Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Tooth, the Tire and the Battery

Who knew eating toast would be so hazardous. Have you ever had one of those weeks where things go from bad to worse? Of course you have.

It started out with a molar I broke one evening the week before. Then I broke my front tooth—yes, my front tooth—while eating a piece of toast. For cryin' out loud! Can a girl get a break here? Hello, Ellie Mae!

The next day I got in my car and it screamed at me. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... Stop please!... eeeeeeeee! What was that? A lovely red light on my dash displayed a cute little picture of a flat tire. Oh great! I got out of the car and surveyed all the tires. Yup! there it was. The right rear tire looked a bit pudgy. Okay. No time for this—gotta get to my appointment. Oh yeah—my dental appointment to get a temporary fix for my broken front tooth. Sorry... Did I get too loud there?

I snapped the picture above at a stoplight rushing to my dentist appointment. I needed proof of the disaster I faced. Or shall I say, you faced if you saw me?

The dentist appointment went well—fixed the molar and put a temporary on the front. After a stop by the dental lab for a color pick, I zoomed back home. But first I went by the tire shop and had them look at the tire. Sure enough. A screw had found its way into my tire. Those pesky radials... they ran over that little-itty-bitty screw, picked it up off the road and shot it into the rear tire. Blam! Got that all fixed and got back on the road.

Then there's the battery. My Mac's battery went defective on me. It no longer held a charge when off power. I clicked away on my manuscripts, battery at half-power, and weeeoooooo... black screen! The computer shut down. A call to AppleCare revealed a defective battery and a new one was ordered. It arrived the next day—I love AppleCare. But... the new battery had a ding on the outside corner creating a bur that would snag anything knit—it's a laptop. Let's try this again.

So that week went well... not! Doesn't it make you wonder? What's going on God? Why do all these crazy, annoying things happen? Well... they don't just happen. They are ordained. They are not chance. Proverbs 16:33 says "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." God is sovereign and he is trustworthy—I know this to be true. Even though I don't get it, the tooth, the tire and the battery are part of God's plan for me. Job 25:2 says "God is sovereign, God is fearsome—everything in the cosmos fits and works in his plan." Last I checked I live in the cosmos. And everything is... well, everything.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Dogs of Moscow

In the Capital of Russia as many as 35,000 stray dogs roam the streets, ride the subway and beg for food—its all part of the culture of Moscow. The dogs, apparently abandoned due to economic conditions, have learned to survive quite well.

Dr. Andrei Poyarkov of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute started studying the stray dogs in 1979. He identified several sub-groups of strays throughout the city, each living in unique conditions and foraging for food in their own way.

The most notable sub-group is Moscow's metro dogs. Some 500 dogs claim the metro as their home particularly in the colder months. An estimated 20 even ride the metro. Using all their senses, these precocious riders have mastered when to get on, when to get off, who will feed them and whom to avoid. There's even a website dedicated to the metro dogs where commuters share photos and videos of their fav stray. Some strays become such as icon they are given names.

The most famous metro dog is now memorialized with a statue in the Mendeleevskaya Station. Malchik, a black stray, lived in the station and provided protection from drunks and other dogs. A few years ago a psychotic 22-year-old model stabbed Malchik, as shocked rush-hour commuters looked on. The incident brought a barrage of sympathy that sparked an effort to erect a monument to Malchik. Called Compassion the bronze statue stands vigil at the entrance to the station Malchik called home.

The Financial Times of London published a lengthy article in January covering much of the history of the ensconced dogs. The informative story establishes that the strays have become a part of the culture in Moscow. Wherein our culture we encourage capturing and adopting stray dogs, studies show that removing the Moscow dogs would upset the balance. Plus theses dogs have now survived for generations in their respective environments rendering them unsuitable for adoption.

Feeling like adopting a stray after reading this post? Contact my fav site—Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue. We got our Brandy from them. Having just had puppies, she was found wandering the streets of Sacramento wearing only a choke chain. Now she sits in her cushy bed snoring away as I type.


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