Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Please, dog owners, help me out here.

It's lovely that you have a dog.  Yes, i bottle raise kittens and don't want a dog because i'm too lazy to commit to walking one every day and spending all the time it really takes to properly train a dog, but i like dogs and i pet them and i will feed and water and babysit them and give them medicine when i do and i'm glad you have one.

Now please get a name tag for your dog, and make sure you put a phone number on it so i can call you when he gets loose.

Yes, your dog is going to get out of the yard.  No, i don't care what precautions you have taken, your dog will get out despite the invisible fence, barbed wire on top of the 6ft. chain link, and the fact that it's a cement pen that he can't dig out of, he is going to get out, sooner or later.  By hook or by crook, he will do it, and because i live across the street from the school and the field and the pool and the trees and all the other stuff and you bring him here to walk him and throw balls for him, he's going to end up here and at my house.

What's the only way i can call you and tell you where your dog is?  Well, you guessed it, i need a phone number, one that you will actually answer.  If you don't put anything but the rabies tag on the dog's collar, here's what happens.

First, i call Animal Control, because their number is on the rabies tag.  They ask for the tag ID number, but not so they can figure out whose dog this is.  No, that's too direct.  Instead they want to know so they can tell me which vet gave it the rabies shot, based on the code letters in the number.

Once i have the vet's name, you think i'm golden, right?  Wrong.   Once i have that, i call the vet and talk to the receptionist who is trying to answer three phone lines and check people in and check them out and she really wants to help because she works in a vet's office and she really likes animals, but it takes time to research this.  She has to dig out the tag book, and look up the number, and ask for a description to make sure it matches, and then she knows, from the name on that tag slip, whose dog this is.

Good, right?  Well, maybe.  Because she's not allowed, for patient privacy, to actually give me your name or phone number or even your address so i can walk the dog back to your house.  No, that would be too easy.  Instead, amid all the other things she needs to do, she has to try to call the owner and let him/her know my phone number, so the owner can call me and arrange to pick up the dog or get it back home.

All of this could take quite some time.   Meanwhile, i can't bring your dog in my house, i don't have any food to offer to entice it to stay, and your dog will have run off by the time all of this ensues.

Also, if i find the dog after hours, there will be no answer at that Animal Control number.  Their emergency number is answered, but the emergency people aren't authorized to go look at the codes and tell you which vet's office to call.   In addition, unless your vet is one of the two emergency vets in town, if it's after hours, i'm out of luck there, too.

So, please, do me a favor, do yourself a favor, do that overworked receptionist at your vet's office a favor, and most of all, do your dog a huge favor -- get a tag that has at least the animal's name and your cell phone number, and for heaven's sake answer the phone, even though you don't know who is calling.

Your dog's life might depend on it.  Thank you, end of rant.

Today is

Air Conditioning Appreciation Days begin -- Northern Hemisphere (around here, they last until Thanksgiving!)

Cherokee Green Corn Ceremony -- honoring maize goddess Selu with thanksgiving for the maize harvest; date approximate, as many towns set their own times to celebrate

Compliment Your Mirror Day -- remind your mirror how great it is to have an owner like you, and look at other mirrors to meet to see if they greet you with a smile

Dipolieia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of Zeus as god of the city)

Disobedience Day -- internet generated, but if you have a bone to pick, use your civil disobedience today to let it be known!

Distressed Elves' Creditors' Pets' Day -- Fairy Calendar

Dixon Petunia Festival: The Pink. The Proud. The Petunias. -- Dixon, IL, US (food, entertainment, fun, and petunias! through Sunday)

Dog Days of Summer begin (according to the almanac, but not in all cultures)

Eat Beans Day -- bring the humble legume up to main dish status!

Fiesta del Fuego -- Santiago, Cuba (festival of fire, through the 9th)

Independence Day -- Belarus(1944)

National Chocolate Wafer Day

Red White and Boom -- Columbus, OH, US (the Midwest's largest fireworks display)

Stay Out of the Sun Day -- sponsored by Wellcat Holidays; for health's sake, give your skin a break!

St. Thomas the Apostle's Day (Patron of architects, blind people, builders, carpenters, construction workers, geometricians, masons, people in doubt, stonecutters, surveyors, theologians; against blindness, doubt; Certaldo, Italy; Ceylon/Sri Lanka; East Indies; India; Pakistan)

The North American Tournament -- Spruce Meadows, Calgary, AB, Canada (show jumping tournament, through Sunday)

Tom Sawyer Days -- Hannibal, MO, US (frog jumping, mud volleyball, Tom and Becky Contest; parade, Tomboy Sawyer Contest, fireworks, and more, with the highlight being the National Fence Painting Contest; through Sunday)

Virgin Islands Emancipation Day -- US Virgin Islands

Anniversaries Today

Idaho becomes the 43rd US State, 1890

Birthdays Today

Tom Cruise, 1962
Montel Williams, 1956
Alan Autry, 1952
Dave Barry, 1947
Tom Stoppard, 1937
Pete Fountain, 1930
Ken Russell, 1927
Franz Kafka, 1883
George M. Cohan, 1878

Today in History

Hugh Capet is crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France till the French Revolution in 1792, 987
Québec City is founded by Samuel de Champlain, 1608
Pitcairn Island is discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret, 1767
Norway's oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, is founded and the first edition is published, 1767
George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1775
The Bank of Savings in New York City, the first savings bank in the United States, opens, 1819
The last pair of Great Auks is killed, 1844
Slaves are freed in the Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) by Peter von Scholten in the culmination of a year-long plot by enslaved Africans, 1848
Dow Jones and Company publishes its first stock average, 1884
Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent Motorwagen – the first purpose-built automobile, 1886
The New York Tribune becomes the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting  by hand, 1886
World speed record for a steam railway locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 126 miles per hour (203 km/h), 1938
The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad, 1969
First mention in the New York Times of a disease that would later be called AIDS, 1981
The Stone of Scone is returned to Scotland, 1996
Asteroid 2004 XP14 flies within 432,308 kilometres (268,624 mi) of Earth, 2006


  1. A worthwhile rant. I hope dog owners take notice of your excellent advice.

  2. I agree. My dog has a tag but he knows how to rip it off of his collar.... He is a huge, goofy lab/great dane puppy so almost everyone knows he belongs to me but I hope he grows up enough to keep his tag on soon.

  3. Carla, i know your dog has one.

    Stephen, it has been my experience that the people who need the advice most, are the ones least likely to take it. Unfortunately.

    Sarah, i know you are trying, and you might use a light colored collar and write the phone number directly on it in dark sharpie. That way, if he gets the tag off, the collar will have the information.

  4. I agree about the tag, phine number thing. We will find at least one scared, loose dog tomorrow. So manybarecafraid of the fireworks... I always feel bad for them.

  5. Sorry about all of those typos! Hubby is driving & i'm in passenger seat. It's a bumpy ride. Lol.