Friday, March 11, 2011

Things that go on in my dog's head

Once upon a time, I taught Tinky-Winky to roll over. It took two years and a good 70 lbs of cheese, but we did it. Or... more or less. She knows what I mean by "roll over". That was the easy part. She got it the first day. The part about motivating her to do it took two years, and she still always tries to get out of it by doing some other trick instead, or she'll go on her side and then get back up and pretend she did it. So, I don't really ask her anymore. Obviously she doesn't like it, and there is no purpose in making her do it.

The funny thing is, when we're playing on the floor together in the evenings, sometimes she rolls over of her own free will. I don't even have cheese handy or anything, and we're just playing, and she rolls over and doesn't ask for anything in return.

Now why would somebody do something they don't like to do but they know matters to someone in their life?


I think that's her way of saying "you know what, human, you're alright."

Monday, March 7, 2011

The ten-dog race

Before anyone starts thinking I'm posting these because I care about LUSH wanting to ban dog racing: I don't give a tupenny Ford about what LUSH wants to ban. I only even know about it because someone else blogged about how they are boycotting LUSH because of the dogsled issue, and I made time to read the blog, and I was disappointed by the lack of anything worth discussing. I wouldn't want anyone to think I am gonna blog something boring about LUSH and the sled dogs.

I shot these photos on Sunday for the simple reason that we have dog races the first weekend in March and the ten-dog race goes right past my house, and the weather was beautiful, and therefore I went down to take some photos. It has nothing to do with advocacy of any kind.

However if you want to know what I think of LUSH, I think it's bizarre to boycott them because they want to shut down dog sledding, but not because they want to shut down the oilsands. Seriously: we need the money from the oilsands, and if you ever ride around in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, or you own anything that was ever carried in a truck, train, ship, or airplane, or you live in any kind of man-made dwelling, then your lifestyle depends on oil, just like everybody else's; while on the other hand, nobody's lifestyle or livelihood is seriously dependent on sled dogs. So it strikes me as rather hypocritical to get huffy about the dogs and not about the oil. Also, LUSH is not an effective advocacy group, nor do they care. They do this because it's their corporate image, that's all. And again, it's hypocritical to boycott LUSH because of their corporate philosophy, but keep buying petroleum products. Or coffee. Or any foods not grown locally. Or anything made in China. Or Microsoft.

Then again, it takes zero effort to live without LUSH, and considerable effort to live without petroleum products, coffee, food, Microsoft, and things made in China, so I see your point.

Personally, I buy from LUSH, and I don't care what they advocate against, or whether they even advocate against anything. I also like dog sled races, not because I have any opinion on the ethics of the people involved, but because if I had enough money to keep ten dogs, I'd totally be racing myself. Because it would be awesome fun.

And now I totally conned you into reading a boring, pointless blog post about LUSH v. sled dogs. Bahaha!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Things you don't see often

A shiba with muddy paws. So rare, I only have one photo, after five years together. (Another time, she fell into a swamp full of H2S in Yellowknife, but I didn't take a picture of that. She was miserable.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is there such a thing as being too attached to your dog?

I have a lifelong dream of going to the south pole. That's not very realistic. Getting a job in Antarctica is realistic, but where you work in Antarctica depends on your profession and citizenship, which means I wouldn't be at Amundsen-Scott regardless.

You'd think that would be really disappointing, but really, not really. Because when I look at photos of Amundsen-Scott, the interesting thing, to me, is the ceremonial pole marker. And every time I look at it I think "wow, Tinky-Winki would LOVE to piss on that." (If you've been reading this blog a while, you know that Tinky-Winky likes to piss on man-made markers.) However, you can't bring your dog to Antarctica, and what's more, the contracts are six months to two years, so I won't even be applying until after she's dead. And when I visualize being at the south pole without her, it doesn't seem worth going anymore.


Maybe, when your main motivation for going to the south pole is "so the dog can piss on it", it's time to deprioritize the dog a little.

(All the same, when I go to Antarctica, I'll bring her ashes with me, in case I get a chance to go to Amundsen-Scott after all and scatter some there.)