The townhouse community in which I live is divided into bays.
On my bay — Bay 8 — there are 20 housing units. There are two or three children. And there are 27 dogs.
Every once in a while when the weather gets nice and the neighbors get coordinated, a dog party is scheduled — held at the bay’s dead end, right in front of my house.
Everybody brings beverages and appetizers and lawn chairs and their dogs.
And then the festivities begin.
With only a few exceptions, the dogs behaved exceptionally well.
One (not mine) got into the apple pie somebody brought. Another (mine) peed in the middle of the seating area. Otherwise, they behaved in an exemplary manner.
The humans did OK, too.
Based on their luxury cars, some neighbors assumed they were investors, who would buy the house and rent it. (Owner-occupied homes are preferred.) So there was some talk of sending all the dogs to that house to bark and poop and generally create a bad impression. (The dogs did not oblige.)
There were big dogs and small dogs, puppies and elderly dogs, the vast majority of them having come from shelters and rescues.
At least two of my neighbors have five dogs. They would bring one or two to the party at a time, return them to their houses, and then come back with more.
The plethora of pooches is one of the things that attracted me to the community, and Bay 8 in particular.
If ever a neighborhood needed a dog park, it is this one. There’s enough demand that the homeowner’s association recently gave the OK, at least unofficially, to letting people and their dogs use the fenced-in tennis courts, which are seldom used for tennis.
Everybody knows socialization is good for dogs, and good for humans. In communities like mine, where residents can often keep to themselves, dogs are probably the main way that people come together. And — though I’ve only been to one — dogs are far less boring and far more fun than homeowner’s association meetings.
If you’d like to see more photos of the dog party, you can check out the album I posted to the ohmidog! Facebook page.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bay of dogs, behavior, block, block party, community, dog, dogs, jinjja, neighborhood, neighbors, party, pets, sherwood west, socialization, socializing, townhomes, winston-salem
There doesn’t seem to be much loving of thy neighbor going on around Anderson Valley Christian Church in rural Indiana.
Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies arrived there Sunday after reports of gunfire and explosions, found a decapitated dog hanging in front of a nearby cross, and unearthed a bit of a feud between a church elder and a former churchgoer.
14 News reported that former churchgoer Damian McBride, who lives next door to the church, suspects a church member was responsible for poisoning his dog.
To send a message, McBride said, he used a piece of heavy equipment to hoist his dog’s headless carcass into the air in front of a large stone cross on his family’s property.
Just in time for it to be seen by families arriving for worship at the church, about 50 feet away.
(The dog’s head had been removed during a necropsy, and the body was later returned to the family.)
Madden claims he was once bitten by one of McBride’s dogs, but the case was thrown out in court.
The McBrides say they suspect Madden or some other church member is responsible for poisoning their dog Bruno — their fourth pet to be poisoned, they claim.
The necropsy results are not in yet, but McBride said he found hot dogs in his driveway and what appeared to be rat poison.
Madden said thinking a church member would harm McBride’s dog was ridiculous.
“There’s not a person in this church who would do something like this,” he said.
“I’m kind of lost for words,” he said. “Hanging a dead dog on a cross that Jesus died on for me and you and everybody else, that’s sad.”
Madden said attendance at services has dropped by half since troubles began with the neighbor.
Deputies say the investigation is continuing. No charges were filed Sunday because the gunfire that drew authorities there came from the home, and the guns were never pointed at the church, according to Dubois County Free Press.
The dog’s body was covered with a blanket and strapped to the cross Sunday — apparently after sheriff’s deputies arrived. On Monday, the dog was still there.
McBride said he used to attend services at the church every Sunday but is now banned from the property.
McBride says two of his cats and two of his dogs have now died mysteriously.
“I just don’t want anyone else’s dogs to be poisoned or killed and I want the people that poisoned by dogs to go to jail,” he said.
(Photos: Dubois County Free Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 3rd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anderson valley christian church, animals, bite, body, bruno, carcass, church, cross, decapitated, deputies, dog, dogs, dubois county, feud, gunshots, headless, hung, indiana, investigation, necropsy, neighbor, neighbors, pets, poison, poisoned, sheriff, strapped
Maybe you can blame his owner — for not getting his front door fixed, and for not getting Raider fixed — but the 4-year-old Labrador mix was only doing what intact dogs tend to do, when the neighbor dog goes into heat.
The mutt went out the unlatched front door, and over to the home of a neighbor, who authorities say shot Raider twice when he caught him copulating with his prized purebred.
The neighbor, Randall Schexnayder, 51, of Metairie, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana.
Raider is expected to recover from gunshot wounds to the muzzle and neck, according to his owner, Jim Hanley, 43. The dog disappeared last Wednesday, returning a few hours later covered in blood. Initially, Hanley thought Raider had been hit by a car, the Times-Picayune reported.
He took the dog to a vet, who told him Raider had been shot.
Hanley told the sheriff’s office who he suspected. A couple of neighbors had complained about Raider getting loose, and one had warned Hanley that he would take action if he ever caught Raider mounting his purebred dog.
When deputies called on that neighbor — Schexnayder — he admitted shooting the dog. He told the deputies he chased the dog off once, but when the dog returned, and attempted to mount his pet — whose breed wasn’t identified — he shot Raider twice with a .22-caliber pistol.
Schexnayder turned the gun and Raider’s collar over to authorities and was briefly jailed before being released on bond, according to the New Orleans Advocate.
Hanley, while not denying his dog accosted his neighbor’s purebred, said that doesn’t justify his dog getting shot.
“I understand that (a strange dog mating with a prize female) would be upsetting, but it would never cross my mind to pull out a firearm,” he said. “I think my first move would have been calling animal control. I mean, my Lord.”
Raider is named after the Archbishop Rummel High School Raiders.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 5th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeds, charges, cruelty, dogs, female, jefferson parish, lab, labrador, louisiana, male, mix, mount, mounted, mounting, mutts, neighbors, pets, purebred, retriever, sheriff, shooting, shot
A 40-year-old DreamWorks animator — one who worked on animal-themed children’s movies such as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar 2” — has been arrested on an animal cruelty charge after a surveillance camera videotaped him beating a neighbor’s muzzled dog with a hammer.
Young Song pleaded not guilty in court yesterday and faces a preliminary hearing next month. He allegedly climbed a fence into a neighbor’s yard in Pasadena. Surveillance camera video shows the 16-month-old dog being beaten but does not reveal what Song did with the dog.
Authorities say the dog is missing and presumed dead.
Song was being held on $40,500 bail, according to authorities, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“When our officers first viewed the videotape, one of our officers had tears in his eyes. He’d never seen anything like this before,” said Steve McNall, who heads the Pasadena Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “In my 31 years at this animal shelter I’ve never seen anything like this.”
McNall’s agency, which is licensed to investigate crimes involving animals, is conducting the probe. It made the arrest in conjunction with Pasadena police.
According to authorities, the suspect shot the dog with a pellet gun, then returned with a hammer and began chasing and striking the animal.
The Times reported that Young works as a “surfacer,” an artisan who creates the look and surface qualities for animated characters, props and environments. Young’s credits on animal-themed films also include “Shark Tale” and “Bee Movie.”
The motive for the attack is not clear. “It might have originated as a barking issue, a noise issue, and then escalated into something else,” McNall said.
If convicted, Song could face more than four years in prison, the district attorney’s office said.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, animator, arrested, beaten, bee movie, california, charged, dog, dogs, dreamworks, german shepherd, hammer, kung fu panda, los angeles, madagascar 2, movies, neighbors, pasadena humane society, pets, shark tale, shot, steve mcnall, surfacer, surveillance, video, young song
When are you responsible for picking up the poop of someone else’s dog?
Apparently, in San Francisco, when it ends up on your roof.
When a building manager complained to the city’s health department that dog feces was piling up on top of the pet-free residential building — and that she suspected it was being left there by a dog from an adjoining pet-friendly building — an inspector came to investigate.
A week later, a “Notice of Violation” letter arrived in the mail — not to the offending dog’s owner, or even to the adjacent bulding, but to the manager who had complained. The notice declared her rooftop a public nuisance and threatened a $163 fine if the waste was not immediately removed.
The tale was told in the Bay Citizen, and reprinted yesterday in The New York Times, by columnist Scott James, who knows the manager, a fellow writer named Diane Archer who also lives in the building.
Before contacting the city, Archer — based on another resident having witnessed a dog crossing over from the roof next door — complained to the neighboring building’s owner. When it continued to be an issue, she went to the police, who sent her to the Department of Public Health.
On Jan. 13, Irene Sanchez, a health department investigator, toured the roof, took notes, and promised action — and, to Archer’s surprise, that action was against her, or at least her pet-free building.
Sanchez, noting she never saw the dog in question, said she had no choice. Even though Archer’s building had been victimized, it was responsible for cleaning up the mess. A health department spokeswoman, said that, unfair as it may seem, “someone has to clean it up” — and whether it’s poop or graffiti, the building owner bears that responsibility in San Francisco.
Scott James, the columnist, said he had no trouble finding the suspect — Jane, a 50-pound, shepherd mix who appaprently was sneaking up to the roof. Jane belongs to the girlfriend of a resident of the adjoining building.
The job of cleaning up after Jane fell to Archer, the original complainant, who scooped each pile up with a plastic sack and disposed of it.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cities, clean, courtesy, dog, etiquette, feces, health, law, neighbors, pets, pick-up, poop, responsibility, roof, rooftop, san francisco, scoop, waste
Say you forked over $650 to spend the month in a trailer in the desert – actually one of those big pull-it-yourself RV campers with popouts – and when you arrived the next day to move in, a little earlier than expected, you saw that not only were the pop-outs popped in, but the trailer was hitched to a truck, appearing as if it was ready to hit the highway.
(A) Immediately assume you’d been scammed?
(B) Shoot first and ask questions later?
(C) Politely inquire as to what might be going on?
Fortunately I chose (C) when Ace and I pulled into Petite Acres last week to move into what, after six months on the road, we’d arranged to be our home – we presumed, a stationary one – for a month in Cave Creek, Arizona.
As it turned out, my landlady wasn’t hauling the trailer away, only moving it a few feet over so that I might enjoy my entire concrete slab patio, as opposed to just the half of it that the trailer wasn’t resting on.
After a week of trailer life, Ace and I (though I shouldn’t speak for him) couldn’t be happier.
I can sit at the dinette (across from the kitchenette — midway between the bedroomette and the living roomette) and blog while looking out my windowette and enjoying a view of the mountains, strutting quail and rabbits everywhere. At night, I hear whinnying horses and howling coyotes and a few other sounds, and soundettes, I haven’t identified yet.
He has learned, somewhat, not to wander off to visit other trailers, though twice I’ve caught him at the homes of my two closest neighbors, where he tends to venture when they are cooking or eating.
One of them, who introduced himself as Romero, informed me that he didn’t mind Ace dropping by, but asked that I pick up any poop he might leave there, which, unknown to me, he had done yesterday. I apologized, and Romero, who was slow cooking some pork on an outside stovetop, was very nice about it.
Romero’s dinner smelled so good that I couldn’t be too hard on Ace for the transgression. Besides, it had happened hours before.
We’ve yet to encounter any javelina, those wild pig-like creatures who roam in the desert nearby, but I thought one morning I heard some snorting outside the trailer. We have a woodpecker friend who hangs out on the telephone pole in my dusty yard, and other birds — since I generally keep the trailer door open — have wandered inside to look around.
Yesterday, I went outside to absorb some sun — not to tan, just to bake out the morning chill. I’d just about dozed off on my lounge chair when a bird landed on me. Feeling little webbed feet on my thigh, I jerked awake, scaring him off before I could see what kind it was.
I found my temporary home on Craigslist, and, though it’s a trailer, it’s actually wider than my former rowhome in Baltimore — at least when the pop-outs, in the living room and bedroom, are popped out. I worried a little bit about hitting the wrong switch while in bed and getting compacted — hydraulically turned into a John-ette — but it turns out keys need to be inserted for the pop outs to move.
My landlady, Tami, has been wonderful, jumping on any problems that arise, showing me the ropes of RV life, and intent on making sure — though I’m only here for three more weeks — that I feel at home.
She took me to the library to get a library card, introduced me to some of her dog-loving friends and left me stocked up with movies on DVD, since there’s no TV reception. She invited me to join her and some friends at the American Legion Hall last night.
Ace and I have checked out the biker bar next door, The Hideaway Grill, enjoying some nice time there before being informed that, because of a recent incident involving a customer tripping over a leash, dogs are no longer invited to sit on the patio, at least not on busy nights. Last night, I visited the next closest bar, The Buffalo Chip, where Wednesday nights feature bull riding. Not mechanical bulls. Real ones. Dogs are welcome there, but not on bull riding night, or Friday nights, so Ace stayed home. I didn’t ride a bull. Maybe next week.
In addition to not getting TV reception — maybe a good thing — we don’t get mail delivery, and I have to walk my trailer trash down to the Dumpster next to the biker bar.
We’ve had some minor plumbing issues — the trailer, not me — but they were quickly resolved. (Oh, and that missing dental crown? I found it on the car floor while unpacking, and have reinstalled it in my mouth.)
I couldn’t imagine pulling this trailer — it’s a late 90’s Sea Breeze — down the highway, getting it leveled and hooked up at every stop, but, sitting still, it makes for a cozy little home that sways only slightly when Ace jumps on or off the bed or the couch.
I’ve thought I should give it a name, like John Steinbeck did with his camper, Rocinante. (Feel free to submit nominations.) There’s one I like — it’s both modest and Spanish-sounding — but it isn’t original. I saw it etched into a sign at a gift shop:
Posted by John Woestendiek December 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, almosta ranch, america, animals, arizona, bars, buffalo chips, bull riding, camper, campers, cave creek, desert, dogs, english bulldogs, hideaway, javelina, john steinbeck, mobile, monthly, name, neighbors, petite acres, pets, pop=outs, quail, rabbits, rental, restaurants, road trip, rv, steinbeck, trailer, trailer life, trash, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, travels with charley, wildlife, woodpecker
Gotta love Dundalk.
It’s Baltimore at its blue collar, unpretentious best, and it’s where, as our wandering continues, we’ve hung our hat (and leash) for the past three days as we attempt to figure out what to do next.
Once again, we were in the home of an ex (no bridge-burner me) — a modest little house on a traffic circle, across the street from the Dog House, a to-go restaurant painted highway stripe yellow that serves up hot dogs, burgers and greasy breakfast sandwiches that I eat on the front porch as Ace and his better-than-ever friend Fanny frolic in the front yard.
We sleep on the couch, wake up to the best kind of coffee (already made), take daily walks down to Bear Creek and spend most of the time on the front porch, writing.
Ace and Fanny alternately wrestle and rest in the shade, and Fanny always leaps up and runs along the fence when a motorcycle, boat on a trailer, or skateboarder passes by — those apparently being among her triggers.
We’ve gotten to know Brutus, a six-month old, but already huge, chocolate lab next door who likes to jump on (but not over, yet) the chain link fence, dangling his paws over the top rail and leaning as if to say, “C’mon over, let’s talk for a while.”
We’ve watched as the school buses roll by, and fresh-faced students head to bus stops, falling into the routine of another school year. One paused at the fence — a Mountain Dew in one hand, an open and half eaten plastic bowl of microwaveable macaroni and cheese in the other, her requisite blue uniform shirt open to display more cleavage than I would think her school would deem appropriate — and asked me for a cigarette.
“Fresh out,” I replied.
In Dundalk, people say what they mean, mean what they say, and wear what they want. If they’re feeling crabby, they show it (especially in the traffic circle), and if they’re feeling friendly, they show that, too.
Today, Ace and I bid farewell to Fanny and head back to the old ‘hood — South Baltimore, where I’ll stay again with my schoolteacher friends for a couple of days before heading to another friend’s home nearby for a few days more. She’s going to the beach, and her cat needs feeding. Even though her cat hissed at me the last time I fed it — and after I fed it, no less — I quickly volunteered for the job.
Our time in Dundalk has been peaceful, work-friendly and comfortable, but one shouldn’t overstay one’s welcome — especially with an ex, even if she is your dog’s number one fan and Godmother. For ex’s move on from the shared life and start their own and, painful as it might to no longer fit into it, that’s reality.
Like the signs say, one must yield to the traffic in the circle.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, baltimore, brutus, circles, dog house, dog's country, doghouse, dogs, dogscountry, dundalk, ex, fanny, fences, friends, john and ace, maryland, neighbors, relationships, road trip, traffic, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace