Monday, March 28, 2011

Can't You Just Say "Oil" and Let Us Get Back to "DWTS" Already?

    Tonight, President Obama will address the nation on the role in Libya. The reason given so far: that Qadaffi, Gadafi, however you spell his name is attacking citizens who protest his regime.
     Uh-huh. So where are the planes for Darfur and other countries where human rights are vague abstractions? Why aren't we sanctioning China?
     It comes down to oil, Gentle Readers. Libya has oil. Most countries in Africa don't.
     Now, may we please get back to watching Kirstie and Maks?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meltdown Week

    March 13-20, 2011....meltdowns on so many levels in so many ways.
    Oakley's been keeping me busy. Part of it: on top of Brittany and Great Pyr, he has some Lab in there for spits and giggles. That sweet little armload of fur and kisses turned into an adolescent the last couple of weeks and began growing, now almost out of Orion's old crate. Finally, with the help of a homeopathic remedy for ADHD (note: this is what worked for me--please consult your vet or trainer) and advice from an experienced Lab owner, he was able to get himself refocused and limit himself to normal pubescent pooch mischief, not juvenile delinquent antics. He's been leaning against me quietly, and listening better, and not mistaking us for chew toys so much.  It's been a tough road for him--taken from his biological mother too early prevented him from learning social skills, including mouthing inhibition. We're making progress.
     We have another military involvement in the guise of human rights going on. Libya has oil. We're supporting, allegedly, the civilians who want Gadaffi out. Uh-huh. Right.
    We have the fallout in Japan. The power plant damage in the earthquake came scary close to blowing up this week. For now, disaster has been averted. The fallout in human terms barely began to come into focus. There's a danger zone of some 20 miles around the plant. Food and fuel are in scarce supply. The people bear their burdens with grace and dignity while honoring the common good. In a couple of countries I could name, that level of damage would have triggered looting and riots.  
   It's mid-Sunday afternoon on the first day of spring under a full moon for the records. Hopefully, the residue of this last week of winter gets washed away by the bright light of this new season.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oakley: The Adventure Begins

    "My mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.'" Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years, you've heard that oft-quoted line from "Forrest Gump."
     It's not too different when you adopt a shelter dog. The director of the shelter where Oakley came from originally thought that he was a beagle mix, then their vet noticed the long legs, adding in the Brittany. All I knew was that he curled up on my lap and fell asleep on the way home.
    Then there were some other characteristics that didn't add up on the Britt or Beagle side of the ledger. For starters, the double dewclaws on the back paws fell into neither breed descriptions. Then there was the ridiculously long tail with the little crook at the end. And then there was the black nose, and the black-rimmed eyes, and the bark. Think of the shock value of Gary Coleman opening his mouth and James Earl Jones' voice coming out.
     Answers came at last week's pre-neuter once over. The vet looked at the tail, and the dew claws, and said, "Great Pyrenees have those."
     No, no Beagle. Great Pyrenees. Calm, independent, relatively quiet, big-assed dogs. As in some males go up to 160 pounds.
     "He could go up to, oh 70 pounds," the vet guessed. A bit more than the 35-40 pound range I'd guessed at originally.
     Only time will tell. Oakley is six months old, and some feel that he may be at half his adult size.
I knew less than spit about Brittanys when Orion adopted us. I hopped on line and read everything I could about Great Pyrs. Another French breed originating in the border regions with Spain, bred to guard livestock and property. Pretty healthy. Run on the aloof side, generally, with strangers, but loving to their humans. And calm.
    I don't know how this is all going to shake out, but I'll bet the results, like the box of chocolate, will be sweet.