Friendship Circle

Our recently departed cat Boink and our dog Shadow enjoying some couch time together.


Sun on the couch.

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says… Join the Dogwalkers’ Hall of Shame

This sign in the yard of a neighbor* begs the question: just how trainable are the owners?


Hmm. Recorded. Camera?

* For the record, I have lived here 10 years but never met nor seen this neighbor, who kept a ROMNEY/RYAN sign in the yard for several months after the November election.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Steps to An Hilarious Video

Sorry to say you’ll have to make your own video, or picture it in your head. Whenever I grab the camera the moment is over.

  1. Acquire a dog who likes cats.
  2. Introduce kittens to the dog.
  3. Repeat 2) until kittens cease to hiss at dog.
  4. Make dog happy (praise, pats, treats – it’s all good).
  5. Dog wags tail.
  6. Kittens play with the wagging tail.
    • One hangs off a table, batting alternate paws at the tail: left right left right.
    • One moves its head in sympathetic rhythm: back forth back forth back forth.
    • One grabs at the tail, which alerts dog to the tail play, which concludes the session. (Dog fears kitten claws.)

What Is It About Dogs and Skunks?

Our dog got sprayed again the other day, chasing a skunk in our backyard again. I can’t decide whether she…

a) still does not understand the connection between chasing the skunk and getting sprayed?

b) thinks the risk is worth the reward?

c) likes the smell?

d) likes to get that special bath?

I’m pretty certain the answer is not d), given how little she likes baths.

The last time she got sprayed, I was covered in it by the time we figured out why she was foaming at the mouth. In line at the grocery store, people around me were sniffing the air and saying, ‘smells like burning tires.’ Heh.

A couple days later, I was still emitting eau d’skunk in the 110 degree room of a Bikram yoga class. Turns out the instructor was one of those one in a billion who loves the smell. (Dog in previous life?) This, however, did not make me less of a pariah during the class. But for once I got the floor space I deserve.

Many Thanks to the NK Movement

In southern California, at least, it can be a brutal experience to go to an animal shelter, where overcrowding gives the residents a scant few days to live. I had last been to a shelter a decade ago, after one of our cats vanished. (We never found her.) I went last weekend because it was time to add more cats to the family. I wish I could have rescued all of the horrifyingly vast number of 5-, 10-, 15-year old dogs and cats I saw there, who have no clue how their lives took this terrible turn – and who have so little hope of adoption.

The death camp atmosphere in the shelters is not as pronounced as it was a decade ago. I believe that is thanks to the large number of dedicated shelter volunteers – who offset the effects of budget cuts – and because of a grassroots, growing, no-kill movement. There are folks who provide foster homes to dogs, cats, rabbits, and others, to buy them more time than the shelters can give them. In fact, some of the animals stay in foster homes for years. There have always been foster homes but the number and the network of them has increased considerably over the last decade. Another populist movement to appreciate!

Thank you to all the foster homes!