Finally, some good press.
Ace got a nice mention — and I didn’t fare too badly, either — in our friend Susan Adcock’s “Carny Dog” blog last week.
We had the pleasure of meeting Susan, a long-time ohmidog! reader, and her pit mix, Stella, when they came to Baltimore from Nashville last week — a pilgrimage prompted by the last request of a carnival worker named Barney, who Susan befriended as a photographer.
After Susan spread Barney’s ashes on the grave of his mother, we met up at Riverside Park, stopped to hydrate with the dogs at a neighborhood bar and went out to eat.
Among Susan’s kindly notations on my dog and me: ”…It didn’t take long to realize that the two of them were as much a part of the neighborhood as the park itself. Everyone from homeless guys to moms pulling wagon-loads of kids knew them well enough to stop and talk, and they did. Humans called out to Ace from a distance.” Ace, she noted, was “one of the more well-adjusted dogs we’ve encountered.”
She was also impressed with our impromptu dessert. We stopped at the house of some friends on our way back for some leftover birthday cake. “It is a true friend who will let a man show up with a complete stranger, at nine-thirty at night for dessert,” Susan wrote.
On that point, I couldn’t agree more.
I think, for Susan, it was love at first sight — for the city, I mean. I think she saw in Baltimore what I see in it: its curiously appealing grittiness, its near total lack of pretentions, its quirkiness, its deeply etched character, and characters — some as shiny and polished as the Inner Harbor, some as rough-edged and splintered as a ratty working wharf.
Having just pulled out Friday, I miss it already.
I think Susan does too. “Seriously,” she wrote, “it made me want to move.”
(Photo: Ace, Stella and me, by Susan Adcock)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, baltimore, barney, carnival, carnival workers, carny dog, carnys, dog's country, dogs, john, ohmidog!, pets, road trip, stella, susan adcock, travel, travels with ace, visit, visitor
This one’s about a dog named Stella, a carny named Barney and the woman who sort of adopted them both — a Nashville photographer who motored up to Baltimore last week to carry out Barney’s last wish: that his ashes be spread upon the grave of his mother.
Susan Adcock became enamored with carnival workers more than a decade ago, and continued to count them as her friends long after she completed a newspaper assignment documenting their lives in photos. A highly compassionate sort, she helped them through troubles and sometimes even gave them shelter in her own home.
Among those she befriended was Barney, a down on his luck, hard drinking sort from Baltimore who she met while taking carnival photos. Barney, for a while, had a job as Barney, the dinosaur. He’d put on his purple dinosaur outfit and delight when the audience cheered and called his name, which was actually his name.
When Barney died, it was Susan who saw to it that he was cremated, in accordance with his wishes, Susan who took possession of his ashes, and Susan who cleaned out his apartment.
“I packed up his apartment over the weekend and by Monday afternoon, twelve years of hard living evaporated into space,” she wrote on Pitcherlady.com, one of her blogs. “People that hadn’t seen Barney in forever stopped by to say how sorry they were. They asked for things and I didn’t mind them asking. Most of them loved Barney too. Just not enough to stop by and help him get to the bathroom when he needed it …”
The next day, she took the Baltimore native’s ashes back to her house in Nashville, and found some comfort in having them around.
“Often you have three days or so to say goodbye and then that person in in the ground under a stone. This experience taught me that being able to take the remains of the deceased home with you is much more bearable. I knew in my head that Barney was gone but I was able to sit the box on my kitchen table and we hung out all summer together. That was a gift. My grief was tempered by having him around.”
As summer wound down, Susan planned the trip to Baltimore. Barney wanted to be “returned to the arms of his mother.” She died in 1978. This week, Susan drove to Baltimore with her dog Stella in the back seat, and Barney’s boxed ashes in the front. She took the ashes to a cemetery on Eastern Avenue, where she me Barney’s daughters, and a grandson he had never met.
“Their pictures used to be stuck on the side of his refrigerator with magnets and he told me once that he wanted them there so he could see them from his bed whenever he looked up. He used to tell them goodnight before he went to sleep, ’like the Waltons,’ he said.”
Barney was a big fan of TV, and, for 12 years, never turned off the one in his apartment. “I remembered Barney saying once that wherever he ended up, they better have cable,” Susan wrote.
Once Susan accomplished her mission and the ashes were spread, she — along with Stella, a pit bull also adopted from the carnival — saw a little of Baltimore. She visited Edgar Allan Poe’s house, they took a ride in a water taxi, and she went in search of crab cakes — finding none below $20. That’s when she wrote me.
A regular reader and commenter on ohmidog!, Susan knew Ace and I were on the road, and didn’t know we were back in Baltimore for a bit. Long story short, as they say, we emailed back and forth, talked on the phone, met with our dogs in Riverside Park, and went to Captain Larry’s for crabcakes.
Susan, though she has a degree in psychology, decided to become a full-time photographer almost 20 years ago. You can see her work on her blogs, including pitcherlady and carnydog, which centers on Stella, the pit bull she adopted two years ago. Stella belonged to some carnival workers and was three months old when Susan took her in. By then, she — Stella — had already been to four state fairs and a variety of other spots throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.
Knowing how hard carnival life can be, on dogs and people, Susan volunteered to adopt her and the owners agreed.
Stella and Susan left Baltimore Thursday, headed for a visit to the beach before going back to Nashville. We wish them safe travels, and count ourselves lucky to have met someone so compassionate, so talented and so aware that not every creature in need of rescue has four legs.
(Photos: Barney photo by Susan Adcock; Stella photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, ashes, baltimore, barney, blogs, carnival, carnival life, carny, carnydog, carnys, cemetery, compassion, cremated, dog's country, dogs, last wishes, pets, photographs, photography, pit bull, pitcherlady, remains, road trip, stella, susan adcock, travels with ace, workers, writing
You’re may not exactly be a spring chicken if you remember this 1974 advertisement for Beautymist Pantyhose, in which a camera pans up a pair of sexy gams only to eventually come to a stop at the face of their owner — Joe Namath.
It was an unsettling little commercial, especially to one who, growing up outside of Baltimore, had chosen the rebellious and flamboyant Broadway Joe as a role model over straight arrow Johnny Unitas.
Now, Joe’s setting a disturbing example again: One of the former NFL quarterback’s dogs was declared dangerous this week in connection with the May 2008 biting of a home health aide that mistakenly stopped at Namath’s home in Florida — and that’s just one of four complaints against Namath’s dogs.
Namath, 66, appeared at a hearing Thursday in West Palm Beach to answer to charges that two of his dogs attacked people who came to his home in Tequesta, a community about 90 miles north of Miami.
His 6-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, Leo, was declared dangerous, but the case against another of Namath’s dog, a 6-year-old Weimeraner named Stella, was dropped because a witness didn’t appear, the Associated Press reported.
As a dangerous dog, Leo must now be muzzled and leashed both off and on Namath’s property. He must also have a microchip implanted and carry a special “dangerous dog designation tag” — though the latter seems to me to be a lot like those bumper stickers that read “If you can read this, you’re too damn close.”
If Leo bites someone else, he could be declared “vicious,” and euthanized, and Namath could face criminal charges, officials said. Namath had no comment on the charges.
Local animal control officials say there have been four reports of Namath’s dogs attacking people on his property since 2007, “and rumors of many more.”
A UPS driver said he was “accosted by a pack of dogs” on Namath’s property in May 2007. In February of this year, a contractor working at the home was reportedly bitten by Stella, the Weimaraner. That victim didn’t show up at this week’s hearing and the case against Stella was dropped. In August, a landscaper on Namath’s property was bitten by one of the former New York Jets dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bite, biting, bitten, complaints, dangerous, dogs, florida, hearing, joe namath, leo, new york jets, quarterback, stella, west palm beach
The Walsh family in Cape Town, South Africa, was wondering where all their pacifiers were going. Even with two young daughters, age 1 and 3, they couldn’t figure out how so many (13) disappeared so fast.
This week they found the culprit, their 6-month old Bull Terrier, Stella, who had swallowed each and every one.
That’s how many a shocked veterinarian discovered in the dog’s small intestine and stomach during an operation on Tuesday.
Stella’s veterinarian, Kati Plumstead, said Stella had been lethargic for a few months and couldn’t keep her food down. To finally find out was wrong, she X-rayed Stella’s torso and did not find anything unusual. But when she physically examined the dog, Plumstead felt something in Stella’s abdomen. With that, she did some exploratory surgery.
“I wasn’t quite sure what I was dealing with. I checked the rest of the abdomen and pulled out one dummy (that’s what they call them in South Africa). But then it was like dipping into a lucky packet. I pulled out another, then another and on it went,” she said.
On Wednesday, when Plumstead brought out the container of pacifiers to show the Cape Times newspaper, Stella immediately perked up and lunged towards them, nearly gobbling one again.
Her owner, Peter Walsh, said they had suspected the dog might have gotten a pacifier or two, judging from her droppings, but they had no idea a collection was forming inside her.
Stella is recovering at the vet and is expected to be discharged soon.