Breed Specific Legislation is Bullshit

By: Rachel Womek

Humans are inherently biased. We are racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, classist and many other forms of prejudiced. Humans are also biased towards other species of animal; we can get really specific. Today I am talking about Breed Specific Legislation, prejudice towards certain breeds of dog, which, in many places, is supported by law. This bais may include, but is not limited to:


American Bulldog

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Argentinean Dogo


Bull Mastiff

Bull Terrier

Cane Corso

Chow Chow

Doberman Pinscher


Shar Pei

Or any dog bearing even a slight resemblance to the aforementioned breeds. One town, Fairfield , IA, has banned all these dogs and more, any dog over 100 lbs, German Shepherds and Belgian Malanois (The top breeds used for police work).

Basically BSL is the doggy version of Eugenics. Dog attacks happen, they happen from so called “bully” breeds and they happen from breeds considered to be “family dogs”: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Collies, Border Collies, American Cocker Spaniels, Daschunds and Chihuahuas; to name a few. Dogs can bite. Dogs are domesticated carnivorous predators. If you look at the occurances of dog bites 99.9% of them occur due to negligence or blatant cruelty on the  part of the owner. Dogs don’t get socialized and taught how to behave towards people, dogs don’t get supervised when around strangers or children, dogs don’t get secured on leashes when outside, they don’t get confined within property properly. Thus dog bites happen. A severe dog bite can come from a Pit Bull or it can come from a Miniature Poodle: and yes small dogs can inflict big damage.

The legislation we need is for more responsible dog owners, not restrictions on certain breeds.

When a dog gets euthanized  for defending his caretaker against her wife-beating asshole husband there’s a problem.

When a little girl’s therapy dog is imprisoned for two years under constant threat of euthanasia simply for being a “Pit bull Type dog” there’s a problem.

The American Humane Association has this to say about BSL:

American Humane opposes legislation that seeks to ban a particular breed of dog. Such laws provide a false sense 
of  security as all dogs, when improperly treated or trained, can present a risk to public health. Breed-specific legislation that outlaws specific breeds of dogs
can increase the danger to the community by spawning black market interest, indiscriminate and irresponsible breeding practices,
and subsequent overpopulation issues.”   


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Pet Peeves

By: Rachel Womek

As you have no doubt surmised, Constant Reader, pet peeves are the topic of my blog today. Both literal and figurative.

A few days ago I borrowed a newly acquired book from my sister. The book was just recently published and is available in hardback only. My house is full of books. There are books in nearly every room, on shelves and on tables. I am currently fostering a stray dog, a year old puppy. I’ve been caring for this puppy about a month now and she has never displayed any interest in books or destructive behavior towards books; until now.

Yes, you’ve guessed it Reader: the puppy ate the brand new book recently borrowed from my sister! not only is this highly inconvenient but it is also strange and aberrant behavior. When dogs chew they commonly chose items that are well used and favored by the dogs favorite people: things that are drenched in the scent of that person. This new book could not have accumulated as much scent as the other books. Why did the puppy chose the new book over the old ones covered in aroma? Odd. Now I will have to buy my sister a new book. Ce la vie!


Here is a figurative pet peeve of mine. The use of the word “theory” used to mean the word “hypothesis”. A hypothesis, as you may well know Constant Reader, is a scientific guess. In the  scientific method the hypothesis comes first. A scientist guesses that if A happens perhaps B will occur. A theory is an idea, well tested, that is thought to be correct and is backed by much scientific evidence.

If a theory stands the test of time it then becomes a scientific law. An example of a scientific theory is the theory of gravity. Another is the theory of evolution. I find it interesting that the former theory is so widely accepted and the latter so widely denounced. The same rigorous testing was applied to both. Nobody is jumping off a cliff claiming that “gravity is only a theory”. But I digress. In America at least people have a habit of using the word theory in place of the word hypothesis. ‘I have a theory that X has a thing for Y”…etc. So in the future remember: Hypothesis is to Guess as Theory is to Fact.

What, Constant Reader, are your pet peeves?

Categories: Books, Dogs, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will We Go Out With A Bang Or A Goal?

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

It’s that time of the week again, folks!


What have I accomplished this week? Mostly TV watching. Although, I did research vaccines and visas, so I would say I was pretty productive trip wise. Also, I helped Rachel send out for her birth certificate so that she can get her very first passport. Apparently, I helped Rachel not panic as well.

Accomplished Goals — I watched three movies (The FedsDark Shadows and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

I did not finish any of the books I have started nor did I finish 1984. I haven’t written a word in over two weeks and I have definitely panicked.

New Goals — 1) Finish a fictional book and a book relevant to my trip 2) Watch a movie 3) Call the vaccine place and make an appointment 4) Call the visa people 5) Not panic


I accomplished some of my goals this weeek: others not so much. Just think of it this way Constant Readers: If I set no goals I would also accomplish none. This way I have accomplished something! I did read books, more than I set for myself in fact. I read  Click To Calm by Emma Parsons, Raw Meaty Bones Work Wonders by Tom Lonsdale and Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. I nearly finished a fourth book but was prevented from completing it because I was reading it in the bookstore and someone purchased it. Sad day. I did  not get any photos on the blog but I have taken a few so we are halfway there. I did post some Haiku to the blog. Kiora is well on her way to a complete understanding of the cover-her-nose trick. She is offering the behavior freely and I have begun to introduce the verbal cue. I have not applied anywhere.

New Goals:

1)Read at least one book 2) Attempt to read materials pertinent to our trip 3) Post photos on the  blog 4) Blog with frequency and elegance 5) Post more Haiku on the blog 6) Refine Kiora’s trick.

Joint Goals

1) Study 45 minutes of Arabic Daily 2) Read books related to our imminent travels 3) Not panic about kinks in the works of the aforementioned travels 4) Go for a hike so Kiki won’t die on trip when we suddenly have to get our butts off the couch…

Categories: Adventure, Books, Dogs, Goals, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Apology (Sort Of), Dog Training And A Couple Of Haiku, Or Kiki’s Paranoia…

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

So…we have been absent this week. Did you miss us? No? That’s okay. We were busy being lazy and feeling sorry for ourselves because we don’t have “lives.” Now you might think to yourselves, perhaps instead of lamenting the fact that you don’t have “lives” you should try maybe “living.” And you would be right. It is the eternal struggle for anti-social people. We want “lives” but then we would have to go and “live” among the “living.” In the end we are okay with our lot. Also, the knowledge that we are about to embark on a grand adventure is a balm to our sad days. Okay. This is starting to sound like a bad vampire novel or something.

Instead of “living” we have spent every night this week reading at a local bookstore. Rachel has read two books here. I have read…well, if you are a constant reader I will direct to my track record and if not…well, it’s a number less than one.

What else? Hmmm…I have, through watching a great deal of Investigation Discovery, made myself paranoid. I am not a trusting person on my best day. Now I’m just permanently freaked, it would seem. For example,  I thought for sure I was dead this afternoon when the car I passed started to speed up behind me and followed me more than half way home. And yes. I do realize how ridiculous this sounds since I am packing-up and moving to one of the most violent regions in the world. Somehow, revolutions, bombs, IEDs, bullets, etc. are less terrifying than the possibility that my own flesh and blood would gladly slit my throat.

Oh, Constant Readers!!! We prostrate ourselves before you humbly! May shame and abject humiliation pound on our sculls like an unexpected hailstorm! Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (This is from Rachel. Kiki doesn’t prostrate herself for anyone.)

I (Rachel) have been reading, watching Bones on Netflix , clicker training my dogs (Well I actually only have one dog but I have a foster dog right now as well) and surfing the internet for things I cannot afford. Also  working, but not for an amount of time which would restrict my ability to blog. Kiora, my basenji, is learning to cover her nose with her paw on command. She is doing very well…She understands the behavior I expect from her but so far it only applies with the prompt: a small bit of tape. I am phasing out the piece of tape now by making it smaller each day and have begun to introduce the verbal cue: “Bad Dog”. Suck it Stanley Coren!


Two Haiku from Rachel (Yay!):

Sweet melancholy

Ushering in the Summer.

Reading not blogging.


Grey-blue clouds overhead.

The aroma of creosote

Promising new rain.




Categories: Adventure, Books, Dogs, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out With The Old In With The New (Goals)

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Well…after writing a final paper (Rachel), dog training (I, Rachel, enlisted Kiki against her will to help me train my foster dog. She did well despite her many protestations. And she will not be doing it again because she will go Red Queen on my ass if I ask her again.) and a manhunt for a friend who went a-wall (turns out she was at Burger King), Rachel and I have settled our butts down at our home away from home’s cafe. We are drinking Frappes: a Mayan Mocha for Rachel and Decaf Light Carmel for me (except the barrista put whip and carmel on it so I’m not sure how light the light is). I have a feeling we will wind up in a fluffy chair reading (Rachel: Scientific American–“A Unified Physics?” and Me: Something that is not the book I’m supposed to be reading for my book club, because that’s how I roll these days…).

Anyway, enough of the useless introductions and on with our obsessive goal making.

Kiki: I accomplished one goal: watch a movie (The Avengers). I blame work and work and friends (okay…there’s some avoidance on my part, too).

New Goals: Same as last time: 1) Finish at least one of the books I’ve started and read 1984 2) Work on my book 3) Watch a movie 4) Not panic or have a panic attack about any of the following: my bum status, lack of funds for my upcoming move to Egypt/N. Africa/Mid-East, the fact that I am a single (not actually something I’m upset about), soon to be 28-year-old woman with a cat who lives with her grandparents (don’t judge!).

Rachel: I completed the majority of my goals this week. I did not post photos on the blog. Shame on me! I did study and am now finished with my finals! Hurrah! I Did finish 1984, as well as The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson and just today Getting Started Clicker Training For Dogs By Karen Pryor. I am on a roll with reading! (Click.Treat.) I wanted to catch up to my movies and now I only need two more books to be completely even. Maybe I am a little OCD deep down because it bothers me that my book and film numbers are uneven!

New Goals: 1) Read two entire books! Should be doable now that school is out! 2) Get some photos on the blog! For real! 3) Get some more Haiku on the blog (Unless you guys don’t like them: let me know) 4) Train my dog, Kiora, to cover her nose on cue 5) Apply for at least two different positions.

Collective Goals: 1) Arabic 2) One of our books must be trip related 3) Get Rachel’s passport photo

Categories: Books, Dogs, Goals, Life, Media, Nerd, Photography, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaving and Other Joys

By: Rachel Womek

I got a shiny new toy today: a Henkels Stainless Steel Cleaver! A knife to meat all my cleaving needs; which are more extensive than you might think. I spent about 45 minutes cleaving 11 lbs of meat and separating it into little plastic freezer baggies. The meat is not even for me but for the little curly-tailed, dog-shaped, demon I am enslaved to. All that cleaving will keep her in raw meat for about 6 weeks! (Be satiated Master!!!) I am calling my new knife Mr. Cleavy.

Another happiness stems from the  end of school in a few weeks! Hurrah! I need only survive a brief span longer before the rescue plane arrives to sweep me off to summerland!

Cool morning outside.

Within the austere classroom

I long for freedom.


Another thing getting me through is the new season of Game of Thrones. Overall I am enjoying it immensely, although I am a bit disappointed with some of the choices/deviations they are making. If it comes together smoothly in the end I will be pleased.  Is Gwendoline Christie not perfect for Brienne? Excellent casting choice there.

Wish me luck Constant Readers, for a successful end to the semester!

Categories: Adventure, Bull, Dogs, Life, Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Desperate Time

By: Rachel Womek

It’s my turn to do the blog, or actually past my turn (Kiki’s been covering for me), and all I have to talk about is what has been going on with me; which is difficult. My dog, Ananda, is very sick. She may die.

On Sunday I came home from working out with Kiki to find that she was bleeding from what appeared to be an injury on her lower eyelid. It looked painful but not serious, although I could not find the cause of the injury. We got her into the vet on Monday. The vet noticed that she had some red spots on the skin of her belly and inside her ears. Bloodwork revealed that she had next to no blood platelets, meaning that at the slightest provocation she could bleed out. She needed a plasma transfusion. They could not give her the transfusion on Monday because the bloodwork came back too late in the day, so I took her home Monday night and spent it sleepless, crying and watching her like a hawk.

Tuesday morning I took her in for the plasma transfusion. The vet reported she was doing well but wanted to keep her overnight for observation. Today her red blood cell count started dropping. The bloodwork showed that she does not have an autoimmune disease. The other major options the doctor is considering are a spleen problem or bone marrow cancer. Neither of these are good. Tomorrow they will give her a transfusion of whole blood, x-ray her to check her spleen, and do a bone marrow biopsy procedure. with the state her blood is in even this procedure will be risky.

I am preparing myself to lose my friend and constant companion these past ten years. She has been with me since she was a tiny puppy, just about 5 weeks old, too young to be separated from her mother, but my neighbors wanted to be rid of the litter as soon as they could. I was only 14 then.  Ananda has been with me through the darkest times in my life, times when I was lost, times when I had no other friend. We’ve struggled together and grown up together. I don’t know how I will face gray mornings without her by my side. Ten years is not enough.

I am not giving up but it is hard to be optimistic about this situation. Please hope for me, I have little hope of my own.


Ananda with my brother at the Farmer’s market

Ananda greeting my brother

Categories: Dogs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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