Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My 2008 Was Year of the Dog

My 2008 was all about dogs.

In February, we adopted Zoe and I became a dog owner for the first time. Although she can be a pain sometimes, she has brought far more happiness.

I became engrossed by the National Geographic Channel show “The Dog Whisperer” and was inspired to learn more about dogs. I devoured everything I could read about the subject.

Our visits to various animal shelter in our search that led us to Zoe made me sympathetic to the plight of shelter dogs. I saw so many dogs available for adoption, so many I would have loved to have taken home. It was really sad. There were so many Pit Bulls, many of them very sweet and adorably cute. I would have loved to have rescued at least one of them.

I remember giving treats to two Pit Bulls at the Oakland SPCA, a little black female Chihuahua that we very nearly adopted from the Martinez Animal Shelter, a big blue-tongued Chow-German Shepherd mix at an adoption event in Pittsburg that had nothing but kisses for me, a tiny black long-haired baby Chihuahua at the Alameda County Animal Shelter in Dublin that we were seriously considering, and a big husky at the Martinez Animal Shelter that had apparently been there for months that the staff were practically begging someone to adopt.

I saw a program on Animal Planet about what had become of the Pit Bulls seized from Michael Vick’s property. A large segment of the program featured the efforts of a Bay Area Pit Bull advocacy organization called BAD RAP, Bay Area Dog owners Responsible About Pitbulls. I remembered that name from visiting the Oakland SPCA.

I became sympathetic to the plight of the American Pit Bull Terrier. They have largely been portrayed as menaces in the media. The truth is that they’re really victims of irresponsible owners. I began writing posts about them on this blog. Eventually, it led me to start a separate blog focused solely on dogs.

My blogging led me to another dog blogger, Jeni, who lives in South Dakota. Amongst the stories she shared was about a severely beaten dog named Charlie. She started a fund in Charlie’s name that ended up benefiting students of a grade school. I was proud to have contributed to the fund which provided these kids with a subscription to a publication produced by the Humane Society of the United States that teaches kids to be kind to animals.

Along the way we adopted a Charlie of our own. His mama was a tiny apple head Chihuahua, his daddy, well, we haven’t quite determined that yet. I say he’s a Papillon. Karen thinks he’s some kind of terrier. So now I have two dogs!

With Imani starting her freshman year at Alhambra High School it officially made both my girls Bulldogs.

And lastly, there was Dog the Bounty Hunter. He got caught in a firestorm making racist comments to his son that were revealed to mainstream media. A&E pulled his show. It looked like Dog was about to lose it all. Who knows what exactly led A&E to change their minds, but Dog is back and the new episodes are strong as ever.

That’s my year of the dog.

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