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Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

Through unknown circumstances and perhaps some odd twist of six degrees of separation, I’m on a hate-e-mail list of people opposed to the Iditarod sled dog race held annually in Alaska – and of sled dog racing in general.

Members of this hate group have sent me, and more than 100 other people on “the list,” approximately 300 e-mails in the past two weeks asking me to stop sponsoring and/or supporting the Iditarod.

For the record, I assure everyone publicly I’ve never made a financial contribution to the Iditarod or any of its participants. Although the event sounds like a fun one – and, if pushed, I may have to go to Alaska just to watch. Perhaps this hate-group could send me cash for airfare and hotel accommodations so I can travel 2,000 miles to witness first hand the sled dog racing atrocities and the bottomless pit of suffering the dogs are put through, which I allegedly support.

It’s also important to note that I’ve never even made a positive comment to a sled dog race team owner. Not so much as a pat on the back or a hearty, “Well done” have slipped from my lips to anyone who harnesses dogs to a sled and commences mushing. That’s not because I have anything against the Iditarod. Afterall all, I’ve never even watched the race on TV, let alone EVEN MET a musher or his/her mushees.

Notably, there’s a storied history of sled dogs and how the phenomena started as well as its popularity today. I’m not going to provide the link here, however, because in doing so someone in the hate group might view it as supporting the activity, which I don’t – although I’m leaning more toward that side of the fence after reading up on the hobby.

I will, however, post the form letter I’ve received via e-mail some 300-plus times (see below).  It’s ironic, isn’t it, that those professing my sponsorship and abuse of sled dogs are abusing my e-mail address to convey a point in which I’ve now sided with their very opposition (almost)…to a point (because I have not, nor plan to make a financial contribution or send a shout out to any sled dog owner).

I might pet a dog though, once they’re done with their work day.

What’s more ironic to me is that within the United States, 1 in 50 children are homeless every day. Let’s not even think about how many of these children didn’t eat a meal last night or didn’t get a goodnight kiss from their mom or dad, because mom and/or dad work two jobs and still must decide whether to pay rent or buy groceries. And let’s not factor in the clear and present danger that exists when these children go to school each day, unable to learn at their full capacity because they are running on empty, wearing clothes found in the garbage and getting short-shrifted by teachers who view them as lost causes.

Yeah, instead, let’s put our money and interests on the abused sled dogs of America because, as we all know, dogs should receive far better treatment than do our own children. Dogs deserve to be placed on the doggie pedestal and revered from afar. Kids are resilient. They’ll bounce back from adversity. Dogs, though, they deserve much, much more.

Note from hate-group e-mailer (N. Pennington in Seattle, WA). Pennington has no idea who I am or why she is e-mailing me. Moreover, she has no proof that I’ve supported sled dog racing or the Iditarod.

Dear Iditarod Supporter:
Please end your organization’s support of the Iditarod dog sled race. For the dogs, this event is a bottomless pit of suffering. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 136 dogs have died in the race. No one knows how many dogs die after this tortuous ordeal or during training. For more facts about the Iditarod, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://www.helpsleddogs.org.

Sincerely,
N. Pennington
Seattle, WA 98136

Thanks N. Pennington from Seattle, WA.  Your points are so heartfelt and human that I almost wish I cared. I’m sure that right in your own backyard of Seattle some homeless, starving child with no dad and a mother strung out on meth is wishing he or she could join your cause and make a difference in the life of just one sled dog. Why not start recruiting now? My guess is the line of petitioners would grow if you just offered a hot meal and a cot in a warm, dry garage.

Those of you interested can catch coverage of the Iditarod on Versus.

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Clipping Claws

I’ve learned from past experience that de-clawing cats often render them psychologically useless.

SawyerWhen I purchased my cat from the Humane Society, he was nearly a year old and I decided to let him keep his claws even though he’s purely a house cat. I clip his claws frequently and he seems to like it. He purrs. I clip. Not all cats are like Sawyer. I’m certain that as a stray kitten, he was raised by a dog. The result includes several dog traits like licking anything and everything, playing fetch, and barking (OK, I made that last one up). But he is very dog-like.

And loyal.

I think he knows I could have had him de-clawed, but chose not to and for that he likes me…for that and also because I feed him.

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Today was the last day of the Great Minnesota Get Together. My son and I ventured out to the fair for a few hours. You can view the photographic results  here…

Fun Haus
Since part of my last name is included in this sign from a Midway exhibit at the state fair, I was compelled to include it. No, we didn’t venture inside.

Godzilla

The Reptile exhibit entrance.  Here my son shows who’s bigger.  The snakes inside the booth, however, could have eaten both of us whole and not even burped.

Pronto Pup

Our first stop for fair food. This vendor calls them “pronto pups.”  They’re more commonly known as corn dogs. With mustard and ketchup they are fantastic!

Slide

We didn’t slide down the super slide, but we ate our cheese fries at the red picnic table in the lower right corner. It was reported that Fergie, who performed earlier in the week at the Grandstand, promptly puked after sliding down this attraction. The owner/operator, however, said that was only a rumor.

Cheese

Cheese curds. It’s basically deep fried cheese pieces. Probably colby. We passed on the curds this year.

Skyride

Ahhh, the Sky Ride. It’s a gondola ride that travels east/west across the length of the fair grounds. It delivered us to the entrance to the Midway where we promptly blew $40 on tickets to toss balls and rings resulting in several prizes, including a Family Guy “Stewie” stuffed doll.

Taco

I’ll end with this taco stand. Taco King has been at the state fair for almost as long as I’ve been on earth. I imagine their shells are a little dry.

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Today in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, (Minnesota’s first newspaper), a reporter wrote his personal account of being bitten on the arm by an unleashed dog, whose owner promptly put the dog in a car and refused to provide a name or any other form of information.

You can read the whole story here, but the long and the short of it is the dog and owner were both scoundrels, having been recently evicted from their rental home and on their way out of the city – no doubt to escape prosecution for crimes yet to be discovered.

Dog SignThe reporter ended up with no information, no help from local police or animal control in finding the guilty dog and owner, and, ultimately, having to endure a series of rabies shots – more than a dozen shots in all during a four week period.

All because of a dog prone to biting. An animal.

And, people, while I like pets, let’s face it: Animals are animals. They have tiny little animal brains the likes of which can be trained to do incredible tricks like play dead and roll over. Couple that with their natural instincts to protect, defend and conquer the things that they feel intimidate them and things like dog bites happen. Just ask the dog caretaker of actor Ving Rhames. Oh wait, you can’t. Those dogs apparently attacked and killed their caretaker on Sunday. Brutal.

So while I like animals and respect them, I also understand that I’m human and they are…well…four-legged creatures. That places me higher up on the evolution ladder last time I checked.

To all pet owners letting their unleashed dogs run in public places: If I’m walking along the street minding my business and your dog suddenly decides I look like a bowl full of Chuck Wagon, I will do everything in my power to immediately bring doggie’s sweet and easy life to a quick end. You see I’m averse to getting multiple needle sticks in my ass and around puncture wounds caused by an animal bite. I’d much rather an autopsy be performed on your beloved animal’s tiny little dead dog brain to determine its rabidness. That’s just the price you’ll be paying.

Leash up your animals. Let’s all enjoy our pets in a world of peace and harmony, not dog attacks.

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