Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Dogs of South Avenue

I only know these dogs by sight - I don't know any names. But the dogs of the South Avenue neighborhood generally have lacadaisical and sometimes cruel treatment by their owners, and they are getting along the best they know how. I've given names to all of them, and pretty much make up lives for them, not having the slightest clues of what their lives may really be.

Black dog lives at the top of the hill from us, and is really black and brown. Black dog was the first dog I was aware of (bitch - see the joke in an earlier post below), else I probably would have thought of another name for him. Black dog is never chained, is a very mellow, medium sized, long haired dog, and never barks. He rarely goes off his property, but when he does, its just to nose around a bit near by. I've never seen him on the other side of South Avenue. Living with Black Dog is Basset Hound, who sometimes howls when I pass him in my truck - I like that. I howl back. Also a new entry is little brown pup, who is not so little anymore. Like Black Dog, he's pure mutt. There is also a cat, affectionately known as Gray Cat, who lives there. These animals seem pretty mellow all in all, and I rarely see their owners.

Next door to this menagerie are the two Snack Dog twins. These are Yorkies, and I called them Snack Dogs, because they'd make a good sized snack for a normal sized dog. I frequently see them running around the yard. Every now and then their owner has to track one of them down, but they don't seem to go far.

A bit further down South Avenue lives Mean Dog. Until recently Mean Dog charged the truck everytime it passed. He's chained to a run, and as far as that goes its pretty good. Whenever he saw the truck (not the car, just the truck), he'd stop whatever he was doing and run as fast as he could toward it, barking quite menacingly. Everytime he'd hit the end at full speed and end up flipping on his back, then lunging against it with all his strength, like he just wanted to tear the truck to pieces. It was great entertainment, dogs being so predictable and all. I decided Mean Dog was not the brightest bulb on the tree, 'cause it seems to me that after you do that 100 times or so, you'd learn to pull up before you got to the end. Perhaps I know nothing about dogs though. Anyway, Mean Dog recently stopped doing that, so I worry that he may be sick. He also has a harness on him now instead of a collar, so I don't know it that has anything to do with it. Mean Dog, unlike Black Dog, is all black, and looks like he has some Pit Bull in him. He's a mutt tho.

Not be confusing, but just off South Avenue, there lives a dog who's name is actually "Black". Ol' Black, here in North Carolina. Ol' Black is indeed black, and I only know about him because he apparently wondered off one day, and a kid came and got him, and called him 'Black'. I don't see him very often.

Within easy view of our back yard lives Rottweiler, who appears to be a purebred Rottweiler. I've watched him since he was a pup, and he's gotten to be a fairly large dog now. He was kept in a large fence enclosure & still is most of the time. Its quite large, & he has a nice dog house and the run of it. Recently an invisible fence was added to the property, so sometimes he's out in the yard itself, but gets shocked if he strays to close to the line.

We've gone thru one and a half dogs ourselves, both rescues of sort. The first dog was a little brown dog, at least part Chihuahua, who we called Turkey Dog, because we got her around Thanksgiving. This dog came from the neighbors. It was a little animal, a very young puppy, who wanted nothing more than to be with people, preferably on someone's lap, but they kept it on the back deck in a large cage, with no other shelter. When it rained it got soaked, if it was cold, it would freeze. And to top if off, it never stopped barking. It would bark for hours and hours, most of the night & one rainy morning after one rainy & sleep deprived night my wife had finally had enough and went and talked to the people about it. She came home with Turkey Dog. We werent really prepared for a dog then, so we only had it for a week. The first thing we did was make a warm and safe place in the bathroom for the dog to sleep & begin house training. And buy it something to chew on so it wouldn't chew on us. Turkey Dog learned quickly, became a lot calmer when she had a safe and warm place to sleep. She more or less paper trained herself, and did so within a day. Otherwise we just kept taking her out often, so it wasn't hard at all, she was on her way to being house broken. And she had a personality - she was a very nice dog. We talked to a person we knew who was involved in animal rescue, and she found a nice home for Turkey Dog. I'd never had, nor never wanted a snack sized dog before, but I had to admit, Turkey Dog, small as she was, was a good dog & I missed her for a long time. She was such a young pup, I'm glad she has a good life now.

The next dog, and looks like this one's a keeper, is Pickles, aka Pickles Dog, Pickles T. Dog etc. Pickles is a mix - Blue Tick & Labrador, and the Blue Tick personality seems dominant in her. She was completely unplanned. We had gone to Jamestown Flea Market, just to look around. We were leaving when we came upon a table were some people were selling some Pit Bull puppies. I was looking at them & petting them, trying to resist the urge to plop down 30 bucks for one, finding it hard to believe that these cute little things grew into very powerful dogs. The cute factor was winning over, but we began to walk away anyways. But right next to the table was this good ol' boy with a black & white dog stuffed into a crate too small for a dog half its size. It was asleep, but it could not move, could not stand up or turn or anything. My wife asked how much he wanted, he said she was free, so we took her on the spot & she's been with us ever since - just over a month now. She's a handful, but everybody is adjusting. She weighed 43 lbs back then, pobably is in the low 50's now, and is about 9 months old. Since my wife and I work from home we're in a good situation and are able to take her out 25 times a day, as needed. She's not quite gotten the knack of telling us when she needs to go, but there has been major house breaking progress, and we're getting there. Her favorite pastimes are eating ants, and barking at other animals. She wants Rottweiler bad - not sure why, she ain't gonna have pups, but she wants that bad boy. I once owned a Lab, a goofy and very friendly dog, who I never heard bark for almost a couple of years, then when he did it was astounding. Well this blue tick/lab mix barks extremely well, really lets loose when she feels the urge. But she's a friendly dog, not vicious at all.

More on Pickles (and our cat) later. Thanks for listening.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Main Street Continued

I forgot to mention that at some point Myra's switched from Coke to Pepsi; And a small town newspaper (which I had the honor to do some writing for, bitch (this is a joke - you're not allowed to end a sentence in a preposition, so just add bitch to it, and you're gramitically correct, in theory, if you dont take clauses into account)), the "Voice of Valdese" has started up, put out a years worth of issues, and folded. There is other stuff I'm sure, but I'm just a newbie here.

Main Street, May 9, 2008

So what's going on on Main street? Just a glance from the Wachovia Bank parking lot is enough to make you think. Valdese Video is going out of business - how did that happen? It's a tanning place as well as a gym & they always seem to have customers. Valdese Antiques & Collectibles is now Cornerstone. 122 Main street is for rent. I think that was the place that sold toys and made purses etc. I thought someone had rented that & it was being fixed up, but guess not. There was a dance studio coming to main street, but it went a way because - I think - they couldn't get the building fixed up in time. Too bad, because it would have brought people into town. Mrs. Powell's buildings have been condemned & are now under new ownership - not sure where Mrs. Powell is, but all I'd have to do to find out is ask. I suspect two of the buildings will be torn down, I hope the brick one at least will be fixed up. There's a nice grassy tree shaded area on main street (I'm sure a building used to be there), but the trees have been chopped down. So I guess it's not tree shaded anymore. I've heard there are plans in the works for it, but who knows. Ronald's Computers moved down the street & I think a photo studio or something is in his old location. Major Electric is moving out of town. This is a two block area in a small town, one and a half really, and all these things have happened in the last few months. And that's just all I know about from a cursory glance from the Wachovia Bank Parking lot. Has it always been like that? I've only lived in Valdese 11 months now, so I dont know. If it has, then people ought to take pictures.