Celebrate Arbor Day and celebrate the future

I was really bored in the van today as we did a bunch of errands, so I turned the radio up a little louder to listen to the commentary on Arbor Day. Tress are really, really important to us dogs because you never know when you won’t be able to find the next fire plug.

Anyway, the guy on NPR who was speaking said the most insightful thing I have probably ever heard. He said:

“Arbor Day is the only holiday where we celebrate a FUTURE EVENT, instead of a past event.”

Wow! The future event is the tree growing to full-size.

But then, I got to thinking that the tree may grow just a little bit, but hit a drought and die. Or, it could be infested with beetles or some horrible root disease and die. BUT, it could grow tall and strong and provide shade for another puppy on a hot summer day. It could also stretch out its arms and give a child a place to climb or swing. It could also give up a piece of its bark so lovers could carve their initials in a heart, for their kids and grandkids to see and have a story to share.

And all because somebody, somewhere stopped for a few seconds on the last Friday in April to plant a tree.

So, as you go through life, try to find some fertile ground and “plant a tree” each day. You just never know which will grow to be grand.
Arbor Day Foundation

Obama’s other America

Driving through West Virginia and Virginia on my way from Dayton to Williamsburg and this family was outside “eating” lunch at an Arby’s. By the time I had gotten to take the photo without being suspected, five kids had left the venue…. anyway, this is Obama’s “Other America” that he needs to convince to vote for him and there is more “other America” than not. Enjoy.

Friday mornings and Rumpke always get me high…

High blood pressure, that is. I have found that my Friday morning walks consist of picking up bits of trash strewn about by the careless, lazy and stupid monkeys working for Rumpke. I know that you probably have unreasonable trash pickup quotas to meet, but the goal is to get the garbage IN THE TRUCK, not all over the curb, gutter and lawns.

Oh, that’s right, City of Englewood! We’re saving over a $1million a year!! Well, then never mind. I don’t mind living in a city dump as long as there is money being saved.

When you know so badly you are right…

I sometimes feel that I am on the right path, that I know something to be the right thing to do, even when others around me are telling me not to walk that path or sniff that tree or crap on the lawn.

Meet Heather B. Armstrong, author of my newest blog find, Dooce. For most companies, she was probably a really bad employee, and in some more people’s minds, she is probably a terrible mom… but she has the courage to charge down a path that others “know” to be wrong.. and look at her now.

Now, kids, if you don’t have the skills Heather has, please, please don’t try what she is doing at home. Some people just don’t need to be let out of their cages because nobody needs monkeys with guns. But, if you have the brains, drive and passion to make a difference and run headlong down a road not taken, first take a moment to lift your leg, take a good solid pee on the world and then run like hell before someone stops you and you look back.

Myths and Rumors about Rufus

Some people have wondered about who Rufus really is and wondered if he is really who he says he is on DogWalkBlog (and elsewhere). So, just so you know.. and you know who you are.. everything on this blog is real. Here are some popular questions.

Is Rufus a real dog?
Yes, Rufus is very real. He was born in June 2000 and “rescued” from Jack’s in Trotwood by a very caring family who lives in Englewood, Ohio. There, he has flourished in the lap of near luxury, enjoying a MINIMUM of three walks a day, chasing rabbits, squirrels and playing with a squeaky toy.

Does Rufus really write this blog?
Well… not really,. He is, after all a dog and he has no thumbs. So, typing is very difficult. But, he is the alter-ego of his owner from time to time. At other times, he is a reflection of the world around him. Everything is this blog is a nakedly honest opinion as there really is no reason for a dog to lie or act a part. Rufus may change his mind from time to time or alter an opinion after some reflection, but the writings are a genuine glimpse into his mind.

What is Rufus’ favorite food?
He is a dog, so he has trouble narrowing down his one favorite. But, in order or preference, honey-dipped Tim Bits (but only from the Englewood store), then a double cheeseburger — without ketchup and onions — from McDonalds, Wendy’s vanilla frosty, a Frosty Paws from Captain Freeze and hot dogs from Englewood Indoor Soccer late at night.

Does Rufus vote? Does he have a political affiliation?
Rufus does not vote, but again, he is a dog. He does not have any political affiliation. He does pee on the Englewood Government Center lawn, but he has not yet shared what he really means by that. He has no political affiliation and his only criteria for being critical of any politician is they are acting stupidly.

How about a religion? Does Rufus believe in God?
People, again Rufus is a dog. But he celebrates all major religious holidays as long as they have some sort of food attached to them. Rufus does believe in God because things are way to complicated and designed to be a happy accident.

How do I become a fan of Rufus?
That one is easy. Just comment on his blog or send an email to rufus@dogwalkblog.com and ask to become a Rufus Fan. If you give him a mailing address and your name, he will send you an autographed photo with a personal message.

Last question. Does Rufus really sign his photos?
Yes, that is Rufus’ real paw print on the photo every fan gets.

Brooks was here

A while ago, a friend of mine asked me if I believe in a mid-life crises. After a lot of walks and some careful thinking, I think a mid-life crises starts with a desperate desire to carve “Brooks was here” in some patch of existence before they take away your pen knife and you forget your name. This may need more walking and thinking….

NEWS RELEASE: Rufus volunteers to be the first puppy reporting from Iraq


Gerard McLean

Rufus volunteers to be the first puppy reporting from Iraq

ENGLEWOOD, Oh. – In a brave move today, Rufus announced his intention to be the first puppy dog reporting from Iraq. Inspired by a call from Tribune Publishing owner Sam Zell, who said in a video posted on YouTube, “..hopefully our revenues are so significant that we [Tribune newspapers] can do (stories) on puppies in Iraq.”

Rufus, 8, the author of the popular blog www.dogwalkblog.com wants to be that puppy dog reporter in Iraq for Sam Zell.

“Puppies DO matter,” barked Rufus emphatically at a recent press conference. “Even if you oppose the war in Iraq, you can still support puppy dogs in Iraq.”

The traditional journalism community immediately dismissed Rufus’s intention of visiting Iraq as silly, citing that stories of puppy dogs in Iraq were not newsworthy. Most Americans disagree.

“We’ve had enough gloom and doom reporting with the war and I think it is about time that we had an upbeat puppy dog story,” said Gerard McLean, Rufus’ handler and blog editor. “Dogs are very observant, have sharper hearing and sense of smell than most journalists and rarely miss signs of danger,” adds McLean.

“Puppies in Iraq are long overdue to bring in a sense of balance and perspective.”

Rufus is apolitical and sees a visit to Iraq as an opportunity to remind Americans and his friends elsewhere in the world, that there are things more valuable in this world than politics, the economy, war and terrorism. A good scratch on the ear, a brisk walk on a Sunday morning and an unabashed sniff of a neighbor’s buttocks are all things that dogs – and humans – can rally around.

“Our world may be changing rapidly,” barks Rufus, “But the loyalty and friendship of a dog is everlasting. That is something that is newsworthy.”

Rufus intends to publish the quest to Iraq daily on his blog, www.dogwalkblog.com and on www.puppyjournalism.com. The video of Sam Zell, which sparked this quest, is also posted on Rufus’s blog.


Autumn at Tim’s

We were eating the Tim Bits outside the Tim Hortons yesterday and this amazingly bright orange tree was right outside Rufus’ window. The photo does not do it justice and it has probably dropped all its leaves by now, but here it is.

Fall in Englewood, Ohio. Enjoy.

A shout out to Tim Hortons

Ok, after a couple years of mooching honey-dipped Tim Bits from the really cool morning crew at Tim Hortons on Main Street in Englewood, here is my shout-out to them!

From left to right: Linda, Denise, Sara, Beverly (Manager) and Tonya (Co-owner) You are my mostest, favorite peeps!

Welcome to my fan club!

And anyone who is reading this, you are getting sleepy and suddenly feel like a good cup of hot coffee.. maybe with a donut or bowl of soup…..

Run to Tim Hortons in Englewood and tell them Rufus sent you! It won’t get you a discount, but it will sure increase your circle of quality friends!

Spring is coming

It’s official, spring is coming. We saw a robin chirping on the snow during our afternoon walk! (Not the robin here, but just in case you forgot what one looks like in this cold, we put one up.)

Today, I am a Dog

There is a cat that lives in the office next door. He thinks he owns the hallway. Whenever Rufus goes out the back door, he is there and likes to hiss and swat. Rufus has been taking this behavior for about 6 months now and finally figured out that he has about 60 lbs on the cat. Today, he just charged and threw his whole weight on this the cat. Lots of squealing, some grunting and a huge bark, but everyone now knows who really owns the hallway. (That’s the cat to the left.. We call him Damien)

And, if that wasn’t enough to make Rufus’ day, after 7 1/2 years of chasing squirrels, he finally caught one! He let it go quickly, but he caught it!

Today, Rufus is a dog.

“It’s all about me!” awards

I’ve decided to award the “It’s all about me!” award to people I see that are deliberately oblivious to others around them.

The latest winner of the “It’s all about me!” award goes to the parent in the red jacket.. The photographer was taking championship photos at the Troy Strawberry Festival Soccer Invitational and this one parent just could not wait until he had captured the official photo. So, some kids in the lower left corner will not have the honor of recognition for winning their division, but hey, the parent got his/her photo of their little brat!! Screw the rest of the team….

How sad.