Friday Five

It’s time for the Friday Five.

1. Do you wear shoes? Then consider, if you will, getting your next pair from Tom’s Shoes. For every pair purchased, Tom’s donates a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One to one, as they say. Just last week the company made a donation to kids in Argentina. Many of Tom’s styles are vegan as well. You might recognize the owner Blake Mycoskie from Amazing Race.

2.  In the spirit of “ignorance is bliss,” I try to stay away from the housing report du jour: the market is rebounding, then it’s down, then it’s coming back slightly but only in XXX cities, then it’s all gone to hell in a handbasket again. It gives me heart palpitations. But this week, my neighbors put their apartment up for sale. A variety of people were trooping through the lobby and up to the roof deck during the open house. Of course I immediately went online to find out the list price. Theirs is a two-bedroom on the 4th floor, so it’s not a real comparable for my place, but as a fellow owner I do hope it sells well. The apartment is on the market for (those of you who live outside the tri-state area, please sit down) $749,000.

3. Yesterday morning I found a vizsla puppy tied to a park bench. I heard him whining and whimpering, tail tucked between his legs and shaking like a leaf. No collar or ID tag. Someone had left a bag of food for him, but he was so nervous he was peeing everywhere. He had been there at least an hour according to the groundskeeper of the school across the street. My guess is he’d been there since before dawn so the person could leave him under cover of darkness. The plan was to take him to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue, but I had to drop my dog off at home and do a quick internet search for the location. (My dog – not happy about the unfolding circumstances. My neighbors – also not happy about the whining and barking.) As I was walking to the rescue, I ended up chatting with a woman. Can you believe this good Samaritan, also known as Katie, offered to drive us? She had a collapsable crate which we erected in her SUV – a good thing because the little dude ended up peeing a few times. Al, a worker at the rescue group, called Sean who agreed to take the pup. I’m sure he’ll be adopted quickly. He’s as cute as a button and soft as a baby’s bottom (or something else less weird).

But some things still didn’t add up.  Vizslas are not inexpensive and they aren’t very common. It seemed incongruous that someone would pay that kind of money, neuter and tail-dock the pup, then leave it tied to a bench with a bag of food. I wonder if the dog is sick and the owners couldn’t / didn’t want to go through the expense / trouble/time. It’s hard not to sit in judgment of people, but I’m trying. Al will check to see if the pup has a microchip (if so they are obligated to contact the owner), then the little guy will get a work up by the vet. Until then they have to quarantine him to make sure he doesn’t pass any diseases along to the rest of the population at the rescue. I’ll give a call in a few days to make sure everything is going well. When Katie and I drove away, I felt sad for the pup watching us from behind the fence. Maybe last night everything was great. He had no idea that this morning his whole world would be turned upside down.

4. I’m really saddened by the repeal of the Endangered Species Act by US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The act, among other things, provided protection for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Salazar claims that the wolves are no longer endangered (Anyone else question the faulty logic at work here?). Now it is open hunting which could lead to more than 1000 deaths right as breeding season begins. (The aerial hunting of wolves in Alaska continues unabated, BTW.)   Population control is a poor excuse for hunting. If a species is overpopulated the answer lies not in killing said species, but figuring out why and tackling the problem rather than the symptom. Mother Nature has her own ways to keep things in balance, usually it’s  humans who have somehow eliminated their natural predators or encroached on their habitat? Click here to learn more and find out how you can help.

5. And now on a sweeter , but not necessarily lighter note. For a few weeks now I’ve noticed this neon blue truck parked outside my office. They are from an outfit called Street Sweets and sell…wait for it…sweets. Hey, Street Sweets have you been following my dreams? A truck that sells desserts, yummy portable packets of delectible sugary snacks? Yes, please. I’m already a fan of the chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Next week I’m going to try a red velvet cupcake.

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