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Archive for June 21st, 2010

Can’t you just feel the moonshine?

Leave it to us to be in Arizona when the big news is in North Carolina.

Fearing for the safety of his “dawgs,” a rural North Carolina man called 911 to report he’d had a confrontation with Bigfoot; and the one-sided, slightly slurred conversation with the dispatcher that ensued is worthy of the 911 call Hall of Fame.

Authorities in Cleveland County released a recording of the call, made by Tim Peeler, who claimed to have sighted a 9-to-10 foot tall Bigfoot around his home near Casar.

The area, known as Carpenter’s Knob, is the site of repeated sightings of a similar creature in the 1970s, who locals eventually took to calling “Knobby.”

In the call, Peeler describes a “beast thing” whose presence got his dogs a barkin’.

Operator: What did it look like?

Peeler: It looked like a giant ape with a man’s face. But I was afraid to kill it. And it made a whistling sound. But I just wanted ya’ll to know, I have not shot one or killed one.

Operator: Okay, was there more than one or just the one?

Peeler: Just the one.

Operator: Okay.

Peeler: He was about nine, ten foot tall. With real long arms. And…I’ve had experiences with ’em before in the deer stand. but this one, somehow, I go out there, it gets gone, I come back in the house it gets there again. And my dog’s is just raising… heck.

At one point he asks, “Would I get in any trouble if I shot and killed this beast? This animal or whatever it is? Would I get in any trouble?”

Throughout the call, Peeler seems most concerned about his dogs.

“I got bear dawg, hog dawgs, this thing for some reason tonight is comin’ down messin with my dawgs, tryin’ to get towards my back porch.”

Cleveland County is located west of Charlotte, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area that’s no stranger to moonshine. We’re not saying Tim’s brewing his own, but … still. Maybe we’ll try and stop for a visit on our way back east.

By the time we got to Phoenix …

It was 104 degrees.

Too hot for dogs, in Ace’s view — even though I pointed out to him it was a dry heat. Too hot for fleas, too. I’m told. Temperatures get so high in summer, that pesky species doesn’t even bother to book reservations. Survival is impossible.

Humans, on the other hand, despite their bigger brains, don’t seem to  have figured that out yet — my father and brother among them.

Both of them have lived in Phoenix for a while now, leaving me with good freeloading opportunities — oven-like though they may be.

So, as this will be our base for the next week or so, we plan to do a lot of what people who live in Phoenix do — stay inside in the air conditioning. But we’ll be setting off some day trips, too, and exploring the dog friendly side of Phoenix.

Saturday’s day-long drive from Santa Fe was half Interstate highway (with nearly every exit sporting an Indian trading post, and/or casino, and not much else), half back roads (most of them cutting through the Tonto National Forest.)

It was all evergreens as we climbed up and through the mountains after crossing the border, then turned to desert and cactus as we came back down and approached the Phoenix area.

Ace and I are staying for now in Gilbert, at the home of my brother, who, along with his yellow lab, Roscoe, we’ve visited before. Last time there was some bloodshed, when, as I recall it, the two got snarly with each other and Ace bit his own tongue.

This time there was one brief growly period when they first approached each other, outside, but the two have been getting along just fine since. To make sure that continues to be the case, Ace is taking dinner outside by the car, which he’s come to view as a big red feeding machine. He will sit and stare at it, just as he used to with the treat shelf back home in Baltimore.

While Ace likes to keep his visits outside short, Roscoe is the opposite. The heat doesn’t seem to bother him at all and, given the opportunity, he’d lay on the hot cement for hours. Maybe, living here all his life, Roscoe, who we featured here in his puppyhood, and who we’ll be telling you more about later, has adapted. Ace prefers my brother’s cool tile floor, right under the ceiling fan.

That’s where I’m sleeping, too, on the couch, with Ace stretched on the floor out next to it. Last night, as I was falling asleep, arm dangling off the couch, Ace got in a hand-holding mood (which he often does), reaching his paw out for my hand every time I let go.

I’m pretty sure that’s how we, or at least I, fell asleep.

(To read all of the continuing series, Dog’s Country, click here.)

Iran cleric discourages dogs as pets

Dogs are “unclean” and should not be kept as pets, a senior Iranian cleric has decreed.

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi issued the fatwa, or religious ruling, to send a message that the trend toward “western-style” pet ownership must stop, Reuters reported.

Dogs are considered “unclean” under Islam and have traditionally not been kept as pets — although there are signs that is changing.

“Friendship with dogs is a blind imitation of the West,” the cleric was quoted as saying in Javan daily. “There are lots of people in the West who love their dogs more than their wives and children.”

Guard dogs and sheep dogs are considered acceptable under Islamic law but Iranians who carry dogs in their cars or take them to public parks can be stopped by police and fined.

The Koran does not explicitly prohibit contact with dogs, Shirazi said, but Islamic tradition showed it to be so. “We have lots of narrations in Islam that say dogs are unclean.”