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This Day in My History


George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

72nd:   Speak not in an unknown tongue in company, but in your own language and that as those of quality do and not as the vulgar.  Sublime matters  treat seriously.


Yesterday's Entries

2000: Things I know Very Little About
2001:
 Getting to the Bottom of Things
2002:  Living by the Numbers
2003:  Age of Aquarius


CURRENTLY READING

Trace by Patricia Cornwell
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


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"KEEP-AWAY"

5 November 2004

It's been pointed out in many journals and blogs that people get the government they deserve.  That may indeed be true, but I sure wish the 52% of you who voted for this government wouldn't make the rest of us have to deal with it too.

The only bright spot, if there is one, is that Bush is going to have to clean up his own mess and Kerry won't get the blame for any of it.

As for me, I'm happily part of the solution that this guy has figured out.   (Thanks, Mary!)

* * *

Sheila had the best time she's ever had at the dog park the other day.

We just missed Amber, the basset hound, who moves amazingly fast for someone of her size and shape, and built so low to the ground.   I love watching her race around the park, and then stop by the water bowl, her ears immersed in water as she gets a quick drink.

Amber and her owner were just getting into their car when we arrived.

When Sheila and I reached the park, it was empty.  But I had my trusty, indispensable "chuck-it" with me and began tossing tennis balls for Sheila.  Gone again are the days of actually retrieving balls.  We're back to playing "fetch-tag."  Fetch-tag is when I toss the ball, she runs after it, picks it up, drops it and then I go and fetch it to throw it for her again.

I repeat:  I am poochie-whipped.

At one point, I happened to glance in the garbage can and discovered a discarded tennis ball.  This ball had been chewed by some other dog and ripped open, which was why it had been discarded.  I know Sheila well enough by now to know that she would rather have this kind of ball than a brand new tennis ball, so I pulled it out of the garbage can and began throwing it for her.   She was delighted and began carrying the old tennis ball around with her.

Eventually, Marley arrived.

Marley is an 8 month old Australian shepard-Lab mix, though he looks as much like an Aussie as Sheila does (i.e., not at all!)  He's a little bit larger than Sheila, with long curly greyish-black hair.

I'm always amazed at doggie chemistry.   There are some dogs that Sheila attacks on sight.  There are other dogs that she greets happily and then ignores.  There some dogs that she immediately races around the park with.  I am trying to put my finger on what makes the difference, and have decided it's just in the body language or the body odor or something.

There is one dog, for example, whom Sheila just hates...and that dog hates Sheila too.  They've never actually been together, but the first time the other dog passed by the fence, she must have expressed something in doggie language to Sheila, who began growling and barking and leaping at the fence.  Even long after the other dog had gone, Sheila was still barking.

"Come back here and fight like a dog," she seemed to be saying.

But Marley was different.  Marley was an instant playmate.  Sheila immediately crouched down in an invitation to play and the two of them began playing.  Sheila devised her own game of keep-away, where she would tease Marley with the tennis ball and then just as he tried to reach for it, she'd snap her head away so he couldn't get it.

He'd chase her around trying to get the ball and the two of them would run.  Then she'd lie down in front of Marley and drop the ball between her two paws.  Marley would try to get the ball and Sheila would grab it and the two of them would be off again.

Those two dogs kept that game going for a full 30 minutes.  Once in awhile, Marley would actually get the ball and then he'd let Sheila grab part of it and the two of them would play tug of war, which she has never done with any other dog.

After awhile, Sheila actually rolled over on her back and let Marley jump on her, another thing she has never done with any dog except Kimba.

It was just delightful watching the two of them play.  I was almost sorry when it was time to leave.  As it was, we stayed much longer than usual and even then, I had to convince Sheila that it was time to leave.   She didn't readily trot to the gate, the way she usually does after about 45 minutes of play.  I'm hoping we run into Marley again, and that the two of them have the same rapport next time.

On the home front, Sheila continues her good relationship with Kimba, who has both learned how to play like a dog, and is also losing weight because she's getting more exercise (and measured food instead of food-on-demand).

There is a dark side to this newly emerging Kimba, however.  She has been such a blob for so long that I'd forgotten she even had vocal cords.  When we got her, she was advertised as a Basenji mix, and I thought she wouldn't bark.  That was not the case, but now I'm longing for her Basenji roots to kick in.

When I'm in my office, Kimba lies in her little den under my desk, her head poking out onto the office floor by the door.  Sheila comes in and lies on the floor and the two of them begin their "mouth wrestling," which can go on indefinitely.

However, Kimba gets all worked up and begins to bark.  And bark.  And bark.  One shrill bark after another.  And, of course, Kimba is deaf so you can't tell her to be quiet (even if she'd listen), because she can't hear you.  And you can't be angry with her because she's just having fun.

It got so bad the other day that I decided to go out into the kitchen, knowing that the dogs would follow me.  It was my hope that a change of location would make them forget about their game and get interested in something else.

It worked.  They stopped wrestling and followed me into the kitchen while I did some cleaning or something before returning to my office.

As soon as I sat down, the game--and the shrill barking--began again.  I'm thinking of getting ear plugs to wear while I'm in here, though unfortunately most of what I'm doing in this office is transcription, so I can't really plug my ears with sound muffling substances.


Quote of the day

Somehow this seems timely:

"Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world."
                                                                                  .......Paul Monette

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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London's reaction to the election.

Comment from my friend in England:  The big irony is that Iraq and his support for Bush may well lose Blair and Labour the next election when they have done the most amazing job on home issues, employment, education, healthcare - word is even Blair wanted Bush to lose.

 

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