Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh the trauma!

Daisy, pre-attack, with one of her favorite toys.

This post is dedicated to my mom's dog, Daisy. She survived a horrific and traumatic dog on dog attack by a humongous Mastiff while we were walking on the beach Saturday morning.

It started as a normal Saturday morning where my friend met me and we took Daisy to the beach to walk. We started at the Grand Avenue beach ramp in Grover Beach and walked towards the Oceano beach ramp.

As we neared the Oceano ramp we both noticed a large dog on a very long lead which had spotted Daisy. The owner was fishing behind his jeep. As we came closer he stopped fishing and dragged his dog to the side of the jeep so that we could pass. Sadly, we were joking about how the dog kept "peeking" out from under the jeep to get one more look at Daisy.

At this point I had the choice of walking betweent he fishing pole (stuck in the sand) and the back of the jeep (approximately 10 feet wide), or going on the other side of the pole which was the ocean side where the waves could potentially break and get us wet.

I unfortunately chose the former.

What can only be described as an out of body experience was the sudden rush of the giant dog towards us. I attempted to flee to no avail. Daisy was in its grasp immediately as it clamped down and started to shake her violently. The owner rushed to his dog to begin pummeling it to get it to release Daisy. All I could do was stand there screaming, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" over and over again.

By a miracle the dog released and Daisy bolted. She ran and ran and ran as far away as she could get from that horrific scene. I was frozen. Thankfully my friend ran off after her (little did I know how far she would have to run until later). I stayed to call 911 and get someone out to the beach to respond to this attack.

The man was apologetic and claimed that he was an animal lover. He said he would take care of this situation and didn't want me freaking out. Too late for that buddy!

I was eventually forwarded to the Park Rangers who sent out two rangers in response. I gave my information and details of the incident. Of course I couldn't say how badly Daisy was injured since she had run off and was not captured yet. Meanwhile, the giant dog was sitting in his owner's jeep with gobs of drool spilling out.

A young woman approached me to say that they had Daisy in their car and someone knew a vet somewhere. At this point the ranger told me I could go take care of Daisy. All I could think was how hard the call to my mom would be. Thankfully I had my mobile phone with me.

My friend was sitting in this Good Samaritan's front seat holding Daisy in a bloody sheet. Daisy seemed calm but it was clear that she was hurt. The ranger came up and took a couple of pictures and we took off to the Pet ER.

Now, we didn't go to Daisy's regular vet because when I called them, the receptionist told me that there were other clients there and the soonest we could get in was 11:45am. It was about 10:15am at this point when I called. What!?! Even though I explained that this was a dog attack and an emergency, the woman had nothing else to offer. We're going to the ER.

The ER took Daisy in and cleaned her up. She was put on IV fluids and pain medication. My mom showed up and we waited for the update. In the meantime the attacking dog's owner arrived. He paid for the ER deposit (50% of the estimated bill of over $1,000); and promised to cover all of the costs for Daisy's recovery.

This was truly and amazing thing! The Pet ER staff was thoroughly impressed and shocked as they regularly see animals victims of dog attacks where the owners of the attackers do nothing.

We were able to pick Daisy up later that evening. The man returned and took care of the balance of the ER bill. He was truly sorry that this happened and was doing the right thing.

The unsettling thing to me, however, was that his dog was not taken from him. In fact, he made a comment to us in the Pet ER that "No one could take his dog from him unless it was out of his cold, dead hands." The other thing that he had said earlier is that even though his dog had never attacked another dog, it did show aggression to other dogs, small dogs in particular. Very chilling. I just hope that he never brings his dog to the beach again!

This event was even more traumatic to me considering Daisy is my mom's dog AND this is the weekend I am supposed to be working on one of my midterms for the Public Policy Program.

So, PLEASE, if any dog owners read this and think that their dog is good enough to roam freely in a public space, THINK AGAIN! Keep your dog on a leash at all times in public areas. And if your dog is difficult (and you know what I mean), LEAVE IT AT HOME!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Week 5: Grad school update

I'm at the start of week 5 in grad school and this means midterms. Actually they're next week, but I still have to get my notes together and make sure I understand everything (which I don't).

I'm feeling better about my classes, but that may change once I'm in class tonight. I know that last week was an emotionaly draining one for me when it comes to public policy. I was so frustrated by my lack of comprehension of economic and market issues, especially since I need to have a grasp of it for what I would like to be doing.

I have reminded myself that I don't have to be the best, but just passing will suit me fine at this point.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Polo is for dummies!

I've been playing this new game of polo for a couple of months now. And a couple of weekends ago the match was played in my hometown again. Either I wasn't in the right frame of mind for playing, or the game just became less interesting, because afterwards I felt a bit disappointed. It just wasn't as exciting as I had remembered from previous games.

Part of the let down was that a particular strategy that I prefer not to engage in was attempted. The irritating thing is that this was the second time that I had to warn the other player and stop the game midway. There are just certain game plays that I don't like even if the overall game is enjoyable.

The game went on way too long, and rather than staying to finish it, I left early. I returned the next day to play in the 2nd match, but the interest level and excitement were much too diminished. In fact, the day's playing was preceeded by a lengthy discussion about different strategies by other players from other games. The opinion was that I would achieve greater satisfaction by utilizing and accepting more game strategies, and that somehow by not employing these strategies my life experiences would be diminished.

Um, I have traveled the world as well as lived abroad for long periods of time. How would not utilizing certain game strategies diminish my overall life experience? This is what I was dealing with that left me so disappointed. As it was the 2nd match was only half-hearted and listless.

Lesson learned: pick your players well and choose game time wisely. Too many matches reduce the excitement of overall game play.

Economics for Dummies

I have just finished my 4th week and I'm feeling totally overwhelmed. All this reading about markets and economics is making my head spin. The frustrating thing (well there's more than just one) is that for what I want to do I need to know all that stuff, but I just can't seem to grasp it.

I need the Cliff Notes for Economics, or Econ for Dummies, because it's just not gettin' into the noggin.

Now I'm also trying to develop my research question and topic for 2 classes. The topic and literature can be the same, but I have to write different information for each one.

At this point I feel like bailing out of the program. However, I know I can hang in there and manage. I think what gets me in such a bind is my high expectations of myself to always do well. I don't like the idea of scoring less than A work. In this case, I will settle for average.