Tag Archives: dog

Don't let these lapse

(x-posted over at the Sticks)

Last year, I purchased a couple domain names – TampaBayRail.com and TampaBayRail.net. I intended to launch a web site on mass-transit and address the Tampa Bay area as one region. Not a separate-but-equal take that local government has had in the past on transit solutions. But those plans were soon forgotten as other issues worked into my life (including hand surgery, political campaigns and walking the dog).

Now, for those of you aware of what the local blogosphere has to offer, you already know David Pinero has Tampa Rail.org up and running. Pinero’s site is a great civic orientated pro-rail web site. The plan in my noggin’ with my own blog/site were just to ride the “rail” names but talk about all transit issues in general. But all of this is really beside the point, so let’s move on.

Basically, time goes by, the seasons change, the Gators were champs and John Grahame sucks. A few weeks ago I got notification from my domain registration company that both domain names were soon going to expire. I could renew the domain names for however-many-years I’d like or I could simply let them disappear into the digital tumbleweeds of the interweb. They’d likely be snatched up by a spammer or domain-name broker with no interest in Tampa, Tampa Bay, transit in Tampa Bay or rail in the region.

The whole thought reminded me of what happened to the previous official website that the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County operated regarding a rail system. A few years back (2002), those governments held the rights to TampaRail.com (check the wayback machine). For some reason, the powers that be (City of Tampa? Hillsborough County?) let that domain name expire around 2003. The name was quickly snatched up and exploited by a Russian domain name broker. The web site and url shifted to BlueHeronMedia.com, then ended up drifting into oblivion before being removed from their servers. Tampa’s official rail website was as dead as the pro-rail movement in the region. But the movement is now stirring again.

This past summer, we were all witness to the grand spectacle of the Hillsborough Expressway Authority trying to launch a new sprawlway through the region. Along with Mayor Pam Iorio (and the Tampa Bay Partnership and Tampa International Airport) renewing a push for a regional rail system through the Tampa Bay area. Emphasis on the Tampa Bay regionalism of their presented interest.

So, what’s a guy to do? I have control of TampaBayRail.com and .net. I could sell them and possibly recoup some of the costs of the domain names — eventually. Instead, I decided to do some good. I offered both domains to the City of Tampa. You entrepreneurs may see this as a waste of money on my part, but just consider it a good deed.

Suffice to say, the city was receptive of the idea, so both names are now controlled by Mayor Pam. I don’t expect you to see a regional rail website any time soon, but there is the possibility for a united Tampa Bay rail effort on the web — with TampaBayRail.com potentially it’s base location on the web.

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Idgie / Amber

I was out playing with my nine month old puppy, Madeline, just a few minutes ago… I came inside and found instant messages sent from Jenna to me, telling me that her cat Amber had died.

That’s our cat actually, and hearing the news hurt.

Amber was a cat we rescued from the North Pinellas Humane Society last year about this time – it’s within a few days of the one year anniversary of getting the cat. Jenna had just moved into her apartment at Sabal Walk and wanted to get a feline friend to compliment her brood of dogs in the apartment. Meanwhile, I had the inkling of getting a cat for my brother Andy’s birthday – but I soon retreated on such an idea as they (at the shelter) said – giving animals as gifts isn’t such a bright idea.

Me and Jenna had gone to the shelter on a Sunday morning… I can’t exactly remember the details leading up to getting inside the shelter — I think we cleaned out her van in the shopping center across the street from the shelter as we waited for it to re-open — but I can remember inside. The cats were all penned into seperate fenced in areas. Some had unhealthy looks in their eyes from being in captivity too long. Several had been their for years, while others had been their for months on end. Me and Jenna had taken to a few sweet tabby cats that had been inside for a while… It was a pity party of sorts. I started making a list of preference cats in my head as we moved through the building, but every selection was a pity selection more so than a prized discovery.

Then we came to the last cage in the cat area… We were interested in looking at the dogs soon – just for the hell of it — but wanted to see the cats within the pen. It was crowded in their – maybe 12 or more cats all tucked into it. It was mostly longhairs. Several didn’t want to be touched and several were only interested in keeping their position in the cage.

I had basically given up on the the pen and was ready to move on when Jenna noticed a cat tucked away inside a cinder block. The block was already basically hidden under a platform that held several cats… The block was also surrounded by other cats lounging…

Jenna pulled the cat out from the abyss and lo and behold we found the prize of the Humane Society. The Needle in the haystack if you will. Her hair was mostly white with tints of brown and orange… It would be an elegant coat if not for the cat being in a dank cell and her hair matted against her body. She was a ragdoll.  We looked over the chart outside the cage to try to find the name of the animal. It wasn’t quite clear to me which of the dozen+ animals on the list it was… Though it seemed to be one of three or so, and most likely a cat named “Idgie.”

Idgie had been in the shelter for only a few days compared to the other cats. She was terrified in that cell, she would hiss when held near other cats or over other cats. She’d struggle to get out of your grasp and run back into her hiding space from time to time…

But she also had the demeanor of an animal that didn’t belong in a pen like that. She seemed violated and desperate to escape.

We browsed around the dogs – Jenna took to a golden retriever that was up for adoption, but my mind was on “Idgie.” Would she even survive a few minutes without us? We had to get her out of there… I mean we just HAD to do it.

And that’s just what we did.

The adoption only took a few minutes and “Idgie” was brought out in a cat carrier. It ran through my mind a few times what this cat must have gone through and must be going through. Her papers said she was six and that she had been put up for adoption because of a new baby at home where she had lived. She was already declawed and though she was a tad volatile in the pen, it was obvious she wasn’t an aggressive animal by nature.

We got her out to the car — she was adopted officially by me but she’d be Jenna’s cat — and decided right there she needed a new name because… Well, Idgie? There are uncommon names and then their are REALLY uncommon names. Idgie didn’t even look pronouncable on the information sheet we had been given, let alone was it something that either of us would willingly call an animal. We decided upon “Amber” as her new name.

And that was the begining of her new life — andn that life would only last a year.

She was sweet, that much I can remember. She was scared when we brought her into Jenna’s apartment and she hid inside Jenna’s closet most of the time. I was always concerned for the cat because of the change of situations she was facing, but she came out fine. We cleaned her up and indeed she was a beautiful longhair. I’d almost think that she was a show cat because of how smart she seemed to be.

But now she’s gone….  Though the memory lives on….

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Writing re-assurance

I haven’t tried this in a long time – the last story I published in part on this blog was never competed (“Peter’s Problem” just rambles on and on) and never got any opinions on pieces fo the story I DID publish.

At any rate, I told people about this story in an earlier entry… There is no title to it as it stands right now and it’s just a few hundred words… Let me know what you think if you think anything about it… Just click on more to view it.

Continue reading

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Madness of Madeline

Madeline is going to be 4 months old tomorrow, which still shocks me… It’s felt like ages since I got my little Whippet and yet it hasn’t been that long at all. That’s actually a good thing because usually certain instances of my life can seem like only an hour ago — let alone something feeling like years removed from actually happening a couple of weeks / months ago.

Maddie’s been pretty good at times and annoying at others. She’s teething of course – has been since I got her in July — but it’s a little worse now because it’s her mid teeth and back teeth and she’s trying to gnaw on anything she can. I can deal with that by picking up chew toys and such… That’s no problem.

What is a problem is her social skills. Madeline is extremely friendly and extremely over-excited to meet people. I mean REALLY over-excited. If she sees a human, she wants to run up to them and say hi. She’ll jump and run circles around them (and when she is on her leash, this can cause problems), or run away for one reason or another… I’m never sure what causes that but it’s usually when she sees someone from a distance.

I’ve enjoyed when I’ve been able to walk her around the block — only twice total. Two factors usually keep me from walking her that far, the first being the Florida heat and my own desire to stay out of it. The second factor is Maddie herself. Not because of her hysterics act but… Well, her hysterics act. I’ll start walking her down the block and I won’t even be able to get her 300 feet from my house before she wants to go back and investigate something she wants to chew. Other times I get her half way to the end of the block and she gets scared off by the sounds of dogs barking (the sad thing is, the dogs barking are a 3rd of her size).

I’ve had more social interaction when I’ve been out with her, which I like… But at the same time I have GOT to get a handle on her social skills and I need to socialize her more — among dogs and humans. Unfortunately no one wants to go to the Dog Park and I’m not entirely interested in walking the 3+ miles with the dog to the nearest park (across 6 lanes of highway and next to a 4 lane highway).

I’ll figure something out, I hope….

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So Maddie is 11 weeks old this week — a little Hazard as I like to call her – and she’s getting her next set of shots tomorrow.

I’m not that much of a dog person (that’s Jenna‘s thing ) but there is some significance to having Madeline get her next set of shots.

I can start walking her out of the neighborhood and taking her to the dog park and such.

Now if only I could keep her from going completely ape-shit happy when she sees people and keep her from wanting to run across the street to greet them and such…

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It’s happened a lot before, I start drawing conclusions on any situation that I’m told about and those conclusions — be they correct or not — could be the synopsis of a story. It’s only occasionally I sit down and decide to hammer out the idea that crosses my mind isntead of letting it pass into oblivion. Tonight was one of those nights.

I’m chatting with Jenna and she informs me about finding two little black kids peering into her van at Sabal Walk. She asks them not to get fingerprints on her windows and they ran off screaming. I think about it a minute and then tell her that the kids could have been made to think bad things about her and the cages (dog cages) that are in the back of her van…

From one brief spark, a fire is born.

In 15 minutes I write an ultra short story — just under 900 words — talking about the kids and what could have led them to react like they had. There were racial issues and social issues and just flat out childhood reactions that all come out. I’m not all happy with the length but I am happy I wasn’t so lazy with putting the story down that I didn’t do it. It was a solid concept and it was supposed to be brief in the telling. to begin with. I would have liked 1000 words and I might try to edit the story up but for the time being I’m happy with what I got.


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How am I gonna' pull this off?

Every time I bring a dog up at home – watching dogs for friends or having another dog in teh household – I get a flat out “no” from family.

Excuses and lack of discussion – and gang-up-on-John BS.

Well, how do I break it to everyone that I bought a dog months ago? Especially when I show up with her next week?

One of Kerrie Kuper's liter -- soon to be mine?

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Double Doggie D'OH!

The Dog is supposed to be six weeks old today. I haven’t seen a picture yet. I haven’t heard much of anything at all. I’m eager to hear and at the same time – I’m hearing nothing.

There was a dog I was told about by Jenna before I met Kerrie Kuper, this dog was in Orlando – another Whippet – and the his family was considering moving into a place where no dogs would be allowed. They loved Rip, but they would have to give him up… Or not. Jenna kept me informed about Rip’s status and as it turned out – Rip wasn’t going anywhere…. Supposedly.

Yesterday I found out that he was given away to someone in St. Petersburg, some time ago. I got to see his picture and I got to get angry because I missed out on my opportunity to already have a dog instead of waiting… Waiting in ignorance…. Waiting anxiously. Waiting…

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So much as for worry

As long as I don’t go on some spending binge — I should be fine with regards to money and my as-of-yet-unnamed/unborn dog….

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Two Hundred Down, 450 to go

As insane as it is – thinking long term and short term with it — I put 200 dollars down on a as-of-yet-unborn Whippet puppy from Kerrie Kuper. Not only is that nuts. but I have to come up with another 450 the next two months before I get the dog….

Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a tight couple of months…

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