Another Open Thread

I was lucky enough to remember to put the camera on the end table next to the chair, and caught these snaps. For those of you wondering what the wild and crazy decadent nights at Balloon Juice HQ look like, this is it:

I can’t believe it was just a little over a year ago and I was debating whether I should get a dog. If you don’t have kids, you owe it to yourself and the animals to have pets. Trust me, your quality of life will go through the roof.

And while we are at it, don’t forget to get your Balloon Juice swag at the CafePress store. All proceeds (and by all, I mean 100%) go to the lovely folks at Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue to support their mission.

Pet Update

Tunch is back and a little pissy. His tail is partially shaved from where they removed the fatty lump.

The stray I found yesterday has no issues with cats, which makes me more convinced she is someone’s pet who somehow got loose. She completely ignored the cats at the vets office, and after sniffing Tunch lost interest. She also has no chip.

I guess I am just going to have to hang “found dog” signs along the route I was traveling.

Pet Rescue Story

Hot off the presses:

Commenter paradox sends along the following pet adoption story:

Attached is a picture of me in my kitchen and the very popular Tunch apron, all who see it approve.

The dog is a rescue Pomeranian my sister found some place on the internet, she’s a serious poodle person and drove to Southern California (490 miles) to get this dog. There were and are three cats in the house already (one a rescue) and I was not looking forward to the uproar that of course ensued when Jasmine arrived. Took 60 fucking days for things to settle down.

She doesn’t like men and is devoted to the women in the house, won’t even go on a walk with me when I offer the leash. I love her and spoil her, of course–just as I knew I would–and she has slowly come around, Jasmine loves her morning scratch and looks to me for food. She is a ferocious guard dog and does not socialize well with other dogs, she’s still pretty scared and nervous, prolly always will be.

She has been a good addition to all of our lives, I can’t say it’s the best decision I ever made, right, I’ve made so few good ones somehow I don’t want to set one even further apart, and I went along with the idea anyway.

Bonus picture of paradox rocking the Tunch bling:

Don’t be shy- you too can rock the Balloon Juice quality apparel by clicking over to the store, and every penny of profit goes to Charlie’s Angels animal rescue!

Also, I really need to start posting more of the pet rescue stories. I have a bunch in the queue!

Happy Lily Day!

What a difference a year makes- here she is the day I adopted her, looking timid and terrified with a horrible open sore all down her back and smelling like cat pee:

Compare and contrast with this picture from a moment ago, in this relaxed and dignified pose:

I’d say she has settled in nicely and is bit calmer. It’s been raining all day, so we couldn’t go to the park, but I’m cooking her a hamburger for dinner to celebrate.

Best decision I have ever made.

Late Night Open Thread: Why Can’t We All Get Along?

Orangutans rule OOK!*


* As do librarians, but that’s another story for another day.

(H/t commentor Paddy)


One of these two ADORABLE puppies (and check out mama’s nose in the upper left corner) will be my brother’s new BFF:

He is going through Kyloe Kennels, and the mother and father are Pia and Pyloe.

Also, my sister and I guilted him so much about not getting a rescue dog that he is going to make a sizable donation to a rescue fund of my sister’s choosing. So it all works out in the end, I guess.

* Puppy to be named later

Always Have A Buddy At Your Back

From today’s New York Times, “For the Battle-Scarred, Comfort at Leash’s End“:

[…] In August, Jacob Hyde got his service dog, Mya, from Puppies Behind Bars, a program based in New York State that uses prisoners to raise and train dogs for lives of service. The organization has placed 23 dogs with veterans with P.T.S.D. in the last two years, training them to obey 87 different commands.
“If I didn’t have legs, I would have to crawl around,” said Mr. Hyde, 25. “If I didn’t have Mya, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house.”
If Mr. Hyde says “block,” the dog will stand perpendicularly in front of him to keep other people at a distance. If he asks Mya to “get his back,” the dog will sit facing backward by his side.
The dogs are trained to jolt a soldier from a flashback, dial 911 on a phone and even sense a panic attack before it starts. And, perhaps most important, the veterans’ sense of responsibility, optimism and self-awareness is renewed by caring for the dogs.
The dogs help soldiers understand “what’s happening as it’s happening, what to do about it, and then doing it,” said Joan Esnayra, a geneticist whose research team has received $300,000 from the Defense Department to study the issue. “You can use your dog kind of like a mirror to reflect back your emotional tenor.”
Under a bill written by Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, veterans with P.T.S.D. will get service dogs as part of a pilot program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Training a psychiatric service dog and pairing it with a client costs more than $20,000. The government already helps provide dogs to soldiers who lost their sight or were severely wounded in combat, but had never considered placing dogs for emotional damage…

While it’s not the focus of this article, these service dogs are helping rescue two sets of lost human souls. My dog guru in the Midwest helped start a different program to pair “throw-away” shelter dogs with… well, “throw-away” humans in the prison system, selected prisoners who earn a coveted slot for schooling as dog groomers and trainers. She thought that after twenty years of dog rescue, she’d be immune to horror stories, but it breaks her heart all over again to find out how many people have never known anything but coercion, force, and threats in their lives. Thank Goddess for dogs, who forgive.

(Photo swiped, with permission, from commentor Yutsano‘s Flicker; hat tip to commentor Mai Naem for the article)