The Dog Sack

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Woa, man… I sincerely hope no one ever actually bought this product:

fail owned pwned pictures

(via failblog)

Mitt Romney is an idiot

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Thanks to Chris for pointing out this puff piece on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In it, it describes Romney packing up the family for a summer trip:

Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.

I echo Chris’ sentiment of “WTF?”  Who the heck puts their dog on the roof of their car?  And we’re supposed to be all “Wow, he’s so caring about his dog!” when he builds a windshield for the carrier?

Here’s some news for Romney: dude, your dog isn’t a piece of luggage.  If the family were to get into a car accident, the dog wouldn’t stand a chance.  At least inside the car he has the protection of the vehicle’s frame.  What if the carrier came loose and fell off the car?  Again, the dog has no chance.

This is just another example of “animals as property” that so pervades our lives.  To Romney, the family dog isn’t worth space in the car.  Having him dangerously perched on the roof as they fly down the roads at 65mph is a risk that’s reasonable to him.  Would he consider that same risk with his kids?  Of course not.

Want another example of how Seamus gets treated as property?  OK.

A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

Animals rarely get much respect from the oval office.  Sure, President Bush’s dog Barney gets a nicer home page than most people have, but he’s also used to create stupid White House promotional videos.  Then, of course, there’s the debacle that is the presidential turkey pardon at Thanksgiving.  But if Romney were to become president, Seamus would be the worst-treated First Dog since Warren G. Harding’s lab named Seat Cushion.  (That last sentence was said in a manner imitating Jon Stewart.  Imagine me looking coyly at the camera.)

How you treat animals is usually a good indicator of how you treat people.  Perhaps we should keep that in mind when looking at presidential candidates.

Escaping dogs

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I’m not sure, but I think the animals in my neighborhood have been conspiring on Dogster to escape their homes.

It started about two weeks ago when I saw a nearby dog named Bandit wandering around. Fortunately, he let me come right up to him and put a leash on him. He was also wearing a tag, which made it easy to get in touch with his caretaker, who didn’t even realize he had escaped. (Here’s a shot of us hanging out before we could get in touch.) “Bandit never does this,” he told me. “If he gets out of the backyard, he usually just sits on the front step.”

A week later, Bandit escaped again. This time my sister saw him and returned him home (no one was even home at his house at the time).

Last night, I was walking Amina and an tiny, older mutt was loose. I found out where he lived even though he only had a non-identifying rabies tag on. The woman there had no idea he had even gotten out. “He’s never done this before,” she told me. I nodded and suggested she consider getting him an ID tag, just in case.

This morning, for the first time in the 16 months she’s lived with us, Amina forced her way past me and bolted out the front door. I freaked out and yelled to her, which only made her keep running. So I took a deep breath and slowly followed. She had already gotten halfway down the block and visions of her getting hit by a car or running where I couldn’t find her had already entered my head. I kneeled down and called to her and offered her a treat (which I didn’t really have) and she came back, thankfully. But it’s really weird, because it’s totally against her normal personality to do something like that.

So, dogs, if any of you are reading this (including you, miss Amina!), cut it out. Stop running away.

Our new alarm clock

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Some new neighbors moved in across the street earlier this year. The woman just had twins and as a gift, her father (or father-in-law, I’m not sure) gave her a pair of Macaws. I’m not quite sure of the logic behind giving a pair of tropical birds to celebrate the birth of twins, but perhaps there’s some cultural significance I’m not aware of.

It’s become commonplace for us to wake up at 7am to the sounds of very loud squawking from the birds when they’ve been put in the backyard. We don’t really mind it, and kind of laugh because the sound is so out of place in our neighborhood. In fact, I can only imagine how much it annoys the idiot down the street, so sometimes I’m glad they’re there.

From what I’ve heard, though, the family is having a really tough time. They don’t know what to do with the birds. The birds make the noise in the house, too, which is not really conducive to babies sleeping. And I’m sure that these tropical birds aren’t terribly enjoying Virginia, though I’m sure it’s been warm enough for them here recently. I’d like to be able to help them out (the birds and the family) by helping them find a humane way of getting the birds relocated. The birds seem like they’re well taken care of, but I’d rather make sure that they get the chance to live somewhere more appropriate before their current guardians get frustrated and perhaps do something that wouldn’t be in the birds’ best interest.

Does anyone have any experience with any specific bird rescue organizations? Phoenix Landing or Rescue Me seem like good options. Any other ideas?

Dog Hater, part 2

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A little while back I wrote about the guy on my block who really hates dogs. Since then, I’ve walked by him a few times while walking our dog. Each time, I’ll say, “Hello!” in a friendly fashion, trying to hide any disgust I have for him. Never once has he replied. He just stares at me, like he’s waiting for Amina to do something in his yard. This, despite the fact I’m carrying a full poop bag.

Well, today I had an “encounter” with Mr. Dog Hater himself. Amina and I were coming back down our street and he was walking out to his car to go to work. He looked down the street and saw us coming and just stood at the edge of his driveway waiting for us. Staring our way and just… waiting.

As I approached him, I gave him a friendly, “Good morning!” and didn’t expect a reply, just the usual hateful glare. Well, this time I got a reply, though not exactly a courteous one:

“Some dog’s been shitting in my yard.”

*blink*

“Some dog’s been shitting here and I’m going to fucking kill the dog.”

I stopped, said, “Well…” and pulled out one of Amina’s empty bags to show him that, yes, we are responsible for our dog’s left-behinds. He said, “I’m not saying it was you. But some dog’s been shitting in my yard. And I’m going to kill the dog once I find out who it is.”

He paused.

“Do you know who it is?” By this time, he’s walking to his car across the street.

I could go into a tirade telling him he needs to chill the hell out, but I’m honestly shaken up — this guy is a freaking loon. “No clue. But I’ve seen it in my yard, too,” hoping maybe that’ll show him that not everyone in the world threatens death to get their way.

He replied, “I think I know who it is. I just need to catch him. And then I’m going to kill the dog.”

Well good morning to you, too, mister. Nice to know we have such a psycho neighbor on the block.

Needless to say, we’ll be avoiding his house altogether. And if anything happens to another dog, now I can serve as a witness of some sort.

What a jerk.