Today in My History

2000:  Back to Basics
Now What Do I Do?
Burning Woman
Hello from Singapore

2005:  Eating Humble Pie

2006: Well, that was Short & Sweet

The Music Man
Of Mice and Men

Books Read in 2007

Updated 9/13:

(a re-run, to accompany the entry)

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Mother reads "The Martian Child"
The Martian Child (trailer)
1 Voice
Rockin' Cockatoo
Iran So Far
(SNL skit)

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 10/2/07)

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DILO Sept 07


18 October 2007

"Thanks to the dogs, I can live in carefree slob-hood," Walt said to me this afternoon.

I looked around at the paper-strewn floor (both dogs love to chew on paper, Kleenex, and anything they can dig out of the garbage can). 

I laughed and asked what he meant.

"Anytime I find an empty water bottle in the car, all I do is throw it over the fence into the back yard and I don't feel guilty at all."

There is a young videoblogger named Josh Leo (heck, they're all "young videobloggers" compared to me!) who has been asking for videos of dogs playing with toys.  I started going through all of the videos of animals I've posted on the Internets over the past couple of years and realized that with only one or two exceptions (and a video of a VHS tape of Ned's then-puppies playing with ben-wa balls), I have no pictures of dogs playing with toys.

Part of the problem is that the puppies generally leave us before they are old enough to notice toys ... they are too busy playing with each other and with the big dogs to pay much attention to toys, except for brief bouts of tug-of-war.

Sheila used to play with toys.  Her favorite game was to bring us a toy to throw down the hall.  She'd bring it first to Walt and then to me, consistently alternating back and forth between us.  But two things happened to change that.

First, she discovered that even the most sturdy toys come with noisemakers and that if she tried hard enough she could tear the toy apart and remove the noisemaker (or pull all of the stuffing out of a stuffed animal) and it was a waste of money to buy her any official "toys."  (She was never interested in toys without noisemakers.)

Second, we got the Pergo floor and "running" through the house scared her.  She tended to slip and fall.  She has learned how to handle the Pergo, but she still slips from time to time and if I throw anything down the hall and any other dog is here, she just sits back and lets them do all the work.

But I also discovered that she loves plastic water bottles.  She loves the noise they make and she can flatten one in a matter of seconds.  Then she will chew on it like a baby with a teething ring.  She doesn't eat the plastic.  She just chews until the crackle is finally mostly gone, then she moves on to another bottle.  Lizzie has developed a love of plastic bottles too.  There are always flattened plastic bottles all over the house and the back yard.  Nothing makes Sheila happier than to see a water bottle in my hand.  If I happen to be drinking water she will patiently wait until I've finished and then gently take it from me and run outside with it to flatten.

It's much cheaper than replacing all the dog toys that she loses interest in so quickly!!

And, as Walt says, it makes living in "carefree slob-hood" explainable!  Well, at least where the dog toys are concerned (now if only I could use that to explain away the crap on the flat surfaces above the dogs' heads!)

Like most people who saw it, I was incredibly moved by Ellen Degeneres' tale of the dog adoption fiasco.  I was moved on several different levels.  One, because her pain seemed so raw and so real, but on another because I've seen situations which, while not exactly similar to that described by Ellen, still situations which caused pain to families wanting to adopt a dog through the local SPCA.  There are occasionally letters to the editor about how "mean" the SPCA is for refusing to let them adopt a dog they fell in love with.

I posed the question to several people in the SPCA, what their feelings about the Ellen brouhaha was and I learned things I didn't know before.  For one thing, if the kids in the family that Ellen gave the dog to get bitten by the dog, the organization from which Ellen adopted it could be sued, which could shut the organization down.   This is such a litigious society that it's not surprising that any organization in such a position would be cautious.

I have also heard many times that our SPCA wants to place the right dog with the right family, which is why there is a screening process.  While Ellen's hairdresser's family might be wonderful, it doesn't necessarily mean that it was the right home for this particular dog.

From what I've seen on the news, the way the dog was removed from the home was not sympathetic to the family, or to the children who had fallen in love with the dog and, not surprisingly, they have now apparently removed all their contact information from the internet because they were being barraged with calls and even death threats.

I love Ellen Degeneres dearly but I know there are two sides to every story, and the cynical side of me thinks that she had to know the havoc this was going to cause for the shelter.  Even though she never mentioned them by name, every newscast after her own show aired did.

Wherever the truth lies, it appears that this situation was mismanaged by everyone and the ones who are suffering are the two little girls who fell in love with little Iggy.  I hope that the furor dies down soon and everyone can go back to doing what this is all about:  finding good homes for dogs that might otherwise be put to sleep.




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