Who says dogs have no place at a literary festival?
Certainly not me … or I.
Ace, though he attended last year, stayed home on Saturday when I went to Bookmarks, the annual Winston-Salem literary festival. I figured it would be too hot for him to enjoy it, and, besides, I was serving as a volunteer at the Winston-Salem Writers booth and, even though he’s great at drawing a crowd, I felt it best to go solo.
There were dogs there, though, including these two Boston terriers, who were being pushed in a stroller.
The booth next to the one I was in was operated by the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, and it featured a plywood cut-out of the bard into which people could stick their faces to be photographed.
Among the people taking advantage of it were the owners of the two Boston terriers.
The larger of the two Bostons was almost able to fill the face hole when his owner held him up.
The smaller couldn’t begin to fill Shakespeare’s face. His head only took up about half of the hole.
But he had such a great smile, we have to give him equal time anyway:
(An open house is being held by Winston-Salem Writers, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Central Library, 660 W. 5th St. I’ll be among the authors selling and signing books (DOG, INC.) at the event, which offers an opportunity to learn more about the organization.)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bookmarks, boston terriers, cut-out, dogs, festival, heads, holes, literary, north carolina, north carolina shakespeare festival, pets, shakespeare, william shakespeare, winston salem writers, winston-salem
BARCStoberfest is this Saturday (Oct. 22) at Patterson Park.
K-9 demonstrations, adoptable pets from area shelters and rescues, pet product vendors, food, music and costume contests are all part of the free, day-long event, held by Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS)
In addition, the Orioles bird will be there to promote the 2012 BARCS Orioles calendar and have his picture taken with people and their pets.
The centerpiece of the event is the annual Strut Your Mutt walk, starting at noon.
Participants may register for the walk at the event, starting at 11 a.m., or online, by clicking here.
The top prize for the walker who raises the most money is a trip for two to New York City.
In the pet costume contest, categories include most original costume, most Baltimore costume, and best dog and person look-alikes.
The rain date for BARCStoberfest is Sunday, October 23.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animal, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, barcstoberfest, calendar, costume contest, dogs, event, festival, fundraiser, halloween, maryland, orioles, pets, strut your mutt, vendors
The Chinese government has banned a 600-year-old tradition in the province of Zhejiang — an annual street carnival in which dogs are butchered, cooked and consumed.
Public outrage led to the decision, Xinhua, the official news agency said.
The October dog-eating carnival in Qianxi township commemorates a local military victory during the Ming dynasty in which dogs were slaughtered to ensure they did not bark and alert the enemy, the report said.
According to a Reuters report, dogs are killed and skinned in the streets, partly for tradition’s sake, partly an effort by vendors to show their dog meat is fresh and safe, as a way to ease buyers’ worry that the meat may contaminated.
Opposition to the event — thousands of web users swamped social networking websites to protest the carnival — is just the latest example of evolving sensibilities in China and other Asian countries when it comes to dogs, with dogs becoming viewed less as food source, more as companions.
In April, an impromptu road block by animal welfare activisits and other citizens kept a truckload of 500 farm dogs headed to a slaughterhouse from reaching its destination.
Around 200 people helped block the truck — that’s it in the photo at the top of this post –at a toll booth for 15 hours. Eventually, they were able to negotiate the dogs’ release for $17,000, saving the dogs from being slaughtered and served as food.
(Photo: David Gray / Reuters)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, asia, blockade, canceled, carnival, china, consumption, dog, dog eating festival, dog meat, dogs, eating dogs, farms, festival, internet, opposition, qianxi, slaughter, slaughterhouse, social networking, truck, zhejiang
Ace loves the glare of the spotlight. The glare of the sunlight? That’s another matter.
For the five hours we spent Saturday at Bookmarks, Winston-Salem’s literary festival, Ace probably spent about three of them in the shade of a covered table, even though it wasn’t all that hot.
Once he discovered the shady spot in the neighboring booth, Ace decided he was a stalwart fan, if not of “genuine jazz,” at least of WSNC — 90.5 on your FM dial.
He was supposed to be staying with me in the booth of the Winston-Salem Journal, which was kind enough to give me some space to sell and sign my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
But after hitting it off with Marguerite Oestreicher, who works for the station, he decided laying at her feet in the shade was better than hawking books in the sun — and she seemed to have no problem with that.
For much of our time there, all that was visible of him was his tail, or a paw, sticking out from under the table’s drape.
When he did venture out, he did his job — drawing a crowd — most of whom, as usual, wanted to know what breeds are in him and how he got so big.
We sold a handful of books, donating 25 percent of proceeds to the Journal’s Newspapers in Education Fund.
Thanks again to the Journal, and to WSNC.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, author, book, bookmarks, books, dog inc., festival, literary, north carolina, pomegranate books, sales, shade, signing, sun, wilmington, winston-salem, winston-salem journal, woestendiek, wsnc
The Korea Dog Farmers’ Association had scheduled the festival for Friday, to be held in the traditional open-air market in the city of Seongnam just south of Seoul — the one I visited while researching my book, and where I took the photos that appear on this page.
Moran Market is a block long outdoor market that sells, produce, vegetable, herbs and animals, including dogs, which can be butchered to order. One can pick a live dog, for $100-$150 and have it butchered. About two-thirds of the dog meat sold in Seoul (not counting that prepared in restaurants) is sold there.
The festival planned to showcase various canine delicacies including barbecued dog, sausages and steamed paws. Also featured would have been cosmetics and spirits made with canine ingredients.
But South Korea’s young and burgeoning animal welfare movement, and concerns over international perceptions, managed to bring those plans to a halt, said Ann Yong-Geun, an adviser to the Dog Farmers Association.
“We couldn’t possibly go on with the plan due to endless phone calls of complaint… now there are few willing to rent us a place for the event,” Ann, a professor of nutrition at Chung Cheong University, told AFP.
Ann said the festival would have displayed video clips and pictures of farms raising dogs under sanitary conditions, contrary to public perceptions.
About 600 farms raise dogs for meat in South Korea, where their meat has long been eaten by a portion of the population. Dog soup, or Boshintang, is considered, by some, a summer delicacy.
Growing numbers of Koreans oppose the practice and consider it an international embarrassment. The planned festival sparked opposition from South Korean animal rights groups and many Internet users.
“This is making our country an international laughing stock, and making the whole world mistakenly believe that all South Koreans eat dogs,” said Park So-Youn, head of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth.
I got to meet Park during my visit to Seoul, while researching my book, “DOG, INC.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend.”
It was in Seoul that the first dog clone was produced (Snuppy), an achievement that was in part due to scientist’s easy access to farm dogs for use as egg donors and surrogates. The successful cloning of dog led to the formation of two companies — one in the U.S. and one in Seoul. Only the one in Seoul remains, and continues to clone dogs for profit.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rights, animal welfare, animals, boshintang, canceled, clone, cloned, cloning, coexistence of animal rights on earth, complaints, culture, dog, dog farmers, dog inc., dog market, dog meat, dog meat festival, dogs, eat, eating, eating dogs, farm dogs, farms, festival, international, issue, korea, moran market, opposition, park so-youn, perception, pets, photos, seoul, snuppy, south korea
The short documentary above — and, be warned, it will make you cry — chronicles the last minutes of a dog named Oden.
One of more than 6,500 submissions from thousands of artists and filmmakers, “Last Minutes with Oden” won top honors in a video contest sponsored by Vimeo, the online video sharing website.
The video focuses on Jason Wood and his dog Oden, who got cancer and had a leg amputated last year. But the cancer spread, leading Wood to make the anguishing decision to put down the dog who taught him how to love.
The video by Eliot Rausch documents the last day of Oden’s life. Vimeo’s panel of judges named it the best documentary, and the best video, and Vimeo presented the owners with a grant of $25,000. The awards were presented last month in New York City.
Jeremy Boxer, Co-Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards called the video “one of those rare, intimate shorts that leads with its heart and soul.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amputation, animals, awards, cancer, death, decision, documentary, dog, dogs, eliot rausch, euthanasia, festival, filmmaking, honor, jason wood, judges, last minutes with oden, oden, pets, phos, pictures, put down, sad, short, video, vimeo
The latter, being my grandparent’s hometown, already had a piece of it; and, to be more accurate, I didn’t really leave my heart in any of those places, they just got it purring and pumping again.
When one leaves my grandparent’s former house, they can — and I’d recommend doing it very carefully — turn left or right on Highway 212.
Left is Saugerties, a tidy little village that’s like stepping into the distant past. Its main claim to fame, nowadays, is antiques. Every block downtown seems to have several.
Turn right and you end up in Woodstock, an art colony that gained more fame when its name was used for the legendary 1969 concert, which was held 40 miles away. “By the time we got to Bethel” wouldn’t have sounded nearly as cool.
Once I was 9 or so, I’d visit Woodstock whenever we went to visit my grandparents — first at the urging of my sister, who once persuaded my brother and I to walk there (it was about six miles), later on my own volition.
There we could see art, and funky shops and hippies — a world far removed from the quiet one my grandparents lived in, whose beat never varied, muted and steady as the tick-tock of the grandfather clock in the dining room.
I’m sure they looked at Woodstock’s transition as if it were an alien takeover, and annoying, too, what with all the added traffic, including lots of Volkswagen vans, that zoomed by their house once Woodstock became a destination — first for artists, later for hippy pilgrimages.
On our visit last week, Ace seemed to take Woodstock — still an artsy place, since the 1970′s a souveniry one as well — in stride. He’s actually yawning in the picture above, as opposed to singing along with Janis Joplin, whose cardboard cut-out stands behind him.
We spent a couple of hours there, and can report its still a great place for people watching — the real ones, anyway. The cardboard ones get boring pretty quick.
We spent a couple of hours on the quieter, non tie-dyed streets of Saugerties and made a quick visit to the Saugerties Lighthouse, whose bright beam of light guided ships along the Hudson River from 1869 up until 1954.
Then the lighthouse keeper was replaced by a machine, and later the lighthouse went into disuse.
It was scheduled for demolition until residents got it listed as historic in 1979. Now fully restored, it serves as a bed and breakfast (pet-friendly, but it costs $200 a night, and rooms need to be booked at least a year in advance.)
Getting there by land requires a half-mile walk through marshes — recommended at low tide. It was quiet but for woodpeckers pecking, birds chirping and squirrels scurrying.
After that, we went back to our campground, located just across the street from “grandpa’s fire house,” as we called it.
Rather than put out fires, as my grandfather did, I started one, then circled around it, thinking about all the memories the day brought back as I tried to find a spot where I could get the heat without the smoke. I popped open my can of Spam, and cut it into big chunks. I slid a stick through the middle of each piece and held them over the fire a few minutes to give the flavor a little more character.
Ace drooled as he watched. (Of course he got some.)
I went to bed early, under my sleeping bag and two of Ace’s blankets, thinking warm thoughts on a cold night.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1960s, ace, america, animals, art, colony, concert, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, festival, hike, janis joplin, lighthouse, marsh, memoires, nature, new york, pets, road trip, saugerties, saugerties lighthouse, tie-dyed, tourism, tourists, traveling with dogs, woodstock
Breeds: Too many to mention.
Encountered: At Dog Mountain, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
Backstory: Despite the death this year of its founder, Dog Mountain held its annual Dog Fest over the weekend — this time making it a celebration of not just dogs, but also of the life and art of Stephen Huneck.
Hundreds showed up for the event.
“We know he would have wanted everyone to have a great time,” said Gwen Huneck, widow of the artist who commited suicide earlier this year. “That is, after all, why the artist created Dog Mountain and the Dog Chapel. Stephen wanted families with their dogs to have fun and enjoy nature in a place where they can bond with their furry family members as well as other dog lovers.”
We brought you the story of artist Stephen Huneck and Dog Mountain in a post earlier today. But these photos from Sunday’s festival may best explain what it’s all about. In a word, dogs.
“Stephen believed having dogs in our lives encourages us to love, laugh and play more often, all qualities that are good for the soul,” she added.
“He also believed being around dogs makes it easier for people to interact with each other and make new friends.”
Roadside Encounters is a regular feature of “Travels With Ace” — the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing the country.
To see all our roadside encounters click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, art, artist, celebration, chapel, dog, dog mountain, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, festival, gallery, gwen huneck, memorial, mountain, pets, road trip, st. johnsbury, stephen huneck, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, vermont
A D.C. police officer shot and killed what law enforcement authorities described as a pit bull during a festival in Adams Morgan on Sunday afternoon — an action the dog’s caretaker said was uncalled for.
Aaron Block, 25, of Dupont Circle, said he was walking 2-year-old “Parrot,” who he described as a Shar-Pei mix, up 18th Street when the dog suddenly turned around and bit a poodle that was passing by.
Block said he managed to separate the two dogs, and was subduing Parrot when police arrived. A police officer took over, putting his knee in the middle of Parrot’s back while the dog was on the ground.
According to Block, the officer then grabbed Parrot by his neck and threw him over a banister at the Brass Knob antique store. Block said the dog was getting up when the officer shot him.
“The officer drew his gun in an unnecessary act of cowboy gunslinging law enforcement and shot my dog amidst a crowd of thousands,” said Block, who was fostering Parrot while he was waiting to be adopted through Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “The problems here are almost too numerous to count,” he told the Washington Post.
The Post, which ran this photograph of the incident, by Dylan Singleton, also published the full police report, which was obtained by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
The officer, 25-year-veteran Scott Fike, fired one shot, fatally wounding the dog.
Jacob Kishter, commander of the 3rd Police District, said that the dog was running at the officer, and called the shooting justified.
Tony De Pass, 67, a former D.C. police officer who lives in Northwest, said that the dog was charging directly at him when Fike drew his gun and fired and that “if the officer hadn’t shot the dog, the dog would have got one of us, either me or the officer…What he did, I would have done the same damn thing.”
Block said Parrot was a “very people-friendly dog, with absolutely no bite history.”
On it’s website, the rescue organization called Parrot’s death tragic and unwarranted: “We have received numerous questions about the incident, and, because news outlets have varied significantly in recounting what happened, we have spoken to as many eye witnesses as possible, and have requested and obtained the official police report.”
“According to multiple eye witnesses, Parrot had already been subdued and was being held securely by his foster, Aaron Block, when the police arrived on the scene. Parrot was not ‘out of control.’
Lucky Dog also disputes that the dog was charging at the officer. “A witness who was standing on the Brass Doorknob’s porch saw what transpired in the stairwell. He told us that Parrot was stunned from the fall and had only just gotten to his feet when the officer drew his gun and opened fire without provocation.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron block, adams morgan, animals, bite, d.c., dogs, festival, killed, law enforcement, lucky dog, lucky dog animal rescue, news, ohmidog!, parrot, pets, pit bull, police, scott fike, sharpei, shot, washington
Dining with your dog could soon become legal in Frederick County, Maryland.
Sen. Alexander Mooney is proposing a measure to give the Frederick County Commissioners the authority to allow people to dine with their dogs in outdoor dining areas, the Frederick Gazette reports.
Mooney filed the bill last week, the day after Frederick city officials — who want to see outdoor dining with dogs legalized — decided to wait on drafting a bill of their own, in light of concerns that restaurant rules and regulations fall under county jurisdiction.
Mooney’s proposal would give the county commissioners the authority to allow outdoor dining with dogs. The Maryland General Assembly would have to pass the bill, and the governor would have to sign it. Then it would be up to the county on whether to allow it.
The Downtown Frederick Partnership, which promotes economic development in downtown Frederick, has spearheaded the campaign to permit dining with dogs.
Kara Norman, executive director, said one of the partnership’s most successful events is its August “First Saturday” celebration, which is themed “Dog Days of Summer.” The event brings more than 11,000 visitors to downtown Frederick from several counties and neighboring states.
“I think it’s important to our residents and the people who live here, as well as to our tourists,” she said. “The partnership has found, and many of our merchants have found that this is a group who is loyal, willing to travel, and really appreciates that you take care of them … and their dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alexander mooney, animals, bill, city, dining, dog, dog days of summer, dog friendly, dogs, downtown frederick partnership, festival, frederick, frederick county, general assembly, health, legal, legalize, legislation, maryland, outside, patios, pets, proposal, restaurants, senator, tourism, travel