Saturday, March 26, 2016

Dog Hero's!

There is a small town in Washington next to a big river. It is a tourist town, and there are docks behind the little shops and restaurants that jut out toward the water. On one of the docks, I found a statue commemorating 'Dirty Biter,' a dog proclaimed as a beloved hero. Everyone should appreciate the dogs in the world enough to label them hero's and create statues for them.

I took lots of pictures of the sculpture. Being an animal lover and having a lot of friends who are dogs, I found it utterly charming. Later, I walked further down the wharf and watched the birds fly around the blue sky. I was next to a restaurant and could hear all the clatter of dishes through a screen door. A woman came out of the door for a smoke break. In between puffs of cigarette smoke, I heard her jovially complain to someone else about all the tourists taking pictures of 'Dirty Biter.' I blushed. Although my ears were facing her way, luckily my face pointed a different direction toward the water. She would not be able to see my rosy cheeks which would easily incriminate me of the very act she just complained of. Well, I guess sometimes I can't help being a predictable pesky tourist!






Dirty Biter inspired me to do an internet investigation about other dog hero's! Here are three I learned about.

  • Blue, a friendly faced Heeler whose love and loyalty to his elderly person, Ruth Gay outweighed his own self preservation instincts. 85 year old Ruth was out walking Blue. She was probably distracted by the beauty of a sunny day or by the smell of spring flowers, reminding her of her happy memories. Whatever the case, she tripped and fell. A nearby alligator, most likely with a huge and toothy alligator grin on it's reptilian face, ceased the opportunity of the old woman's fragility. The alligator waddled toward the old woman, dragging it's massive tail behind him. The alligator must have been at least mentally licking his chops as he thought of his future meal of human being! But Blue would not let his person be harmed! He jumped into action, battling the alligator and feigning off an attack that surely would have been lethal to his person. Instead, the alligator expecting an easy lunch decided he did not want to mess with the ferocity of a loyal dog, and Ruth was saved to spend more happy years with her dog pal and savior, Blue!
  • Ashepoo, an Australian Shepard from South Carolina was always a loved family member, but after her heroic acts, she was also an indispensable family protector. One day, one of the children in her family decided to wander in the woods. The curious little boy probably thought that he would run across some sort of magical forest creature like talking squirrels or an elven sprite. Instead he got lost in a dark world of identical towering trees and unseen dangers like hungry wild animals. Luckily, the little boy had his best bud Ashepoo by his side. The wise dog stayed by the little boy's side and eventually helped lead him back to the safety of his home. 
  • Hero dogs don't just save their human friends, they also save each other. Tillie and Phoebe, two dog pals, took a door left a jar as an invitation for adventure. The two doggy friends trotted out toward the woods and began exploring! Poor Phoebe took a clumsy misstep and fell into a ditch too deep to climb out of. Instead of leaving her friend alone in the pit, Tillie stood by her side just outside the pit. The only time she left Phoebe was when she went to search for help. Eventually, help came and the two dogs were rescued! This story of a dog hero is my favorite. I think it is so sweet that the Tillie stood by Phoebes side. Dog friendships are beautiful. I work at an animal rescue and often see the different ways dogs form friendships with each other. One of my favorite things is watching a dog friendship emerge.

Sources

"25 Heroic Dogs and How They Saved People." 25 Heroic Dogs and How They Saved People. Microsoft Edge, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2016. <http://www.dogguide.net/25-hero-dogs.php>
Staff, CNN. "5 Tales of Amazing Dog Heroics." CNN. Cable News Network, 9 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/09/us/dog-heroes/>
Hanson, Hillary. "Devoted Dog Stands Guard Over Trapped Pup For Week Until Rescue." Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 326 Mar. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/phoebe-tillie-lost-dogs-guard_us_55fc0de2e4b08820d91837ec

Friday, March 25, 2016

Brontosaurus

I had an amazing dream the other day. I was wandering through a park when I came upon a baby brontosaurus. The brontosaurus was in a grassy clearing. He was frolicking and bouncing around the way puppies do. There were bubbles floating in the air that the brontosaurus was chasing around with merry delight. In my dream, I took a bunch of pictures of the brontosaurs. I wish I could share the photo's on this blog.

Of course, in reality I have no pictures of dinosaurs in a park to share, but I do have pictures of this really amazing park in San Francisco. I was visiting the beautiful city of San Francisco a several months ago and took photo's during an excursion to the park. This park is called 'The Palace of Fine Arts' and was created in 1915 for the Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Like I said, while at The Palace of Fine Arts I did not see a brontosaurus, but I did see another delightful creature with a long neck: A beautiful swan! I didn't get any pictures because it was not near to me, but I still appreciated admiring the swan's beauty from afar.















Saturday, March 19, 2016

Wanderings at the Locks

 I visited the Ballard locks recently where I watched the sea birds and all the water swishing and swirling around. I like the locks. The saltwater saturated air is refreshing! The sounds of gulls and rushing water is a perfect afternoon soundtrack. The beautiful water tumbling around is hypnotizing.

 The Ballard Locks opened in 1917 as a way to let boats pass from the freshwater lake to the saltwater sound without the differing waters mingling. (A) It does not surprise me that the locks were created in 1917. There is something delightfully old fashioned about the locks as a whole from the architecture of the visitor center and other buildings to the botanical garden that surrounds the locks.


I saw this cormorant cruising through the water. He dove under the water and disappeared for a short while. He was looking for fish, or to escape my prying gaze. Cormorants are neat birds. Some of them can dive up to 300 feet! (B)





 I also spotted this great blue heron. He was staring off toward the direction of the coast, contemplating life. Great blue herons look dainty and delicate when they are perched on a rock by the shore. But when they are flying, they have a six foot wingspan and look mighty. (C)


 I guess it is not boat season yet. I didn't see any boats patiently awaiting the rising of the water and the opening of the gate. I have come here during the summer where it is boat after boat waiting to be let through. The boats all want to at least temporarily leave the safety and staleness of the murky lake for the excitement and adventure of salt water.


There is a lot to see at the locks, even if you are just looking down. There are rocks and shelled creatures and moss and foamy water. 


Once when I went to the locks I saw several blubbery seals waiting by the fish ladder for an easy meal. Now, every time I go to the locks, I hope to see a seal, but with no luck. So far, spotting seals at the locks was reserved for that one special day. I adore seals! With their big kind eyes and their portly physiques, they have a look of being wise and silly at the same time.  

Sources:
       A. "Ballard Locks." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Mar. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballard_Locks
       B. Kraft, Carolyn. "Ocean Wild Things." Ocean Wild Things. Ocean Wild Things, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2016. <http://oceanwildthings.com/2012/10/5-cool-cormorant-facts/>
       C. "Great Blue Heron." Facts. Washington Nature Mapping Program, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2016. <http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/great_blue_heron_712.html>