Saturday, November 05, 2005

Another pit bull attack and the press misses the real problem

A ten year old was mauled by three pit bulls in Colorado yesterday and in reading the press accounts of the horrible incident the blame is set squarely on the dogs. Yet, as usual in nearly every case like this, there are odd little details that no one seems to question.

The boy was attacked after climbing over the back fence to break into his family home because the door was locked and no one was home to let him in. CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BREAK INTO THEIR OWN HOMES.

The pit bulls--three of them--were kept loose in the back yard. ANIMALS THAT ARE MEANT TO BE PETS SHOULD NOT BE CONFINED TO THE YARD.

After subdoing the dogs--by shooting at them--officials found puppies as well. PEOPLE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS DON'T BREED DOGS IN THEIR YARD.

And then there's this, buried, as usual, at the end of the report: "Two years ago, the same dog owner was cited for keeping too many dogs and allowing them to run free." PEOPLE WITH A TRACK RECORD OF IRRESPONSIBILITY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE PETS OF ANY KIND.

The sad thing is that the people responsible here will probably not be prosecuted, but anyone who owns a pit bull resposibly will face fines or relocation.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More signs that things have returned to normal

I just spent two hours searching for my car in the French Quarter.

Be careful where you point your rocket

Saturday night my power went off. It didn't just go off in a traditional post-catastrophe way. The lights dimmed down to almost nothing, then periodically flashed on like a strobe. It was Halloween weekend. It was New Orleans. And when I looked out the window it seemed that I was the only house on the block that was having any problem. I called the landlord, who was out somewhere and promised to come by, then called back to say that several of his friends where having the same problem--so it wasn't just my house. I tried turning the lights out, but the power buttons on the appliances were still blinking at me, and the sound of the refridgerator surging kept me up most of the night.

On Sunday I discovered the trouble: Someone had launched a confetti rocket outside of Mimi's on Franklin Street, and it lodged itself in a transformer. Maybe things were back to normal after all!

The Dogs Who Found Me Tour

I'm starting to book events for the publication of The Dogs Who Found Me, the memoir/dog rescue book that has taken several unexpected turns--along with my life--on its way to publication. In March, I'll begin touring around to promote the book in bookstores and I hope to include local dog rescue groups in these events, or perhaps even do seperate fundraising events with them. If anyone out there has suggestions or wants to invite me to their town/store/organization, please contact me. So far, here's the plan:

Saturday March 11: Skylight Books, Los Angeles

Sunday March 12-Wednesday March 15: San Francisco Bay Area

Thursday March 16: Powell's on Hawthorne, Portland, OR

Thursday March 23: Shaman Drum, Ann Arbor, MI

April 7-8: Southern Kentucky Book Festival

Also, The Dogs Who Found Me has received the following quote:

"Generosity and gratitude power this compelling account of the reciprocal nature of rescue.  Ken Foster illuminates a profound lesson about saving a life:  Doing it makes you able to do it."—Amy Hempel

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cyclops

One of the reasons people were discouraged from returning to New Orleans was the question of what medical facilities would be open, and when. This concern also led to the Uptown neighbhorhoods being among the first to have power restored. I wasn't too concerned with any of this until last night, when a newly lowered tree branch poked me in the eye while I was playing in the yard with the dogs. I decided to make the best of it and go to sleep early, hoping it would be fine in the morning. Of course it was worse. And just to make the night more insane, the electricity went nuts and my lights were flashing on and off all night long. Even when I shut the ceiling lights, all of the appliance power lights kept flashing like christmas lights...or a poltergeist. At that point, with no lights and only one eye, I was beginning to feel a bit panicked.

So this morning some friends drove me up to Touro, where I was one of three patients in the ER. There was one doctor on duty, and a few assistants. They diagnosed me quickly, but it took an hour to find someone who could bring the ointment from the pharmacy. On the way home we stopped at a costume shop where I purchased an eye patch and a plastic hook hand. I'm now set for Halloween.