Monday, October 27, 2008

Pit Bull Awareness Day 2008

I recently joined a new meetup group, Love-a-Bull (, and one of the first things I got to do with them was a Pit Bull Awareness Day event.

Alas, I did not take any pictures (forgot the camera), but I believe there are photos—or will be—on the meetup group site.

It was incredibly hot and our table was in the sun for the full three hours of the event—no shade, no clouds, and barely a whisper of a breeze. But it was very nice to be with a group of people who love pit bulls and support rescue and advocacy; it was also a nice change to have a public, local presence after so many years of impersonal Internet communications.

Even better, I managed to convince my husband to come help out. Despite his anxiety in public, he stuck it out and ended up being very helpful behind the scenes; he also took pride in being the donations box bodyguard.

I think this was the first time Byrd has really volunteered at an event like this, and he was somewhat taken aback by the loose structure and lack of strong, commanding leadership. He's used to being the boss, barking orders, and performing a set task in an organized manner. Of course, it usually doesn't work like that when you're dealing with a group of volunteers, and this particular event was laid back, social, casual, and inviting. Poor Byrd started to pester me for something to do after a while, and I had to reassure him that his mere presence was sufficient!

A lot of people don't realize that just showing up and being seen has a rhetorical meaning of its own. Physical presence means support, and the more visual support a group has, the more important and interesting it becomes. When we had a crowd of people at our table, it attracted even more people. Sometimes the easiest way to help a group and show support is just to be there!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hell froze over

Byrd and I rarely agree on anything, and we have never seen eye to eye in terms of political parties. Usually our votes cancel each other out (which is fine with me, because honestly, our state always falls predictably and overwhelmingly into one political party, and my vote wasn't going to tip the scales).

So I was completely blown away when Byrd and I left the early voting place and Byrd admitted that he voted for the same guy I did, against what I would expect, considering his typical political leanings. This has NEVER happened in our ten years of being together.

Naturally, I was filled with joy, not because Byrd had "seen the light" or anything like that (in this election it's really hard to figure out where that light is, anyway), but because we actually agreed on something for once. But I knew I couldn't express that happiness because Byrd would misinterpret it.

In the end, I just patted Byrd on the arm and told him I was glad that we voted early and got it out of the way.

Please go vote. And may I suggest early voting if possible? Because I guarantee Election Day is going to be a nightmare. (P.S. If you are voting for state reps this year, please don't forget to find out your candidates' stances on BSL.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Non-discriminatory blessings

A while back, I read an article about a church that was doing a blessing for the animals—sans pit bulls, which were prohibited due to the church's insurance carrier's regulations.

This irked me because, simply put, such an excuse is basically a cop-out—a "safe" way to get away with discrimination against "undesirables."

But there's non-discriminatory insurance out there—I've found it—and it's not necessarily more expensive. You just have to make some phone calls.

Most places would have stuck with the lame excuse, but this church's decision really surprised me. They did the right thing, albeit a little late for the blessing. The next news article:
Weymouth church invites dogs to worship
By Stephanie Choate
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Oct 06, 2008 @ 05:49 AM

Kathleen Dolaher of Quincy takes her dogs everywhereshe goes, but Sunday she took them somewhere they had never been: church.

The Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth launched its weekly “Woof ’n’ Worship” services Sunday evening.

“I love it. My life revolves around making my dogs happy,” said Dolaher, sitting in a pew with her Labradoodle Rory and miniature Labradoodle Allie. “It makes me happy and it makes them better socialized and better dogs.”

The Rev. Rachel Bickford said the response has been wonderful, and people were excited to be able to take their dogs to church.

“People are really struggling in everyday life, and the animals that we have are something that give us joy every day,” the Rev. Bickford said.

The Rev. Bickford said she came up with the idea for the Woof ’n’ Worship while reading her Bible at home.

“One of (the Psalms) talks about letting all living things praise the Lord. My dogs were at my feet, and I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get together.”

All dogs were welcome, as long as they were leashed, even pit bulls. At first, the church’s insurance policy wouldn’t allow the reputedly aggressive breed, but the church was able to pay a little extra to allow them.

The Rev. Bickford said she wasn’t worried about unruly dogs or excessive chaos, and was glad the church was able to include all breeds.

“One thing I know about dog lovers is we’re all good people, and we know our dogs, so I trust them,” she said.

Sara Diem of Weymouth went to the service so her Bernese mountain dog, Chloe, could be blessed.

“I was excited to bring her here. She’s having a couple little health issues these days, so I just thought she could use the extra help,” she said.

Stephanie Choate may be reached at

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Spoiled by freelancing

Okay, I admit it--freelancing has ruined the way I think about work.

I have a temporary "real job." I'm filling in for one of my old bosses while she's away on vacation. Not even for a full day, but only about 6 hours per day, and not even doing anything except checking email and bidding on the occasional job... yet I'm feeling increasingly antsy and impatient to get back home.

Back to laundry, dishes, vacuuming and dusting. Back to teaching the dog random new tricks. Back to writing, blogging, my websites, my volunteer work. Back to looking at properties with my mom, cooking for my husband, finding random yet amusing Internet sites, running boring errands, shopping for time-saving gadgets that I'll only use once, and plotting new and interesting ways to harass my husband.

I have so much to do, and work just gets in the way!