Tag Archives: mastif

Oh Where Art Thou Dog Fairy?

I can’t begin to describe how beautiful Juneau, Alaska was yesterday.

Breathtakingly gorgeous.

The sky canvas was as clear and blue as the Caribbean ocean and stretched on until it reached the mountains, which were decked out in enormous white party hats. The snow was glittering off the mountains as if there were stars among the forest.

Yesterday was truly a day I am grateful to live in such a blessed location. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Spring was around the corner. Kids were out playing basketball and adults were out hiking the trails in droves. An occasional breeze would bring the sound of Tinkerbell-like laughter, which of course, were God’s angels enjoying this phenomenal day as well.

We decided although we had plenty of chores to do, we had to go get our most favorite big dog in the whole-entire-world and spend the afternoon with him. Enter Tater : 180 pounds of love, fur and drool. When people ask what kind of dog Tater is – as he’s a very imposing figure…. we generally enjoy confusing them by saying, “chihuahua” when in reality he’s a Mastiff.

Love this guy!

With Tater last winter

At the end of our running around for the day, we took Tater over to the Airport Dike Trail, which runs alongside the Mendenhall Wildlife Wetland Refuge. It’s a great place to walk your dog and is extremely popular. On a day like yesterday, the parking area was full and people were having to park alongside the road. Definitely taking advantage of the spring like day!

We get out of the car, put a leash on Tater (simply because he can be intimidating due to his size) and grab a few plastic doggie bags….just in case Tater needs to “leave a deposit” we’ll be ready. Thankfully he generally prefers his own backyard. He’s not a public pooper.

We start towards the trail head and already I’m disappointed in my fellow human beings.

We haven’t even started on the trail and there are two bags of dog poop left on top of the boulders designating the start of the trail. Are you kidding me? Why is it owners can’t throw away the bags of poop? Do you think there is some magical Dog Poop Fairy that shows up to clean up your mess? Yes, when we returned from our walk, the two bags were still sitting there!

I should be thankful at least they picked it up! 90% of the dog owners let their dog go wherever and keep on walking. No big deal. Everyone does it. Yeah, with everyone doing it, the beauty that is the Airport Dike Trail has been overtaken with the stink of dog crap left behind! Not to mention having to constantly watch where you step so you don’t squish your hikers into a pile of crap! Have a little common courtesy and clean up after your pet!

It cracks me up – all the “environmentalists” – the tree-hugging, bark crunching folks, the “don’t change anything” greenies…are always up in arms about saving the planet and making it a better place for our children, you have to reduce, reuse, recycle. We have to take care of what Mother Nature gave us. Well you know what, it starts with YOU! The beauty of our trails is up to us! Keep them clean for everyone to enjoy. Yeah, poop is a natural state, but how many of you are pooping in your front driveway to let “nature take it’s course?”
Case in point:

Sunday morning, enjoying coffee, Nancy looks out her kitchen window to see Harold, her neighbor, doing his morning constitutional:

“Oh look, there goes Harold again. Looks like he’s constipated. I told him he should really try those prune smoothies.”

Ummm, yeah, as homo sapiens, we’re disposing of our poop properly and not letting it become the aggravation of someone else. You want to compost it? Fine – brown bag it and take it home. Don’t leave it for a child to fall into when he tumbles off his bike.

If I can bend down and scoop up Tater’s poop, which let me tell you usually requires TWO bags — then you sure as hell can pick up your dog’s poop!

Here’s a thought: the city needs to make more money? Then stand behind your rules and regulations about cleaning up after your dog! Get someone out there for just an hour on a nice day and you’d write so many tickets that you’d need to bring a back up ticket book! I’m not kidding. Why should the majority of dog owners be allowed to ruin a beautiful area – that the rest of the community likes to enjoy as well? The trail isn’t designated for “dogs and their owners only.” The trail is for everyone.

Perhaps the city should provide disposable foot covers, like doctors wear in operating rooms, by the start of the trail. That way if you happen to step on a stinker you can leave it behind when you leave. Dog crap is one memento I don’t want to take home with me, thank you.

Better yet, have some kids needing to fulfill some community service sentence from the court? Get them out there on a daily schedule to clean up the crap!

There’s nothing worse than enjoying the walk and a gentle breeze kicks up and you’re stunned into an eye watering blindness brought on by a pile (or multiple piles) of crap some dog just left two minutes ago. Forget about visiting the Airport Dike Trail in the summer time – it stinks. I personally refer to it as, “Dog Poop Trail.”

It has crossed my mind, when out on the trail, to carry a bunch of those doggie bags with me and when I catch someone who leaves their dog’s waste behind…I could run up, collect it and then casually hand it off to them…

“Excuse me. Your dog dropped this.”

Noses would crinkle, lips would curl back and the denials would ensue. Get over it folks – everyone poops.

Happy New Year – Whatever THAT Means

I couldn’t sleep last night.

Even the dog, who usually snores louder than Eric, was having trouble falling asleep. I think we were thinking of the same thing:

Damn those New Years resolutions!

There we were tossing and turning. My back hurt. My left foot had a strange scratching, burning sensation….which rather than look, I figured a spider was biting me – so I whipped my foot around in the bed. The heating blanket was too hot, so I tried to suffer through it – while I thought about stupid resolutions. The dog sighed and rolled around – obviously worrying what he was going to commit to for the next 12 months.

He’s got it easy. He already knows how to tell us when he needs to go outside. He doesn’t chase the cats. When encountering a strange dog, who is barking and carrying on, Tater sits down and looks at the other dog since it is obviously just out of the nut house. Lucky for us, Tater’s parents took care of the farting problem, so we don’t have that issue to contend with. Yeah, a 180 pound Mastif, farting — could singe your eyebrows right off. I don’t know what he’s pondering for his resolutions, perhaps more drool control.

I continue to wrestle with the sheets, the cats, the sweat – because I haven’t the energy to turn off the stupid heating blanket. Lucky for the cats, I’ve now created a sweat lodge under the blankets. Both are sleeping soundly under the covers.

Who invented the idea of making up New Year resolutions? Why New Year’s Eve? I get it – a fresh start. A new beginning. Well the pressure of it all is enough to put the weak hearted into a mild catatonic state of reflection. Besides, everyone has the same list of resolutions:

1. Loose weight.
2. Work less.
3. Eat better.
4. Spend more time with family.
5. Save money.
6. Get organized.
7. Learn something new.
8. Try not to stress as much.
9. Work out more.
10. Try something new.

The first week of January at my local gym – I always walk in and there are 20 new people. It always baffles me: “who ARE these people?” Oh, that’s right. The good intentioned. The New Years Resolution Group. Give it two weeks….and we’re back to normal. If gyms were smart, they’d put together a fitness program for the New Years Resolutioners (NYR). Ease them into it.

I remember last year there was a NYR gal – she jumped in with both feet, two arms and a bucket of good intentions. She had her new outfits, new sneakers, new towel, new water bottle, iPod and super cute gym bag. I figured someone must have given her the “complete package” for Christmas. How would that go over? I love you honey, here’s a gym membership, all the fitness gear required and a class schedule. Good luck! Hope the gift giver was on the same program, but I doubt it. Within a month she was gone.

In case you were wondering – I did some quick research on how the whole thing got started. According to an article written by Gary Ryan Blair, “The History of New Years Resolutions” :

The tradition of the New Year’s Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

The mythical king of early Rome, Janus, was The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.

Interesting. Well, I have some ideas on new and different resolutions for the New Year. Now, I am not saying they’re MY resolutions….but they could be someone’s out there in the big, big, world:

1. Don’t fart in elevators. (there’s two of us in here and it wasn’t me.)
2. Stop picking your nose in the car at stop lights. (we see you.)
3. Quit talking on your cell phone at restaurants. (yes, we hear you.)
4. Be nice. (It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.)
5. Don’t get your photo on http://www.peopleofwalmart.com
6. Never get a “significant” other’s name tattooed on you. (just a bad idea in general, as chances are 50/50 you’ll split up.)
7. Try not to get your drunk videos, where you break your teeth doing a keg stand, on You Tube.
8. Remember people can see when you roll your eyes at them.
9. Lock the bathroom door on the plane. (duh)
10. Drunk karaoke isn’t always a good thing. (hint: don’t sign up for American Idol.)

Needless to say, the bedtime sweat lodge I created, didn’t help me come up with any new ideas on New Year’s resolutions for myself. As I continued to toss and turn, listen to multiple levels of snoring and snow falling off the trees – hitting the roof with a THUMP – I decided one thing:

You should be your best self every day.

It shouldn’t be the first week of the year that you try to be a better person. You should try and be a good person every day, to yourself, your family, your animals and others.

And when people ask me, as they always do, “what are YOUR resolutions?” That is exactly what I’m going to tell them. New Year resolutions are about making changes – so why is it people turn it into a competition? No doubt, when people ask you for your resolutions they’re thinking:

I need some resolution ideas.
I have more resolutions than you.
My resolutions are better.
Your resolutions are weak.
Everyone says that.
Bet you won’t stick to THOSE resolutions.
Too bad you’ve got so many.
My resolutions are so much cooler than yours.

Drives me nuts. The competition of life is exhausting. That could be a resolution itself : to stop getting into life competition and just be yourself.

I decided, I’m fine the way I am. Sure, I need some adjustments. It’s like a chiropractor visit but different. My spirit needs some adjusting. Trying to implement giant changes in your life, I think, will have a high probability of failure. Nobody wants to be caught in the cycle of failure – that would be depressing. Small adjustments – lifestyle changes so to speak…are much easier to manage.

So if you are wondering what my resolution answer will be tonight:

To be my best.

Period.