June 2007 Archives

Sod's law

Basenji are, say many websites, unusually cat-like. Habibi's only part Basenji, but she appears to have the cat-like thing down pat.

As Cleodhna and I recently blogged, we've acquired a third dog. Cleodhna regularly gets asked to house stray and/or rescue dogs, but (she assured me today) normally refuses. Habibi is special; she's pretty, house-trained, and well socialised with both dogs and humans (so probably wasn't abused by her previous owner - and whatever the nature of how and why she was left to fend for herself for days in the Botanic Gardens, there are far, far worse places to be lost or abandoned than a park in the West End of Glasgow crawling with dogs and dog people).

She arrived with a leash and a blanket (that's the thing with dog paw prints in the photos), and her blanket is the place she defaults to when she's not eating or playing the dominance/submission dance with Laszlo. (Any new addition to the pack has to find its place, and Laszlo wasted no time making sure that she knew he was top dog. Tails have been wagging nearly all of the time, and Cleodhna, as alpha female of the pack as a whole, has intervened whenever things got slightly too tense.)

Educated guesses say that her previous owner was probably a man, given that she appears to respond better to men than women. So Cleodhna decided to move her blanket into the office, so she's close to me. Fair enough. We cleared a space between the computer and the piano, and she happily plopped down, after a brief episode of blanket nrrr.

Problem is, I appear to be slightly allergic to Habibi. This will probably clear up in a few days - I'm mildly allergic to my cats Vali whenever I go back to France, and I end up sneezing for a few days and then it clears up. (I haven't been back since Helen died, but given that Vali is her daughter, and is an almost dead ringer for her, I'm betting I'm slightly allergic to her as well.)

So, to sum up: a dog I didn't expect or even particularly want (Cleodhna phoned me this afternoon: "You're not going to like this, but can we keep this dog for a few days?"), has ended up part of the household within roughly three hours, and has become my responsability, even though she causes me minor, but still annoying, physical discomfort. And yet I'm happy, uploading pictures to the Internet and telling my friends about this great new animal I have.

Cat-like? Down cold.

Habibi attentive

We appear to have acquired another dog

Her name is Habibi, and she was lost / abandoned in the Botanic Gardens about 10 days ago. A local dog rescue person found her, and asked if we'd put her up for a few days while she found an owner. It's looking like we might end up being said owner.

Habibi Neferet Nightshade

She's a Basenji-something cross, she's perfectly house-trained, she's gentle, and she gets on fine with our current two. We looked through a bunch of Egyptian and Arabic names, and after some thought decided on Habibi Neferet - partly because she'll hear her name spoken whenever I play Cheb Mami's version of Viens Habibi. (That Basenji are supposed to not bark, unless raised amongst other dogs, and the song was written by the French singer my dad used to call Charles Has No Voice, is merely icing on the cake.) Neferet is merely one of the more pronounceable Egyptian names (it means beautiful woman).

And yes, she's got a middle name. The others do as well - Berkeley's is Baskerville (Cleodhna's friend Kevin thought he looked like a Baskerville), and Laszlo's is Mammocker (to mammock is, according to the Dictionary of Early English, to break or tear into fragments into shreds - something that Laszlo does regularly with great efficiency).

News websites need comments

Someone on some blog somewhere was whinging about the Guardian's Comment is free section - how it's filled with tripe, how you always get the same old knee-jerk reactions from the regulars, etc. etc. Which may be partially true - certainly when it comes to the more tribal issues such as politics and football.

And currently the front page has a broken image, so you can't see this wonderful Martin Rowson cartoon in its full glory.

But occasionally you read such wonderful comment threads as this one here on Doctor Who and the gay community. Or this one here on the Evening Times' website about how Glasgow City council are sticking "cancelled" stickers on fly-posted gig ads - look out for posts by "JH, Glasgow", who appears to be a real actual council worker tickled pink that people on the Internet are talking about their cunning schemes.

(As an aside, I found out about what my local council was up to, and the comment thread on the Evening Times' website, by reading a US-based Internet blog's most recent post in my automatic RSS feed reader. I love the 21st century. I'm not the only one.)

So the thing is: if I read something on Comment is Free, or some other website which allows comments, and the comments thread gets silly, trite, boring, insulting, or otherwise not my time, I'll just close that tab and move on. But if I see a news article that doesn't allow comments - like much of the rest of the Guardian - now that is a wasted opportunity.

At least, that's the only explanation I've heard for why Laszlo rolls in disgusting stuff from time to time.

As this is the 21st century, I've chosen to document this phenomenon with a lolcatdog and Youtube video.

Laszlo - not mah bukkit, do not want

More photos here, should you care.