I feel so, so sad by the misperceptions and biases that are perpetuated in what I like to think of as an era of dog advocacy, an era in which we understand better than ever the special bond our species and the canine species have held for so long.

I've heard a lot of people say Lennox and the media attention his case has received may help bring awareness to the way-too-common injustice of breed specific legislation, and I guess that's the best we have to hope for at the moment.

But that poor dog should never have put in the position to have been made a martyr.

I find the issue very upsetting, and not something I can speak thoughtfully (as opposed to vitriolically) on.  But James W. Crosby is an expert, and he speaks thoughtfully where I cannot.


Monday, July 9, 2012

This, You Guys. This.

Because I love you and now you can't say I never give you anything nice...

An Interview with Batdog.

You're welcome.

(True:  Prada has a thing for the big, burly types.  You think I should send Batdog her number?

Nah.  He'd probably send a lot of weird texts.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Phoning It In

With the midweek holiday, I'm guessing you're all as busy as I am.  Just a couple things to keep in mind while you're celebrating...

My cousin sent me this via Facebook, and while I've known for a long time that if I wouldn't want to walk barefoot on the asphalt, my dog probably won't want to, either.  But the numbers are still pretty astounding.

Some safety tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy over the holiday....here.

And finally, my new favorite dog blog, which is very holiday appropriate....Dog Bless You.

Happy Independence Day!