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Laser Dog News 2003

Latest Dog News. See also 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, and 1999 Dog News,
- and Dog Advice, Dog Park Dogs, Saline Dog Park, and About Laser.

2003 Woof Rally pictures are at Aug 8.

Dec 19 - left Laser at a house down the street that takes in dogs. Laser has most favored canine status, and always seems to get in for the holidays. The children at the house have their own version of "Who let the dogs out", accompanied by Laser's slightly squeaky let-me-in bark. Laser's "Squirrel Intruder Alert Bark" is much deeper.

Nov 9 - another visit to the Saline Dog Park. The Saline River had partially frozen over, obviously it isn't that salty.

Racing about

Nov 8 - Anne's sister has an old dalmatian named Bonnie, who started to lose interest in running around. However, a move to the countryside has given Bonnie a new leash on life, and now she resists being called back inside.

Nov 7 - The last three evenings, Laser has met local dogs at a small park nearby. Laser now deploys his ears in the expectant position as we approach the park.

Oct 26 - Laser attended the Howl-oween Parade as an observer.

Howl-oween Parade
Wonder Canine

Oct 25 - Laser is not interested in dressing in costume for tomorrow's Howloween Parade. In fact, Laser would like to see dog costumes banned by a local animal ordinance.

Oct 24 - A high level of solar flare activity disturbed Laser's internal canine equilibrium. It could only be restored with a large rawhide chew.

Oct 23 - Laser loves walking through leaf piles. Unfortunately, he has slightly disturbed some of the neater piles created by the local citizenry. Maybe there should be a rule against that in a local animal ordinance.

Oct 22 - According to the Ann Arbor News, a local councilwoman was in tears after failing to get her complex 38 page animal ordinance passed. They really like rules around here. A lost rule is like a lost love. You can be outside on a beautiful summer's day, almost happy, then realize with a stab of despair that you aren't being governed by as many rules as possible.

One of the many provisions of the proposed ordinance called for a $50 fine for failing to carry "equipment" for cleaning up after your dog. So if you carry a bag, use it to collect any canine organic recycled extrusions (COREs), and throw it away, you can then be fined for not carrying necessary equipment. There's also the issue of probable cause required before stopping dog owners and asking to see their equipment.

Oct 19 - headed out to the Haenle crane sanctuary near Jackson. Laser was a big hit with younger bird watchers. The cranes were small and distant, the dog was big, fuzzy, and right there. At one point, he was petted by four separate bipeds of assorted heights.

Oct 12 - Laser visited Put In Bay on South Bass Island. Lunch was a problem. One restaurant suggested that we tie Laser to a tree in a park across the street, and watch him while eating. This went down better with the bipeds than with the dog.

Laser rode for free on the ferry and on the bus. The biggest hazard on the ferry back was a yapping bedroom slipper dog.

Dogs ride free
Put In Bay bus

Oct 11 - A good turn-out at the Saline Dog Park.

Saline Dog Park
Samways the Greyhound (right)

Oct 10 - Laser met Yogi the Ridgeback at County Farms Park. Yogi is still slightly depressed over the closure of the old unofficial Dog Park.

Oct 5 - Laser met up with Carl Lee Walker, a retired greyhound, at the Saline Dog Park. By 'retired', we mean that he doesn't race professionally any more, not that he stopped being a greyhound. Carl loped across the field like a very fast black thing [NB: maybe replace with more poetic language].

Oct 4 - Laser met up with some enthusiastic dogs at the Saline Dog Park.

Saline Dog Park
Three dogs and a stick

Sept 28 - Laser was suffering after running around with young dogs yesterday. He took a few steps up the stairs this morning, thought better of it, and decided to lie down a bit longer.

Sept 27 - Laser had a great time at the Saline Dog Park. There were a few dogs around just after lunch, including a high-speed gangly poodle.

Dog Park
Saline Dog Park
Salty Curs - Saline Dogs

Sept 14 - Took Laser to Independence Lake park, north of town. We were nearly discouraged by the "No Pets" sign by the entrance. However, if you ignore the sign, you find out that dogs are allowed on the main park trail.

Sept 7 - The Ann Arbor News had an article entitled "Doggedly pursuing a park", describing the Woof Rally and other efforts in support of an Ann Arbor Dog Park. The driving force is the Canine Social Club. Laser was referred to in the second paragraph: 'Nearby, another pooch wore a sandwich board reading "Born to Run" and "A place of our own"'. However, the News, showing paw judgment, failed to include a picture of Laser. The story was well written, and Laser's biped owners almost feel guilty over letting their News subscription expire following the earlier lack of coverage of the Woof Rally. (Obviously, there must have been far more important AP wire reports to run). See Aug 8 for photographs of Laser in his sandwich board.

Laser prefers "Canine Individual" to "pooch", but isn't complaining.

Aug 31 - rescued Laser from the Dog Jail. The normal low-security facility was closed over the holiday weekend.

Aug 24 - took Laser to try out an agility course at the EZ Dog Park near Howell. The course is part of a private dog park, admission $5. Unfortunately, there were no other dogs around. Laser absolutely refused to run through a tube.

Agility training

Aug 23 - visited a classic car show in Saline. Why is this on the dog pages? We had to walk past the cars on the way to the Saline dog park. There was a black lab already there, enthusiastically splashing around in the river.

Aug 17 - took Laser to see Anne's grandmother, who lives in a multi-story assisted living facility. Laser was alarmed by the elevator, keeping his body low and his legs splayed out. Leaving, a herd of old women using walking frames dodderingly converged on Laser, all apparently having owned dogs just like him in the past. It was very stressful.

Aug 16 - Laser blended in well with Anne's aunt's carpet. He also managed to avoid knocking over any fragile ornaments.

The Castle, Pitt.
Laser enjoying Pittsburgh

Aug 15 - Took Laser to the local dog hotel for weekend boarding, but the owner wasn't taking in dogs due to a lack of electricity. (Wolves get by without electricity). Laser was packed into the back seat of the car for a 6 hour drive to Pittsburgh. Anne's aunt was given the tricky choice of taking in a big dog, or explaining to Anne's grandmother why we weren't visiting.

Aug 13 - Laser walked around a local lake.

Zukey Lake Monster
Mysterious Lake Creature

Aug 8 - Laser put on placards and demonstrated at the Woof Rally, organized to campaign for an Ann Arbor Dog Park. Local canines gathered on the Diag, part of the University of Michigan campus.

Woof Rally
Woof Rally on the Diag

Woof Rally
Woof Rally
Woof Rally
Woof Rally
Leashed under duress
Can your camera focus this close?
Woof Rally
Laser with placard
Woof Rally
Laser sees Edgar

Laser enjoyed himself immensely at the Woof Rally, but it would have been much more fun to be off leash. Visit caninesocialclub.net [note - this web site now expired] to find out how to make your dog's bark heard by the local council. Laser's left paw placard said "A Place of Our Own", the right paw side said "Born To Run".

Aug 3 - Laser was unimpressed with our newly stained deck. He normally likes to lie out there in the sun, but now there is a strong linseed oil smell.

July 31 - Laser was thrown a dog biscuit from a passing city garbage truck. Maybe Ann Arbor isn't such a dog-unfriendly town after all.

July 21 - Laser visited Kelleys Island in Lake Erie, and was chauffeured around in his own golf cart.

Golf Cart Laser
Kelleys Island

July 14 - The gate to the main Lillie Park parking lot was open, and we went in for a look round. Orange plastic construction fencing encircled a play area, but didn't seem to be stopping its use. We headed off into the woods, to be bothered by bugs. In Columbus, Ohio, a local park relaxed its leash laws late in the evening. However, local officials shiver in a cold sweat after having nightmarish thoughts about off-leash dogs.

July 13 - Laser went for a walk around County Farm Park, and was very excited at meeting a beagloid. He seems play deprived, and we are thinking of arranging play dates for Laser, maybe meeting up with another dog at a house with a fenced yard.

July 12 - Walked Laser's paws off on a long exploration of Lillie Park, an almost open park just to the south of town.

July 9 - We took Laser to Dexter to visit a park. But first we got dinner, and then it started to rain. So Laser ended up being driven out to Dexter to sit in the car for an hour. He was very bouncy when we got home - how about a walk now?

July 8 - Another long walk around the neighborhood. We took a trail through some woods we hadn't been on before. We hoped it would end in a park, but it emerged in a derelict lot behind a hardware store.

July 7 - Long walk around Lillie Park. Laser slowed down at the end, and would have liked to be carried. It was very hot and humid.


Lillie Park boardwalk

July 5 - Public complaints poured in over the lack of updates. One web site visitor pointed out that there have been few updates since the Dog Park closed down. Another visitor (actually, the same one, we don't get that many visitors) suggested we were in danger of becoming a cobweb site.

June 19 - Laser was taken to the vet for boarding and shots (jail and torture). We left a blanket for him to lie on, but it was returned to us later in pristine condition.

June 17 - took Laser to County Farm Park. Walking along a footpath at about 8 pm, we had to move over to let a police jeep go by. Ann Arbor authorities are relentless in their pursuit of off-leash dogs.

June 15 - Laser visited Hidden Lake Gardens, then cooled down with an ice cream in Tecumseh.

Canine Hydrotherapy

June 7 - Laser visited one of the Oakland County dog parks (Lyon Oaks) on Pontiac Trail, north of South Lyon.

Fans Everywhere
Laser finds new fans at the Oakland County Dog Park

May 28 - Laser visited the Saline Dog Park, but unfortunately went paddling in the scummy Saline River.

May 5 - Laser used to want to go outside first thing in the morning, but now prefers to lie in. It's a mystery why a dog that spends the whole day on the couch needs a lie in.

May 4 - Laser investigated Lillie Park in Pittsfield, and concluded that it would make a good dog park. There weren't any humans using it, apart from his biped attendant. He also walked around County Farm Park, but this was too busy for any off-leash activities, even if it were allowed.

May 2 - This web site has been investigated by Semantic Discovery, a data mining company who can "enable your company to engage mission critical information and taxonomies to expand your customer base, increase your product offerings, and generate new revenues." Hopefully their algorithm will identify the urgent need for a Dog Park in Ann Arbor.

May 1 - There's a new web site for Ann Arbor dog owners: caninesocialclub.net [note: site now expired]

April 23 - Hiked the Grand Canyon of the Huron River. We trekked down the canyon walls, a precipitous drop of at least 50 feet. The Midwest is as flat as a very flat pancake, so any change in altitude (except in an elevator) is unusual. It isn't dramatic enough to say we walked Laser at the Arboretum.

April 19 - Visited Saline Dog Park at Mill Pond Park (or Millpond Park) on W. Bennett St. in Saline. The park is a fenced area adjacent to the River Raisin. The river had a strong smell of pond scum, and so did Laser after wading in it.

April 18 - Another quick visit to the Dog Park, which apparently is about to be sprayed with herbicide and plowed over fairly soon.

April 17 - An evening visit to the Dog Park, which as usual seems to be the windiest and coldest place in Ann Arbor. Apparently, that won't be an issue for much longer.

April 16 - The Ann Arbor News had an article on the forthcoming demise of the Dog Park, headlined "Company rolls up the green carpet". Security concerns were cited. Elsewhere, another article featured Bunny the Black Labrador, a Dog Park regular. Laser approves of the News' caninecentric coverage, and would like to apologize for his biped owner, who hung up on a subscription-selling telemarketer last week. The Ann Arbor Dog Park Initiative is trying to prolong the life of the Dog Park.

April 13 - A sunny day at the Dog Park. However, a large storm cloud is gathering on the horizon. The field will close to canine use on May 1.

April 12 - Took Laser to County Farm Park. I was warned that the park is frequently patrolled by Ann Arbor's notorious Dog Police, who issue tickets for off-leash dog perambulatory activities. It's a major revenue generator, apparently.

April 8 - Laser was disappointed by his morning walk. We got about 10 feet along the sidewalk before the biped decided that it was too icy. Laser has 4-paw drive, and was very reluctantly pulled back home.

April 7 - The morning started with a full-scale blizzard. Laser was reluctant to go outside ... he felt that maybe he could hold it for a few more hours. We grabbed him by the collar and threw him out.

April 6 - Laser met Roger the Ridgeback at the Dog Park, and received this updated report: "Bawoo ..oo". Roger then continued "There are proposed talks between the owners of the Dog Park field and representative bipeds. Maybe the Dog Park isn't going to be closed after all. Bawoo .. ooo."

April 4 - Spring has been temporarily canceled. Laser was bedraggled and cold after a walk through near-freezing rain.

Mar 31 - Another report came in about the Dog Park's imminent closure. Roger the Ridgeback e-mailed Laser today and remarked "Ba - rooo". He continued "According to an employee biped, too many people let their dogs run around the parking lot, and take their dogs into the restricted zone around the back of the factory."

Mar 23 - Laser guarded the base of our tree to prevent unauthorized squirrelic access to the bird feeder. The squirrels responded by declaring a Terror Level Tan Brown and White.

On guard
Laser protecting our bird feeder from rodent vermin

Mar 21 - We received a worrying e-mail about the Dog Park:

Hi Laser, Last nite at the park, we found out that May 1 the park may close!! Oh no. we have to try to find a way to save our dog park.

My human just talked to Human Services at Pall to let them know how much we appreciate them letting us use this land. Also that we would incorporate a clean up policy. Laser, I am hoping that you can put on your site a few things.

1. Can you let people know to please clean up after their dogs
2. Write a letter to the editor about how wonderful this place is, what a great service they (Pall Gelman) are doing by letting us up there.

Just a few ideas- hope it helps. I know that many dogs & people read your journals. Thanks, Zeke The Dog

PS Sat or Sun (depending on the weather) there will be a few of our human attendants cleaning up at the Dog Park, hope more will join them.

Laser received the bad news surprisingly well:
Biped: Oh No, the Dog Park is closing down!
Laser: (Thinks: Dog Park!!!) Bound, bound, bound ...

Mar 16 - 2am: It was a dark and foggy night. Somewhere in the distance a dog barked. Laser woke up and started a conversation.
Distant dog: arf, arf
Laser: BARK!!
Anne somehow managed to sleep through the first ten minutes of this witty canine dialog, but had a non-relaxing dream featuring loud, barking dogs.

Mar 15 - Immense dog happiness as Laser ran through mounds of soft, melting slush on a trail through Michigan woods. His tail didn't just wag, it started rotating. Accompanying bipeds got less enjoyment out of walking through slush.

Mar 9 - Walking with Laser at a snow covered Dog Park, we were checked out by a mysterious low flying formation of black spots. The spots skimmed across the snow and stopped, except for a few spots high up at the back, which moved from side to side in a wagging motion. Then we noticed the nose and eyes - it was a dalmatian.

Mar 8 - Took Laser to Stinchfield Woods, just north of Dexter.

Stinchfield Woods

Mar 6 - Laser made late evening visit to the Dog Park. The party was ending when we got there, probably because it was dark and tail freezingly cold.

Mar 5 - Laser trotted around the living room for several minutes, clearly agitated. Eventually, we noticed he had a stick of butter in his mouth. The agitation was because Laser was feeling too guilty to actually to eat the butter, even though he really likes it. More proof that there's little labrador in Laser.

Mar 1 - Laser has a very irritated patch on his belly. The vet didn't think it was serious. We took Laser back to the Dog-o-Mat to clean him up some more.

Surprisingly happy, 
despite the indignity of it all
At least the water is warm
All the stylish dogs are in red
this spring
Why am I wearing this towel?

Saving the world from giant yellow spherical aliens

Feb 15 - Icy cold weather. Whatever you do, don't mention the Dog Park. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

Feb 9 - Despite the cold weather, we broke down and took Laser to be washed at the Dog-o-Mat. We were washing our hands all the time, due to the dog's overall scumminess. We also laundered his dog bed cover, so the washing machine and drier now smell like the dog in his pre-washed state. The next thing through the machine can't be anything we would wear in public.

Feb 8 - Laser stole and ate a few chocolate cookies. Anne was concerned about him getting sick, as chocolate can be poisonous to dogs. However, Laser is a no-good food-stealing furry trash can, and was totally unaffected.

Feb 7 - Laser has developed an assertive entitlement mentality. Walk me through the icy, windswept tundra. It's really cold, lets go the long way. Give me a dog treat, and make it snappy. Fill my dinner bowl. Butter left on the table was left for the dog. Laser has also developed an extensive repertoire of squeaks and whimpers when he doesn't get his way.

Feb 2 - Groundhog Day. However, rodents keep their heads down in our yard or they get chased. It was Day of the Retriever at the Dog Park. Fortunately, no-one was throwing anything, so the dogs were running around and having fun. (The bipeds were standing around and getting cold).

Jan 25 - Braved Siberian like weather to take Laser to the Dog Park. A vertical take off golden retriever ran over, leapt up, and grabbed a tassel hanging from Anne's hat in his mouth. He wasn't going to let go, and Anne wasn't about to let go of the hat, an essential item when standing out on the tundra. Fortunately, the golden's owner intervened and saved the hat from more chewing.

Jan 24 - There's a saying that if a groundhog comes out of his hole for a few minutes and has his tail frozen off, then it is too cold to walk a dog. Laser doesn't believe this saying.

Jan 23 - Some dogs look out the window, see swirling snow, and think that it would be better to stay indoors where it's warm, rather than go on a bone-chilling walk. We don't have a dog like that.

Jan 21 - Laser feels very hard done by after a prolonged cold spell has reduced his walks. As far as Laser is concerned, the bipeds are not meeting their side of the bargain. Laser eats the food and sleeps in the warm bed, and in return the bipeds are supposed to walk him around in the frozen windswept Midwest tundra. What could be fairer than that?

Jan 12 - It was far too cold for just one biped to accompany Laser to the dog park, we both had to go. Misery shared is misery doubled. There was a wind chill of zero, not the same as no wind chill.

A Great Dane with a Mini Dane

Jan 10, 2003 - Laser almost caught a squirrel after a particularly rapid launch from the back door. The squirrel made a variety of squirrel swearing noises (scolding) from half way up the tree.

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