Thursday, October 15, 2015

Clean-up Day, Saturday, October 17th, 10:00am to 2:00pm (and beyond)

Last anyone checked, the chips had not yet been dropped off, but they should be soon.   There will be refreshments, and (we hope) all the needed tools to spread the chips around.  

Sorry to post this so late, but there have been some distractions.  It is my sad duty to report that Michel Pyles, Jack the boxer's person, has passed away.   Michel was long the most beloved visitor to the Rocky Run, and particularly by the dogs who came there, since she was invariably armed with large quantities of healthy dog treats.  The dogs would gather around her like she was Lady Bountiful.  And she was.

This clean-up is dedicated to her--not only for her generosity to the dogs of the Rocky Run, but also for her efforts in organizing a food drive at the run, the results of which were donated to Animal Haven.

I've got some rotator cuff issues I have to address, but I'll be there, doing what I can.  Hope to see all of you.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Clean-up Day, Saturday, March 16th, 10:00am to 2:00pm--and a word about an attack at the run.

Sorry I haven't been updating for so long.  I got preoccupied with other matters.

Anyway, the signs are up, and the chips should be dropped off soon.   If anybody reading this happens to be there when the chips are delivered, try to get them to dump them directly over that muddy area over at the north end of the run, where the dogs keep eating dirt.  

We've been pretty lucky at the Rocky Run--we don't get a lot of fights, and most of the dogs who come here are friendly, and their people responsible.  Now and again, there's an exception to the rule.

Chucky, a friendly playful Shepherd Mix, getting on in years now, who has been coming to the run for about as long as there has been a run, was badly attacked in the last few days by a seemingly purebred German Shepherd named Pepper.   I just got the email this morning from his owner, Miyako.  He needed to go to the Animal Medical Center to get stitches--it was a serious attack.  

It's really important to remember that the owner of a dog who injures another dog is supposed to at least offer to pay the medical bills.  It's understandable that after such a traumatic incident, somebody might just want to get their dog home to calm down.   But it doesn't take long to give contact info, so you can talk later.  It's not enough to just say "Well, I won't bring my dog to the run anymore."   Somebody with a Shepherd is going to need to do offleash exercise somewhere.  The dog needs to be better socialized, and the owner needs to take responsibility for what happened.

If anybody knows anything about Pepper and his/her owner, please get in touch.   I'll be asking around at clean-up.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Clean-up 2013: Saturday, October 19th, 10:00am to 2:00pm

Signs are up, courtesy of Jerry Culligan.   Wood chips are waiting, courtesy of the Parks Department.   Looks like a much better batch of chips this time--the last batch, it must be said, looked like they needed to be run through the chipper a few more times.   The news ones look nice and fresh--with enough tools, enough wheelbarrows, and enough people showing up, we should get them spread around in no time (okay, in 4-6 hours, same thing). 

We'll have great refreshments, as usual.   And crazy dogs running around getting in our way, as usual. 

It's hard not to notice all the new faces showing up at the run recently--be nice to see some of those faces next Saturday.   Show up before 10:00am if you like--and if you show up late, there'll still be plenty of work to do.   See you then. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Clean-up Day, May 18th, 10:00am-2:00pm (show up earlier if you like)

We almost always get an early start, and there'll be plenty to nosh on, as well as goodies from the Parks Department.  Turn-out was a bit low last time (at least by our standards), though those who showed up compensated by working really hard.  Great weather, as I recall--sometimes a really beautiful day impacts turn-out worse than a lousy one.  So many fun things to do on a weekend, but getting together with your neighbors and their dogs (and yours), to shovel wood chips, plant flowers, trade notes, drink coffee, and munch bagels certainly ranks as one of the best.   Mark it on your calendar.  Clean-up comes but twice a year for us.   If you're new to the area, a great opportunity to get acquainted with the folks you don't necessarily see when you're visiting the run.  

So anyway, here's hoping for a great day--just not too great.  ;)

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Leo, Irina and Eddie's dog, died last week.  It was his time, and he had as good a life as any dog ever did.  Leo has appeared on this blog now and again in the past, and this, sadly, will be the last time. 
Leo was the first male dog to befriend Max in his new neighborhood--for all I know, the first adult male of his species he ever had a friendship with.  They didn't play, they didn't show overt affection--they just treated each other with respect and great understanding, and I know Max considered Leo his superior in the loose-knit 'pack' structure of the general neighborhood--never once did I see Leo exploit Max's subordinate status, or make any big deal out if it.  It was just an accepted fact between the two of them.  They were always interested in each other, always pleased when they happened to meet.  
Leo was what Cesar Millan would call "Calm Assertive".  An alpha, but one who had nothing to prove to anybody.  He walked through the run like the wise king he was born to be, reassuring the dogs around him with his quiet confidence, his tail held high like a banner.  He didn't threaten dogs who seemed to be out of line--he just leaned on them a little, and they calmed down.   He enjoyed watching them clown around, but he rarely joined in.

The day these photos were taken, over four years ago, there was this young unneutered male who wouldn't leave Max alone.  He was the opposite of a calm assertive--he had everything to prove, and he'd chosen Max as his victim--he meant no real harm, just heeding his immature instincts--it was pleasurable for him to assert his dominance over this larger male, who had no intention of accepting it, but that just meant the game could go on and on indefinitely.    Max snapped at him, barked at him, moved away from him--nothing made him stop.   Max could have given him a good chewing out (literally), but that just isn't his way.  I was starting to think I'd have to take Max out of the run, even though we hadn't been there that long, and it was a nice day.  As annoying as the dog's behavior was, it wasn't violent aggression, so I didn't want to make a stink about it with his people.  And I was curious to see if somehow the situation could be resolved without human interference.
I've never seen anything quite like what happened next--Leo saw Max's distress, understood what was causing it.   He walked over quietly, and I swear he talked to the little dog.  Talked to him.  Not with words, but with the language of the body.  His hackles stayed down, he never uttered a single growl, but the little dog understood he was in the presence of a true leader, and that he simply didn't qualify for that job, at least not yet.   He backed off, and didn't bother Max or any other dog for the rest of the time we were there.  

And Max knew exactly what Leo had done for him.   And so did I.   And this is my small way of thanking him.  And all dogs like him.   And the sadly small number of human beings like him.   But there are some.   I hope.