Animal friends, domesticated

The cost of dogs, life with cats, poodles are not dogs, what chickens teach, D., the duck, secretive cockfighting in North County

The sport survives around here — in Escondido, Solana Beach, Harbison Canyon, La Mesa, San Marcos, and Eden Gardens — but that kind of cockfighting is very secretive and done on a small scale
  • The sport survives around here — in Escondido, Solana Beach, Harbison Canyon, La Mesa, San Marcos, and Eden Gardens — but that kind of cockfighting is very secretive and done on a small scale
  • Image by Robert Burroughs

Love Bites

Sam and I drive back to the dog room in El Cajon. By now, Sam has racked up a total bill (vets, food, clothes, general destruction, trainer, vaccination shots, equipment) in excess of $2500. My fairly new truck has been soiled and chewed and shedded on so many times. The barnyard aroma has become normal. Sam is only nine months old; experts tell me that puppies chew until they are two years of age.

By Patrick Daugherty, April 17, 1997 | Read full article

Erica and Cortyroy. "He enjoys squeezing into the little trash-can hole and sitting down there. Then the vet has to pull him out."

Erica and Cortyroy. "He enjoys squeezing into the little trash-can hole and sitting down there. Then the vet has to pull him out."

You Might Not Think a Cat Could Hog a Whole Bed

Ruben's grandmother, lives with abandoned dogs, cats, and birds she has found and taken in. In her home in Pacific Beach, as tidy as it is small and cramped, I count two dogs (one Dalmatian with eye-boggling spots), four cats, five birds (including a parakeet and a cockatiel), and a small school of fish: flashes of scarlet and gold move back and forth through an aquarium on a table near the kitchen.


By Jangchup Phelgyal, Nov. 9, 2000 | Read full article

Jan Gelin with Willow, Jet, and Tutti. “I have dogs in La Jolla, Beverly Hills — very wealthy people buy my dogs."

Jan Gelin with Willow, Jet, and Tutti. “I have dogs in La Jolla, Beverly Hills — very wealthy people buy my dogs."

Poodles Aren’t Dogs

Healy believes poodle owners are different from other dog owners. “They’re not like the Labrador or the terrier or the Afghan owners — they’re all predictable types. If someone says that they have a pit bull, I kind of know what type of person I can expect to come walking in. Labrador people and the sporting breeds tend to be more athletic people. I think poodle owners come in a broader walk of life.”

Nov 14, 2002 | Read full article

By law, one can keep up to two dozen chickens within the San Diego city limits, as long as they are no closer than 50 feet to any occupied dwelling.

By law, one can keep up to two dozen chickens within the San Diego city limits, as long as they are no closer than 50 feet to any occupied dwelling.

The chicken or the ego?

Are chickens the proper enterprise for the modern family? Let’s get real about this right now. Chickens teach us about husbandry, domesticity, and death. The sole caveat to raising your own fresh eggs, both a visual and sensual delight in the present milieu of mass production, is the eventual need to do away with over-age layers.

By Scott Sadil, September 20, 1990 | Read full article

Last fall, my sister found Freeway, aged four weeks, wandering along the emergency lane of a Los Angeles freeway. At six months, he not only fetches bottle caps but has developed the habit of trying to walk on his hind legs.

Last fall, my sister found Freeway, aged four weeks, wandering along the emergency lane of a Los Angeles freeway. At six months, he not only fetches bottle caps but has developed the habit of trying to walk on his hind legs.

Me and Ed

I named him Edward because the empty, fur-covered husks tipping his paws reminded me oddly of Edwards Scissorhands, Edward because he seemed aristocratic and feeble, a sickly prince. In playful moments I called him Kittykins or Mr. Furpants. He was Ruddy Abyssinian. Writer Jan Morris calls the Abyssinian cat the sexiest creature in the world. Edward would have been gorgeous if he had all his fur.

By Mary Lang, April 16, 1992 | Read full article

In those days, Penny and I slept on the floor, on a mattress in the bedroom positioned right against the wall. Up top, just above our heads, we'd installed a runway for D.

In those days, Penny and I slept on the floor, on a mattress in the bedroom positioned right against the wall. Up top, just above our heads, we'd installed a runway for D.

The least of these

“She’d had a stroke. Four of them,” Dr. McMillan said. “No tumor, no abscess, but four strokes.” I’d seen stroke in my family — my uncle Malvin, an emergency case, spastic, unconscious. The doctor had said, “His brain is exploding.” My uncle had lasted about six hours. “D,” short for “Dyno,” short for “Dynamite Duck,” had lasted, now, for 17 years.

By Peter Griffin, July 6, 1995 | Read full article

Peggy, along with many women, believed that medical insurance is handed out on the occasion of their cat’s birth.

Peggy, along with many women, believed that medical insurance is handed out on the occasion of their cat’s birth.

Loved her, hated it

Complaints about the cat will cause, for a reason I have never understood, many women to believe that you no longer care. Hesitancy in sounding appropriate clucks over Snowball or Fluff or Tiger will make a woman question whether you love her, the human. One’s relationship with a woman’s cat is treated like a little test case, a little control group. “How he acts towards my cat will substantially determine how he will act towards me.” Notes are taken, columns are added up, judgment is rendered, appeals are pointless.

By Patrick Daugherty, April 16, 1992 | Read full article

The sport survives around here — in Escondido, Solana Beach, Harbison Canyon, La Mesa, San Marcos, and Eden Gardens — but that kind of cockfighting is very secretive and done on a small scale

The sport survives around here — in Escondido, Solana Beach, Harbison Canyon, La Mesa, San Marcos, and Eden Gardens — but that kind of cockfighting is very secretive and done on a small scale

Pecking order

By midmorning it’s time to begin. The crowd moves inside. The price is ten bucks: five for admission, and five to become a card-carrying member of the Arizona Game Breeders Association. The shed, with over 200 cocks in cages, sounds like an orchestra of screeching coronets. But the chicken smell, surprisingly, is hidden beneath the hot people smell and the aroma of chili beans wafting in from the kitchen.

By Steve Sorenson, May 25, 1978 | Read full article

Spider was killed soon after we moved, as husband and wife, to a dreamy little place up on Fire Mountain in Oceanside.

Spider was killed soon after we moved, as husband and wife, to a dreamy little place up on Fire Mountain in Oceanside.

The Deal with Cats

By now I had come to see that the deal with cats implied an explicit trade-off — some things given for some things received. And though I never liked paying out, say, an entire day’s wages for a hell-bent cat’s deep wounds worth of sutures, I could always laugh when that same bandaged-up scrapper came out mornings swatting at my loved one’s feet, bared claws raking pale white flesh beneath her red nuptial bathrobe.

By Scott Sadil, May 3, 1990 | Read full article

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