Caldonia’s new bed

Over the years that I’ve had her, I’ve bought a variety of beds for my cat, Caldonia. Without exception these have been ignored in favor of piles of laundry, cardboard boxes, magazines on the floor, pretty much anything not specifically designed as a cat bed.

For Christmas, my mother gave her a “Wooly Buddy Bed”, a very cozy-looking bed constructed from a woolly sweater. 5% of the proceeds from which are donated to The Home For Friendless Animals in Waynetown, IN., she tells me. This sounds wonderful and the bed looks like just the sort of thing a cat should want to lay on, but, given my past experience, I had my doubts.

I got the bed home and Caldonia loves it. She now spends the majority of her sleeping time in her new bed. My mother and my Aunt each have 2 cats all of whom are just as enamored of their ‘Wooly Buddy Beds’ as my cat is. 5 cats, all with very different personalities, but they agree on one thing, they love their “Wooly Buddy Beds”.


Caldonia's new bed

So, if you, or someone you know, has a hard to please feline (or dog, she makes them for our canine friends as well) I strongly urge you to get in touch with Susie at Wooly Buddy Beds. (No affiliation, just the “roommate” of a very satisfied user.)

Dogbite Update

Today I spoke with the dog owner’s insurance company. It seems (knock on wood) that they realize that I’m being completely reasonable are going to do likewise. Just after getting off the phone with them, I get a call from the local court’s ‘Restitution Coordinator’. She called to see how I was and what sort of expenses I’ve incurred. I told her of my conversation with the insurance folks and that I don’t anticipate any major expenses, but one never knows. So, she’s going to pass this on to the judge (the dog’s owner has to appear in court tomorrow). She said she’d let know the outcome of the hearing and said that if I have any expenses that the insurance company won’t cover to let them know and they’ll assist me in recouping.

The bite seems to look a little worse, but is feeling marginally better.

I had a nice ride today, no excitement. Well, an asshole in an SUV yelled some sort of Doppler-shifted gibberish at me. All I made out was “the road”. Then, as I was stopped in left turn lane at the light near my house a man in a pick up (to my right) said to me, “You made good time”. Apparently we’d both been caught at a light a few blocks away together and he was impressed I’d caught him again.

Not a bad day at all. Seems like the system is going to work as it should, and the assholes were canceled out by the friendly folks.

Dogbite, on my leg – Not right, supposed to beg

Went out for my first ‘real’ ride of the season today. You can probably guess what happened on my way back into town. Black chow comes charging down his driveway (where the owner was impotently standing by), with no wasted movement he makes straight for me and chomps down on my ankle. The owners were cool (though not nearly apologetic enough for my taste) and are saying they’ll cover my expenses. Wasted a lot of my evening talking to them, at the Urgent Care, and at Wal-Mart picking up the de rigueur antibiotics. Tomorrow I have to call animal control folks back and talk to them. Hopefully they will report back that the dog is, in fact, up on all of his shots. The owners said he was, but c’mon, what the hell else are they gonna say?

Got a couple of nasty punctures/gashes in the back of my calf, one with a chunk ripped out! First time I’ve been bitten, had to make it a good one, I guess.

And now, I think I’ll go listen to the Dead Kennedys’ song from which I purloined this post’s title.

Geese Update

Well, apparently the geese-chasing dogs actually arrived sometime last week. Looking back, I can’t recall the last day when I actually saw geese at the park. I’m a little bummed about the whole thing. Mainly because I don’t think I’ll ever actually get to see the dogs chase the geese, as I have a feeling this is primarily an early morning activity. Secondly, I’ll actually miss the geese. I really enjoyed hearing and seeing them arrive each morning, and depart each evening, locked in their precise formations.

I would really have no quarrel at all with the geese if they:

A) Weren’t so aggressively obnoxious.
B) Didn’t shit so damned much, everywhere! (2 pounds a day per goose!)
C) Hadn’t become year-round residents, rather than passing through twice a year during migration (like they’re supposed to!).

Geese: Majestic waterfowl or feathered vermin?

So, the park next to my house has (for the last several years) been over-run with “wild” Canada Geese. Over the past few years the city has tried a variety of solutions to drive these obnoxious feathered fecal factories away. First they put up loudspeakers which would periodically (day and night) broadcast a recorded goose alarm call. This was quite effective initially, but the geese eventually caught on and their ranks swelled once more (on a side note; it took longer for me than it did for the geese to realize the calls were pre-recorded. I spent many late-night hours wondering what had the geese so worked up).

Then they tried placing floating plastic crocodile heads in the “lagoon”. These seemed to have little or no effect on the geese, though they did make me giggle. (Crikey! That’s one big disembodied crocodile head!) Now the city is playing for keeps. They’ve enlisted the services of a company called “Goose Be Gone”. Specially trained border collies (with their handlers) will patrol the park five days a week for three months, theoretically driving the geese away for good.

Can geese count? I think it would be hysterical if the geese realized that the dogs were only there on weekdays and they returned en masse on the weekends. All I know is, I can’t wait for the goose-chasing dogs to arrive, that is going to be some first-rate free entertainment.

Corpophagia in Toyland

Years and years (20?) ago, I found no small measure of humor in Mattel’s “Animal-loving Barbie” and “Animal-lovin’ Ken” (who, you may recall, came with “his own chimpanzee to care for and love”). So, imagine my delight/horror when I stumbled across this:

Here’s the description from the website where you can purchase this treasure:

Finally, Barbie has a dog that eats and makes a mess! Tanner the dog eats and ejects waste from his body. At this point, Barbie can pick it up in a scooper, and then Tanner will eat it again– just like your real dog!

Finally!?!

They call it the “Barbie Doll and Tanner Scooper Dog Set”, but in the spirit of my last post, we all know the name should really be:

Poop scooping Barbie and Tanner, the shit-eating wonder-dog.

Wouldn’t you love to have been the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ at the meeting when the drug-addled lunatic brilliant toy-designer pitched that idea?

Pre-Thanksgiving Day Ride

It was a perfect day for a ride (for late November). Somehow, it seemed tremendously appropriate when I saw numerous farmers out working the fields, harvesting their corn, wheat, and what-not.
This also gave me pause. We always give thanks for our food, but how often do we give thanks for (or to) our farmers? Not often enough. This is something I’ll have to add to my list of things I’m thankful for.

This moment of introspection was short-lived though. Rounding a slightly uphill, 90 degree right-hand bend into the sun, I saw a large dead dog lying in the center of the road. When I reflexively sighed, “aaawww”, he turned to look at me. Not dead at all, it’s a friendly dog who lives just up the road, sunning himself. He’s a sweet old guy, has never so much as barked at me and today was no exception. Suddenly just ahead there was a rustling and an explosion of dark fur and ferocious barking as his less well-mannered sidekick charged out from the shadows, sun at his back, straight for my front wheel. I braced myself for impact and swerved, but obviously his “attack” was just a bluff. Once my heartbeat returned to normal, I had to chuckle; he had set a perfect trap. He had me going up-hill, sun in my eyes, and distracted by his docile friend napping in the road. Under different circumstances, I would have been someone’s dinner.

I guess I should be thankful he didn’t want to eat me!

Return of Der Doggie Dog and Friend

So, today I’m out for a ride on one of my usual loops. Just as I pass the city limits sign rolling back into town, I see Der Doggie Dog and his young apprentice racing toward their fence to greet me. I swear it’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen either of them, and they seemed just as happy to see me as I was them. I don’t know if it was because they were overcome with joy, or if they forgot the “rules” to our little game during their vacation (or whatever) but instead of racing me down the entire length of the fence they instead headed to the halfway point, leaping around, their whole bodies wagging as I said hello. Glancing back over my shoulder as I rode away, I saw that they were both standing in the corner of their yard, tails wagging like mad, watching me ride away.

It’s not too often I get to say this, but those dogs made my day!

I Miss My Buddy

I, like probably most cyclists, have a healthy anxiety/respect/fear for dogs that are allowed to run loose (with very rare and notable exceptions).

On one of my local loops, though, there’s a dog who I consider an old friend. For 5 or 6 years now we’ve played this little game:

As I’m approaching his yard, if I don’t see him lurking about, I’ll call to him as I begin to wind up my sprint (I call him “Fritz” or “Der Doggie Dog”, he’s a German Shepherd). He then carefully judges his speed and angle, charges down the hill to the fence and arrives at the corner of the fence, exactly when I do, at full speed. He then rounds the corner and we race down the fence. This is a house out in the country, so it’s at least a 150 yard dog vs. bike dash. As I ride away (sometimes victorious, sometimes not), he always runs to a good vantage point along the side fence and gives me a few barks. I’ve always taken these as meaning, “good race” and “see you next time”. I haven’t seen him (or his younger protégé) in quite some time. I miss my sprinting partners/buddies.

No! Bad Dog!

Man Mistakenly Cuts Off Penis, Dog Eats It

Mon Oct 4,10:41 AM ET

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – A elderly Romanian man mistook his penis for a chicken’s neck, cut it off and his dog rushed up and ate it, the state Rompres news agency said Monday.

It said 67 year-old Constantin Mocanu, from a village near the southeastern town of Galati, rushed out into his yard in his underwear to kill a noisy chicken keeping him awake at night.

“I confused it with the chicken’s neck,” Mocanu, who was admitted to the emergency hospital in Galati, was quoted as saying. “I cut it … and the dog rushed and ate it.”

Doctors said the man, who was brought in by an ambulance bleeding heavily, was now out of danger.