Friday, May 28, 2010

Chips the War Dog

It is an early summer morning, 1943 in Sicily. You are walking the perimeter of an U.S. encampment with the sentry dog, Chips. The enemy is nearby. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a machine gun clatters into action. Bullets are whizzing past your head and you don't know where the nest is. Your dog breaks free.
You are lying on your face. Scared. The next bullet may end your life.
There is a commotion somewhere ahead. The machine gun stops, but the gunfire doesn't. You look into the distance. Has it been a few seconds or a minute since the firing began?
Your dog suddenly appears, with an Italian soldier in front of him with his hands up. The Italian looks petrified. A few moments later, the rest of the Italians, four in all come out of the hidden pillbox. They are taken prisoner.
Your dog comes to you. He has wounds about his head. Powder burns where they tried to shoot him. He wags his tail. All in a day's work master.

This is the story of Chips. Hours later, the dog helped capture ten more prisoners. Earlier during his tour of duty, the dog served as sentry for talks between Churchill and FDR. For his valor, Chips received a Distinguished Service Cross, a Purple Heart, and a Silver Star. These medals were later taken back when Chips and the rest of the K-9 corps serving were termed "equipment" rather than soldiers.
Chips died six months after his return to the States from complications from his wounds. He was six-years-old.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

WAR DOGS-- Still wanted. Your Dog Jokes.

There's no joke about war. Dogs have been used in combat in every war since WWI. They've been used to detect mines, as sentries, scouts, messengers, pack and sled dogs. Check out this link for more.
These dogs have no idea of the politics involved in war. They just did their duties as ordered. Only dogs and horses have shown their worth in battle. Tomorrow I hope to pick out a specific dog or two and give you a little bit of their stories.
As Memorial Day nears, remember, no matter how you feel about war, our soldiers need your support-- even our four-legged soldiers. They made a sacrifice for us.

I'm still looking for dog jokes. Come on guys! Give me a joke or two just so I know someone is reading. IT'S YOUR DUTY!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Winston Churchill-- The British Bulldog. Wanted-- Dog Jokes.

Okay, I know this is a stretch, but I can't write about Memorial Day without talking about that British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill. He is a hero of mine. A warrior, statesman, and scholar. I've waded through six volumes of his WWII memoirs. He wrote as well as he governed. I'm now reading the first volume of his History of the English Speaking Peoples. He also wrote about the wars in Sudan at the end of the 19th century. That's enlightening because of its relevance to today's conflict in the Middle East/Northern Africa. It's also interesting because Winston Churchill describes a famous charge in the teeth of the Sudanese enemy without really mentioning his part in that valiant charge.
That's the thing about Churchill. Not only did he lead a nation that stood alone for years against the tyranny of Hitler, but he never flinched no matter what.
He'd stand atop of buildings in London while the Germans bombed. He fought in the trenches in WWI and Sudan. It took the King of England to stop him from being aboard ship on the coast of Normandy on D-Day.
Winston Churchill embraced his resemblance to a bulldog precisely because of the tenacious spirit the animal represented. Being compared to a bulldog in spirit is one thing. Being compared to a bulldog because you actually look like a bulldog is another. Nonetheless, Churchill knew a good thing when he saw it. From 1939 to the end of 1941, Churchill and England stood alone against the monsters of the Axis. They probably saved the world in those two years.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WANTED-- DOG JOKES! War Dogs of the Pacific.

Yesterday's joke first. This is courtesy of my wife's father.

My dog knows how to play poker but he's not very good at it.
Really? Why?
Because every time he gets a good hand he wags his tail.

Today's joke, then I think I need more material-- don't make me haul out the really lame jokes.

A guy walks into a bar with a chihuahua on a leash. He orders a drink.
The bartender says, "Sorry sir, we don't allow dogs in here."
The man says, "This is a seeing-eye dog."
The bartender says, "You have a chihuahua as a seeing-eye dog."
The man says, "They gave me a chihuahua?!"

Now, because of Memorial Day coming up, I want to address dogs in war. Now, this site is meant only to give people a jumping off point to find out more about a subject. I can't-- no, I don't want to pretend to to be an authority on any subject, dogs or otherwise.
The Military Channel had a special entitled War Dogs of the Pacific awhile back. I checked their schedule, and there are no showings of this program scheduled, but the show just gave another aspect of dogs' service to humans.
During WWII, dogs were sent to the Pacific to fight it out in the trenches and the jungles with U.S. soldiers. These dogs acted as look-outs, cleared caves and tunnels, and allowed these soldiers to rest and avoid some of the more dangerous jobs during combat. The dogs took the hardships and the bullets like the rest of the men. These were regular dogs, often volunteered by their owners back in the States for duty. Sometimes the dogs didn't return. They died in combat, along with their trainers, or could not be returned to their owners because their training made them inappropriate as pets. A lucky few came back and were either returned to the original owners or lived out the rest of their days as the companions of their military trainers.
Without exception, these dogs acted with valor and selflessness in a tough situation. They served on all the islands you have heard of, and probably on a few you haven't. They often survived on meagre rations and in unbelievably difficult terrain. Thanks to our soldiers who have, and who continue to sacrifice for us.
I will post more stories of war dogs this week.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What Dogs Mean to Us-- Wanted-- Dog Jokes.

The other day, as I was walking past a shop, I saw a sign for a store-- I forget exactly what it said, something like "Closed Monday" or "No Checks"-- and there was a bull-dog's face on the sign. Not a pit bull but a French Bulldog. Now, I had just finished handing out flyers at the Pet Parade, so I was particularly aware of dogs, but I realized that the sign meant many things to many people. Not what the sign said, but what the dog on the sign represented. Some people may have seen the dog and thought it cute. Other's may have harkened back to the Winston Churchill sort of bulldog, vigilant, brave and fair. To a few, the dog's face seemed stern. What I realized is that dogs are used so often in advertising, signs, symbols, etc. because they are not only fun to look at, but because we relate in our own way to them.
PBS ran a show locally last night about the meaning of dogs and cats in our lives. They mean many things to many people. Some folks are rescued by dogs while others are rescuers. The show tried to explain why we love our animals.
The loyalty, friendship, and unconditional love our dogs give us help us to perceive these animals in such a positive way, they are used constantly to gain our approval. Whether it is the talking chihuahua in the Taco Bell ads, the "Trouble Dog" for the insurance company-- is it an insurance company?-- or the random canine thrown into an ad, dogs are not only symbols, but good business.
What other animal performs so many functions, not only as a pet, but as a rescuer, either in reality as in the case of dogs who search out victims of disasters, or as supporters in times of mental stress? What other animal can herd, help the disabled, or act as a sentry?
We look at a dog, and see what we want to see, or need to see. Now I am not the religious sort, but God got it right when he made dogs. Bless them.

Got a dog joke? Here's one that is courtesy of my wife's dad.
"My dog plays poker but he's not very good at it."
"Why not?"
"Because every time he gets a good hand he wags his tail."

Later this week I hope to post some stories about dogs as soldiers, and perhaps, if I finish it, to present a new dog story I'm writing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reposting "Dining With Maurice" A short story by Frank Criscenti

My new readers, if there are any, haven't likely seen this story. For those of you who have, bear with me, I'm trying to get new followers and I think this story is pretty good.

Dining With Maurice.
A short story by Frank Criscenti

It was a terrible time in Wayne's life for his dog to start acting weird.

Wayne had spent a half-hour just that morning, studying his thinning hair. And, after another argument last night, his five-year-old relationship with Janice seemed over for good this time. So when he looked out and saw Maurice, the dog he'd owned for 16 years, chomping down mouthfuls of soil, it seemed somehow the beginning of the end.

Wayne called Janice about the dog. It was a good excuse to talk.

"Yes?" she said, sounding impatient.

"The dog's acting crazy."

"What's he doing?"

"He eats dirt."

"So take him to the vet. He's probably senile."

"You think so?"

It was a good point. Janice always had the easy answers. He sensed the end of their conversation and was anxious to seize this opportunity.

"Do you want to meet for dinner?" he asked.


"How 'bout a movie tomorrow? There's a French film at the Guild."

"I have plans," she said, and hung up.

Wayne had been seeing a psychiatrist for several months. Janice had suggested it some time ago and he finally relented. The psychiatrist looked like Joanne Woodward.

Every week, Wayne arrived 15 minutes early at the medical center, with Maurice riding in the passenger's seat. They'd park. Before Wayne went in to his appointment he took Maurice for a short walk around the parking lot. They wouldn't walk far since the dog suffered from arthritis. Maurice would hobble about, sniff and snort about the islands of trees and bushes, pissing here and there. Wayne tugged at the leash before Maurice became overly-interested in any morsels of soil. After their walk, he'd put the dog in the car and roll the window down a little for air. Then Wayne went inside to his appointment.

"Call me Ellen..." the doctor would say when Wayne called her "Doctor."

"Ellen..." he would say.

"Wayne..." the doctor would say.

During some sessions that was as close as they got to a breakthrough. They'd exchange pleasantries, then all conversation stopped. All the words unsaid probably meant something, but Wayne couldn't decide what it might be. Whenever he was at a session he kept thinking of the concept of negative space.

When he asked why she didn't ask him questions, she said it wasn't her job. That he would talk when he was ready.

But Wayne never felt ready.

It depressed him. He worried he might have some incurable malaise.

Wayne called Maurice's vet.

"Have you ever heard of a dog eating dirt?" he asked the receptionist.

She said no, but hold and she would ask the vet.

The vet got on. "What does he eat?"


"What kind of dirt?"

"Just your ordinary garden variety," Wayne said. "He prefers the clods actually."

"Do you feed him?"

"Of course. He gets kibble, a little canned stuff, and a few left-overs."

"This happens sometimes," the vet said. "Make an appointment with my receptionist and bring him in."

He lied to the receptionist and told her he would make an appointment as soon as he checked his schedule.

Wayne decided as long as Maurice remained healthy enough for an old, unhealthy dog, what harm could a couple of mouthfuls of dirt do.

One night Wayne awoke to strange animal moans in the backyard. He threw on his robe and went outside to find Maurice rolling in the dirt, his eyes glassy and full of terror. Once, on a vacation in Northern California, when Wayne was a child, his father hit a deer with the car. He remembered the deer had the same look in its eyes right before the car hit it. Wayne thought it was the end for his buddy. He carried the dog into the house, took him on his lap. All night he sat up, stroking Maurice's grey-flecked muzzle. Come morning, Wayne called in sick to his job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He made Maurice vegetable beef soup from a can and fed him with a big wooden spoon. That afternoon Maurice wobbled to his feet, though he listed. When the dog wagged his tail it seemed to throw off his balance completely.

Wayne took his pal to the vet. The vet kept Maurice overnight. When Wayne called the vet early the next afternoon, the vet told him the dog had congestive heart failure and all the tests he'd run and all the pills he might give might allow Maurice another six months of life.

Wayne called Janice and told her about Maurice.

"Sometimes I think you loved that dog more than me," Janice said.

"That's not true," he said, though it was.

They argued.

Janice hung up on Wayne.

She always took the easy way out.

Wayne picked up Maurice from the vet in the afternoon after work. The bill came to $606. Maurice wagged his tail so hard when he saw Wayne that he slipped off his feet to the floor. The dog looked up at his master, then licked his paw, seemingly embarassed for his lack of control.

One day, Wayne decided to open up to Ellen and tell her about his arguments with Janice.

He said, "Janice says I'm noncommital and obsessive. She says I'm certainly neurotic and possibly psychotic."

"Who is she to say?" Ellen said. "She's not a professional."

"Do you think I am?"


"What she said."

"That pisses me off," Ellen said.



"Am I possibly psychotic?"

"Do you think you are?"

"I don't know," he said. "I mean, I can't tell one way or the other. It's me we're talking about. That's why I come here after all."

"That's right," she said. "You're here to learn about yourself. What some nonprofessional says about you is irrelevant."

"Right," he said.

"Right," she said.

So Wayne talked about himself. He talked about Janice. Everything Wayne revealed about himself and how he felt, Ellen, though seeminly preoccupied, said it was reasonable that he felt the way he did, she understood why he would respond the way he did. It wasn't important what a nonprofessional said about him.

It depressed Wayne.

Then he told Ellen about Maurice eating dirt. Ellen seemed to find the story interesting. She said in humans such a condition was called "parorexia." Professionals knew that, she said, and some people ate fabric, ashes from ashtrays, whole pencils and even worse.

By the time Wayne left the office he had decided even his dog led a more interesting life than he.

One night Wayne ordered take-out Chinese food and brought it home and shared it with Maurice. They ate together at the dinette in the kitchen. The dog ate chow mein, fried shrimps, and beef from the broccoli beef.

A few nights later Wayne ordered two Philly cheese steak sandwiches-- one for him and one for the dog.

Wayne longed to take his pal to Paris. From what Wayne understood, the French had a healthy respect for dogs, allowed their pets to dine with them even in the best restaurants.

Wayne called a travel agent and asked about touring France with a dog. The agent said he'd look into it but called back the next day and told him the laws about bringing animals into France were overly-restrictive.

This news depressed Wayne.

Wayne went to one of the best French restaurants in town and ordered two meals to go. He told the waiter it was for a shut-in. It wasn't really lying to say that, he'd decided.

Wayne sat on a chair near the reception area while the meal was being prepared. Men in suits and ties and women in black dresses with strands of white pearls stared at him as he sat there waiting. To shut out their stares, Wayne closed his eyes and imagined himself and Maurice in France, drinking wine and munching escargot. He wondered if Maurice would eat escargot. Could he get Maurice a little tie to wear over his neck for formal dinners? He thought how they would sit there, in France, in a French restaurant, and the French people would say to the two of them, "Quel chien adorable!"

At home, Maurice devored the filet de boeuf.

Wayne told Ellen abouot dining with his dog. It seemed to perk her interest.

"Maybe you need to go out of the house more," she said.

But there wasn't time. Maurice needed him.

The dog's health became worse. Wayne took him back to the vet but the vet said nothing could be done.

Wayne asked for time off work. He had it coming. He rarely took vacations, only when Janice had insisted he take her someplace.

Besides, this was an emergency.

Wayne stayed home all day and cooked for himself and his pal. He always was a pretty fair cook, if unadventurous.

Maurice lay around most of the day, dozing in the triangle of sunlight on the floor in the dining room. The dog only ventured outside for a few minutes a day to do his business and have a mouthful of dirt. At dinnertime, Wayne had to lift Maurice into his seat at the dinette. The dog ate less and less, even when served steaks, meatloaf, or boneless chicken. He was wasting away.

It depressed Wayne.

Wayne called Janice.

"Maurice doesn't hardly eat at all," he said.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I know you cared for him."

"He's not gone yet," Wayne said.

There was a brief silence.

He thought she might be thinking up a remedy for the dog's poor appetite. Maybe she would give him a recipe. A special steak Janice, or salmon in puff pastry Janice. She always had the easy answers.

"Wayne," she said after a moment.

"Yes?" he said. That was it. All would be well. Janice would come back to him and they would care for Maurice together. He would show off his new skills in the kitchen. They would go to France together-- no, they would move to France with Maurice.

"I've been seeing someone else for some time now," she said. "It's serious."

Well, there it was, Janice just looking out for her own narrow self-interest. "This is more serious," he said. "How unprofessional of you to bring it up." Wayne hung up.

He told Ellen about Maurice.

"Sometimes you have to let an old friend go and move on with your life," she said.

"I don't want to," he said.

"You must."

Before Wayne left that day he stopped at the receptionist's desk and cancelled the rest of his appointments with the doctor.

Maurice fell one day while he was walking on the hardwood floor. He just collapsed. Wayne was alerted to the fall by the scrape of Maurice's nails.

The dog lay in the hallway, legs spread at an odd angle. When Wayne ran up to him , Maurice never bothered to try to get to his feet, but just lay there, staring up at Wayne with a sad, helpless look in his brown dog eyes.

The end was near. Wayne couldn't let his pal know he knew, but then again, he couldn't let him go without some special goodbye.

Wayne decided to make Maurice a special dinner with all his favorites.

He went shopping. He cooked all day. When the meal was prepared, he lifted Maurice into the seat at the dinette, and brought the covered plates to the table. He toasted the dog with a goblet of wine, then uncovered the plates. There was dirt with rice and dirt with meatloaf and dirt with apple tart. Wayne and his pal ate and, for a little while, it seemed as if they hadn't a care in the world.


This story first appeared in the Santa Clara Review. Spring 1993.


Brad said...

More like this! I can see why you were able to publish it. Great story, great parallels, and a great dog lover's tale. Marley and Me eat your heart out.

April 26, 2010 10:00 PM

Leah said...

A very touching, heart warming story. A story of an unconditional love that only comes from a dog. Yes, we need more stories from you. If only we could be more caring, less to analyze and judge people in our lives.

April 27, 2010 8:08 PM

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▼ 2010 (54)

► May (13)

Chinese Pet Food Company Admits to Using Cats in I...

Chinese Using Cats in Dog Food? That's Not the Wor...

Are the Chinese Using Cats for Dog Food? Protest! ...

DO DOGS HAVE SOULS? Give Your Opinion.

The Truth About Puppy Mills-- My Soapbox-- Adopt a...


Chihuahuas! Every Girl Must Have One!


NEW GAME! DOGVILLA! Be afraid. Be very afraid! Hap...

Does Anyone Still Read? Dog for Adoption. TGIF. Th...

A Poem-- More Boxes-- Our Reason for Being. The Do...

Dog Art-- Chips, Decorated War Dog-- Cigar Box Can...

Dog Art on a Box-- AWARD!-- Thanks-- The Dog Chron...

▼ April (21)

Dining With Maurice-- A Short Story by Me.

A Little Bit of Everything. The Dog Chronicles.

This Dog Needs a Home. Really.

Dog Headed Men-- Remember Those St. Christopher Me...

Looking for Something Like This. The Dog Chronicle...

Make My Day! Need Photos, Your Dog as Cerberus!

Freshly-Cooked Werewolves-- The Dog Chronicles

The Wolf Man-- Or Was He The Wimp Man?

Velvet Rat Tails-- Cigar Dogs-- The Dog Chronicles...

More Buster Brown-- Not Shoes-- The Dog Chronicles...


People Who Look Like Dogs-- Part III




The Case Against Cats-- By the CCAFF-- Dogs in Spa...

The Case Against Cats-- By the

The Case Against Cats-- By the

Contest-- Who Painted This Dog?-- Dogs in Space

The Truth Finally Comes Out-- Dingos Did Not Eat M...

Sarah Palin Devoured by Wolves-- Dogs in Space

► March (20)

Amazing Dog Rescue-- Dogs in Space

Fritz Memorial Page-- Dogs in Space

doggod/goddog Anubis-- Dogs in Space

Yukon King-- A Dog Who Speaks Cat and Other Animal...

You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog-- Dogs in Space

You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog-- Dogs in Space

Hot dogs in space.

Laika-- First Living Being in Space. Dogs in Space...

Dog Movies-- Dogs in Space

Don't be mean-- Feed Table Scraps-- Dogs in Space

True Story? Vampire Dog! Dogs in Space

Vampire Dog Dumps Jen for Angelina-- Dogs in Space...

Dog who wouldn't eat waffles-- and vampires Dogs i...

The Dog Who Wouldn't Eat Spaghetti-- Dogs in Space...

Happy St. Patrick's Dogs in Space

Dogs in Space!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chinese Pet Food Company Admits to Using Cats in Its Dog Food Formula-- But Only Dead Cats

The Chinese pet food manufacturer, Ping E. Lee admits it uses cats in its dog food formula, but only dead cats. Dead and dying animals are used all the time in pet foods, even in the U.S. They are considered unfit for human consumption. But cat meat is not used here. P.E. Lee also admits to using dog meat in its pet food. The company claims it does not use rodents though-- even dead ones.
Critics aren't too sure though.
In related news, three Americans belonging to HCAFET (Hold China Accountable for Ecological Terrorism) are missing near the P.E. Lee Company plant in Foo, a town about 50 miles from Benjii. The Americans, two Chinese immigrants to the U.S., Dan Chang and Melody Eng, and student Manuel Cant haven't been seen in over a week. Friends and relatives in the United States and China fear for their safety. The activists were investigating the Ping E. Lee Company and other firms in China suspected of ecological irresponsibility.
The Chinese government claims no knowledge of the whereabouts of the activists. State Department officials have so far only been able to discover that Cant, Chang and Eng were due in Hong Kong a week ago and never arrived.
Two Chinese dissidents protesting the Ping E. Lee's policies disappeared last year and have yet to resurface. Some unnamed sources within the dissident community in China claim that the Ping E. Lee Co. may have even murdered those missing persons and destroyed their bodies. Rumors claim that the Lee Co. is not above using any and all sources of meat in their pet foods, including human meat.
Both the government and the Lee Co. deny these charges. They claim that Chinese dissidents are constantly going underground to avoid prosecution on various criminal charges, and that often these missing persons surface unharmed later. The Lee Co. and the Chinese government does not give any examples of missing persons who have resurfaced. Chinese officials are usually silent about the fates of dissidents within China, whether the dissidents are Chinese or not.
U.S. State Dept. officials continue to make inquiries about the missing Americans, but note that such inquiries can take weeks or even months before they bear fruit.
In the meantime you can help by reposting these articles and demanding information from the Chinese about the fate of the three Americans. It's time to take a stand.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chinese Using Cats in Dog Food? That's Not the Worst!

The story posted here yesterday about the possibility of Chinese pet food manufacturers using cats in their dog food just gets worse. According to a Chinese refugee, Oh Mai, now living in Poland, the pet food companies in his home country include any animal unlucky enough to die or move too slow to escape. Bands of animal "herders" that roam the cities near the plants pick up the unfortunate victims.
"They use cats, dogs, rats, mice, and donkeys. I've even seen a bear parts ground up and put into the food," says Oh Mai. "All these animals are turned in for a few pennies."
An anonymous source in the U.S. Government says it wouldn't surprise him. "Melamine is just the tip of the ice berg," he says. "You don't want to be a source of meat over there. You might get scooped up and added to the mix. Luckily I don't think most of this dog food makes its way to the States. Most is used in Eastern European countries."
Nonetheless, one small store in Chicago, run by a Bulgarian immigrant, was selling dog food made by the Ping E. Lee Company, named yesterday in this blog as one of the users of cat parts in its kibble. There's no telling how many small stores carry this food in the U.S.
In China, the Ping E. Lee pet food name translated into English is, believe it or not, "Little Peppy Puppy Dog Delights." Some delight.
What can you do about this abomination?
Refuse to buy dog foods produced by the P.E. Lee Company. Be sure your dog food is made of wholesome ingredients. Post this story so your friends will know.
Finally, protest this mistreatment of animals.
We need to spread the word.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Are the Chinese Using Cats for Dog Food? Protest! Do Dogs Have Souls Response.

There are unsubstantiated reports from China that say certain manufacturers there are using cats in their dog food formulas. Jack Landis, of the ACLS (American Cat Lovers Society) states that rumors claim the Ping E. Lee Pet Food Company has started adding cats to it's kibble.
"After the Olympics," says Landis, "the eating of cats has thankfully become less common. But now those same cats are being used for pet food. It's despicable."
In the past, China has been guilty of using melamine in its pet foods. Some of those foods have found their way onto American supermarket shelves. Let's hope this is just a hoax. If not, we should all protest by refusing to use cat-based dog foods.

Leah Ueki Fowler weighs in on whether dogs have souls or not. She says, "Dogs have souls!!! They love, forgive, protect. How could they not have souls?"

Monday, May 17, 2010

DO DOGS HAVE SOULS? Give Your Opinion.

Do dogs have souls? There is a division of opinion in religious circles. Let me give you a brief and basic scoreboard on the subject. Catholics say yes. Protestants say no. Buddhist and Hindus--yes. Jews say no. Muslims in general consider that everything has a soul, including a rock, though dogs may not go to heaven. There may be shadings of opinion on the subject that I am not addressing. 
The question occurs to me as I get older because I wonder if I am worthy of my dog. If she has no soul than she has no sin in a religious sense. Her peeing on the floor, or stealing socks that have fallen out of the dryer do not qualify since she has no bad intent. Lulu, my dog simply does not know any better.
If I believe she has no soul, and I'm not sure I do, but if I do, then she can have no sin. This includes original sin. And even if my dog has a soul, certainly she has never intended evil.
So, back to my question. Do I deserve my dog? Lulu possesses unconditional love. She doesn't judge me. Surely I have sinned more than she has. I possess all the failings of man-- and probably then some. I have caused pain and suffering. I have fought, cursed, lied, and committed sins I will not admit here. I have no church anymore. This is interesting, because when I was in the hospital having a back surgery I asked to see a Catholic priest to reenter the faith. The priest handed me a booklet. That's it. No blessing. No prayer. Perhaps he thought I wouldn't add much to the flock. It makes me worry for my soul-- maybe.
In truth, I have mixed feelings about the whole subject of souls. Are they something that lives after us in anything but memory? I know. I sound like an agnostic, if not worse.
Some Muslims think dogs turn to dust at death and therefore cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Do I turn to dust? Is that it for me? Is what I leave behind in memory all there is?
If this is the case, my dog is way ahead of me in the goodness department. Am I forgiven? I guess I will find out. Surely Lulu is forgiven though. And if she possesses no soul at all, then she has never sinned. If sin implies intent, then she has never sinned. Certainly she is would make a better human than me.
Give me your opinion. Do dogs have souls. I will post your feelings here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Truth About Puppy Mills-- My Soapbox-- Adopt a Pet in Need and finally... Execution of Animals in the Middle Ages-- True!


I seem to be on a soapbox this week. Ranting and complaining.

Which reminds me of Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park in London. People use soapboxes, and other boxes presumably to stand on and deliver speeches. Speaker's Corner is near the site of where the gallows used to be in London. People used to be able to give their speeches-- last words if you will, on the gallows. Marx and Lenin used to speak there as did George Orwell and others. So, watch my brilliance here... I tie this in with a cheery little tale about the public execution of animals during the Middle Ages. Yes, if an ox gores a man and kills him; a dog kills a man; or a pig eats its young-- they were tried and executed, sometimes by hanging. Ah, only man could be so enlightened.

So, up I hop on my soapbox. I recently saw an expose on puppy mills. They are far worse than you think. Not only are the conditions for the dogs deplorable, and animals who do not produce well are destroyed. Come on, this is pure greed. There are no second chances for these dogs. The puppies that result are often prone to genetic problems. I am no PETA person, nor am I blind to the sufferings of my fellow man, but where one can alleviate needless suffering it's incumbent to do so. We rescued a puppy mill Scottie. He died before his time with a spinal problem that may have been genetic. He was a runt. We loved him-- though Scotties do have a mind of their own. He was willful to say the least.

Which brings me to the "Dog of the Week" at the Humane Society Silicon Valley. Adopt.
Check out Kipper for one.

Finally, we still have a contest going. Well, I am running a contest even if no one enters. Apparently I will be buying my own dog something with the money I save. There I go again, ranting. I will also make my PBS (poor boy speech) to many of you personally asking you to read and spread the word about this site. Yes, again. Thanks to all of you who have already helped. I think we have an interesting tale to tell about dogs and canines. I want to keep doing it so spread the word.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A real contest with a real prize. Send me a photo (2) of your dog so I can put it up here, and your dogs name. (In case of duplicate names, dogs will be listed by name and number received-- such as Rover and Rover 1, Rover 2, etc.) In 25 words or less tell me what's so cool about your dog (no cats please) and I will post one of the two photos here. Readers will vote on the pet they like best and then that dog will win a prize.

Here's the rules: Send two photos of your pet and a brief description 25 words or less of what's so special about your dog. Then, so your friends will vote, send the link to this website to three friends telling them about the contest. If you sign up as a follower of this site, you don't have to email your friends. Vote either on the website or by email. All entries must be submitted by May 22, 2010. Voting will end by May 25, 2010.
email votes

What's the prize? A dog toy and some treats. It will be sent to your house. Hey, this site is non-profit so far, wish I could send more.
Here's the fine print in real fine print.
Only one vote per email address. Sorry, but family you can send your photos but you can't win. Let's be fair. I'm not responsible for computer glitches or lost votes. You'll just have to trust me. Ties will be broken via a run-off. You must provide either a copy of the three emails or the subject lines of the three emails to your friends telling them about the site. Entries sent after midnight, May 22, 2010 will not be accepted. That's Pacific time folks. This is a start-up site. I will send a prize quickly, but no lawyer stuff please. I'm gonna be fair.
The prize will consist of a nice dog toy that will be squeaky when it mails, perhaps not squeaky when it gets to you. Also some sealed dog treats. No, I'm not sure how much it will all cost, but it will seem like a million bucks to your dog!

I'm gonna start it off with a picture of my dog (who is not elgible) just so you get the idea.

Lulu was a pound puppy, totally spooked when we got her. Now she seems to be smiling more times than not.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chihuahuas! Every Girl Must Have One!

Chihuahuas-- A Fashion must!
Oops. They are not disposable. Can you believe Paris Hilton has exiled her's to live with her parents. Caring for another living thing is such a bother. Got to feed them, in her case, clothe them... Does this sound familiar?
Like yesterday's post concerning pit bulls, chihuahuas are yesterday's news. The shelters are full of chihuahuas and chihuahua mix dogs.
What do we do when we don't feel like dealing with our dogs, send them to the shelters. At least Paris' pet is getting what I presume to be the best care.

I'm going to run the pics of the chihuahua and chihuahua mix dogs at the Peninsula
Humane Society.

 To adopt one of the dogs, phone 650 340-7022x--336.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Yes, Pit Bull! Feeling a bit "down." Try Pit Bull, the new, all natural male enhancement product released by I.R. Responsible. Are you a weakling when it comes to girls? Does your self-confidence and your physical stamina let you down? Try Pit Bull and feel like a "BIG" man. Imagine how your friends will marvel when you take your Pit Bull down to the public park and let it loose. Watch as the women swoon and the men clear a path for you. And Pit Bull requires no obligation from you. If you don't like it, just return it for a full refund. No harm done.
The girls will love you.
In just minutes, your Pit Bull will make your stronger, more handsomer, and irresistible.

Use it daily for that "BIG" manly-man feeling.

IN THE MEANTIME, back at the shelter, pit bulls go begging for owners. Pit bulls require a lot of time and effort. No matter what anyone says, they can be dangerous if they don't receive the love and care they deserve. But some folks just don't get it. A big "dog" doesn't make a man. All these dogs below are in the Humane Society Silicon Valley shelter. Some hot shots probably turned them in after deciding they didn't want to care for these living creatures anymore. Maybe the dog was too much for them. Maybe they didn't want anything but a symbol of their virility. WELL DOGS AREN'T SYMBOLS! For more info on the dogs below, phone 408-262-2133.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

NEW GAME! DOGVILLA! Be afraid. Be very afraid! Happy Mother's Day

I just thought I was doing what I was supposed to. I signed up for this computer game-- Dogvilla. The ad said I would receive emails from my friends. So I signed up. Suddenly I got a kennel to tend. Okay. No problem. I got a dog, and a kennel, and a dog house. Then my friend sends me a puppy. Nice. I want a puppy to go with my dog. I sent you a puppy. Will you send me something nice? I clicked on the return gift. Then I got a dog toy from a friend. So I sent a dog toy back. Next thing you know, my friend needs me to feed his dogs next door. Okay, no problem. Come feed my dogs please. So I feed my dog. (My real dog has no water in his bowl. Wait dog! I will get to you after I got to my friend's dog.) Suddenly I got puppies. No one told me my online dog was preggers. So, I am sweating now. I'm starting to get where this goes. I feed the next door friend's dog, I feed the puppies, I feed the dog, I send a dog toy, I take the dogs to the vets. I need a Great Dane-- my friend says. I send them a Great Dane. They send me a mastiff. Did I forget the friend who asked me to feed his dogs? I get there and there's a million dogs? Another friend sends me a whole family of collies. Send me a collie family back won't you? Little pink hearts start appearing over the heads of my dogs when they're about to have puppies. I need a bigger kennel. The dog house is too small. Have a dog toy. Have some dog food. Have some dog treats. Will you please send me something nice back? I get a wolf pack. And a naturalist to study them. I got to house the naturalist. I get a fox and a hen house. I get coyotes. I get a chihuahua. An African Monkey dog. My friend wants me to house sit his dog. My own real-life dog still has no water. Wait a minute will you-- quit whining. The kennel is littered with dog toys. The dog house is too small. The puppies need more mom dogs. Will you send me a dog biscuit? I'm building a pet hotel. Here's a herd of poodles. My wife comes home. Did you go through the checking account statement online? What is she crazy. My friend needs me to feed his dogs. I got to find a new vet. Our real dog has been whining all day-- wait, it's six at night.

Kind of sounds like being a mom doesn't it?

Happy Mother's Day. Can you send me a puppy?

Adopt. This is Brandy at the right. The Humane Society Silicon Valley has Brandy or another dog in need.
Phone 408-262-2133.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Does Anyone Still Read? Dog for Adoption. TGIF. The Dog Chronicles.

Have all you dog lovers out there read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein? This has to be the best modern dog book I have read. It doesn't go for the cheap sentiments, and is very well written. The dog, Enzo is hilarious, and very wise. Enzo says George Clooney looks like him, especially around the eyes. Racing in the Rain isn't just a piece of disposal fluff, soon to be forgotten. It is moving and fast-paced. The racing sections have a kind of zen quality. This book came to me from my daughter who had it passed on to her. I sent it to my mom for Christmas and she loved it and passed it on.
If you want your own copy, it's available all over, Amazon is good source since they sponsor me, and you can't help but stumble over it at Costco. Check it out.

I have wanted to talk about dog books for awhile now, at least books that feature dogs in significant roles. Most people know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Sherlock Holmes novel. Doyle had a knack for building an unseen threat into something very real. The legend of the hound in this book plays a more important role than the hound itself. It is a novel of greed and fear. The darkness of the moor and the legend combine to create a thrilling mystery.
Doyle used dogs in other stories, usually as tracking animals. I believe it is The Sign of the Four that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson spend an evening following behind a hound on the scent. Believe it or not, the outcome ends up being pretty funny.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte uses dogs early on in this novel to set the tone. For those of you who know about Bronte's book, you know what an eerie tone those dogs set. This is a novel that shouldn't be missed. It is fascinating, and very strange.

While I will certainly touch on literature featuring dogs again, I can't help but mention a little-known book by the author of The 39 Steps. John Buchan's Prester John, a short adventure novel that takes place in South Africa, has a great dog character in it. The animal is huge and fierce, and loyal to the hero to the death. It's a great story and for adventure fans, Buchan's novels are rip-roaring tales of danger and intrigue.

Finally, let's get this dog adopted. Last week, a dog I mentioned here and on Facebook found a home. Let's place this one.

Brandy's Details

Sponsor Me!

Name: Brandy Animal ID#: 73589

Type: Dog Breed: Chihuahua/Mix

Primary color: Cream

Gender: Female Age: 9 Mo (approx) Weight: 7.75

Location: Adoption Suites


Hi! My name is Brandy. I'm a sweet lady looking for a warm lap and a loving home to call my own. I'm shy of new people and places at first, so I hope that you'll be patient and give me time to adjust. I seem to feel braver when I have a 4-legged friend with me so I hope I can find a home where I have a big brother or sister to show me the ropes. Can I join your family? Please come to HSSV to meet me today!

The Humane Society Silicon Valley's Website is a little messed up right now. For info on Brandy, or any of the other dogs (and yes, even cats) that are up for adoption, phone 408-262-2133.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Poem-- More Boxes-- Our Reason for Being. The Dog Chronicles.

Come all ye dog-headed saints
Come curs and hellhounds
Wolves and whelps
Come Gentle dames and sires
Three-headed dogs of all ilks

Come snap and snarl
Growl and glower
Come whimper and wail
and howl at the moon

Spread fear and tremble for miles about
Spread fear and tremble
and roam through the gloom

To see more boxes like these check out the Cigar History Museum. Link at the right. Thanks again Tony.

As to our reason for being... It all started with a picture of my dog in space. It's a picture my daughter Lauren and I photo-shopped years ago. I thought this was an excellent idea for a website-- photo-shopped pics of dogs in odd situations. I decided to start a blog without much of a plan other than a picture of my dog on the moon. Brad, Lauren's husband, then sent a picture of his chihuahua mix Moo in space. We were off and running.
One of my first post told about a dog my wife and I watched jump by himself into the funicular in Capri and ride to the top of the hill. We shared our car with just this dog. Obviously the animal used the funicular often enough to know to ride from one part of the isle to another where there were perhaps better pickings. How did the dog ever learn? What got into its head? Obviously dogs have ideas. There's probably a million stories like that one about dogs. Does that limit my posts?
I mention The Were Wolf, I launch into nostalgia. The same with Buster Brown shoes. All I am required to do at present is start canine to keep to the theme. I DO NOT DO CUTE PUPPIES! Not to say we don't have cute puppy pictures from time to time or that cute puppy sites are bad. Certainly they get more traffic than this site for the time being. But I wanted to create a site with content. That tackled history, celebrity, politics perhaps, art and literature, and the ideas that get into dogs' heads. I have no expertise in dog training or breeds but I do have a million ideas. But I want to hear from readers as well. I want photos, stories, articles, ideas, and original cartoons. And I need readers.
If you like anything that appears here, please pass it on to your friends.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dog Art-- Chips, Decorated War Dog-- Cigar Box Canine Art.

Reason #5. Why this is the greatest dog-related website in the whole world-- What other dog site mentions Titian's Venus of Urbino?
That's the dog asleep on the bed with the naked lady. Lauren Fowler identified the artist of this picture just from the dog. She won our first contest and got absolutely nothing for her knowledge except praise (and a dog treat.)

Leah Ueki Fowler (Lauren's Mother-in-law) sent me a photo today of Chips, one of the canine corps of WWII. Chips actually won a Silver Star and a Purple Heart serving as a tank dog with Patton's army. Those medals were later removed because alas, Chips ended up classified as equipment. I am going to write about Chips and some other dogs in war nearer to Memorial Day. These dogs displayed fearless devotion during battle and saved many of our soldiers. There are some interesting stories. The Military Channel aired a special about war dogs not too long ago. Don't miss it when it comes on again.

More cigar box canine art courtesy of Tony Hyman. These are just a few of the displays in his great online museum. The link is on the right hand side of our page. Thanks Tony. You've got a great site. It's a view of history, humor, and art that can't be found anywhere else. Take a minute to check it out. You'll be hooked.
Have a Dog-on Good Day.

Dog Art on a Box-- AWARD!-- Thanks-- The Dog Chronicles

The website experts have said that one of the ways a new website can gather fans is to win an award-- so I am giving myself one. Reason #4. why The Dog Chronicles is the best dog-related website in the universe-- It has won the Leah Ueki Fowler Blue Ribbon (she had one left over from Farmville) for excellence in Dog-Related Websiteness. Thank you Leah. You are my biggest fan, if not the tallest.

Today it's more Canine cigar boxes. Cigar boxes, like all cool things are becoming an item of the past. Cigar boxes as well as their contents are taxed at the same high rate. Manufacturers more frequently are selling their cigars in inexpensive bundles to save a buck. Even the boxes that are still manufactured are pretty plain. A lot are just wood with the brand name attached. It's no doubt expensive to produce one of these full-color, embossed type labels. I believe most are manufactured in Holland.

So why were dogs a good advertising symbol for cigars. Consider the times these dog labels were popular. If you've read any fiction written during the turn of the century, you know that bravery, loyalty, and friendship led the way in admirable traits for men. Check out Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes as a good example, or any novel by John Buchan, the author of The 39 Steps. What better symbol than a dog to portray such traits. Thanks to Tony Hyman as usual for these great pics. Check out the Cigar History Museum if you haven't yet. The link is at the right. Brad checked it out and says it is "Amazing."

Tomorrow I hope to run some more of these great photos-- what a hassle converting Mac photos into something usable on a pc. I am working on that. The photos open just fine, but downloading into a file doesn't work. I'm sure with the myriad programs I have that I will be able to fix this.

Thanks to all my readers last week. The short story won lots of praise. Let me know what else you guys want to learn about on this site. More fiction? What do you want to know about? Remember, I don't do a cute puppy picture site. I do like interesting, funny dog pictures, but nothing too staged. That's not what I do.

Finally, thank you to Brad Fowler for designing this site. He did a great job understanding just what I wanted. Bravo!