We Need a Dog Park

April Op-ed for Bridge River Lillooet News

I’m tempted to write about Rump and Pooh Tin because there’s so much to criticize about those billionaire politicians but let’s talk about dogs of a better kind.

Dogs are by nature social animals who live in packs. Sure, they successfully live with humans but they still need to be among their kind on a regular basis.

When dogs aren’t socialized they develop behaviour problems like neurotic barking or chronic aggression, not to mention destroying a yard by digging holes or harassing anything that moves. There’s a difference between a dog that’s guarding its property and one that’s acting out because it’s desperate to join the activity going on beyond the fence.

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Migrants & Melania

Thus far in the global migrant crisis Canada’s border has been quiet, mostly due to our geography/isolation. But now that the U.S. is closing in on itself and relegating immigration to a zone of fear and instability, we have seen a threefold spike in the number of refugees/migrants coming across.

You know people are desperate when they trudge north through waist-deep snow and brutal winds in the deepest, darkest winter for 10 hours to the border, losing fingers and toes to frostbite in the process. Now that spring is whispering in the wings and soon the weather will be warm, this trickle could very well turn into a torrent. The New Yorker reported on an underground railroad poised to launch the migrants they are currently housing and protecting. Soon we may see our nation’s claim of racial tolerance tested.

On another note, Melania Trump has been on my mind for a long while; I’m not alone in wondering what kind of man Rump is in private and what she must endure. In one of the protest rallies outside the NYC Rump Tower someone held up a sign that read: Melania, blink twice if you need to be rescued.

This week, 22 Minutes, Canada’s troupe of irreverent comics who riff on current political topics, put out their latest video: “Mrs. Trump, this is the third time this week.”

So I’m posting it here, because we’re all holding our breath and it’s Funny Bone Friday, Episode #12

 

Keeping Ourselves Safe

January Op-Ed for Bridge River Lillooet News

A friend had a frightening encounter last summer while walking with her dog on the road near the Old Bridge. Two men in a white BMW SUV drove up alongside and kept pace with her steps. The driver acted friendly and told her she was beautiful. The other guy stared straight ahead and didn’t speak; he looked at her only once and it was with hatred in his eyes. She recalled afterward that she thought to herself, What’s his problem?

The driver asked if she had a boyfriend. He asked if she’d get in the vehicle and help with directions. She knew she was in trouble. Steep terrain on both sides, no safe escape. Luckily, a pick-up truck came along and she stepped into the road, forcing it to stop. Then the white SUV took off.

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The Wizards of Pipelines and Fracking

December Op-ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

What position must we take when our politicians continue to be environmental laggards? This past week Prime Minister Trudeau actually had the gall to say—indignantly—that he wouldn’t have approved the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline if he thought doing so would be harmful to BC’s coast. Could someone please inform our PM that preventing human error and controlling storms at sea are not among his impressive abilities?

His arrogance reminded me of the doctor I had in my early 20s. I’d gone to see him about getting birth control. I sat facing him and his big, oak desk and said that I had some concern about the long-term effect on my health if I went on the pill. The good doctor snubbed his cigarette into a plate-sized ashtray and bellowed, “Do you think I would give it to you if I thought it would harm you?”

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Encounter at Hangman’s Lane

September Op-Ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

Recently I went for my first-ever walk to Cayoosh Park with my sister and Missy, her little Chihuahua cross. It was a beautiful, blustery day. We circled the downed hangman’s tree and I thought about the men who’d been hung on this hillside, how the last thing they would have seen was this same spectacular vista I was seeing, the same impressive mountains and Fraser River.

I figured that from some locations down below people would have been able to look up to the hillside and see a body hanging. You’d think the poor souls might have been hung with less public spectacle, but I guess that was the point, to instill fear, to showcase that rough, harsh justice.

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