Saturday, August 27, 2016

Life With Rocky

The day I took on Rocky I had no idea he would be such a character. I found him in the shelter, where the dogs were standing passively in the cages. Except Rocky. He was bouncing all over that cage, his great tongue lolling to the side. Then he sat back and looked on excitedly as I moved in to have a closer look. He was bigger than I took him to be in the shelter, and that makes the doggy door a bit snug and he eats quite a lot. I like a large dog, to have a pal, not a lap sitter. The information card described him as a Shepherd-Lab mix, 2 1/2 years old. Brindle and black. He was already named Rocky. Today, he is four. Still named Rocky.

Rocky was a poor car rider, cowering on the floor on the way home. But he responded very well to a leash. He adapted right away to the doggy door. His behavior suggested he had spent most of his time out of doors in the past. Which may explain his bad manners in the kitchen. I walked in on him standing over a half eaten bag of cookies. I read him the riot act and locked him out for a time. His kitchen manners improved, though they will never get excellent. I know he took a stick of butter off the cabinet and ate it, wrapper and all. Just cannot prove it. Mostly, he respects the counter tops, now.

We got him chew toys. At first, it was rubber squeaky chickens. He loved to bite them to hear the squawking  squeals and loved to violently shake them. Then one day he learned how to remove the squeaker. He was on about the fifth chicken when he discovered how easy it is. After that, a chicken lasted about fifteen minutes. So we found him a hard blue bone shape chew toy. With a squeaker, which he soon removed. But he loves that one so much that when one wears out we gladly buy an identical blue bone. He carries it everywhere and has to put it in his bowl when he eats. He often places it on my lap or puts it on my bed certain times. We wrestle over possession of it. He has an exceptionally strong bite and teeth that are dangerous with a strong body to back them up. If he did not love people as he does he could make short work of them. The other day we were riding home from seeing the vet when he started barking at the truck behind us. He sounded so fierce that had I been a stranger I would have gotten afraid for my well being, sitting that close to him.

When a dog escapes through the fence it is likely to do one of two things. Wander amiably about the neighborhood with other loose dogs or take off running. One dog I had would run all day long if she knew I was after her. One day, I crouched by the side of the street and called her. She immediately came to me and I walked her home. I never had to chase her again. Rocky joins up with neighborhood dogs just to be sociable. He never runs away from me. About a year back, he went across the street and seemed to be looking for the owner of a house on the corner. I caught up to him and slipped a choke leash on him. He balked when I sought to lead him to the gate. He fought me so hard that I almost strangled him. The moment he was back home I slipped off the leash and he wagged his tail and came to me for a friendly pet.

He refuses to eat unless my wife and I both are with him. Food will sit for hours if one of us is away from home. He is a barker. The instant he sees the missing one arrive, he lets out a series of barks. Once we are all together he barks at the cabinet with the dishwasher in it, lunging and circling. He eats a few bites, resumes the barking routine, eats, repeats.

His barking habits are complex. He has a bark for me when I break out the dog food and a different one for each occasion. Activating electric appliances triggers barking fits. Particularly the air conditioner. He runs in tight circles, snapping in the direction of my hand, and once it is operating has to check all the vents to be certain the cool air is moving.

When I try to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe watch some TV he comes to me for belly rubs. Despite the fact he has been neutered he often tries to hump my leg.

I did not realize he was overeating until the vet told me he had to lose about ten pounds. So, I feed him dry food meant to keep the weight down, give him very small snacks and let him have about six ounces of wet dog food, because I consider it cruel to make him eat only hard dry stuff. I would bite me if I made me do that.

Rocky is a hunter by nature. He has always wanted a squirrel for his very own. He would bite and love it and mangle it and carry it everywhere. So far they are too quick for him. He has however, compiled a lengthy list of victims. Three possums. Several moles. Numerous big tree roaches. Lizards. Rats. One day a mockingbird attacked him. This is something that has terrorized every dog I have owned, until I got Rocky. He instantly killed the bird. He caught a copperhead snake which he repeatedly reached for with his mouth only to receive a couple of fangs in the side of his nose every time. He refused to give up until I stepped in and knocked off the snake's head. A dose of children's Benadryl was all it took to restore his swollen nose to normal. The next copperhead he found he kept under guard but waited for me to kill it. Recently, my neighbor discovered a cat living under her mobile home. She chased it with a stick and the unfortunate animal escaped through the fence right before Rocky, who had been watching the whole incident. The poor animal tried to ward him off but he killed it. I don't feel proud knowing how these animals died, but we bonded before he did any of this. I keep him at home and most animals he could encounter are gone. So his kill count ought to go to near zero.

Rocky loves people. It has taken lots of effort to socialize him. He used to jump against a stranger's back or be all over them if they sat down. He is much better now. Last visitors we had, he actually stayed on the porch until they left.

What can I say about Rocky? Like every dog I have owned as an adult he sleeps on the floor by my bed. He, as did they, sleeps so soundly it is not likely he would know if burglars were in the front part of the house. They have all expected me to protect them. Which I would gladly do.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My rules of life.

1. Eat no dogs
2. When cooking give your mate the nicest portion
3. Do for others.
4. Don't expect others to do for you.
5. Take charge of your own health
6. Try to answer antagonists with logic and humor. In a pinch, anger and sarcasm will do
7. Vote even if you have to hold your nose
8. Stand against perpetual wars
9. Take time for yourself where you can relax and ignore the world
10. Love friends and family in adversity as well as good times

Monday, August 22, 2016

When Givers are Takers

Three times in my life I have been in severe need and was rescued by a "gift" from someone where it turned out the giver could not truly let go of the gift and make it mine alone. As for me, when I give a gift, it is an act of giving. Not buying future acts from the recipient. I never call in for favors or use it as a bludgeon to get my way. I was minded of this, when a person I have known for years brought up a gift from her to me ten years ago. All because I am tired and finished with daily posting on her site. After about twelve years I am done. Now, I am reminded of the GIFT as if I owe it to her to stay on forever. It is a form of bondage that is asked of one in these circumstances.

Turn loose, people. Or it's not a gift. And if it's not a gift make up a contract of repayment. Once it is given, if not loaned, then the receiver owes you nothing. A from the heart thanks is all the repayment you should expect.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More on Our Revolution (Bernie Sanders)

As Donald Trump’s polls have plummeted over the past few weeks, Hillary Clintonhas taken her support from progressive Bernie Sanders supporters for granted. Her shift to the middle, although predictable and unsurprising to Sanders supporters, has been demoralizing. While Sen. Sanders opted to formally endorse Clinton for president, his lack of enthusiasm in doing so attests to his prioritizing the issues he is passionate about over partisan politics.
On August 24, Sanders is hosting a live-stream event to kick off his new organization, Our Revolution.
“If we are successful, what it will mean is that the progressive message and the issues that I campaigned on will be increasingly spread throughout this country,” Sanders told USA Today. “The goal here is to do what I think the Democratic establishment has not been very effective in doing. And that is—at the grassroots level—encourage people to get involved, give them the tools they need to win, help them financially.”
After a divisive Democratic convention, Sanders reverted back to calling out the establishment on both sides of the aisle. He criticized President Obama for continuing to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. “I am disappointed by the president’s decision to continue pushing forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs and threaten our ability to protect public health,” Sanders wrote in a statement.
Recently, health insurance company Aetna pulled out of Obamacare after the company’s merger with Cigna hit obstacles in Connecticut due to an ethics probeinto Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy. In the wake of this minor disaster, Sanders has been revitalizing support for a single payer healthcare system. Despite his no longer being in the running for president, Sanders has garnered much more positive news coverage than Clinton. Our Revolution in particular is one of Sanders’ most attention-grabbing efforts to reorganize the enthusiasts and activists from his presidential campaign into a long-term political movement.
“I feel like there is a real chance for something else to happen beyond Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. We’re still two and a half months away; with the possibility of another damaging WikiLeaks release and Donald Trump continuing to sabotage himself, I feel like there is room for a third party,” Mikki Willis told the Observer. Willis was a photographer and videographer for Shailene Woodley andRosario Dawson while they served as Sanders surrogates during his presidential campaign. Willis also followed Sanders on many of his campaign tours.
“What we really need to be doing right now is make sure the third party is on the ticket, and in the debates—in the event something happens with the two frontrunners—while at the same time supporting everything Bernie is doing,” Willis said. “We can do all that. It’s not an either/or. We can make sure as many seats in Congress are filled with better people. We can all get behind and donate to the people Bernie is trying to get elected, and support all the things he is working on. I don’t think we necessarily have to cash all our chips on Hillary Clinton to supportBernie Sanders at this time.”
During Sanders’ presidential campaign, his rallies attracted record attendance. Now that Clinton is officially the Democratic presidential nominee, her campaign rallies are small by comparison. In fact, any excitement Clinton’s candidacy elicits looks an awful lot like fear of Donald Trump as president.
Millennial Sanders supporters, who once owned the internet, backed Bernie in larger numbers than Clinton and Trump combined. They’ve now been reduced to apathy and indecision. Whether a Sanders supporter decides to ultimately vote forClinton, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, or Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, it is imperative that for Bernie Sanders’ work to succeed in the long run, every Sanders supporter must stay politically engaged in supporting his efforts.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Our Revolution" to launch Sept 24th, 2016 - Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, is planning to unveil “Our Revolution,” a new political organization that will continue the political revolution he started with presidential campaign and help progressive candidates across the country.

Sanders will speak from Ripley Manor in Washington D.C. on the 24th of August to launch the organization, and the speech will air at 2,000 meetings nationwide.

“During our campaign we assembled a movement of millions of people ready to fight for the country we know we can become,” Sanders said via an email to supporters.

“Now it’s time for all of us to get to work. At this meeting, I and others will lay out some of the next steps we can take as a movement to empower a wave of progressive candidates this November and win the major upcoming fights for the values we share.”

Sanders has put his support behind Hillary Clinton after failing to win the Democratic party’s nomination for president.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Republican Party Still is Strong

On the national stage, the Republicans are in disarray. Their candidates and their congressional representatives are useless as tits on a boar. If they did not so completely control so many local and state offices, I would agree that the Grand Old Party is dead in the water. The truth is, the southern coalition that they built is largely intact. They are strong in other states as well. And they still hate Democrats and other "socialists." All they really need, to become viable again, are a few strong candidates.  Let us hope nobody of consequence emerges.