A Raleigh city councilwoman posted a photo of her dog relieving himself on a marble column of the statehouse, and compared her canine’s act of seeming disrespect to the way the Republican-controlled General Assembly is treating North Carolina’s citizens.
“I figured, what better way to get my frustration across than with humor?” said City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin, who used her Maltese-Yorkie mix and Facebook to register her displeasure.
“It shows a little outrage, and I think a little outrage is appropriate right now,” Baldwin said Friday. “I think it’s time for the gloves to come off.”
Baldwin on Friday posted a photo on Facebook of her dog, Jack Bauer — named for the terrorist-fighting agent from the TV show “24″ – relieving himself on a marble column outside the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Democratic councilwoman admits it may be undiplomatic, but she says the image seems to capture the sort of disrespect that, in her view, Republican lawmakers are showing — particularly in regards to a deal the city of Raleigh made with the state to lease the 325-acre grounds of the closed Dorothea Dix mental hospital for a regional park.
Republican lawmakers have moved to kill the deal, which had been signed and approved by former Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.
Bills introduced last week would essentially tear up that contract. Republican lawmakers say the deal is not good for taxpayers, and that the $68 million the state could receive over the decades from the city is too low, according to the Associated Press
“It’s beyond me how lawmakers, who are supposed to uphold the law, can think they can undo a legally binding contract,” Baldwin said. “This is nothing more than bullying and intimidation by some members of the General Assembly.”
“I was hoping for the best, but I think I’m seeing the worst,” Baldwin said of the GOP legislative agenda. “When I think about some of the legislation that has moved forward lately, whether it’s telling local governments what design standards they should have, or getting rid of renewable energy tax credits, and then you through Dix on top of that, you just sit there and say, ‘What are we doing?’”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capitol, city council, column, deal, dog, dogs, dorothea dix, facebook, general assembly, jack bauer, lease, maltese, marble, mary-ann baldwin, mental hospital, mix, north carolina, park, pee, peeing, pees, pets, photo, politics, post, raleigh, republicans, statehouse, urinating, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
We all know that when a dog pees on something, it’s generally not an opinion that he’s expressing.
Still, there are those who see poetic justice in Richard Jackson’s oversized sculpture, “Bad Dog,” a 24-foot black Lab who’s urinating on the side of the Orange County Museum of Art, a building many see — despite all the fine artwork inside — as artistically lacking on the outside.
The work by Jackson adorns one facade of the museum in Newport Beach, where an exhibition of his work – ”Richard Jackson: Ain’t Painting a Pain” — is underway.
The oversized pup, visible from blocks away, is made of fiberglass panels. Inside, Jackson installed a vat of yellow paint that continuously shoots, via hidden hoses, a stream onto the side of the building.
The peeing dog, and Jackson’s indoors exhibit, will remain on display through May 5, 2013
According to the nearby plaque, the “guileless dog unwittingly points to the sometimes rigid institutional constraints that can frustrate artists and audiences alike.”
My Modern Met describes the project as “one of Jackson’s many ‘painting machines’ that excretes pigments in an unusually creative fashion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ain't painting a pain, art, artists, bad dog, dog, exhibits, expressing, ichard jackson, institutional constraints, lab, labrador retriever, museums, newport beach, opinions, orange county museum of art, paint, painting machines, pee, peeing, peeing dog, peeing puppy, puppy, sculpture, stream, urinating, yellow
I think that I shall never see
a tree unscathed by doggie pee
– Not Joyce Kilmer
Maybe there are some out there — a tree or two that, in their lifetimes, have somehow avoided ever being annointed by dog.
But, sharing the country with 75 million dogs, as both trees and we do, that is unlikely — and even more so in paved-over urban areas, where dogs sometimes outnumber trees, the living things they seem to most like to pee on.
For centuries, there seems to have been an unwritten agreement — a pee-ful coexistence — between dogs and trees. But, at least for half a century or so, there have been worries expressed about the cumulative effect of the continual sprinkling that some trees undergo, especially those in densely populated urban areas.
Some were recently voiced by a Philadelphia woman with an interesting perspective. Carrie Maria owns Monster Minders, a Philadelphia dog-walking service, and she’s a graduate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Tree Tenders program.
“Urine is highly acidic,” Maria wrote on the The Monster Minders blog. “Simply put, dogs’ urine ‘burns’ the tree’s trunk to the point that the tree becomes susceptible to diseases, pests, dehydration and nutrient loss.”
Maria’s report drew the attention of The Atlantic, which ran a lengthy piece on its blog, Atlantic Cities, complete with photos she had taken of disfigured trees in her neighborhood she says are likely victims of pee-blight.
We can’t confirm that the damaged trees she photographed (pictured here) are solely victims of dog pee — and neither could experts. But we give her credit for speaking up for the underdog, which in this particular case is trees.
“Your dog ‘marks’ the tree, then another dog walks by 10 minutes later, smells your dog’s scent and hits it again, 15 minutes later and another dog walks by, hits it again. This goes on day in and day out … One dog’s scent ends up on a tree and others just keep marking it, over and over until the tree is compromised.”
Where I live — not in a real big city, not downtown — the yard in front of my apartment has huge oak trees, planted probably a good half century ago, or more. Ace pees on his favorite one regularly, but it’s so well-established it doesn’t seem to mind, and show no signs of damage.
About this time of year, the oak trees start raining acorns, and every once in a while one drops and hits Ace in the head. He jumps up and looks around, unaware he has been the victim of poetic justice.
Impervious as the big oaks in my yard may be, saplings in cities — the ones growing in a few square feet of dirt, the ones that have become potty stops for dozens of dogs daily — are another story.
“Repeated hits with urine basically causes an ‘open wound’ right on the base on the tree. Since the bombardment from pee is semi-constant in an urban environment, the trees never have a chance to heal from past damage. These wounds open the trees up to a slew of diseases that they just can’t fight off.” Maria wrote.
Her solution: Curb your dog.
It’s an old phrase, and one that – outside of places like New York — lots of people don’t even understand. It means to pee where the street meets the curb. And while that may lead to gutters running yellow, and car tires taking on a pee-scent, thereby attracting more to dogs to take aim on them, Maria finds that preferable to the tree assault.
“It’s simple. Redirect your dog when he/she is headed for a tree,” Maria says. ”Teach your dog to ‘curb it.’”
How big a factor is dog pee, compared to all the other hazards urban trees face — like road salt, car doors, poor soil, limited room to grow and youths with pen knives? As the Atlantic Cities blog points out, experts aren’t sure:
“Whether pee hurts trees is a question that’s attracted virtually no research attention since its earliest mention in the academic literature …”
The post mentions one presentation, way back in 1959, in which a plant pathologist named Pascal Pirone warned of the dangers. In ‘Why shade trees die along city streets,’ a presentation given at the International Shade Tree Conference, he said ‘dog canker’ could kill trees up to 6 inches in diameter.”
But the Atlantic post also quoted a staff member at the Smithsonian Institution’s horticulture department as saying the trunk damage shown in Maria’s photos could have come from a number of causes, “including mechanical damage [i.e. mowers, car doors, pedestrians], southwest injury, disease [cankers], and insects [borers].”
While the extent of the harm caused by dog urine remains untallied, most experts agree it can’t be helping trees.
“We deal with it in the sense that I imagine trees get added stress or maybe anxiety” from dogs, says John Thomas, associate director at Washington, D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration. “I don’t know how much dog urine you need to kill a tree. But there’s definitely something there…. Somebody could definitely get a masters or Ph.D. out of studying it.”
(Photos: Top photo by John Woestendiek; tree photos by Carrie Maria / Monster Minders)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acid, animals, atlantic cities, blogs, carrie maria, curb, curb your dog, damage, dog, dogs, downtown, health, horticulture, marking, monster minders, pee, pets, philadelphia, saplings, scent, trees, urban, urination, urine
But, being a big dog’s human, I’d have to agree with Joan Klucha, a British Columbia dog trainer: It’s not entirely right — emphasis on entirely — for big dogs, and their humans, to be held to a higher standard than small dogs.
Klucha, in a column for the North Shore News in Canada — one I’d guess she’s going to take some grief for, diplomatic though it is — points out that little dogs can get away with a lot more than big dogs can.
A case in point is poop, which is what she starts the discussion with, recalling a visit to a client who, once she saw the condition of her home, Klucha assumed wanted help with house training.
“Oh, we don’t care about that,” the client said. “They are little dogs. Their poop is so little we clean it up and it’s not a bother at all. It’s their barking; it’s driving us nuts.”
A little dog can jump up, drop a load, be yappy, be rambunctious, even attack, but it’s often not taken as seriously as when a big dog does those things. As Klucha notes:
“There is a general consensus among many people that the size of a dog determines its behaviour, meaning a small dog automatically means a good dog. Let me set the record straight: The size of a dog is never the issue that determines whether a dog is good or bad. It is always the owner.”
Klucha points to a recent case in Ontario in which a small dog bit a child and the dog’s owner argued her dog was too small to be vicious, and not a threat to anyone.
“If this was a large dog, the outrage over the incident would have demanded that the dog be euthanized,” Klucha says.
“When someone sees a small dog lunging, barking and snapping while pulling at the end of a leash, they chuckle to themselves or don’t give it much thought. If it was a large dog behaving like that, animal control would surely be called out to deal with the situation.
“Small dogs get away with many inappropriate behaviours simply because they are small … Large dogs live under a microscope and are scrutinized for every misdeed.”
When you have a big dog (and mine’s 130 pounds) you do have a heavy responsibility. But small dog owners have a responsibility, too, and while most live up to it, there are those — not you, of course — who think their precious little one can do no harm and let them get away with anything short of murder.
Where the double standard most offends me is when it’s in the form of rules – at motels, in apartment complexes or from other entities that set weight limits under the thinking that big dogs automatically cause bigger problems. That’s just wrong.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I’m going to go pet a little dog now. His name is Bogey. That’s him in the picture. He lives a few doors down, and he’s very well behaved. I will try to make sure my dog Ace doesn’t pee on him again. Even though Bogey likes to walk under Ace — perhaps for the shade, perhaps for the view, perhaps for the sake of sniffing – he doesn’t deserve a surprise shower.
Being a big dog owner, making sure that doesn’t happen is my responsibility.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, behavior, big dogs, bogey, discipline, dogs, double standard, joan klucha, manners, obedience, pee, perceptions, pets, poop, rules, small dogs, standards, train, trainer, training
Given all the attention received by Mitt Romney’s former dog, Seamus — he of roof-riding fame — it’s not surprising that Rick Santorum’s dog story takes a back seat.
Then again, unlike Romney’s, Santorum’s doesn’t reflect bad judgment, just bad luck. He brought it out of his playbook again this weekend to make the point that, well, I’m not sure what point it makes, other than he doesn’t let a little dog pee deter him.
On Saturday night, Santorum told the tale — from his first campaign for Congress in 1990 — to an Ohio crowd of more than 1,000 Republicans at the Summit County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. The Washington Post published it verbatim:
“…We went knocking doors in Upper St. Clair, which is outside of Pittsburgh, a nice little neighborhood … And I knocked on the door and this little elderly lady comes to the door. … She had a little dog that was barking. And I said, ‘Hi, I’m Rick Santorum. I’m running for Congress.’ … She looked at me and goes, ‘Oh, you look so hot.’ She goes, ‘Why don’t you come in for a glass of water?’
“So I went in and sat down. And the dog is running around, barking. And she goes in and gets her glass of water, and I sit down … She hands me the glass of water. And the dog jumps up and hops in my lap.
“Okay, fine. So, I had the dog. I had a sip or two of water. We chatted. And the next thing I know, there is a warm sensation on my lap.
“And I jump up, and on my tan pants is a huge wet spot where you don’t want a huge wet spot. So, I jumped up to look at it, and she was aghast. She reached for my pants and said, ‘Let me dry that off.’ I backed away and said, ‘No, that’ll be fine.’ She goes, ‘Let me get a hairdryer.’ Heaven forbid! And I said, ‘No, thank you very much.’ I start to move out the door and she goes, ‘Well, take your pants off. I’ll put them in the dryer.’ That was the last I heard from her, because I was out the door …
“Undeterred, I soldiered on. … So, I looked at my sheet, and I say, ‘Well, who’s the next door?’ Well, the next door is a name I recognize. Anybody remember the closer for the 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates? Kent Tekulve, correct … I said, ‘Hi, Mr. Tekulve. I’m Rick Santorum, I’m running for Congress…’
Tekulve checked out the wet blotch on the candidate’s pants, but ended up voting for him anyway.
“So, I wanted to share that with you,” Santorum concluded. “I’ve walked the path that you’ve walked. Maybe a little differently, but I’ve walked the path. And we’re walking the same path in this election.”
(Photo: Photo: Tony Dejak / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, campaign, candidates, congress, dog, dogs, kent tekulve, mitt romney, ohio, pants, pee, pennsylvania, pets, pirates, pitcher, pittsburgh, presidential, republican, rick santorum, seamus, st. clair, story, summit county, urine
Pity the poor dogs of El Cerrito — at least those who go for walks.
It has long been illegal for dogs in the northern California city to have a bowel movement, unless they — and by that we mean both dog and bowel movement — were in their own yard.
At least it was until yesterday.
The city council was expected to approve last night a proposal to change the old law, amending it to allow dogs to “excrete” off the dog owner’s property — as long as the person in possession of the dog cleans it up.
The old law was never enforced, but city staff apparently thought it needed to be revamped to better fit modern times, according to Patch.com.
Under the city’s muncipal code, it was illegal for anyone in possession of a dog to allow it to engage in “excreting on property other than that of its owner.” Under the revised ordinance, scheduled for a vote last night, it would only be illegal if a dog’s owner failed to clean it up
We are assuming, by excretion, they mean what is more scientifically called No. 2. If not, and owners are now expected to clean up No. 1, or urine — and it too is excreted, at least according to my dictionary — that could be even more problematic than the old law.
Here’s how the old law read:
It is unlawful and shall constitute a nuisance per se for any person having possession of any dog to permit the same to disturb the public peace and welfare by barking, teasing other pets or animals, jumping fences, spilling garbage cans, excreting on property other than that of its owner, giving birth on the street, lying on the sidewalk so as to block it, burying objects of any sort on property other than that of its owner, or running loose on school property.
The new law still uses the term “excrete,” which, for clarity’s sake probably should have been updated as well. Perhaps an excess of discretion led to using “excretion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, city council, dogs, el cerrito, excrement, excrete, excreting, excretion, fecal matter, illegal, laws, ordinance, pee, pets, poop, property, revised, waste
As was the case with our kudzu dogs, this one requires just a squirt of imagination.
Ace and I were walking the streets of downtown Missoula when we saw a chocolate Labrador stopping to pee — well, not really stopping at all, which was the interesting part.
For almost half a block, he zig-zagged along the sidewalk, leaving a squiggly trail behind him.
Perhaps he, or his owner, had no time to stop — maybe the human had an urgent appointment, or maybe the dog had a weak bladder; or maybe, just maybe, the dog was expressing himself in the other meaning of the phrase.
Maybe he’d discovered a way around not being able to speak human — and it’s just a case of no one having discovered his amazing ability yet.
Sure, it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s see what happens when we turn it sideways.
Don’t bother moving your computer; allow me:
If I’m not mistaken, it spells Missoula, Montana.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, behavior, bladder, chocolate labrador, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, downtown, missoula, montana, pee, pets, road trip, sidewalk, trail, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, urination, urine
Dogs are no longer permitted in the 13 cemeteries in Concord as a result of the vote, and those caught disturbing the deceased will face fines between $50 and $1,000, according to the Concord Monitor.
Councilor Steve Shurtleff proposed the measure, saying using cemeteries as dog parks is disrespectful — though it’s not clear whether anyone was actually doing that to any large extent.
What the councilors were aiming at, most agree, was preventing dogs from urinating or defecating in cemeteries.
What they passed was a blanket ban that fails to take into consideration that some families might want to bring their dog to visit a deceased family member — or bring a deceased family member’s dog to visit their master’s grave.
The council — apparently obsessed with dog waste, and apparently pandering to the uptight members of their constituency — neglected to factor in the comfort dogs can provide when families are coping with the death of a loved one.
So while we admire their effort to keep dead people covered with dirt — and the rocks set atop dead people covered with dirt — pristine, we’ll have to add this to our list of dumb dog laws.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ban, cemeteries, city council, city councilors, concord, council, dog, dog parks, dogs, dumb, feces, fines, graves, law, new hampshire, news, pee, pets, poop, respect, waste
Land of Enchantment? I think not, at least not for dog owners whose otherwise pampered pets are restricted to gravel pits in which to pee and poop. Signs say that dogs are not allowed on the rest area’s grassy areas.
Near the human rest rooms was a sign that asked, “Do you approve of this rest area?” with buttons to push for yes and no. My long answer is a question: how much trouble would it be to designate one of the many large patches of unused grass for dogs, and supply some poop bags? Probably cheaper than the electronic sign. As you might guess, I pushed no. Five times.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, animals, bathroom, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, highways, land of enchantment, new mexico, ohmidog!, pee, pet areas, pets, pits, poop, rest areas, road trip, travel, traveling with pets
Not unlike the one we showed you in North Carolina — Texas has some ridiculous designated dog areas at its highway rest stops, too, like this one we encountered while driving down I-10.
Call it the cage of poop — almost totally unshaded, lined with large hunks of rock that can’t feel good on the paws, and about the size of a prison cell.
What better way to let your dog unwind from being cramped in the car than to stick him in a cramped, brutally hot, rock-lined, chain link-surrounded pen?
Wake up, highway departments. Our dogs, generally speaking, are traveling with us on vacation, not serving time. If you’re seeking tourists with pets, show a little respect for them as opposed to providing an Attica-like experience.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1-10, ace does america, dog friendly, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, don't mess in texas, facilities, highways, interstate 10, interstates, north carolina, pee, pets, poop, rest area, rest stop, road trip, roadside, texas, tourism, travel, traveling, traveling with dog