Sid, a 6 week old puppy, seemed to think he should be alpha over all dogs, and most people as well. Alas, when doing this around a 3 year old 45 pound pure muscle pit bull, the result is some time with a beagle on his back learning he may not be in charge.
And just to be clear, Stella was very nice about flipping him. Enough force to do it, not enough to hurt him. She taught him his lesson, with no harm done, except to his puppy pride.
So as the last of these “official” Sundays, I offer up these two images of our Stella. Though somehow I’m betting we’re going to keep doing long walks with her every week. It really is one of the best ways I can think of to spend a day off.
So for a while now I’ve wanted to get to the top of the peak in the back of this photo.
(Get posters, cards and prints of this image here.)
The name of the peak, I now know, is Turtlehead Peak. It’s tall, not really tall, but tall enough.
The easiest way to get to it, and easy is a relative term of course, is a 2.5 mile hike with 2000ft of ascent. 800ft of that ascent is in .4 miles. It has a steep part. The ascent, just so you know is from the other side of the mountain.
This last Sunday we, Erin, me, Stella and Roxy, made it to the top. On Monday we were all tired, and at least a little sore.
It’s one of those things that’s cool to be able say you’ve done, and it certainly provides a feeling of accomplishment having done it. It was, tough, quite tough. But certainly fun.
Next week I think we’ll do something easier though. Tough, but less tough.
Here’s the view from the top looking back towards this image. Las Vegas is in the background, through the haze.
Yeah, I’m a bad dog owner. We can just get over it now.
I always find it amusing when I go on hikes, and when I do Stella is almost always with me, and maybe Roxy and possibly “our” other dog Esther, and Erin also frequently if she’s available. I like going for hikes with Erin and/or the dogs. It seems to make them (okay, from here on out I’m just talking about the dogs, not Erin because that’s a whole other post) happy, they like to get out and they’re nice company.
Stella almost always gets to go. The two small dogs can’t always handle the heatt, or the cold, or the terrain if there is a lot of scrambling. Stella can and will do almost anything, and she just stays fairly nearby. No worries, no hassle, no fuss. Climbing up a 5 foot rock face, Stella has already done it before you get there, probably 3 different ways. She’s a great hiking dog and she loves it.
Now, legally, and I would never break the law of course, I’m supposed to have her leashed on all hikes within the state of Nevada. But really when it comes right down to it, if there ain’t a road nearby, what’s the point? It’s less work for me if she’s not, she’s happier, and she ain’t hurting anything (she does try to catch hares but that’s never going to happen because as fast as Stella is, the hares are easily twice her speed. Though she did go for some picnickers caviar on Xmas. Oops.)
Normally this isn’t much of an issue as we tend to hike out of the way areas, but sometimes our starting spots or an area we’re hiking has lots of tourists. These people tend to get a bit freaked. After all, this is a mean vicious pit bull off a leash. Ah well, they can just chill. Stella doesn’t get leashed unless absolutely necessary, and she does very well that way.
In the meantime, when we’re a mile or more from anywhere and there is a sign about leashing your dog, I’m just going to laugh, because really, that’s just ridiculous.
Not to mention, I usually don’t even have the leash with me or in the car, and I ain’t gonna stop walking for some silliness.
Ever since the whole Michael Vick getting signed thing has happened I’ve been thinking about how I felt about it, what if anything I could personally do about it. Ultimately this came down to me needing to draw line as to how I would respond to people who prey on those who can’t defend themselves, kids and animals being the two most immediate categories. This is about the NFL, but it’s about my life, and a line I’m comfortable with for me. This has been longer in coming than I realized initially, but it’s been building and Michael Vick was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I am no longer supporting or through intermediaries supporting, or by lack of action supporting or being polite or civil to those who prey on the defenseless.
This means that in regards to football I will no longer be watching the NFL. I can find something else to do on a Sunday besides provide a higher viewer number to NFL advertisers, and through such allow the NFL to make more money from the networks eventually.
I decided to apply this to the whole NFL as the NFL Code of Conduct in my opinion should find that those who prey on and/or torture the defenseless is an act so heinious as to bring about a lifetime ban. I applied this to the whole NFL as ulimately the NFL has to decide and enforce that it’s players have to maintain a minimum level of moral behavior or risk losing fans. Only by acting against the whole NFL can the actions of individual players be held to account, and only through the action of the whole NFL will players realize they have to act at least minimal humanity. There will always be teams willing to pay lots of money for player regardless of how abhorrent a person they may be just because they have superior muscle memory.
Now, mind you, I’m not against second chances. I am for them. Michael Vick’s second chance is that he can walk down the street again. That he can sleep in a room without bars. I don’t believe that his right to a second chance is equal to the privelge of earning 1.6m and up to 5m dollars. His second chance is that he’s not waking up in jail. For more than that, he has to earn it. Or he should have to.
Serving hard time is not equivalent to changing your behavior, it’s not equal to changing your views on what is right and what is wrong. Serving hard time is what you have to do, at the point of a gun.
To get respect, to get good opportunities, reformed predators should need to earn them. This should mean years of behaving better, years of trying to improve the world, years of working to make-up, at least in part, for the pain they inflicted. And it shouldn’t be done for anyone, it should be done because the person believes they need to do it, for themselves, even when no one is watching.
Ulimately this change needs to happen because the person wants to be a better person, a good person. Then, then the person deserves, has earned respect. Has earned the chance to try for a great life. And I give a lot of respect to those who have changed their ways, it’s an incredible sight, that I’ve seen repeatedly. It’s awe inspiring.
To give this away because the convict did their time is, because the convict can bring in the dollars, is in the end, amoral and reprehensible. Any organization that sees so little value in such a basic sense of morality I don’t want to get my time, attention and certainly not my money.
At some point, and for me this is the point, each of us has to find a line where we say that a company’s behavior is so bad that we can’t and won’t buy from them even at our own determinant because the larger determinant on society of that company’s behavior outweighs it’s positives. As a society we need to decide that their are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, lines that are too far. This is also true for individuals.
Maybe I’ll take that time on Sunday to go walk my pit bull, Stella. She deserves that time, she’s earned that time through her giving of attention, affection and love unto me and those I love.
This is totally unrelated to anything I normally do.
Michael Vick today was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has, in theory at least, paid his debt to society. He in no way should be playing football professionally, ever, anywhere, much less in the NFL. This is an act that brings shame on The Eagles, Philadelphia, and the NFL. If you are a fan of the Eagles, I am sorry for you. Your team has shown the lowest of character.
There have been many NFL players of questionable moral character over the years, but the Eagles have decided that a man who tortures wonderful, loving, kind dogs should be held up as an example. A man who tortured these dogs, not for money, which is disgusting enough, but for fun and ego. The NFL has only encouraged the torture of more pups by showing the lack of consequences that such inhumanity can have.
Please let the Eagles know your feelings via their contact form.
This is my pit, Stella. She is sweet and kind and loving. And she, as she likes to do while I’m at my computer, is asleep at my feet.
She was found abandoned in the desert. One theory is that she was left there to die because she didn’t have the viciousness needed for fighting. Erin rescued her from the pound.
I’m very happy she’s here tonight.