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Dogless 2

Moya was a good dog.

At one point my son of a year and half rolled off the couch all of a sudden, right ontop of where she was laying. Her response to this unprovoked attack, was to walk out of the room.

I'm generally against dogs biting children, but I think in that situation very few dog juries would vote to convict.

We lost Moya yesterday while she was getting a fatty-tumor removed from her side. I'll spare you the specific details, but it is very similar to if you reached out to pull on someone's loose sweater thread, and are horrified to learn that that piece of yarn is not a part of a sweater, but actually goes right into their belly button and you've just continuously unraveled their insides in a manner very similar to the worst "endless handkerchief" magic trick imaginable.

So while I did spare you specific details there, I seem to have provided horrifying similes instead. Sorry about that. I'm not in a good head space.

I have walked Moya twice a day, save for travelling, everyday for a dozen years. During the winter, this has become a less pleasant task, especially as age, and apparently massively invasive cancer, had slowed her roll quite a bit

I generally endured it, but on specifically cold or windy days, I would eventually lose patience with the extended 5 minute sniffing session and insistently tug her back into a procession.

This worked well enough, until about 6 months ago, when I did it, and she pretty much fell over, her haunches at painful looking angles. In that moment she was now an old lady and I was a monster.

So I stopped being able to do anything about her interested snuffling, and her tyranny of investigative smell journalism continued unchecked.

It gave me a lot of time to think about dogs, and how they experience the world. I used to imagine to myself that the way she would lose herself in those smells was the equivalent of a dog MMO game. To just disappear into a rich world with history and details about everything in the neighborhood. Not only what animals had been here, but what their general health was, what they'd eaten recently, what they were having sex with.

It also made me think about how much data about all those smells would disappear, unshared when she was gone. What did she know about my health? Could she smell the problems with herself? Could another dog have told me whether she was in pain or not, and for how long.

It made me wonder about out limited perceptions of the world, and how experiencing it via knowing which trace amount of chemicals were in the air about us would be like...

For us visual animals, death is a finality. We see the dead body, until it goes away and we see no body. We are unnerved by the silence the absence causes.

But if I experienced the world like a dog, would I find comfort in the fact that the entire house likely still smells strongly of her presence. That to another dog it would be like she is just around the corner. Would the slow fading of the scent be easier or harder than the absolutes of vision?

I don't know.

They say a dog's year is equivalent to 7 human years.

This seems like just another way of saying that your life is seven dog lives long.