Doggie goes bite

I watched a show on television yesterday about a dog attack in San Francisco 5 years ago that resulted in someone’s death. This particular incident was different than most attacks that end with death for two main reasons, the first being that the woman who was killed was a healthy, 30 year old woman (dog attacks that result in death are generally limited to attacks on children or the elderly), the second being that the dog(s) that did the attacking were not pit bulls. At least the breed was called something other than pit bull, although they look just like them, only considerably larger.

Whenever someone’s dog attacks someone, the owners are held to some level of responsibility for it. Their legal accountability for their pet’s action is (very generally speaking) criminal negligence and some form failure to control a vicious animal -whether the dog got out of a yard, off a leash, etc. It got to the person it killed somehow. Occasionally there will also be charges of involuntary manslaughter. In the case that I saw yesterday, though, the prosecution was seeking murder charges.

There have only been three cases in U.S. history where a dog’s owner has been convicted of murder in an attack. The burden of proof required to convict someone of murder in such cases requires that the owners know that their dog is capable of killing a human, and that they willfully allowed that dog to come in contact with someone while in an agitated state (it has been some time since I actually read about the cases and I don’t want to research them again, so that may not be the exact legal definition, but it is close enough for my purposes today). In order to be convicted of murder, your dog has to be specifically trained to attack humans and you have to basically command it to attack.

Being a dog owner myself, I was rather surprised by my reaction to this. It turns out that I think that the owners in this case should be convicted of murder (or the one who was in control of the dog when it actually happened). When you buy/adopt a dog -particualarly a large breed dog- you become responsible for the actions of that animal, and it should not be limited to negligence if it does kill. It doesn’t matter if your dog has never shown aggressive tendencies, it will snap at some point. It is your responsibility to excercise physical control over the dog when it does. That point is very important. No amount of training and voice command is ever going to be able to stop an animal when its base instincts take over, you have to be able to physically subdue it. Failure to do so could and should result in being held criminally responsible for its actions, up to and including murder.

The dogs that I currently have are not aggressive. One is a Labrador mix, the other some form of terrier mix, neither one has ever even snapped at a human. I know, though, that if I take them out into the public it is entirely possible that something will happen to them and they will attack. Being that they are dogs, if they do attack they will not stop short of killing unless I physically stop them (the larger of my dogs weighs about 60 lbs. I have had to physically subdue him when he has gotten into a fight with another dog and let me tell you that even though I outweigh him 3:1, it takes all my body strength to do so. Keep that in mind when buying a dog that weighs 100 lbs.). This may not be the first thing I think about when I leash them up for a walk, may not even be in the back of mind as we are out in the park, but it is something that, if that time should come, I know I will have to do. If I fail to physically subdue my dog if it attacks, I am responsible for the attack. Putting him on a leash and taking him into public is my implied acceptance of that.

There really should be laws in place that make taking ownership of a dog an expressed acceptance of the fact that your are assuming ownership of a potential killer. That way simply claiming ignorance will not be possible when sparky eats the neighbor’s newborn.

My last post was when?

My recent schedule at the new job has kept me from sitting down to post anything here for the better part of two months now. When one of the co-managers quit, I was sort of thrust into the role. That would all be well and good if not for the fact that when combined with an unreliable work force, I was on schedule for 56 hours a weed, but working more like 60. Tack onto that an hour commute -each way- and I was at work, or on my way to or from it, for about 75% of my waking hours. Hell, I have hardly even had any time to look at porn!

I’m not entirely sure if I have had anything worth posting during that time anyway. I bought a car back in October, I had been meaning to make mention of it here, as cars are not exactly the type of thing that I just buy every day. The car I bought is a 2001 Saturn Sl1. I chose it after spending quite a bit of time on the internet comparing all the key features in used automobiles: reliability. This car is defenitely not the prettiest car out there -it isn’t damaged in any way, in fact it looks almost like new, it just wasn’t very pretty when they made it. It had 70,000 miles on it when I bought it and I have already added 8,000 miles onto that with my new commute. I paid $3200 for it, which was $2200 less than what Kelly blue book priced it at in good condition. It has performed admirably thus far, and even manages to average 34mpg, though it was closer to 38mpg before I started ignoring the speed limit.

I also had a personal anniversary to celebrate earlier this month. January 5th was the one year anniversary of my quitting drinking. While I am not normally the type of person to get too excited about anniversaries, nor to even acknowledge my own personal achievments, this one meant something to me. Consider that I hadn’t been sober for an entire week for about 17 years prior to this and you will understand why I am proud of this one. I still don’t really talk about it (aside from a few family memebers very few people know that I ever drank at all. Which just goes to show that I was good at hiding it.), but it was the most difficult thing that I have ever done, and the accomplishment that I am most proud of in my entire adult life. I truly can understand why so many people try and fail, or succeed but relapse. I still don’t know if I am on board with calling alcoholism a disease, but I am certainly a lot more sympathetic to what alcoholics are going through, especially those who are trying to sober up.

One of our dogs died in October, I made mention of that here. Our other dog, Warlock, has seemed a bit depressed since then, as I imagine I would be if the only friend I had of my own species was taken from me. My wife and I had been talking about getting another dog since sometime in November. We decided to wait until a couple of weeks into January to get one. The reasoning was simple: those Christmas puppies turn out to be a lot more work than the children who got them ever imagined. As a result, animal shelters begin getting in far more animals than they can find homes for in January. Better to spring them from the joint when they are on death row than to get one of them when they are so cute and fuzzy before Christmas. After a couple of trips to our local animal shelter, I found Warlock a new little brother.

The new puppy is 7 months old. They told me it is a mix of Catahoula Leopard Dog and Doxie -whatever the hell that is. He is considerably smaller than Warlock, and will remain so. Warlock is in the 60 pound range, and the new puppy, whom we named “Scruffers” (well, I named him Lord Scruffenheimer III, but the wife says we have to call him Scruffers for short) will only be about half that. Warlock has been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the puppy’s energy, but now when he lays down he is like a stone for the next six or eight hours -minimum. But they seem to be getting along pretty well. Scruffers has a very unique color pattern to him that I am not sure what to make of; It’s almost brindle, but then it’s almost dirty mop water too. In fact I would have believed them more if they had told me that he was a cross between a wire-haired terrier and a dirty mop.

You can see a bit more of his coloring in this shot:

And one last shot. This was the most adorable picture ever, right until Scruffers saw the camera. Then he jumped up such that when the camera clicked he was about .2 inches from it: edit 11/18/09. The following photo is the most hit file on my site by about 400%. Someone has this linked somewhere, but I don’t know where)

Well that’s all for now, I will try to throw something up here from time to time, as I am sure you are all dying to see more pictures of my adorable dogs (can you sense the sarcasm?).


When you really think about it, it is pretty odd that people have pets at all. We invite them into our homes and treat them as members of our family and in return the most that they can ever offer is a bit of companionship. When we adopt pets, we do so knowing that there will eventually come a time when we have to lay them to rest. We place such value on their friendship that we take them in knowing that there will eventually be a hefty emotional price to pay for it.

Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to bear when the time comes.

zeldaThat is Zelda there on the right. She wandered under our gate about two years ago and we just fell in love with her. She was a tiny puppy when we got her, with barely any teeth to speak of. She was able to eat dry dog food, but only if she took it one piece at a time and spent a while chewing on it. Our other dog, Warlock, aided us in our effort to potty train her, and within a couple of days she was sleeping in our bedroom along with him. As you can probably guess from the photo, she was a pit bull, and much like all pit bulls I have ever come into contact with, she was extremely friendly and just loved children -especially if she got close enough to them to lick them. She was so happy all the time that we were never able to break her of her licking habit, nor of her habit of jumping onto people’s laps (but only her front paws; she knew she wasn’t allowed on the furniture).

Not long after we got Zelda, she suffered from what would turn out to be a very minor injury in her stifle joint. While the injury was minor and healed quickly, it also opened our eyes to a very real problem that she had, which I think was hip dysplasia. We never actually took her to a vet to confirm our assessment of her, but I am relatively sure that she was suffering from it. Her hips just didn’t work like the hips of a normal dog. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean, taken when I was trying to figure out what may be wrong with her hips:

Whatever the condition actually was (it was also possible that she had suffered from a broken pelvis very early on -possibly during birth), Zelda seemed unaffected by it. Aside from laying kind of funny, running in a bunny-hop fashion, she didn’t seem to notice it at all. I have to admit that it killed me to think about it though, since all the information that I was able to gather about either condition talked of excruciating pain the older they got, and it is just horrible to think about your pet suffering so.

Unfortunately, I returned home today to find Zelda lying limp on the floor. My attmepts at resuscitation were useless, but did dislodge a piece of something (possibly fabric) from her throat, which she apparently choked on.

I spent the better part of the morning digging a grave for her, all the while fighting back tears of loss. I am trying to content myself in the thought that she won’t have to suffer the pain of her condition later in life, but I really wish she could have stayed with us at least a couple more years.

I took her tags and put them on the old purple collar that she wore for all but the last month or so and put them on my desk. They made a familiar jingle as I carried them through the house. Perhaps later that familiar sound will make me smile, for now it makes the house seem empty.

Rest in peace, Zelda.

In which I pimp the Magazine Man

I often pimp Magazine Man because he is the best storyteller that I have found on the internet. But he is also a genuinely good guy. While he was doing a crap giveaway last year (which netted me a nifty Mystery Machine that was a wonderful Christmas gift for my Nephew), he made a very brief reference to a local charity where he was donating metric tons of crap superfluous clutter, which would be distributed to those less fortunate at Christmas time. Those are the types of stories that he doesn’t tell, the things that he seems to do not for reward, or for attention, but because he is kind and compassionate. While I don’t personally know the man, I am willing to speculate that this has nothing to do with his relative comfort level either; if he were homeless and had two cans of soup, I would be willing to bet that he would give the second one to someone in need (and likely the first as well, if someone needed it more than him). That is my read of MM anyway, and that comes not from what he or anyone else says about him, but from such trivial mentions of philanthropic endeavors. And if he were to read what I had just written about him, he would surely claim that he was not deserving of such praise, because he is just that humble (so don’t even try it, MM, I’m on to you!).

MM’s audience has recently had the opportunity to see yet another rare trait though, and that is just how far this man is willing to go to protect his family. If you don’t consider a dog to be a part of the family, please quit reading now. If you do consider a dog to be a part of the family, but are unsure as to just what lengths you would be willing to go to defend him/her, well you and me would be in the same boat. Would you put your own life on the line to save your Sparky? I can say that I have gotten in the middle of some pretty serious dog fights to that end (and have quite a scar collection to prove it), but I don’t know if I would have the courage to face down an armed man to defend ole’ Sparky (Warlock or Zelda in my case). I guess I would need to be put in that situation to see if the adrenaline would manifest itself in fear or rage -that is something that you just can’t practice. I don’t know what I would do in that situation, but I know what MM did, and it goes beyond what I think the vast majority of people would do.

The story is currently 4 parts, with at least three one more to come, as he has not yet gone into great detail of what exactly happened during the last several days. Though we do get to see the end result. Here are his posts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
And if you want to see just what lengths a man is willing to go to in defense of Blaze, you absolutely must read Part 4.

Blaze is in quite capable hands, it seems.

Dead Cichlids

A little over a month ago, one of my wife’s friends from work gave her an enormous fish tank. I think it is 70 gallons, but I am not quite sure. It is 4 feet long, 15 inches deep, and 20 inches tall if that gives you any idea of the scale. To me, it is just fucking huge.

The fish tank came fully equipped, even including fish. The fish are African Cichlids (if you want to know what they look like google it. To me they look like Koi fish, but the also look like Goldfish, so I am not much of a judge). There were 13 of the guys that came along with the tank. Well, obviously not all guys, since many of them were the children of some of the other ones, and I don’t think they reproduce asexually (of course I don’t know, I didn’t actually pay any attention in biology class in high school.).

A couple of days ago, I was going to clean the tank for the first time. I wasn’t really sure what the proper procedure for cleaning was, so I just did like I do with our smaller tank, and started using a little gravity sucker thingy jobber to vacuum the crud off of the bottom. I began to remove all of the ornaments in the tank for cleaning purposes, and started to scrub the side with an aquarium brush (yes, I have three arms, which really made this a lot easier). While pulling the weeds faux foliage from the tank, I noticed a little baby fish, then another, then another… 14 in total. I decided that I had better put everything back the way it was, since I was not at all sure if Cichlids are the type that eat their own offspring, but I know that many species do.

So, how do I clean the tank without risking either the big fish eating the little fish, or sucking the little fish up in the gravity sucker thingy jobber? Two solutions. Solution in the first: Magnetic Aquarium Cleaners. This is a device I had never heard of, and it only cost about six bucks, but my god is it ever easy. Just two magnets with a scrubber on one, throw it in the tank, hold the other one outside of the glass and move it around just as if your hand was in the tank. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

Solution in the second: A Plecostomus. I had wanted to get one when we initially got the tank, but couldn’t locate one large enough that there wouldn’t be a fear of the Cichlids eating it. I found one at PetSmart that was just about the same size as the Cichlids, so I was in business.

Time to leave the tank alone while the babies grow up.

The fish have been spending a lot of time near the top of the tank over the last few days. I had been attributing this to the temperature of the water, as the warmer the water, the less oxygen it will have in it. The tank still looked fairly clean from the gravity vacuum sucker thingy jobber I had used on it a few days ago. Although there was a bit of a fishy odor in the tank, but it is a fish tank, what do I expect? A friend called me on the phone at about six, and as I walked by the tank the fish were fine. I hung up the phone a little bit after seven, and as I walked past the tank again, about half of the fish were dead, and the ones that weren’t dead weren’t looking too chipper.

I didn’t know what the fuck could have happened to them so quickly. I could see if there wasn’t enough air in the tank maybe one of them would die, while the others started looking worse, but I was looking at about half the fish dead -in under an hour. The only thing I could think was that maybe the plecostomus had somehow gotten into, and clogged up, the filtration system. I yelled for the wife, and together we netted out the remaining fish. We put them into two buckets of clean water, one for the fish that still seemed pretty okay, one for the two of them that were barely clinging to life. Then we set about fishing out as many of the babies as we could -I think we got a total of 11 of the babies out of it, which is a pretty good total really, since I had only seen 8 since replacing all of the ornaments that day.

I started draining all of the water out of the tank with the gravity vacuum sucker thingy jobber as my wife put the baby fish into our smaller tank with the neon tetras (these babies are about the same size as the tetras). By now, the fish that had been on the verge of death only minutes before appeared to be back to normal. WHAT THE FUCK?

I continued to drain the water out of the tank with the gravity vacuum sucker thingy jobber, and was getting as much of the remaining crud out of the gravel as I went. When the tank was about 90% drained, I saw that Mr. Plecostomus was still in the tank, so there went my clogging up the filtration system theory -all of the large fish were now accounted for, and the baby fish were nowhere near large enough to cause a problem with it. That was when I saw what I am pretty sure was the problem: A tiny piece of broken glass. It looked like the bottom of a test tube.

As I continued to clean the bottom of the tank, I found the rest of the little glass thingy. It was a thermometer. Now my first thought was “mercury”, my second thought was “they haven’t used mercury in thermometers in decades”, my third thought was “Perhaps the internet knows the answer.”

The internet tells me that glass thermometers used in fish tanks are filled with alcohol (which makes sense since alcohol doesn’t condensate, otherwise there would be cloudy bubbles all over it all the time), which is toxic to fish. In addition to a liquid toxin in the liquid tank there are also little gray pebbles to weight the thermometer down. Some websites I found say that they are toxic while others say they are harmless. In my case the little gray pebbles weren’t spilled, so it wasn’t really an issue anyway. I didn’t even know we had a thermometer in the fish tank, I hadn’t seen it in the month+ that we have had it, but what are you gonna do.

Unfortunately, there are as many opinions on the best course of action now as there are forums. Some say that you should scrub everything with bleach and replace it, which I am most certainly not going to do, since the bleach residue is at least as harmful as the alcohol. Some say that you should only change half of the water, wait a few days, then do it again. Some sites that you should remove only a small portion of the water, and put a carbon filter cartridge in the tank to absorb the remaining toxins. There is certainly no lack of answers. Alas, I have no way of knowing whether Fishmanfl32 or bettababe have a better working knowledge of marine biology, so I am gonna just have to wing it.

I settled on replacing all of the water, and cleaning the gravel only using the gravity vacuum sucker thingy jobber. One of the forum posts that I read said that you don’t want to sterilize all of the ornaments and gravel because they contain bacteria necessary to break down the fecal matter that the fish produce. I am all about something other than me breaking down fecal matter, so I am going to give that approach a try. The fish seemed to spring right back to life once they were out of the contaminated water (well that was a poor choice of words, the ones that were already dead are still very much dead, but the ones that were nearly dead are now bright and chipper). So I hope that changing the water and cleaning the gravel as best I could with the gravity vacuum sucker thing jobber does the trick.

I will probably post with the results in a few days, since I wasn’t able to find any listings of people who had experienced this problem. Well, that is, I wasn’t able to find anyone posting results after attempting the suggestions. If this one works, I will let you know. That way the next time someone googles for dead fish aquarium broken thermometer they will at least know the results of trying it my way.

If you ever happen to google for gravity vacuum sucker thingy jobber, you will probably end up here as well, but that is totally unrelated.


Two days have now passed since the onset of the problem, and I can say with certainty that changing the water and vacuuming the gravel was sufficient to get rid of the toxins. I went to a pet store yesterday to see exactly what was in one of those thermometers, and found that the little pebbles in it are in fact lead. Why on earth do they manufacture something for an aquarium that has alcohol and lead, both toxic to fish, in it? And why on earth would anyone actually put one into their aquarium? To those questions, I have no answers.

A note on changing the water: Our aquarium is set up so that the entire length of the back of it is actually a water filter. The pump pulls water from the top on the left and cycles it through a series of spiky balls and filters before eventually being pumped back into the tank on the right. To remove as much of the contaminated water (and miscellaneous junk) as possible, when I began to fill the tank, I did so with the filter turned off and started filling in the filter system itself. The way our tank is set up, this forced the water to run backwards through the filter system to eventually overflow into the main tank, where I vacuumed all the crud out of it. I left the water running at just about the same speed as the vacuum was able to pull it out, and continued that process for over an hour. By the time it was done, the water that was flowing out of the filter system was all completely clear. I am not sure if that was entirely necessary just to remedy the contaminated water problem, but it did leave the water a lot purer than it otherwise would have been. As anyone who owns an aquarium knows, clear water is sure a lot prettier/healthier than scuzzy water.

The fish that survived the initial shock are now back to moving and playing like they have not done since we first got the tank. This leads me to believe that there may have been other mitigating factors which caused the sudden deaths. While I am sure the alcohol was the actual killer, I am thinking there was probably a problem with the pH or something else that was pre-existing. That is something that I have never worried about with a smaller tank, since the fish only cost a buck and when they die, they die -not that I would intentionally let them die. I suppose I probably should buy a test kit to monitor the pH and nitrates and the such so that I can avoid a repeat of this.

In other fish news, the baby fish are doing quite well in the 20 gallon tank with the little tetras. As I said previously, they are roughly the same size as the tetras, but they are quite obviously babies. You can still see through parts of them, and I don’t think they have even grown full sets of scales yet, but they are buzzing along just like the rest of the fish in the smaller tank. And boy is it ever cute to watch them eat -which is something I had not thought of until we had the problem with the large tank. The little guys are perfectly capable of eating the tropical flakes that go into the small tank, but I am not quite so sure if they would have been able to eat the large pebbles that we feed the adult Cichlids.

So, while we did lose half of the adult Cichlids in the thermometer break incident, we actually came out with more fish because of it. I have no doubt that many of the baby fish would have died in the large tank, either from lack of food (mouths too small to eat the pebbles) or the larger fish eating them. Now that they are in the smaller tank, we plan to leave them there until they are large enough to fend for themselves in the big tank. Since 11 of them made it through the toxic water (one even survived fifteen seconds or so on the kitchen stove -that was how we found out that the net has a hole in it), I don’t see why all 11 of them can’t grow to full size. So, strictly by the numbers, we started with 13 of them, we should end up with 17 of them.

Something in the shot?

My happy, playful, non-aggressive dogs don’t do much other than lay around and eat on occasion, yet there must be something in the shots that they get at the vet that changes all of that. Zelda, the younger of the two dogs, the female one as well, was needing to renew her shot status to get new dog tags (If you own a dog and don’t care enough to get him/her vaccinated once every couple of years to keep their registration current, you should be put to death without a trial) so the wife took her over this morning. It was, in her words, “a really bad experience.” But also, “It only took about twenty minutes.”.

Just a quick aside to mention the importance of registering your dogs, if you don’t have them registered you will never know where they are once they leave the confines of your yard. Sure the little collar emblem that you made at the local Wal-Mart will have their name and your phone number, but at the point that they are in the custody of animal control you will have to provide records of all of their shots, from their birth to current. If you do not have those documents the dog will have to be given the same shots, again, and likely won’t be too happy about it. The shots cost very little (sometimes free) while the registration is only a 10-20 bucks as well. It might seem expensive, but, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t the unconditional love of your pet worth 20 bucks every few years? (if you said no you might as well get a one way ticket to the seventh level of hell).

The little puppy Zelda (I call her a puppy despite the fact that she has easily surpassed the first year of her life, not to mention the fact that she can kick the ass of Warlock, who is older than her and triples her in weight) required one of the shots today. The wife took Zelda down to get her shots (and shiny new collar bling) without question.

Warlock did not take their absence well. My wife is the one who chose Warlock from the pound, despite my arguments that he was too big, it seems that he has never forgotten that…Or something… Once my wife (Warlock’s master) and Zelda (Warlock’s playmate) were gone Warlock just ran around the house whining….Constantly…. In theory that would be a good attribute for your pet (you know, wanting their master and/or friend near them), in practice it kind of sucks. No amount of petting was able to sate his need for the female portion of the household. I was nearly thankful when I had to go to work.


The strange thing is that now Zelda will sit under my desk as I type but, she won’t go outside. She loves to be petted but, when I do pet her, she is happy only when inside the house. When I try to make her go outside she starts to shake with such vigor that I am sure it is not healthy. You can actually feel her shaking right through her coat! Problem seems to be that she is going to have to pee sometime, I really hope that the sometime happens when she is not in the house….

If I were a religious man I would ask God to knock a few degrees off of the temperature for the next few days, since I am not I just hope that her need to pee overpowers her fear of all that which is not inside the house.

My dogs are getting screwed again!

I am getting so damn sick of people punishing dogs for the ignorance of their owners. It’s not like we punish children just because they go around killing other people as a result of poor supervision, well, actually, that might be a really bad parallel to draw. When children go bad and start killing people they get punished, and the parents are looked down on by society (as they should be), while when a dog kills someone, the dog is put to death (without question), and the owner is looked down on by society.

The thing is that in both cases it is the lack of proper supervision that leads to the end. Had anyone spent any time with junior (as he was accumulating a cache of weapons in his bedroom) that tragedy might have been avoided. Of course the “might” on this one is up in the air. Similarly, the dog would NEVER have killed a damn thing if it had been raised in a loving home.

You can talk all damn day about how vicious dogs are, I am gonna turn a deaf ear to it. Dogs, like children, are a product of the environment they grow up in. When taken care of and disciplined they will behave just as you want/hope/expect them to. Leave a dog, or a child, to fend for itself for the majority of a couple of months and you are going to end up with quite a different animal.

I think that the owner (in the case of the dog) and the parent (in the case of the child) are far more responsible for the actions than the child or dog. What we really need to do is put some stringent guidelines down regarding the responsibility of parents/pet owners. Failure to control your child/dog, and any subsequent deaths resulting from that failure, will mean your ass is the one in jail. You are the one in charge, after all. You have to beat them into submission while they are young (or use positive reinforcement, yeah, like that works…) to make sure that they fear you more than they fear god. That is how you make a good dog/child.

That all aside, the reason I am up in arms is a Story from Brazil.

It is short so I will just quote the whole thing:

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) – Pit bulls were banned from Rio de Janeiro’s famous beaches and other public places in the Brazilian city on Wednesday under new regulations that could eventually make the sometimes aggressive breed extinct in the area.

Many residents own the fearless, sturdy dogs for protection in a city where murder rates are among the highest in the world.

The ban, issued by the state of Rio de Janeiro after more than six years of debate, follows numerous cases of maulings by pit bulls, especially of children. Last year, a pit bull badly injured a 4-year-old girl in the city, while a year earlier another pit bull mauled a 72-year-old woman to death.

Gov. Rosinha Matheus announced a ban on breeding, importing and selling pit bulls and made the registration and sterilization of existing dogs compulsory within the next four months.

In addition, pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans and fila brasileiro dogs — purebred as well as mongrel — can only appear in the streets between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m, and away from public parks and squares.

They can only be walked by a person older than 18 and always on a leash, with a muzzle when in the street. Owners who do not comply can face charges while their dogs will be taken away by police.

According to the Brazilian Pit Bull Club, there are some 30,000 pit bulls in the state.

So, that all being said, can you seriously look at the faces of my spoiled little dogs and think that they could kill anything? Come on, they are little cuties. Sure the little green eyes make them look a bit more vicious, but so vicious that they would waste the energy to get up off of the floor? Probably not. Hell they barely even wasted the time to look up at the camera for this shot, and that is the most they will ever do, outside of licking you or barking at people that they can’t get at. Once the people can be reached they immediately either run away or begin to lick like their is no tomorrow. Guard dogs they are not.

Still my life is better for having them, so keep you damn dog on a leash if you can’t control, same with your child, and quit spoiling it for the rest of us.

Dog torture; Mind melting puzzle

• I mentioned in my last post that I had bought a bark control system for my dogs that seemed to be working pretty well, which is true. I also mentioned that the guy on the phone suggested that I remove the battery from the collar from time to time so that the animals didn’t learn that it was the collar that was shocking them, which is totally false.

I know enough about electronics to know that it is possible to make a very small battery do very big things. Through the use of a capacitor , the charge in the collar is able to deliever a much larger shock than the 6 volt battery ever could (of course that is just talking about voltage, which is only potential energy, not even addressing the ampere [which is the measure of flow of electrical energy. The latter of which is a more acurate measure of how much electrical energy is needed to actually kill you]).

The aforementioned capcitor is a battery in and of itself. It holds the electrical charge, but at often higher levels than the battery which provides the power. That is the basis of most electronic equipment in use today, not to mention why the cover on the back of your television says that you should never open the set, it really could be fatal. I can’t find any specifics on capacitors (mostly since I am trying to find vague references to fatalaty rates due to idiotic handling of such), but there has to be a reason why a somtething as small as a watch battery can be fatal.

I spoke to a friend on the phone trying to research this and found that the basic reason that the capacitor delivers more power is that it is ready to use. A battery gets its power from a chemical reaction that can only deliver so much energy per second, what the capacitor does is to suck that power out of the battery, over time, and release it in a single blast. So, while the device might still only have six volts of potential energy it is able to release it far more quickly, which can produce far more amperage, which actually hurts in the case of the dog collar.

What I completely forgot to take into account was the fact that the capacitor can hold its charge for a very long time (which is why your television says you should never take the back off of it). It is entirely possible that an electrical system that hasn’t had power for days or weeks will still have power in the capacitors. Poor puppy.

Getting back to the collar itself. The neighbors that live behind us have been in the process of moving out for the last couple of weekends, of course the dogs don’t like anyone that comes near the fence unanounced, so they bark like killers. My wife suggested that I put the collar onto the younger puppy, Zelda, but that I take the battery out first so that she wouldn’t get shocked. It really did seem like a pretty good idea at the time, but then again I think my brain might have been AWOL.

Zelda, as is usual, didn’t even set foot outside once the collar was around her neck. She came in and took up the better part of the underside of my desk. She was not barking, but she was panting pretty heavily from all the running around and barking. I heard the little collar make a beep (which is the only saving grace of the device) to let me know that she had just been shocked, even though she had not barked and the battery was sitting on the desk next to me. It seems that the collar (which is activated by vibration) can not differentiate between panting and barking.

Not only did she get shocked by the collar for no damn reason, on top of that she was having weird shivers whenever I touched her for the next couple of hours. She seemed to be thinking that it was me that gave her the shock and not the collar. She actually went in and stayed with my wife for the remainder of the night, she was afraid of me. I am pretty sure that was not the purpose of the collar when I bought it. She didn’t bark the rest of the night though.

I know that I have previously mentioned that I tested the collar on myself before ever putting it onto one of the dogs, but seeing the way she acted after getting zapped for no damn reason, I am beginning to think that the electrical collar might not be a good idea. It works extremely well when the dog actually barks, which they know they shouldn’t be doing in the first place, but, when it shocked her when she was laying at my feet, she had no idea what she had done wrong. I guess that is why the guy said that they should only wear the collar when “something that you know is going to make them bark” is about to happen.

When the people at P.E.T.A. find out that I am using this device on my dogs, however, I may have to change my story…or not… Once Zelda starts making the house payments she will be free to do to me as she wishes. Of course she won’t be able to treat me in an inhumane manner since humans are also a part of the Animal Kingdom, albeit the most vicious, vindictive, hatefull part…

• The friend that I was on the phone with sent me a couple of complex math questions, neither of which I even tried to figure out. One other thing that he sent me was this image:

All you have to do is count how many men you see in the image, then do the same once the top half of the image makes the switch. I don’t want to divulge just how long I have spent trying to figure out where that extra guy comes from, or where he goes, but I must say that this is one that has been teasing my brain for a long time. I have tried counting heads, feet, hell even noses (at his suggestion) only to find that the number is simply never the same in the second frame. I can clearly see where they are cutting some of the feet in half, but they don’t result in more or less little figures. I can see where they cut some heads in half, but they don’t result in more or less little figures. I can clearly see where the extra guy appears when the panels change, but I can’t figure out how in the hell the creator made it so. Well, I guess, there it is…proof of God…I haven’t found the answer, therefore it was a magical, mystical, omnipotent being that created the unsolvable puzzle…That, or it will take me a few days…

Come on GOD, bring it!

It seems to me that I should have really pissed of P.E.T.A. and the Catholic Church by this point, if not I am not doing my duty.

If I was into raping prepubescent boys I might be able to plug (pun intended) the church a couple more times, but having sex with children just seems wrong, no matter how much rich entertainers disagree. I do wonder though why Michael Jackson was not even considered when the papal vote went down. Sure he isn’t a Cardinal, but, he has had sex with more children than the rest of the nominees combined, isn’t that the benchmark?

Now, to piss people off for the sake of pissing them off (so you don’t think I am discriminating), Star Trek sucks! Star Wars sucks! If you don’t understand why they suck you have probably never had a job, but are always looking. Your hair-style has been the same for at least twenty years. Your only “real relationship” is with an online partner (who is probably a fat, ugly man that outweighs you. Unless, of course, you are the fat, ugly man trying to hook in that little hottie chick who happens to be a fan of either series, in which case you are hooking up with a smaller man who thinks he is hooking up with that elusive star trek/wars hottie…That hottie does not exist…)

I wanna piss more people off but I am out of ideas…

Relatives; Dogs; Bit by .. Something

•I have long maintained that I do not want to use force to train our little puppies. Your description of a puppy may differ from mine, though, since one of our puppies is several years old and weighs in excess of 50 pounds. Even our younger puppy is over a year old now and she weighs roughly 40 pounds. Of course they are not puppies in the view of most of the world, but they are my (our) puppies, and as such they do not deserve to be trained inhumanely. They may be animals, but they are my animals…Test your lipstick on lab rats you sick fuck!

All that being said (even noting that I made the dogs sound a bit smaller than they really are), they are not perfectly behaved. The first dog, Warlock (aka Sporslook, Slooker, Stink-Wagon) is pretty well behaved and will come to any of the names that my wife invents for him. He rarely ever barks, and when he does even I get out of bed to see what is going on. There is usually something big happening if Warlock barks.

My dog, Zelda (who is only known as my dog since my wife sprung Warlock from ‘Dog Jail’, thus keeping him away from immenent death, leading directly to a bonding of sorts), who is only my dog since she wandered under the fence one night and the wife wouldn’t let me kick her to the curb to see if anyone came looking for her, is not so well behaved.

Zelda (whose name was chosen because it was the last name on the last page of a pet naming website) is a spunky little dog. She simply proves the addage that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I weigh almost 200 pounds and I sometimes back away from her. When she is in a bitchy mood, stay away from zelda.

We had previously tried to use a non-harmful bark control collar to keep her from barking, the one in question was a collar that sprayed a bit of citronella towards her snout. She eventually began to like the citrus smell, and learned how to aim it at Warlock (who doesn’t like any smells) to keep him away from her. She was clearly not learing anything from that collar, which was thankful, since she ate the thing the next day…

I bought a new collar for the dogs, from the website. This collar does actually shock the dog though, so there were a bunch of questions that I wanted to ask the people at petsafe before I put it onto my dog. My email went unanswered over the weekend, but by Monday they had not only replied to my email, but also recommended that I call them for “better service”.

After several failed phone calls I managed to get into the queue for the petsafe products. Less than ten minutes later I was actually talking to someone that worked for the company (not someone who works for a call center in India. If you don’t appreciate that then you have simply never had a problem with a pc, tv, vcr, dvd player….) who asked for the model number. I happened to have hte model number handy, since the faulty device was actually in my hand. He walked me through how to test the device to make sure it was working (which it was), then he walked me through how to test the device on myself to see how ‘shocking’ it really is.

Ideally I would have liked to have been able to test the device around my own neck, the guy told me that there would be no way that I could simulate a dog’s barking though. He works for the company that invented the device, I just think I can bark as well as a dog; whose information is more likely to be true? So I simply sated myself by making the collar shock my finger. The guy warned me in advance that “the animal has far thicker skin, as well as a lot of hair to go through before the shock takes place”. Damn Right!

The electroshock collar is working pretty well so far, but it has made the more vocal of the dogs spend most of the time on the floor by my feet. This, as the guy told me, is normal behavior. He said that you need to remove the battery from the collar from time to time when you send the dogs outside, else the dogs will start to fear the collar instead of being afraid to bark. Since making them stop barking is the entire point I will try to do just as he said. It is a bit difficult though, especially when you see that little puppy getting zapped….

She has seemed to learn pretty quickly though. She knows that if she is barking in excess, and then I throw the collar on her (which she welcomes) that she better not bark. Unfortunately she usually doesn’t go outside much when the collar is on, I can understand that since it really does give a good zap when activated, but is she actually learning anything? Only time will tell.

• Some of my relatives from Oregon are coming to see me tomorrow. Some of them I have seen as recently as last year, while some others I have not seen in more than a decade. Said visiting family members wanted to make sure that we could include all of the family that are in the Arizona region, so I suggested that we all meet at my house. This makes it so that us poor people (myself, my mother and my brother) don’t have to drive very far to make it all happen, which is a good thing all around.

The problem was that this meant the wife and I had to do some impromptu ‘Spring Cleaning’. Our house is certainly not filthy, we don’t just ignore trash piles and step over them, however, some areas of the house are cleaned far less frequently than others. The dogs’ room for example.

I don’t care what level of training your dog has, if you tell him to “clean his room” he will invariably stare at you like you are an idiot. Which is probably justified, I mean dogs can learn commands and be very obedient, they can’t actually think though, and don’t understand commands that they are not conditioned to understand. That meant that I had to do it…

I started to clean the dogs’ room, which was a full two trash bags of garbage, pretty late at night. This was partially because I hate the task, as well as being drunk enough that I really thought it would save time in the morning. As it turns out, one, or both, of those reasons were faulty.

The first hour or so of operation ‘clean up the dog room’ was going pretty well. I removed at least a couple of garbage bags full of trash from that room during the first couple of hours. Yet I left the door open to the outside while I was doing it. It started to rain.

For reasons that I would soon understand, the dogs started to go ballistic. They were chasing some imaginary foe all around the room, even had that foe cornered in a little metal can. Of course they knocked over a couple of knick-knacks along the way. I still thought that they were the dogs crying wolf, until I saw a little, cheap, porcelain statuette in my coin jar. As I reached for it, thinking that I was about to use it as a focus point for a verbal scolding of the dogs, something bit me.

I got bit by the thing that you see on the right. While it is difficult to judge the size of the culprit in the photo, I can tell you that the diameter of the can is six inches. The rodent covers the full six inches even with his back curving around the can. All of that is not even including the tail! The mouth of that vermin was able to open up far enough to give me a wound that is just a bit over a half of an inch from the top bite mark to the bottom bite mark. Not to mention the fact that it hurt really bad, and bled profusely.
I am pretty sure that I said “ouch” at least once. Ouch being the most mundane of terms that I used…The poor photo can be attributed directly to the fact that I didn’t want to get anywhere near that thing ever again. I will tell you that it really, really hurt…


It turns out that my online gaming activity is ever more boring than I had ever thought. This will be the third post in three consecutive days. I don’t know why or how this happens, but, in spurts, I enjoy the gaming a lot, that is nearly always followed by a period where I don’t enjoy it all that much and grow tired of it quickly. It might have something to do with the horrible problems that I have to deal with at work (pc problems), which leads me to come straight home and just play the mindless games that the internet is built on. Who knows.

On tap today, I have the puppy story that I plugged in yesterday’s post and that is about it. Hopefully something else will come to me as I retell it, else this may be a really short post.

• Our dogs, Warlock and Zelda, both have a bit of Pit Bull in their genetic makeup. I know that (to people who don’t understand the breed) the term “Pit Bull” brings to mind visions of huge, mean dogs. The problem with that is that most people get the breeds confused. A Rottweiler looks like this and is a vicious dog that is often put to death for biting/eating children. A “Pit Bull” is a breed of Terrier that is not vicious without the proper conditions. Even the term “Pit Bull” was only ever used to describe the dogs that were specifically trained to fight.

The majority of your Terrier breeds are possibly a bit anxious, easily excitable, little puppies but never actually bite anything. The term “Pit Bull” bears a black mark for the fact that they used to be trained to fight, and even today most owners just stick them on a chain in the yard and pray for the best. While I am not going to try to defend the entire canine family, I will go out on a limb to defend those Bull Terrier Mixes that we own. They are certainly not vicious, they love children (in fact, when we take them for a walk they will always stop to let all of the children pet them), the only growling that we really ever hear is while they are having bad dreams (since they do sleep in the bedroom with us), and the most vicious they ever get is when they are fighting over the kibble that the wife just dribbled the grease from a pan of ground beef over.

Perhaps, much like children, it is not the breeding of the dog that makes a killer, but the care of the child/animal?

It was never my purpose to spend so much time defending my dogs, but they do get a lot of bad press, so I kind of have to. Sure, your dog might have killed thirteen children, might still be on the prowl for new blood, might have rabies, and might be kill-on-sight material, but, had you taken care of the puppy, he/she would be a happy and well-adjusted dog. If you don’t understand that logic you probably should have your reproductive organs removed, lest you try to chain your newborn child in the yard and forget about him/her. The dog might not have a brain as big as yours, but it does have one, and it has a memory, and I doubt you would win the fight if it came down to jaw on fist action.

The dog story involves a “Bark Collar” which is a non-painful type, since I don’t want to hurt the little animal. It simply sprays a bit of citrus when the dog barks, which would suck for a dog, since their noses are so much more sensitive than humans.

The “Bark Collar” comes with a collar, strangely enough. Our dogs tend to fight when there is a collar involved. I assume that this behavior is directly linked to the fact that the harnesses that we use when we walk them is made of the same material. This collar, however, has a little electronic device on it that discharges a strong citrus odor when the dog barks. It is quite the effective deterrent.
The funny part of the story is that Zelda (the little girl dog) is the one that is usually wearing the device, since she is usually the one that is barking. While the collar does spray towards her face, it is coming from her neck, thus it is like a neck-mounted projectile of citrus smell. Zelda’s tiny little brain has seemed to work that all out.

Zelda does get the citrus sprayed in her face on occasion, but that is not story. The story is when she uses it as a weapon.

This all started when Warlock (the boy dog) jumped up onto the stove to steal a slice of yesterday’s pizza. Warlock knew he had done bad, but wanted to eat the pizza anyway, the spoils of war, I guess. Zelda barked at him, and it blew the citrus cloud into both of their faces. Warlock ran away, while Zelda finished the slice of pizza.

I think Zelda knows about it now. She knows that the collar will spray. She is just fucking with Warlock at this point. Both of their brains, put together, wouldn’t equal the weight of a pea, but they are learning. Zelda (the bitch) is learning just how much she owns Warlock. He (Warlock), on the other hand, is only starting to learn that Zelda owns him. Sure it isn’t dignified, but he didn’t lick your ass. Go Warlock!