Thursday, November 06, 2008

Jinx is gone; is Comfortis to blame?

One of Brando's best dog friends was Jinx, a Doberman who moved to the neighborhood after Katrina. Sometimes, I would dogsit for Jinx, and even wrote about him in Dogs I Have Met. I found out this evening that he died last month, from complicatations following a dose of Comfortis, the new monthly oral flea treatment. Lilly, the drug company behind this new pill, paid for the autopsy, which was inconclusive but suggested that his death--from kidney failure and associated infections--was drug induced.

Of course, everyone who knew him is devestated. He was a good dog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The morning after...

Last night I headed over to the children's music clinic at Sound Cafe, and then stayed to watch the early returns. When Fox News announced that Obama had won Ohio, I headed home to the dogs, spent some time in the yard and then piled into bed to hear the final speeches. I was impressed with what McCain had to say, and I wish he had conducted his campaign in a similar fashion. Then the image of the Obama family taking to the stage was all I needed--incredibly moving and exciting to seem them as our First Family.

Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. I've heard from several people in the past few weeks who have let me know that they will never buy or read any of my books again. Because I supported Obama. Because I posted something about Cindy McCain's illegal actions while addicted. Etc. Of course, these same people forwarded character assassinations of the Obamas which were not based in fact at all. That is, apparently, a patriotic activity.

All of this made me consider the number of businesses I support that obviously don't share my views. I live in a red state. I make a point of shopping local businesses. Yet it has never occurred to me that I should threaten a boycott until they apologize or change their political views.

My favorite of these emails included a claim that I would be shocked when Michelle Obama's senior thesis was finally released after the election. Of course, it was released long ago, and is available for download by anyone who wants it. I pointed this out to the reader, and never heard from her again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voted and Exit Polled

Both McCain and Bush have made a big deal about visiting my neighborhood as part of their effort to retain the White House, but their volunteers didn't see any reason to come down and post signs along the avenue; its Obama and Landrieu everywhere you turn.

Sula woke up this morning and ran through the house like it was Christmas. After running around the yard, I decided to put my vote in early, and Sula insisted on tagging along. We drove across the Canal to our polling location, but the lines were too long so I turned around to take Sula home. The campaign signs along the way made her nervous. Then I returned and stood in line with excited friends and neighbors, all anxious to cast their votes. On the way out, I was polled by AP regarding who I voted for, what my concerns are for the country, and how the hurricane affected me. At least one category didn't have an appropriate answer for me. "When did you decide who you were voting for?" There was no box that said "Four years ago."

Have we underestimated the pit bull vote?

A few weeks ago I posted something about Obama's position on pit bulls. He's against breed specific legislation (BSL) and in favor of laws that hold owners responsible for their dogs regardless of breed. When I posted it, I said that this obviously wasn't the most important issue in the campaign--but a politician's position on this issue often suggests how they work toward solutions. Do they try to find a way of addressing the problem, or do they prefer to feed the public's fears and then craft something that only works on paper?

Since that post, I've actually been getting a lot of traffic on my blog from people who are searching for Obama's position on pit bulls. In recent weeks, many of these voters are coming to my blog from the swing state of Ohio, where owning a pit bull--or any dog that looks like one--is illegal.

Meanwhile, here in New Orleans, there are bunch of pit bulls looking for homes. The beautiful boy in this photo is named Buddy. He's another Gustov refugee, and currently he's having a blast at a foster home with a pit bull/catahoula mix. But he'd prefer a place of his own.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Paws to Protect

Obama. Pit bulls. Palin. I promise this post contains none of these elements. Ooops, too late.

Sharon Sakson's new book, Paws to Protect, is due out in the next couple of weeks, and it features 18 stories of dog heroes throughout history, including Sgt. Stubby, a pit bull who was awarded more medals than any other dog in military history. He was even awarded the Purple Heart.

The book also features a brief foreword by Ken Foster--that's me.