Friday, September 7, 2012

Back where he should be

Do you 'ear what I 'ear?  Hathaway was resting comfortably after ear surgery and tooth removal yesterday. For a little while anyway. Let's just say he hates the Cone of Shame (picture to come) and can't get comfortable in it. I have to admit it was kind of funny watching him try to navigate down steps and through doorways, but after the stress and worry of the last couple of days, I think I'm allowed a chuckle.

Anyway, a fast-growing lump was removed from his left ear. We weren't sure how much tissue they'd have to remove and cropping the ear was a possibility. Fortunately, it didn't come to that and he still has two floppy Dumbo ears.We should have biopsy results next week.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pit bulls deserve a break today

Dear McDonald's,

Wanna know what's risky? Offending pit bull owners across the country.

Social media was all a-Twitter today with the McDonald's radio ad for its new menu item. Several of the pit bull groups I follow via Facebook posted a notice as well. The radio spot says trying a new menu item at the fastfood chain isn't risky, and suggests somethings that are ... like petting a stray pit bull.

I wanted to embed the YouTube clip here, but guess what -- it's been pulled.

See, McDonald's underestimated the response not only of owners, but animal activists, rescue organizations and many others. It's pretty amazing that a company that big, didn't have one person who stood up to say "Hey, should we think about this for a minute? Getting breed-specific can be pretty touchy." We are hoping this doesn't affect the rescue efforts of the Animal Protection Center or other shelters.

The ad could have simply said, "You know what's risky? Petting a stray dog. That's risky."

Instead, they went the other way. I hope the fallout is huge and lasts a little longer than the usual outrage over stupid advertising mistakes. Responsible pit bull owners work too hard to change the image that media continues to perpetrate to have it blown with at 30-second commercial for an artery-clogging conglomerate.

Casey-Leigh Stock, an organizer with the New England Bully Breed Club, drafted a fabulous letter to the company, reminding anyone who reads it that this is an old and noble breed made up of war heroes and "nanny dogs."

There's a nagging little part of my brain that says McDonald's new what the fallout would be and was banking on the free media. In a way, I feel like I'm playing into their greasy corporate hands.

At the same time, I don't really care. My daughter has refused to eat a that place since seeing "Super Size Me," although I've tried to point out everything in that movie that was manipulated to make a point. Now, she has a real reason, as does the rest of my family.

The only reason I'll take them to McDonald's after today is so Hathaway can make his own little golden arch on the sign out front.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Eight days a week

Alas, my days of Hathaway have turned into weeks. Whether it's a matter of being lazy or being busy, I'm not sure. Maybe being busy makes me lazy. And being lazy makes me look up quotes.

It's the first thing they teach you in Journalism School -- leading with a quote is cliche (read: lazy). Sometimes if I'm stuck for a lead, I'll look up a quote just to kick-start the battery; it's kind of like jumper cables for my brain, a little spark for the thought process.

So, I looked up quotes (at no less) about days and weeks and found some from some fellows I find quite insightful and downright entertaining, like Mark Twain:

"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up."

And George Bernard Shaw:

"Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."

I do think at least once or twice a week. I'm finding that sometimes, it's the remembering that's the problem. This morning, for instance, I got the kids up and fed and off to school with snacks and lunches and homework. I got the dog fed and dressed and walked and relieved and settled. I got myself together and to the train on time. I put in productive hours, got home, shoveled the driveway, finished some unfinished business and got the dogs together for their afternoon excursion.

And I couldn't find Hathaway's sweater. I took it off him after our morning walk and hung it up, just not in it's "spot." The sweater has a "spot" so I neither have to think nor remember when it comes to dressing the dog on a cold morning. And the spot was empty. I looked all over, but couldn't remember where I left it, no matter how hard I thought. The kids couldn't find it either.

We took our walk without the sweater, and thankfully without much shivering. The dogs ate, and I sat down to blog, without an idea beyond googling "week."

And sitting here typing, being neither lazy nor busy, not necessarily thinking and certainly not remembering, I found the sweater. Hanging on the bedroom closet door at eye level. In the right place (closet door) but wrong spot (different closet).

I'm guessing there's probably a moral to this story. Maybe I should google "Aesop."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12 Days of Hathaway -- Day 8

The pit bull is snoozing next to me all cozy on the fleece blanket, right where he should be.

Some days you are quickly reminded that your friends will be there when you need them. Late yesterday afternoon we helped search for Trudy, a hound dog being fostered by our friend Melissa from the dog park.

Being a hound, Trudy followed her nose and ran off after a scent. The scent led her along the shoreline at the dog park, which however, leads under a state highway to another park that's vastly larger. Trudy, who is available for adoption from the Quincy Animal Shelter, had been missing nearly 3 hours by the time we showed up at the park, and she could have been anywhere in the miles and miles along the river or through the woods between Hingham and Weymouth. And honestly, the idea of her being lost in the woods was not nearly as bad as the idea of her trying to cross the busy, busy road to get back to the dog park as it got dark.

Trudy is a really nice dog, but is wary, and not likely to come to someone she isn't too familiar with. And if she's scared, she'll bark at you, so catching her was going to be a challenge even if it wasn't getting cold and dark.

Dozens of people helped look for Trudy. The kids, Jim and our friend Kevin, along with the dogs, decided to look at the bigger park as darkness fell. We could hear a hound barking and more than than a dozen people helped move her through the woods to a spot where another group could catch her.

Trudy was safe, making for a heart-warming happy ending to the evening for both the dog and her foster mom, who works so hard to take care of her. The heart-lifting part of the story, though, is seeing how many people helped look for her without a thought and without being asked.

Given the size of the area Trudy was in, as well as its challenges -- the road, the weather, the water, the darkness, the coyotes -- it's hard to imagine the story could have had the same outcome without them.