Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dog Beach Blowup and Other Breeds of Chaos

Monday morning Freddie and I arrived at the dog beach just in time to witness a canine brawl that turned into a human one. The two humans involved weren't biting each other's neck, so maybe "brawl" isn't the right word for them, but there was plenty of barking, growling, and snarling going on.

[Most of today's photos, as you'll notice, have little or nothing to do with the text; they're just random shots from the past week.]
It started (the human part, that is) when one dog parent raised a Chuck-it ball thrower as if to whack one of the unruly dogs — which gesture scattered the dogs but triggered a rabid response from another dog parent ("Don't you dare hit my dog!" "I didn't touch your dog! But he would've deserved it!" etc. etc.).

Who says dog people are always mellow?

In my experience, the overwhelming majority of dog-related encounters with other people (notwithstanding the Peevish Petter, the Poop Patroller, and a few other exceptions) have been entirely amicable and have contributed something good to my daily life.

Why, just this afternoon, a woman stopped to say hi to Freddie and give him a big kiss on the lips (which Freddie was more than happy to reciprocate)!

But the unruliness of dogs (yeah, all dogs), combined with the fact that they are, in important ways, an extension of their people (kinda like kids?), means that such encounters have a heightened potential to trigger flare-ups of people's otherwise dormant "issues" — anger being a big one.

Sunday Morning at the Central Library

Lots of people are chronically angry, it seems — but this isn't really a post about anger, and, anyway, even if everyone in the world were really good at anger management, the kind of interdependent social existence we humans lead would still have the potential for flare-ups, what with most of us having to negotiate different values/needs/desires/expectations etc. etc., day in-day out, and just generally to keep a lid on many of our impulses much of the time.

After Hours


We're in the midst of Fireworks Week and Pride Week here in Vancouver ... 

... and, nope, I haven't abandoned my original topic! I was thinking about these events as I lured Freddie away from the kerfuffles at the east end of the dog beach.

Both the Celebration of Light and the Pride Parade are, in addition to their aesthetic/political/other functions, pretty good examples of the kind of carnivalesque chaos that societies seem to need every once in a while to let off steam and shake up the usual order of things. (I suppose Vancouver's humiliating hockey riot of 2011 was a similar sort of thing — or, perhaps, just a potent illustration of why some kind of "organized chaos" is necessary.)

Not only is the Nofo Roots store rainbow-positive, they also allow pets inside. :)


Anyway, given my aversion to crowds, it's been yonks since I've gone anywhere near the hub of activity on a fireworks night or parade day ... but it just so happens that the rooftop deck of our new pad has an excellent view of the sky over English Bay (Fireworks HQ).

Last Saturday night we took Freddie up there for the first of three shows — also his first encounter with pyrotechnics. He didn't bark or seem traumatized, but his doggy brain clearly wasn't sure whether this was a party or an air raid (the similarity is no doubt one of the thrills, at least for those of us who've never had to endure the likes of what's going on in Gaza these days :-( ). 

The closest thing I've seen to a rocket launcher this week
Not to end off on an entirely grim note, here's a recent BBC tidbit with a connection to public displays of emotion: Turkish women get the last laugh (I hope)!

And, lest Freddie feel left out, here's a shot of his hind quarters. (The main subjects of this photo are my shirt, which I picked up at my new favourite consignment store, and my very groovy bag, handcrafted from vintage fabrics by our good friend Karin Birch. The link goes to her Etsy shop.)

The roads in our neighbourhood will be crazy tonight, but if you're around here anyway, c'mon up to our deck and watch episode 2 of the show!

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