Posts Tagged ‘ pets ’

Narcissus is Alive and Well

Last week Mom celebrated the fourth of July by boating with friends on Clearwater Lake near Annandale, MN.

Every year, a local marine and boat outfitter, shells out money to hire a floating band (music ensemble atop a pontoon).  From 2pm to 8 pm the band plays, whilst hundreds of boats drop anchor, creating a floating city of scantily clad men and woman.

Many of these naked folks are heavily tattooed.

Mom noticed this year an abundance of people tattooed with various names.  She asked some of the people what the name signified, and all of them said “It’s my name.”


Like are you going to forget your name?

All of these folks were obviously under thirty, and Mom started thinking about the evolution of tattoos and names.  Years ago, hard core bikers showed their soft side by tattooing “Mom” on a large bicep.  Later, people sure their love wouldn’t fade, i.e. Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, had the names of their loved ones scraped into their skins.  Eventually, people decided the name of their child would be an even better choice.  I mean, it’s not like your going to start to hate your kids ever, are you?

But, your own name?!

Perhaps Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, blogging have humans so consumed with telling people about themselves, that they have elevated their importance  to the point of indelibly printing their names, date of birth, and social security number on their skins.

Have today’s humans become the modern Narcissus?

Narcissus was a youth that knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the Narcissus.

But this is not how the author of the story ended it…

The author goes on to say that when Narcissus dies, the goddess of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

“Why do you weep?” the goddess asked.

“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.

“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”

“But… was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.

“Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses said in wonder. “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”

Well, party people, I think if you’re going to end up tattooing any name on your body it should obviously belong to your pet.

You know you want to.  Hell, even the celebrities are doing it.  Here’s Jennifer Aniston with her new tattoo.  It’s a small picture but she inked the name “Norman” on the top of her foot.  Norman was her corgi mix that died recently.

Hell’s yeah!

Power, and ink, to the pets!


Teaching an Old(er) Dog New Tricks

Spending just a few minutes throughout the day to ask your dog to do something will seal the bond with your pet and may take your relationship to a new level.

Posh is almost four and “Poe” (short for the pokey little puppy) will be two on Saturday, and we are still teaching them new tricks. Poe is very food motivated, so she will probably get some of the tricks more quickly than Posh who is not only a righteous, but is very pedantic about her food.

Currently, Poe is learning the command “spin” where she whirls like a dervish, this is a very easy command to teach as the dog just follows your hand in a spiral as you hold a treat.  Eventually they will spin faster, and on their own without being “led.”

I’m working on “weave” with Posh.  I would eventually like her to be able to do a figure eight between my legs as I take steps.

Here are the girls nicely waiting for a treat from my mom.

Ask your dog to do something before you give him/her his dinner or a treat.  Whether it’s basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay or more challenging tricks like shake, you’ll be surprised how smart your pet really is and how much fun you can have teaching them new things.

You CAN and should teach an old dog new tricks.

Sid Vicious Rocks MyAnimalActivist Message!

Sunday I went and hung out with a couple of canines.  One was a standard poodle puppy named Giselle, and the other was a rat terrier named after Sex Pistol’s band member Sid Vicious.

I’ve still got to play around with pretty Giselle’s pictures, but here are a few of Mr. Sid.  He was a great dog to photograph!

It Takes Balls…

It takes balls to be a responsible pet owner.

It takes balls to neuter your pet.

Luca has the courage to be an Animal Activist.  Does your pet?

Power to the Pets!

(Spay & Neuter) That Darn Cat!

I wrote about the importance of people spaying and neutering their cat in December 2007, long before I started MyAnimalActivist and my mission of promoting responsible pet ownership.

Here is what I had to say-

Time to RANT!!!! Why do “country folk” find it purrfectly okay to have twenty cats running around their farm, breeding, getting hit on the highway, finding their way to my house where my kids fall in love with them, my dog tries to attack them and Adam finds himself playing vet to fix them?!

My “neighbors” across the county road have a cat problem that all started with two cats that they like, or so my neighbor lady says. Hello? Spay or neuter those darn cats.  Yes, you start out with one or two but they like to have babies and pretty soon you have a dozen.  Once upon returning a stray kitten found in the middle of the road to my neighbor’s house, Adam and Sage brought the kitten back to their house and counted TWELVE cats!

But this neighbor is in complete denial.

Below is my last phone conversation with the woman-

ME: I’m concerned about your little kittens traveling across the highway to our house.

NEIGHBOR: “We have one cat. The other (kittens) are strays.”

ME: You only have one cat?

NEIGHBOR:  “Well, we have two that we like. They are really good for getting rid of mice and squirrels. I think I need to take a trip to the Humane Society and haul some in.”

ME:  You know, it’s pretty cheap to sterilize your cat and than you can keep the ones you like for mice control and you won’t have baby after baby after baby kitty spiraling out of control.

NEIGHBOR:  “Yeah. Maybe that is what I should do.”

So, ten of the twelve cats are strays?! Come on people.  I don’t think “strays” come up to you wanting to be held and played with by small children. These cats have been completely socialized and domesticated.

Poor things. Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box.

Meanwhile, this issue is hitting me hard again today.  A feral cat had kittens under a friend Gena’s porch.  Two nights ago, around ten p.m., Gena and I used tuna to bait and catch the extremely shy kittens.  At the time, they were so shy Gena actually had to trap one, a beautiful boy kitty with her sweatshirt as he was eating.

I took three kitties home, to socialize and they are doing well and settling in nicely.  Meanwhile, I can in reality, only responsibly care for two of them.  Consequently, Gena and I will do our best to help find the third, a girl kitten we’ve nicknamed “Hello Kitty,” a good home.

Also, Gena is working on getting Mama and the remaining babies inside.  The plan is to sterilize Mama, and find good homes for the kitties- homes were the people will commit to responsible pet ownership by promising to spay/neuter their cat.

So, you will see some new “models” soon here.  🙂  Here are some pics of Trouble, Tokyo, and Hello Kitty.

Unfortunately, my experiences are not isolated.  There are many people who can share stories of the overwhelming population explosion of cats.  Meanwhile, it is a problem that touches both urban and rural areas.

However, there are groups volunteering in different ways to try and solve this problem.

Besides shelters that have promoted kitten/cat adoption with spay/neuter clauses, there are folks who are trapping feral cats, sterilizing them, and releasing them.  While this is very controversial, it is more than likely impossible to find homes for all the cats that are on the street.  One such group who uses this pet population control technique is Spay and Stay in Illinois.

The following was taken from their website:

Spay and Stay is made up of a diverse group of people who all agree on one thing — that together we can make a difference in the lives of feral and stray cats in our communities. We have a small staff of only one full-time person and one part-time employee. The rest of our TNR force is made up of amazing citizen-volunteers. They include the folks who give their time to help at our spay/neuter clinics, the people who help us reach out to the community through our educational programming, the volunteers who work on events and other fund-raising projects, and, most importantly, the amazing citizens who agree to manage their feral cat colony 365 days a year. No matter how busy or tired these caretakers may be, the cats in their colonies are fed, and given water and shelter every single day.

Besides the work that they do with feral cats, the group also promotes visiting your local shelter and give a homeless cat or dog a chance.

There are feral cat sterilization programs throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Find more here.