People Of The Dog Park Part 4


With the exception of terribly inclement weather or illness, I take my dog to the off-leash dog park every night. I do this because I don’t have a yard, and other than walking her five miles a day (which I’m not likely to do because I’m lazy and who has time for that?), it’s really the only way she gets any exercise. Plus, the social interaction is important, since dogs are pack animals. Also, I’m a total sucker. Around 5:30 pm on any given day, my dog starts pacing. She won’t stop pacing until we go to the dog park.

Below are the rules posted on the gate of my dog park. They might as well be in Sumerian for all they’re read and adhered to. Today’s list of dog park people deals with violators of these rules.


Rule #1


There are many people who break this rule since navigating the dog park is like navigating a mine field where the mines are piles of crap instead of incendiary devices. Sometimes, your dog poops and you don’t notice it. It happens. This is when the people I call the Poop Patrol step in. They will let you know all about your dog’s poop. There always seems to be one member of the Poop Patrol on duty at any given time.

There’s one Poop Patroller at my dog park who speaks with a thick eastern European accent of some sort; possibly German, but I don’t want to presume. It seems she spends most of her time scanning for pooping dogs. Mid-poop, she will let you know you need to clean up after your dog by saying “You dog take a crap.” It sounds a lot like “you dowg tik a crep,” and then she’ll point to where the offending pile is. If you don’t immediately move to clean it up, she’ll repeat “you dowg tik a crep” until you do.

Rule #2


This one is probably the single most broken rule on the list. About half of the dogs at the park at any given time don’t have collars on for whatever reason. Out of the ones who are wearing collars, over half of those don’t have ID tags or licenses on them. I reckon less than 10% of all dogs that go to the dog park actually wear collars with license tags. My dog is part of that 10%.

One day, there was a dog loitering outside the gate without a human. Someone let him inside, because it was safer than having him wander the streets. He was wearing a collar and a leash, but there was no tag or license. What is the point of putting a collar on a dog if there’s no identifying information on it?

Almost an hour later, his owners showed up. They were moving from one apartment to another and had tied the dog to the fence, whereupon he Houdini’d his way loose.

If they had put an ID tag on him, we could have called and they would have had their dog back immediately. Instead, they drove around frantically looking for their dog for almost two hours.

Rule #6


I cannot even begin to tell you how many dog balls I’ve seen at the dog park. I’m sure there are a lot of female dogs who haven’t been spayed at the dog park, too, but they’re harder to spot what with the lack of dangly balls.

The reason for rule #6 is that a lot of times, spayed or neutered dogs don’t take kindly to dogs with balls. It riles them all up, and that’s how some dog fights start. Can you really blame them?

Anyway, bringing a dog with balls into the dog park is against the law, but people do it all the time. They don’t fix their dogs for any number of reasons. Often, it’s expense, laziness or ignorance. Sometimes, they intend to breed them, because we totally need more amateur breeders in the world.

A lot of times, they’re waiting for their dogs to get old enough to neuter them. The people in that last category think you shouldn’t neuter a dog until they’re at least a year old or older. I don’t know what the correct procedure for ball-choppage is, since it’s been a very long time since I had a male dog, but I know many male dogs who were neutered before a year old and their heads didn’t explode or anything. The animal shelter spayed my dog when she was a month old, which by all accounts is far too young, and she’s fine, too.

In any event, whatever your opinion on the right age to spay or neuter, please, do. Also, please, don’t bring your intact dog to the dog park, for his or her own safety, if nothing else.

Rule #7


Pffft. That’s funny.

My dog has a best friend who is almost her doppelgänger. Every time they’re there together, they play and they play hard. If you don’t know the dogs, you’d think they were actually trying to kill each other, but they’ve been playing like that for over two years and they love each other.

One day, my dog and her friend were playing when a stupid little Boston terrier decided he didn’t like their shenanigans and wanted to break it up. My dog is 70 lbs. Her best friend is over 80 lbs. The Boston terrier was small even for a Boston terrier. I’d say he wasn’t even 20 lbs. Derp.

So, this little shit went up to my much larger dog and bit her hind leg. My dog never starts a fight, but she’ll damn well finish one, so she went after the little shit. Look here, sir, I don’t appreciate you biting my leg when I’m playing with my friend. Kindly put your tiny head into my mouth, please.

In the process of trying to separate them, this happened:

One of these days, I'll figure out how to take a proper picture (not likely).
Like how the foreground is blurry while the background is in focus? I don’t even know how to do that on purpose. One of these days, I’ll figure out how to take a proper picture (not likely).

That’s the back of my ankle sporting a rather large bite wound from a little shit of a dog. That fucker bit me! That bite was through a pair of jeans. Thankfully, I was wearing jeans or it would have been a lot worse. He might have ripped my Achilles tendon instead of my pants.

Owner of little shit 1) didn’t even ask if I was alright, even though I was clearly bleeding 2) refused to exchange information with me 3) refused to prove that her dog was licensed and therefore, current on his vaccinations and rabies shot (of course, the dog wasn’t wearing a collar) and 4) ran the fuck away!

Quite literally, she scooped her dog up and ran away like the sissy girl with the sissy dog that she is. One of the dog park regulars ran after her and took a picture of her license plate. Ha!

Fortunately, my sister is a nurse, so she kept a close eye on it until it healed. It did leave a lovely scar. By the way, I was the only one injured in that fight.

Rule #8


This is the saddest rule that gets broken. I can think of at least three dogs who were found abandoned at the dog park.

One of the poor creatures had three broken legs. They figure someone dumped him on the street near the dog park–not even in, but near–and he got hit my a car. Fortunately for him, he was found by a really nice lady who fixed him up and kept him. He had to have major surgery and he will always walk with a limp, but he can walk, he’s still alive and he landed in the best possible home.

Two other dogs that I know of were adopted by dog park regulars who found them when inhuman scum dumped them there. I guess people are too afraid or lazy to drop animals at the shelter, so they leave them at the dog park. I suppose they reckon that people who come to the dog park are dog lovers, and therefore, they’re likely to take care of them, which as it turns out, is true, but that doesn’t make it right.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Canine Eugenics


I’m a fan of mutts. I’ve never had a dog with a simple answer to the commonly asked question, “What breed is your dog?” The answer to my current dog is typically a little shepherd/boxer/pit bull, etc. or simply mutt, depending on how sociable I’m feeling. Her origins are unknown. Even my vet said, “I see at least seven different kinds of dog here.”

I’ve never bought a pet from a breeder. I always adopt for many reasons. First, there are so many great animals in shelters who need good homes. For every purebred German shepherd or French bulldog out there, there are a dozen mutts in cages at the local shelter whose time is running out. It breaks my heart that I can’t adopt more of them.

Second, puppy mills. While there are reputable breeders out there who treat their dogs humanely, there are many evil bastards who force their breeding stock to live in cages and never see daylight.

I’ve seen the results of puppy mills first hand. A friend at the dog park adopted a purebred Rhodesian ridgeback who was thrown out on the street when she was too old to breed anymore. She had several serious health problems and was about 40 pounds underweight. They estimate that she was 10-12 years old, and she had spent her whole up to that point in a cage making babies that her owners then sold off at a profit one at a time. She died less than a year after she obtained her freedom. I refuse to contribute to that.

Third, mutts are not inbred like every purebred dog on the planet. Because my dog is made up of many different kinds of dog, she won’t have difficulties due to selective breeding–the process by which humans breed other animals and plants for particular traits. I’m not saying my dog is altogether healthier just because she’s a mutt, but she’s less likely to have specific health issues that come from being purebred.

Purebred is just a nice way of saying inbred.

Selective breeding is a nice way of saying eugenics.

And here comes Godwin's law...
Uh oh. Godwin’s law already…

Eugenics is frowned upon for humans. We associate it with Hitler and Mengele and Dr. Death and lampshades made out of human skin. Part of the reason we disapprove of this practice is because, as the Nazis proved, “desirable heritable characteristics” are a slippery slope of subjectivity. Another part is that it’s inhumane, unnatural, and leads to unforeseen complications. Also, Nazis suck.

The Nazis thought that the most desirable humans were, well, people like me: tall, blonde, Nordic creatures with pale, white skin, and light eyes. But, besides Hitler, who’s to say that I’m any better than someone who’s short and dark? Certainly not me. Because of my genetics, I’m prone to skin cancer, light sensitivity, depression, and migraines.

In fact, simply because I’m of predominantly Finnish ancestry, I may be susceptible to 39 genetic diseases:

The uniformity of Finns, created by several centuries of isolation and intermarriage, results in a large set of hereditary disorders. So far researchers have identified 39 such genetic diseases, many of them fatal, that crop up in the unlucky children of unwary carriers.

Isolating a culture with inbreeding isn’t all that desirable in humans, yet we pay for the privilege of having an inbred dog. We parade the results of our inbreeding around in dog shows and hand out prizes for the best canine eugenics. Why is a practice considered monstrous when done on humans applauded when used on other living things?


Through selective breeding, pugs got smaller, shorter, a more squished face, and acquired all of these potential health issues: eye injuries; breathing difficulties; inability to efficiently regulate their temperature through panting; fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing; weakened immune system, etc. Actually, there’s too much to list here, just read these paragraphs on pug health issues.


Today’s English bulldog is prone to many of the same health issues as the pug as well as many others: difficulty breathing; regulating temperature; hip dysplasia; cysts; infections and mites in their skin folds; and a severely shortened lifespan (one study showed that only 9% of them die of old age). The overwhelming majority of bulldogs are delivered by Caesarean section because their heads are too big to fit through the birth canal. Again, the list of health issues is too long; read this.

Most French bulldogs are unable to breed naturally. They have very slim hips, making the male unable to mount the female. 80% of all French bulldogs are the result of artificial insemination and Caesarean section. They can neither impregnate nor give birth on their own. If humans didn’t intervene, French bulldogs would go extinct.

Siberian huskies are predisposed to a variety of autoimmune disorders, many of which affect the skin, as well as glaucoma and cataracts.

German shepherds are very prone to hip dysplasia, where the leg joint’s ball and socket don’t fit together properly, which causes pain, arthritis, and problems walking.

Boxers have a higher risk of lymphoma and mast cell tumors. Labrador retrievers are prone to obesity, beagles to epilepsy, dachshunds to back problems, Doberman pinschers to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

And the list goes on. Every dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club has a higher risk of some sort of medical condition than other breeds. All of them.

That is the result of selective breeding. We did that. We created these problems for these dogs by inbreeding them to death. We made it so the English bulldog can’t exercise without risk of dying. We created French bulldogs that can’t breed naturally. We did that. We created a marketplace where people keep inbred dogs in cages their whole lives just to breed more of them. We hand out prizes and money for the best examples of inbreeding.

At the dog park, I heard a purebred boxer owner tell her dog to stop playing with my “dirty old mutt” and play with another purebred boxer that was there instead. I wanted to scream at her that at least my dirty old mutt’s father probably isn’t also her cousin, grandpa and brother.

I find the practice of canine eugenics disgusting and absolutely monstrous. Don’t even get me started on the mutilations (there’s really no other word for it) of these dogs to have them meet breed standards, e.g., cutting off their ears and tails. Dogs communicate with body language and tails and ears are a huge part of that. How the hell can you justify a breed standard that requires an animal to be mutilated? That’s not “standard.” I refuse to be a party to it. I refuse to buy a dog from a breeder or butcher a dog, not for any medical reason, but purely for looks. I’ll stick with my mutts with ears and tails the way they came.

Even if you’re only interested in a specific breed of dog, there are rescue organizations out there for nearly every breed imaginable. One dog park regular only has Airedale terriers, because he likes big dogs and he’s allergic to dogs with fur instead of the more hair-like fur of the terrier. All of his dogs have come from an Airedale rescue.

Also, breeders often dump dogs they can’t sell at the shelter to make the rest of us deal with it. There are perfectly healthy purebreds sitting in shelters for a fraction of the cost, just because their ears don’t flop the right way, their coat is the wrong hue or a myriad other purely aesthetic (read: salable) reasons.

I’m not saying that purebreds are destined to have health problems. Nor am I saying that I’m right and you’re wrong if you have a purebred. Supplemented by fact as it is, this is still just my opinion. The reason for this post is that I want you to think about all of this the next time you go dog shopping, so that you can make an informed decision.

For whatever reason, if you feel you must buy a dog from a breeder, do the research. Find a reputable breeder and research the breed. Do not, even if inadvertently, support the practice of puppy mills, because the last thing we need is more dogs dumped at shelters.

Alright, maybe I am saying it: please, don’t shop, adopt.

I made this and you can buy your own here.
I made this. You can buy your own here.

The Differences Between Dog & Cat Part 4


It’s time for another installment of Dog Vs. Cat!

Time to go to the vet, dog…

Cat somehow knows three days in advance when I’m going to take him to the vet and responds accordingly.


When dog throws up, she acts like she was bad.

When cat throws up, he’s all proud of his accomplishment.


Dog will eat anything.


Cat won’t eat food if it’s been sitting out too long, dropped on the floor or any other suspicious quality.


How dog sees the vacuum cleaner…

How cat sees the vacuum cleaner…

How dog sees a bug in the house…


How cat sees a bug in the house…


My Funny Valentine


Today is one day (among many) when I hate being an American (or Japanese or Canadian or any of the other countries that have picked up this ridiculous tradition). Today, is Valentine’s Day in America.

Why do I hate Valentine’s Day? Well, for one, I’ve always had terrible Valentine’s Days. Much like my birthday–I’m a standing member of the Bad Birthday Club–Valentine’s Day is a day when bad things tend to happen. I’ve been dumped, kicked, beaten, sexually abused and stood up for a romantic date on V-Day. I even have a copy of a police report with that date written on it.

Two of my previous paramours decided that Valentine’s Day was a perfectly reasonable date to end our relationships. I can’t say that I exactly blame them since I haven’t always been a very good girlfriend. In fact, I’m really bad at it. Still, the timing could have been better. And that’s not including the times I was dumped slightly before or slightly after February 14th.

Second, I hate Valentine’s Day because it’s a ridiculous holiday. Really, think about it. Why must we buy crap for our significant other to prove our love? Does a $2 box of chocolates really prove one’s devotion? Actions speak louder than chocolates and flowers.

Third, I really am not fond the gender bias of the stupid holiday. Just last night at the dog park, someone asked me what Male and I do for V-Day. When I said “nothing,” he said, “Oh, come on. All women secretly want their significant others to fawn all over them even when they say they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.” Not only is the sentiment untrue, but the “all” part of it pissed me right off. Do not lump me in with an “all” because it will not end well for you.

Finally, I don’t like the holiday, because it’s mean to all the single people out there. It’s rubbing their noses in togetherness. I’ve been single a lot on V-Day and it’s not much fun seeing all those reminders of what you don’t have. It makes single people feel like failures. Nobody loves us. Boo hoo. Plus, I really only like holidays when I get days off of work.

For the past few years though, I haven’t entirely hated Valentine’s Day because it is the birthday of my best friend, my closest confidant and constant companion. The one who cheers me up when I’m down and makes me laugh. She has made the day a lot more bearable, because now I have something to celebrate. I truly know unconditional love.

So, happy 4th birthday to my bestest buddy. Here’s to many more years together. It’s been a great four years. From this…

Our first play date.
Our first play date.

To this…


To this…


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Here’s to no police reports.