Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meet Flat Kitty

Meet Flat Kitty, Muzzy's new and best inanimate friend. FK is the creation of Erica (Joey and Coco). She concocted FK from an old sweater sleeve, a tennis ball, and some thread. I love FK's quirky leetle moustachio and his pink bump of a nose. (I wanted to keep FK for myself, but Erica insisted that I share. Darn.)

As you can see, Muzzy bonded immediately with the Flat Kitty.

"Mmm. Kitty, let me bite on you!" The first thing to go, of course, were the whiskers. Ouch!

Flat Kitty reminded Muzzy and me of her first childhood toy, Mister Poos. Mister Poos was a fuzzy, purple, four-legged octopus (a quatropus?) purchased at a local pet shop. Mr. Poos was excellent for indoor playing. He would soar down the hallway and bounce awkwardly, and an equally awkward Muzzy puppy would fetch him and shake him until her brains rattled in her head. See? Cute, no?

Eventually, Muzzy's puppy teeth were replaced with grown-up chompers, and Mr. Poos (and his successor) quickly lost his legs and his tennis ball head. Flash forward to Flat Kitty:

Mmmmmmm. Munch, munch, munch. Chew, chew, chew. Muzzy is in zombie mode: "Brains. I want Flat Kitty's brains!" You all can guess what happened next. You may want to avert your eyes from the following image. 

Aaaaaaah! Muzzy ate FK's face off entirely and ran off with her tennis ball brain (a brain bigger than Muzzy's by the way, but what good did it do poor Flat Kitty?).

Thank you, Erica, for giving us a few moments of enjoyment. FK was a brilliant, yet short lived creation. We await FK 3.0. Preferably one made from steel mesh. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the Dean's List

Hi, all. I got a couple of the details wrong in an earlier post about Dean's band's gigs. First of all, Dean plays every Tuesday night at Ramsey Park, not at the school on Ramsey. Also, Ramsey Park is in Rosedale, not Allandale, if you please. Finally, Bindi wants to know what was I thinking posting a picture of Muzzy on her daddy's gig list. Apologies all around. 

Here are the gigs still upcoming:

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)

See you at one of them, I'm sure. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Having the Dogs for Dinner

It's Tuesday, and that means it's time to peruse the Science section of the New York Times for interesting articles about dogs. Check out this article by Nicholas Wade about where, when, and why dogs were first domesticated. The where (far East China and possibly northern Africa) and the when (a really long time ago--between 11,000 and 14,000 years back) are of less interest to me and my fellow Dog Parkers, I think, than the why.

Why did we originally domesticate dogs (or wolves, to be precise; they didn't become dogs until after the domestication process, kind of like some husbands I used to be married to)? To help us hunt? To snuggle with? To chase away dinosaurs? Actually, no. We domesticated them as a regular source of protein. Before beef and pork, there was dog. Apparently, "dog food" had a wholly different meaning during prehistoric times.

Some researchers don't even give us humans credit for the domestication process. They say that wolves domesticated themselves, by hanging around our garbage sites and growing fat and less wary of humanoid activity. We can only take credit for putting them on leashes and then figuring out what to do with them. Eventually we decided they could help put food on the table in ways other than composing the main course.

With this thought in mind, I look at my two pooches. Muzzy's too skinny to eat despite the poundage of food she consumes each day, and old Roma would be a bit stringy and tough. I doubt any of the marinades touted on Create channel's cooking shows could turn either one into a tasty bit of filet mignon. Though if you ask, they both will roll their eyes and tell you that I constantly pinch their soft, tender ears and pronounce them "chomp-alicous."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Dog Parkist: Rebuffs Aplenty

Q: There is a person at Dog Park with whom I used to be friendly, but over time we fell out of touch. I thought s/he was cool with this turn of events, but now s/he is acting kind of weird. For example, when we pass on the trail, the person ignores me completely but says hello to my dog in an exaggeratedly friendly way, as if to suggest that I'm a jerk, but my jerkiness is no reflection on my dog. Again, I don't care how s/he feels about me, but I kind of resent him/her abusing my dog with his/her childish, passive- aggressive behavior. Any thoughts? 
—Friendless and Fine With It at Dog Park

A: Well, my dear Friendless, it's better that this person abuse your dog with his/her behavior than with his/her foot, now isn't it? Let's back up a bit, though. Clearly you sensed that this person was a bit of a nut job, and you backed off. But we must admit, you didn't handle the situation properly. Although you may no longer have feelings for this person, he or she obviously believes that the relationship was not resolved satisfactorily, and now you and your dog pay a price every time you meet. 

Now, you can continue along, do nothing, and see if the situation escalates. For example, in order to show you up, the person may begin to lavish your dog with expensive gifts, such as freeze-dried liver, cashmere sweaters with tail holes, or gift certificates to doggie nail salons. In which case, you will be forced to express gratitude and thereby give the person the conversational opening he/she has been desiring. You'll be forced to admit your jerkiness, but your dog will have gotten a good deal out of your failed friendship. 

On the other paw, the person may may become increasingly frustrated with your lack of interest in his/her interest in your dog and turn nasty. S/he may begin spreading rumors about your dog's (or your) sexuality,  true hair color, or off-label use of prescription medications. (No, I haven't heard anything--yet. Truly, I'd be the first to let you know.) Then, blowing him/her off would require an amount of patience and discretion that I suspect you lack. The situation will become ugly and require a show-down of epic proportions. And who wants that, especially when there are no cameras rolling? 

What I'd suggest is a polite nod of the head or a smile and a wave as you pass this person on the trail. For bonus points, say hello to his/her dog in friendly—but not overly friendly—tones. By doing so, you acknowledge the person and the dog, but not his/her beef. You treat him/her the way you treat most fellow Parkers whom you don't know very well—with a modicum of respect due a comrade. Then just keep walking. Eventually someone else in the person's life will annoy or disappoint him/her more than you have, and s/he will have someone else to manipulate into feeling badly. Truly, you simply can't maintain  your  position as this person's shit-carrier forever. Thanks for writing!

Dear Readers: The Dog Parkist can barely bring herself to read or watch the news. Drought! Wild fires! Economic collapse! Rigged elections! She entreats you to avoid the news with her and to read entertaining blogs instead. Even better, write to blogs like this one with your questions about ethical, moral, and personal dilemmas! Won't we all feel better then? Cheers! 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Signage of the Times

Okay, some of you may accuse me of hypocrisy here, but I must object to the vandalizing of signs at Dog Park that are clearly posted by state agencies. The sign above is the one under the lamp post in the south parking lot, and the spray paint appeared some time between Friday and Saturday night. The spray paint is not pretty, and it's the kind of thing that can get us into trouble with the people at TxDOT—or at least confirm that we Dog Parkers are a bunch of no-goodniks who don't pick up poop, call off our our obnoxious dogs, or respect state property. Do we really need to draw more attention to ourselves as scofflaws and ruffians? I don't think so. 

Now, I have done a wee bit of sign tweaking in my time, I'll admit. As you may remember, I used a red Sharpie to correct a misspelling on a sign posted near Crazy Guy's house. I considered my action a public service. (Honestly, if I had a nickel for every grammatical error I've seen--or heard--in the last ten years, I be able to buy my own parcel of land and establish a membership-only Dog Park. You'd probably be invited to join. Your dog would at any rate.) Also, many of us suspect that the sign was erected by a private citizen, crazy though he is, and not the state. (And let's face it, a sign is probably all that maroon can erect. Snap!) My little red mark was small revenge for the grief and stress Crazy Guy causes me each time he accosts me in the Park. 

I don't think it's the coward's way out to a) play it cool, b) fly under the radar, c) keep a low profile, or d) insert your favorite cliche here in order to avoid attention and trouble from TxDOT or, worse yet, Animal Control. So, please Sign Vandalizer, leave your spray paint at home, and I'll cap my red Sharpie, and we'll never speak of this incident again.