Sarah Palin is criticizing the Obama family’s official White House holiday greeting card for its emphasis on dog, not God.
The card features an image of Bo, the Obama family dog, in front of a fireplace in the White House library with a poinsettia, some greenery (but no tree) and other decorations.
It makes no mention of Christmas, Jesus or God, and states: “From our family to yours, may your holidays shine with the light of the season.”
Palin told Fox News that she found it “odd” that the card emphasizes the dog instead of traditions like “family, faith and freedom.”
“They wanted to do an inside shot, something home related,” said L.A. artist and designer Mark Matuszak, who created the card. “One idea was to focus on Bo, the Obama family dog. “So we thought, let’s put Bo in front of a fireplace.”
In reality, it’s not unusual for a White House holiday card not to mention Christmas, or God — even under Republican presidents.
And the presence of dog is nothing new, as pointed out by BusinessInsider.com. Of the two cards below, the one on the left was sent out by George W. Bush in 2005, and featured his dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley. The one on the right was sent out by Ronald Reagan. Look closely and you can see what appear to be, gasp!, pawprints.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, card, christmas, christmas cards, dog, fireplace, fox news, george w. bush, god, greeting, holiday, jesus, obama, official, pets, politics, president, presidents, republicans, ronald reagan, sarah palin, values, white house
A pleasant outing with her dogs turned into a nightmare for a Washington woman when both of her dogs jumped into a concrete-sided canal and were swept up in its current.
Noya Deats regularly walked her dogs, Fawn and Nia, along the Roza Canal, which is marked with signs warning people not to enter it, due to its sometimes swift current and steep and slippery sides.
Last Wednesday, the dogs decided to jump in, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic – only to find they couldn’t get out.
As the dogs were being swept downstream, Deats ran alongside, trying to keep up with them while calling her husband, Matt.
Matt arrived after she had run — and the dogs had drifted — about two miles. He found a ladder leading into the canal, climbed down it and attempted to grab one of the dogs, but missed her as she floated by.
A Yakima County Sheriff’s deputy arrived and attempted to lasso the dogs with a rope, but without success. As the dogs were swept along the canal, Fawn, a Labrador mix, seemed able to keep her head above water, but Nia, an Australian shepherd mix, was struggling, Matt said.
Things were looking hopeless when, about three miles from where the dog entered the canal, a 54-year-old farmworker, hearing the commotion, approached, watched the deputy struggle to rope the dogs, then asked for the lasso.
Jesus Villanueva, who speaks only Spanish, roped one dog on his first try and pulled it to safety; on the second try, he snagged the other.
“I was amazed,” Noya Deats said. “He just kind of came out of nowhere. It was amazing how fast he lassoed them.”
Villanueva said he learned to lasso at a cattle ranch in Jalisco, Mexico, but it had been 30 years since he had roped anything.
Photo: Noya and Matt Deats hold onto their dogs, Fawn, right, and Nia as Jesus Villanueva, right, looks on. By Andy Sawyer / Associated Press
Posted by jwoestendiek September 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canal, cowboy, dogs, farmworker, fawn, jesus, jesus villanueva, lasso, lassos, mexico, nia, noya deats, pets, rescue, rescues, roza canal, villanueva, washington, yakima
This utility pole — in Kinston, North Carolina, about 90 minutes east of Raleigh — has been attracting attention in the last week from people who see in it a strong resemblance to Jesus on the cross.
And who are we to argue — especially with our addiction to kudzu dogs?
Kent Hardison, who goes by the pole every day on his way to work at Ma’s Hotdog House, told the Free Press of Kinston that he considered spraying weed killer on it when he first saw it, but then thought better of it.
“I glanced at it, and it looks like Jesus,” Hardison said. “I thought, ‘You can’t spray Jesus with Roundup.’”
Hardison said some of his customers think the vine might be an indication that God is watching over the region — and he thinks that’s possible. As he noted, there are some similarities between kudzu and Jesus.
“It doesn’t matter what you do, it is going to be around,” he said. “Ain’t that a lot like Jesus?”
And, as one news report pointed out, The Gospel of John quotes Jesus as saying “I am the true vine.”
Based on our vast experience, and being — while a disciple of dog — an afficianado of kudzu, I can tell you that Kudzu Jesus isn’t kudzu, despite what’s being reported by news media around the world.
At the time, spending hours seeking out and photographing kudzu growing in the shape of dogs, I questioned what had become of my life — how a prize-winning journalist had been reduced to pursuing such a trivial diversion. But now it all pays off, as I can warn the world of a false prophet.
Kudzu Jesus is actually Trumpet Vine Jesus.
To its credit, The Free Press, which broke the story of Kudzu Jesus, corrected itself today, reporting that “multiple sources” have confirmed “that the Christ-like vine on a pole about one mile south of Kinston on U.S. 258 South, is actually Trumpet Vine — a wild vine native to Southeastern U.S.”
Both a local historian and an agriculture extension agent told the newspaper that trumpet vine — named for its trumpet-shaped flowers — is what’s growing up the pole.
Don’t be fooled by Trumpet Vine Jesus; wait until the real kudzu saviour comes along — and I’m sure, in time, he will.
(Top photo: Charles Buchanan / Daily Free Press)
(Bottom photo: John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: christ, cross, crucifixion, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, growing, image, imagination, jesus, jesus christ, kinston, kudzu, kudzu dogs, kudzu jesus, mistake, news media, north carolina, religion, saviour, shape, south, travels with ace, trumpet vine, utility pole, vine, vines, weed, weeds
Sweeping back through the south, we’ve crossed Tennessee and made it to North Carolina, this time without the benefit of what, back in the summer, was our favorite form of highway entertainment — looking for dogs in the kudzu.
The Vine That Ate the South is naked now, having lost its leaves for winter, leaving behind only long strands of clumped-together, spindly, bare vines. I can no longer see big green animals in the leaves, only stick figures, spider webs, spaghetti and road maps.
The kudzu will be back, though, in spring — and ready to spread as quickly as “adult superstores” have through Tennessee. There are a lot of “adult superstores” in the Volunteer State. Going down I-40, it seems like every other billboard is either touting an “adult superstore” or the fact that Jesus Saves.
After crossing the Mississippi River, we stopped outside of Memphis for a quick visit with my son, checking into a Best Western, where I had reserved a room online, after seeing it touted itself as dog-friendly.
Not until I arrived did I see that there were pet fees, according to a posting at the front desk – $15 for a dog between 5 and 20 pounds, $25 for dogs 20 to 40 pounds, and $35 for dogs 40 pounds and up.
I immediately squawked — I’ve become a bit more of a squawker in recent months – pointing out that I’d be paying almost as much for the dog as for me.
“How much does your dog weigh?” asked the desk clerk.
I thought about lying, but, having seen too many God billboards, couldn’t. Over 100 pounds, I said, adding that he’s much better behaved than a lot of 10 pound dogs, and pointing out that the whole charging by weight concept was ludicrous.
The desk clerk made a face like he’d swallowed something yukky and excused himself. Ten minutes later he was back, with a room assignment and news that they’d only charge me $25 for the dog.
Too tired to have any principles, and wanting to get off the road on New Year’s Eve, I accepted the discount and took the room. Then I seethed about the whole thing — especially the weight part — for a couple more hours.
Charging fees for dogs is not dog-friendly; its dog-greedy. I wonder how much damage dogs do to motel rooms across America, compared to that done by people.
Rather than pet fees, maybe motels should be looking at rock star fees — for they, if we’re going to stereotype, are famous for trashing rooms. Why not a fraternity boy fee? A student on spring break fee? A crying baby fee? A loud sex fee?
Only twice in our travels have we experienced loud sex — both times from the room next door. Ace and I did the only thing we could. We tilted our heads and looked at the wall the sounds were coming from, then turned up the TV.
Is that constitutional? Even prisons allow visitors.
Depite all the control being exercised in motels, or at least the one we stayed at, Tennessee, as a state, seems less successful at reigning in kudzu, or adult superstores. (Not that I have anything against adult superstores; it’s a free country, except at the particular Best Western we stayed in.)
As we passed through Tennessee, I stopped at several huge thickets of kudzu (and at no adult superstores, though I was wondering what exactly made them “super”).
I searched the bare vines for dog shapes, which some some of you may recall became a bit of an obsession for me over the summer, but I could find none.
Instead, all I could see in the withered and weepy vines were hunched over old witches, overworked peasants and evil motel desk clerks who charged exorbitant pet fees.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adult superstore, america, animals, best western, dog, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, forms, god, i-40, Interstate 40, jesus, kudzu, kudzu dogs, lodging, motel, pet friendly, pets, road trip, shapes, south, tennessee, tourism, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, weed
With God on my side and Jesus in my cupholder, Ace and I passed through the Texas panhandle Wednesday, revisiting the site where, 18 years ago, almost to the day, I nearly got myself killed.
This time around, the roads weren’t icy, there was no snow; only vicious winds that tried to blow me off the road.
Just to be extra safe — well before my dreaded approach to the tiny town of Groom — I stopped to fill my thermos with coffee at the Jesus Christ is Lord Travel Center, on the east side of Amarillo.
It was opened less than two years ago by Sam Kohli, who also runs a Jesus Christ is Lord trucking line, whose 100-plus trucks are all emblazoned with that phrase.
“He just felt there were a lot of people who didn’t know Jesus Christ is Lord,” the woman at the cash register explained to me, charging me a mere $1.18 to fill my thermos and wishing me safe travels.
In 1993, returning to Philadelphia after a three-year assignment in California, my Isuzu Trooper slid off icy I-40, turning over twice before coming to rest, right side up, at the bottom of an embankment.
Anyway, back 18 years ago, I managed to restart the crumpled vehicle and drive half a mile to the nearest motel, where I checked in, along with my dog at the time, a mutt named Hobo.
As I stood in the lobby, trying to contact my insurance company on the pay phone, the desk clerk kept pointing me out to new arrivals, and each time he told the story he added one more roll: “That’s him over there, rolled over four times, he’s lucky to be alive.”
For the next three days, the dog and I licked our wounds and waited for the motel owners to come through with a ride they promised to the Amarillo airport, where I could rent a car for the rest of the trip. The Isuzu was totaled, and I’d been ticketed for reckless driving, though I was driving slower than anyone else on the road.
I kept waiting for our ride to the airport, and I started fearing there was a conspiracy to make me a permanent resident of the town of 500. Groom, coincidentally, is where much of the filming was done for the 1992 movie “Leap of Faith,” about a faith healer who bilks believers out of their money.
Finally, on day four — my room bill rising, my faith waning – I left the dog in the room, walked to a truck stop (it’s gone now, burned down, they say) and hitched a ride on a chicken truck to the Amarillo airport to get a rental car. Then I went back to the motel, picked Hobo up and drove on.
Back to the present: My original plan was to avoid Groom, on this trip and for eternity, but Wednesday, on a route that was sending me right past it, I decided to confront my fears.
The first Groom exit is the site of what bills itself as the largest cross in America.
It’s made of steel, 19 stories tall, with a cross arm that spans 110 feet. It took 250 welders eight months to complete, and weighs 1,250 tons. The man behind it is Steve Thomas, who was disgusted with billboards advertising “pornographic” services and decided to send travelers a different message.
It wasn’t there on my earlier trip — not being finished until two years later — so it took me by surprise. At first I thought that America’s largest cross (Effingham, Illinois, claims it has one eight feet taller) had been built at the precise spot of my accident.
I realized later, though, that the spot where I almost met my maker was a mile ahead, at the next exit.
Rather than get back on I-40, I took the back route, turning left on Route 66, driving through town, and approaching the scene of the accident from a side road.
I parked on the side of the road and left Ace in the car — not wanting him anywhere near the Interstate, or the accursed spot. I did grab my camera and pulled Bobblehead Jesus (B. Jesus, for short) from the cupholder so that he could accompany me.
I felt chills as I gazed at the spot, though maybe that was from the 60 mile per hour winds.
Feeling I had successfully confronted my fears — that I had found closure (not that I’m a big fan of closure; it’s so … final) — I went off in search of the motel that held me hostage.
Next door, I stopped in at a restaurant called The Grill, asking what happened to the motel. The owner told me that what used to be called the Golden Spread Motel stopped being a motel about 15 years ago, changed hands a few times and ended up as a storage facility.
I told her Golden Spread sounded like something you’d put on a sandwich — or maybe a pornographic term describing some act with which I’m not familiar.
I stepped back outside, into the wind, and thought about the gigantic, non-pornographic cross, which, without any guy wires, can withstand gusts of up to 140 miles per hour. In the car, I gave B. Jesus a pat, sending his head to bobbing. Then I gave Ace one.
I was still a little sour on Groom, but I felt a vague sense of gratitude, and gave God that conditional nod I’m prone to giving him or her: I’m not sure I believe in you, but if you’re the reason Hobo and I survived that accident, thanks so much for the ensuing 18 years (in Hobo’s case, about four).
By then I was back on I-40, traveling eastbound, buffeted by winds, bolstered by Jesus Christ is Lord coffee, strengthened by having confronted my demons, and inspired by a giant cross.
Ace looked around, as if confused: What were all those stops about? I’m not sure I know. I get overwhelmed when I start thinking about God and the hereafter. I have enough trouble handling the here and now.
But this much I know I do have: A deep and abiding faith in dog.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, amarillo, america, animals, bobblehead jesus, car, church, crash, cross, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, faith, god, god's country, golden spread, groom, hobo, ice, jesus, jesus christ, jesus christ is lord, largest, leap of faith, lord, pets, religion, road trip, route 66, texas, texasm panhandle, travel center, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, truck stop, trucks
A 120-pound Rottweiler-pit bull mix named Jesus was shot and killed by police in Rockville, Maryland after attacking his owner Saturday night.
Police say the dog’s 38-year-old owner, who lives in the Twinbrook area, suffered bite wounds to his arm, chest and thigh.
The dog was killed by two shots from a police officer’s handgun, the Washington Post reported.
“We tried everything,” said Rockville Police Chief Terry N. Treschuk. ”We just had to make a decision and bring this to an end.”
Police were called to the house, in the 5800 block of Ridgeway Avenue in the city’s Twinbrook area, at 6:20 p.m. Saturday and found the owner with wounds to his chest, thigh, arms, feet and hand, officials said. Three children in the house were not hurt, police said.
The owner, who asked police to capture and euthanize the dog, was admitted to Suburban Hospital and underwent surgery.
Police said the dog had apparently become agitated when the owner closed his bedroom door to keep him out. Officers tried for hours to capture the dog, first using a capture pole and a Taser. When those failed, police said, the decision was made to shoot the dog.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, attack, attacks, bite, dog, injuries, jesus, kill, maryland, mix, owner, pit bull, police, rockville, rottweiler, shoot, taser, wounds
Two years ago, Roger Bowman of California saw Jesus in his doggie door — look carefully and you can see a shaggy man’s image, too — and he took it as an omen that he should not get rid of his two dogs, as he was contemplating.
Now, he’s put the doggie door — framed — up for bids on eBay, hoping it can attract enough money to help the family through hard times.
If you’re interested, better hurry — tomorrow’s the last day to submit a bid. As of yesterday, it was up to $1,185.
Two job layoffs and the housing market crash put Bowman’s family in an economic hole, and they’re hoping they can raise some money by selling it, though acknowledging it will be hard to part with.
“I think it created a calm and happiness in our house and that’s a miracle,” Bowman told TV station KESQ in Palm Springs.
Before Jesus appeared in the doggie door, Bowman said, his two dogs were unruly. After it appeared, well, they were still a handful, but it was easier to cope with. One has since died.
“I believe it was divinely created. It’s too much of a coincidence,” says Bowman. Bowman’s 12-year-old son says the door creates all kinds of miracles from making his family happier to fixing things.
“Our ice machine was broken for a long time and it wasn’t working yesterday, but then today there is ice,” says son Sean Vasquez. “I guess it’s the miracle of Jesus.”
Here’s a closer look, courtesy of eBay: