Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

¡Upside Down! :)

February 28th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Yesterday was one of those days so close to perfect that I don’t dare quibble over what wasn’t ideal! The sun was shining in a crystal azure sky, the breeze was playfully attentive and kissingly cool, and the hiking trail- which always beckons- received us gleefully as I made the ever-so-scary executive decision to leave the cell phone and computer behind and ground ourselves once again on terra firma. Edward Abbey always inspires me to get out there (the one final paragraph quote), rather than stay in here, and I never regret the choice!

At Turkey Creek 27 Feb 2008sharing a B4P treat at Turkey Creeklisa and Clementine and Turkey Creek

Today is a little bit warmer, but the humidity is still humanely low, the sky is still blissfully un-smog filled, plus the birds are singing, and the wind chimes are pinging throughout the neighborhood. NO time for the trail, but I have stopped more than once for tummy rubs, and snuggles, and rolling in the brittle winter grass in the backyard with Bounce and Clementine.

On such days as these, I am characteristically giddy~ the self-proclaimed evangelist of Bark for Peace! …something like the prophetic optimist I wish I truly were. And I keep playing this happy little song inside my head and on the stereo. I think it’s the attitude we have to have to keep at it trying to do the right thing, trying to make small moves against destructiveness, trying to make and develop connections that will serve to inspire, partner, and correct us as we journey on our way through these dangerous times still freckled, if not filled, with delight! woof!woof!

“Cupcake” goes home

February 23rd, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

For the last few days we’ve had the sweetest little house guest ever! At first we called her Mirlie Girlie, then “Cupcake,” and in the period of just 6 short days she captured our hearts. Her real name, we now know, is Baby Girl. Through some sort of a mix-up she got out last Saturday during the rain storms and ran up to our neighbor, who was across town shopping in clothing store, tail waggin’ and eyes-a-smilin’ with a grin as big as Texas. We were all sure she’d had a good home- since her lovely manners and easy going nature put our two issue-laden rescues to shame! So, we agreed to short-term foster her until we could find her family.Deborah did the hard work of getting the word out in the newspaper, Craigslist, and at the pound. We got the long end of the stick and got to have three dog nights again for awhile! I’ve done the short term foster gig a few times, but 6 days is a long time for me- to keep from falling in love that is. When I spoke to Baby Girl’s person on the phone Friday, I was choking back tears of joy and sadness. We adored her snuggles, puppy playfulness, and Clementine had just about decided that Baby Girl was her personal play toy! They practiced dueling belly flops in the cool, clear waters of Barton Creek , “wrastled” (that great Texas term) til they were breathless, and took turns determinedly tearing apart several fair-trade boiled wool toys! When she was most enamored, Clementine took to carrying Baby Girl around by her collar, as if to show her around and show her off!No lecture or harsh words necessary~ just a reminder that it took 6 days for the reunion to occur because Baby Girl had a new collar on, but no ID tags. This “lost dog” situation turned out fine for everyone, but caused a lot of avoidable worry and stress. There are tags and chips in all price ranges; please take a few moments to make an informed choice that’s best for you and your dog so that in case of separation for any reason, you’ll have every chance possible for a happy reunion! woof!woof!Cupcaketandem toy tearBaby Girl aka “Cupcake” ~ Tandem Toy-tearing w/ Clementine~ of course we sent them home with a care package of Bark for Peace! goodies!

Happy 50th Peace Sign!

February 21st, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Born in the UK as a symbol against nuclear (NOT “nuculer” as the one who fancies himself King pronounces it) proliferation, the peace sign was unveiled on February 21, 1958. Interestingly enough, it was never copyrighted, intentionally, in hopes that the symbol might be used by many and that peace might prevail on earth. May it be so.

Happy Birthday Peace Sign! woof!woof!

Here’s our version… B4P bumpersticker

Barkin’ for Peace in Downtown Austin

February 15th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

We loved joining a great group of peace loving, truth telling, war protesting, barkin’ & howlin’  folks tonight in the drizzling rain of Downtown Austin to protest the actions of Senator John Cornyn,  or “Corn dog” as GWB calls him. We were honored to share our Bark for Peace! treats with all the dogs present (and their people!) plus we made some new friends! To learn about the Movement for a Democratic Society (and see a group photo!) click here.

Howlin’ against the Corn Dog w/ Clementine Clementine and me, just barkin’ for peace, baby!

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

February 12th, 2008 . by blogadmin

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Last night Dave and I saw what we both agreed was an extraordinary movie- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Neither of us were particularly anticipating this film, but we try and see as many of the Oscar nominated films we can before the Academy Awards ceremony. Since I can’t stomach the visual and audible violence of action/adventure films, and there was only one of the other foreign, short, or documentary films playing in local theatres, we non enthusiastically agreed upon DB&B.(click here to go to the film’s website) More than anything, I was stuck in my head, neurotically obsessing over how much work I was not going to get done if I left the computer and went out to the movie. (as with most of my colleagues, this is par for the course.)

The film is based on the memoirs of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the late editor-in-chief of Elle magazine France, who suffered a catastrophic stroke at 43 years old and was completely paralyzed except for his left eye. Damage to his brain stem caused a coma and resulted in Locked-in-Syndrome. Eye movements and blinking a code representing letters of the alphabet became his sole means of communication, and this is how he dictated this “warm, sad, and extraordinary memoir.” Surprisingly, there was much humor in the film; not surprisingly it was visual feast with a perfectly partnered score.

The provocative “art house style” French film is beautifully shot, primarily from Jean-Do’s point of view which means we have a limited visual perspective as well. I found myself turning my head and leaning trying to see what I kept trying to insist was just outside my peripheral vision. Director Julian Schnabel doesn’t over romanticize, glorify or pity the man Bauby- instead I think he does, as he said he’d hoped to, end up offering a film that presents death as a natural and non-frightening end of life experience. Of course, somewhere during the first 10 minutes of the film, I quit my self absorbed obsessing over work and cast off my petty frustrations.

We were riveted from beginning to end. See it in a theatre if you can, but see it.

For someone who spent almost a decade working in the film industry, I don’t get out to see films much anymore. (that start-up thing, I’m always working! ugh) The only other Oscar nominated films I’ve seen this year are: Juno(very funny!) and Into the Wild (breath-taking, haunting and also a true story- Roger Ebert called it “spellbinding”) I watched Into the Wild with Bounce and Clementine in a dog friendly La Quinta in Lubbock last week. Even though I was knitting the whole way through, and the rhythmic motion always soothes me, I was exhausted at the end- yet I so wanted more.  Also highly recommended.

Into the Wild

Enchanted Rock

February 9th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Well, after less than a week of confinement, I was feeling like I imagine most caged animals feel- STIR CRAZY!!! We put Bounce and Clementine in their Roadies (seat belts for dogs so we’re all safe in the car!), filled our water bottles, I grabbed my knitting, and we headed west toward Fredericksburg and one of my favorite Texas hikes~ Enchanted Rock! This enormous granite dome is only 2 short hours away. (I am smirking, but it is worth the drive) Since we lollygagged all morning, we just missed last call for tasting at Becker Vineyards. Guess we’ll just have to plan another trip!

ER photo 1/3 way upme, Bounce & Clementine- photo taken by Dave, about 1/3 of the way up

lkand Clem on ER by Cameron

me and knucklehead- photo taken by Cameron G, 9 yrs. old, Fredericksburg, TX

all4 at top of ER

on top of the rock! (photo taken by Angela of Centerville, TX)

Was it really only a week ago??

February 8th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Hard to believe, since it seems like forever, that a week ago we were in 2 foot deep snow!!! Some images, I’ve just now been able to recover, from Clementine’s last romp- and it was magnificent! Who needs a fancy agility course when you’ve got irrigation culverts in the wild, wild west??!!??

Tunnel IN! (the ass shot)

Tunnel IN! (the ass shot)

Tunnel OUT!

Tunnel OUT! (bummer, I couldn’t get through- it was snow clogged)

Clementine on Snow BankClementine looking over bermClementine Snowy headSnow Dusted Clementine

snow shake!Clementine Snow Shake

Clementine over Cattle Guard

Leaping For Joy Over a Cattle Guard!!!!

Back in the high (pollen) life again

February 7th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

It’s been in the high 70’s and 80’s all week, save one day- usually muggy with loads of Mountain Juniper (aka “Cedar”) pollen in the air. You KNOW it’s bad when your fantasy is having an auger drill thru your skull to relieve the pressure! And yes, I am using the Neti pot- and going to get “Happypuncture” on Monday!

Juniperus asheithe culprit

(photo courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)

From a local medical doctor’s website: In the Winter, Mountain Cedar pollen season extends from December to February, and is unique to Central Texas. Cedar pollen counts in Central Texas are the highest pollen counts of any plant anywhere in the world. Cedar allergy, referred to as “cedar fever,” can be intense and debilitating. On days of very high pollen counts many cedar allergic people can’t go outdoors without experiencing severe symptoms. Some people must miss work or school, and can’t get good control of their symptoms despite taking lots of medication.

Saying So Long to the Ranch, for now

February 4th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

It was a bittersweet day, of course, when we drove off the ranch on Friday to head back to balmy Austin, Texas. (btw, we used to have winters here!)

My camera is now completely non-functional (ugh), not just sporting the world’s spottiest lens! Thankfully I have a back-up. Still, hate to see all these smudges, but figure the goodbye impressions are worth it! Shalom!

Bald Eagle in Tree

This is the first time I’d seen a bald eagle on the ranch (and there was a pair, which is typical) since before my brother died. That winter of 2003 I found cold comfort in the stark outline of 2 bare trees on another part of the ranch, and the solitary bald eagle perched there nearly every morning. Today I interpreted them as a sign of a different sort- a proper goodbye. I felt honored and grateful. - my apologies for the smudge spots

Bald Eagle in Flight

The ducks were there to wish us safe travels, and just a few of the flock of Canada Geese.

Canada Geese

Of course we bade farewell to the horses, goats, and yaks. The cows had gone home (across the county road) the day before- calving time and three of the early ones had already been lost to the overnight bitter cold.

me, Bounce and Clementine at FORD’s graveFinally, we said goodbye again to FORD. She is resting, safe, holding time and space for us ’til we return to her and the ranch- even as she is romping on the heavenly hiking trails, once again young, wild, and free!