Archive for May, 2007
Every dog has a story and I have mine. I am pleased to announce that in a few days time this story (or at least a portion of it) will arrive in published form and be available online and in bookstores for a modest price. The book’s cover is pictured above. I believe it is a good story, one filled with comical twists and mysterious turns, but, most of all, a work that explores our troubled (but nonetheless exquisite) world, a world that is both dog and man’s shared reality. If you’d like to read an excerpt, please go HERE.
I am indebted to the visual geniuses at Random House for their flattering portrait of Yours Truly and surrounding cover design. I have also stumbled upon a video featuring people portraying owner and dog and conveying in creative ways the riotous and generally amiable nature of the book.
If he was in Central Park right now he could be armed and off his leash.
I just came across important news from our friends at Central Park Paws. The news clarifies what has long been rumored for us New York City dogs (you freewheeling, meadow-romping country types may now tune out): between certain hours we are allowed to be off leash and free to snuffle about. It may be but the shadow of freedom, an illusion shattered by the reality of the leash awaiting us at the conclusion of our frolic, but between 9pm and 9am daily, I may now officially roam untethered (Harry has done so unofficially and with one eye trained over his shoulder for the law –the penalties for the illegally unleashed are dear).
Here is the site for all things Central Park Dog: www.centralparkpaws.net
Apparently they practice on this character.
Photo courtesy of exfordy on Flickr
Today, I had the rather unpleasant experience of getting spare rib gristle stuck in my throat. Luckily, I managed to expel the offender with some robust coughing which Harry, comfortably ensconced in the La-Z-Boy, did not seem to notice. Naturally images from my relatively short life passed before my eyes and the heart raced allegro. After the fact, though, calm returned and I reflected on what would have happened had Yours Truly not self-rescued. This leads me to offer the following on so-called dog CPR. The thought of some slack-jawed homo sapien affixing his jowls to my mouth –even in the direst of circumstances– chills my Labrador vigor. The human mouth, a petrie dish of bacteria, does not possess the well-documented health-giving properties of a dog’s own orifice. Still, survival is survival and so with the standard disclaimer that the following instructions might not work in an actual emergency and not to hold me responsible if they don’t, here are some basic dog CPR guidelines gleaned from www.pgaa.com/canine/health/dogcpr.html Good day and good luck! Apparently it’s mouth to snout.
This morning as I was doing a prolonged Downward Dog stretch on our rarely sunny floor, I recognized that if my blog is to be true to its name (An Intelligent Dog’s Guide to a Troubled World) it actually has to ignore this troubled world. Miss Emily Dickinson wrote and I recklessly paraphrase: “we must see things slant.” This means that at times it is not wise to face reality head on. In keeping with this notion, you will not be harrassed by the grimmer aspects of this troubled world here on my page –no deluge of horrific material from the 24-hour news cycle and the windbags of cable television. To offer a guide (I reflected as I eased the kinks out of my Labrador hindquarters with a gentle stretch), one must offer perspective. And sometimes perspective is only possible by taking a kind of holiday of the mind. Beyond Downward Dog, yoga does not appeal to Yours Truly, but apparently it works for these three characters at http://dogyoga.com/ who seem to be doing their flexible best to sell clothes.
A few readers have suggested that I have a certain New York bias. Perhaps I do. It is no crime to love one’s home. But lest I appear as if my mind does not stray from my happy Manhattan isle, here is an article from Florida regarding laws that will allow dog-friendly restaurants. I didn’t realize those humans down there were so cutting edge. I look forward to that happy day when I too like my Florida brethren will be able to dine with my owner in a restaurant without threat of embarrasment or prosecution (please feel free to contact Mr. Whittle for his fine reporting on this historic moment in the history of human-canine relations):
Article published May 9, 2007
Sarasota County says
yes to dog dining
SARASOTA COUNTY — The county’s restaurants have gone to the dogs.Restaurants in the unincorporated county can pay $150 for a “doggy dining permit,” the County Commission decided Tuesday. The permit allows dogs “in designated outdoor portions of public food service establishments.”Residents attended Tuesday’s meeting with pictures of their dogs hanging around their necks. They met with little resistance from the County Commission, which unanimously approved the law.
Commissioners issued “woofs” in support of the law instead of the customary “yea.”
“It was a woof one,” said Commissioner Paul Mercier.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush signed a statewide “doggy dining law” last June. The law allows local governments to permit canines at public restaurants.
The law caused a minor controversy in Manatee County in March when Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger disagreed with the fact that Manatee’s law also applied to the county’s six municipalities.
Sarasota County’s law states that it applies “within the unincorporated area of Sarasota County.”
From time to time, Yours Truly will take it upon himself to spread useful information to his readers. The following on puppy fainting comes via http://www.seefido.com/ (which like so many dog-related sites seems to be about the business of earning dollars on the backs of us canines). Perhaps this is overly harsh… at least they seem to care about our health. I for one have never fainted, neither as a puppy nor up to my current arthritic middle age. If I did, I wonder if Harry would even notice and if he noticed whether he would know to spill black coffee down my throat (but perhaps this is the wrong remedy for an adult –dear readers please don’t hesitate to weigh in –time may be of the essence!):
Puppy dog fainting: The most important thing to do if your puppy faints is to keep it lying on its side with its head slightly lower than the rest of its body. This way the blood can easily flow to it brain. Once it has recovered you can give it some black tea or coffee to drink. Consult your veterinarian, informing them of what transpired before the fainting spell and immediately after.
Puppies For Dummies also offers some useful material on its website (http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesTitle/productCd-0470037172.html) regarding puppy health. The title is apt, of course. All too often dummies are responsible for the housing and feeding of my kind. As Freddy Schiller so aptly observed in my loose translation: “Against dummies dogs must struggle in vain.” (Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens). Luckily there is now this book to address the worst errors.