May humans and dogs enrich each other forever.
BuzzFeed published a listicle on Monday entitled “24 Reasons Why No One Should Ever Have A Pit Bull As A Pet” (h/t Alice and others).
Lest you start to get angry at yet another misguided attempt to malign an awesome type of dog, it’s a trick! They love pitties!!! The listed reasons are all along the lines of “They might be too cute!” and “They love hugs too much!”
Here’s an example of what, to a lawyer, ought to be a patently ridiculous argument, but that also deserves a certain grudging respect for its sheer audacity. This is from a 2009 unpublished decision by the Texas First District Court of Appeals in Houston, Bradley v. Texas:
Appellant, Marcus Andre Bradley, challenges the order of the county court at law denying him the relief that he requested in his application for a writ of habeas corpus. In his sole issue, appellant contends that the State’s prosecution of him for the offense of cruelty to animals, after a justice court had, in a prior proceeding, terminated his ownership of 45 pit bull dogs and ordered him to pay $9,020 to the Houston Humane Society for the boarding and care of the dogs, is barred under the “doctrine[s] of double jeopardy and collateral estoppel.”
We affirm the order of the trial court.
It’s mostly the double jeopardy argument that intrigues me. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense, but it’s not as simple as it might sound. The government can’t charge you with the same offense if you are acquitted after a trial, or if the case is declared a mistrial after a certain point in the case. That doesn’t apply, though, if one case is criminal and the other isn’t. Continue reading
The main event is Sunday, October 26 at Republic Square Park in downtown Austin.
A pit bull named Cletus walked the stage at Idaho State University’s commencement ceremony last week, in place of his human. Cletus is a service dog, who was there on behalf of Joshua Kelly with Joshua’s father.
Commencement is always a special time, but for one family, Saturday’s Idaho State University graduation ceremony was especially meaningful.
Their son was not there to receive the degree he worked so hard for. Instead, his faithful service dog walked in his place.
More than 2,000 graduates were celebrating their hard work of years, energy and sacrifice. Among all the feet were some paws that stood out.
Cletus, a black pit bull, would have been at graduation anyway this year.
“I’ll be honest,” said Joshua Kelly’s father, Terrell. “I was one of them that was giving (pit bulls) a bad rep until I met Cletus. And he allows our little grandchildren to climb on him, pull his ears, pull his tail. He’s just great.”
But the person Cletus is missing is the one he was trained to help.
“Josh had epilepsy,” his father said. “This was Josh’s last semester. He was taking his final two classes when he ended up in intensive care in February.”
Joshua Kelly passed away Feb. 13.
Terrell said EMS crews in Idaho Falls found Josh on the side of the road or on someone’s lawn numerous times with Cletus standing over him.
He said the pair would get on the bus at 6:30 from Idaho Falls to ISU, which meant a two-mile walk both ways. But it was worth it.
Go get some Kleenex if you need. The video from the local news station isn’t embeddable, but here’s another video showing the event.
I came across an article on a site called Dognotebook.com entitled “15 dangerous dog breeds most likely to turn on their owners,” with no attributed author. You can probably guess who tops the list.
The post is a long litany of bullshit, but that’s not why I mention it. About 19/20 of the comments range from “This is bullshit” to “Here are researched and peer-reviewed facts about dogs that debunk everything you have said in this article.” It’s a good thing to see.
My co-blogger, Coco Puffin, has been very busy lately with all of her charity work. She is now spreading her unique brand of Coco joy around Austin while supporting Love-A-Bull and Best Friends Animal Society’s “Strut Your Mutt” event, coming up here in Austin on Saturday, September 29, 2012. You can support Love-A-Bull by buying a raffle ticket for a Coco Gram, or you can have a Coco Gram sent directly to you or someone of your choosing. (Warning: Coco Grams may involve a significant amount of snuggling.)
Here’s more on the Coco Gram campaign from Miss Puffin herself:
Mom says I need a job so instead of wearing a back-pack that carries pickles around the park, I have decided to pursue my dream job: dressing up and going around Austin to deliver CoCo Grams to you and your loved ones. But, what exactly is a CoCo Gram you may ask? Quite simply, it’s a 100% donation to Love-A-Bull that gives you 100% sweet lovin’ in return. CoCo Gram packages.
CoCo Gram 1 – RAFFLE
– Minimum donation of $10
-You could win a CoCo Gram! Package includes 1 CoCo Gram (details outlined in CoCo Gram 2) plus OFFICIAL Love-A-Bull Gear!
CoCo Gram 2 – BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT!
– Minimum donation of $25-30
– Quality CoCo time – guaranteed to brighten your day (Need a hug/someone soft to pet? Want to stretch your legs and go for a walk? Want to just sit next to me and look into my adoring eyes? Or, maybe you want to take some pictures with one of the cutest adore-a-bulls in town? You got it!)
– A balloon (because they make the world a happier place)
– Paw printed thank you note because, let’s be honest, you are pretty pawsome
– Picture of us sent to you electronically
-> NOTE: I dress to impress
CoCo Gram 3 – RANDOM ACTS OF HAPPY TAIL MAKE THE WORLD WAG
– Minimum donation of $25-30
-Gift it! Same as above to surprise an Austinite of your choice (or, trust me, we can find one for you) with a random act of puppy love!
-> NOTE: I dress to impress
RESTRICTIONS APPLY – My manager has the details. To sign-up for a package above, please email my manager at email@example.com and we’ll send you a form to fill out and next steps. Or, if you would like to donate for donatings sake – PAWESOME! Please just click the red SUPPORT ME button at the top of this page.
ALL proceeds go to Love-A-Bull so they can continue to help educate, advocate, and help good looking boys and pretty girls just like me have a chance to find some kindness & love in this world. Thank you for checking out my Strut Your Mutt profile!
Austin’s most adore-a-bull delivery gram
Photo credit: Coco Puffin in her hula skirt, via Facebook.
We could use a little company around here (the royal “we,” of course), so I have invited a blog contributor to post now and then, whenever it fits her busy schedule of napping, eating bacon, and bringing joy to people everywhere. I am proud to introduce one of the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful young women I know, Coco Puffin.
I had the honor of meeting Coco for the first time more than two years ago, when she was still recovering from some pretty serious injuries and looking for a forever home. The incredibly awesome people at Love-A-Bull (yes, I am quite biased) got her back into full tail-wagging mode and found her a new home and a new mom that helps channel her inner muse. Here’s a bit from Coco’s bio:
Coco (also known as Coco the Magnificent, Puffin, Cocos, Coconut, The Puffster, and Puff-a-luffa-gus) was found as a stray in East Austin, limping in the cold spell during Austin’s 2010 winter. She’d obviously had it rough, and the signs of abuse and neglect were evident. It is very likely that she was used as a breeding dog and had been tossed out or had managed to run away. To make matters worse, there was blunt trauma to the back half of her body and the injuries had “healed” on their own. When she was found by a Good Samaritan, she was dragging both of her hind legs, she was about 30 pounds under weight, flea-covered, extremely weak, and she had recently delivered a litter. She was brought to Love-A-Bull and then went straight to the medical experts at Animal Trustees of Austin where they determined that she would need to get stronger before having surgery to address her physical injuries.
She received hip surgery there and recovered successfully, all the while gaining strength through regular meals, proper flea/tick/heartworm meds, vaccinations, and a warm bed in a loving foster home. After visiting a canine neuro-specialist in Dallas, it was determined that the back limbs would not require amputation, and indeed, her foot could regain some function with therapy. Coco received 5 weeks of physical therapy (underwater treadmill, ball and balancing, and bracing). Coco sustained some semi-permanent nerve damage which causes her to drag her back paw or, sometimes, it flips under on the knuckles, but, today, she is able to place her foot correctly most of the time. She will likely always need a brace (and has a very cool one!) for physical activity, but this condition does not slow her down a bit!
Today, about 3 1/2 years old, she weighs a healthy 55 pounds (after our last vet visit Aug 2012 – make that 59 pounds 😀 Well deserved treats & grandparents that spoil her rotten are doing great things for her curves) and is a happy, loving, gentle, and very respectful girl. She may walk a bit funny, but her spirit is going strong and she hasn’t looked back. She LOVES carrides & roadtrips, enjoys Starbucks whip cream, LOVES cuddle time and getting dressed up, and she really has never met a person or child she hasn’t liked. She has also very quickly become a shining example of what it means to be a FABULOUS ambass-a-bull! Her personality shines with 100% Diva-liciousness and, of course, a true social networker, she has many, many real-life friends in Austin, across the country, and even around the world! Her wonderful, friendly temperament around people and children, with a special affinity towards little dogs, especially Chihuahuas, has left a special place in the hearts of her foster families, and it finally found her adopted and into a permanent home Spring 2012. An ardent lover of being petted and loved, she will offer up her belly for rubs all day until the cows come home!
I tend to blog about whatever issue is bugging me on any given day, or about geeky stuff like Star Wars or Game of Thrones. I am also quite riled up about animal welfare issues, and Coco Puffin is here to offer the voice of someone who has seen the worst, and the best, of both people and dogs. Please welcome Miss Puffin and make her feel at home.