English 108 Cancelled, Happy Happy Joy Joy

Sometimes, life is like a bowl of cherries.

Or, sometimes, self likes herself very much.

And today is one of those times. As, instead of running around stressing over lesson plans, self is at home, reading New York Times Sunday Magazine article about pets, article written by one Frederick Kaufman, who is identified in contributor’s note as the author of a forthcoming book called A Short History of the American Stomach.

On browsing article, self comes across the following nuggets of information:

    For all the apparent variety — store shelves stocked with everything from Alpo to ZiwiPeak — pet food is a business of behemoths and bottom lines, with sales approaching $15 billion last year.
    The specialization of the pet food industry may reflect not just our desire to keep our pets healthy, but our continuing urge to shape them in our own image.
    Dogs and cats are living longer and growing fatter and more dyspeptic, and, like their owners, they have to watch the calories.

(Perusing what self has written so far, self encounters two problems: She does not know the meaning of the word “dyspeptic” and wonders if it similar in meaning to the word “apopleptic.” And she doesn’t know whether “Cancelled” is spelled with two l’s or one. But, once again, I digress)

Last night, self and hubby had dinner with old friend Sandy, who self befriended way back in the mists of time, when son was in kindergarten and just starting at parochial school St. Raymond’s, in Menlo Park. Granted, hubby only came along because he was expecting someone else to be there, someone who has gotten quite a hold of hubby’s imagination, but this personage did not show. So he was stuck all evening with self and Sandy and had to content himself with drinking beer and riesling.

Anyhoo, Sandy has very interesting neighbors, and self happened to ask who lived in the cute little cottage two doors down, that had a sign saying “Welcome to China” or something like that over the front door. And Sandy frowned and said she didn’t know that she had any neighbors from China. And self insisted that she had seen a sign, and finally Sandy exclaimed, “Oh, I know what you mean! The sign says: Welcome to the Chinchillas! They raise chinchillas!”

And self had no idea what this animal was, or whether you were even allowed to raise such animals in a residential neighborhood, but anyhoo, Sandy went on to describe quite interesting encounters she has had with the chinchilla couple, such as one time when her frisky yellow lab, Rocket, went missing and the chinchilla woman dragged it back and furthermore lectured Sandy on her need to pay proper attention to bounding animal. And Sandy further received letter from woman’s mother about how Sandy must take proper care of bounding animal. And one day Sandy saw the woman walking her dog and she was allowing it to roll all over Sandy’s prize hibiscus. And Sandy yelled at the woman to keep her dog away from the flowers. And the women yelled back and Sandy told the woman that from now on she would appreciate it if the woman would walk her dog on the other side of the street. And once again self was overcome with admiration for American forthrightness, for any number of self’s neighbors have allowed their dogs to do such things as poop on self’s front lawn, and self cannot summon the wherewithal to complain.

(OK, where was I?)

Anyhoo, conversation then turned to sad fate of Sandy’s labrador, Rocket, who was found dead, stiff one day last year. Hubby inquired if Sandy had had him cremated. And Sandy said no, because the vet was going to charge her $80 to have it done, and she had to get to work.

After which, hubby and self decided (in one of our rare moments of unspoken agreement) to say no more on the subject of pet cremation.

Now, this morning, self is thinking of dogs, dinner last night, and Virginia cousin’s blind dog, Flora. One morning, cousin was about to give Flora her usual dry dog food when a horrible thought struck her and she requested self to research on the internet whether the particular brand of dog food she was about to provide Flora was on the list of melamine-tainted dog food from China. So self, obliging as always, went on the web and found website that listed all “suspicious” dog food, and found there a long long long list (must have been dozens of brands) listed in alphabetical order, and self and cousin went down the whole list, and cousin was relieved to see that Flora’s dog food was OK because it was not mentioned.

Now, after that extremely long digression, self will draw loyal blog reader’s attention back to New York Times Sunday magazine article, which is full of such interesting questions as:

    If you are what you eat, is it also true that you are what your pet eats?
    And, if you feed your dogs only a single food all the time, such as olive oil or sugar, what happens to them? (The answer is simple: they die. Such was the discovery made by Frenchman Francois Magendie in 1816, which discovery helped establish the importance of the dietary requirement for protein)
    Which California university houses the first pet nutrition center in America and when did it open? (Answer: UC Davis, 2003)

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.