furkid friday: dogs and books (and books about dogs)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Today we have an extra-special furkid friday/Shout Out two-fer! (Dogs and books, books and dogs; throw in pizza and netflix, and that’s all you really need in life, amirite folks?) I even redesigned the old Colbert Report SHOUT OUT! graphic for the occasion!


Animated gifs, they’re all the rage. Alas, I was lazy and in a hurry and only used four frames for this one, so it’s a bit choppy. But still, animated Stephen! Times two!

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The props go to Columbia University Press, which kindly sent me a copy of Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film by Anat Pick, a senior lecturer in film and program leader for film and video: theory and practice at the University of East London. From the book’s back cover:

Exploring the “logic of flesh” and the use of the body to mark species identity, Anat Pick reimagines a poetics that begins with the vulnerability of bodies, not the omnipotence of thought. Pick proposes a “creaturely” approach based on the shared embodiedness of humans and animals and a postsecular perspective on human-animal relations. She turns to literature, film, and other cultural texts, challenging the familiar inventory of the human: consciousness, language, morality, and dignity. Elaborating on such themes as witnessing, commemoration, and collective memory, Pick identifies the animal within all humans, emphasizing the corporeal and its issues of power and freedom. Through her poetics of the creaturely, powerlessness is the point at which aesthetic and ethical thinking must begin.

This looks like an interesting read for those concerned with how portrayals of nonhumans in pop culture – literature, film, television – both reflect and inform societal attitudes and ethics towards our fellow sentient beings. (In other words, me!) If you’d like to learn more, check out the book’s listing on Columbia University Press.

I tried my best to snap a photo of Peedee and/or O-Ren with Creaturely Poetics – mock reading it, or some such other cutesy silliness – but neither was feeling very cooperative. (Too hot!)

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That’s okay, though; truth be told, I wasn’t trying that hard anyway. (TOO HOT! Seriously, have I mentioned how hot it’s been lately? We’re looking at a week of 90 degree weather with 70%+ humidity. Ick!)

(More below the fold…)

furkid friday: WANT.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In which Jayne comes face-to-face with her great white whale, known to the humans as “Lemmy.”

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Actually, some days they spend hours this way, scoping out one another from their respective sides of the dog/cat boundary line. Lemmy knows enough to stay away from Jayne when there’s not an insurmountable obstacle preventing her from mauling him – but from his side of the glass, he becomes quite the provocateur: taking swipes at her, rolling around playfully (and occasionally right off the desk he uses for a perch), yawning and showing off his kitten belly and general lack of fear. And all she can do is quiver! High comedy, I tell you what. The two should star in a buddy film together.

furkid friday: scenes from a vegan marriage, redux

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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Shane: Hey, come look at this! See Lemmy’s new favorite spot? [In the closet, sandwiched into my old monitor stand.]

Me: OMG, that’s ADORABLE! Did you get a picture? You have to take a picture!

Shane: [pause] I’m not gonna be one of those people who shares cat pictures online.

Me: What! I’m one of those people!

Shane: ….

Me: Well, I’m taking a picture then.

I bet he’ll share this post on Facebook.

furkid friday: dejected rennie

Friday, May 13th, 2011

is dejected: “Popcorn, y u b so unreachable?”

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Ditto: mom, who’s similarly flailing at a new DSLR camera, which will vastly improve the quality of her food and furkid photos. Yeah, ’cause clearly it’s the camera – and only the camera – that’s to blame!

Epilogue: Don’t worry, mom to the rescue! Rennie’s frustrated nomz syndrome is no more.

furkid friday: happy mother’s day

Friday, May 6th, 2011

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Scenes of compassion, consideration and love from my own life.
Counterclockwise, from top-left: the family of geese who shared “my” pond last year,
and who have returned again this season (no goslings yet though!);
my sister Michelle and brother Mike cuddle and comfort our canine sibling Shadow
shortly after surgery to repair her shattered back leg;
Ralphie and I share a moment during a sentimental visit to
our old neighborhood in Fairport, NY; and
a mother cow licks her baby clean.
Sadly, both were the property of our former landlords, and are most likely ground beef by now. It was a privilege to live next to such lovely creatures – but one constantly clouded by sadness and despair, given their near-certain fate. The knowing can be painful; but the not knowing is far, far worse. Go vegan, for you and for them.

One does not need to be human to feel the deep-seated instinct to protect her babies, to seek the warmth of one’s mother. When animal advocates point out the obvious – that mothers and their babies suffer profoundly when they are separated, that harming one’s baby causes emotional trauma to the mother – we are accused of anthropomorphizing. We are portrayed as having centers as squishy as marshmallows, as having naive, sentimental, childish minds. In fact, it is a cold biological imperative, not just an emotional one, that drives a mother to want to nurture and protect her young: entire species would be wiped out if not for a mother’s instinct to defend her babies. I think, though, that it’s highly arrogant and self-serving to presume that humans alone have an emotional stake in their babies’ livelihoods. […]

One also doesn’t need to be a mother to be deeply driven to protect another. Long before I ever had a baby, I felt the same kind of adrenaline surge when someone intentionally whipped a hard rubber ball at my dog as I would have if he had done that same thing years later to my son. I chased that guy down the beach, screaming at him, and he ran away as if his life depended on it. Maybe it did. I’m a non-violent person, but you don’t mess with the ones I love.

For Mother’s Day, I propose that we honor this natural drive within all of us to protect the ones we love, the ones who depend on our consideration, by not consuming the products of exploitation and cruelty. This common thread of wanting our babies to thrive is natural and noble, a key part of our essential being. Whether we are men or women, children or adults, human or hen, that universal mother is in all of us. Let’s celebrate without exploiting another innocent mother who had not only the autonomy of her body but also her babies stolen from her for our appetites. Let’s connect to that profound mothering spirit that links us together. She wants her babies to be well and protected from harm. I think we can understand.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

….with extra special hugs and kisses (and a few odd few bitter tears) to Miss Kaylee, of course.*

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* Usually I stick with the status-neutral “Ms.,” but Kaylee prefers “Miss.” It makes her feel young, yo!

** The quote is excerpted from The Universal Mother… by Marla Rose, the one and only Vegan Feminist Agitator. Read and share, please and thanks.

furkid friday: bendy twisty rat terrier noses

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I’m forever amazed (and amused) at the degree to which the rat terriers – particularly Rennie and Peedee – are able to bend and twist their noses whilst sniffing a scent on the breeze. So flexible, it’s almost as if they’re made of rubber!

I mean holy Ceiling Cat, Rennie must have her nose cocked at a 15-20 degree angle here! You can practically see an invisible pair of fingers twisting it to the side.

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I didn’t manage to photograph an equally impressive example for Peedee yesterday, but this one gives you an idea:

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That little pink strip running down the middle of his nose? It should be perfectly vertical. His poo sensors must be kicking in, for it to be all off-kilter like that.

That is all.

furkid friday: ralphie’s thoughts on earth day

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

boil down to this:

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He’s a grumpy old fart, just like mom!

(More below the fold…)

furkid friday: lemmy (is no longer new, but still kitteh-like)

Friday, April 15th, 2011

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Me: Okay, the afternoon sun is shining on your side of the house.

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Lemmy: Silly human. The only times I recognize are “mealtime” and “playtime” and, since I don’t see any nomz around, YOU WILL ENTERTAIN ME.

(More below the fold…)

furkid friday: dog parts (rat terriers, in macro!)

Friday, April 8th, 2011

This week I spent a few (much-needed) lazy afternoons outside, alternately napping and chasing the dogs around the yard, camera in hand. I can’t remember why, but I thought it might be fun to take some “macro” shots of the dogs and all their adorable little body parts: eyes, noses, behinds, ears, legs, tummies.* (Lever 2000, holla!) Now I realize that this might make for an awfully cool art project – print and display my favorites in uniform sizes and frames, arranging them on a single wall to make one larger exhibit. I just need to find an available wall!

And more pictures of Ralphie: of all five dogs, the 13-year-old, one-eyed wiener dog proved hardest to catch on camera. Go figure.

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Ralphie butt, on the move!

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Not very macro, but here’s a decent look at Ralphie’s missing eye.

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Ralphie shoulder, complete with extra skin rolls!

(More below the fold…)

furkid friday: rennie and her scrappy balls

Friday, April 1st, 2011

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furkid friday: stunt kitteh (hope he kept his day job)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Shane shot this video of the cats Wednesday night. The way that Ozzy and Lemmy were scoping each other out, he anticipated either a bout of playing or fighting (or some combination of the two) – but what came next was much more hilarious:

You can practically hear Ozzy laughing on the inside.

(By the way, that weird sparkly eye effect later in the video? That was just Shane messing around with his camera’s effects. It’s kind of creepy, actually, like Lemmy’s half-anime or something. *shudder*)

furkid friday, on a tuesday…

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

…’cause eight years ago today, we welcomed a scrappy little monster named Peedee into our lives!

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3/15/03 – Peedee and Ralphie play together during Peedee’s first few hours home. fyi, the maroon-colored harness and collar didn’t last but a year before Peedee chewed through them; now his color is black. Just one of many reasons why we call him the Peedee Monster.

Oh my dog, I can’t believe that Peedee used to be Rennie-sized! And Ralphie was so tubby. It’s a wonder what taking up digging did for him! Like Tae Bo for dogs, I tell you what.

Anyway, I’ll probably take the lil’ guy (“lil’ guy”? wtf! my baby is almost nine years old!) walking this afternoon, once the weather warms up. Until then, here are some warm, cozy photos I took of the dogs lounging in the afternoon sun last month. Around 4 PM, the sunlight hits the couch in the office, at which point everyone crowds the cushions, jostling for maximum exposure. A half hour later, most of them have jumped ship; you can find them scattered on the floor, panting and trying to cool off. Super cute.

(More below the fold…)

furkid friday: an extra-special inaugural/birthday edition!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

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3/11/05 – A photo from O-Ren’s (then Angelica’s) Petfinder listing.

New feature! Because everyone adores my furkids as much as I do, yes? Every Friday, a new picture (or series of) of the furkids. It’s like Jennie’s Wordless Wednesday, but on a Friday.

Seriously, though, this is mostly for my own benefit. I haven’t made a habit of writing about my furry friends during this blog’s (almost!) five-year run – navel gaze much? – and thus never realized how much I might enjoy it. And in the absence of more traditional, paper and print albums (which I stopped keeping years ago), these “fluffy fun” posts will, I imagine – someday! – become a cherished keepsake.

To pile on the sentimentality, today also just so happens to be O-Ren’s 7th birthday and the six-year anniversary of her adoption day! It’s a total coincidence, I swear; I’ve been thinking about reviving the old “Friday Random Cuteness” feature for a few months now, long before Rennie’s big day was on my radar. But since it is her day, this edition of furkid friday will be a special one, dedicated to my little lady. I love her something awful, and I’m sure you will too.

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2/14/11 – As a Valentine’s Day present to myself, I dressed the dogs in some pretty new outfits (Dollar Store, holla!) and snapped a few quick photos. With her pink sparkles, Rennie was my fairy princess!

(More below the fold…)

Friday Random Cuteness: Meet Your Meat

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Still busy with the house hunting, but not too busy to take notice of all the new calves that have magically appeared in our backyard in the past month or so. You see, folks, our current rental home sits on an 80-acre working farm. In fact, one of the many fenced livestock pastures butts up against the fenced-in area of our backyard. The closest pasture is usually where our landlords sequester the newly-birthed calves and their mothers, so we have the bittersweet pleasure of watching the young’uns romp around on shaky legs, test out their brand-new vocal cords with hearty moos!, and suckle on their mommas’ impossibly huge teats. Sweet because it’s like watching the live TV version of Cute Overload; bitter because the buhbies and parents alike all share in the same destiny – namely, the meat hooks. So sad, and so unnecessary.

Carnies, let me introduce you to your meat.

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More “farm animal” pics here.

And, of course, them pesky carnivals (pesky because I just can’t seem to keep up, try as I might):

* Carnival of the Green 68

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 79



Friday Random Cuteness: Safe sex for weiner dogs

Friday, March 9th, 2007

This week, I bring you double the cuteness to make up for my lack of a carnivals-n-cuteness roundup last Friday. Sorry ’bout that. Posting will be kinda scattered for the time being, since Shane & I decided to make that final step into adulthood and buy a house already. My, how old that makes me feel. Anyway, Friday through Sunday is generally reserved for househunting type tasks, so I may miss a roundup here and there. I’ll try to make ’em up best I can, promise. Until we settle in to our new digs in, oh, hopefully six months or less, bear with me.

Now, my best attempt at teaching Ralphie the history of contraception (via The Pill: A Biography of the Drug That Changed the World, by Bernard Asbell):

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As you can see, the topic bores him to sleep. To be fair, though, everything save for food and fresh dirt lulls the little guy into a trance. He is a dog, after all.

And two weeks of carnivals for your browsing pleasure….

* Carnival of the Green 67

* Carnival of the Green 66

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 78

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 77

* The Giving Carnival 4

* Festival of the Trees 9



Friday Random Cuteness: Nature’s Jewels

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Let's Use Natural Jewels

“Let’s Use Natural Jewels”, by Hamed Saber

Your carnivalia, dear readers:

* Carnival of the Green 65

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 76

* Giving Carnival 3
Sorry to cut this so short, but it’s been a long week, and Kelly needs a nap…



Friday Random Cuteness: Children of the Soy

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Though this week’s cuteness is of the veggie – rather than the animal – variety, I just couldn’t pass it up. How many veggies manage to pull off both creepiness and cuteness at the same time?

freaky smiling soybean

“freaky smiling soybean,” by rakka

And, of course, your carnivals…

* Carnival of the Green 64

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 75

…those eyes just follow ya, don’t they?



Friday Random Cuteness: The Kiss

Friday, February 9th, 2007

A special menage a trois shot for Valentine’s Day:

The Kiss

“The Kiss”, by creativity+

See? Animals got teh kinks, too!

Further proof that good things come in threes – this week’s carnival roundup. Enjoy!

* Carnival of the Green 63

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 74

* Giving Carnival 2



Friday Random Cuteness: Shiny!

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

A little late in the season for an x-mas pic, but I’ve really been lovin’ on Kaylee lately. We’re finally at that point with the two newest canines where they still feel a little “new” but, at the same time, are starting to fit in with the rest of the family. We’re slowly picking up on their individual quirks and eccentricities: Kaylee, once she’s plopped down on the bed for the night, will not budge an inch until morning; Jayne loves frozen poo and is driven to fits an anxiety by closed doors, which she always seems to find herself on the wrong side of. Such sweet dogs – it’s hard to believe that, during their six-month stay at Friends of the Friendless, no one wanted them. Six friggin’ months.

Just look at how adorable that belly is!

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Kaylee says, "I’ll show you my presents if you show me yours!"

Sigh. Anyways, here’s your carnival roundup.
* Carnival of the Green 62

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 73

* Festival of the Trees 8



Friday Random Cuteness: Pug on a Swing!

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I haven’t had a chance to take any (decent) pics of the furballs lately, so we have a guest dog this week: “Pugsly Napoleon Cutie-Pants Pazu, Ph. D., M.D., D.V.M, J.D., C.P.A., D.D.S., Order of the British Empire, winner of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes.”

You can see more of Pugsly over at his father Dunechaser’s photostream.

Now on to the carnivals:

* Carnival of the Green 61

* Carnival of Hurricane Relief 72