The sprucing up of Petite Acres — the trailer park in Arizona where I’ve temporarily hung my hat — continues.
In addition to paving the dirt road that leads into the trailer park, to keep the dust down, the owner hired one of my neighbors, Ramiro, to come over and remove a tree stump from my yard.
As Ramiro brought over his tools — an axe, a pick and multiple shovels — Ace followed him back and forth to his trailer, and, as he has before, got a hand out.
“I was feeding him some tamale and he ate the whole husk,” Ramiro said. “I hope it doesn’t make him sick.”
Clearly, Ace didn’t understand the intricacies of Mexican cuisine; then again, his policy when it comes to any food is generally to eat it first and ask questions later.
Six hours later, about the time the tree finally came down, the tamale came up. Ace walked to the trailer door and started hacking, and got down the stairs just in time to cough up a corn husk.
I’m not sure why the stump had to be removed. It takes up much more of my dirt yard now that it’s horizontal instead of vertical, but I’m sure someone will be chopping it up and hauling it away, and filling the giant hole in the ground.
But, being a temporary resident, my vote didn’t count.
Ramiro probably didn’t care either way about the stump in my yard, but once he tackled the task, it became a battle he had to win — and all done without the aid of heavy equipment. It was man versus stump.
Ramiro proudly took a picture of the tree he’d singlehandedly brought down. I took a picture of what Ace coughed up. Then, at Ramiro’s request, I took some pictures with his cell phone camera of him standing atop the fallen tree truck, raising his arms in victory.
All in all, as they go, it was a pretty exciting day at Petite Acres.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, animals, arizona, ate, cave creek, corn husk, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, eating, neighbor, petite acres, pets, ramiro, road trip, stump, tamales, trailer park, travel, travels with ace, tree, vomit
John Steinbeck’s French-born poodle, Charley, had little reaction to the giant redwood trees of southern Oregon and northern California – much to the chagrin of the author whose path we have been following for the past three months.
Based on what he wrote in “Travels with Charley,” seeing his dog make “his devoirs” — “devoirs” being French for “paying respect,” and paying respect being Steinbeck’s euphemism for peeing — was clearly important to him.
Charley urinating on a giant redwood, Steinbeck said, might “set him apart from other dogs — might even be like that Galahad who saw the Grail. The concept is staggering. After this experience he might be translated mystically to another plane of existence, to another dimension, just as the redwoods seem to be out of time and out of our ordinary thinking.”
He made a point of keeping Charley shielded from the trees, in the back of his camper Rocinante, until pulling over at the biggest redwood he could find.
“This was the time I had waited for. I opened the back door and let Charley out and stood silently watching, for this could be dog’s dream of heaven in the highest.” But Charley ignored the tree, Steinbeck wrote. “Look, Charley. It’s the tree of all trees. It’s the end of the quest.”
Then, he wrote, “I dragged him to the trunk and rubbed his nose against it. He looked coldly at me and forgave me and sauntered away to a hazelnut bush.” Not until Steinbeck broke off a willow branch, whittled one end to a point and inserted into the bark of the giant redwood did Charley do what seemed so important to Steinbeck. Devoirs accomplished.
It’s not exactly one of the warmest dog-human moments in the book — and Charley’s aloofness was pretty much the opposite of Ace’s reaction to the magnificent giants.
Ace rose up as we entered our first redwood forest and pressed his nose against the closed window. As always, I motored his window halfway down so he could sniff as well as see as we rode down a winding stretch of two-lane highway, rolling from dark shadows into blinding sunlight.
When we finally pulled over alongside a grove of redwoods, Ace was eager to get out, and tugged me into the forest.
He sniffed it, peed on it, and jumped up on it to sniff some more.
I won’t even try to describe the awe the redwoods inspire. Photos can’t do them justice. Word can’t do them justice, though Steinbeck came as close as anyone to getting across the “remote and cloistered feeling” one has when among them.
“One holds back speech for fear of disturbing something … for these are the last remaining members of a race that flourished over four continents as far back in geologic time as the upper Jurassic period.”
As the author noted, they have a way of making us realize how insignificant we are: “Can it be that we do not love to be reminded that we are very young and callow in a world that was old when we came into it?”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, book, california, charley, dogs, forest, giants, grove, john steinbeck, oregon, peeing on redwoods, pets, redwood, redwoods, road trip, steinbeck, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, travels with charley, tree, trees
Posted by jwoestendiek November 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, conifer, diversi-tree, diversity, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, driving, evergreens, golden, haiku, highway, highway haiku, pets, poetry, road, road trip, tamarack, travel, travels with ace, tree, trees
Animal control officers in Connecticut are asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery of a dead pit bull found in a trash bag hanging from a tree near a highway.
Authorities say bloody clothing, needles and syringes were also in the bag, found near a highway in the town of Orange on Saturday. It’s not clear how the dog, a 1- to 2-year-old female, died, according to the Register Citizen in Litchfield County.
The pit bull had puncture wounds on its shoulder and officials are looking into whether it was used in dogfighting rings. A necropsy is being conducted at the University of Connecticut.
The resident who found the bag called police about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers took pictures of the bag in the tree and left it with the resident, who buried the dog with the bag and its other contents in his yard, Assistant Animal Control Officer Linda Schaff said.
After being called about the incident, Schaff went to pick up the dog Sunday, which is when the resident disinterred the animal and turned it over to her.
Anyone with information on the dog is asked to call the shelter at 203-389-5991.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, bag, bloody clothing, connecticut, dead, dogfighting, hanging, hung, linda schaff, necropsy, needles, news, ohmidog!, orange, pit bull, pitbull, puncture wounds, syringes, trash bag, tree