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Tag: lassie

Locked out in Arizona

One pitfall of freeloading, I’ve learned – at least twice now – is that every person’s home has its own quirks, whether it’s a toilet that’s tricky to flush, water faucets in which the hot and cold are reversed, or doors that lock behind you when you step outside.

The latter caught me again this week.

After spending a week with my brother in Gilbert, I headed up Friday to spend a couple of days with my father in Scottsdale. Ace, who he and his wife Bonnie had met before, reconnected with the both of them, and so dazzled them with his good behavior that they felt okay about leaving him in the house when we all went out to eat some Mexican food.

A couple hours later, around 8 p.m., they went to bed, first showing me the ropes – like the light that, because of no off switch, must be unplugged, the switch to turn off the ceiling fan, how their TV remote (a device that has grown increasingly complex in recent years) worked.

I kicked off my shoes, hopped on the couch, started blogging, switched to watching TV and dozed off.

Around 11:30 I was awakened by a beeping. The burglar alarm, though not enabled, was spouting off. They were sleeping right through it, so I decided to check the perimeter of their home, and smoke a cigarette while I was at it. I slid open the sliding glass door to the backyard and called Ace, who stuck his head out, felt the temperature outside and pulled his head back in like a turtle.

Fine, stay inside, I said, pushing the sliding door closed to preserve the precious air conditioning.

And hearing an ominous click.

Exactly one month after locking myself out the first time on this trip, at my mother’s home, I’d locked myself out again, at my father’s home. (Please feel free to psychoanalyze that behavior.)

I briefly pondered sleeping outside, but with temperatures still feeling like they were in the 90s, I motioned for Ace to come to the door, thinking maybe by some miracle he could lift his paw up and hit the lock to let me back in. Instead he stared at me through the window with a look that said “What are you doing out there?” turned around, walked over to the couch and, always the opportunist, climbed into the spot where I was formerly dozing.

So much for a Lassie-esque rescue.

In my socks, I walked through gravel whose pieces felt like they’d been individually sharpened, and around to the front door, checking windows on the way. Everything was locked up tight, including the front door, which not even my nearly over-the-limit credit card could get open. I briefly worried about the alarm company showing up, seeing me trying to gain entry, and unloading on me. After all, this is Arizona.

I rang the doorbell, once, then twice, then a dozen times, knocked on the door until my knuckles ached, but no one awakened, not even Ace. Then I took to slamming on the door, hard, with my open hand. That got Ace to barking, which, combined with a few dozen more doorbell rings, finally brought my father downstairs to let me in.

“What are you doing out there?” he asked.

I explained the whole thing. He went back to bed. Stressed out by the whole ordeal, I stepped outside for a cigarette, this time insisting my hero dog come with me, and leaving the door open a crack.

(To go back to the beginning of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)

Beethoven is favorite movie dog, poll says

Too bad, Toto. Tough break, Scooby Doo. Boo hoo, Beverly Hills Chihuahua. None of you made the top five in a recent poll to determine the public’s favorite movie dog.

Neither did Marley, Benji, White Fang, Hachiko, Snoopy, Lady, Tramp or Air Bud.

With the debut of “Marmaduke” last week, MovieTickets.com polled moviegoers to see which doggy superstar reigns supreme — and no, Marmaduke didn’t make the list, either.

Beethoven was tapped as Hollywood’s top dog with 28 percent of the vote, while Old Yeller came in a close second with 24 percent. Also in the top five were Hooch, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin.

In case you’ve never visited, ohmidog! offers a fine selection of dog movies in our Amazon affiliate store.

We’ve got one for dog books, too.

Snoopy edges Lassie in AOL poll

snoopySnoopy beat out Lassie, but just barely, in a recent poll conducted on behalf of the new AOL pet website, PawNation.com.

Both Lassie and Snoopy captured 39 percent of the votes for “favorite celebrity animal,” but Snoopy edged the beloved, but fading from memory collie by 14 votes. Garfield and Scooby Doo trailed with 12 and 11 percent, respectively.

The survey covered other important issues as well.

Asked “which celebrity pet’s passing did you mourn the most?” Oprah’s deceased dog Sophie came in at the top, followed by Mickey Rourke’s chihuahua, Loki.

In other results from the poll, the honors for ”craziest pet owner” went to Leona Helmsley, with Paris Hilton a distant second. And the celebrity picked as the one people would most trust to watch their pet was Jennifer Aniston, who captured a whopping 70 percent of the vote, beating out Mickey Rourke, Pam Anderson and Nicole Richie.

Almost half of the respondents said their pets sleep in their beds every night, and more than fourth said they did some sometimes.

(Graphic: from redkid’s ”Snoopy Says Generator”)

Shooting your dog in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Friday that a state animal cruelty law is too vague and confusing to be used to prosecute people for shooting and killing their dogs or cats.

The Superior Court overturned the conviction of a northeastern Pennsylvania woman on conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals in the 2006 shooting outside Weissport of her 6-year-old pit bull-chow mix, named Bouta.

“If the Legislature wishes to make it criminal to shoot one’s own dog or cat, it must do so in a clear, unambiguous manner to give reasonable notice that the act is criminal,” wrote Judge Richard B. Klein for the majority. “It did not do so in this case.”

It was the second time in less than a year that the appeals court ruled in favor of Wendy Colleen Kneller of Carbon County, according to an Associated Press report. A decision last February was issued by only three judges, but the court agreed to hear it argued again and on Friday issued an 8-1 ruling.

The dissenting judge, Correale F. Stevens, wrote, “A sweeping policy conclusion that a dog owner can shoot a healthy, happy dog for no reason … would replace the call of ‘Lassie, come home’ with ‘Lassie, run for your life.”‘

The court said Kneller told a state trooper that the dog had bitten her child. Prosecutors said Kneller gave her boyfriend a .40-caliber handgun and told him to shoot the dog. Her lawyer, Paul Levy, said Friday that some people do not have the money to have their pets euthanized at an animal clinic.