It’s a Dogs Life

DSC_0063People pay thousands of dollars to visit Hawaii. Imagine their shock when approaching this Park  under the famous landmark, Diamond Head and being confronted by smatterings of tents with dirty feet protruding from the entrance of a one person domicile. Piles of black bags and bottles lean against the structures. This is the heart of Waikiki and of course these people, many who were in fact paid by their states to relocate here, are quite happy to have landed in, what is for them, paradise. The parks in this area have been cleaned up but still there are many who have moved on to the more local areas of the island. Even out to the outskirts to the bedroom communities.
Here in Hawaii we are having a tremendous problem with homeless. Many homeless come from the mainland as it is much easier to sleep in the warm weather on the beach then on a street in the freezing temperatures where they lived. I found this article I had written a while back that reminded me of the sad state of affairs society is facing and still, I don’t know the answer….
I was reading an article in the “Morning Honolulu Advertiser”
http;//the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/200i/mar/23/in/hawaii803230347.html
concerning stray dogs. It seems that the authorities have taken to rounding up all the pets that the homeless have been keeping while living on the beach. The photo in the paper showed a man and wife in their 70s at least. the photo was sad indeed.

I mentioned this to my daughter as I thought how low the officials were stooping . It wasn’t enough that these people did not have a place to live but now they were taking away a loved pet and much-needed protection. It was not so long ago when were reading about how people risked their lives to stay with their pets rather than evacuate and leave them behind as the New Orleans flood waters were rising.

Could Max have been one of the dogs that had been rounded up? Of course the Humane Society would say he was a stray. They would never say the dog was taken from his homeless masters as they were out helping friends, leaving them to feel that a member of their family had been kidnapped, as the homeless couple had stated.

Max was undernourished to be sure as his little skinny body showed. His fur was in dreadlocks. There were sores under his matted fur and he looked dull with his tail between his legs. But he immediately took to the family. He loved my little grandson right off the bat and he was so friendly. Not like most dogs who have been on their own so long. So I wondered.

My practical daughter pointed out that yes it was a very sad situation and it was upsetting but if I were to look at the bigger picture I would have to admit that if Max were one of the dogs, he was off to a very bad start and surely would not live that long in such a horrible condition. Now he is groomed, has picked up weight and has taken over my bed. Yes he is in a much better place.

But what about those homeless kupuna (http://www.calvin.edu/weblogs?/idisw20/january 14th/) ? The displaced and yes, even the derelicts who have no one to take them in or make sure that they received the proper medical care and nutrition?

Where have we as a society gone wrong that we sweep the beaches to take the dogs from the homeless to make sure that the dogs are taken care of and yet leave the humans to their own salvation? Yes there were other reasons that the animals needed to be removed but the bottom line seems that the animals are far better off. I don’t have a solution. I will have to think of a small way that I can do something but I can only say that somehow at this time and place in society, the human race seems to be going to the dogs.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

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Zoebird My Brittany Spaniel
A post from the past until I Post in the present.
The heading in my email from the dog treat site I subscribed to read “Baggens at Peace.” My heart sank. Before I even opened it visions for my Zoe started to emerge. I opened the mail and started to read. When I read where the writers dog had lain at her door, I saw Zoe. Her dog was dying and I knew every pain and emotion that she was going through and started to cry. 


Nico got worried, so quickly I dried my tears and got myself in order. Just then Max looked up at me and I felt the invisible tap on my shoulder. The whisper in my ear from nobody but yet I knew it was someone reminding me. “Max is only four but you can’t take him for granted.” 


I got off my chair and hugged him and ran my hands through his stiff, dusty fur. It had been a month since his last bath and worse yet two weeks since I’ve been able to walk him due to tendonitis in my foot. With his stinky paw  on my knee I told him, though it was late in the evening, he was getting a bath so that he could feel good again. 


That night he slept on my bed next to me. He smelled so good and felt even better. I was bound and determined to appreciate him even more. 


Tonight as I sat at my computer, frustrated, trying to figure out a program, Max put his paw on me. It was 8 PM and no one had walked him yet and since my daughter had hurt her knee and my son in law was complaining about his foot, I knew if Max was walked it was just going to be half a block. 


I tied on my shoes, loaded my phone into my pocket and grabbed my keys. Max knew the signs and was leaping like a lamb by the time I got to the door. I figured if I walked slow enough and let him sniff as much as he wanted it would suffice for not being able to walk at any length. 


We walked the half block to the park and he pulled me into it. I’ll let him take the lead, I thought, maybe he’ll do his business and head home. 


He walked, sniffed and peed from one end to the other. We made a full circle and then as we got back to the sidewalk, Max looked back at me. The wind blew and caught his fur just right. The fur covering his one eye lifted,and with that one eye, the look he gave me was as though he was saying, “can we go further?


 How could I not. 


Now were home. He’s laying at my feet, I’m eating a bowl of cereal watching “You’ve Got Mail” for the umpteenth time. Comfort food, a feel good movie and my companion next to me.


 For this moment everything is all right in my world. 



The War of The Roses

Though full of thorns I love this rose. But it was dying  out in the front of the house with the hot sun drying up its flowers before it could finish its bloom. It is called “Aloha” and is a mighty hard plant to find aside from this one I found at the local hardware store.

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The Aloha Rose

So I cut some stems from it and dipped them in “Rooting” and prayed. One stem actually took. So I had the plant itself and the one stem and put them in pots in the back yard. In time the plant picked up but the new stem died.

Last week I trimmed the rose back and thought I would try with another 2 stems. I once again dipped them in Rooting and stuck them back into the same pot. Oh what the heck I thought I’ll take a gamble. Within a couple of days leaves started popping!

Spectacular! I just might get another plant. Every morning I watered it and admired the little stems and the tiny leaves. This morning as I watered it, more leaves were popping from the one and the other was just starting to get a leaf. I was so happy.

I started my “Poop Patrol” with Caddie behind me. After cleaning up the messes in the yard from the dogs, I went back to take one last look at the roses. Only now their were no stems? What the heck? Caddie had disappeared.

I looked all around. One lonely stem laid on the dirt inside the pot. I looked desperately for the stem with all the leaves. Then Caddie appeared again. WHERE IS MY STEM I yelled at her. WHERE IS MY STEM?

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Caddie giving me her sadist look

It’s not even 7AM and I’m going nuts. My daughter is telling me to calm down “the main rose is still alive” she said as though she was the voice of god. This only made me madder and I yelled “Can’t I even get upset?”

Caddie has eaten every single new sprout she can get her teeth into in my garden. I go out and water and there are bite marks on all the leaves in my yard. I knew it was her. But the Rose? I never thought she would touch it. Thorns!

She knew I was furious and she kept trying to come up to me to forgive her. But I couldn’t. I banished her to the house and I kept on looking. I went to the side of the house that I had fenced off from the dogs. And what did I see? No, not the stem but the make shift fence that all the dogs were afraid of was now plowed down. I KNEW who had done it. The smallest dog of all. Kylie. The one who jumped on the kitchen table, the one who jumped on the island and threw food down to the other dogs. She was nowhere to be seen. She was on the couch with her feet up in the air oblivious of me ranting and raving.

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Kylie the Fearless. Ka Mea on the right was in the bed first but Kylie just pushed him aside and made herself comfortable. She is the smallest of the dogs but she pushes all the fences down, and goes where none of the other dogs will go. She would be a good candidate to send to outer space.

I fixed the fence and went back to hunting for the stem. But alas I had to give up. Caddie sat next to me with her big eyes begging to be forgiven and all I could do is look down at the pot and then down at my feet. I was standing on the stem and the little tiny shiny leaves were broke off next to it. I was heartbroken. But I picked up the stem in the pot and the one under my foot, once again, got the Rooting, stuck the stems in the powder and back into the pot. This is war! I put up a fence around the pot, watered the plant, chased Max away from the plant as he tried to reach the leaves and headed back into the house to take Nico to school.

A rose by any other name will never be called Caddie!

My Day Has Gone to the Dogs

animals - 061Ka Mea on the left and Max on the right. Plotting against me.

 

I’m thinking what a great day. Got Nico to school just as the cars started to line up
behind me. I headed home thinking about washing Caddie’s car cover so that I can take her to Green World Farms to go knitting. As I put the cover in the wash machine I’m feeling ahead of the game and thinking about what to do next.

I press the garage door button to close it and open the door to the house and Ka Mea pushes through the indoor gate to keep him in and darts out of the house between my legs and Max darts after him both just making it under the garage door just as it comes down.They run up the block and disappear. My leg starts to swell. Do I let them take their chances with the cars and being picked up by the pounds.

I want to let them go. My leg hurts and I don’t feel like chasing them. But I limp to the car get out all of the large towels to cover the seats as it is rainy and muddy out. I spread the towels out, hop in my seat and drive up the block.

Ka Mea sees me in the car and stops mid pee on someone’s lawn and runs to the car as I open the door. He leaps in. Now for Max. I drive up and down and catch site of him in the rear view mirror as a neighbor is telling him to go home. I return to the house. drag both derelicts into the garage and close it.
As I get into the house there is one of Nico’s large picture books on the floor all ripped up (and I only left them home alone for 15 minutes). Now I know why Ka Mea is so anxious to run away. Well it has to be thrown out. I limp to the rubbish can, dump it, and head back in needing to sit down.

As I look down to straighten out the throw rug at the door I notice that one of the dogs has barfed on it. I’ve had it and it isn’t even 8:00 AM. I think I will just go to bed and stay there. I don’t think it is in the stars for me to even exist today.

Oh I forgot to mention. Why am I limping? I had my knee replace on March 4. That is a whole nother story. Suffice it to say I will cut my other leg off before I go through that again.

Karen and Cadi’s Excellent Adventure At Wailua Beach

Photo on 2013-01-12 at 13.20 #3

With four dogs I find it very hard to manage a walk for any of them. It’s a matter of them all crying and pawing to go all at once. Of course I’m not able to do this as I would be dragged down the street so fast that I’d be blood and bones by the time I got to the end of the block. I’ve been asking the family for help as these dogs need that exercise but so far no takers for now.

Cadi has become the biggest beggar and every time she thinks I’m going to walk out that door she runs to it and begins to shiver all over. The above photo pretty much shows how she looks when she pleads with me. Today since my daughter was home I decided to take Cadi for a ride with me to Waialua where I get the diatomaceous earth to help control fleas and ticks on my little pack.

After picking up the powder and cow hooves for them to chew on I stopped off at my favorite “Waialua Fresh” Vegetable (You can find them on facebook) store to pick up some Hawaiian honey. I walked to the car where Cadi sat ramrod straight waiting patiently. She deserved an adventure. So off we drove to look for a beach that didn’t have a sign that said “no dogs allowed.”

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Yup. Here was a  sign with no restrictions. So out of the car jumped Cadi for her first outing to the beach. Even though this island is surrounded by ocean it is very hard to find a beach that is not jammed full of tourist that you can park your car close to or one that allows dogs. If there are beaches that are empty they are more then likely to be surrounded by expensive homes that cut off access to the nicer beaches. So when I saw this sign I immediately  pulled up to the one of three parking spaces.

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With the sun shining brightly and the access so inviting we started our walk towards the ocean. But as we walked I was drawn to a small body of water to my right.

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This looks like it might have been a stream that had come down from the mountain and towards the ocean. But if you look closely (click on photo for a closer view) You will see large pieces of rubbish  and unhealthy looking water. I always feel sad when I see how people carelessly destroy such beautiful surroundings.

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At last we come to the beach. A few men and their kids were casting their poles out into the surf.  The beach is full of drift wood that might have come in with the tide. I wasn’t sure I wanted to walk this way so I looked to my right.

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To my right was a long stretch of sand uninterrupted by any mounds of drift wood. Just as I started to walk this way I heard excited yelling from the kids on the left side of the beach.

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One of the young boys had pulled this dead blow fish out of the water. Again if you zoom in you can see the hole on its side. To me that did not look right and I wondered how it died. I was hoping, not from some kind of disease.  I went to get closer to take another photo.

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As I stepped toward the fish the boy picked up his find with his fat stick and flung it back into the sea. Was he thinking the fish would swim away? I felt bad about the fish. It reminded me of the blow fish that used to swim in the indoor saltwater pool at a restaurant where I worked. Everyone got a laugh from him as every once in a while he would climb up on a small rock and bark. That is also why they are called dog-fish. This poor little guy won’t bark anymore. And for sure you don’t want to eat this fish even if he was still alive they are highly poisonous. In Japan they are quite a delicacy and Chiefs take years to learn how to prepare them.

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So we turned to the right again and headed down the large stretch of beach where Cadi sniffed along luxuriously taking in all the smells. I was looking at the homes that lined the beach and thought why do they allow special people to build homes along the ocean and deny the majority of the pleasure of an open beach?

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Obviously one of the homeowners has set himself up in quite a wonderful spot to watch the moon go down or the sun set. And if he needs some rest after counting all his money he has his hammock set up under his little grass hut.

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But still. I had access to this beach and Cadi was so happy to be out with me that I decided to look closer at the plants along the way. Here are photos of the flowers that actually grow along this coast. As I looked at them I thought they were quite pretty.

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Here you can see a close up of the drift wood that is piled along the beach sand. I tried but could not think of what I could make from these pieces but they certainly were attractive.

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And as I knelt  down to take an even closer photo of these flowers Cadi stepped right in front of my camera taking a quick lick of my lens (OH No!) and totally blocking my shot. I pushed her and I pulled her but she refused to move until I got up and started to walk away. She had had enough of dead fish, driftwood and plants.

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So I turned around and headed back up the beach and to the access road where Cadi with sand on her lips happily walked to the car. We got in, headed down the road and up the winding path, past  Schofield Barracks and down the long stretch lined by farms.

Once at home Cadi stood in the middle of the living room so that the other three dogs could sniff her, taking a vicarious trip  via her fur and paws. Then they all ran to the door crying. OK now it’s their turn.

Get Puppy Mills Out of Hawaii

This is my pack. The dog who is giving you the saddest look is Max. No he does not look like that because he does not have a bed, (he  won’t sleep in one) he looks like that because I won’t let him sit by me while I take this photo.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my animals. So to my Hawaii friends I am asking that you read this enclosed article From the Humane Society about puppy mills and contact your legislature. http://nhes.wordpress.com/category/action-letters/

Thank you.