51st: Wear not your clothes foul, ripped or dusty, but see that they be brushed once every day, at least, and take heed that you approach not to any uncleaness.
Today's Search Engine queries:
I'VE BECOME KYLE'S MOM*
14 October 2004
Note to self: Never go to the dog park right after school, when there are likely to be students there with their dogs.
I left the park feeling eyes burning into my back. I was certain the two girls standing under the tree with their pit bull were telling each other that I was a "big fat bitch."
We've had our first negative dog park experience, and it was not dog-related. I had lots of work to do earlier in the day, so it wasn't until mid-afternoon that we finally got down to the park. Just shortly after school let out.
There were two girls and a pit bull standing under a tree. The girls put the dog on a leash and asked if Sheila was friendly. I assured them that she was very friendly. I noticed that when the girls had entered the park, they had left the gate open, and I commented about that. They walked away because they were busy with their cell phone.
The pit bull (henceforth known as the pb--I don't want to name her for fear someone who should not will read this) and Sheila wagged tails and Sheila walked away. I threw the ball for her for a few times, but it was one of those "run after the ball half-heartedly and never return it" days. The pb would trot after her and at one point they got into the ritual butt sniffing that all dogs do.
The girls immediately began yelling at their dog: NO!!! BAD DOG!!! STOP IT RIGHT NOW. They pulled her off of Sheila and she hid behind their legs.
Aside: It always amazes me how upset normal dog behavior makes some people. Butt-sniffing is the doggie equivalent of the handshake and while it's not something we tend to do as a general rule when we first meet a stranger, it is perfectly normal for a dog--in fact it's almost a necessity. (It's in all the canine etiquette books.) Yet, some people get freaked out when they see nose touching anal region.
Humping is also a normal dog trait. Most of the time, especially with dogs who have been spayed, it's dominance thing, not a sex thing Some dogs do get a bit fixated on it, but the reaction of the humans is always comical. As if Long Dog Silver was plying his trade right there in the middle of the dog park. I've heard people scream "No, Fido. Stop that. You dirty dog!" Well, Fido isn't a dirty dog. He's just...a dog.
Many times Fido might even be a female dog trying to display her dominance (Sheila does not do that). But if it makes you uncomfortable, move the dog away--don't make a scene, confuse the dog, and make the him feel bad for doing something that is perfectly normal in dog world.
Anyway, the teeny boppers managed to break up the disgusting butt sniffing and the dogs went on their way again. The girls continued to talk on the cell phone.
Then came The Moment.
After a lot of parallel play, he dogs decided to play together. They began playing like Sheila and Kimba do. They would take turns crouching down, butt in the air, in a "come play with me" invitation. Then they would run toward each other, raise up on their hind legs and bat at each other with their front paws. Tails were wagging, ears were up, both were looking very happy, but they were growling....or vocalizing as one dog owner likes to call it, of her very "vocal" dog.
One girl handed her cell phone to the other girl and shouted at her pb:
NO!! NO!!! STOP IT!!
I pointed out that they weren't fighting, they were just playing. She glared at me.
Then she grabbed her dog around the stomach and lifted her up into the air, legs flailing. The dog then really began growling in earnest and Sheila was trying to see what was wrong, when the girl turned to me and screamed
WILL YOU GET CONTROL OF YOUR DOG!!!!
I decided that this just wasn't going to work. I got the leash and took Sheila out of the park. I turned to the girls and said "If you're going to bring your dog to a dog park to play, you should let her play."
They shouted something to me about Sheila as I was leaving, but I didn't turn around to see what it was.
So I went home feeling like Kyle's Mom--with two girls left behind thinking that I was a big fat bitch.
Obviously I need to find my own people and not try to mix with the teeny boppers. My tolerance level for this sort of behavior has evaporated.
Short Attention Span Theatre
What show was it that had Short Attention Span Theatre? I can't remember. I was thinking about that this morning as I went through my list of daily journal reads.
I was thinking back to Al of Nova Notes (who hasn't updated since August). Al once wrote a list of his guidelines for writing a journal entry that would be widely read. I always remembered that he had a specific outline that he followed and that one of his points was to make the paragraphs short.
I began to look at my own journal-reading habits and discovered that the journals I was more apt to read daily/regularly were the ones with short paragraphs. The ones I only read "occasionally," even if the writers were excellent, were the ones with screen-length paragraphs.
I don't know why that is. I guess it's because we have become the fast food generation. We like our meals--and our journals--quick and easy to digest. Well written, but long paragraph journals are the high fiber of the journaling community. Good for you, fulfilling, satisfying--but sometimes too much trouble to chew.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
From the my e-mail:
One man's desert is another man's oasis "Here
is a soldier stationed in Iraq,