Dog Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

I guess I am never going to be a fan of dog parks for one reason: stupid, clueless owners.  Tonight we took Peaches over our neighborhood dog park.  There were two mini-schnauzers and a standard schnauzer, all belonging to a woman who obviously did not have good control of the large dog.  I was not getting a good feeling about this dog.  The body language was all wrong, and it seemed overbearing with any new dog that came into the park, including poor Peaches.  I was watching her closely when the larger dog approached.  Nothing happened with her but when the dog came over to me, and I tried to be friendly, it growled at me.  Then it snapped at my husband.  Once the larger dog did that, one of the mini-schnauzers thought it was okay to be aggressive and came after Peaches.  No damage was done, fortunately, but we were not pleased.  I told the woman that her dogs were not good dog park dogs and she should not bring them there if she can't control them.  She ignored me and never apologized or put her dogs on the leash (or left the park, as she should have done after the incident).  We were the ones who left the park.  

I came home and made a sign to hang outside the park tomorrow telling people who know their dogs might be aggressive to please not take them inside the dog park.  Of course, this woman and others like her will never surmise that this admonition applies to her and her fuzzy darlings.  I wish people would observe proper dog park etiquette.  If they did, there would be far fewer problems.  That includes picking up after their dogs.  There are some people who do not pick up at all, so you're tiptoeing around piles of poop.  I think someone also needs to replace the divets left by all the terriers and other dogs that dig holes.  The terrain at our park is becoming so pitted and denuded of vegetation it's beginning to resemble the surface of the moon.  You really have to watch your step because many are hidden in the grass that's growing high as a standard schnauzer's eye due to budget restraints.  It's good way to sprain and ankle or worse.


Saw this sign on a lamp post as I was walking Peaches this morning:

LOST DOG --  Mini Datsun

 I had to laugh.  People may be looking for a small car, not a small dog.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why Rescue?

Your Petstore Pup

Author Unknown

Cherish your new pet store pup -
Stand always by his side.
Mend his ills and give him hugs
and lots of fun car rides.

Feed him well and let him run
to build his body strong.
Play with him and give him treats.
Love him his whole life long.

You'll soon become his hero.
He will not ask you for much.
He'll trade his lifelong loyalty
for your kind word and touch.

Count him among your blessings,
as you are his blessing, too,
but then please do just one thing more,
When every day is through.

Take time to look into his eyes
each night you tuck him in.
I bet you'll see reflected there,
two other pups like him.

They've never had a family,
soft bed, good food, or fun.
They live life out in a wire box -
and never get to run.

They suffer searing heat at times,
at others freezing cold,
as weeks and months and years drag by
While they are growing old.

So think about his mom and dad
who shine there through his eyes,
and remember all the mill dogs
who are paying with their lives.

If they had ever had a chance,
they'd have grown up like him, too,
with years of love to give and get
before their lives were through.

You'll never see them face to face -
Such miracles are rare -
But pray for your pup's mom and dad,
'cause someone ought to care...


Friday, August 21, 2009

Peaches has become a dog park dog.  I never thought I'd have one of those.  Daisy was too snarly and aggressive, and Bubba sometimes got grumpy with other dogs, and I feared both might instigate a fight.  Peaches is a different dog than she was five months ago.  She has really come out of her shell and evolved from her regression after Bubba's death to the fearful dog she was when I first adopted her to a confident and even sassy girl who is comfortable hanging with the packs in the park.  She still tucks her tail sometimes when large dogs or too many dogs approach her, but she's mostly fine at the park now.  

I am careful about taking her in when there are very large, boisterous dogs present because I don't want one landing on her back or injuring her in some way, and owners are consistently stupid about the sociability of their dogs and whether that dog is a good dog park citizen.  For instance, one owner with an over-exuberant full-grown standard Poodle excused its jumping up on me and snapping at my hands because it was a "puppy."  Pretty large puppy you have there, folks, and maybe some training classes are in order.  I observed it bowling over a toy breed and worried it might hurt my dog.  When I asked if their dog was likely to jump on my much smaller dog, which would be a concern with a long-spined dog like a basset, they gave me a look like I was nuts.  It's because of people like them that I'm still not sold on the whole dog park thing.  I always scope out how many dogs and the size and breed before I take Peaches inside. Most of the dogs at the park are fine, but I heard that someone brought two unaltered male pits to the park recently.  I'm sure there are pit bulls that are gentle and friendly, but Peaches won't be sharing dog park time with them.  I've just heard too many horror stories, plus a basset was viciously attacked recently by a pit bull not far from where we live.  Better safe than sorry.          

Unfortunately, when the City of Sacramento designed our new dog park, they did not consult with their target users, the dog owners themselves, for advice, so the park is too small to accommodate a separate space for smaller or more timid dogs.  They didn't provide a poop bag dispenser, so dog walkers hung baggies on the fence for those who don't bring their own.  At first they kept the gate at the back of the park locked, but now it has been left open so there's an escape hatch, if needed.  None of Sacramento's dog parks are larger than two acres, and that's a space that can quickly fill up with dogs...and poop, if owners don't scoop, and many don't.  But we're glad just to have one so close to home.  Another one is planned in the next year in the nearby neighborhood where we lived when Butterscotch was alive.  I wish there had been dog parks back then.  She would have been the best dog park dog of all.  Butter never met a dog or person she didn't like or who didn't like her.  Such a wonderful, beautiful girl.  She was the first and the best.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

During the interview on 60 Minutes last Sunday, did anyone at any time hear Michael Vick say he was sorry?  I heard a lot of concern voiced for the damage to his career and for his family. What about the dogs, Mike?  Even when asked point blank about the dogs by the interviewer, he did not express any remorse for what he did to the dogs.  His only response was, "It was wrong."  Well, yes, we already know that.  You're stating the obvious.  It made me sick watching the footage of the break-in at Bad News Kennels and what they found there, the bloodstains and traumatized dogs.  Disgusting!

It will be interesting to see how long Vick stays involved with the animal welfare group who is helping to gloss over his tarnished public image and if he continues with his highly publicized community service efforts once he gets back in the game.  He did his brief, slap-on-the wrist sentence for the cold-blooded torture and butchering of these unfortunate animals--Don't serial killers get started that way?--but in my estimation, it seems disingenuous and is obviously intended as nothing more than damage control for his reputation and career.   I do not believe that he does not care about the game, as he professed.  Nor has he any real feeling or empathy for animals.  How could he possibly and do what he did?  Sorry, Vick.  No sale here.  I believe you are and will always be bad news for animals. 


Sunday, August 16, 2009


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You, too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

~Take a moment today to be thankful for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.

Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without our critters.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guitar legend, Les Paul, died today at age 94.  If my dad were still alive, he'd be broken-hearted.  He always aspired to play like Les and also Chet Atkins.  I used to play around and fiddle with the knobs on Dad's 1954 Fender Telecaster when I was little.  Sadly, he sold it (gave it away) for a mere $150 years ago.  It's worth around $25,000 today.  Glad he doesn't know that, either.  

Here's Dad's and my favorite song, "How High the Moon," performed by Les Paul and then wife, Mary Ford.  


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009



Some things you never forget, no matter how long ago they happened.  It's been 22 years today since we lost 

our first beautiful basset hound, Butterscotch Sunday to gastric bloat.  It's common in deep-chested breeds like bassets.  She survived the first two attacks but not the third.  This afternoon I visited her memorial brick in the courtyard at Gracie's Adoption Center at the Sacramento SPCA and placed a flower beside her name.  

Butter was the only basset we have ever purchased from a breeder, and she had a very fine pedigree, which was not as diluted in the 1970s as many bloodlines are now.  I still remember the Sunday in April we went to see our first litter of basset hound puppies.  Her dam, Buckwheat, was as beautiful, sedate and sweet as Butter was to become.  Butter was the only one of the litter that came over to us.  She fell asleep in my little brother's lap.  We'd been chosen.  We named her Butterscotch Sunday because of the swirl of butterscotch coloring on her back and the fact that we brought her home on a Sunday.  

Though I have not purchased another dog from a breeder since her, I have to admit that of all the dogs we've had, she had the best conformation and the most even and reliable temperament of any of them.  Even our beloved Bubba became cantankerous in his dotage, but I blame the arthritis pain he endured.  It's enough to make anyone snarly.  Butter would never have bitten a flea, though.  

On this dog day in August I'm always reminded of the line in the song, Mr. Bo Jangles.  After 20 years, she still grieves.   


Friday, August 07, 2009

  Here are some photos of Peaches' and my recent trip to Lake Tahoe.