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Moving Daze

January 27, 2010 1 comment

Well, it’s that time. Saying goodbye to New York as my permanent residence, packing up my stuff and making the move back to ol’ DC. Having moved quite a lot over the past decade, this is becoming old hat. But it never loses its charm.

The part I hate most is not the outgoing and incoming piles of boxes, the memories of old photos and collected crap that suddenly transports you to a distant past, the manual labor, not having your stuff for a couple of days, the logistics, the phone calls to utility companies, or getting temporarily unplugged. It’s the cats.

Anybody who knows cats understands how attached they become to their environment. Move a friggin’ table to a different corner of the room and they get all bent out of shape. Putting them in carriers and into a mini-van for five hours, then introducing them to a whole new place is like the end of their little worlds.

During my first move with this particular batch of felines some ten years ago, one of them, Bernstein, got so freaked out he spent 34 days under a comforter on a couch. Thirty-four days! I kid you not. I had to put water in his mouth with a syringe several times a day so his little kidneys would keep working. I had to move the kitty litter box next to the couch so he wouldn’t have to venture more than a foot from his nest of psychotic insecurity. I was getting ready to bring in a psychiatrist. On the 35th day, he jumped to the floor and started walking around like nothing had happened. Little weirdo.

So, I have a plan. Under no circumstances, can they see even a glimpse of the movers. Ever. Nor can they even get a whiff of the carriers until the very last moment. They’re going into the bathroom with a blanket, their food and the litter box. And when it’s time to go, since they won’t go to the carriers, the carriers will come to them. I have a similar plan for Washington, but in reverse. A year from now they’ll never remember any of it. Their brains are the size of small tangerines.

So here comes the disconnect part. Time-Warner Cable comes today and pulls the plug on the World Wide Web.

We’ll see you all next week from Washington, D.C………

Categories: Animal Life, Digital Life Tags: ,

Happy New Decade from Suki, the New Year’s Dog

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

In yet another unretouched photo, Suki, the New Year’s dog is pictured bravely floating amidst fireworks, seemingly unconcerned about getting singed by colorful sparks as she wishes one and all a Happy New Decade.

Categories: Animal Life Tags: ,

Tidings of Joy from Suki, the Christmas Dog

December 24, 2009 1 comment

In this completely unretouched photograph, Suki the Christmas Dog is captured floating in space with life-like, pawprint-type snowflakes falling all around her as she wishes one and all the happiest of holidays and Peace on Earth.

Categories: Animal Life Tags: ,

My Dog Ate My I-pod Ear-buds

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

DSCN0566

And they were Bose. She kinda looks sorry…but she’s not. Suki is a sneaky, little thief.

She has $6,000 worth of toys. WTF?

Why, I oughta….

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The Lady is a Champ- Zenyatta Races into History

November 8, 2009 Leave a comment

There is something so beautiful about a big event in horse racing. The colors, the pageantry, the contradiction of the sheer power and force of these 1,200 pound animals running like the wind on those fragile, spindly legs. Which one will show heart? Which horse would rather be somewhere else?

So you don’t care for horse racing? Trust me on this one; if you watched ESPN’s wonderful coverage or were lucky enough to be there in California, you know what happened. And if your Saturday did not include a glimpse of the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita Park, then you missed history and possibly the most dramatic horse race of all time. The 5-year-old, Zenyatta, became the first filly to win in the 26 years they’ve run the Breeders Classic, obliterating the boys and writing a special chapter in the Sport of Kings. Fortunately, you can see it here or below.

This beautiful animal, now undefeated in all of her 14 races and running most likely for the final time, came back from absolutely, dead last. I mean WAY back. But why the horrific start?

It could very well have been the loading of the horses at the gates just minutes before. It was one of the strangest, frightening and most chaotic incidents you’ll ever see in racing. The first 11 ponies loaded without much of a problem, though Zanyatta herself was a little reluctant and had to be pushed from the rear. But then the #12 horse, Quality Road, simply decided- he wasn’t going to race- at all.

For at least ten minutes, they tried everything to load that horse into the gate. He would have none of it, kicking his rear legs powerfully and dangerously, forcing his handlers to start again over and over. Finally, they decided they’d blind him so they put a hood over his head and led him into the gate. Very bad move. The horse completely freaked out, kicked even harder and cut his hind leg. They had to open the front gate and lead him out of there and because of the injury he was promptly disqualified. First time ever there was that late a scratch in the Breeder’s Cup.

Through all this high drama, the other horses stood in their tiny gates, getting claustrophobic, restless, or, in some cases, too relaxed (which you do not want of a race horse when they’re supposed to shoot out of there like a rocket). So they unloaded the horses and tried it all over again. Once more, Zenyatta looked unsettled as they pushed her forcefully into the starting position.

The race begins (really- watch this; she’s the #4 horse-green colors) and Zenyatta immediately gets off on the wrong foot (literally- the left foot instead of the right). She runs like she’s out for a Saturday stroll instead of a horse race. Her head turns left. Her head turns right. But there’s a championship jockey astride that baby; Hall of Fame rider, Mike Smith- and he knows what he’s doing. Trevor Denman’s call of the race is nothing short of breath-taking. What horse could ever recover from this far back? What horse could ever make up that much ground with less than half the race to go? Well, a horse with the biggest heart since Secretariat; Zenyatta, possibly the greatest filly of all time, that’s who.

There’s a spirited debate about which thoroughbred will be named Horse of the Year. A lot of experts are enamored with another horse named Rachel Alexandra (first filly to win the Preakness in 85 years back in May). Said jockey, Mike Smith of his magical horse, the incomparable Zenyatta, “She’s sent from God. It’s his filly.” You don’t mess with God’s filly.

Dog Days

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

I have a dog. Let me restate that. My girlfriend, Millie has a dog. I provide for it. Suki, a female Shiba Inu (the most popular canine in Japan) is a wonderful apartment dog. She looks like a fox and will never weigh more than about 17 pounds. She exercises herself by running these incredibly intricate circuits around my 2-bedroom Manhattan apartment. When not exhibiting these highly entertaining antics, she has a zen-like mellowness. She interacts with my three cats in a semi non-threatening manner; they have learned to tolerate her. She has her quirks. They say ownership of a Shiba is not for the feint of heart. They think they’re royalty. They are drama queens (as in you’ll think she’s dying because she incurred a minor injury). But a more loving, sweet little dog, you simply could not find.

But take her out on a walk and she becomes a wild banshee. No problems socializing. She loves and licks everything and everyone. Some passersby on the street find this cute. Others react like they are about to be eaten alive by a wild, albeit, petite demon.

We have investigated boarding/training. She disappears for two weeks and comes back an obedient trick performer. But it’s a little bit too pricey. And so I am about to undertake a mission: read all there is to know about training Shiba’s and hope to God it takes.

We’ll keep you posted.

Categories: Animal Life Tags: ,