Saturday, October 24, 2009

Be More on Pit Bull Awareness Day!

Today is the Third Annual Pit Bull Awareness Day!

In past years I've shown you videos and thrown facts at you.

This year, I need to ask you a favor.

B-More Dog has been chosen out of all the animal organizations in the country to be one of sixty four entered in Rachael Ray's Mutt Madness competition. It's run like a football playoff, with half the groups each week moving on to the next level. Each time they do, they win money. The last group standing wins $50,000!

There are some really amazing groups in this competition - sixty-four really amazing groups, to be exact. And B-More Dog is still fairly new, having been an official non-profit for less than a year. But we've done terrific things already.

We've gone to a few schools in Baltimore with our dogs, and taught the kids how to behave around dogs, taught them why abuse and dog fighting is wrong, and encouraged them to work with their own dogs in training classes - after we left, one youth said he wanted to be a dog trainer when he grew up!

We've collected leashes and collars for free distribution to those who don't have their dogs properly secured.

And our biggest accomplishment, in my opinion, is B-More In Control, a program the city backs fully, that we've given at several area shelters. Targeted towards people who've received citations on animal issues, but free to anyone who wants to attend, we're teaching people how to better judge canine body language, where to find activities they can do with their dog that will help keep the dog happy and healthy and within the confines of the law.

$50,000 could go a long way for a group like this in spreading these programs to a larger audience, finalizing lesson plans and audio-visual additions to the program that would allow us to go beyond Baltimore, and helping everyone realize that breed of dog doesn't matter, taking responsibility does.

Please, please sign on to Rachael Ray's website and register to vote in Mutt Madness.

As I said, it's like a sports play off, so you'll have to vote for a group in each of the brackets. Also as I said, all sixty-four groups are really amazing, so you can't go wrong no matter who you vote for. The first round ends tomorrow, October 25 - Please vote for B-More Dog to continue!!!

And tell everyone you know!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can You Handle The Truth?

Pit Bull Awareness Day is this weekend! Will you think of rumors, or will you know the truth?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Whisper or scream

Today Oscar and I went to get his rabies vaccine. He isn't a fan of the vet's office, so we decided to try a low price clinic our local humane society does. Lots of places do of this - check your area! - it's just $5 for the shot. We went in, and discovered I didn't have the right paperwork. It took two phone calls to two different vets, but we finally got it so they would fax it to the humane society.

While we were waiting, Oscar was alternating between uber slut and screaming banshee of excess energy. Everyone was very patient and kind, and I spent almost an hour just trying to practice obedience - by which I mean, I would give very basic commands that he does in his sleep and he would vibrate and shriek and occasionally sit, down, or heel. A bit hyper-stimulated was my boy.

But he still loves him some people, so he was allowed to meet everyone who was interested. One man came over, and I knew right away what television show he watches too much of. The man apparently decided that Oscar should be allowed to sniff his hand, right hand only, but not lick. So he reached for Oscar, hand neatly curled up as though he were hiding a treat, and would say "good boy" when Oscar sniffed and then, when the tongue came out

Which succeeded in having Oscar look at him like "Oh, I'm sorry, did you just have a stroke?" and then try to kiss him again. And get a response of
from the man.

This happened three times, with me going from mildly amused to pretty dang irritated (I kinda really, really freaking hate it when people reprimand my dog when he's just being a dog)

Finally, the man looked Oscar in the eye, wagged his finger at him like an 18th century school marm and said, quite sternly,
"You are not the boss of me. I am a man. You are a dog. You are not the boss of me."

Well, now that we have that clear. We'll look past the fact that dominance is a thoroughly out-dated behavioral concept, and that most behaviorists and animal experts think a certain television show is teaching people very dangerous methods that are harming animals. We'll forget all that and focus on the fact that I really, really hate it when people reprimand dogs for being dogs. And I hate it more when it's my dog.


Oh, well, Oscar obviously isn't any worse for the wear -

we went to Petsmart after where he was stuffed full of treats by every employee they have, and where he didn't even pee inappropriately, after I stopped him that once from attempting to claim the toy aisle as his own.

Lest you think I've given up the lure of the sheep, I do have a very few pictures from a recent project. A friend's mother had some pet sheep for a while, and they are starting to get old, the sheep and the mother, and the family has decided not to replenish the herd. So the friend (who collects geckos and has an extremely cute pit bull named Newt) asked me if I would be able to help make something memorable as a surprise for mom. And yes, I can!

So I was delivered a big box of wool, about a pound of it, which looked like this

Then I washed it

laid it out to dry

carded it

(with help)

and now I have this pretty stuff to play with

I'll spin it up and knit a hat from it, a really lovely Christmas gift.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

This never happens when I go to the barber...

Marriage is love.