Monday, March 31, 2008

Now I Feel Like A Heel

As readers of my blog may know, I occasionally have to deal with stray or dumped dogs appearing on my doorstep. I can't believe that some people--rather than deal with unwanted puppies, old dogs, or random strays--would drive to the middle of nowhere (aka Creekistan) and just leave these dogs. Cats too. I've dealt with several such homeless potential pets that I've become a little hardened to it. I would love to take all of these animals into our home and hearts, but we simply can't.

The most recent story is of Red, a young adult mutt that almost found a home here. It started out as this wild dog appearing in the distance to play with my dog. The two dogs seemed to get a long. Eventually, Red warmed up to me and allowed me to examine him. He seemed okay to me, and we even discussed keeping him. He was a mix of a lot of things, including German Sheppherd, Lab, and possibly Pit. The Pit gave me pause. But he seemed really nice and even knew how to sit and give me his paw. Yep, someone abandoned him.

But Red fought and injured Bandit, probably over food. Any funds that might have been used to neuter Red were utilized to hospitalize our beloved Bandit. That was it for Red. I tied him up and called the Dog Warden on Monday. I called the Dog Warden on Tuesday. I called the Dog Warden on Wednesday before I went to the vet to get Bandit out of the "hospital." I had to keep Bandit in the house 24/7 in order to keep him away from Red as well as nurse him back to health. Red, in the meantime, started to think that he was ours. He started to protect the house and bark whenever someone came to visit. But he was too intimidating.

I called every day, trying to sound frustrated, sad and pathetic about having to be stuck with this stupid dog and why isn't someone coming out to get this dog that attacked my dog?

Finally on Friday the Dog Warden came and got Red. I felt bad--the kids watched as Red, tail between his legs and fighting the entire time, was taken away and put into a truck to go to one of the worst dog pounds in the state. But I was mad, too, that it took five days. The dog warden apologized profusely, and I even gave him a can of Coke, but our interaction was brief.

Then, on Saturday, I saw the headline of the weekend paper:"Dog warden injured avoiding dog." Seems that the dog warden was driving down the road and had an accident trying to avoid a stray on the road. Well, that explains why he was late. Now I feel like a heel.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #83

March 20, 2008, which would have been Mr. Rogers' 80th birthday, is being promoted as "National Sweater Day" in his honor. As a tribute, everyone should wear their best sweater next Thursday. If you have a sweater or two that you don't want or need any more, be sure to donate it.

13 Beautiful Things about Fred McFeely Rogers:

1. Mr. Rogers studied music composition in college and wrote all the music on the show.

2. In 1963, Fred was ordained a Presbyterian minister.

3. In 1969, Mr. Rogers testified in front of the Senate to help save funding for Public Television. He said that shows like his are an alternative to less positive messages on network television and encourage children to be come happy and productive citizens. By 1971, PBS funding was increased from $9 million to $22 million.

4. Mr. Rogers also testified in front of Congress, defending the use of VCRs to videotape shows. He said that by by taping shows, working parents could watch the shows with their kids at a more convenient time.

5. Koko the Gorilla was a fan of Mr. Rogers. When she met him, she gave him a big hug, and helped him take off his shoes.

6. When his car was stolen, it made news all over town. Within two days, it was returned to the exact spot it was stolen with a note reading, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

7. He was color blind--he couldn't see blue. So basically, he didn't know what he looked like with the blue sweater on.

8. All the sweaters on the show were hand-knit by his mother.

9. A red cardigan sweater belonging to Rogers hangs in the Smithsonian.

10. MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD is the longest- running program on public television. It started in 1967 and the last original episode aired in 2001.

11. In 1998, Mr. Rogers met the Dalai Lama. I can't think of two kinder men. Think of the karma in that room!

12. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, recognizing his "contribution to the well-being of children and a career in public television that demonstrates the importance of kindness, compassion and learning."

13. Mr. Rogers died in his Pittsburgh home on Thursday, February 27, 2003 after a brief battle with stomach cancer. He was 74.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #82

Thursday Thirteen: Mayhem in Creekistan

1. The 3-year-old boy that I watch 3 days a week freaked out Monday morning and didn't want to be at my place. I had to hold him down for about 20 minutes so that he wouldn't run out the door and down the street. He was kicking and screaming the entire time, and even pissed himself. I kept my cool, because I knew that no matter how stubborn he is, I'm more stubborn. He was much better on Wednesday.

2. Monday was warm outside, so I started on the gardening stuff. At least I found the shovel and the hoe. But I noticed some annuals starting to get green.

3. The spring flowers are starting to come up.

4. I'm waiting for my new digital camera to arrive. Hopefully it can take much better pictures than my old one.

5. Speaking of spring, there is an old abandoned house deep in the woods that, every spring, is completely surrounded by beautiful daffodils. We call it the Daffodil House. I'll take pictures.

6. The spring peepers (frogs) are peeping. I love the sound and will stop my car, roll down all the windows, and listen for a while.

7. I got a call from a company that I interviewed with around November last year. They are finally interested in looking to hire me, but lost my resume and want me to send it again. Do they really think I would want to work for a company that disorganized? Besides, I think I like this stay-at-home thing. At least for now.

8. I did call that company back and found out that indeed, the executive had lost my resume and contact information. He made his assistant track me down. Eventually she spoke with someone at my son's elementary school and found me.

9. I felt sad that they went through all that trouble just to find me and then I didn't want to work for them! So I'm working out a freelance/consultative agreement with them instead. Work at home and bill them the hours.

10. I've also become very busy doing postcards and posters for local arts organizations. It's fun work, but they are the toughest customers!

11. Our dog Bandit keeps bringing home deer bones and leaves them on the porch or driveway. My 3-year-old daughter grabbed my hand one day and said that I had to see something. She pointed them out and said, "Look, dinosaur bones!"

12. One day in the car, my daughter started repeating a phrase over and over. I couldn't figure it out at first. I asked her what it was and she said "Austin Powers". I finally figured out was a phrase from Austin Power's Goldmember: "Twins, Basil!"

13. We may have a new dog. One that has just been hanging out but would run away as soon as he saw people. But yesterday I was able to pet him and feed him. Bandit likes him except when I give him attention. But I think the new dog is going to stick around. I'm afraid to name him.