Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pub Chatter #139

Dog Blog #5

     We are coming to the end of our first week with Hope and her puppies. Everybody is beginning to get settled in. The puppies have begun to explore the entire backyard and produced some amazing sights. Yesterday evening Snoop, our 120 pound Malamute lay down on the patio and let all the puppies swarm on top of him. He really is a gentle giant. Hope is a little less anxious beginning to play Snoop. Getting that much dog wrestling around the living room gets a little loud.

     HyDee loves having dogs her size running around the yard even if they do pull her beard. All seven pups at once is still a bit much for her taste. She uses a whiskey barrel planter as a fortress against the swarming horde. That won’t last long. In another week they will be able to climb in too.

     We are seeing personalities begin to emerge as the puppies get acclimatized to their new surroundings. We are going to be writing bio’s for each of them in the near future to give prospective parents an idea of what to expect. Taking a puppy into your home involves work, commitment, and some expense. I say that not to deter people, but to prepare them because it is the dog that ultimately pays the price for their human’s unpreparedness.

     Dogs are not something a person can morally toss away when the novelty wears off or because they become too much work. They are living, feeling, creatures that form strong attachments to their people. They meet you at the door and miss you when you leave. They will love you when you aren’t very lovable; comfort you when you are blue. Every day they earn their title as man’s best friend.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pub Chatter #138

     I judge people every day; it’s my job. If you happen to be the sickest person in the Emergency Room, you may welcome my judgment. I am the triage nurse. Who gets care first is my decision so I damn well better have good judgment, lives depend on it. I am not swayed by race, religion, or beauty. I am prejudice in favor of the very young and the very old and have no trouble sleeping with that. I judge, but I do not condemn.

     Those who say they do not judge are either willfully ignorant or liars. Life is a series of judgments that we must live with forever. Our greatest failures and greatest successes are direct outcomes of our ability to discern and act on our judgment. It is when we allow our judgment to sanction condemnation that we have overstepped our humanity in favor of self-proclaimed divinity.

     Personal liberty is the freedom to formulate our own judgments and decide our own values. Unless we are willing to allow each person to do the same, no one is free. I am a gray-headed, fat, white male. You may look at me and think, “Freaking geezer.” You are welcome to do so. Furthermore, you are not required to throw your arms around me and embrace my geezer-hood. When you deny me the right to be a freakin’ geezer or deride me for my choice, you are not judging--you are condemning me for not adhering to your idea of what a person should be.

     This means we do not have to believe alike, look alike, or act alike. We do not have to like people who are not like us. However, we must allow one another the freedom to be who we chose to be. The polarized factions in our society live to condemn, demean and ridicule others as a means of climbing to the top of the moral scale.

     I leave you with a thought from C.S. Lewis. He wrote that a good man knows how bad he is and the better the man, the more clearly he sees his own faults. An evil man thinks he is perfectly okay.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pub Chatter #137

Dog Blog #4

   Great day on the foster front. Puppies got their shots and everybody did well with the trauma of it all. Next up--microchips. The puppies are venturing farther from the house, climbing the rock wall around the patio, exploring the garden spots and using the automatic watering bowl. The entire group is beginning to form bonds. HyDee has adopted one pup and runs from the rest. The little black pup has chosen Snoop as a surrogate father and playmate. We were especially glad to see Miss Hope and titan touch noses today. That was a big step forward.

     Miss Hope went to see the vet today. She has been extremely anxious since she arrived. The anxiety seems to be triggered by the sound of passing cars. As the crow flies, we live about a half mile from State Hwy 3 and when she is outside the almost constant sound of traffic causes here to race back and forth across the yard. It’s like pacing at flank speed. Cars passing on the street outside our house escalate the behavior even further. We have encouraged her to sit next to us and supplied a generous amount of petting and love. The last few nights Hope has been sleeping on a dog bed next to Faye to help socialize her. I don’t think her previous home environment or foster care stop was very good situations for her or the pups, but Hope is showing it most of all. She was started on doggie trazodone today and we can already see improvement.

     With continued love and attention, she is going to make somebody a great companion. I think she could be a champion Frisbee or agility dog. She is quicker than an illegal border crosser. We would like to do some on leash training and maybe take her to a quiet parking lot to desensitize her to cars. Slowly but surely she is learning house manners. We have a doggie door and to my knowledge, she has never had an accident in the house. All that and a good looker too.

     Have your pet spayed or neutered. Don’t buy, adopt.    

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pub Chatter #136

Dog Blog #3

   I discovered today that Missy’s real name is Hope. I’m going to call her Miss Hope. She did great yesterday allowing me to insert her microchip. Today, we gave her some calming treats today as anxiety seemed to be getting the better of her. Snoop decided to help and engaged her in some roughhousing that sounded like thunder in our little living room. We are working hard to get her to just sit still beside us for some petting.

     Some of the pups are getting better at that too. We took pictures today to send to Journey Home Rescue. I will be posting these shots and some short bio’s here a few at a time. I hear they will be ready for adoption near the end of February. They are weaned and putting on weight every day. It’s not surprising. They attack the food dishes like CNN reporters after a Trump tweet. They still have to get their chips and puppy shots before being adoption ready. 

     HyDee, overcome by curiosity, let the puppies up close today. She decided their bouncing and tail wagging meant to play. Being a Schnauzer, barking is an essential part of everything HyDee does. The puppies were a little put off by the noise but continued to chase after her. Snoop came up with a new game for the puppies in which he tries to pick them up and when they roll over and submit---he wins. I’m surprised at how gentle he is with them. He is a bit of a klutz. Titan and Sam give the wiggling, scratching kids a wide berth. There is just too much energy in those tiny packages.

     Tomorrow---puppy shots by Nurse Jack.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pub Chatter #134

Dog Blog #2

   Today we made progress getting the puppies settled in and establishing a routine for feeding and outside time. Everyone was more at ease. The puppies took time to enjoy the yard and chase the older dogs around. One pup got up the courage to bounce up to Snoop and try to get the big guy to play. Snoop was a good sport and very gentle with the puppies. Our other three dogs are still not sure about the wiggling, little nippers with razor sharp teeth and claws like needles.

     Tomorrow is picture day. The puppies will get individual pictures and numbers. It’s tempting to name them as personalities are emerging, but we have to stick with numbers for now. They will get their forever names when they are adopted. In the days ahead we will be sharing with you the personalities we see.

     The puppies have their own room in the house with a piece of plywood blocking the open doorway. Today we had our first puppy escape. I was surprised by the culprit. My money was on the little black pup who had already demonstrated climbing abilities. But, the winner was a little dapple male. He has scaling the wall down to about 30 seconds. We had to raise the bar. So far, no more escapes.  

     More puppy pictures to come. Meanwhile, please like Journey Home Rescue on Facebook and keep following Missy and her puppies progress.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pub Chatter #135

Dog Blog #1

     Faye and I have set out on an adventure. We are fostering a mama dog named Missy and her seven, count ‘em, seven puppies in conjunction with Journey Home Rescue. Missy and the pups arrived on Sunday night just a day after the adoption of our own rescue dog, Snoop.

     Snoop is a 120 pound Alaskan Malamute. He’s just over a year old. He’s had a few run-ins with the law for escaping his yard and exploring on his own. Nevertheless, he’s a good boy, full of energy and loves to play. I do need to find him a new chew toy. My hands are worn out. I think he has managed to trod on everyone’s toes at least once so far. He doesn’t seem to realize how big he is until he wants something and puts all his weight into pushing for it.

    Missy and her pups arrived last night from Portland. After a brief introduction to our backyard, they came to dinner. Now, we have a couple of real chowhounds of our own, but the seven prong attack on the pups food dish put them to shame. One little one finding now room to get her head into the dish simply climbed on top of the pile and bored down from above. She ends up standing in the bowl.

     The big dogs haven’t quite figured out what to do with the wiggling, wagging balls of fluff. Sam is ignoring them as long as they stay away from his place on the couch. Snoop barks and wants to play with them. The huge Malamute bouncing around her pups terrifies Missy. Titan seems rather bored with the whole process. HyDee is confused. She’s torn between the fascination with having others her size and apprehension over their constant swarming energy.

      Missy is a sweet dog. She loves attention and is high energy. She looks to me like an Aussie Shepherd/Whippet comb. We tried a baby gate to block a door and give her and the pups their own space. Missy immediately jumped over it and announced that for her next trick she’d like do something difficult.

   It’s been a full day, to say the least. Baths for seven stinky puppies was the second order of the day. The first? Well, we all know how cute puppies are, but the thing new puppies owners quickly come to find out is that puppies are pooping, peeing machines. Kennel patrol is a continuous process. Like with all children the most wonderful time of the day is when they are all taking a nap. Like now, ahhhh, peace and quiet.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pub Chatter #133

   There was a bit of an uproar in my little hometown this week. The owner of a local consignment shop was asked to sell an authentic WWII Nazi flag. I don’t know if she was being mindful of the recent flap over a shop owner’s right to do business or not do business with whom they please. It’s a moot point really since the government has declared itself the final arbiter of business decisions. Anyway, whatever her feeling may be, she put the flag on a sale display which resulted in death threats and an avalanche of wounded snowflake feelings.

     Somehow the very people who would force a shop owner to display a rainbow flag over the owner’s objections have no qualms about requiring a shop owner to refuse to sell a Nazi flag. Am I the only one to see how hypocritical this is? Hypocrisy aside, such reasoning demonstrates a clear deficit of logical thought.

     Although I have not personally examined the flag, pictures and reports indicate this is no nylon, mass-produced flag suitable for a KKK rally. It is likely a war souvenir brought home by a WWII veteran. Some people have said it belongs in a museum. That’s probably true, however, there is a large, profitable market for WWII memorabilia and serious collectors are not squeamish about which side the artifact came from. Buyers and sellers are marketing historical collectibles, not political ideologies or racial hatred.

    The sad part of all this is that there are so many pampered, weaklings looking for something to offend them so that they may exalt their victimhood. This kind of attitude seeks only to feed the ego and elicit sympathy where none is due.

     I stand for the Stars and Stripes. I served in the military that flew it. I am known to salute the Stars and Bars too. The US is the greatest country world and I’m proud to be American. It is honesty that compels me to admit that ours is not the banner of sainthood. I believe that men have pillaged, murdered and even committed genocide, under that banner. But, it’s my banner and if it offends you, too damn bad. That flag is still a symbol of freedom in a land where business owners once had the right to do with their businesses as they willed.

     Oh, by the way, does anybody know if that Nazi flag is still for sale?