Saturday, March 31, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
We've had a rash of dog cruelty stories here in Tucson.
A Shih Tzu was tied to a cactus in the middle of the desert and left to die (rescued, and now in a loving home) A pit bull was used for target practice by two young men (rescued, but euthanized) Today, I read an awful story about a pregnant German Shepherd mix named Cissy, who was tied up and left without food or water. And a greyhound named Otis, who had his tail sawed off and his face burned with cigarettes. Plus -- and I quote -- "details too graphic for most."
Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell sentenced the owner of Otis and Cissy, Wayne Allen Dean, to two years in prison, adding that Dean wasn't an appropriate candidate for probation, given the acts he committed and his unrepentant attitude.
Dean's lawyer objected, saying that the two guys who'd shot the pit bull didn't end up going to prison.
Fell's succinct reply to that was: "I didn't sentence them."
Dean is quoted as saying (presumably in his defense): "I wouldn't sodomize that dog. That's insane."
He also pleaded guilty to an indictment that included nearly a dozen felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty counts. The mind boggles. No, it doesn't. It recoils in horror, and disgust.
Both dogs were rescued, but Otis, Cissy and her puppies subsequently contracted distemper, and had to be euthanized. Judge Fell ordered Dean to pay the $5,250 it cost the county to care for them, despite Dean's lawyer's objection that the dogs only had a "fair market value" of $180.
One can't help but notice that these animal abusers always seem to be men .
I think prison is way too good for them, especially in light of the fact that most of their victims (including Cissy's innocent puppies) end up paying the ultimate price. You know what I think we ought to do to people like Wayne Allan Dean? I think we ought to neuter them. Humanely, of course. Under anaesthetic. Just like we do to dogs.
This isn't nearly as cruel as what they do. In fact, it's not cruel at all. We'd actually be doing them a favor. They wouldn't have to worry about getting testicular cancer afterwards, would they?
Monday, March 26, 2007
Bao would have loved going to a play group. But I'm not going to cut off his balls, not at this stage. I mean, would you?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Here's Bao, curled up with a good book. There's nothing he likes better than to curl up with a good book -- or failing that, someone who's reading one!
This is a good book. This is a great book. This book is really good fun. And I'm not just saying that just because the author happens to be a dear friend of mine, although he is. It's called, Doctor in Vanuatu by E.A. (Ted) Freeman and it's about packing up your young wife and five kids (one of them newly born) and going off to the New Hebrides to be a medical missionary in the sixties. Lots of us did lots of things in the sixties, but this takes the cake, although doctoring on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean was definitely no cakewalk.
You had to learn to do without certain things in the New Hebrides, things like running water and refrigeration and electricity. You had to be flexible. You had to be the sort of person who could perform surgery by torch-light, with a medical text propped open in front of you. Occasionally, you also had to be the primary blood donor. No blood banks in the New Hebrides, back then.
And you know what? They enjoyed every minute of it, the whole family. They had a ball. That's what I mean when I say this book is fun. It's a blast. It's an experience. You can get it through Amazon and I promise you, you'll love it.
Monday, March 12, 2007
We saw dolphins this morning. Three of them, leaping and diving around the offshore reef. This is the first time I've ever seen dolphins naturally, not in a zoo or an aquarium.
This is the view from the balcony of our condo in Puerto Penasco, also known as Rocky Point. (I like the sound of Puerto Penasco better. It rolls so trippingly off the tongue)
Bao is gradually getting used to the idea of the beach. What he really likes is hanging out beside the pool, curled up under by chair in the shade. But I've got these fantasies of Bao and me, running along the sand, the wind in our hair, all of that. So he's really got to get over his fear of the sea gulls, most of which are the size of turkeys and therefore, much bigger than he is.
This is Spring Break, and I wondered how bad it would be. Not bad at all, mostly because there's a fairly strict policy about renting to kids. And the condos are expensive. I remember Spring Break, back when I was young. Fort Lauderdale. Where the boys were. Problem was, most of the boys were drunk most of the time. Everyone was drunk. That was the point of it, to get drunk. It still seems to be the point. I couldn't figure it out then, and I still can't. And you know what? I'm glad I'm not young anymore.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Doesn't look much like Bao, does it?
It's a Shih Tzu carved out of a bit of bamboo root, treasured by some Chinese scholar two hundred years ago. It's tiny -- about the size of my thumb -- and is holding a lattice-work ball that symbolizes the Buddhist jewel of truth. It's from the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which I hope to visit this summer.
Shih Tzu means lion dog in Chinese. The Chinese thought they looked like lions. Of course, there weren't any lions in China, so nobody knew what a lion really looked like.
Who knows how many lovely poems this little dog inspired? Chinese scholars were connoisseurs of such small, exquisite items, and collected with both passion and discernment, valuing humble, organic materials like soapstone, wood and bamboo over gold and other ostentatious metals. The honesty and simplicity of natural materials was meant to reflect the scholar's own character.
Sorry I couldn't make the picture bigger. I still haven't really mastered the fine points of my scanner.