Ground Control to Major Dog…

Posted Posted in animals, costume

Today, Hazel, my French Bulldog, had to have a thorn removed from her paw, just like Aesop’s fable, except that instead of a lion, it’s a dog who looks like a bat and sounds like a pig, and instead of a mouse, it’s a vet, and instead of exchanging favor for favor, he charged us $700. And now I have a Space Dog, because she can’t stop licking her foot. I think my dog is like a person in many respects, but if you had a hurt foot, your solution would never be: lick all the hair off, and when it’s red, swollen, and irritated, keep licking. Never stop licking. Maybe there’s a lesson we can learn here after all, about where persistence gets you- in a space dog collar.

Snow Day!

Posted Posted in animals, portland

From the bus stop at 7AM- I thought things might go badly.

Thank goodness we had five inches of white stuff dumped on us Tuesday, because after MLK day on Monday, we might have had to work four days *in a row*. Unfortunately, that much snow keeps Portland at a standstill, because we don’t really have much by way of chains or snowplows, and essentially we depend on local children building snowmen to clear the streets. Multnomah county is bussing in snowman-hungry children from as far away as Nevada to get the city back to normal.

Spouse tried to make a snow angel in the backyard, but something went horribly wrong and we wound up with an image of what would happen if you died in the snowy woods and wild bulldogs ate your face off.

Bulldogs, satiated with fresh people meat, but annoyed that the snow is up to their elbows.

Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear

Posted Posted in animals, art, costume, fashion, goth, halloween

Judging by the referrals on my site meter, a lot of people are getting to my page because they are looking for pictures or information about Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear. Since I sometimes pretend to myself that I am providing a service, here is a good page from Wikipedia about Gloomy, a toy series and his creator, Mori Chack.
From his press release: Gloomy, an abandoned little bear, is rescued by Pitty (the little boy). At first, he is cute and cuddly, but becomes more wild as he grows up. Since bears do not become attached to people like dogs by nature, Gloomy attacks Pitty even though he is the owner. So Gloomy has blood on him from biting and/or scratching Pitty.

The moral: wild animals are dangerous, even when they are cute and/or pink. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a hippo will take your arm off if it gets a chance. I met a guy who was pulled out of a boat in Africa and badly maimed by the cutest, fattest hippo ever. Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek, but you absolutely should not ride him.

Many celebrities exhibit the same behaivor, appearing cute and harmless but lashing out when cornered, like Mel Gibson, Peter Buck, and that guy from Seinfeld.

Bye-Bye, Baiji.

Posted Posted in animals, travel

One of my favorite weird animals appears to have checked out, after 30 million years of rocking freshwater rivers in China, which means they watched us stand up and walk 3 million years ago. There were 20 recorded in 1993, 7 spotted in 1998, but this year, the Yangtze river dolphin appears to be extinct.

I am sorry to see us lose our first whale species to human pollution, fishing, and sonic interference.

Douglas Adams, who unfortunately is also extinct, wrote extensively about about this dolphin in his book on endangered species,  talks about their intelligence in the Hitchhiker series.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

He’s called Baiji when he’s at home. The Chinese believe the Yangtze river dolphin to be an incarnation of a drowned princess. Although she did not drown, I think they look a lot like Princess Diana.

Sure, they’re frequently albino. Sure, they have small, strange-looking eyes, and are mostly blind from knocking around in the murky, polluted river for the last thousand years. Sure, they think that dead aliens are in our blood, screwing up our life and relationships. Are they really so different from Edgar Winter? And yet, he survives.