by liberal japonicus
Regular commenter wonkie posted this and I wanted to lift it to the front page. She wrote:
My dog rescue book has just become available on Amazon. It’s the story of the rescue of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs—the largest dog rescue to be carried out without support of local authorities. It's is a story of assaults, protests, lawsuits,and small town corruption and abuse of power. I took me two years to write. The text includes the police files released under state law, eye witness accounts, lots of photos, and additional essays by professional dog behaviorists. All proceeds will be donated to the rescues that took in the surviving dogs.
She said that the proceeds will go to
Safe Haven in Nevada (facebook)
Lionel’s Legacy in California
Gentle Giants in New Jersey
Chicagoland Eskie Rescue
AARF in Seattle
and others if there is more money. Buy the book, check out the websites.
Below the fold, stories about my pets and in the comments, you are encouraged to talk about your pets.
Our family's first dog, I don't remember, my mom told me something about it biting or something and having to be put down. I never got the full story, but it is a useful reminder of how locked down things were 40 years ago, I guess.
My dog was one called Princess (I'm sure I didn't name her) a half collie, half Kerry Blue Terrier. Looked a lot like Dennis the Menace's dog Ruff. Princess was a constant presence, a quiet dog that seemed to happily follow me around. Hated thunder and her only vice was killing moles, that terrier gene pool coming to the fore. A week after I left for university, she passed away, and my mom waited till I had gotten back home, maybe around thanksgiving.
Pretentious thoughts, I'm sure, but this is what comes to mind:
As they spoke, a dog who was lying there lifted his head
and pricked up his ears. It was Argos, Odysseus’ dog;
he had trained him and brought him up as a puppy, but never
hunted with him before he sailed off to Troy.
In earlier times the young men had taken him out
with them to hunt for wild goats and deer and hares,
but he had grown old in his master’s absence, and now
he lay abandoned on one of the heaps of mule
and cattle dung that piled up outside the front gates
until the farmhands could come by and cart it off
to manure the fields. And so the dog Argos lay there,
covered with ticks. As soon as he was aware
of Odysseus, he wagged his tail and flattened his ears,
but he lacked the strength to get up and go to his master.
Odysseus wiped a tear away, turning aside
to keep the swineherd from seeing it, and he said,
“Eumaeus, it is surprising that such a dog,
of such quality, should be lying here on a dunghill.
He is a beauty, but I can’t tell if his looks
were matched by his speed or if he was one of those pampered
table dogs, which are kept around just for show.”
Then, in response to his words, Eumaeus, you said,
“This is the dog of a man who died far away.
If he were now what he used to be when Odysseus
left and sailed off to Troy, you would be astonished
at his power and speed. No animal could escape him
in the deep forest once he began to track it.
What an amazing nose he had! But misfortune
has fallen upon him now that his master is dead
in some far-distant land, and the women are all too thoughtless
to take any care of him.
(translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Though Princess was my dog, she was also the family's dog, and in junior high school, my brother felt he had to have a dog of his own. Probably a trick of memory, but it seems that when my brother was thinking that, a stray dog appeared, a red retriever. My brother called it Roché. We took it in and had it for a few months when it suddenly disappeared. Not sure how, but shortly after, another red retriever turned up, my brother names it Rusty. Personality-wise, Rusty was the opposite of Princess, not at all quiet, a dog that wanted to go play and would jump up on you. I have wondered how much my brother and my personalities were shaped by these dogs.
We also had cats. I was a junior in high school when my best friend found a kitten and brought it to our place. Despite being a kitten, it entered the house and walked around like it owned the place and we ended up keeping it. Called it Ophelia cause I was reading Hamlet at the time. Ophelia had a very strange relationship with Rusty, she would go pick a fight with some other cat, and then get Rusty to tear out and terrorize the other cat. They both grew old together and Rusty used to grab Ophie by the head and drag her around the carport while Ophie would just lie there, not moving.
Opie was the instigator of a memorable event, my dad was giving Ophie a lot of shit one evening, to the point where Ophie was making those low growling sounds that cats make when they are pissed. My mom told my dad he better stop, and he said 'it's just a stupid cat' or words to that effect. The next morning, we work up to the sound of my dad cussing a blue streak. We all go to see what's up and find out that Ophie had gone and shat in every pair of my dad's shoes. A valuable lesson in intransigence.
When I went to uni, I picked up another cat, my roommate's cat had kittens and she was able to give away all the cats but one, a cat whose fur couldn't decide if it was tortoiseshell or black. The cat could sleep on my shoulder while I practiced my horn. I named it Bags, (I was listening to Milt Jackson a lot, whose nickname was Bags) Got on a Hindemith kick, which freaked Bags out (she'd run around the room whenever I played something by him) so I brought him back to my family's house where she established a truce with Ophie, but never was happy that Rusty was around. All three of them died of old age within a month of each other, about when my brother went to university.
Here in Japan, my younger daughter really wanted a pet. She would have preferred a dog, but size of the house and other considerations made that impossible, so we got two kittens that were sisters. One was a tabby that looked like a small version of Ophie, the other was a black and white with a little hitler mustache. My wife named the black and white one Omoo, because she looked like an omusubi onigiri (riceball wrapped in seaweed) and named the other one Typee with both names from Melville. I had images that they would be like my previous cats, who didn't mind being picked and would happily sit in your lap. I also imagined they would get along. Not. Omu doesn't seem to be very smart and really has it out for her sister. Typee is happy to let Omoo do any dirty work and then follow along. They both refuse to be picked up by me, though Typee will happily lie next to my younger daughter while she does homework.
Any stories about your pets? feel free to put them in the comments. and buy wonkie's book!