EDITION OF WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3 2018 (PetPowellPress) Look, 2018 still sounds like a science fiction year to me. I just got out of high school last June -- so how can it already be an era of colonies on the moon, flying cars on earth and a planet without the common cold?
Wait. Wrong sci-fi universe.
Does this sound like I’m typing while on painkillers? Oh, my, the secret is out. Anybody else see a cat with a green border? As noted earlier (and thank you all for responding with wonderful, understanding kindness) I’m coping with a lower-left back problem that runs down my left leg and keeps me up days and nights -- keeps me up, but not upright. Painkillers make my verbs duller. No telling what they’re doing to my participles.
So, here’s my attempt to help dogs and cats while coping with pain, winter and an overdose of being prone from Christmas Day until I struggled to my desk at 9 a.m. Tuesday. FYI: When someone mentions me and my funspouse Martha in the same sentence, crosses themselves and says, “That woman is a saint,” they ain’t kiddin’. She is. She’s been tending to me like I’m worth a fortune and she signed a pre-nupt. She keeps me from hurting myself further and, in the meantime, fights her own annual holiday season upper respiratory infection. We’ve had odd Christmases in our 26 years -- this one is the oddest. Unless my painkillers deceived me, we couldn’t get 8 tiny reindeer and a fat man in a red suit to leave until after the Sooners lost the Rose Bowl in double overtime.
Let’s see what we’ve else we’ve got. Some of this is traditional by now -- appeals from the small Wilmer Animal Shelter and the Red Oak Shelter, both south of Dallas, and from the larger Mesquite Animal Shelter on the east side of Big D. What do they have in common? Lots of animals, not so much room and volunteers who are desperately trying to keep the shelter population down.
FROM WILMER , RED OAK
Laura Macias, whose mission is to help smaller shelters get attention, teamed with Leanne Hayden, to deal with challenges in Wilmer and Red Oak and other “pop-up” situations. In the opening segment, those critters are Red Oakian -- Gary the Cat, Manny the Pudgy Pit and Yukon the White German Shepherd.
For this appeal on behalf of overloaded Wilmer, we focused one dog of the many in the shelter, Riley.
The email we got had several photos of Riley and a note that explained that this lively, lovable dog (a stray who came in more than a month ago) usually has his eyes wide open and alert, but when he laughs, he closes his eyes. Don’t have a recording of his laugh, but we do have a photo of it. (Regarding Wilmer or Red Oak animals, email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org or CALL or TEXT 214-949-2726. Ask her how you can help make her mission easier to accomplish. If you’re a member of the Wilmer or Red Oak City Councils, maybe you can talk about how to get immediate help for the shelter budget or personnel. Nobody’s in the business to set the American record for small shelter euthanization.)
TWO POINTS FROM MESQUITE
A couple of weeks ago we fell in love with this photo of Hercules, then read his story. He’s safe now, we learned from Mesquite’s diligent volunteer animal monitor Judi Brown. On the 27th, she reported that Hercules, “who’d been been on the urgent, code red list several times,” had gotten a break. “He narrowly escaped as today he was tagged by a rescue,” she wrote of the dog who’d been adopted and returned at least twice, if memory serves (and it may not). She said, “Hercules went to rescue in Wisconsin. Actually it’s out of Milwaukee. He went on a transport with about five other dogs from our shelter. They are there now and all in foster homes. Brrrr. I hope he likes the cold weather. He better get used to it.” [LARRY ASIDE: Cold weather, warm hearts, you know?]
In the meantime, among the photos Judi shared over the long weekend is this one of Pippy, a 3-year-old Shepherd mix who came in as a stray back on December 12. Judi says Pippy is on the clock for 9 a.m. Wednesday at Mesquite Animal Services.
Judi writes, “Pippy has distinctive markings. It looks like she’s wearing a mask to a masquerade ball. She really is very peppy and full of energy. She made a point of spending the first 10 minutes exploring her surroundings. That was her main focus. After she was satisfied that she had checked out everything, then she became social and settled down. She found a ball and carried it around. She gave me kisses sparingly . She loves treats and will sit for a reward. Even though it was a nice day, she kept going to the door telling me she wanted to be inside. She appears to be house-trained. She was not interested in meeting the other dogs in the bay but did not show any aggression. She weighs 38 pounds. BONUS: She is spayed!” When you call 972-216-6283 or email email@example.com to tag the pup, include her ID #37376532.
A FELINE DISCOVERY
At readlarrypowell.com, we’re big fans of the Cats of Dallas. So, now and then we go to the Dallas Animal Services website to look at the available cats -- we’re loaded already, so this is just a “look,” not a “hunt.” On the second day of the year, I spotted the second most significant soul patch in the history of Dallas, Texas.
The first belongs, of course, to the Original Cat from Oak Cliff, the immortal guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan (and, yes, that DVD cover spells Austin right but gets Vaughan wrong). The shelter’s soul patch belongs to this little girl, known in DAS as Moxie. You can ask about adopting Moxie at Dallas Animal Services in the big shelter at I-30 and Westmoreland. If you adopt Moxie, then you can take her home and hold her up to your cat-nuzzling face, tell her how much you love her and hit the go button on your music machine so Stevie Ray can play what is surely Moxie’s theme, Pride and Joy.
CONTEMPLATIONS FROM THE SICKBED
Look, I feel guilty calling this a sickbed -- I wasn’t “sick,” just suffering sudden adult onset sciatical misery. I was healthy enough to express myself in time-honored newsroom tradition. Ask the nice x-ray technician who told me to turn onto my side and then stepped back to dodge the fiery splash from the stream of newsroom deadline epithets I bounced off the walls. “REWRITE THE LEAD!” I shouted. “PARAGRAPH! PARAGRAPH! PARAGRAPH!” I implored with intensity, finishing off with “STOP THE PRESSES!” and dissolving into a sweaty, whimpering heap, unable to reach up and throw the carriage on my 1960s-era standard newsroom typewriter. I believe my last words may have been “Darned carbon paper.” See, that’s debilitated by pain combined with the sickness that lingers from decades in a newsroom. There ain’t no shots to fix that problem, doc.
OK, moving along, and if you want to quit reading, I don’t blame you -- I’m just using my puzzling pain to remind people to take care of their back issues before their back issues take care of them. For example, because I am too strong and stubborn to be warned by a simple back twinge, I was just forced to watched an entire weekend of football while prone -- forced? Yes. forced. What else was on worth watching that I haven’t already seen?
I even read a book, that’s how lousy TV was. Good book, too: Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America 1927. Entertaining, informative and a reminder of how past, present and future are connected -- like nerves, muscles and screams. FYI: Watching football prone offers a different perspective on the game. Also discovered how little I care about college football these days.
I’m no intellectual, but, honestly, it would be nice to see people filling stadiums because they care that much about the integrity of intelligence, because they love literature, philosophy, government, history, etc. Perhaps we need more pep rallies for non-sports topics. Like, gather at city hall on the mornings of council meetings and have a pep-rally for representative government.
Cheerleading for democracy.
Two bits, four bits,
six bits, a dollar,
it’ll take more than that
to get a pothole filled.
Just kidding the pothole people -- they’re going to have their hands full after the rains were followed by freezing temps and shifting earth. Never seen a city council member using a shovel to fill a hole -- anybody, anybody? I have seen politicians using shovels, however.
How about a pep rally for short stories? Doesn’t have to be long.
OK, that’s enough of that. Rise up and greet the next morn’ with a smile. And be kind to animals -- there are plenty of them that need kindness. Remind your elected officials.
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