Saturday, February 27, 2016

Please leash your dog

It was a lovely morning for a walk. 
After about 3 1/2 miles, Bogie and I came around the corner on our home stretch. A truck in the driveway hid the fact that the second house had his bulldogs out.  
Off leash.  
He is a nice man and was standing with them in the front yard, holding his 2-year-old son.   
He said, "Don’t worry.  They’re all right.." as they toddled towards Bogie.  
He touched noses with the smaller one.  Then the bigger bulldog started growling and snapping at Bogie. 
Bogie, of course, growled and snarled back.  
I'm struggling to pull Bogie back, which is pointless because the bigger bulldog kept pushing forward. The smaller one backed away. 
The man quickly put his son down, who promptly started to wail. Loudly.  
He pulled the two dogs away from Bogie, And I pulled Bogie farther back.
But the man let go of the dogs.  The smaller bulldog toddled off to the house when commanded to do so.
Bogie and I started to move away.  
The bigger bulldog rushed at him and started fighting again.  The man yelled at and kicked at the bulldog to get him to stop.  Then grabbed him and held him as Bogie and I made our escape across the street. 
He apologized, grabbed his son, and pushed the bigger bulldog into the house. 
I checked Bogie over and there was a red indentation on his neck.  It could have been a tooth.  Or it could have been the prong collar as I tried to pull him away. 
He stayed close by my side for a block before starting to explore again.  
I don’t know if he thought I was mad at him, or if he was protecting me.  Which is what I think he was doing when he responded to the bulldog.

I really wish people would keep their dogs on a leash.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dogs choose to obey us

As I was pulling at Bogie and saying "Leave it!" so he wouldn't eat food off the ground that is probably rancid, I wondered, Why did he leave it?

It would have taken him only nano-seconds to scarf up whatever that was.  And he can certainly withstand any tugging I do on the leash.

But he didn't.  He left the tasty garbage and walked with me.

Other than the occasional mishap, Bogie does whatever I tell him.

Don't chase the birds.
Don't pull my arm off.
Wait for Angel to finish sniffing.
This way.
Stop barking.
Sit (and ignore the dog that is passing by)

Really, if he wanted to, he could ignore any of these commands.  He's bigger than I am.  He's stronger than I am.  I can't stop him if he insists on doing something.  And there are the teeth.

But he doesn't insist.

Dogs have agreed to do what we ask of them.  In fact, there are studies that say wolves domesticated themselves, becoming the dogs we (hopefully) love and care for.  (Dogs Domesticated themselves)

They get a benefit from living with us that is greater than the inconvenience of doing what we want them to do.

I, for one, am grateful they have chosen to be our companions.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rocky highways

I've driven highways through each of the 48 contiguous states.

Arizona is the worst for highway rock strikes.

I've driven gravel roads in Iowa and Illinois where my car got hit by fewer rocks than it does on a daily basis during my commute.

Of course, the drivers on the gravel roads weren't going 70 miles per hour.

My 17-year-old car has numerous dings in the paint.  My windshield is held together by repair resin.  Why should I replace it when the very next day it will probably get cracked?

Yesterday, I was driving home, enjoying the music on the radio and the lovely weather.  I had the driver's side window down about halfway.

Which is odd, because I usually have it down all the way.

I hear a loud ping by my left ear, and turn my head just as a rock ricochets off the edge of the window and glances off my cheek.

No damage done, other than startling me.

But I wonder how hard that rock would have hit me, and where, if I had the window open all the way?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I've moved more often than the average American

According to the Census Bureau, it is estimated that a person in the United States can expect to move 11.7 times in their lifetime. Link

Despite the fact that I hate to move, I have somehow managed to beat the average having lived in 15 places - so far. 
  • Three towns in Iowa while I was still a minor. 
  • Five places in and around Clinton between the ages of 18 and 25.  Two places used wood stoves for heat.  One had been used as a storage shed before being rented out.  I learned that getting dressed right next to the wood stove is only a good idea if you don't stumble.  I had a burn scar on my thigh for years.  I also learned that geese are mean. 
  • One place after my divorce, then back in with my parents. 
  • Rented an apartment in an old mansion cut up into apartments.  My new boyfriend moved in the day I moved in.  
  • Stored all our stuff at my in-laws for two years while we drove truck cross-country. So technically I guess that was an address.  
  • Bought a house in rural area north of Clinton. We had 3 acres and a house where we stayed when we weren't out driving truck.  Loved that house, except for the mouse infestation.  And the annual bat incursion.  One day I looked out of the kitchen window to see a large barn owl sitting in the tree staring back at me. Another day I looked up and saw a bald eagle at the top of one of my trees.  A possum hissed at me.  A garter snake chased me. 
  • When that marriage ended in a surprise divorce, I moved back to Clinton into a sweet little house with a flower garden. Most vivid memory was when the basements on either side of me flooded.  I checked on the older woman next door and her small freezer was floating in her basement. 
  • With little job prospects in Clinton, we followed my mother to Arizona.  First was a small condo with a single carport and a tiny, tiny patio. Then to a house on what was then the outskirts of town with more square footage, a garage, and a yard.  
This is where I have been for  the past 17.5 years. Good neighbors.  Room for my dogs.  Nice area to walk in. 

I'm hoping this is my last address, but I suspect at some point I will want or need a smaller place, or a single story.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

I've been feeling pretty good. So why am I worried?

I have frequent headaches. And a stiff neck.  

One or both could be related to my seriously bad posture from hunching over a computer keyboard for years. Which I am trying to fix.

Or allergy.

Or falling out of a second-story window when I was two years old.

In short, I don't know what causes either the headaches or the neck pain.

But this past week I have been gloriously pain-free.

Have I enjoyed it?

Well, yes. But I have also been puzzled. And worried.

Puzzled because I don't know why this week is any different than last week. While I appreciate the lack of pain, I want it to continue. Forever.

So what am I doing right this week that I was doing wrong last week?

And I worry about when the pain will return. It seems inevitable that it will.

I worry when I turn my head and feel a twinge. Is this when the neck pain returns?  I stretch my neck and the twinge subsides.

Head starts to ache, just a bit. I get up from my desk and stretch. So far so good.

I don't know anyone who isn't in some kind of pain, regardless of age. It seems to be an integral part of life.

But I would really like a nice, longer, span of pain-free days.