Friday, September 4, 2009

Food and Other Stuff for Thought

A glance at the online version of New York Times Thursday (yes, while I was at work; things were slow) led me to this article about the dog-friendly culture in Portland, OR, being a little too dog friendly. It focuses on the tension caused by dogs accompanying their owners into grocery stores and other food venues. Here's a snippet:

"In the last year, the food safety division of the Oregon Agriculture Department has received more than 600 complaints about animals in food stores, and a disproportionate number of them have come from the Pearl District of Portland, an affluent, dog-passionate procession of newer condominiums and shiny retail shops at the edge of downtown. Whole Foods has had complaints; the Safeway a few blocks away has had even more.

'Usually they’ll hold off and not make a complaint until they’ve seen a dog urinate in the grocery store or jump up and try to swipe a pack of meat,” said Vance Bybee, the head of the food safety division. “Or they’ve seen dogs pooping in the aisle, that sort of thing. That sort of puts them over the edge,' Mr. Bybee said."

Hmm. Pooping in the dairy section gives new meaning to the phrase "Pick up in Aisle 3!" Still, dog lover that I am, I don't think I want to step in a pile while shopping for arugula. (Hey, those produce bags are excellent for pick-up, remember?) -z

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Put on Your Dancing Shoes!

Music fans, it's time to put on a clean shirt, wipe the Dog Park dust off your backside, and head out to hear some music. Dog Parker Dean (Bindi's dad) is playing around town with his various bands. In addition to his regular Tuesday night gig at the elementary school on Ramsey in Allandale, here are some upcoming events:

Sunday, Sept 6 at Jovitas(6-8 pm)
Friday, Sept 18 at Artz Rib House (7:30-9:30 pm)
Saturday, Sept 19 at Green Mesquite (7-10pm)
Saturday, Sept 26 at Botticelli's (8-10pm)

I think it's fair to classify Dean's music as blue-grassy, certainly not rock. It's the kind of music that Dean can play while drinking a beer. Which means it's probably easy to listen to while drinking a beer—very important.

Check your calendars. For more info, ask Dean next time you see him. Ta. -z

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is it Dog Park?

Or is it sub-Saharan Africa? 

It's finally September. Summer is almost over. (Only 6 more weeks.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Do You Like This Dog's Bread?"

Do I what now? 

"Do you like this dog's bread?"

This is an actual sentence that appeared in some copy I was editing today. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what the writer meant to say. Was the sentence supposed to be "Do you like this dog's breath?" (Nooo.) or "Do you like this dog's bead?" (What now?) or "Do you like this dog's head?" (It's a very nice head, but why do you ask?)

Some context: The sentence appeared in a worksheet about letter sounds. There were two lists, both with words that contained the vowel sequence ea. In one  list, the words had a short e sound, like head, dread, and tread. The other list had words with a long e sound, like in plead, leash, and reading.

I was baffled, but eventually my friend and co-worker, Emma, pointed out that the word bread had been placed incorrectly in the long e list. The writer, who holds a Ph.D. in education (and, to be fair, is the overworked mother of a small child) looked at bread and thought breed, spelling be damned.

So the question really is, "Do you like this dog's breed?" 

Answer: I like its breed better than I like its bread, thank you very much. 

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Ma'am, do you need a bag?"

It has been a while since I have done the morning shift at Dog Park. Roma is older now and really can't handle two visits in one day anymore. (To be honest, I can't handle two visits either, in part because among the morning regulars are several Women Who Frighten Me with their thundering proclamations about How Things Should Be Done and How People and Their Dogs Should Comport Themselves. They remind me of the Queen of Hearts in the animated Disney film Alice in Wonderland—"Off with their heads!" Yikes! I am only a low-numbered playing card.)  

In any event, I braved the park on a weekend morning recently. I had just taken my girls to the vet for their annual checkups and vaccinations, and they needed a little time to shake off the smell of the place and the trauma of being stuck with  foreign objects. (Muzzy particularly objects to the thermometer, and who can blame her?) 

So both Muzzy and Roma were wheeling around like larks on a spring day as I shut up the car. It took me a moment to catch up with them and the two dogs they were razzing. The owner of the dogs was a guy I had never seen before. While I was walking over, Muzzy had taken a massive dump, and the guy politely offered me a bag. Under normal circumstances, I would have been quite snappish about having brought bags, thank you very much, but I realized that he was a Good One. He not only pointed out that Muzzy had deposited a load large enough to be seen from space, but he offered the means to pick it up. "He gets it," I thought to myself, "Don't be a jerk."  

So my point is that clearly the morning shift at the Dog Park is in capable hands, and that we old timers need not look suspiciously at every newcomer who strolls through. I'd also like to report that someone has kindly replaced the broken plastic bag dispenser on the telephone pole in the north parking lot with a very cool chrome one that seems much sturdier and easier to fill. Thanks to whoever is responsible for that improvement. 

See you 'round the Dog Park.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

From an Undisclosed Location

"Wh-where am I? Help me! I've fallen and I can't get up! "