About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pit Wille vs Big Red

Recently Willie the Pit Bull and I were just getting home from a long hot walk when I spotted this big reddish brown dog rolling around in the front yard. "Uh oh," I thought, "this is trouble." Willie is not going to appreciate a strange dog in his front yard and, from the looks of this dog, he was more than capable of claiming squatter's rights! I've been taught by Cesar Millan, the famous Dog Whisperer, to "make it happen," but frankly I just didn't want to apply that lesson today. It was too hot and sometimes--as President W could learn--not every potential confrontation is worth the sacrifice to the general peace and loss of blood.

So, my tactical maneuver was to boost Willie over the back fence, thereby keeping him safe and freeing myself to get past Big Red without a confrontation. That would be akin to the U.S. and alliance troops providing enough stability in Iraq for the warring factions of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to have time to engage in a different, more peaceful resolution of conflict without the lightening rod Americans in the middle. Thank goodness, on Summit Court it worked. Willie didn't see Big Red and it took him a few minutes to get over his surprise at being unceremoniously dumped over the fence! I puffed myself up, again as taught by Cesar, marched up the sidewalk--not looking at Big Red, not demanding to know why he was there or what his intentions were. I didn't challenge and he didn't approach. Walk on, walk on. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him moving out of the yard. I got to the back gate and Willie, thankfully, didn't bark. Stability in the region!

From the safety of my living room window I could see that Big Red was hot--and probably lost. I was tempted to set out water for him, but that's not fair since I didn't want to encourage him to hang around. Nothing but trouble would have come from this. What happens if he's there in the morning when Willie and I make our trip to the newspaper box? Besides, if he's hungry and thirsty maybe that will encourage him to find his way home instead of depending on the false security and comfort that I would be offering.

How does the incident on Summit Court compare with the U.S. in Iraq? U.S. forces went into Afghanistan to ferret out Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, President W decided that Saddam(the big red dog) must go and the Iraqi people must adopt a western-style democracy which contradicts thousands of year of governing based on tribal alliances and negotiations and ancient religious practices--it's not our way, but who says it can't be a viable other way? So, here's the difference: on a hot summer afternoon the situation--on the surface--demanded that Big Dog Willie drive off the uprooted and confused Interloper Dog. Reason-- in the form of quick thinking and a properly scared and respectful leader who was able to grasp the potential bad outcomes of the situation--intervened. The potentially warring factions were separated and the peace was secured. I still think about Big Red and hope sincerely that he made it home. But, I have to be realistic--I can't solve all the canine problems in my neighborhood and neither can we Americans be the boss and problem solver of the world.


Sallymademedoit said...

Fadie, I'm tailgating on to your original post in the interest of time since it's lunch on a weekend work junket. With Willie and Big Red as subjects, it seems like the most logical link albeit somewhat tangential.
I hesitate to throw this out on a blogsite heavily into the Dog Whisperer, but I value our contributor's insights on all issues...even the volatile ones.
As many of you are aware, if they are even mentioned at all, there are two little magic words that are making lots of people sick. One little word is Michael, and the other little word is Vick.
It's been a tough year for Hokie Nation, and this issue is a miniscule blip in comparison with our 9/11 of the recent past, but it's still distressing. When it comes to VT, Michael Vick has always been an upstanding citizen...time, money, support, whatever the school asked, he would respond.
But, at the same time, there has been a perception, on this writer's part anyway, that Michael allows himself a much wider latitude when it comes to accountability, as if his lofty status somehow puts him "above the law". I feel that my grudging respect for Mr. Vick has suffered another, possibly irreparable, hit.

Faye said...

SMMDI, I know where you're comin' from when you say how disappointed you are that a famous graduate(I didn't know that) of your university has, by all accounts, involved himself in such vile and inhumane acts against other living creatures. Who knows what his motivations are--power, greed, or just because his celebrity allows him to do whatever he damn well pleases. Meanwhile ordinary folk like us are left with the sinking feeling that none of the people in public life that we admire seem to measure up.

All my dog-loving friends have been bombarding Nike's CEO--and Reebok's to a lesser extent--with letters urging them to be good corporate citizens and cancel any contracts they have for Vick sponsorships or merchandise. I'm combing the sports pages--unknown territory for me--to see what they're doing. Today I see that they've suspended his contract w/o pay and stopped selling his products, pending court outcomes. Good for them and we'll be watching.

Those of us who have pit bulls as pets constantly fight public stereotypes about the viciousness of the breed. When Willie and I meet anyone on a walk, he sits by my side until they pass. I want people to know how good pits can be if they are handled with loving firmness. I can him a goodwill ambassador for the breed.

As horrible as the Vick case is, maybe his celebrity and subsequent punishment will force every town and city to close down and prosecute the sub-humans running these fighting rings.