Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home Alone for the Holidays, But It's OK

In just 48 short hours, Foster and I will get to get take down those stockings that should be filled with dingos, rawhides, snausages and the like! OK...so it'll be 72 hours since Dads have left us with the friendly woman to look after us while they visit some of our family.

Now before you go saying "how in the hell could you leave Arlie with that big beast Foster?" chill out a bit. In this year of many troubles and heartaches for so many Americans, Foster and I are just fine. We have a nice home, big backyard, a sucker dad in Ed who treat shops at least twice a week, and family and friends who make life worth living. So as we wait an extra day to get at those stockings, I want to ask each of you and my fans who you forward my blogs to think of others who are suffering this holiday season. A poor economy, job losses mounting, an unsafe world and still having to wait for Michelle's husband to start righting the ship have left many not feeling too good about this holiday. So I will leave you with the words of one of my favorite artists, Jewel, and her song "Hands" -- because we can all make a difference and as she states so simply "in the end, only kindness matters."

Happy Holidays my friends. Arlie, Foster, Ed and Steve wish you the best for 2009!


If I could tell the world just one thingIt would be that we're all OK

And not to worry 'cause worry is wastefulAnd useless in times like theseI won't be made useless

I won't be idle with despairI will gather myself around my faith

For light does the darkness most fearMy hands are small, I know

But they're not yours, they are my ownBut they're not yours, they are my own

And I am never broken

Poverty stole your golden shoesIt didn't steal your laughter

And heartache came to visit meBut I knew it wasn't ever afterWe'll fight, not out of spite

For someone must stand up for what's right'Cause where there's a man who has no voice

There ours shall go singingMy hands are small I knowBut they're not yours, they are my own

But they're not yours, they are my ownI am never broken

In the end only kindness matters In the end only kindness matters

I will get down on my knees, and I will prayI will get down on my knees, and I will pray

I will get down on my knees, and I will prayMy hands are small I know

But they're not yours, they are my ownBut they're not yours, they are my own

And I am never brokenMy hands are small I knowBut they're not yours, they are my own

But they're not yours, they are my ownAnd I am never brokenWe are never broken
We are God's eyes God's hands God's mindWe are God's eyesGod's hands God's heart

We are God's eyesGod's handsGod's eyesWe are God's handsWe are God's hands

Sunday, November 9, 2008

YES WE DID!! And Did Not!

Tuesday night was a bit crazy at our house. No, the Lady Vols were not taking Dad Ed out of his fall Volunteer coma. And no, Dad Steve was not watching a replay of the 1994 Razorback NCAA basketball championship. We were watching Barack become our president. It was awesome! A few friends came over to watch the results, Dad Ed was watching while tracking results on his laptop and the chew treats and goodies were flying all over the place for me and the Foster Goofus! I knew it must be a good night.

So just after 10 or so, it was over! Obamamania was going strong and finally it seemed every American would have voice (unlike the past eight years -- four of which I can testify to!). It was a good night. I saw some tears of joy from Dad Ed all night. He has been a bit of a basket case for the past few months over the election. So this was a special night for him. When Aunt Elaine (his sister) called, Dad went outside and was tore up something big! I've never seen him so emotional. It was actually nice to see all the months of his worrying, donating and passionately supporting Obama pay off. So I suppose "YES WE CAN" became "YES WE DID." Or did we?

It seems something just as important as the election of our new leader was happening on the west coast. A group of Americans were being denied their god given right to be equal in the eyes of the law. Proposition 8 in California narrowly passed that denies gay Americans the right to marry that is afforded to all other Americans. I listened closely to the discussion and wondered "how could people who saw the light in electing a man of inclusion, diversity, love and peace reject the rights of so many? Well, rather than me ramble for a while, I'll leave you with a blog entry Dad and I found from Melissa Etheridge, a wonderful artist and singer who is also denied the same rights as my Dads. It speaks volumes and makes you ask yourself a few questions. And most importantly it makes it clear to those who oppose my Dads equal rights that gay Americans are not going away – they will fight like hell for our rights. No stopping them! They are Americans! YES WE CAN!! YES WE DID!! And YES WE WILL!!

Melissa’s Speaks

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One More Day

Well, as the last weekend before the 2008 election comes to an end, I felt it important to reflect a bit on what my takeaways were of this historical presidential election.

First, let me get this out of the way. Neither campaign -- and I mean neither has talked about what they will do for those poor little homeless pups walking the streets of this fine nation. Nope -- nothing. Instead, we continue to rely on the wonderful people at the ASPCA and those struggling and underfunded shelters that help pups find homes. This said, I'll simply ask that our next president do the right thing and make a statement in support of these organizations AND most importantly demand harsher federal punishment for individuals involved in animal cruelty.

Now, onto the choice that is front of the American voter. It's no mystery as to my political leanings and preference. If the past eight years taught Americans one thing it is "ruling" a free nation with lies and deceit while putting greed in front of the needs of hard working citizens should never be allowed again. This dark period in our history is thankfully coming to an end. I'll refrain from asking those who helped elect and re-elect this embarrassment of an administration how they feel now. Rather, I'll ask them to "think" -- and "think" very hard about the direction this country is headed, and how we right the ship. Forget the ridiculous need for a $600 check that will do nothing but maybe help Wal-Mart sell more cheap overseas-made goods. Forget the thought that "when republicans are in power the stock market is better." HA! And forget the idea that keeping gays from marrying, making stem cell research illegal and eliminating the rights of women somehow trumps the needs of keeping and creating jobs, educating our children, keeping our nation secure and fixing our reputation around the world -- they do not!

America, this election is about our livelihoods -- here at home and abroad. It is about restoring the world's faith in our nation and about each and every person no matter their race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual preference or number of rescue dogs owned having the opportunity to live happy and successful lives.

Maybe it would help if you looked at things from my perspective. You see, I've actually be shielded from the horror that many now feel as a result of eight years of terrible government that forced their lives to change, and not for the better. I live in a home that is on a fixed mortgage. I do not have to wonder if Dads have to choose between feeding me and getting me my monthly heart worm pill. When I was stung by a bee, my Dads took me to the doctor because we could afford it (that's insurance for me!). And get this, my two parents -- are both Dads. We are a family. We do not hurt any "traditional" families. In fact some pups with one Mom and one Dad actually let us play with them -- novel idea, isn't it? All this is to say, I'm fortunate to live the life that all Americans should have the opportunity to live. And to do this my friends, I simply ask you to look at the two tickets running and imagine this nation four years from now. Which one gives us hope and opportunity, and which one continues to play on false fears that do nothing but drive a wedge between two Americas. Do not get it wrong this time. Do not return to the days of promoting the haves at the expense of the have nots. When you walk into the voting both ask yourself "what moves my family closer to the life of Arlie Rufus; that sounds pretty damn good to me!"


Arlie Rufus

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christians? These are Christians?

This will be a short note, as I think it does not need much "blah blah" from me tonight. Simply said, individuals calling themselves Christians are spreading hate filled rhetoric as we near election day. I do not get the chance to go to church, but I've learned from Dads that Christians love, respect and treat all of God's children as equals and prescious gifts. Well, I do not think this story displays such Christian values.

I only ask that you share this story with everyone you know and let them know that Christians really do not act or think this way. True Christians are ones who love, care and know, in the words of my favorite artist Jewell, "in the end, only kindness matters."

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm not a real American?

OK all my fans, this one you have got to hear! As this important election draws to an end, even the coolest of pups gets a bit ruffled under the ears with all the false, negative and down right ugly campaigning. I mean for the love of Rin Tin Tin -- people are losing jobs, houses, their retirement -- and might I add their pups!

So when this odd, odd, odd woman named Michelle Bachmann recently went on TV to say she believes Barack Obama is anti-American, as well as possibly other Members of Congress, I had to leave that comfortable Disney blanket that has become my resting place late in the evening. For the sixth district voters of Minnesota, please write and call this woman and ask her when she'll spend her time tackling the issues of the economy, health care and jobs and stop being a very poor mouthpiece for far right conservative clucks!

Now, for those of you who do not know about this terribly disturbed woman, let me share a brief exert from comments she gave regarding gay and lesbian Americans:

"And again, don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad. Any of you who have members of your family that are in the lifestyle - we have a member of our family that is. This is not funny. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay."

So let me see if I have this straight (no pun intended). Dad and Dad have a sad life. Their life is part of "Satan". They have a "disorder" and "dysfunction". Well, "Representative" Bachmann let me tell you something from a pup who has two wonderful Dad's. On their worst day they are not as hate-filled and close to Satan as you, "Representative" Bachmann. And on their worst day, they are not as "sad" as you, "Representative Bachmann."

I might remind my fans, I'm quite the calm and lovable pup. Ask anyone. My tail wags all day long. But this woman who somehow has a role in shaping our nations laws made me wonder if "that woman from Wasilla" really is the most unqualified person to run for office. I'm guessing the two of them probably bowl, roller derby or shoot helpless animals from airplanes together.

Many times I laugh after I post a blog. This one makes me mad -- damn mad. There is something we can do about this, however. Vote her and the hatemongers out! Unfortunately, I cannot go and vote (although I'm a hell of a lot smarter than some who can) but many of you can and will!! And if you all go and vote against hate and division, Michelle, Sarah and the hatemongers can return to running gun stores in "small town Pro-America" where "real Americans" can be found.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Please help Congressman Westmoreland of Georgia

Now those of you who know me are probably shocked I am asking for your support and help for a staunch conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Lynn Westmoreland is a republican congressman from the Third District of Georgia. And where is this district? Well, if you are driving from Atlanta to Florida for vacation after you have left your four-legged family member in some cold, dark hole you call a kennel, head south on I-85 and you will have the honor of driving through the lovely countryside Lynn represents.
So why do I ask for your help? Well, Lynn seems to have a few issues with the Holy Bible he most certainly uses as a weapon against those of us who do not follow his staunch conservative ideals (these include voting against a bill that would have provided funding to the FBI to investigate Civil Rights cases – named after a slain 14 year-old African American; as well as referring to Barack and Michelle Obama as “uppity”). Recently, Lynn was interviewed on what I suppose he thought would be a fun segment on Comedy Central. In this interview, Lynn was defending his support for posting the 10 Commandments in the U.S. Senate and House chambers. The problem is Lynn did not know the 10 Commandments. Can you believe it? I mean Dad Ed is a PR guy and I heard him say “for the love of the 10 Commandments, don’t do an interview on the 10 Commandments if you don’t know them!” Makes sense to me. In fact, as my beagle brain recalls, Lynn only got three correct.
So I implore all of you to help Lynn. He so wants to use our bible and the 10 Commandments to keep his seat in Congress and if we all email him and his campaign the link to my blog, we’ll give him a quick Sunday School lesson that will help him in his re-election bid. After all, the good people of Georgia’s Third District deserve this wonderful representation that is certainly helping to employ, feed and clothe them.
ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.' THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.' FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.' FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.' SIX: 'You shall not murder.' SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.' EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.' NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Woman from Wasilla

Yes, my many friends and fans, it has been too long between posts. In this time, both dads have celebrated birthdays, hurricane season is in full force, football season underway, (do not ask about the Vols!) the conventions are over and the running mates have been selected. Although my Dads’ birthdays are the most important of this list, I’m sure they will grant me this post to concentrate on – “the woman from Wasilla.”
Sarah Palin is her name, and much like her new boss, I had no clue of her existence until a week ago. When the announcement was made she could be a heartbeat (an old heartbeat at that) away from the presidency of the United States, I sat up from the comforts of my snout resting on Dad Steve’s chest and asked myself “this could be the leader of the free world? I must learn more.” So I did.
Now let me remind all of my fans that my purpose here is to speak for those who do not have a voice – and that I will do. Let’s begin with Gov. Palin’s connection to Jesus Christ. Apparently, she has talked to Jesus and understands that, in reference to our soldiers in Iraq, "Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," That’s an interesting revelation. It seems to me that we’ve had nearly 8 years of a leader that claims a special connection with God and things haven’t really gone so well. Our soldiers in Iraq have served honorably and well. But did they really go for honorable and honest reasons? Most of my pack thinks the answer is “no.” They are on a mission from George Bush for reasons of his choosing. So let me speak for those who do not have a forum: Do we really want to trust these folks that claim special connections to God and are willing to lie to get us to go along with them? Even dogs learn fairly quickly who to trust and who not to trust.
Next, she claims that in this discussion with God that it his will to get a natural gas pipeline built. She said that "God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.” Could that be true? It would seem to be God’s will that the hungry be fed and the poor be helped and the sick be visited and people learn to love one another. But does he really get involved with gas pipelines? I’m just a dog, but when I want a biscuit I bark or sit or try to earn it. I don’t claim that the great Wolfhound in the sky wants me to have one. Let sister Sarah argue for the merits of the pipeline and take her chances rather than claiming that God wants the pipeline and that she is the messenger. Humans in positions of authority that claim special connections with the Almighty frighten me. Ask the moderate Muslims about the hijacking of their religion and political organizations by those who converse directly with Allah.
My research revealed so much more. She supported the “bridge to nowhere” before she didn’t. She really like congressional earmarks when they were good for Wasilla, but not so much when it scored her political points to disparage them. She supports “family values” and has five children. One is a special needs child and one is, well, let’s just say out of control. And she has time to be Governor of Alaska and maybe VP? How do her professional time commitments square with traditional right wing family values?
Next…oh wait a minute there is no next. I’ll simply leave you with a link to an AP story that shows a few little inconsistencies and maybe some little white lies being told by the GOP. I have found myself barking like the pit bull Palin claims to be for Dad Ed and Dad Steve to either give Obama and Biden another donation or just take me out for a walk to end the insanity that is Sarah Palin. As I approach my third year of the dog-turned-child of Dad Ed and Dad Steve, I have become more astute to the ways of the world. I hold my position as a dog with a voice with the highest regard and find speaking out for injustice as a powerful responsibility. So I’ll leave you with a comment on this last Palin “zinger” that only I can truly address and hope she reads this: Sarah ,, there is more than one difference between you and a pit bull. Pit bulls, when raised correctly, cared for, given discipline and guidance are lovable, caring and trusting creatures. I’m leaving my fans to make their determination if you actually encompass pit bull qualities.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dad's Do Urinetown?

As I sat in front of the door with my typical “are you two leaving me again with this big damn mongrel” look, I caught my Dads talking about this musical they were about to witness. Now there are two things you need to know that make this conversation so confusing for even the smartest of rescue dogs. First, a musical and Dad Ed typically do not go together. He’s not exactly one who embraces the arts and culture in any sense of the word (remember, he thinks a women’s final four is embracing art). Now Dad Steve, he appreciates the arts, music and good entertainment and does his best to get Dad Ed to open himself up to more of this type of entertainment. But it’s not like season symphony and opera tickets are arriving at the house. Lastly, this musical sounded – well a bit more to my taste, as well as…nasty. It’s title: Urinetown. That’s right. And yes, my ears were checked out on my last high-priced vet visit. It was definitely Urinetown. It seemed one of Dad Ed’s friends who has a tremendous appreciation for the theater, Broadway, small community theaters and all that “stuff” as Dad says convinced them to attend. So off they went.
Now usually my time without Dads in the house is spent wondering if Foster my new big, dumb but hopelessly lovable brother will leave me be while I catch up on my sleep. But I stayed awake this time. I couldn’t stop thinking about Urinetown. So there I sat. Comfortable at the end of the king size bed with a perfect view of the front yard, the street below and anyone who dared to walk near. I was watching for Dads to return. I had to hear more about Urinetown. Well finally the two were zipping up the driveway and none too soon. Dad Ed thinks he’s doing me a favor by keeping CNN playing when he and Dad Steve are away and quite honestly I’m sick of the election cycle. I mean for the life of me this one is easy enough for even Foster to figure out. Stay with something that has crashed and burned over the past seven years or make a new start – but like Sadie’s Dad, I digress.
As Dads opened the front door and Foster knocked me down to jump to their shoulders, I listened carefully. I had to know about Urinetown. Well, much to my surprise they loved it. They said the musical was fun, entertaining, had many undertones of current events, some talented performers and left them thinking the 20 bucks they spent was not near enough. “That’s it?” I barked. “You mean there wasn’t one pup in the production scouting out spots to mark? “ I mean really. Doesn’t the title make you think at least one dog was in the production? Are we not famous for relieving ourselves in public? Do we not deserve a character in such a production? I suppose the important thing is that Dads stepped out of their comfort zone of margaritas, beer, chips/salsa, football and weekends at the pool. They enjoyed some “art” albeit about urine.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Think I Need a Brother?

Well it’s official. I am no longer the sole king of my domain. Nope. No more. It seems that Dads have decided that a permanent home for our "foster" dog is what is best. Goodbye to the chewy treat section that was once all mine. Goodbye to jumping into that king size bed without being pummeled by 50 pounds of hound dog. Goodbye to hiding out under the backyard deck by myself. And, goodbye to the walks around the hood that were once very short on orders and corrections.

Our lovely home now welcomes Foster. That's right, Foster. Dad tells me he's named after his maternal grandfather. I like to think it's because he was a foster dog so long, it just took. I can certainly see him being shifted from home to home.

OK OK. So I was once that dog in front of the Petsmart, needing a home just like my new brother. Certainly I saw myself as cuter, more loveable, well behaved and memorable (yes, Dad left after our first meeting and then five miles down the road said "I want that pup!!" and raced back to adopt me). But I would be lying if I told you I didn't have a soft spot in my heart for this big lug. Sure, he plays rougher than most dogs(already kicked out of the dog park once) and has on more than one occasion brought blood to my pretty little face (I took out his ankle during the last bout and he didn’t walk right for a day!). And sure, when he jumps in excitement when Dads come home his head almost hits the ceiling. And yes, he tends to run my precious little self over when needing to get outside for a quick run to god knows where.

But he's now my brother and I love him. Come to think of it, he's not near as bad as some humans. Lord knows I've witnessed my Dads' phone conversations and the drama from some of their siblings and families make Foster look tame. But this new sibling has allowed me to reflect upon what is most important in my life. A good family, Dads that love and take care of me, places to run and play, food and water that ALL dogs deserve and most important -- having more intellect in the tiny spot on my ear than Foster has in his entire head.

So as I do each posting, I must speak for those four-legged friends who cannot speak. Give the Foster’s of the world a good home. Overlook their sloppy leg hiking, the water that drips from their mouths for what seems to be hours after quenching their thirst, the paw prints that will overtake every window in your house and the escapes from the yard that last hours. Overlook all of this and give them a home. And please please, support the ASPCA and their fight to keep the Arlie Rufus' and Foster’s free from abuse and cruelty.

Welcome Home Foster!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Bigot, A Hate Monger or Just a Sad Man

As I savored a yummy chew treat last night, I saw on TV a story I can only describe as disturbing about a strange man in my home state who believes portraying an African American as a monkey is his duty to country. This man -- and I use that term loosely -- is named Mike Norman. He owns a bar in Marietta, Georgia and is selling t-shirts with a picture of the character Curious George with a banana and the words "Obama in '08" under the shirt. He calls the t-shirts a marketing tool and that Mr. Obama had a likeness to the character.

Well, as Dad ranted about the story and the "ignorance" and "bigotry" it showed embedded in our state, I began to think on a positive of the situation. You see, I'm a "glass is half full" rescue pup. Hell, I was days away from gas so I always look at how things can be better. Unlike Mr. Norman, I do not fear a man's color or the way he talks or looks (have you seen Mr. Norman and some of his defenders -- now that's some scary stuff). No, I think "how can we use Mr. Norman’s ‘sadness’ as a positive.” So I thought "the best way to solve this problem of hate is to show that we are above this type of behavior. So, I implore all of those who do not think they have a voice to speak up on Mr. Norman’s actions to send a donation to Obama or Hillary. Would that not be classic! Mr. Norman and his hate-filled defenders having to watch Obama or Hillary as their leader for the next four years -- classic!

At 63 and a southerner, Mr. Norman is a white man who is part of a group who has always had all the power. Well times have changed and the differences in each of us, should and will make us a better country. Mr. Norman, however, does not seem to care about the strength in our diversity. At his age and apparent lack of intellectual “curiosity”, he is unlikely to ever change his views and is stuck in a self-made state of mistrust and ignorance. And what is even sadder is that his children and grandchildren are victims of his ignorant influence.

Yes, I suppose Dad did accurately describe Mr. Norman as a bigot and hate-monger. And other Dad referred to him as a POS (Piece of...). But I could only call him a sad man. He really believes this to be a way to talk about and label another human being. That's sad people. This liberal dog believes a prayer (yes, a liberal who prays) is best for Mr. Norman. So remember this "sad" man in your prayers. And pray he sees the error of his ways. And if we are really lucky, the GOP will ask him to follow Anne Coulter on the stage at this summer's Republican Convention. Good night all!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dad Returns a National Champion and Finds a New Favorite Player

Well, the basketball season is over. Dad has returned from his annual outing to the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four. And for another year, Dad gets to claim his alma mater as the best women's college basketball team in the land! Thank you, Lord. When Dad's Vols need a national championship in the worst way, he can always count on Pat Summitt and the girls.

But unlike his previous trips with "the girls" this one brought Dad back a bit calmer, more reserved and interestingly enough with different perspective. Like many fans, Candace Parker was the favorite -- looks, personality, wonderful speaker and a game that makes most men green with envy. But for Dad, this team finds him with a new found love for "Nicky." Yes Nicky, as in Ms. Anosike if you're nasty (forgive my Janet Jackson flashback)! It seems Dad read a wonderful article by Michelle Voepel on ESPN.com describing what Nicky will be doing now that her college basketball is over. You see, Nicky played her last game Tuesday night as a Lady Vol. She finished her career with a second national championship, but what comes next for Nicky had the most impact on Dad. As the daughter of an immigrant from Nigeria, Nicky was one of eight children. She saw her mother work hard and at 40 years old receive her nursing degree.

"A lot of people would have been satisfied being on public assistance and living in a project building," Anosike said. "But my mom wanted a better life for us. She's the reason I'm here right now. I have to live this to the fullest, and make her proud. Let her know everything she did was for a reason."

Much like myself, Nicky was certainly faced with challenges growing up. She worked hard in school and earned the right to play at Tennessee and gain an education. Nicky is not Lebron James. She did not suddenly turn into a multi millionaire after today's professional basketball draft. Nicky, as Voepel's article points out, will begin working for Teach for America at an elementary school in Newark, NJ this fall. "What a wonderful young woman," Dad said. It seems Nicky's heart and her frame of mind are in the right place. And most similar to myself, Nicky is setting a course to speak for those with little or no voice. Nicky is giving her time and I feel safe to say, her love, to children in poverty who want and need an education. Dad tells me that in this world of greed, warmongering and economic inequality that grows larger and larger every day, Nicky is the most valuable of all players. And for Dad and myself, shes our new favorite player. Bless you Nicky. You give Dad and I hope for the future.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Candace's Bum Shoulder Almost Does Us In!

As I have alluded to in previous posts, Dad has a love for his Tennessee Volunteers. This isn't just "fat Phil" and the football team and Bruce Pearl and the revitalized Tennessee men's basketball team. No, Dad turns into another person whenever any young college athlete with orange "TENNESSEE" across their chests takes to the arena. So last night, we watched his beloved Tennessee Lady Vols take to the court in search of their 18th Final Four appearance (yes, Dad is quick to point that out to any uconn fan who might offer to debate the merits of his Lady Vols as what women’s' basketball is all about).

With an early lead, Dad was fine, playing it cool. I was the happy recipient of his good nature as the chew treats were a flowing!! But just hold on a minute. Candace was hurt (that's the "greatest women's basketball player ever” Candace Parker)! Shoulder...a dislocated shoulder! It cannot be! Candace, play through the pain...please! Dad's sanity and my ability to snack for hours depend on it. As Candace was taken to the locker room late in the first half, I knew my fate – a walk around the neighborhood. That's not all bad, but compared to dog treats for the next two hours -- not ideal. As usual, Dad proclaims "I'm not watching anymore...too nervous!" The walk was longer than usual, as Dad and Dad had to help the late Reba and late Cheyenne's Dad move a refrigerator into his new house (the damn thing wouldn't fit through the door...what in the hell were they thinking).

But true to Dad's routine, his blackberry played the role of scoreboard. Candace had returned strapped up on her left shoulder and willed the team to a victory. Eighteen Final Fours for his beloved Lady Vols. All is right with the world. Candace, on behalf of a Dad who loves his Lady Vols and a dog who relishes dog treats, thank you. Dad looks forward to his trip to the Final Four this weekend, and me to yummy treats when you bring home championship number eight!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dad's Friend Passes to Young

Yesterday, I saw my dad have an emotional moment. Now, he's prone to such moments during a Tennessee Vol or Lady Vol game, but this one was different, so I took note. It seems a young woman he had attended junior and high school with had passed away -- at just 40 years old. Jenny Bates was her name, and if you had seen a picture of the young lady, you would see what a terrible loss it is and why Dad was emotional. I watched him as he read her obituary and then looked at her picture on a sweet web site to honor those who have passed away. If you read her profile, you'll see why I am taking the time to blog about Jenny. You see, Jenny loved animals -- cared for them and asked that memorial contributions be sent to the Humane Society of Chattanooga, TN., among other charities. Jenny had bravely fought breast cancer for years. It’s so sad that such a young, vibrant woman had to fight such a terrible disease. I'll save you my opinions on spending trillions on a war, why we still try to find treatments and cures for dreaded diseases (most of you know by now of my feelings on this). Rather, I'll ask you to remember this beautiful woman, and most importantly remember that a life lost at such a young age -- humans or pets -- should get all of our attention and commitment. I hope everyone reading this entry says a prayer for Jenny and her family. Jenny, my Dad will miss you and I'll do my small part to keep spreading the word to not forget you.

Arlie Rufus

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Even a Dog Knows Gas Could Top $4 a Gallon

I tend to get many chances to watch TV, check out the news, as well as online. After all, the dog with a voice must be well-versed in the topics of the day. So last week, as I had a chance to catch "W" at a news conference, I was deemed silent when he informed a room full of reporters (as well as the world) that he had not heard of analysts predicting gas could top $4 a gallon soon. The rock "W" has been living under for some time is bigger than I thought!

Mr. President, let me ask you to please read this news clip. Or perhaps this clip. And just in case you still think the reporter who asked the question last week was pulling your leg, try this third clip.

Mr. President (and I use this term loosely) what in the wide wide world of beagle love are you doing every day? The cost of gas has been a topic for months -- no years! Of course, since you refuse to mention the "R" word, you likely wouldn't know that the cost of gas is causing heartache for many American families.

With this said, let me speak on behalf of those who do not have or use their voices to speak out on this issue. "W"...become informed! We all know you have a few months left in office (the rescue dogs of America rejoice!), but at least ACT like you care. ACT as if the hardships of Americans, some of whom voted for you twice, are of importance and that you get up each and every day and think about what you can do to help. No, your actions will not likely benefit many of your contributors from big oil companies seeing record profits from the higher prices, but it might actually be what is best for the country. Promote conservation; discuss alternative fuels; advocate mass transit and investment in future mass transit; maybe even watch the news and read some online analyst comments; do something to show you care and are informed. Americans deserve your undivided attention on this matter. And if it takes a rescue dog to help get your mind on the American people then so be it!!

"The Dog with a Voice"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gay Youth Death Demands Answers and Actions

I know all of my readers are used to reading about Arlie Rufus' comments on my fellow four legged friends. I'm becoming quite famous for making others think about the lives of homeless dogs and other pets.

But today is different. Today, Arlie Rufus wants each and every one of you to think about the recent senseless death of a 15 year old young boy in Oxnard, California. This boy was killed because he was gay. And the shocking, even sadder revelation to this story is: the killer was a 14 year old boy. So, just in case you need to understand what the Arlie Rufus is saying let me repeat: a 15 year old boy was shot in the head by a 14 year old boy because he was gay. That's right America, its 2008 and kids are killing kids because they say they are gay.

As the Arlie Rufus did his diligent work of reading the news about this, it was sad and somewhat embarrassing that other countries were covering the story and in some cases, they seemed shocked this happens in this day and this time in this country. But what I have only read a bit about (some news in the link above) was the killer’s parents. Where were they? Who are they? What in the wide world of beagles happened in the household that could have led to this action? Arlie Rufus believes God made all of us with ability to be good, upstanding, peaceful humans and animals. And much like some of my four legged friends, hate and meanness is taught, and in some cases witnessed. And sadly for many, there is no stable love in the place they call home. Well, it appears the young boy who pulled the trigger had such a home. His father had problems with the law -- domestic violence was one such problem. And the irony of this story, the victim had been taken from a bad home and was in foster care.

So let's recap here if the Arlie Rufus may. The victim was in foster care because he had been taken out of his home, and the boy who pulled the trigger was in a home with what appears to be an abusive father.

Now let me get to the point here because it is time to speak for those without a voice. Children, just like my four legged friends need a home full of love, respect, trust and caring. And people (I use the term people because no animal could ever do such a horrible act as this) that means one parent, one mom, one dad, two moms, two dads -- or yes even a mom and a dad. Do you think if the boy who pulled the trigger had been in a home full of love and respect for others -- and was taught those traits daily that this might not have happened? Yes, it is possible. So America, get your heads out of your tails and work for tolerance, respect, love -- and yes LAWS THAT PROMOTE AND DEFEND THESE TRAITS. No person -- and especially no child deserves to be shot in the head and killed because of his or her sexual orientation, what they wear, how they talk or walk, or for any perceived differences. Contact your U.S. Representative, U.S. Senators and for the love of Arlie Rufus even try "W" and DEMAND the passage of the federal hate crime law. The HRC is a resource for information on hate crime legislation, and for young readers of The Arlie Rufus Report, check out a wonderful organization in Arlie Rufus' hometown of Atlanta -- Youth Pride, that helps young people facing the challenges of coming out.

Sorry for the rant people, but this one has Arlie Rufus needing to really speak loud! Be tolerant, show love and compassion and maybe we'll soon see a "compassionate" nation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Long Live the Beagle!

Fans of Arlie Rufus would be unrewarded if this dog with a voice did not send a shout out for his long lost cousin -- Uno -- champion of the Westminster Dog Show.

In an arena full of breeds that are used to taking home the prize, my cousin knocked it out of the park. Like the Arlie Rufus, he put on a show for the crowd. Walking, jogging, little run here, little run there -- yep, the beagle had it going on. And when the crown came, what did my cousin Uno do? Howled to the moon! That's right -- we beagles can howl till the cows come home (good thing the judges had already given me the crown!).

Now sure, Uno had some good breeding. Just like the Arlie Rufus, well cared for by his owners. But even though Uno seems perfect, he lacks one skill the Arlie Rufus has -- he can't speak! So on behalf of Uno and all the beagles out there who howl like the moon, thank you for the support. Now for those of you who want another Arlie Rufus or Uno -- check out http://www.petfinder.com/ and select "beagle" under the breed. There you can search within your local area for beagles that desperately need a home. Don't let a homeless beagle or other breed of dog live another night in a cage at a shelter. Give them a home. Do it for Uno. Do it for the Arlie Rufus. We are howling for your support! Congratulations again cuz!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remember those Who Cared for Us

Just a few short days ago, a friend of the Arlie Rufus' passed away. Reba was a spirited buddy of mine, black and beautiful. She gave so much comfort and fun to her owner, Shane -- and kept all of the rest of those humans on their toes. She was something else and made me proud to call her my friend.

Reba's story is not unfamiliar, but yet important. You see, Shane found the little puppy at a shelter -- simply wanting and needing a home and love and warmth. And Shane was just the dad to give her that. She was soon joined by her sister Cheyenne and together, well they made that Shane one happy boy. At 13, Reba had an eventful life -- well that Shane did more home repairs and additions to his house -- Reba could have hosted a Bob Villa show. She never begged for the milk bones like Cheyenne, but she certainly let Cheyenne know how valuable those suckers were. I had the honor and pleasure of knowing Reba for the past year and a half. My greatest regret is that my friend was about to move to my "hood" and I just know I could have become even closer.

Oh don't feel bad for Reba. She lived a life so many of my fellow k-9's will never know. A long life with a dad and loved her, just as she loved him -- unconditionally!

On behalf of Reba, let me do two things. First, tell all of you that pet adoption is the most wonderful thing you can ever do for a home, a family or a friend. At your local ASPCA, through wonderful no-kill pet adoption groups such as Homeless Pets of Atlanta (http://www.homelesspets.com/) or the Reffus Rescue (http://www.ruffusrescue.org/) and for those reading in other parts of the country, try Pet Finder (http://www.petfinder.com/).

And finally, for Reba let me say thank you Shane. You are a blessed and loved by the Arlie Rufus for all you did for Reba and the wonderful dad you were and are to her and Cheyenne.

Now everyone get off your tails and adopt a pet!!

Arlie Rufus