Saturday, January 6, 2007

POI Dog Arrivez

The new project poi is here. She did well in her crate on the way home. Supposedly she has a limp because she had surgery two months ago....I doubt that. She supposedly has papers and is an AKC Chihuahua-possible-but my best guess based on the underbite and the wrinkled brow and the curled up tail is a chug-chi-pug. Or she could just be a big chihuahua with bad teeth. I hope the smell is that she is in heat-the lady mentioned she had never been in heat. It never dawned on me until I was driving home she could even be pregnant....the perils of dog rescue revealed.

She's fairly good natured and blended well with my dogs. My dogs are bit bossy, but very social, and once I introduce an animal to the pack it is a member of the pack.

She's used to being in a house (that was a problem with Cody) and she clearly enjoys a good lap. She displayed good feeding manners.

Since I hadn't even seen a picture of her I feel pretty lucky-as she will be easy to place. She seemed to be bonded with the lady's daughter and she's sturdy enough she would be ok with kids.

I'm happy and feel like I've done a good thing. I understand completely the urge to want to have a nice dog...and maybe have a whole kennel of nice dogs to play with and earn your living that way-but isn't how it usually works in West Texas unless your hubby makes a lot of money. And I am no angel-I have made some bad dog decisions. My only criticism is that the nice lady should have spayed this girl before giving her away. She isn't fit to breed, but she's the perfect size to pair with a tiny little male and crank out puppies for the next few years with bad underbites and bad legs.

Well, not this time. This time she'll get a tune up and a lap for life. Right now she's making due in my lap and doesn't appear to be at all dismayed by the situation. The fact that from this angle she looks just like my first chihuahua Ginger is kind of nice. Ginger didn't have an overbite but she had a long, humped back and short little legs. And, as she aged, she had a limp too.

We're having a nice gentle rain and the kiddos seems to be happy just to hang out and chew their bones and in Prissy's case, shred a little toilet paper. The snakes are all basking on their logs. I guess the score for the week is minus one Mouse, plus one temporary dog.

While doing a little Poi Dog research for real, I was taken by a line that said "The Hawaiians made no differentiation between pets and dinner dogs. They would play with a dog in the morning and eat him for dinner that evening. Maybe that will be (sort of) the spirit for my Poi dogs-love them as pets and then place them in proper homes. I like the sound of that too....

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Grocery Gods have Smiled on Lakewood

I heard it on the radio. I heard it in the 7-11 store. It's all the news today-the Minyards across the street from the Lakewood Country Club is going to be torn down and in its place will rise a Whole Foods Market.

But everything has a cost. The old one, the ORIGINAL one on Lower Greenville, will be closed. I love that store. Its bohemiam flair will probably not carry over to Lakewood-at least not in front of the Country Club.

I am grateful for our Whole Foods windfall-the area really needed a decent new age grocery store. For too long we have survived on Minyards, Alberstons and the dreaded GNC for our vitamins, supplemented with weekend trips to the Farmer's Market downtown.

But Oh, Grocery Gods-what I REALLY wanted was a Trader Joes.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Eulogy for a Mouse

Mousey is no longer with us.

I purchased Romeo and Juliette in a misguided attempt to grow snake food. The cats bided their time until I went to work and quietly dismantled the cage and, I assumed ,the mice. But then I saw one little furry under the fridge, so I sat out some food until I could purchase a live trap. Unfortunately, the mouse was a noisey eater and the kitten fit in the space between the fridge and the sink......

Mousey squeaked, I shouted "don't bite don't bite" and chased the cat down, cleverly shoved my thumb down his throat and caused him to spit out the mouse, no worse for the wear. I thought it must be Juliette and I hastily built a deluxe cage out of Elvis's feeder cage and sometime in that process Juliette went from food to pet.

Only I never was sure if she was a he or vice versa-to be blunt, the creature had aspects of both. My mom said we should call it Victor/Victoria, but I always just referred to it as Mousey. Mousey got a salt lick and a new exercise wheel for Christmas. I know Mousey enjoyed that wheel to the end-at least all night last night.

But, alas, when I went to check on Mousey after tucking in the dogs, there was no movement and it was uncharacteristically curled up in the center of the cage. I did the proper post mortem, looking for wounds (although who could have wounded it?), signs of diaherrea (I fed it spring mix the other night) and lastly, starvation-there was an adequate amount of meat on the cold little bones. No trauma and no starvation, Mousey just curled up and died.

And strangely enough, I felt sad. What IS the difference between food and friend? I kill or caused to be killed 4 or more such creatures a week to feed the snakes and don't feel particularly bad about it all. In spite of being a former vegetarian, I really didn't feel guilty about eating the chicken I had for lunch. It's all a part of the cycle of life, predator, prey. But I chose Mousey for something else-friend.

Maybe that's what we all want-for someone to choose us for friend. Pikachu-I choose YOU! Maybe the difference between terrorist and hero is a matter of choice in the eye of the beholder. Yet, it somehow seems out of the natural order of things-we aren't supposed to prey on each other. (Elvis the kingsnake begs to differ and when he can type he is invited to post a rebuttal).

Mousey, I think, became friend when I snatched him from the jaws of death in the form of a mighty hunter kitten. At that moment he ceased to be an irritating livestock problem and was transformed into something that I had a connection with. In the heat of the moment I just lost my head and FELT something.

Isn't that what friendship is?

Fortunately for the snakes, it didn't transfer to all rodent kind, so there will be mouse on the menu again. But not THIS Mouse. THIS Mouse will achieve a proper trashbin burial.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Cut yourself some slack (key)

John is my cousin's cousin. I was born in Oklahoma where such a relationship makes us practically family, however John is from Hawaii and I'm unsure of what that means. What it makes ME is a fan. If you are looking for some good mellow music to relax with, or just the right accompaniment for an extended work session, check out the site.

I will warn you-it is just the right music to put you in "the zone" which can result in a quick work session turning into a day long affair. If you listen to it on a Saturday, be sure to set an alarm or have some other means to come up for air. At work, slap on the headphones and prepare yourself for an unusually productive and enjoyable experience.

Ah, I would love to wax poetic about John's music, however the sound of shredding paper leads me to believe that the kiddos have found something naughty to do.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Britney-Where's your Bit Bit?

Open letter to Britney Spears:

We've all see your snatch, but what did you do with the chihuahua you were toting around for about 3 days? Did Bit Bit get a good home? Would you let her come live with me?

You've acknowledged your, errm, shortcomings in the past few weeks. Why not come completely clean and tell about a zillion new mommies who want a cute puppy how difficult it is to have both a baby and a dog...even with a staff.

Your publicity machine is doing a wonderful job of helping you rise from the ashes. Why not tackle this issue as part of your repentance?

Monday, January 1, 2007

Puppy Mills

I am picking up a "free dog" I found on Craigslist-an unspayed AKC female chihuahua. I don't want another dog but I don't want yet another Chihuahua to be bred and bred and bred again. I will spay the dog, work on any behavior problems and hopefully find a good home for her, otherwise she'll just stay with me and the rest of the gang.

Somehow, at some point, people cross a line and go from a hobby breeder to being a full blown puppy mill. I don't think the majority of these people set out with sinister purposes but they don't necessarily think through the consequences of their actions. Now, my point is not to defend these folks, but just to casually wonder if labeling them all as villians is the best way to get through to them? Could we not show them a better way? Is there some way to reward a breeder for following proper and humane practices?

Maybe there should be some sort of certification that the public is encouraged to look for when they shop-you know like "Look for, the Union Label".

Breeding dogs has become a business, and in order to change the practices, maybe it's time we approached it in a business like manner-with financial consequences. Simply attacking the puppy mills and publishing sad photos may not be the best way to resolve the issue.

I am not claiming to have the solution-just putting out food for thought. In the meantime, I'm going to do what one person can do-rescue one dog and make sure it doesn't create other dogs and hopefully find it a loving and forever home. I don't have PETA's budget, but I think my heart is in the right place. What do you think?